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Inktober is Almost Here!

The lists are out!! That’s right kids, Inktober (and Drawlloween) are less than a week away! Last year I combined the *official* Inktober list with Mab Grave’s Drawlloween list to make a double-whammy drawing each day. Some combos worked out better than others (and you can pretty much tell which days were “catch up” days), but all in all I was looking forward to doing it again this year. 


The thing is, I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome years ago. I had some handy dandy steroid injections and things were good for a few years – until those pesky symptoms started coming back. The past six months have been *really* bad and the pain in numbness has been getting rapidly worse. It took a very short appointment for Doc to recommend surgery and guess when it is… Right smack in the middle of Inktober! 

So I’m left with a choice. Cheat, and get it all done with ahead of time (with a wonky hand), or try to do the second half left-handed. After perusing the lists, I really want to do it justice and take the opportunity to get it all done ahead of time. 

There’s another little hang up I have with this year, too. The Inktober and Drawlloween lists match up in a really sucky way. Like I don’t even want to combine them! I know I should see it as a challenge and blah, blah, blah, but we all know that if we force it that much the art is just going to be bad. 

So what do??

Did you know there’s ANOTHER Drawlloween list? Camilla d’Errico also does a list (I wish I knew sooner!) and it is THE ONE! Not that the other two aren’t good, but the Camilla list just speaks to me. It has more prompts that I haven’t done and fewer duplicates from last year. 

Soooooo, I’ve decided to just do this list: 

camilla d'errico 2019 drawlloween list camillasdrawlloween

I might pick and choose a few days from Mab Graves’ list… maybe… if there’s enough time in the day, which there rarely is. But given all that’s going on, it’s probably best to keep things simple this year. 

mab graves 2019 drawlloween list

UNFORTUNATELY I’m really bad at keeping things simple… Wanna hear the rest of the plan/decision/ramble?? The Inktober list is still in play, just not in combination with the Drawlloween list. You see, I’m going to be out of commission for at least two weeks post-surgery, and there’s no way I’m not making some kind of art!

inktober 2019 prompt list

Why not do the Inktober list left-handed? The prompts are more open to interpretation (and gorked-out terribleness), so it’s the perfect opportunity to push myself in a different direction… or something… right? It’s more abstract and it will be funny, right? RIGHT?!? 

Ultimately it’s going to depend on how much of my other stuff I get done, the planetary alignment, and my list of potential excuses on any given day. But for super serials, I’m getting that Drawlloween list done and it’s going to be amazing! (No pressure)

Thanks for reading! Please check back to see the drawings if you have sec or catch them on Insta. <3. Until next time!

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Body Kun Alternatives?

Over on my YouTube channel I posted a review video of some knock-off Body Kun figures and later another for the most recent run of Figma Archetype figures. Someone commented on one of them asking if there were any other figures out there similar to Body Kun that have more manga-style proportions. The Figmas are great, but they have more superhero builds and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you want manga proportions from Figma, you either need to track down an earlier run of figures, which will be more expensive, or wait and see what the next run will look like. 

All that aside, I responded to that user’s question with what amounted to a shrug. I really haven’t seen anything else comparable, but I also haven’t been looking that hard. I’m happy with my Figma Archetypes! 

About a week after I received that comment, I coincidentally came across some art reference models on Dick Blick. Pretty sweet, right? I really wanted them to be good because I get most of my supplies from Blick and I include affiliate links (at no cost to you) whenever I list materials. Unfortunately, the figures look… wacky. The proportions are wacky, the joints are wacky, and counting all the wacky things about them won’t make the wackiness go away. They’re so wacky that I’m almost willing to waste some money to get them. Almost. 🙂

Did I Mention Wacky?

One set is called the Manga Manikins and it looks like they are no longer made (bummer!). The product page is still live on Dick Blick if you want to read about them and here’s a screenshot to check out if you don’t. They were kind enough to include two versions of the female model with different sized boobs, because I guess that’s a thing that some people needed. 

body kun manga manikins dick blick art reference models anatomical anime hollywood proportions figma archetype alternative

If ever can find these (for some sort of reasonable price) I’ll get one in a heartbeat. Please, please give me a heads up if you see one. If Hollywood is using them (like the description says), there must be something great about them!

Now for the ones you can get. These are the Art S. Buck Anatomical Models that are described as “anatomically proportional one-sixth scale models have over 30 points of articulation”. These figures are wacky, too. They have wacky joints and big wacky heads, but are they $35 each wacky? I might grab one if I catch it on sale, because judging these things from afar really isn’t fair, right?

art buck dick blick body kun figma archetype alternative art reference model wacky proportions big heads

Good News, Everyone!

Pretty soon I’ll have a new one to review because, *GASP*, I found a REAL Body Kun for a decent price ($38)! More specifically it’s a black Body Chan (the female model) and I’m 95% it’s legit. If it’s not, you can expect a pretty awesome rant where I swear I’ll never make the mistake again (i.e. a THIRD time), but eventually I will and you can all laugh at me. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time!


The review video is live and the figure is real! Aaaaaaand there’s a special guest! Pop on over to my YouTube channel to check it out or watch here:

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My First Yupo!

pino ergo proxy line drawing ink micron sketch sketchbook anime manga fanart

Yupo paper is pretty amazing. It’s a synthetic (read: not made from trees), waterproof, recyclable paper that comes in white and translucent finishes. Because of that, you can’t treat Yupo paper like regular paper. I sort of knew this before I tried it, but rather than read all about the do’s and don’ts I jumped in straight away with a Micron and some markers. 

**I have a few affiliate links in this post. A quick click helps me out at no cost to you. Thanks for stopping by!**

I started out with a sketch of the little cutie Pino from Ergo Proxy. It’s a pretty simple line drawing – perfect for tracing a bunch of times and experimenting!

pino ergo proxy anime manga drawing sketch sketchbook pencil
So cute!

I used a .01 Micron to trace the line drawing onto computer paper. Normally, I draw lots of sketchy lines when I use pens. This time I went for long, smooth lines and regretted it about half way through. I grip the pen too hard, my hand shakes – it’s not me and it shows. So I switched to a .005 Micron and used shorter strokes on some cheapo marker paper and the Yupo paper.

pino ergo proxy line drawing ink micron sketch sketchbook anime manga fanart
I did another drawing on computer paper, but didn’t color that one. The bottom left is marker paper and the bottom right is the Yupo paper.

One thing I did read about Yupo paper was that you could use watercolor on it, pretty much wash it off after, and the paper would be fine. Knowing this, I tried (SO HARD) not to drag my hand through the ink or touch it at all. Knowing this, I used a super-secret technique to strategically place archival fingerprints all over the drawing. 

I used Prismacolor, Copic, and Winsor & Newton (W&N) brush markers to color the line drawings. Keep an eye on the big art supply websites and every once in a while you can catch a good deal on a set! For the computer paper drawing I used a #2 cool gray W&N marker to map out the shadows, then colored it in. 

pino ergo proxy anime manga fanart drawing sketch sketchbook marker micron copic prismacolor
I love gray tones though…

I liked the effect of doing it this way, but for some reason the W&N marker didn’t play nice with the other two brands. It created a strange edge, even after giving the first layer plenty of time to dry. I also noticed that the W&N markers don’t flow as well as the Prismacolor or Copics. 

pino ergo proxy color marker prismacolor copic fanart drawing sketch sketchbook  manga anime
The brown was too dark and I messed up the pink on the bottom. Sssssh, don’t tell!

For the marker paper I used a lighter gray because I thought the other one was a little dark. As it turns out the W&N #1 cool gray was too light, but the effect was still nice. 

When it came to the Yupo paper I had a decision to make between the lighter and the darker gray. Since the permanent, archival Micron smeared so much already, I figured the lighter gray would be better. Let’s be real, I had no delusions that the markers would blend on the Yupo paper. But I really wanted to see how this would work. Spoiler alert: it was a mess.

pino ergo proxy yupo anime manga micron drawing sketch sketchbook fanart
I need a little practice. 🙂

Not only did the colors not blend at all, but they picked up the permanent, archival Micron ink and smeared it all over! I wasn’t super surprised by this, since drawing on this stuff is kind of like drawing on plastic. The paper is not absorbent at all, so layering isn’t really an option. 

pino ergo proxy yupo marker color fanart smear anime manga drawing sketch sketchbook
The colors also came out a lot lighter!

Side note: the translucent version does give you the option of using both sides to add layers/colors/etc. Mab Graves does amazing work with Yupo paper and if you don’t know her, you do now. You’re welcome!

Yupo paper is pricey, but the good news is that you can play with it and wipe it pretty much clean if you don’t like the result. Obviously some media and colors will stain, but that just adds character, right? The flip side of that is if you want to preserve your masterpiece it will need to fixed properly – both to protect the work and to keep the paper from yellowing. 

I’m super excited to keep playing around with Yupo paper. If there’s something you want me to try, let me know in the comments. 

Thank you so much for reading! Happy New Year!

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Stuff I Learned from Inktober 2018

Like I said last week, October went by fast. That’s partly because it was a busy month, but also because of our beloved Inktober and Drawlloween events! Last year was a cluster because I blindly ran through both lists without much care or concern – and it shows. When I fell behind it was double the drawing and all I cared about was doing something, anything, to get it done. That was kind of the point for me last year anyway. I just wanted to see if I could do it. Obviously I did (poorly), so let’s move on to this year.

inktober Drawlloween raven gift thor swamp thing chop moon nimh toad frog axe mouse secret
Some of the last few days of Inktober/Drawlloween!

It was better! Mostly because I combined the two lists. It made some days fun, some days less-than-fun, some days challenging, and some days two out of the three. So that kept me to one drawing per day – much more manageable for the times I when I inevitably fell behind by a couple of days. I also stuck to black ink only so I could focus on the subject and not get all distracted by bright flashy colors. You’d think that being an artist means you’re amazing with color palettes, but that’s simply not the case with all of us. I’m a limited palette type of gal and I’ve learned to accept that!

inktober drawlloween clock skeleton bones owl branch break goblin
This is what my Insta doesn’t show… what a waste of space!

One thing that I said I would do this year that I didn’t do last year and still didn’t do this year was do all of my sketches in my designated Inktober/Drawlloween sketchbook. I didn’t want to have all the sterile white space in between my drawings. Well, it pretty much happened anyway, but not as bad.

If I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to draw or how it should look, I did some sketches in my dreaded “If I Die, Burn This Sketchbook without Ever Looking in it” sketchbook. You know, the one I started posting pics from on my sketchbook page? I also had a little sketchbook I carried around to try ideas in when life had me waiting in places like the doctor’s office. So some of the “final” Inktober drawings have previous sketches and some don’t, but I did make an effort to use up as much of the page as possible. 

I feel like that got really boring right there. Did that get boring right there? It’s the fourth paragraph and I’m only now getting to my point. Sorry! 

dancing unicorn apology sorry gif
Please enjoy this unicorn doing the apology dance.

If there’s one thing that combining the Inktober and Drawlloween lists did, it’s that it forced me to think about what I was drawing more carefully. I didn’t want to be too obvious (although on some days I think I was), but I didn’t want to have to explain what the drawing was beyond simply stating the prompts. There was a little research involved on some of these and I learned some pretty cool random facts!

Day one’s prompts were poisonous and witch. I wanted the witch to be holding some sort of poisonous creature, but I wanted it to be more mythical-looking than real. So I started to wonder what makes something look poisonous? Bright colors was the first thing that came to mind, but what else? 

Then the good old internet taught me the difference between poisonous and venomous. Yes, both types will poison you, but the difference is in the delivery of the toxin. Venomous animals bite, scratch, or sting – it’s an active method of delivery. Poisonous animals (like dart frogs) have a passive delivery – you have to touch them to be poisoned. There’s more to it than that, but we don’t have all day here! I tried making up my own creature, failed miserably, and drew a plant.

poison dart frog
No touchies!

Day three was roasted and cryptid. There are more types of cryptids than you can shake a stick at! And if even a couple of them turned out to be real, you probably wouldn’t want to stand there and shake a stick at them. I went with a Cuchivilu, which has the front half of a pig and the back half of a serpent and lives in the water. In Chile, the Cuchivilu would destroy fisherman’s nets, eat their catch, then curse the water so no more fish would be caught there. Turns out that Cuchivilu are elephants seals. Neat! What I really wanted to draw was a Dobhar-chú, which is this giant Irish dog-otter creature, but I couldn’t bring myself to draw it roasted.

dobhar chu cryptée otter dog irish folklore
Can I take him home? PLEASE!?!?!? (Credit

I also learned about different types of Yokai, baby owls are alarmingly cute, frogs are way more popular than toads, and that I’m not the only kid that was a little bit scarred by the Secret of NIMH. I’m sad it’s over, but I’m glad to go back to my own stuff. There’s only a little time to art every day and my kid commissioned a drawing of One Punch Man. I have to get to work!

Thanks for reading! All of my sketches and drawings from this year’s Inktober and Drawlloween can be found here. Until next time!

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Shifting Art Gears

fluid art painting acrylic ink

October has just flown by! After the past few weeks of doing Inktober and Drawlloween and staying (roughly) on track, I realized that I haven’t done anything with jewelry, painting, or the site. Sorry about that! 

It also got me thinking. I’m really loving drawing again. Not that I ever didn’t love it, but I’m rediscovering all the “behind the scenes” things that happen in art that make the experience of creating so robust. It’s deciding on concepts, looking at reference images, quick sketches to see if something will work, and starting over again when it doesn’t. It’s all the things that happen before the final piece is even started. 

I’ve also been thinking that I don’t miss the fluid art. There’s only so much time before and after work and in between family activities. Every day is a choice of what to make – if there’s even time (or energy) to make anything at all. For me, fluid art was a stepping stone to bring art back into my life. It was something I could just make without having to worry about it too much (plus I learned how to make videos, which was super fun!). Then I started working on an old painting again. That got me thinking of ways to revamp old pieces and ideas for starting new ones – so the “fluid art phase” did what it was supposed to do.

fluid art painting acrylic ink
They’re everywhere!

fluid art painting acrylic ink
They’re here, too!

fluid art painting acrylic ink
I can’t even look at them anymore! lol

Now that my walls are covered in trippy paintings, I’m ready to move on. Of course, with Inktober I’m drawing every day again. So the natural progression seems to be to shift gears and focus more on that. I’m not going to make any more fluid art videos, but I do want to start recording my drawing and painting. 

As for jewelry, I know I haven’t posted much about that here, but I’m going to keep going with that. I won’t be making any more Pebeo pieces, so I’m working on using up the Pebeo paint that I have left. For jewelry I’m going to focus on copper pipe necklaces and the “doogle” pins. There’s been enough experimenting and wasting supplies “in the name of science!” And it’s time to get the craft table under control. Seriously, it’s a mess. Time for some fall cleaning!

messy craft table clean up
So. Embarrassing.

All of the Inktober stuff is coming as soon as the month is up! I feel like this year is miles better than last year, but we can talk about that in a few days when the pics go up. 🙂

But for now, thanks for reading! Until next time!

BTW, if you want to check out last year’s Inktober/Drawlloween fiasco, click here. 🙂

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Inktober and Drawlloween Are Here!!!

inktober drawlloween ink drawing sketching October

If you don’t know them, you’re gonna know them! Starting today, it’s a drawing per day – two if you’re in it for both events. Every day there is a prompt and you draw it. Simple, right? For Inktober it’s an ink drawing and for Drawlloween it’s a drawing in whatever medium you want. 

Of the two prompt lists I prefer Mab Graves’ Drawlloween because it’s more October-related. It’s lots of spooky fun and it’s super interesting to see other artists’ interpretations of even the most familiar monsters. 

drawlloween October 2018 drawing sketching mab graves
Spooooooky Drawlloween prompts from Mab Graves!

On the other hand, I think the Inktober list is more challenging because it’s more abstract. The prompt of the day could spark instant inspiration or leave you absolutely stuck, which is really the point of prompts, isn’t it?

OFFICIAL Inktober 2018 prompts!

Last year I did both for the first time, something I don’t recommend if you’re short on time! I started the month off strong, then ended up a couple of days behind and would play catch up. Then I would do well for a while and end up behind again. I think I did most of the last week on the last day! So I wasn’t super great about getting the drawings done every day, but I was determined to get them all done and I did. 

inktober drawlloween ink drawing sketching October
Some pages are alright. 🙂

That being said, there are definitely some stinkers in there. It’s even more obvious because I dedicated a sketchbook to October. I don’t have to think back to which prompts I had issues with or which ones I relied to much (or not enough) on a reference for. I bet you could pick out which ones I had issues with, too. 🙂

fail inktober drawlloween ink drawing sketching October
Some pages I’m not proud of. AT. ALL. Seriously, this must have been a rough day…

I’m hoping this year is an improvement over last year. I don’t want to be too obvious or cliche and I’m thinking a ban on references might be in order! The sketchbook also needs to include the “junk” drawings and not just the final ideas. All that white space is uuuuuugly! Oh, did I forget to mention that I put all the drawings up on the site? Yep, they’re there – every single one. Give me another day and the “junk” will be up too. 🙂

Inktober and Drawlloween are two more reasons that October is my favorite month! If you follow the hashtags you can check out all the cool drawings that come out this time of year. Come November 1st, I’ll be posting the next section of my October sketchbook – for better or worse!

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

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Roadblocks Don’t Have to be Roadblocks

manga atsushi nakajima anime bungou stray dogs drawing sketching

Life has weird ways of interfering with the things we want to do. Roadblocks happen all the time. Sometimes they seem to be everywhere, sapping energy, joy, and inspiration. Ugh. That’s a bleak start to a blog isn’t it? But it’s kind of how the last week or so has been. Lots of effort (or maybe not nearly enough?) and not much to show for it. This first paragraph is even a stretch. I’m saying I’m sorry now because I know it’s not my best. 

So what can we do when are just – blah?

I can tell you that a couple of days ago I was so tired I just lumped on the couch and binged a few episodes of Attack on Titan, occasionally glancing over at my sketchbook on the drafting table. It was a horrible feeling, like I just couldn’t handle getting up to do even a *little* bit of sketching. I knew physically I was capable, but it didn’t happen. I fell asleep early and woke up feeling… not at all better. Yeah, I know. You totally feel bad for me now. 🙂

manga atsushi nakajima anime bungou stray dogs
Atsushi Nakajima referenced straight from the Bungou Stray Dogs manga!

This next day was different though. As icky blah as I was feeling the following evening (my only time to work on any art during the week), I did a little drawing. It was just a bit of work on a drawing of Atsushi Nakajima (Bungou Stray Dogs) I started the week before, but it was something! And I think that’s the key to these types of roadblocks – or at least part of it. Something is better than nothing. A squiggle, a few lines, a small start – something that could be built on later. Or not. But it’s something!

Atsushi Nakajima Bungou Stray Dogs manga anime drawing sketching
Got a bit more done on Atsushi. One more sitting should do it!

There’s something important to remember, though, and it deals with part two. We all have those days where stuff doesn’t get done for one reason or another. Sometimes being tired is a perfectly ok excuse! Feeling bad about it doesn’t change anything. Guilt doesn’t make roadblocks go away – moving on does. It can start with a small bit of progress on a tough day or by taking a little time to check out mentally. Neither one of those things is wrong!

The blah isn’t totally gone, but taking a day off from work definitely helped. Just thinking about having the better part of a day with the house to myself was super relaxing! The night before I worked on a bunch of jewelry and poured a painting and still had a little time to play some video games with my kid. 

The day off is being spent working on whatever I feel like working on because it’s right now and the first thing I’m doing is finishing this blog post. I plan to finish Atsushi later this morning, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t. Maybe I’ll take a nap or do a little painting. Whatever happens after I hit publish, I’m moving on from those roadblocks. 

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

P.S. If you want to see my stuff as soon as it’s done, check out my Twitter. Thanks! You’re the best!



September 30: 

I finished it. 🙂

bungou stray dogs Atsushi Nakajima anime manga
Atsushi Nakajima is all done, but this won’t be the last time I draw him!

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I Learned a Lesson…

The case of the fake Body-Kun (FBK) figures has been resolved! Sort of. I ended up having to ship them back at my expense for twice the cost of the original shipping. I didn’t like it, but I’ll get most of my money back. Perhaps I can (begrudgingly) justify it as the cost of a lesson learned… HOWEVER, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I ordered another set of figures! It’s okay this time, really! They are authentic Figma Archetype figures and they are SO much better!

Archetype:He and Archetype:She just chillin out!

There was a deadline for sending back the FBKs, but the Figmas arrived just in time to do a comparison. The poor quality of the FBKs was even more obvious when they were next to the Figmas. It’s all covered in my unboxing video here: 

Even more fun was playing with the figures afterward! The Figmas were less expensive than the FBKs, but they also came with zero accessories and not as many extra hands. That was not a dealbreaker at all since I’d rather have a few pieces that are high quality than a bunch of low quality junk. It does mean that I’ll have to be creative in finding props for the Figmas, so the first place I looked was my kid’s toy box! 

There was a Power Ranger sword and a gun from one of the action figures in the action figure bin. Sadly, both were too big for the figures’ tiny hands. What more than made up for that was the slightly forgotten dinosaur set hiding under the bed! There were rocks, trees, and dinos of all sizes. I grabbed a couple of tanks, a monster truck, and some finger puppets – all in the name of seeing how good these figures really are!

The dino scene came first. The dinos on hand were too small for the figures, but the point was really to see if they would sit on the dinos without any help. They definitely did and I even got them to look half-way passable as a reference. That is, if you like giants on dinosaurs. Or people on tiny dinosaurs. Before taking it all down I put the Archetype:She on a monster truck and sent it at the Archetype:He still on a dinosaur. She didn’t stay on, but it was still fun! She even stayed in the position I put her in. 


After this it was time to put them on tanks! It took several tries to get the tanks to hit each other, but with every attempt the figures stayed perched on top – at least until the collision! I can also confirm that they will stand up on their own and can even handle a little extra something.

They’re wearing finger puppets almost as big as they are!

I swear, I WILL use them for drawing references. I’m also going to hit the dollar store and see if there’s anything floating around there that might make a good prop. If you have an idea or something you want me to try, let me know!

Thanks for reading! Until next time!


Things with PayPal and the fake Body Kun dispute did not end well. Not only did Canada Post lose my package, but it couldn’t be located and I didn’t insure it. Doh! Since I couldn’t prove to PayPal that the fake Body Kun company received the item (even I though I showed that it shipped), they ruled that I couldn’t get a refund. So I’m out the cost of the figures, the cost of sending them back, and I don’t even have crappy Body Kun knock offs to keep making fun of.

I tell everyone that ends up in the same boat as me to dispute with PayPal and report the company as a scam. It probably won’t make a difference, but sometimes raising a little hell can be cathartic. If I could go back I would have just kept the figures and turn them into a project to expose a company that amounts to a drop shipper for Chinese knock offs. I’m totally not still bitter about the whole thing…

To make myself feel better I order what I’m pretty sure is an authentic Body Chan. We’ll see what happens. 😀

She should be arriving any day now, but in the meantime enjoy these other figures I found. They’re pretty interesting. 🙂

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Confession Time!!

osamu dazai bungou stray dogs manga anime drawing sketch

I’ve been a One Piece for a long time now. There. I said it. Not that it’s really admitting to anything, but I remember the days when liking any anime was a particularly nerdy thing. I guess that’s hard to shake… I remember watching Sailor Moon after school (as a teenager) and if anyone came home early I immediately turned it off because no one could ever find out. Looking back, I don’t know why I cared. 

But that’s not the point of all this. I recently had a pretty serious realization. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid (that’s not the realization). That’s n years of experience playing with various media and styles. Up until a few weeks ago, I had never – not once – drawn anything in an anime or manga style. Not really sure why, but it just never occurred to me. Maybe I was perfectly happy just taking it all in!

Not too long before that epic realization, I had already started playing with the style. A book was totally necessary (because I like having a physical reference) and I started drawing along with the examples. I was bored after a few pages, but still flip through it here and there, just like all of my other art books. 

art reference books drawing painting sketching
I know it’s easy enough to find references for free online, but I like books!

So I have some quick doodles of floating heads with different expressions, some from the book and some from my brain. Some are sober art, some involved *a touch* of wine. 

anime manga heads sketch draw art practice
Can you tell which ones are from the book? Oh, and I can totally draw figures. For realsies! I just like faces…

I got bored with that, too. Have you noticed I get bored easily?? 🙂 The only thing is I don’t know if I was really bored with it or uninspired or worse – am I just not creative? At this point it made sense to start drawing from my favorite anime and manga characters, but it’s not creative if it’s copying, right? But the copying can lead to ideas, right? And who’s to say what’s creative and what’s not? *sigh* In the future I might reusing part of that first paragraph: Looking back, I don’t know why I cared.

At first I figured I’d start drawing some characters and they’d never see the light of day because they don’t fit in with anything else I’m currently doing and that. is. STUPID. Here’s the first few.

Luffy from One Piece was first. He’s my *second* favorite from that series, but he’s pretty simple to draw. It was a nice warm up and I got to remember the subtle differences in how he looked pre-timeskip. 

puffy one piece anime manga drawing sketch
He’s having a serious moment, ok?

Who’s my all-time favorite? Zoro. Always has been and always will be. I fangirled over Law for a short time because lots of us did (and still do), but Zoro will always be my favorite. As someone who can get lost making only right turns, I guess I can relate to the guy. He was the next one I drew (obvs).

roronoa zoro one piece anime manga drawing sketch
Floating Head Goggles Zoro. <3 I also drew a girl that was supposed to have the same expression as Luffy. Success?

The face came out a little too thin for Zoro and the floating head look isn’t a good one. The paper in that sketchbook is also total garbo (it’s the “junk” book). Now I have sketchbook dedicated to anime characters and guess who’s on the first page? 

roronoa zoro one piece anime manga drawing sketch
Maybe I’ll add some floating heads across the bottom… (no I won’t!)

I don’t want to flood entire sections of my sketchbook with just one character or one anime, so next up was Dazai from Bungou Stray Dogs, because Dazai. 🙂

osamu dazai bungou stray dogs manga anime drawing sketch
I did a little extra shading because I like to shade. And Dazai has his dramatic moments, so he deserves it. 🙂

And that’s about where I’m at right now. It’s been a busy few days (excuses, I know!), so I haven’t had much extra time. Either puck or Guts from Berserk will be next. In the meantime, and in the interest of full disclosure, please enjoy some pages from my “junk” sketchbook! (I’m going to go hide in a corner now)

manga drawing sketch
Eyes and a couple of profiles from the book, followed by nonsense.
manga drawing sketch
Nonsense, followed by eyes!
anime mange drawing sketch face angry
The face on top was already on the page, so I sort of based the other faces on it kinda?
manga anime drawing sketch
I drew a bunch of mouths and lips. I still draw lips based on some stuff from a book on drawing comics. Then some emotions. Oh, the emotions!
manga anime drawing sketch
Don’t ask what’s going on here. Maybe the face on the left side says it all. Honestly I think it was one of those days that I wasn’t really feeling it. We all have them. 🙂


















Want to see more? Have a request? Let me know! @createm0de

Thanks for reading!




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I Made a Mistake…

body-kun body-chan figuarts bandai fakes

I like to think I’m pretty careful when it comes to buying stuff online, but I can also get a little impulsive. Because of that, I found myself in a small predicament all because I saw something shiny on Instagram. If you’ve ever taken a drawing class, there’s a good chance you had to sketch one of those nondescript wooden mannekins that sort of, but not really, look like people. It’s tough to get them into any sort of natural position, but for a basic subject to sketch, they’re pretty good. 

drawing reference wood mannekins dog penguin
A happy little family of drawing references!

That being said, I’ve been looking around for quite some time for an alternative – something that is more natural that I can look at in real life. Picture references are fine, but it’s different than sketching from life. Odd little knick-knacks around the house are great for a challenge, but at the end of the day I really like to sketch from the human figure. So when I saw an Instagram ad for Body-Kun figures, it looked like the most perfect solution ever! The site they were (ARE) being sold from is sketchy (the first red flag), but I ignored that for this perfect thing that was the answer to all my sketching reference dreams. The projected delivery time was 3-4 weeks due to high order volume. That was red flag number two. 

drawing reference body-kun body-chan fakes
Seems legit?

I received tracking information about a week after the order was placed, but it didn’t budge after that. During that time, I did the research I should have done before placing the order. I found instances referencing that exact site (and others) where poorly made knock-offs were being sold.

How to tell if an S. H. Figuarts Body Kun/Body Chan is fake … Has anyone bought a Bodykun from here …

The real product is made by Bandai S.H. Figuarts and they are not for sale just anywhere. There are certain retailers that sell them and they are not available all the time. If you aren’t getting one of those, you most likely are not getting the real product. There’s even a handy post on DeviantArt that shows the differences between the real and the fake figures:

Once the order hit the four-week mark, I contacted the company to see what was up. They said the item was backordered and I would have it by the following week. I immediately checked my tracking info again and it was gone. Big, fat, red flag number three. 

I let a few days go by and decided I wanted nothing to do with any of it, so I contacted them again and requested a refund. Of course, they said the order was on the way and therefore couldn’t cancel. So I turned to PayPal, filed a dispute that I didn’t received the order, and the company replied that it was on the way. I replied that I would reject the package, at which point they would have to give me a refund, right? Sure enough, the following Friday when I was out of town, the package showed up. When did the tracking update? After the package showed up. 

So now what? Well, I escalated the claim with PayPal to “item not as described” or whatever they call it. Then, for the sake of documentation, I did an unboxing video! I mean, I HAD to open them at that point to see if they were really as bad as I thought they would be. Spoiler alert: they were. In fact, I’d say they exceeded expectations on that front. The figures are now sitting in a plastic bin awaiting their fate.

body-kun body-chan figuarts bandai fakes
This pretty much captures how I feel about these. I really wanted to like them.

Depending on what PayPal does or doesn’t do, I might get a refund, I might have to send them back, or nothing happens at all. I’ll definitely keep you updated! 

Don’t be like me – don’t buy junk from Instagram ads. 🙂