Process: Le Petit Prince

Since I finished reading the book back in college I knew I’d eventually make a fan art based on The Little Prince. It took several years, but finally, here it is! It’s a simple composition that have had quite a few revisions through the years because I’ve been re-sketching how I would want it to look like.

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Like most fan illustrations about the book, I knew I wanted mine to feature him on his small planet together with his rose and the fox that he tamed back on Earth. I drew the background first, followed by the characters on a separate sheet.

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Initial thumbs

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The Little Prince looking like a generic blonde boy

Once I started rendering the prince, I got uncomfortable with how he looked because I couldn’t feel a connection with how I designed the character. There was something about it that I didn’t like so I decided to come up with a totally different version.

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Initial design was a little bland and didn’t have much personality

In my recent drawings, I realized that I enjoyed designing characters that had a bit of asian influence. Being asian myself, I figured that creating illustrations inspired from oriental culture made more sense because I could somehow relate to it. So regardless of the theme, I wanted to represent more of Eastern culture in my work.

After thinking about the right country to draw inspiration from, I finally settled on Bhutan because of how they isolated themselves from modernity and being a country that measures success in terms of GNH or Gross National Happiness, thus having the label of World’s Happiest Country.

I then found this photo for reference:

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Boys from Bhutan

The clothes of the second boy from left was perfect for the prince! After a few studies, I finally came up with the sketch below.

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I decided to redesign both the fox and the rose as well.

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Once I was happy with the rendered characters, I exported the shapes in Photoshop so I could work on the background and add textures there. With some color adjustments, the artwork ended up looking like they are watching the sunset.

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As usual, the final output was not 100% faithful to the initial lineart. A huge chunk of my process goes to editing and adjusting the elements of the illustration as I go. This is part of the reason why I’d rather create my illustrations digitally because of how convenient it is to move things around.

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Before and after textures and color adjustments

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Close-up of the characters

Team portraits

Last year, my boss saw my vector self-portrait and asked me to create one for each member of the team. Several months later, I finally got motivated to do everyone and finally finished the set a few weeks ago. Even though portraiture is not my expertise, I was quite happy with the outcome and I learned much form this exercise.

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Beginning with the backgrounds

Over the holidays I was able to finish sketching a few backgrounds for illustrations that I plan to do this month. Since I wanted to practice on making more detailed environments, I figured I would draw the subjects separately and paste it on these backgrounds using Photoshop once I am done. My goal was to give the backgrounds its own life and personality aside from the actual subject.

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Now on to the characters!

Chapter 28: Changes

This time last year I consumed more than half a pack of cigarettes a day. During more unstable moments I could finish three to fives sticks consecutively. I thought playing with that white cylinder with my fingertips and puffing smoke out of my mouth made me look cool, yet I was aware that I was slowly destroying myself.

Going cold turkey was one of the hardest I had to overcome but I was determined not to let the cancer stick take control of my life. Now my body rejects the nicotine and even second-hand smoke seems disgusting. (Ang linis linis ko na po. Charot.)

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This time last year I was only bilingual. It took me half a year and a lot of my hard earned cash to study another language, which is a new skill I’ve always wanted to acquire. Going back to school to learn again was a fun challenge but at one point I cried hard over it the way teenage girls cry about their idiot boyfriends. Now I can read, speak, and write basic Nihongo and when I get myself a Japanese mate (preferably Shun Oguri or Karachi , I will look back to this year and thank my old self for making a wise investment! (Hindi lang ‘bukkake’ ang alam ko!)

This time last year my illustrations placed characters against half-assed environments. I have always been intimidated by creating backgrounds and never gave any real effort in improving that aspect, thinking that it’s just an accessory to the whole piece. Yung totoo, nakakatamad lang. So I ended up with subjects being disconnected from their surroundings. Now I start with backgrounds first, adding the subjects later on and letting them interact with what’s around them. (In short, hindi na tinatamad gumawa ng background.)

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This time last year I loathed the Church and questioned Christianity. But despite all my efforts to transform into a better person, I realized my control over things was limited and seeked a higher power. Now with the help new friends, I’m trying to strengthen my spirituality by attending weekly service, bible studies, and surrounding myself with people who are influencing me to become less hateful and a lot more understanding to circumstances in life. Charot. (Ang linis ko na talaga. Pwede nang punasan ng puting panyo.)

This time last year I had an empty bank account. I was earning enough but my priority was to pay the debts that accumulated during my three years as a freelancer. Halfway through the year I opened a separate savings account but couldn’t maintain it because of my regular traveling lifestyle. My expensive addiction. Now I decided not to push through with a major year-end trip because I wanted to end the year with money in the bank. (Matyured na daw!)

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2014 wasn’t a good year for my health. I quit smoking but my lungs haven’t really fully recovered from the damage, I got diagnosed with early osteoporosis, and before the year ended found out I had gout on both my feet. These are probably the reasons why I should focus more on my diet and fitness next year.

Knowing your goals and what to prioritize sure made a big difference. Becoming aware of your mistakes and shortcomings help, too, because at least you know what to work on. Though I still stumble occasionally, I know better to pick myself up and move forward. And sure, I’m still far from being the ideal friend, son, brother, uncle, colleague that I want to become.

2015, handa na po ako. I’m up for another year of challenges! Pedro hinay hinay lang please. Hahaha.

InKfest 2014 at 10a Alabama

It has been a while! Recently, I was able to convince my friends to go with me to the InKfest, a celebration of art and plentiful of pretty things organized by Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan at 10A Alabama in Quezon City, because I knew they would have a grand time there.

In the past years, Ang InK would hold annual exhibits featuring illustrations from its members with themes that target children and everyone young at heart. Though I was lucky enough to be a part of a few of those exhibits, it has been a looooong time since I have been an active Inkie and seeing all the amazing works from these artists yesterday made me miss the feeling even more.

Now aside from the annual exhibition, Ang InK also organized a festival weeks before the official exhibit! There’s live art, an arts and crafts fair, some merch for sale, good food, and talks from well-known illustrators in the field. Visitors may also have their portraits created by their favorite artists. It was an awesome day and the venue itself complimented to the whole artsy vibe of the event.

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Though we were only able to stay for a short time (just 4 hours), I was glad my friends had a blast. Saw a lot of familiar faces, met new artist, and bought a lot of stufffff! (Note to self: bring more money next time.) We also got to attend the talks of the Sketching Backpacker, Robert Alejandro, and hilarious Manix Abrera of Kikomachine Komix. And with just a P50.00 entrance fee, it was worth the trip from Ortigas.

Looking forward to next year’s! On December 12, Ang InK will be having the annual exhibit at Canvas Gallery and Gardens in Quezon City.