Samurai vs. Ninja

There was a blackout last weekend when I was working on the final details for this illustration. So I was working with my camping light in the middle of a dark thunderstorm. I have to say, that I felt so alive.

I'm really enjoying my two classes this semester: Adv. Perspective and Layout for Animation. Last week, for Adv. Perspective the theme was Samurai. I had a lot of fun researching the materials, costumes, and reading about the Samurai time period. I thought the transition from samurai to organized national army was interesting, and so was the introduction of gunpowder in an otherwise sword and lance era. My favorite part of art is actually the research phase. I bought this great Ninja book which described all the various weapons and methods for feigning the art of invisibility. I usually have a mix reaction when incorporating violence into my artwork, but I was really inspired by manga like Vagabond and Tezuka-award winning artist Jiro Taniguchi, which included samurai stories. Also, when I was at Berkeley, I took this theater stage combat class and the narrative theorist in me was intrigued at the moment-to-moment storytelling that occurs during a fight scene. Who saw who first? Who drew the first weapon? Long range or short range combat? So I wanted to portray an encounter between two different types of warrior: a samurai and an ninja. Not the most original story in the world, but it was fun. I also wanted the ninja's straw hat to fly off during the battle and reveal that the samurai had been fighting a strong female ninja, which was rare during the time period, but did exist. The samurai most likely won't survive to tell her secret. I'm still working on the final value study and would like to paint this one as well.

Now on to working on researching architecture for layout design.