I will apologise for the excessive amount of hyperbole and fanspazzing in this weeks post, however, if you look at the title of this post, look at the name, who it is that is being featured, I'm sure you'll understand.
Yes, that's right, after an extended absence, "the man after whom the technique of shading on heromachine is named after" has returned. Zyp is back. And he immediately makes everyone else look amateurish. Apparently this was meant to be an entry for the Going Japanese contest, but he missed the deadline, zypping probably. All I can say is, if this had been an entry, it probably would have been a much closer contest.
Anyway, onto the actual justification bit. And, although the picture its self should provide justification enough, I feel compelled to talk at length about it (so what else is new?). We'll kick of with the character. The pose just screams badass, she looks at the ready to slice and dice with that katana and the expression on the face would suggest that she couldn't care less who said katana slices and dices. It's such a wonderfully aggressive expression. It basically sets the scene for the picture, gives it the depth needed for the rest of the image to tell a story.
Next we have the composition of the picture, by which I mean the background elements, the angle of the focus and the colours. I love the fact that this picture is on a slant. It means that the focus of the picture is not centred, which draws your eyes around the image more than having a straight central focus would. Your eyes are drawn from their default centred position to the right so you see the face, then you are drawn around the picture in a clockwise motion, down the body, around the floor and up the sword until you reach the sky, then back to the face. It's so easy to take in the entire picture just by following the elements that make it up. This is helped by the wonderful use of soft and warm colours. The pinks and yellows of the sky set of the greens and greys of the middle focus perfectly, and the two contrasting colour schemes are combined on the main focus, the character, in such a way that they don't clash or contrast but work together, making all three layers of the image fit together so naturally. I must also mention the fact that Zyp has changed the line colour of some items where he is including the reflection of the sunset on the character. I know I say this a lot on these posts, but it's such a simple idea that works so well. Attention to detail and a bit of extra creativity can turn a picture from a great one to a masterpiece.
And finally, the obvious thing that one has to talk about when critiquing a work by Zyp. Really what do you want me to say. He's Zyp, you expect me to trash talk his shading? Look at that freakin' sword. The subtleness of the colour differentiation on the clothes. The block shadows on the arms. That sky. And of course the aforementioned sunset reflections. *shakes head* What am I meant to say.
"We are not worthy" *throws self to floor Waynes World style*
[finishes disassembling tractor beam, tosses last three pieces into crate, look around innocently]
Zyp! You’re BACK! What a surprise! [stands in front of crate] Nice work. [kicks crate around corner] What? Oh, that’s nothing. [whistles, scurries around corner out of sight . . . ]
Awe stricken over this piece! He’s pulled off highlights i’ve been wrapping my mind around for months trying to figure out how to do. (Thanks for this, cause I can kinda tell now what i need to do.) It’s good to have you back, man! I study your work alot, and I cant wait for the next piece!
Dude, I’m throwing myself on the floor at your feet too. This is one of those moments that simultaneously inspires me to put my heart and soul into my work to try to achieve this, while also making me just want to give up, curl into the fetal position, and cry.
You could spend hours talking about how awesome a single object in that image is. Take the whole thing all together? It’s mindblowing.
Ye gods, I’d heard legends about Zyp’s art, but now I get what all the fuss was about. This is… I wouldn’t even have thought this possible. I mean, this piece is just so damned dynamic and subtle at the same time, that I’m having a bit of trouble believing it’s all Heromachine. But the more I study it, the more technique I see in there. It’s easily akin to any big shot painting I’ve seen.
I’d say more, but I’m too busy repeatedly getting up and throwing myself to the floor in awe.
Zyp, I would take up all of HeroMachine’s server capacity to say everything that I love about Katana! One word summary: story-telling. Just incredible, bravo! Awesome to see new characters from you.
And greetings and well-wishes to all HeroMachiners! I’m still on hiatus. Hoping to return soon to participate and contribute. For the past year, I have been “lurking” and enjoying the musings and character designs on the main blog. My illness has sapped me physically, mentally, and even financially…
HM has helped keep me in good spirits. Kind of like being sidelined during a football game. Though I’m sitting on the bench, I’m still there on the field. Taking in the energy and excitement of my teammates.
@AtomicPunk: Good to see you’re still around man, even if you aren’t as active as you used to be. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I wish you a full and speedy recovery, we miss having you around.
Wow, thanks a million for the picking this for the character of the week JR! 😀 I am honoured! Damn thats a deep analysis!! And you’ve been doing an awesome job in keeping the blog and the forums active!
HerrD: Wait what was that? [Finds a random crate around the corner, reassembles the tractor beam, removes the beam part and drives the tractor home.] It’s good to be back! 😀
Nug: Thanks and I’m happy I could help! 😀 I hope my I’ll get something new done soon.
Sabrina: No need to cry on the floor, you’ll get there! 🙂 And thanks a lot for the compliments.
Maaz: Thanks! Glad I could live up to the legends (there’s been legends!?!?!?!). Off the floor and to the HeroMachine!!
The Atomic Punk: Thanks and glad to see some of the old school machiners still active! 🙂 I’ve been doing much the same the last few years, looking from the sidelines, though from different reasons. Hoping you’ll get well soon and delight us with your fantastic creations once again!
Truly an awesome piece of work! You are definitely in the pantheon of Machinist gods.