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Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

Works in Progress

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Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

Edit: This work has been completed.
Follow each step in the  making of this work:  Linework and Coloring.

While I’ve made other artwork about Japanese ghost stories, it’s a subject that wouldn’t be complete without theYuki Onna. Literally a “Snow Woman”, the Yuki Onna is the very personification of winter. A timeless femme fatale, the Yuki Onna has been re-interpreted into countless contemporary anime and manga.

She is characterized by an otherworldly beauty and serenity, but will nevertheless ruthlessly kill the unsuspecting. The Yuki Onna is sometimes described as the vengeful spirit of a woman who froze to death and now leads men astray in snowstorms. Other times she is described as more actively evil; a vampiric succubus who drains men’s life-force with a kiss or sex. And yet despite this she has a softer side, and her heart is occasionally warmed into sparing one of her victims.

If you’re interested in Japanese ghost stories, or just Japanese culture in general, I recommend reading Lafcadio Hearn. His books are literary classics and historically significant for their account of Meiji era Japan. And since many of his works, including Kwaidan, are available free for download from Amazon there’s no excuses not to read them.

But let’s get back to the artwork. For this work I wanted to try a simple composition using a close-up.
Here’s my reference image:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

Redrawn roughly:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

The rough composition:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

Redrawn neatly:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

Slight changes made to her expression:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

Because of the foreshortening it’s useful to draw in the rough shadows to see if the image looks right or not:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

Editing the rough linework:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

The finished linework:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

Again I check my work using rough shading:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

The shading is redrawn neatly:

Work in Progress: Yuki Onna Linework

If you’re interested in having this process explained in more technical detail just check out my Tutorials, in particular my post on Linework.

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