Here Are My 10 Paintings Of Studio Ghibli Characters Hanging Out In Nature
Studio Ghibli movies have touched a wide range of people of all ages over the years. The combination of beautiful visuals, compelling stories, spectacular animation, and breathtaking music make these my favorite animated movies to watch.
In these watercolor paintings, I combined my love for Ghibli movies and my love for nature to try to recreate those feelings of serenity, cheerfulness, and love for life that Studio Ghibli movies give.
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I discovered Studio Ghibli movies when I was 15 with the movie Spirited Away. I was so mesmerized by the quality of the animation, the Japanese folklore, the music, everything was so magical about this movie. I then proceeded to watch everything Studio Ghibli has produced, and loved very single one of them. It would be very difficult to choose one above the others, but overall I think Princess Mononoke is the one that touches me the most, with its beautiful untamed forest and its animal spirits.
For these illustrations I decided to use watercolor, since it is my favourite medium to use. I find the colors vibrant and the watercolor paper's texture adds an interesting touch to the paintings. I use a watercolor pocket box, which is small and perfect for painting on the go, so with this kind of medium I am able to paint in the forest near the river. That is what I love the most about watercolor.
I usually start by sketching a few ideas in my sketchbook, and then when I'm happy with the composition, I will trace it on my watercolor paper. I then draw the outlines with my pigma micron pen fineliners, which are great for outlining watercolor since they don't bleed afterwards. Next, I paint the illustration with watercolor and finally I will use white ink at the end to add some details and outlines to the painting. Overall, it takes about 3 hours for one painting of this A5 format.
Working with watercolor can be a bit tricky at first. I sometimes have to start over because I went too dark on the first layer, which makes the rest of the painting very muddy or lacking contrast. You really have to think in advance where you're going to add darker values and where you want to keep lighter ones, because once you've applied your color it's pretty much impossible to go back. That's why you should usually start with lighter tones and build up you contrast as you go.
As an artist, I try to be ambivalent and try different mediums and forms of expression. I've used acrylic, gouache, oil painting, even linoprinting and woodburning. In the end, I always go back to watercolor because that's what feels the most natural for me. In the future, I would love to try pottery, which is a whole different world than watercolor.
I'm definitely continuing this series, I already have a few new ones featuring Grave of Fireflies, Howl's Moving Castle, and Tales from Earthsea. The goal would be to have a painting for each movie from Studio Ghibli!