|| Elisa Kwon Evaluation ||

Elisa Kwon is an illustrator and character designer, born in South Korea, currently living in Brazil-São Paulo. Having worked in many different aspects of illustration, such as comics, animations and games; her former employers include Ubisoft-Sao Paulo where she worked as a character designer, Tokyopop, where she worked as a comicker, Marvel as a colourist and many others. Softwares she tends to enjoy working in are Photoshop, Painter and Zbrush.

What makes her artwork relevant to the work I am creating is the similarity in our styles, the manga/Disney’esque style is what I am looking at for the Creative Languages module. The style that I wanted to draw the editorial in would have been my go to style which is a cartoony, almost Disney style. Elisa Kwon has many different types of styles she seems to work quite often in, she has some more polished artwork with clean edges and no sketchy lines for detail, and she has other pieces of art that are more sketchy and still have the original sparse line art left in for detail in the outlines, the colouring in is generally also very full of detail in both the more rough pieces of art and the more neater, clean edge art.


One piece of artwork that I have seen that is a pretty recent piece of artwork by Kwon, is the one above. It is part of a whole comic in the same sketchy kind of style. I like the colours she has used in this comic because they are quite bold and there are lots of contrasting colours in most of the panels, causing lots of colours to push each other out, it stands out and really looks interesting, in that some people shy away from using too many contrasting colours in one piece of artwork because it may come across as quite a bold move to do, which it is, but using them in the right way, which Kwon clearly has. In some of the panels, I noticed she has coloured in certain areas by properly shading and having a range of tones to show depth, this can be seen in the top panel on the egg, but then on the bird that has come out of the egg in the bottom panel, and other areas on both the bottom and top panel, colour has not been blended in, instead placed on top in several layers and opacities, this I think creates texture and a rough depth, unlike the smooth depth on the egg, creating the look of feathers on the bird almost, this effect I think has also been applied to the grass and the plants on top of the gradient background.

I think on each panel, the eyes can be led around, however not in a certain direction. The main focus of both the panels are the characters involved, so I think the eyes see those areas first. Especially on the second panel, I first saw the first saw the larger bird sat on the smaller bird, you see the larger area of the bird being the orange belly, your eyes then follow up to the birds face, then the shell on it’s head and then you realise it has cracked out of the shell; should you see this panel on its own. After that you see the blue bird underneath the orange one and its bright orange/yellow beak; at this time your  eyes start wandering around the green towards the red crushed can which really draws the attention, then you have seen most of the painting, so you look at the different shades of green and blue in the grass going towards the sky. This painting has an element of realism as well as a cartoon feel to it, the bright colours give it a childish element while the actual subject is accessible to quite a wide range of people.

Another piece of art created by Elisa Kwon can be seen below, it shows the different ways she can work, the one above has quite a rough top outline and sketch style and has been coloured in quite roughly, while the one below is a lot cleaner, and shows the process of the pencil drawn, scanned in outline, the solid colour middle stage and the final stage of the process where it has been coloured in and blended properly to look like a proper oil painting done online, rather than in the same fashion as the one above.


I put this one in as one of her art pieces to write about because it shows Kwons process when working on the computer in Photoshop or any other software she decides to work in. I put this here because the process of how different artists create their art really interests me, the whole process and the differences between artists who even create the same style of artwork.

She starts off with her pencil sketch drawing, possibly done on paper then scanned in on to Photoshop, the eyes are then led to the second image, where the bright red really stands out off the characters robe. The solid blue tones of the flesh of the character is pushed back because of the very dark colour on top and the red pushing even farther forward, the top starts off the most saturated area and the middle character as a whole becomes slightly more muted and less saturated as eyes follow the colour down to its feet. The third and last one has a very pale look to the whole thing; the red areas on the robe have been exceptionally muted as has the rest of the flesh toned areas and the trousers. The tonal difference between the middle character drawing and the third character drawing is very evident on the flesh areas, such as the tail.

There are a range of mark-makings visible on these three character drawings; the first one has the sketchy pencil markings that you would see on paper after it has been scanned in to a computer and has gaps that you can see, where the scanner has not quite picked up the marking off the paper. Then the second one is really smooth but flat, with the depth coming from the different flat shades of colour being placed in the areas where you would see the darker tones or the lighter tones – basically, strategically placed sections of colour. Finally the last one has a lot of depth because of the wider variety of tones. The shading on the whole figure makes it look a lot more life like and the colours being more muted and calm takes away the comedic and childlike look from the middle drawing.


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