In fact, the one pic that I really like isn't even a full-body pic of her nor is it very detailed. I'll put it up on the screen so you can see. Yup, for me, this is the most beautiful image of her that Hata has drawn so far. Of course, this is all pretty subjective -- and quite frankly, there are quite a few other contenders, such as those mugshots of her in chapters 567 and 568. Also, we can't forget all those sexy pin-up shots of her that Hata likes to draw every once in a while.
Anyway, going back to this pic. It just felt really striking to me when I first saw this. I couldn't really say what I found so special about it. It's highly subjective to be honest. There's just something about her enigmatic almost-smiling or perhaps semi-anxious expression here that I really, really liked. I just wanted to reach out into the panels and give her a hug when I saw this. The way her side fringes are being blown by the wind, her eyes, her lips, the small shadows on her face. I just really, really love the way she looks here -- even though the panel probably takes up less than 1/6th of the entire page. Also, if we trace things back to how Hata drew this, it must have been pretty much just another panel for him. Still, it felt special to me.
Which is why... I decided to paint my own version of it. I've been on a watercolor (and sometimes acrylic) painting streak lately. Ever since I bought a portable Sakura Koi watercolor set, I just couldn't stop painting. The portability of the set just made me want to paint something new every day.
In any case, this particular image was painted with much more care with more expensive Gansai Tambi watercolors and some Mission Gold Titanium white. I'm sure any watercolor enthusiasts out there would know what I'm talking about. Anyway, the first version of the painting came out with skintone that was a little bit too pink. That's a problem with Gansai Tambi watercolors, actually. The colors are so richly pigmented that it's sometimes hard to find the shade you want. What? Use a color swatch you say? Haha...hahaha... Have painted over a thousand pics of Nagi! Unknown to color swatches nor known to shame!
Anyway, here's the final version of the pic after some corrections. I didn't exactly copy it the way Hata-sensei drew her, but more like, I wanted to capture the essence of her expression as I imagined it. Thus, in my version she is clearly smiling a lot more -- although there is a hint of hesitance in that smile. THat's because I may not be Da Vinci, but this is my version of the enigmatic Mona Lisa smile.
|Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolors. The smoothness of the paint is quite distinct from Sakura Koi|
Been experimenting with what can be done with Sakura Koi watercolors lately.
|I'm going to paint a new version of this pic in Gansai Tambi Watercolors. (I used Sakura Koi for this). I want to correct a few things too like Nagi's shoulder placement and Hayate's hands in relation to his body.|
|Limited Palette painting. Used only blue. (Sakura Koi Watercolors)|