Looking through Hayao Miyazaki’s storyboards and rough concept art for his films always inspires me. It’s incredible how simple and rough they are, yet the idea is conveyed so clearly, and he even colors many of them!
Trying to unlock some of his secrets through osmosis, I did a couple studies. The top is a study of a painting I found in the Hayao Miyazaki Image Board book. I tried to imitate his watercolor style in a digital medium, keeping it as rough and loose as possible like the original. The three things I notice the most when looking at his roughs: Miyazaki is a master of simple gesture, composition and color design.
The bottom one is a study of one of Kazuo Oga’s backgrounds for Spirited Away. I was trying to get a feel for how he lights his paintings, for Oga is not only a master of realistic detail, but of how to create the perfect mood using lighting.