Strange, hunched, baggy-eyed and socially awkward L from Death Note has got to be the most amazing anime character ever crafted. This super-genius detective has seriously captured my heart, and I adore him so much! I never knew I could find myself so attached to any one character’s well-being, but the writing in this storyline is incredible and, if you’ve never seen it, now would be a good time to give it a shot.
My buddy Rich was talking shop with me the other day about different ways to take my art (he used to be the head of the Comics department for IGN, so he knows his shit). He was saying that while it’s great to do a lot of original pieces, it’s also a good idea to throw some of my own fan pieces into my work and do my different spins on characters that I already know and love. Characters that have inspired me in my work, so that when I recreate them myself, I put a lot of love into the art.
And that’s definitely how I felt when painting L.
As a drawn character, L is fairly simple to recreate. He’s unlike any other anime character I’ve ever seen in that he’s this gremlin kind of adorable freak of nature who’s far too smart for his own good. He’s not this typical “sexy” anime boy type — he has bags under his eyes from the lack of sleep he gets, he’s hunched over all the time because it supposedly increases his “detective skills”, he picks at his lip often and is incredibly awkward in public — but he’s just so freaking cool that you sort of forgive him for all of his weirdness.
I identify with how much of an outcast L is. He’s so dedicated to his craft that he’s completely shut himself away from the outside world and appears to be crazy. But he’s such a genius! Gah!
Anyway, I absolutely love this anime and I was sad when … Well. You-know-what happens. And I don’t want to spoil it for any of you who plan on watching it. But just take my word for it — it’s freaking awesome.
This piece prints out beautifully at a humongous 20″ x 30″.
To view a larger image, check it out here on DeviantArt (though you’ll have to purchase it from me to get the full resolution large print).
I tried to capture L’s weirdness with the coloring of the piece — giving his skin sort of a sallow, pale, sickly look (as if he’s anemic, since he rarely ever goes outside), and drowning the background color with a moody blue to reflect the dark environment you’ll typically see him in throughout the anime. But I couldn’t help adding the touches of glowing highlights here and there. X_x It’s my thing. And I felt like the piece wouldn’t have been complete without it, ha! So I had to.
And if you know of any other really cool animes to watch, let me know!
Other animes I dig: Ranma 1/2, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Love Hina, and Oh! My Goddess. I can’t think of anything else right now. :3
Some Work In Progress pictures:
I still think the background could have a little more something to it.
I always feel like I’m doing something wrong if I leave any part of the picture too plain. But ugh — it’s fine. I’ll just leave it. Ha.
Happy to be drawing characters I love,
XOXO Cheri XOXO