Hatsune Miku from Crypton's Character Vocal Series. (Click for the larger full version.) Original line art for this available at illustrator's Pixiv.
吉田ドンドリアン (YOSHIDA Dondorian), also known professionally under ヨシツギ (YOSHITSUGI), is an up-and-coming illustrator best known on Pixiv for her distinctive and abstract watercolour style. She has also forayed into illustrating and compiling videos for Vocaloid songs on niconico, the most recent of which was for river’s アン・イノセンス (Un-Innocence). In addition to illustrating for leisure, she has also drawn artwork professionally for various publications, such as Kodansha’s Faust magazine and Megami Creators, and has made a website, done art direction, drawn artwork, and done CD jacket design for two of Voltage of Imagination’s CDs’ sites. Yoshida’s birthday is on December 21st, resides in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, likes to paint and illustrate with analog tools and techniques, and when working digitally, uses Adobe Photoshop CS3 on Windows Vista.
Yoshida’s style is of a relatively abstract and watercolour-like style that incorporates many vibrant colours, little to no shading and quite a bit of subtle and faded floral patterns. She almost exclusively draws female characters, but unlike most JPN illustrators, she gives little precedence on characters’ faces and expressions, and rather strives to create a spectacle with the entire picture as a whole, taking more priority in colour, composition, and theme. Her characters’ eyes are very round, and they typically sport only subdued or calm expressions. They are also drawn in static poses most of the time, with characters either standing, falling, or floating(?), but these types of arrangements really do add to the peaceful and calm atmosphere that most of her illustrations give off. The fact that Yoshida doesn’t employ traditional shading techniques is also a unique feature, and as a substitution to the absence of shading, she instead indicates depth by layering darker colours on the lighter ones and melding them together for a gradual and delicate effect. She also uses lightly coloured, sometimes faded lines to enhance this look.
Macne Nana as depicted in 月ノ魚 (Tsuki no Sakana) by 一本勝負Ｐ(IpponshoubuP). (Click for the larger full version.)
Other than the background-less, single-character style, Yoshida is also capable of producing another style where she often draws an undetailed character put against an near-abstract background splashed with solid colour. In this style, Yoshida usually combines deep, dark colours against vibrant, practically neon shades to make a statement, and in many cases she makes use of only one main colour and their respective shades. The highest recurring primary colour used in these works seems to be blue. Colour coordination is unique, but the contrast in colours may sometimes be a little too strong. As well, Yoshida makes a lot less use of the transparent qualities prominently seen in her character-focused artwork, but when she combines her two styles, the results are quite stunning (See the image above this paragraph).
It is worthwhile to note that about half of Yoshida’s works are non-digitally done with colour ink, which is why there’s noticeable colour bleeding in most pictures, and why she also seems to have a good understanding of how to emulate the bleed and transparent effects in digital works as well. Moreover, Yoshida’s artwork may be slightly reminiscent of shimeko’s (しめ子 at Pixiv) style at first, but Yoshida’s are quite a bit more natural (in both analog and digital examples) as shimeko’s style has no bleed, more sharp, clean lines, and everything is much softer and blurred – all of which are small clues that hint at the digitality of shimeko’s illustrations. (For two digital examples, Yoshida | shimeko. Note the points at which the soft colours fade into white – Yoshida’s has more spread and dark edges at the end before becoming white.)
Lastly, Yoshida’s PV style is as creative and sometimes as abstract as her illustrations, but they mostly employ basic animation effects and a high number of static illustrations. Despite the supposed and deceiving simplicity of execution, the PV for Un-Innocence is perhaps one of the most artistic and original Vocaloid PVs out there. Please take a look.
Essential Works – PV:
1. アン・イノセンス (Un-Innocence) (niconico link) **Highly Recommended**
2. Colchicum! (niconico link)
3. 月ノ魚 (Tsuki no Sakana/Fish of the Moon) (niconico link)