Hmm…it’s been a while since I did an artist feature, isn’t it? Well, let’s make this a double post then. Cradle (Misaki Kurehito, male) and puffsleeve (Kuroya Shinobu, female) are circles that I’ve always loved, ever since I saw one of their joint touhou art books years ago (of course, I had no idea then). They’re affiliated with something called Yack too, but I have yet to figure out exactly what that is. These two artists are nearly identical (working for the same company, Abhar, and being friends might have something to do with it, though that never happened with Suzuhiro and Nishimata…but that’s just me going off track). They’re both extremely talented artists with an affinity for a style that focuses on strong colors and strong brush strokes, both of which I absolutely love.
Since their art is so similar, I’ll start with Cradle’s art first (he is the more popular of the two and also the one behind the top image). Tidbit: before his current job, he has worked as an interior designer and a pachinko maker! Source: 100masters of bishoujo painting, which is a book that everyone should get. The only thing that I’d complain about is that there isn’t enough artists in there (100 isn’t enough, it really isn’t).
At first, he was using a style which put emphasis on the shapes of the colors, instead of lines.
Eventually, he switched to a style that has stronger lines, which looks more polished (plus takes less time to do). However, he occasionally does (relatively) flat images (color wise) like the one above.
Misaki Kurahito is also pretty prolific with other projects, doing a lot of magazine spreads and guest art for other companies. The above is an illustration for Yosuga no Sora, which is a game that I look forward to playing. There’s translation projects in both Chinese and English, which means it must have some good (this only applies to fan translations, too often, commercial companies pick up the worst titles to translate).
Next, let’s take a look at Kuroya Shinobu, whose art I prefer out of the two. You can see that she also started out with painting (I don’t call it painting when the artist draws out the lines and then fills the lines in). Of course, she also moved on to a cleaner style.
Reason #2: She can draw lolis and guys (though the above picture oddly reminds me of Takeda Hinata).
And as for reason #3, well…
Her newest project is Abhar’s newest game, which has yet to be released. However, it looks absolutely GORGEOUS! Compare this to the Misaki Kurehito game art above and see why I always get confused as to who drew which.
No matter what, there two are artists with incredible skill and definitely worth keeping an eye out for. Now, if only they’d produce more stuff more often…