Saturday, April 30, 2011

"The Ruby Slipper" WIP 2

I got started on the colors yesterday. What you see here is work done yesterday. Background colors have been laid in and the work has begun on the main figure. Today though, I am feeling lazy and can't seem to sit at my computer to work on the coloring. XD Maybe later. :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fantasy Fabric Blocks and Art Supplies

*Photos courtesey of Fantasy Fabric Blocks @

I am very excited to announce that I am now one of the artists whose work on fabric are available at Fantasy Fabric Blocks and Art Supplies. They have fabric blocks in different sizes as well as the beautiful quilt kits that you see here. What's amazing to me is that I'm on the same front page as such luminaries of the fantasy art world like Amy Brown and Jasmine Becket-Griffith. I just feel so special!!! (I know it's so goofy, but I can't help it... lol) There will also be "Color Me" products (like coloring pages) featuring my line art available soon at the FFB site. Please check out their beautiful shop at today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"The Ruby Slipper" WIP

After all the festivity online (Thank you for all the birthday wishes on Facebook and deviantART!!), shopping fun, and general excitement of my birthday yesterday (and Jr.'s birthday still to be celebrated today), I finally got around to finish inking this mermaid line drawing for the Enchanted Visions Project. I need to hurry up and get the coloring finished soon.
She's my third mermaid (I don't name my fantasy figures except for Kia, my little elf girl.) image to date, and I've noticed that my first one was a little 'dark' in her looks (as in 'could be evil' sort of way) and the second one was benign and rather elegant maybe, and this one is like a happy, teenager who loves to shop for blings of all kinds. XD Looks like she found herself a new bling to add -- a ruby shoe. Sure, she doesn't have feet, but this mermaid is not about to let that get in the way of enjoying the precious find. After all, we girls love pretty shoes! :D

Friday, April 22, 2011

Work in Progress

The sketch of the "The Ruby Slipper" for the Enchanted Visions Project -- I don't know... I still liked the April Fool's prank "Bare Buttcheeks" theme. This is just pencil scribble on paper. I clean the lines up when I ink it in ballpoint pen. That becomes my official line art and the foundation of my painting.

Oddly enough, up until just yesterday, I was under the mistaken impression that the monthly theme was "The Ruby Slippers", so my previous sketches, which I made three versions of, had two shoes included. (All the while I was speculating what the odds of a mermaid coming across a PAIR of ruby shoes instead of just one ruby shoe in the vast ocean. lol But then again, maybe she picked up a FedEx package floating away. Anything is possible, I guess.)

Anyway, I had the mermaid image in my mind right away. The first mermaid was grouchy, as if to say, "What the heck am I going to do with this since I have no feet?", then the mermaid started to get in better moods as subsequent sketches were made. Eventually, I got this one who is just so happy to have found just another bling to add onto herself. I know that grouchy is popular, but I'm just not in the mood for it right now. So I'll go with the "Look what I found!!!" look for this mermaid.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Koume-chan Ballerina Set

Koume-chan Ballerina series designed primarily for rubber stamps. Cosplayer Cats Inc. is included in the submissions to the Queen Kat Designs rubber stamps under my name and these will be joining other Koume-chan designs.

I will be adding these Koume-chan designs to Custom Dance Gifts by Studio Miyabi shop as well in children's size T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, key chains, etc.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Fabric Blocks from Kat's Magical Patches

Fabric block photo courtesy of Kat's Magical Patches.

Today, I had three of my fantasy artwork debut on fabric blocks in sizes 3x5, 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 over at Kat's Magical Patches, which is a sister company to the Queen Kat Designs, which makes rubber stamps. This is the latest development in the licensing agreements I've signed in the last two months. It's fun to see my art on different things. And I've had more inquiries from other companies, too, so all is very exciting. :D

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

24 Hours in a Day Is Not Quite Enough.

Being relatively new to this business of art (at least, pursuing it as a business, that is) and learning something new every day, I've come to realize that, upon completing a painting, there's so much to do than I ever realized before. My venturing into fantasy art as my main focus only started in early spring of 2010, and at that time, still very much as a hobby and a pastime. Back then, all I did after completing a piece of art was to upload and post at deviantART. XD Then respond to any comments that came my way, and rejoice if there was one of those rare Daily Deviations.

These days, deviantART still is the first place I post. After all, I have the biggest audience there, followed by a small (but slowly growing) circle of artist friends over at Facebook. But since nobody can ever really know all of what's going on at that site in terms of newly implemented changes (that leave giant loopholes for thefts and leaks of all kinds...), I only post relatively small pictures there, which won't show any real work I put into my paintings. (Ever notice something looks great as a thumbnail until you click on it to see it larger only to be disappointed just how roughly it's done or crooked things look...?) Then there's updating the photo gallery at my own site. This one also has a relatively small photo at full view. Nonetheless, the amount of time spent updating is the same whether you're dealing with small image or large one. After that, I go to my online portfolio at dA for an update. Then I move on over to my Zazzle store to create a new category and add products using the new image. It's usually at this point where I finally remember to go register for copyright. XD (I think I need to make this a priority.) And there's creating files and placing orders for promotional material such as postcards, greeting cards, business cards, etc., although this doesn't happen after every painting.

I can't imagine how much extra work it would be required if I had an eBay store or Etsy store or doing ACEO and whatnot that many of my artist buddies are offering... I'm having a hard enough time wrapping my head around the licensing deals I have signed and keeping track of which company has which pieces of my art. XD
I'm sure that I will take this all in stride AND manage to produce high quality art on a regular basis once I get myself together. I'm still very excited about the whole thing taking off and loving what I do. Meanwhile, I have signed another licensing agreement to have my art on fabric blocks with Kat's Magical Patches. ^^

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Along Came a Spider"

"Along Came a Spider" is now finished and sent to the Enchanted Visions Project. Whew! I made the "deadline" deadline, which is the fourth of the month. I seem to habitually push for this deadline rather than the end of the month or the first of the month, which is the official deadline.

After the base colors were laid (as shown in the previous post), the real work began with the tedious details in her floral patterned kimono, the details of the spider lilies, highlights in all the necessary areas, and of course the spider web. After all of that was completed, I had the choice to make with her eye color -- whether to go with dark brown or glowy "demon" yellow. In the end, I decided to go with the dark brown. After all, if she was really trying to lure someone into her trap, she'd try her best to look "human", right??? XD Anyway, that was my reasoning. I think she's alluring and the overall color scheme is dark, though there's plenty of colors to keep it vibrant. Very fiery. ^^

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Along Came a Spider - WIP2

A work-in-progress (part 2) of "Along Came a Spider". Most of the colors are laid in. The detail work on the floral pattern on outer layer, hair ornaments, highlights in the flowers, and the spider web remains.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Along Came a Spider - WIP

Here's the partial view of the line art for the Enchanted Visions Project's March 2011 theme "Along Came a Spider". It's done in ballpoint pen on paper. Now I open this file in Corel Painter and begin the coloring phase. Hopefully, I get done with it before April 4th "deadline" deadline. ^^; (I'm such a procrastinator. I learn this about myself every month with the EV theme work...)

Anyway, this month's theme, when it was first announced, gave me an immediate idea which I scribbled down on a piece of paper as a pencil sketch (My sketches are really rough and light.). The paper got lost in a stash somewhere around my desk, then the earthquake struck Japan which sucked my creative juice for a good part of a week. Then when I finally wrapped my head around it, I wanted to paint "Lady of Compassion" first. This theme got pushed back.

By the time I completed the "Lady...", I saw several pieces by other members of EV on the current theme and thought, "There's the 'cute' approach -- not me. There's the 'dark' approach -- basically what most everyone will probably come up with, and my sketch is kinda similar. Hmmm." Sleep on the ideas for a while, then the name Joro Gumo just popped up in my head. It's an actual spider in Japan, large-bodied, long-legged, shiny black with gaudy yellow and red, very flashy. Plus, there's a folklore demon spider of the same name -- a lady of the night by day, a man-devouring giant spider by night. How can anyone resist that?!?!

There are many renditions of the Joro Gumo, the demon by artists from hundreds of years ago and present day. Many depicts the half-woman half-spider demon form or a woman with a spider web. Surprisingly, there were not a lot of depictions like this one with traditional Japanese kimono and hair. So it became even more of a motivation to pursue this idea.

Inking of the pencil lines went slowly. Mostly because of the complexity of the spider lilies in the foreground. The spider lilies (manjushage in Japanese) is perfect because of its association with the netherworld in Japanese folklore, and with common names like "ghost flower", "hell flower", "flower of the dead", etc. I worked on this image from bottom up. Once I got to the woman's head, I finally realized just exactly what kind of predicament I put myself into. The oiran-style hair is very elaborate with a lot of kanzashi and the classic Japanese style hair. I had to study photos of wigs for actresses. XD

The color scheme for this will be sunset colors to place this scene at dusk. It's the dangerous time of transition from day to night when she becomes truly predatory. And that is a theme I enjoy and gravitate toward. Lots of red, oranges, black, and maybe purple.