Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Freyja" Line Art

I've been wanting to do some kind of Freyja/Freya picture for some time.  I had my mind made up that she would have to be pictured with her two cats that pull her chariot ever since I came across that bit of information about her.  It is speculated that the cats are most likely the Norwegian Forest Cats since they're big with water-proof coat and snow-shoe-like giant paws.  Any cat fan can imagine that they would be perfect for such duty as pulling a chariot or a sled.

I did the usual research into Freyja and got a little confused since she is many things at different times -- Queen of the Valkyries, Goddess of Love (spring, fertility, etc. etc.), shape-shifting sorcerer, etc.  Image search also confused me as she is depicted both as a blonde and as a red head... sometimes in toga-like drapery, sometimes nearly naked, and sometimes in warrior armor.

I decided to go with the Warrior Goddess look since I'm kind of in a groove from the "Steampunk Dark Angel" which looked like she could be a warrior girl.  I think this one kind of looks like Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox (Angelina Fox then?) for some reason, must be those eyes with those pouty lips.  XD  I think this piece will break me out of the 'golden' phase finally.  I have blonde hair, blue eyes, silver armor, falcon cloak, silver (most likely tabby) cats planned for this image.  It should be fun to color. :D  (The more I look at this line art, the more I think her kitties are about to bro-fist. LOL XDD)

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Bloodless Version Gets a TBA

This is the 'bloodless' or the 'rated G' version of the "Steampunk Dark Angel".  When I was working in the Riff file in Corel Painter, I made sure that the blood stains had its own separate layer as much for the ease of working as for the creation of alternate version later.  When this baby was in a WIP phase, one of my licensees already expressed interest in turning it into different products, and I was thinking at that point that blood is not everyone's *ahem* cup of tea. XD   Most of the time, it turns me off, too. ^^;   I love the convenience of digital art for things like this.

Today's Best Award at Zazzle!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Steampunk Dark Angel

Is finally finished. ^^;  This one had more details -- tedious details which actually required my attention rather than the usual 'fill in every bit of space with random flowers' -- so it took longer and I actually used a few more layers than my usual 6 or 7 (which is still really low compared to many digital artists).

This one's stylishly violent (^^; lol) with violence implied through the depiction of blood, weaponry (scythe-like wings and a knife she's holding), fire, plus dark, ominous sky (-- a must for an impending doom).  This was my original 'vision' that I had for this piece when the line art was completed.  The practical side of me insisted creating an extra layer for the blood splatters so that if my licensee objects to blood in this picture (including the little cut on her cheek), I can easily remove it and make a whole new "bloodless" file. ^^

I will be posting a larger version on dA and Shadowness in a bit.  The details are totally shrunk to oblivion at this size.  For example, there are etchings on the upper wings and her knife has a design on the handle... the typical Mitzi details. :D

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Steampunk Dark Angel" WIP2

A WIP of "Steampunk Dark Angel", which I finally got started coloring yesterday.  With the judging in progress for the Young Artists Contest on deviantART,  of which I am the organizer and serve as one of the juries, things got delayed more than usual.  No fun. ^^;

I'd say I'm about 50% through at this point.  Most of the base colors have been laid down.  Shadows, highlights and other details will be added, which, for me, is the most time-consuming (but fun) part.   I do have a foreground planned which will add much drama to this in the end -- and hopefully even more of a visual impact.

Although this piece seems less complex than some of my other pieces of late, the mechanical details do slow me down in a different way than organic details.  Organic details become somewhat of an automatic drawing process for me and it's utterly relaxing most of the time.  Mechanical details, on the other hand, requires certain level of logic for them to be believable, I feel.  Because of that, I cannot just shut my left brain off and go to the relaxation mode with my right brain.  An interestingly different experience.  One thing I've noticed is that I have a whole lot MORE respect for people who do draw and design robots, steampunk machines, and whatnot.  Not that I didn't have respect for them before... I just have much more than before is what I'm saying. XD

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Steampunk Dark Angel" WIP

There's a lot of details without even drawing the background! XD (I think I'll keep the background simple.) She sat on the shelf above my desk for over a week before I finally got around to ink her.  I had to say I was kind of reluctant to get going with all that wings' mechanical details (Even for this detail freak!).  Inking involves cleaning the lines, which means working out the details.  I couldn't like on the etched design on the larger wings and had to sketch them over 4 times... I'm looking forward to coloring this though.  It always goes much faster to color those lines of mine.  I'm afraid the golden phase (gold, brown, ochre and other deep colors) will continue with this one's color scheme.

Anyway, this is for Enchanted Visions Project's old theme, "Darkness Falls".  I guess it doesn't necessarily look dark right now, but it will be once it gets colored.

I'm kind of motivated to do a picture of Freyja next with two giant Norwegian Forest Cats pulling her chariot. :D  That was random...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

TBA at Zazzle: Fantasy Coloring Calendar

The new Fantasy Coloring Calendar for 2012 got Today's Best Award at today.  I made the first 'volume' last year and it was popular, and since I have many new line art, I figured I would offer this product once again for the upcoming 2012 (although I have a coloring book coming out soon ^^; ).

This new volume features 12 works created between 2010 and 2011.
January -- Yukionna
February -- Stardancer
March -- Crimson Wings
April -- Pansy
May -- Wisteria
June -- Shades of Blue
July -- The Ruby Slipper
August -- Dreaming on Aquamarine Tides
September -- What Dreams May Come
October -- Along Came a Spider
November -- Abundance
December -- Lady of the Forest

I will also be making a calendar featuring 12 COLORED pieces as last year, featuring all new selections different from the 2011 version.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Steampunk Dark Angel" Conceptual Sketch

The working title of this is "Steampunk Dark Angel", but I have the old theme from the Enchanted Visions Project "Darkness Falls" in mind.  Every now and then, I hear from people, "I'm curious to see what your 'dark' piece would look like...".  I often feel that there are plenty of people doing 'dark' work and it's nothing more than a curiosity to see how a different approach, a new angle, a new theme would feel like.  But then again, variety is the spice of life!

Ever since my childhood, growing up in Japan, I have always had a strong dislike for most anything mechanical with the strongest dislike toward things like Transformers.  Long before Transformers movies came out, in Japan we had one anime series after another in the 'mecha' genre with huge robots doing battles.  No, I couldn't get into it.  Steampunk has that mechanical thing going on, although it's not the futuristic giant robot kind.  And because of that, I've kind of stayed away from it (not to mention how a lot of people have been doing it also...).

This time though, when I thought about doing a 'dark' piece, I didn't want to do vampires (Haven't we had enough of that already?) or macabre (It's interesting how blood and gore lose its fascination after not too many images of the same old same old... like on deviantART's Daily Deviations.) per se, since these themes just aren't interesting to me.  And as many other artists are pumping out works in these genres, I don't think anyone is missing out on anything if I refused to jump on the bandwagon.  So instead, I thought, "Well, how about a steampunk with a tiny twist of 'dark' then?"

Finally, that got my ideas flowing.  This is the second sketch I did on the idea.  The first idea was so huge, it couldn't fit on a sheet of paper 8.5 x 11". XD  I like the look of detached impudence on this girl's face rather than a killer glare of death.  The wing detail was actually fun to sketch, although I was too lazy for the second wing.  I think you get a pretty good idea of where this is going without the second wing drawn in there.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Chance to Win a Set of Postcards on Facebook!

My art page on Facebook has reached 250 like's.  To celebrate it and to thank the people who support my art, I'm going to do another random drawing for a set of postcards.  The set will contain some over-sized postcards and standard size postcards.  To be entered into the drawing, simply stop by my Fantasy Art page and comment on the thread with a title of your favorite piece from my photo album titled "Fantasy", currently showing 26 pieces of my art.  The deadline to enter this drawing is noon Mountain Daylight Time on Friday, August 12, 2011.  Random drawing will be held sometime that afternoon, and winner's announcement will follow shortly after.  If the turnout is small, I will select one winner, but if the turnout is fair, I will give out multiple sets. ^_^

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TBA at Zazzle: La Sylphide iPad Case

"La Sylphide" Speck Fitted Hard Shell Case for iPad

My "La Sylphide" iPad Case was among the chosen for the TBA (Today's Best Awards) at Zazzle for August 3rd, 2011.   This image makes for a lovely iPad Case for anyone who is involved in ballet or loves a fairy ballerina fantasy art.  It's certainly unique with a contemporary twist on a sweet nostalgia of a by-gone era. 

It's always nice to get one of your images chosen for an award whether it's at Zazzle, Shadowness, or devianART.  ^_^   I've always loved receiving ribbons and certificates, and it never gets old no matter how many you get.