In high school, I was really, really into Victorian style clothing. I loved looking up old fashion sketches and incorporating new themes into my own dresses, designing elaborate bustles and corsets–all the delights of a wishful goth kid. This image wasn’t designed with the dress in mind though. I had a specific goal: a woman admiring herself in a mirror even though she can’t see herself. I was feeling frustrated with some people around me who seemed abnormally blind to real life. The sketch of the image was completed significantly before the painting was complete, and I think by the time I had completed it, the meaning had entirely changed. I used a particular color theme that I wasn’t used to–trying to branch out and take my colors into better consideration.
March 14, 2005: Photoshop 7 and an Intuous 2 6×8 tablet
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
This image has always been one of my favorites. It was unconnected to a story until I really started to work on it. Since then, I did some work on scenes and ideas, but I never fully developed the world that these three lived in. As far as artistic themes, I was very proud of myself for finally painting a man. Three people interacting with one another was also a new concept for me, as well as the stark, clear color theme that allowed for a more vibrant image, but less color freedom. I was also working hard on making sure that all of my bodies were not the same: “The Wardrobe” has a bigger bust, shorter chin, and fuller lips from “the Witch”, who despite my greatest efforts, still looks rather Caucasian.
Their story shifted as I tried to work them into projects or create projects around them. They do the dirty odd jobs of crime bosses in fantasy worlds. They eventually settled in next to Jade from “Children of the Eaten King”, though they never appear in that novel. The Lion, Hillary Darren, is known for his brutality and pompous destruction when given an order. The Witch, Kinako Moriyama, is feared because she invisible, stealthy, and impossible to track. They call her the Witch because they believe that there’s no way to do what she does without magic. When she strikes, her targets often disappear completely. The Wardobe, Nightingale, is always dressed ostentatiously and draws attention to herself. She is wild, uncontrollable, and very deadly.
April 27, 2005: Photoshop 7, Intuous 2 6×8 tablet
View Image on CG Talk
Ophelia: The Queen and the Storyteller
The character Ophelia was originally from a short story that I wrote in early 2004. Her premise, though, was taken directly from another novel-length project that I have since completed. Their stories are very similar, with perhaps a larger element of the mythical in Ophelia’s story. This character portrait is of Ophelia and her closest friend, known only as “The Storyteller”, the first ghost to appear to her, and the one to make her purpose clear.
In this portrait, I was playing with the use of white, how to accentuate brightness through the use of blue-and-white combinations, and of course my favorite element of digital art: literally painting with light. Of course, my understanding of how light reflects off of 3d surfaces is a rather minimal. I’d like to say that I’d be able to do it better now, but I’m not so sure.
November 19, 2004: Photoshop 7 and Intuous 2, 6×8 tablet
My earliest paintings are almost exclusively of faces, outfits, and poses. I was most interested in drawing figures that were well dressed and good looking–and a lot dangerous. Nightingale, unlike a lot of my other paintings, is not associated with any short story or novel concept that I was working on. She stands alone as just an intriguing imaginary person.
August 23, 2004: Photoshop 7 with an Intuous 2, 6×8 tablet
Here’s a close-up:
For a long time I really struggled with getting bodies and faces in movement. I still struggle with it today, but in this painting I was actively working to try and fix it. My character “Ophelia” rose out of a short story that I wrote, and for the better part of a year, I was absolutely obsessed with her. She is the most pictured character in this gallery.
Her story is simple, though it is shared with my character Victoria, from a much more developed and successful novel. In both stories, the young ladies become speakers for the dead against a king who has pridefully done them wrong. The ghosts become their only companion, and eventually their only champion, when their lives are threatened.
July 19, 2004: Photoshop 7 with an Intuous 2, 6×8 tablet, with brushes by Vered