Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Actually updating! Hooray! Apologies for my severe lack, and my need to finish updating previous posts(Namely my thesis posts ugghhh). Super limited wifi connection at the campground, set up in a friend's hotel room currently.

In any case though, I have actually been productive the past few days, though this is the only piece I have I can currently show right now. Starting to think I should try purchasing a scanner... Anyways. Doodles of some lovely feather faces to get back into the swing of things :)

Various breeds of macaws and cockatoos, and voila! They have the prettiest colors... :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

On the Road

Apologies for my lack of posts, or ones up but unfinished. I've recently started my first sting on the road as a traveling gypsy!

I'm in Augusta, Michigan, for the next few weeks, getting ready to perform at the Blackrock Medieval Summerfest for three weekends, and my uploading and scanning capabilities are distinctly lacking. I'm going to see if my laptop is up for some photoshop painting, hopefully it won't putter out immediately, but I brought a bunch of paints and paper with me so I can brush up(Ha ha, get it? Sorry. Bad joke) on my painting again.

Cheers, come out to the fair and play!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ohai Tumblr

So I have a tumblr, now, too. FANCY THAT! <--- If you're ever bored enough to try and delve into the things that interest me. Or you could always follow me on twitter, @littlejypsy, though I'm not too faithful about tweeting. <--- And a deviantart. But that'll be mostly the same sorts of things as will show up on here.

Flower Girl Faeries

So I recently created a tumblr, and while I'm still working into actually using it, I have found some artistically inspiring images on it already. A friend had recently reposted some incredibly pretty flower petaled girl figures someone put together and photographed, and when I saw them I decided to paint some little flower faeries to match the girls.

You can find all the original photos from Elsa Mora at her blog here. I'll post the images I based the drawings off of here too, so you can compare, but follow the above link to see the rest of the originals, they're quite lovely.

Plain ol' watercolor! :)

Thesis, pt.V - Quetzalcoatl


Thesis, pt. IV - Shishi

[Place holder]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thesis, ptIII - Kraken

The third piece of five in my senior thesis pieces, featuring illustrative costume design based on myth. The theme for this piece is taken from the Kraken of Norse legends, the rarely seen, colossally large octopus/squid type creature.

The oceanic warrior:

The Kraken is another well known fantastical critter, though I think some portion of it's commodity in the past few years was because of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Anyways, this one proved a little tougher for me in terms of research and pulling the culture in with the costume design. My main method of researching was trying to find cultural depictions of the creature in question, but for the Kraken and the Norse peoples', they were very much a warring, vocal history sort of people I think. At least they weren't usually to be bothered with paintings or wall carvings or anything like the Mayans or the greek were.

Most research and references I found were from what stories managed to be recorded, and from the jewelry that has lasted through the centuries to show designs, patterns, faces, and runes. Tying in all of that along with the costume outfit and the location, I wanted it to feel Norse with the boat and the leather skirt and arm pieces seeming like a squids arms. The pose, with the figure's back to the viewer, is also hinting towards the Kraken which few ever lived to see and tell the tale. It also meshes with the colossal and giant squid, the almost never seen deep sea creatures, so I didn't want the figure's face to be seen.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thesis, ptII - Sphinx

Here comes round two for the thesis selections, with costumes based on mythology. The second piece I starting researching is the Greek version of the sphinx, the better known one with people eating and King Oedipus and the riddles and the killing herself. Yeah. That one. Anyways.

I was super excited for this one for various reasons, one being that I love love love drawing curly haired women, and I also wanted to give the lady's figure a more plump, curvaceous look then I typically draw women with.

The leading lady:

Well I hope you're all familiar with the Greek Sphinx. Part woman, part lion, part bird, she was a monster that set herself up in a cave outside the city of Thebes, would tell a riddle to any person trying to enter the city, and eat them if they couldn't answer it. Eventually the man Oedipus came to her and solved her riddle, at which point she threw herself out of her cave and dashed herself to pieces on a bunch of rocks. Or something like that.

With the outfit and figure, I wanted to emphasize a more sensual, bountiful feel to everything. The sphinx lounged to her hearts content outside Thebes, always eating people's faces off but not exercising so much. Looking at the figure now, I feel like she still isn't quite as fleshy as I wanted her, but I'm satisfied enough with it for the time being. In any case, she has the bemused, lounging pose and casually resting her face on her hand, as if about to give a riddle to another would-be traveller.

I think the potentially neatest costume piece of the series, though, is the claw bra. I want to tie in some form of the bird's claws and hints for the lion. The figure has slit pupil cat's eyes, and the original drawing had a lion's tail peaking out from under the couch, but the tail made no sense with the rest of the piece so I removed it. The claw bra though, I think could be a super nifty thing to make, assuming I had the skills and materials to reproduce it. I came up with possible ways it could be made, but I don't know quite how likely or easy it would be.

Also, the pillows she is leaning against have a horizontal feather pattern on them to hint at the Sphinx's wings, just like the pattern for the Phoenix :)

Thesis, pt.I - Phoenix

For my final year at Ringling College, I had to put together and produce a themed senior project during the last semester. It was a completely free choice sort of project, the pieces just all had to relate to the central theme and look cohesive as a whole.

My theme of choice was illustrative costume design, based on creatures from myth and folklore. The general idea was choose a number of creatures from cultural myths, such as the Egyptian Phoenix(Shown below), the Norse Kraken, etc. I researched each culture and creature, finding symbols, clothing styles, and meanings behind each thing in the culture to put some significance into the designed outfit.

In addition to the final painted design, I filled several pages in a large sketch book for all the concepts and ideation behind each costume, and I'll be posting some of those concept pages with their respective painting as well.

And now, moving on to the Egyptian Phoenix, aka the Egyptian Bennu.

When I initially picked the Phoenix as my first piece, I had a couple more choices for it then I did for the other costumes. Countless cultures have some sort of phoenix/firebird myth. Egypt, Russia, Persia, Greece, Rome, and several others. I'm more familiar with the Russian version, the Firebird which is like a big fancy flaming peacock, but because I'm well versed in the fairytales for it already, and have made paintings of it before, I decided to go with a different culture's version, one whose appearance was vastly different from the Russian peacock. The Egyptian Bennu Bird is a type of stork, and the Phoenix is always depicted with a two feathered crest on it's head.

I think in terms of all the pieces for my thesis, this is the one I like the most. The amount of colors I put in, the values, the composition, it's definitely the one I'm happiest with. One of the things I tried to do with it was have the figure look more androgynous, as opposed to being overly masculine or feminine. The Phoenix is particularly known for engulfing itself in flames every thousand years, and then being reborn from the ashes. No mom, no dad, just bringing itself back, so I thought to show it as being neither male or female, just there. Existing, but not needing another person. 

I also super want the tights. I wanted to bring the flames into the outfit specifically on the leggings/bodysuit, having them come up from the feet and starting out white hot, and then cooling down and turning to the color of smoke halfway up. It may also be hard to tell, but the shall they're wearing has a texture of horizontal feathers all along it, to hint at the bird's wings.

The concept pages all start off with some sketches and reproductions of artwork I found depicting the creatures. I tried pulling in things from the original culture's art to put into the costumes, to make sure they would both tie together in a more recognizable manner. The sketches are all to play with different mixes and matches, to see what outfits might look the best, switching shoes, switching shirts, etc.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Landscape Study - Craig Mullins

So for the last project of the semester in my digital class, I decided to do a study off of another artist's paintings. I've always liked looking at Craig Mullins' artwork, so I did a study/copy(Not quite?) of one of his concept art paintings. Environments and lighting aren't something I've done as often as I'd like, but that'll be changing now with classes about to end.

I take no credit for creation or originality, merely attempting to learn from a better artist :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stilts McGee

A humorous alias of mine, Stilts McGee is the crazy girl that runs around on stilts and scares people around building corners. She and Lily really aren't too different, but Stilts unashamedly admits that she had a Napoleon complex while growing up, so traipsing about on wooden poles are her way of coming to terms with her height problems.

Say hello to Stilts!

Support your local stilt walker! 

Skittles! Lovebirds!

Not really. Anyways. I'm trying out some different styles, and this piece is in the style(sort of) of Brittney Lee, who is phenomenal with cute things and birds and paper cutouts and just things in general. Definitely go give her a looksy!

In any case, the main idea for this piece was to try and push myself with color, and to try out a style that's outside of what I typically do. My initial idea had it being a lot more vividly colored, with a lot MORE colors, too, but I think I'm satisfied with how it came out.

Little lovebirds!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Secret of Mana

This is a cover/poster redesign for an old super nintendo game called the Secret of Mana. The character on it is the Mana Goddess of the land it takes place in. The basic design actually comes more from the game's sequel, Secret of Mana 2(Otherwise known as Seiken Dentetsu 3, since there was never an official release of it in the states, only fan translations). You see the Mana Goddess a few times in Secret of Mana 2, and it's her design from that game that I redid.

I'm kind of super excited to print this one, though. While it was supposed to be a game "cover" redesign, I worked with the idea of a poster lurking in the back of my head.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wine Labels - Lunetta

Label designs for a wine called Lunetta. Instead of Man in the Moon, it's the Lady in the Moon, right? Well, Ladies. Anyways. I decided to turn my love of cirque arts and performances into something I could do for a triptych, and I think it came out alright.

I'm not overly fond of the left one, I prefer to think the middle one came out the best, but they were all a little finicky to work on.

Self Portrait

Self portrait assignment for an advanced digital class. What represents Lily most? Hair and jewelry, as many will attest.

Game Art - Assassin's Creed

Free choice assignment for an advanced digital class, so I went with an environment and character art from Assassin's Creed.

There is a lot that can still be done with this, between proportions and things being off on the tower, and I'm going to go back and fix them soon hopefully. Until then though, this is what will be shown :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Antwerp Harbor

Another from when I was at Sint Lucas, it's probably one of my favorite things I did while there. One of our class days we went to the river side, and I drew the harbor line. It's a different style for me, but one I definitely want to try again.


Value and color study for a would-be show poster I designed a little while ago.

The final piece didn't turn out quite so nice, so it's in the process of being fixed at present.

Adobe Illustrator. We Meet Again.

I decided to kick myself back into Adobe Illustrator, it feels like it's been ages since I used it, so I needed a refresher. I felt like a fish out of water through both of them, but I'm warming back up to the program. Slowly but surely. Yeah, something like that... Just two simple, flat little parrot vectors. Me and my birds, go figure. With a couple of tigers thrown in for good measure. :)

Preliminary Thesis Concepts

So, here we go. I started on my senior year project a few weeks ago, and so far I've got seven or eight pages of concepts and designs so far. This is just a bit of a teaser for it :)

The theme for my project is character/costume design based on creatures from myth, as per my usual interest. So creatures such as the three I'm showing the sketches for right now, the Egyptian Phoenix, the Norse Kraken, and the Greek Sphinx, each figure will vaguely resemble that culture, and their outfits will look like a mix of the creature and culture hopefully.

There will also be a full illustrated piece to go with each set of concept sketches, to be done for the most part in pen and ink with watercolor washes overtop, hopefully. We'll see how it goes :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Some sketches I did from while I was in Europe at Sint Lucas. The first two are scenes from my visit to Venice, the armor was in a castle in Domburg, the Netherlands, and the others are more random pages of classmates and a spontaneous bird.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Online Portfolio!

Hey guys, I now have a page on the website Cargo Collective, which will start to function as my online portfolio, and the blog will start having more of my day to day things, sketchbook pages, concept and research work for my senior project, and all those fun shenanigans.

If you'd like to take a look, it's ! There isn't really anything new on there if you've seen this blog and it's predecessor, but it might in the future have some pieces that won't show on the blog.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Game Review - Assassin's Creed: Revelations

To say that I was waiting with bated breath for Revelations to be released would be a complete understatement.

Since the first AC game, I've always had high expectations and hopes for each succeeding game, and so far I've never been let down. Revelations, though, while many parts are appropriately amazing, there are also a number of parts that don't quite seem to work, that seem awkward, that made me want to skip through them.

In any case, welcome to 16th century Constantinople. As per usual, the scenery and environment and building designs are beautiful beyond words. I have never found fault with the environments in the games, a lot of times I'll stop moving Ezio just to look around at the landscapes. Just like with Brotherhood, you're again limited to one enormous city since this is more Assassin's Creed 2.7, so you can't travel around the country, which I'm sad about but it's expected since it's a smaller installment, and 3 hasn't been released yet. The costumes and designs for the new characters are all beautiful, I'm waiting till I have a little more free floating money so I can try and buy the art book for the game for my own references.

Anyways, moving on. There are some more noticeable changes between Brotherhood and Revelations, and one thing I'm sad about having been removed is being able to ride horses. Maybe I'm just weird but I always found it amusing to dash through the streets on a galloping horse. Revelations sort of makes up for it with bombs, and being able to mix and match materials to make your own. I think one of the better parts of that, and I can't think of many games that do it, is that even after you make a bomb, you can still disassemble it and reuse the parts in another bomb, as long as it hasn't been used(Go figure.) Definitely unique, and an awesome idea I think. Another awesome addition was the hook blade, which substituted the weird sort of jump-climb that was used in Assassin's Creed 2 to bridge slightly longer distances when climbing a building. With the hook blade, you can go SO much further, provided there are things around to grab onto, but with Ezio, of course there are always things to grab onto. If there aren't, hell, he MAKES things to grab on to. Whoever thought up using a flower pot to swing around building corners is a genius and a serious MacGyver. A smaller detail between Brotherhood and Revelations, too(And I may be misremembering or imagining this?) is with the hidden gun. If I remember correctly, in Brotherhood it took the tiniest bit longer to fire, because Ezio had to pull some sort of trigger on his arm, but in Revelations he can fire just by pointing, like a flinch-trigger type of pull. Quicker shots, which means you can use it more often in actual combat and not necessarily have to aim, but the chances of actually hitting a target even at that close of range are still slim.

Part of the game play that was particularly frustrating was the den defense sequences. The whole idea was awesome, I really did like it, but as the game advanced they got more difficult faster then I could adjust and learn to keep up. The idea of it is to defend the assassin den's by building barricades in the streets, putting fighters on the roofs, and fighting off advancing enemies. It seems simple, it was fun when there weren't as many enemies. Later in the game though, it was as if the enemies swarmed the street, and you couldn't get the morale up nearly fast enough to really defend against them. It seemed just fine the first two or three times of the defense sequence, but while my skill with it stayed the same(There wasn't a lot of time to learn on it, sometimes I'm quick learner but it was so different from what I'm used to with AC that I felt like a fish out of water), the enemies became tougher and more numerous. I wound up losing most of the defense times, and I wound up just getting the den back afterwards by killing the enemy captain and taking the area tower back. Much simpler.

In terms of the story, it got a little bit confusing, what with Subject 16 phasing in and out at random times, and attempting to interpret what he was saying. Admittedly, Assassin's Creed has gotten pretty damned good so far at the mumbo jumbo cryptic words that don't necessarily make sense immediately, and often are made understandable in whatever game comes next. Desmond is stuck within the Animus throughout the game, though if you want to you can take a break from the life of an elderly Ezio and explore older memory sequences of Desmond's(Provided you've found the required data fragments from around Constantinople). Not memory sequences like what has been in the other games. Ubisoft took a different turn with these, giving the player a new(And ridiculously frustrating) taste of a different sort of platforming puzzle. Throughout the sequences, you run around levels I could only describe as weird mazes and giant buildings, hearing Desmond talking to himself about his past and growing up with the assassins, then running away to be a bartender, etc, basically giving you his backstory.

Certain parts about the Desmond sequences were tricky, others seemed damned near impossible. The main one I remember in particular may have been in the third or fourth sequence, but it is when Desmond was reminiscing about when he ran away, and there was a river and a forest I think. Anyways, part of the dynamic for the sequences is you build floating blocks which you can stand on and use to get over or around obstacles in the mazes, and with this sequence you had to float down a river. Now, that might sound easy, yet it was anything but. The blocks you stand on can't be moved by Desmond, they are only pushed by some sort of vents that make them switch directions, and in the case of the river, they go in the same direction as the current. Now with the river, you can't touch the water, or else you go to the last point of solid ground you were on. The start. Avoid the water, stay on the block, pass the level. Seems easy enough. But no, the river changes heights, directions, angles, defying gravity and making you think and move fast to try and get past the rises and falls of the digital water. I think I had to go through this area maybe fourteen or fifteen times before I managed to beat it, and I was not a happy camper at the end of it. Maybe if the river had been the tiniest bit simpler. Others I spoke to had just as much trouble with it as I did.

[In progress]

I can and probably will go on, at a later date when a painting isn't calling my name.

Previous review- Bayonetta

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Oh hey, this seems to be a common critter with me. Aside from the fact that winged snakes are awesome, this piece is actually a bit older. This was a painting that went with my initial Birds of a Feather series idea, but since the teacher didn't like it too much I did a complete overhaul to the monochromatic pen and ink pieces. In any case, I had worked on this painting to a not quite complete stage, and here it is in that same not-so-completed stage, just so all you lovely people can see what the series may initially have looked like.

This was actually the second painting I did in the initial idea format before I called it quits. I almost completed the painting for the Firebird as well, which I'll post later.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

zBrush - Toy model, faery!

The project after the full body was to design a full, functioning toy, with various layers and parts and to figure out the joints and how they might also connect together. So, me being magical me, I designed a faery action figure. She's sort of based on a beetle, the coloring she had in my sketches was bright yellow with some black patterning, definitely hard to miss :)

Also going to go ahead and throw some of the concept sketches in, too.


zBrush - Mermahn turnaround

The second project from my zbrush class last semester, design a head to toe character and put it on some sort of pedestal. I went with my same fishman design from my earlier illustration painting, I liked the idea of the design too much.

Though the whole glow in the dark dreds part didn't really communicate very well in zBrush, sad to say.

Beer Ads, Alphonse Mucha

Another project from illustration last semester, a diptych beer ad in the style of Alphonse Mucha. I have the two pieces painted and finished, I haven't scanned them yet though. I'll replace the black and white images once I have.


A painting from Illustration class last semester, actually getting around to uploading it now. My version of a not-so-friendly merman.

Done mixed media, traditional and digital. Too many hours to count spent on it.

EDIT: So I'm not sure why, but for whatever reason clicking the image to make it larger makes everything significantly more green and glowing then it's supposed to be? I'm not sure why it's doing that, but trying to fix it now.

DOUBLE EDIT(?): This piece got into the Best of Ringling art show! :) It will be displayed in the show in the middle of April.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Game Review - Bayonetta

A couple months ago, I swapped games with a classmate and got my hands on Bayonetta. I had heard of it in passing before then, mostly just that the character had guns on her shoes, but it wasn't something that quite struck my fancy enough at the time to go out and buy it. It's different from my usual RPG and more adventurous fantasy games, but when I had the option to try it for free I figured why not.

I still haven't beaten it yet, as classes have been interfering, but I'm at chapter twelve I think, out of sixteen or seventeen if you count the epilogue, but I've played enough of it that I think I could have some knowledgeable comments.

To start off, I was not expecting what I got in terms of story or plot. I went into it knowing nothing except the main character had gun shoes, and wanted to have the experience of not knowing the plot before I played. The opening sequence and chapter is the one I think I remember best out of all the cinematics and play throughs. It started out in medias res, as it were, with Bayonetta falling from the sky on bits of rock with another character, and fighting off various creatures and monsters without any explanation of the battle methods or controls, literally throwing you into the fray.

Sometimes this works very well for games, like in Uncharted 2, where Drake started off on the train as it was hanging off a cliff. They portrayed that much more succesfully then Bayonetta though, I think. Admittedly, Uncharted included the controls as well while Drake was climbing the train. Bayonetta explained how to fight shortly after the beginning scene and combat, but I still would have preferred to know what the controls were right away. I did like the dodging abilities though, hold R2 and move the thumbstick in any direction and she'll flip or roll that way. Get the timing juuusst right, and you can activate something called Witch Time, which slows down everything except Bayonetta, so she can deal a much larger amount of damage while hardly being touched. It only lasts for a few seconds, but it's a handy and tricky tool. It comes into play a lot throughout the game, a lot of times you have to trigger it through the use of ever so conveniently placed statues that will hit you with lightning. Dodge at the right moment, and the time will slow and you can get past certain obstacles such as running overtop water spouts, or through a regenerating wall before it repairs itself.

In terms of the plot, it seemed kind of willy nilly, with nothing really 100% certain such as in other games. My understanding now, without having fully completed the game, is that Bayonetta is the last of her clan and is fighting against the light and the angels towards some end purpose . I do like their slightly different take on the, by now, fairly stereotyped good vs. evil plot, by making the two forces into opposing clans, Umbran Witches(Darkness) and the Lumen Sages(Light.) Both clans had power over the light and the dark, and kept the balance in the universe until something happened to make them war on each other.

Other parts of the game, specifally the cut scenes and cinematics, just confused me. Some of the cut scenes were animated with conversation and action and the characters actually moving, like a typical cinematic, but then interspersed with it were comic style cut scenes that were a bit too different of a type from the other cinematics to work well together, I think. It resulted for the most part in me wanting to skip the comic scenes just to get back to the fighting. If every cut scene was like that, I don't think I would have minded quite as much.

As I advanced through the game, I had a lot of trouble with the load time between screens, and even just going from the game mode to the menu and back took longer to load then I think it should have. The delay occured whenever I switched any menus, going into the item menu or into the angel and demon books and flipping pages, each load screen took just long enough to be irritatingly noticeable. I've talked to other friends of mine that have Xboxes, and from what I can tell it's primarily a PS3 issue though I haven't found a reason for it.

I think one of the cooler things about Bayonetta though is the weapons and attack combos. You start off initially with a weapon set of four guns, but as you go through the game you can discover and purchase more weapons. Right now my preferred one are the ice and fire gauntlets. As you combine and mix each weapons(Her shoes have various equipable guns too), the combos all change to different looks and sorts, which is straight up awesome. You can also pick up the weapons of dead enemies and fight with them for a short period of time. Each one has a sort of special attack that uses up what I guess would be it's energy? When you use the special attack, the weapon disappears. Each one has a different special, such as the horn one of the angels carries, and another has a long spear or halberd type weapon, and the special for that essentially sets Bayonetta to pole dancing on the weapon while kicking everything else in the face.

I would go on, but a class is about to start, and so I must depart. Bayonetta, not my favorite game out there, but not terrible.