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

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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.