Author: Angela S.

Exalted Art Challenge 2022 Collection

Exalted Art Challenge 2022 Collection

Happy Halloween, everyone!  I have a treat for you today in the form of the completed collection of challenge pieces for this year’s Exalted Art Challenge!  We moved right in the middle of this challenge, so I only had time to partake in the weekly topics, instead.  Still, this challenge is always a lot of fun and a great excuse to experiment with different methods and styles!

I created all of these entries in Procreate.

Week 1: Your PC (Player Character)

Rather than draw the same old characters I’ve been drawing lately (cough Kalara), I thought I’d shine the spotlight on Laughing Fox, a trickster Kalara has met in her travels as a young demigod.  Laughing Fox is a Lunar, chosen of the goddess of the moon in the Exalted RPG setting.  He prefers seduction over murder and prides himself on his clever schemes and collection of secrets.  His Tell, or the characteristic that marks him as moon-chosen, is the white tips of his hair which is reminiscent of a fox’s tail.

He wanders in and out of Kalara’s tale as he pleases!  You’ll no doubt be seeing more of him before too long.

The inspiration for Laughing Fox’s animal shape is the gorgeous cross fox.  Just look at this majestic creature!

Week 2 – A Meal In Creation

Next comes a fun topic featuring food from the setting!  This meal comes from the celebration of Plentimon’s Day, the god of gambling.  Inspired by the real-world King Cake from Mardi Gras, those who find the Plentimon’s dice in their serving of cake will be crowned royalty for the day and have the god’s blessing for the next year.

Plentimon Day’s feast consists of goat kabobs marinated in yogurt and spices, with a almond-based cakes in the shape of a D6 die with slivers of almonds to represent the numbers.  The dice cakes all have different flavors stuffed inside to emphasize the Plentimon’s theme of gambling. You never know if you’ll get bitter or sweet flavors!  Finally, you can’t have a feast day in Gem without an alcoholic drink, in this case, date wine.

I’m a big fan of the aesthetic of the food in Monster Hunter, which definitely shows in my choice of design for this dish.

Week 3 – Fave Charm

This one started off as a Fave Charm (or magic ability), but quickly got off-topic with drawing FX for Kalara’s anima aura, the glowing halo of energy which appears when she channels divine energies at different levels of intensity.  When she’s at ‘fall blast’, a phoenix appears rising behind her, an animal that is part of her personal symbolism as someone who rose from her near-death to take on the world.  This will be my first time drawing an FX sheet and it was quite fun. I will definitely be adding them to Kalara’s proper reference sheet!

Week 4 – Fave Fashion

For the final topic, I was going to keep it ‘simple’ and sketch a concept for glass armor, but the topic ran away with me and I ended up with a full portrait!  The glass remnants of the magnificent buildings of old Chiaroscuro magically retain their luster and strength and are usually used for sturdy, but sleek armor.  I figure why not armor AND a gown for Kalara?

This portrait also provided me with an opportunity to paint Kalara in a more realistic style, as well as test out a new style I’m currently evolving which combines a soft and painterly look with hard-edged elements for a look inspired by Klimt and tarot cards.

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Fave Fashion was undoubtedly my favorite topic from this year!  Which one is yours?

As ever, if you like Kalara or any of the imagery I put out for the Exalted Art Challenge, check out the Exalted tabletop rpg from Onyx Path Publishing and Kalara’s stories and art at The Uncrucified or check out the older Exalted Art Challenge collections for art you may have missed!

Now that the EAC is done, I’m turning my attention towards some fun surprises I’m working on for this Patreon’s re-launch and the topic you all chose for me for NaNoWriMo (Flame of the Sultana).

Till next time!  Stay tuned for more writing and art peeks from Rabs’ NaNoWriMo adventures.

♥ Ang

September 2022 Sketchbook – Rabs & Kalara Character Designs

This weekend, we put the first boxes in the new studio and I’m so excited!  Studio pics to follow in the near future.  In the meanwhile, I’ve been using the time between the seams to chip away at the character designs for Rabs and Kalara.  Character sheets have been my happy place lately!

Rabanne Arore, Big Muscles, Big Heart

I wanted to challenge myself with Rabs’ design with a muscular body type and her glowing hair. She’s really captured my muse with her fun tatts, color schemes, and themes, so you’ll definitely be seeing more of her in my sketchbook!  This particular piece was meant to be in the style of a more traditional ttrpg rulebook style source book image, as well as a base for me to put different clothing on.  More fashions are sure to follow!

Watch a time lapse of how I created this piece, along with Rabs’ tattoo sheet here.  She was painted using the Acrylic brushes in Procreate on the ipad.

Kalara Vadras, The Uncrucified

I meant to save this image for a proper release with a full sheet of FX and turnarounds, but our house move is taking forever, so I thought I’d share a WIP!  You guys got to learn a little bit more about Kalara last month via Fantasy Indies August.  She’s been inspiring me for years since our Exalted ttrpg game, so it was about time she got a new look!

This new look captures more of the elegant merchant negotiator she becomes after her years on the run from the Guild.  

Kalara’s old look as a reminder:

More to come when I explore the rest of her character sheet!  I’m especially excited about drawing the phoenix on the back of her jacket.  The redesign was also created in Procreate using the Studio Ink Pen for color flatting to achieve a comic book feel, as this design is meant as a precursor to a prospective webcomic for the character.

Both Rabs and Kalara utilized helpful stock poses from the awesome Jookpubstock, who has been an excellent resource for inspiration!

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Art is going to slow down even more over the next month while we move our small boxes over to the new place ourselves, with the big stuff being handled by the movers.  There’s a light at the end of the tunnel finally and I’m excited to really settle properly into a new permanent studio art cave!

♥ Ang

Fantasy Indies August 2022 – THE UNCRUCIFIED

I took part in the Fantasy Indies August event during August, so I thought I’d share a little bit about that here with folks!  While you all mainly see the Artist side of me, I also love to write and have been dabbling with several novel ideas between the margins of life over the past few years.  

The Uncrucified has been at the forefront of my endeavors as a Writer and you all have probably noticed the muse inspiration overflow with all the Kalara art that’s flooded here lately!  She’s been the comfort subject for my muse while I’ve been on this long hiatus for shoulder surgery / burnout / life chaos.

The topics for August:

Rather than bombard you guys by pasting all of these topics in, I figured I’d tease you with some of my favorite topics I answered during the event and invite you to check out the full thread.

Introduce Yourself & Your WIP

I’m currently working on The Uncrucified, the tale of an upstart from the desert slums named Kalara. She was chosen to lead a world in chaos, but she has scores to settle first!

Yup, it’s a TTRPG story inspired by the Exalted RPG, but I hope to make it readable for more than just Exalted fans!  There’ll be romance, grudges, gunslinging, & more.

WIP Mood Board 

I’m an obsessive board maker! These are just a few of the images I’ve drawn of my MC Kalara plus location inspo for the stained glass ruins of Chiaroscuro, the magitech desert of Exalted’s South, & her hometown, the underground city of Gem.

If you’d like to see more of THE UNCRUCIFIED’s in-depth mood board, I host it on  Pinterest where I’ve been adding to them for literal years. Sub-divided by character, locale, etc. because this soothes my artist brain!

Book BFFs

I’m open to suggestions! A beta reader for my story has told me Kalara gave them NAME OF THE WIND vibes (which I haven’t read). I’d love for my chars to have the same larger than life charisma of the chars in THE LIONS OF AL-RASSAN (which I have read & loved).

I have a much easier time comparing THE UNCRUCIFIED to anime instead. Sinbad from MAGI mirrors Kalara with his wish to build a trade network & navigate political waters using his amazing charisma, while trying not to lose himself.  Not to mention MAGI’s combat is VERY Exalted!

I’m also looking to Fog Hill of the Five Elements for combat vibes. It oozes over the top stylish badassery!

BLOOD OF ZEUS also strikes me for being very Exalted with its sexy elegant character designs, warring gods, interpersonal drama, & pissed off ancient imprisoned deities.

Toss me more inspiration suggestions, fam! Especially my long-suffering beta readers. What does THE UNCRUCIFIED make you think of, as far as inspirational book/media BFFs?

I’ve already gotten some amazing suggestions from fans for Book BFFs for my story, so I’ve gathered them into a wishlist. Feel free to mine it for inspiration and good reads!  Featuring clever protags, underdog heroes, geopolitical drama, & more.

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Read the full topic list + my answers here for the full effect of posts, memes, and animated GIFs.  I’m sure this won’t be the last time I talk about my stories here.  I hope you all enjoy this glimpse at the other Muse in my brain!

♥ Ang

August 2022 Sketchbook – Tattoos, Persephone, & more + Moving Update!

August has been another hectic month of negotiating house contracts, inspections, and more after losing multiple bids.  Things are looking up as we finally close on a house we love in just a few days!  That means, barring any last minute disasters, we’ll be relocating to our very own place with room enough for a studio, game room, and more over the course of September.  It’s been an unexpected dream come true to find such a big place within our budget!

We’re so relieved and excited!  I can’t wait to have space again so I can resume my big plans for my Birthstone Goddesses.  It’ll be time to wrap up this project which has been on hiatus during this whole process.

In the meanwhile, I’ve let the muse off the leash to explore whatever helps soothe my brain during all of this chaos.  That’s included more D&D character exploration, a Persephone concept, character class homework, and more.  Join me for an August sketch dump of wondrous variety!

More Fire Genasi Gal!

You might recall the sketch of my Barbarian gal, Rabs, from last month’s sketchbook.   I’ve decided to render her in a more painterly style to match the overall mood of official D&D art.  I usually work in a more line heavy style, so this is a challenge, especially in Procreate where I’m still somewhat unfamiliar with the painterly tools.  I’m getting some great results with the Acrylic and Gouache brushes, thus far!  I love the blending and subtle texture of them.

Before I could finish up Rabs’ armor base, I figured it was a good idea to actually define her tattoos in a template so I’m not always drawing them by hand every time. Radinsky’s template provided an amazing resource for this!  Here are all of Rabs’ bits and bobs shown together.  Hooray for being able to copy and paste these tatts as needed from here on out!

Sidenote:  The emergence of a hibiscus flower was accidental as it came about from mirroring her forehead sigil 5 times. I love happy accidents like that!

The captions read as follows:

Rabanne’s Tattoos

Limned in glowing ink that appears like molten lava in Rabanne’s skin, these tattoos symbolize her accomplishments & the decorative flare of noble class Genasi from their oasis city-kingdom.

Back Tattoo – Symbolizes the 5 ruling sisters of the Arore family, with Hibiscus as their symbol of state.

Arm Tattoos – The V-shaped emblems of the Tempest Heart Barbarians

Dread Queen Persephone

Over in the Fine Art section of my brain, I’ve been chipping away at a portrait set of Persephone to practice my traditional methods once I have a fully unpacked studio again.  I’ll be doing a portrait set of Persephone’s Summer and Winter forms showing her changes from Summer Maiden to Dread Queen.  

Of course, I wanted to work up her spooky Winter look first!  These thumbnails play with the concept of making parts of her form skeletal and translucent through her clothing.  I have my favorite right now, but what’s yours?

Hoping to work this one up in acrylics, color pencil, and possibly gouache in the hopefully not too distant future!

Character Mentor Doodles

I’ve been dabbling in character design as a supplement to my illustration, which brought me back to reading Tom Bancroft’s Creating Characters with Personality*.  His book challenges you to design a cast of characters from an old west setting and this was the first lesson where we define the overall silhouettes utilizing our understanding of shape language to give them each their own look without the details.

This was a fun diversion and a good way to test my comfort zones! I’ll probably circle back to this book later on after Even Amundsen’s Character Design Class.

*(Clicking the book link gives me a little kickback, if ya like!)

Fantasy Indies August

Finally, joining this month’s Fantasy Indies August hashtag event on Twitter allowed me to share a little bit of my writerly side!  I’ve been sharing snippets, mood boards, and more about The Uncrucified, a ttrpg inspired story I’ve been writing for the past few years (and that has inspired much of the side project art you’ve been seeing around here lately!).

Feel free to check out the full thread to learn more about this story and more.  I’ll be sharing an article gathering all of the posts in one article for your convenience once the event wraps up.

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That’s all for now!  My muse has been in overdrive all over the place, as it usually is with stress and chaos around our living situation.  Here’s hoping that by the next post, I have some good news about the new digs and future prospects!

Catch ya then!

♥ Ang

July 2022 Sketchbook – D&D Doodles & Kalara’s Sigil

It’s been a tough journey so far with house-hunting.  The market is crazy right now and we’re still on the hunt!  And so I’ve been channeling my woes into various comfort projects, mainly my D&D and Exalted TTRPG characters.

D&D Doodles

Ever since The Unmerry Band‘s adventures in the Black Pits wrapped up, I’ve been meaning to mine our campaign for practice, starting with a level progression chart of all our characters showing how their armor and wardrobe evolved over time.  This will feature our characters from their wee fragile Level 0 forms all the way up to Level 8 where our story ended (for now).

(The Unmerry Band lineup!)

I started off with the character I played in the campaign, Rabanne, a Fire Genasi Barbarian with a big heart and a big hammer!  I had some excellent pose help from Jookpubstock that acted as a base for her hammer pose.  Rather than stick with the Vox Machina inspired style of the party banner, I’ve returned to my more default semi-realistic style which is the one I want to nurture should I ever submit a portfolio to Wizards of the Coast.  Sketched in Procreate on the ipad with the Peppermint pencil brush in the Sketching category.

Rabs has been bulked up a bit for this image, as I wanted to accentuate her tall and imposing figure more than her initial rendering.  The pose on the left is going to be the base ‘paper doll’ pose I’ll be repeating for Levels 1 – 8, while the gesture sketches on the right represent an exploration of her younger level 0 self where she was training in secret as a gangly teen in the harem.

PROTIP!  The rectangle under her feet helps me to ground the figure and keep the perspective plane in check, as it’s easy to lose track at what angle the feet are supposed to be at if you don’t ground the figure somehow.

The rest of the characters will get this treatment too and will most likely follow the poses of the party banner, with the exception of Calumny (the Tiefling), because booty out does not make a good pose for showing off most clothing, though usually I wouldn’t have Cal any other way!

I also want to shine a light on the art that inspired me to do this.  How cool is this classic party line-up from Frida Bergholtz?  I hope mine will come out this fantastic!

Kalara’s Sigil

My gal, Kalara, has popped up on here a LOT lately.  She’s definitely a comfort to my muse with her story of overcoming adversity and working towards goodness in the world!  I’ve been working on and off on a novel featuring the events of her life from our Exalted RPG campaign for years now.  I’ve been pushing for a return to this endeavor while I have this nexus of ‘in-between projects till the move’ and so it occurred to me to finally put an official ‘label’ on her project.

It was time to make a brand guide and a logo!

Not every project needs this, mind, but I wanted to do this for The Uncrucified since I have larger plans for its future, including art packs and Storytellers Vault resources for players inspired by her story.  And thus, The Uncrucified needs a logo so I can elegantly tie all these parts together!

It also works so beautifully because this symbol will serve as Kalara’s in-world mark of her Guild as well.  I’ve shared a deeper look at this story’s brand guide in my Patreon’s Discord server, for those who might be curious.

For now, enjoy the many iterations I made as I attempted to channel Kalara’s themes of the Eclipse Caste mark (the glowing symbol that represents her magical abilities), the phoenix feather which represents her resilience, and the flame which represents her cultural identity and rebellious personality.

For me, logo design is a bit like obsessively writing all over your walls going slowly insane until the secret verse is revealed.  I don’t enjoy it much, but I wanted to design this one, myself, and so I was happy when I finally arrived at something that felt close to the ‘truth’!  More often I know what I don’t want than what I do when designing logos, and so the process is more about exploration and elimination.

And here we have the 3 semi-finalists!

I’ve already chosen a final, but I’d be curious which one resonates most with you all! It’s always fascinating to see what shapes others interpret in these mutable symbols.

That’s all I have for today!  It’s been a slow month as we tour houses as often as we can and try to plan these important next steps. I hope you all don’t mind my randomnness here!  I’m always worried it makes this a very confusing Patreon to be at hah.

Till next time!

♥ Ang

Sketchbook June 2022 – D&D, Gideon the Ninth, & OC Art

I’ve been slowly edging back into working for longer on art, but still haven’t managed to do more than a few sketches lately.  I don’t mind it, though, as not being able to work on serious projects has given me the ‘excuse’ I needed to let my muse off the leash to explore whatever fun topics came to mind!

D&D Sketch – Rabs the Fire Genasi

I really fell in love with my Barbarian from The Unmerry Band from the campaign we recently finished playing.  She graciously volunteered for a warm-up sketch to explore an extreme perspective shot.  Her tatts and eyes are always my favorite details to draw with their dramatic glow!

I hope to re-visit the band again sometime with more explorations of the dramatic scenes from their campaign as well as a level progression chart so I can practice drawing armor.

Gideon the Ninth – Harrow & Gideon Portraits

Lately I’ve been trying to catch up on my Fantasy genre reading.  Gideon the Ninth was high on that list (check out my spoiler free review if you like).  It was a fun ride full of skeletons, sarcasm, and murder and I really enjoyed it!  The combination of mystic necromancy and scifi really inspired me and thus these sketches were born!

I chose to draw Harrow as she appears in full Ninth House pomp in Gideon the Ninth.  Her goth skelly aesthetic really appeals to my sensibilities!

I’ve pictured Gideon here with her rapier, claw, and signature badass glasses.

My idea was to make portraits as if they were from a visual novel like The Arcana.  These were so much fun that I may have to properly polish them up sometime!  If you’re a Locked Tomb fan, who would you like to see me sketch next?

OC Art – Redesigned Kalara

Some of you may remember Kalara from my Exalted ttrpg adventures.  I had a lot of fun coming up with fashions during her Shirt Cut Meme, which made me realize she hasn’t had a new look in 8 years!

[WIP of the line art for Kalara’s revised look.

I hope to do a whole other article talking about her new design later once I’m finished with a new reference sheet, but for now, enjoy the sneak peek of the line art for her new design.  I’m stoked for how much more sophisticated and dramatic this new look is for her!

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Lastly, all of these sketches were done in Procreate, as curled up on the couch with the ipad has been the most physically comfortable way for me to draw lately.

And this has been another month of rest, healing, and stress-free sketching!  I hope to inch back into more serious work in July.  I’d love to keep practicing with warm-up sketches when I can, however.  It felt good to do fun things that don’t have strings attached to any major launches or paychecks.

The Locked Tomb has been an especially inspiring series, so I hope to keep doing more portraits!  Have you all read these books?  What other cool Fantasy books should I be reading right now?  Let me know in comments or feel free to come chat books with me in my Patreon Discord server!  There’s a whole channel for geeking out about books and media.

That’s all for now!  I’ll have another announcement soon about this Patreon’s move to temporary Tip Jar status.  I know this isn’t much, but I hope you all enjoyed the art treats anyways!

♥ Ang

New Art! D&D Party – The Unmerry Band + Hiatus Begins!

EDIT: I re-formatted this article to have more character backstory and art notes for your enjoyment.

EDIT 2:  I’ve added in a 4th party member, the NPC Dorn!  Check out the article for more notes about him.

After being massively inspired by The Legend of Vox Machina‘s fun animated series, I felt so homesick for D&D, which we had to give up because of COVID and health risks.

Luckily, our friends hooked my husband and myself into a game online in Roll20 and now I have SO much fodder for tabletop art to share!  Starting with this party banner portrait inspired by the LoVM’s animated series style.  It was a nice break from my usual stuff that allowed me to indulge my inner geek for a bit!

Allow me to introduce in their first appearance in the Underdark arena – THE UNMERRY BAND!  This disparate group of adventurers has been unwillingly drawn into a game of death put on for a mad sorcerer’s entertainment in a gladiator’s arena.  They must learn to work together or perish!

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Cal the Entertainer

Backstory: Meet Calumny “Cal”, a traveling faire entertainer and voracious flirt of the party. He made his living doing trick archery shots for crowds, spending his time off stealing hearts and having mindless fun before he was unwillingly conscripted into the Underdark arena. He slept with the wrong person who chose him as a compelling new ‘addition’ to the Pits’ unwilling cast of warriors.

He is currently mourning the death of a half-orc ally in the arena after the two really hit it off and plots to get rich and settle scores once he escapes.

Art Notes: When it comes to character designs, I enjoy including a ‘keepsake’ element which signifies a character’s past. For the other party members, this was a sentimental object, but for Cal, it was his blue eyes.

He inherited them from a family that cast him off for being a Tiefling. He has been quite secretive about this past, preferring to deflect such serious topics with his usual flash and charm.

I also wanted more unique horn bling for him than the bog standard horn caps, so I thought horn piercings seemed fitting!  I also used this excellent stock pose from Adorkastock.

I’m looking forward to gaining his trust (if we all live long enough)!

Cal is played by my good friend, Hayley.

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Dorn, the Vengeful

Backstory: Dorn Il-Khan, the Butcher of Barrow, or so many would believe. He pledged his sword to a demon of vengeance to hunt the one who betrayed him and besmirched his name. However, instead of dying for revenge, Dorn heroically sacrificed himself to save the party, particularly Cal, the Tiefling he’d started to grow fond of during our time imprisoned in the arena.

It was fun to get under this NPC’s skin as a player. He was a gruff kind of guy, but we did our best to slip through the cracks of his demeanor to find the decent guy underneath. Here’s to you, Dorn!

Upon his death, his Demon Patroness of Vengeance claimed his soul and returned to the infernal planes, but perhaps that’s not the end of his tale? We shall see (maybe?). The DM hinted that Cal may be taking a journey to find his soul in Avernus and that could be quite the wild trip, indeed.

Art Notes:  I struggled a lot with Dorn because I’m rather used to drawing lithe elegant characters.  He was a nice change of pace with a wide orcish body type and heavy plate mail which I also have no experience drawing. I learned so much with this portrait, including the fact I cannot avoid perspective grids if I want to make weapons look right.

Dorn was played by the DM as an enemy turned ally NPC.

  • See detail shots and watch a timelapse of this piece here.

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Rabanne, Flame of the Sultana

Backstory: Once a princess of the Fire Genasi sultanate, Rabanne (aka Rabs), gave up her title to pursue her own destiny away from the mechanations of the palace where she never felt suited for the title or the responsibilities as one called to be a Storm Herald.

Rabs has become the ‘heart’ of the party, the caring ‘big sister’ who has done her best to keep the peace when personalities clash so that the party can focus on survival in the arena. She hides some deep wells of violence, however, never feeling more happy than she does when she’s facing death in battle and proving to herself she is the master of her own Rage.

I look forward to watching Rabs grow as she experiences the world outside the gilded cage she grew up in and learns to trust herself more!

Rabs is played by myself (as evidenced by my rambling backstory lol).

Art Notes: Though you can’t see it, her ‘keepsake’ is a blue bead that symbolizes Valor, a sign of rank and virtue she was granted by her sister, the Sultana, for her role in deposing their cruel father, the previous Sultan of the Fire Genasi. She wears this bead on a bracelet which shows her rank as a Burning Saint, a humanitarian organization she joined when she decided to leave the palace for other prospects.

Rabs’ hammer was passed on to her from a Dwarven Queen who saved her life in the arena. It reads in Tolkien-inspired dwarven runes “The Badass Queen of the Deep”. This magical hammer returns when thrown, while Rabs’ Gauntlets of Fiery Defense grant her a defense boost and ignite any of her weapons with flame while she’s Raging.

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Mint, the Bladesinger

Backstory: Ariminthia (aka Mint) grew up in a family of prolific wizards in the city, but never quite fit in with any of them because of her boorish interests in martial arts and unladylike activities. The only person in her family she ever got along with was her twin brother.

Unfortunately, Mint left him and her family behind after she was kidnapped. Instead of paying her ransom, her parents chose to abandon her. At this point, she decided to join her kidnappers, a small band of mercs who were in over their heads.

She ended up in the arena after a shady new member of the merc band sold her out to the arena’s ringmaster after learning about her talent with Bladesinging.

Mint is the most intelligent member of the party and tends to have her mind in the long game while the rest of us are ruled by emotion or money. She’s also got quite a temper and still acts like a noblelady with her condescending attitude, at times.

Art Notes: Mint’s keepsake is the handmade crow pendant inspired by their family crest given to her by her brother which she wears around her neck. For her look, I combined the frills of someone with finer taste in clothing with the sleek leathers of a finesse fighter.

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Are you all in a game right now too (or have a character you’re excited to play later)?  Tell me about your characters in the comments so I can enjoy hearing about them while I’m in recovery!

Surgery/Hiatus Officially Begins!

After months of being on a waiting list, the surgery to fix a torn tendon in my dominant arm is FINALLY happening!  I’ll be nesting in recovery with a pile of books and Netflix for possibly up to 6 weeks (hopefully less if I recover quickly), with physical therapy to follow.

It means I’ll be quiet here more than usual and that you all can expect to not be charged for another month (possibly more, depending on how my recovery goes).  However, this also means those of you who are Annual Patrons will have additional time added to your memberships!

Either myself or my husband will pop on here and make a post to let everyone know it went ok.  Hopefully see you all sooner rather than later!

Till next time, enjoy the geekery. 😀


Ang

Hiatus News + New Art! The Pirate’s Kiss

Oh wow we’re almost there already!  My shoulder surgery looms on April 8th and I have been cleared by the doctors so that everything is set and ready to go.  I have paused my pledges again for April so I can focus on healing and the long recovery!

In the meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying the prolonged sabbatical and using it as a time to indulge in marketing classes and in some exploratory art.  (And also bodily disappearing into the world of Horizon Forbidden West, which is one of my favorite series of all time!).

One of those aforementioned art explorations was a gift for a dear friend, Sam Hogg, who has created such lovely art of my characters in the past.  I have been wanting to paint her characters myself for a long time!  I’m thankful for this downtime to finally have that opportunity and to enjoy slowing down so I could enjoy my journey through a painting without rushing.  This was also an excellent opportunity to experiment with Procreate’s acrylic brushes!

One of my favorite pieces by Sam featuring Ramah from my story, Song of Exile.

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“The Pirate’s Kiss” features Eidy & Kalam from Sam’s story, The Whaler Girl. Eidy is a powerful Daichen who can control water, while Kalam is the pirate lord who seeks to harness her abilities and mold her for his own ends.  I’m looking forward to seeing Sam explore more of their tumultuous relationship in her stories!

Inspired by Klimt’s The Kiss, which always struck me as being about a woman swept up in a dangerous romance, which was the perfect root inspiration for these characters.

You can also watch a 1 minute time lapse of this video here.

The full piece:

The detail:

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I hope you all have enjoyed my experimental explorations of late!  I also have some D&D-inspired portraits in a Legend of Vox Machina-inspired style that I’d love to share soon as well, granted I can finish them before my surgery happens.  We shall see!

For now, enjoy the new art!

Ang

New Art! The Crucified Dreamer

I’ve been enjoying my hiatus so far by catching up on studies and allowing the muse to wander where she may.  This has resulted in some interesting art that doesn’t quite fit in with my Goddess gals, but that’s ok!  I thought you all might enjoy it, regardless.

Vicky Pandora hosted an online masquerade ball called the OC Gala, inspired by the over the top fashions of the Met Gala.  All original characters were invited to attend with the theme “Vampire Masquerade”!  This was the perfect excuse for me to indulge in more fan art of an alternate universe version of my Exalted character, Kalara, who lost herself to the dark side of being a Solar.

The Crucified Dreamer’s Story

Her delighted laughter rings in the ears of those she has marked for death. Many revolutionaries have fallen to her seductions, The Dreamer delighting in watching their ‘beautiful deaths’. All in service of her Deathlord, the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears.

For she was once a revolutionary herself, one who dreamed of reform until The Guild crucified her for a murder she did not commit. Between life and death, The Lover saved her, gifting her the power of an Abyssal Deathknight. The Dreamer wears tears in devotion to her Deathlord, her skin the blue of a corpse. Her crucifixion wounds adorned by henna and chain will never heal.

The first painting of The Dreamer for the Gala.  After as cool as this came out, I couldn’t resist doing a second image with her full outfit:

And a close-up of The Dreamer’s face because I think this is one of the best faces I’ve drawn in awhile.  It seems I have finally mastered the nebulous mystery that is the nose at a 3/4ths angle!

I’ve also released a treat for my Patrons!  If you’re pledging at any level, you can see the narrated video timelapse of the creation of this piece in Procreate.  This video will become public next month (March 11th), but everyone pledging at any amount here will get to watch it early here!

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I hope you enjoy this foray into different territory!  I have another painting I hope to feature next month that’s another divergence from the norm here, though March pledges will still be paused now that I remembered to do so.

Then it’s T-minus one month to my shoulder surgery.  Eep!  I’m not sure what I’ll share here at that point, but perhaps a bit of the writing I plan to do and my progress with my marketing and art classes in the meantime, should I be able enough to write!

Till then, enjoy the Dreamer!  And if you’re so inclined, feel free to share with me in the comments what YOUR OC might wear to the Vampire Masquerade!

♥ Ang

This Year On My Patreon + Year In Art Wrap-Up 2021

It’s still hard to believe this year has almost ended!  It started out rough (COVID, moving, burnout, quitting conventions, etc), but has ended in an amazingly positive place (Kev’s good health + new job, etc.).

I didn’t produce a lot of art this year, but I was also making a lot of invisible moves in the background to overhaul my web presence, sites, and shops.  I used a lot of what I learned this year to make big steps towards building a more sustainable art biz for myself without having to rely on conventions, which is looking to be a permanent change for me as we prioritize Kev’s health and risk factors.

Our Year On Patreon

Your support here has done so much for me, especially during the rough times!  Not only that, but every word of encouragement here in the comments or over in my Discord server have really meant a lot.  Every word of encouragement really keeps an artist going!

Fans and Patrons have helped me do the following this year:

  • Pay for lifetime subs for my websites’ themes and gallery plugins so I can save money in the long run
  • Up my budget for ads, which drives sales and helps new folks discover my art
  • Stay stable and have more peace of mind while we’ve endured struggles and medical bills
  • Afford the Making Art Work class, which has been so helpful for improving my biz this year

My Major Milestones This Year

  • Built a new site for the Gemstone Goddesses 
  • Started laying the foundation for the Birthstone Goddesses Calendar & Art Book
  • Participated in my very first Tarot deck with Temperance 
  • Started learning how to use Clip Studio Paint, an amazing tool

What’s Next?

I’m excited for next year, where I hope to keep making steps forward to finish my biggest ambitions for the Birthstone Goddesses and to keep pushing my art skills.  I have a pretty big list from class of things I’d like to start rolling out for the Goddesses (ie. pendants, totes, gift sets, etc.).

But first, I’m going to relax for the holidays and enjoy a much-needed quiet end of the year.

Thanks so much, as ever, for being here and for all who have supported this Patreon or have just been encouraging fans.  I know I keep repeating this, but it’s little things like that which keep an artist going, especially when times get rough!

Thanks for your kind words and thoughts.  I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the year!

♥ Ang