After I figured out my source inspiration for Lady of July in the Qixi and Tanabata festivals, she came together rather quickly! I had the perfect pose in mind to depict her free flying nature thanks to this lovely pose by dazzle-stock on DeviantART, which served as a base.
I arranged my elements, keeping in mind I wanted a simple background of a night sky to push the brightness of the lanterns and also to keep the image from being too busy since the main figure and elements were already very detailed. I changed the pose by adding her far arm and refining the arc of the body with a different pose for the legs. This gave her a stronger upwards arc and sense of direction.
Next, I moved on to the window design, which proved more challenging than I expected! The figure covers a good deal of the window, which meant the main decorative elements needed to be on the outer edge of the window. The window also needed to have larger shapes in it so that it didn’t overwhelm the complexity of the main elements, which was a challenge with the detailed nature of Larkspur!
I went through a few variations before I found something that felt right! These all felt a little too generic, with just the Larkspur and the lines. The 3rd design with the tiling started to put me on the right track with an Asian-inspired tile feel. I eventually settled on a final design inspired by the undulating star explosion caused by fireworks, which fit the themes of July so well! The Larkspur became much more simplified as tendrils of abstract elements emulating the ‘arms’ of a firework’s shape.
With all of my line art figured out, it’s time to enter the final phase of prep where I figure out the colors and finally transfer this painting to paper!
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