Tag: Art Process

Exalted Character of the Week Vol 2 + Bonus Valentine’s Comic

Until May rolls around and this Patreon is re-vamped with a brand new theme, I’Il be sharing the fun random arts I do, like the next collection of character portraits for the Exalted Character of the Week challenge I host over at the Forge of Wonders.  It was another adventure in experimenting with different styles and loosening up after so many years of working in a more rigid style.

The Cultivar of Bloodied Sunsets for Kess 

At the same time that The Cultivar was chosen for the next Challenge, my husband started playing Persona 3 Reload, which put a whole new coat of paint on top of a game that he loved growing up.  I’ve always enjoyed the sleek and appealing designs of ATLUS’ games and wanted to see if I could try to bring that visually stunning nature to a portrait of The Cultivar.  How did I do?

Apparently I subconsciously matched her outfit with her girlfriend’s outfit from an earlier challenge, which is a fun bit of accidental serendipity.

Fia for Morpheous XO

Next up, we have Fia, the No Moon Lunar witch.  I was originally going to keep this portrait as a simple pencil portrait, which I’m quite pleased with Procreate’s graphite simulation.  But then the color tempted me!  I tried to keep it subtle with the pops of her dramatic red hair tips.  I ended up with a look very close to what I can do with copic marker, traditionally, which is neat!

Moira for MissSunnySweden

Lastly, we have Moira for MissSunnySweden, a kickbutt Dawn Caste with a tiger theme.  I’ve long considered smiles my weakness when drawing people, but I was able to capture a delighted bloodlust smile without too much trouble.  I didn’t have much time to draw Fia and Moira, so I aimed for more simplified ‘token-style’ portraits.

All the portaits you see here were painted in Procreate, which has become my mainstay of late since it let’s me curl up in a comfortable spot on the couch to work.

Bonus Valentine’s Day Exalted Comic

I created one last bit of fun Exalted art in February where we were challenged by another member of the Forge to draw our characters on a date.  My character, Kalara, was paired up with the Abyssal, The Cultivar, for a date, which triggered a fun idea for a whole mini comic I could practice my visual storytelling skills with.

I wasn’t able to finish the mini comic with everything happening with health and job woes last month, but I’m hoping to clean this up at some point for practice.  For now, enjoy the sketches for the comic and the quick final panel I did work up just for fun!

Premise:  The Cultivar and Kalara go on a date!

Kalara shows up to the cafe, where the Cultivar awaits, the two of them competing to show off who has the highest Resources rating (basically means how rich they are in this setting).  They ‘battle’ through various things, from fancy tea vs coffee, to fancy favorite foods, to the final battle – Who will cover the check???

Eventually, Kalara wins the wealth battle, but The Cultivar gets the upper hand…which my gal is actually pretty okay with.  There are worse, more boring ways to die, right? 

The final panel:

(This one was drawn on Procreate, but word bubbles added in Clip Studio Paint)


I hope you’ve enjoyed this little art diversion!  I have more serious projects to finish up by the end of the month, but these character challenges are always a fun way to stretch my legs between more intense projects.

– Ang

Mermay 2021

MerMay 2021

I have a confession to make.  As a young budding artist, I had a unicorn phase.  But what most people don’t know is that coinciding with and shortly after the unicorn phase, I also had a mermaid phase!  Okay, I won’t say they were phases because I still love these staples of high fantasy.  I couldn’t let May’s MerMay art event go by without drawing at least one mermaid!

For those who haven’t heard of it, MerMay challenges you to draw mermaids inspired by various prompts.  I didn’t have the time to participate this year, so I chose to do one really cool mermaid instead.  For this mermaid, I had everyone play the Let’s Make A Mermaid game over on Twitter!

Commenters on my Twitter suggested a purple and teal-haired frilly tailed mermaid with koi & tan skin with a goth aesthetic. Poor thing is also afraid of the dark & a bit absent-minded!

Our bioluminescent gal, Lucy, here is the result!  I painted Lucy in Procreate on the iPad with a looser style than I’m used to.  I’ve been trying to break my reliance on tedious line art for my own health.  The results were quite fun!

I really need to try this event properly some month!  What fun I could have with mermaids, octomaids, and more.

What’s your favorite kind of Mermaid?  Did you do MerMay this year or enjoy drawing seafolk?  I’d love to peek at your creations!

♥ Ang

Secret Sketchbook – The Woven Path’s Temperance Part 1 – Research and Inspiration

Enjoy an exclusive Patrons-only look at my creative notes & more for my version of the Temperance card for the upcoming Woven Path Tarot deck we’re putting together over at the Changeling Artist Collective!

This article includes my mood boards, research sources, materials list, etc. for thumbnailing & inspiration. May it be useful and inspiring for others pursuing their own Tarot inspirations!

Once you’ve pledged any amount to my Patreon, you can read the article here. Every bit of support helps me to keep doing what I love!

New Art! The Cobra Witcher of Ofir

And now for something completely different – my first painting of 2020!  Seeing The Witcher adapted into a tv series on Netflix re-ignited my old love for this fantasy world, so I thought I’d take a break with my own fan homage.  I couldn’t resist hopping on the Witcher OC bandwagon with a Witcher concept of my own – a Witcher of Ofir!

Ofir is a country south of Nilfgaard consisting of numerous desert tribes and kingdoms united under a Malliq.  It is a land of great cities said to be even more grand than those of Nilfgaard.  

This gal is from the Ofieri School of the Cobra (a school of my own creation), who train Witchers in alchemy, oils, and poisons made to fight monsters.  

I don’t have a name for this gal yet, as she was very much a spur of the moment inspiration! I get the sense that she’s:

  • Extremely sarcastic
  • Casually talks about horrible things
  • Very picky about what poisons go into her body

Comment with your suggestions!

The Witchers of Ofir

DISCLAIMER! This is a fan concept for how Witchers might operate in Ofir.  It is not canon and I have not read all of the novels yet, just the first three, so there may be other obscure lore of Ofir I might have missed.

The Witchers of Ofir are not feared as their counterparts in the Northern Realms, but are revered as experts.  However, royal decree states that only a certain number of Witchers may exist at any one time, the Malliq’s subtle population control of these powerful beings.  When one falls, another is chosen from among volunteers to take their place.  

Witchers of Ofir undergo their own unique Trial of the Grasses which is said to be the origin of the techniques used in the Northern Realms and lauded to be superior, resulting in more powerful mutations with less side effects and lethality to the subjects of the Trial.

Witcher Gear

Ofieri Witchers also do not use medallions to detect magic, but rather sense it through the markings tattooed on their faces, which also identify their School of origin.  Created with infused dyes, these tattoos grow warm and tingle in the presence of magic and are iridescent in appearance.

Ofir is the homeland of masterful Runewright mages who have perfected the technique of enhancing the properties of blades with runic symbols.  The Witchers of Ofir benefit from this talent, each individual granted a unique weapon imbued with runes upon their initiation and survival of the Trial of the Grasses.  

Work-in-Progress Pics

I created this image in Photoshop with an experimental method of using multiple adjustment layers and effects.  I’ll be uploading a wallpaper pack featuring this gal for all of my Patrons, plus a PSD for my $5 and up Patrons to study and enjoy!

References for Ofir from the world of The Witcher. Including the Witcher comic “Of Flesh and Flame”, the Witcher 3 video game, and excellent swordcraft of Kaer Morhen Forge.

Exploratory sketching. I dropped the hood so she would read less like an Assassin’s Creed character.

Trying out different hairstyles.  I chose the style she ended up with since it reminded me of the cowl of a cobra, which is symbolic of her school.  I imagine she could also use the silver hair thong as a garrote in a pinch as well! 

Final line art.

Completed color flats.

A collage of all the details I spent entirely too long on.

I’ve been missing doing more traditional dark fantasy work, so this was a nice break from my usual art mode.

And now back to our regularly scheduled program of whimsical Art Nouveau ladies!  I hope you enjoyed this brief diversion into my geek love.

♥ Ang

Sketch Diary – The Gift Giver Part 3 – Painting

This week has been a haze of coffee and late nights powered by holiday cookies!  The last entry ended with the finished line art, which ended up being revised several times during the course of trying to color the piece.

Luckily, digital pieces are more forgiving than watercolor! I was able to lengthen the fingers of the right hand (on the left), which seemed stubby despite being correct on the model  Sometimes when we convert photo references to line art, something is lost in translation and that is where our creative mind must work with what ‘looks’ right rather than what the photo shows, else you could end up with some very awkward anatomy.  A camera distorts things at times due to perspective and spacing, as well. 

One must also be aware of the fact that the photo reference is not the end all be all!  We must be willing to depart from it to get the most visually pleasing look, otherwise the image could end up a bit stiff!  Some artists will even hide the reference after the basics of the pose are finished, which I find is a good strategy for breaking reliance on reference.

The photo reference compared to the final line art.

The next phase of coloring began with a simple color test laying in flat colors.  I wanted the spirit to be the brightest thing in the image, so everything else was dark and saturated by comparison.  By the end, she ended up with more of a greenish blue shadow to help get the idea across that the green of the background was reflecting in her skin, despite her glow.  The starker shadow also helps her to feel more solid and rounded, despite her ghostliness, and accentuates her glow.

From this…to this:


…to this!
You can also view an animated time lapse of the video here:
All in all, I feel I’ve definitely hit a milestone with this fully digital piece!  Learning the ins and outs of Adjustment Layers and Layer Masks has really helped to open new doors for me and make my life easier.  With masks, I can save my original image without having to start over, should colors not look right. The Cintiq has also made coloring digitally feel 200% more natural than my old Intuos.  I have a good feeling that things will only get better from here on out!

Sketch Diary – The Gift Giver Part 1 – Concepts

It’s that time of year again!  Yes, that glorious time where I rush to finish my yearly Christmas card at the last minute!  Folks seemed to enjoy last year’s sketch diary for Lady Snowflake so I thought I’d document this year’s card in much the same fashion.

It all began with trying to figure out what I wanted to do this year!  Poinsettias?  Candles?  Holly leaves?  There are so many visual motifs to play with for the season!  I put up a poll on DeviantART asking what folks have enjoyed the best and art nouveau ladies won out!  It’s true, I admit my favorite Christmas card is still the 2nd one I ever did, entitled “Holiday Nouveau”.  I wanted to bring some of the warmth and style of this piece into the newest card.  Plus, I had never used big shiny packages and bows in a card before!   There’s nothing like beautifully wrapped presents to bring cheer and excitement to the season.

With art nouveau ladies and shiny packages in mind, thumbnailing began!
Out of all of these thumbnails, the top two resonated with me the most. They have the most interesting visual flow and dynamic posing.  The top right ended up being the winner for the fact it’s completely different than all of my previous cards, as well as the fact there is more interaction between the figure and the presents, giving it more of an active story in the piece rather than ‘dainty lady posing with packages’.


Mizzd-stock‘s beautiful holiday stock also lent a hand in inspiring me for this gal’s attire:
Such beautiful hair and costume! I’m sure to bring in some of
these motifs into the finished piece.


Next, I brought the thumbnail into Photoshop and sketched directly on top of it digitally.  It took a good deal of fiddling with window shapes before I arrived at this simple single rounded archway vignette.
The flow of the piece is doing what I want to it to right now, but the anatomy and awkward angle on the torso were completely baffling me!  So I took a few reference shots of my own to try and get a more solid grip on the anatomy.  I also set up a light on the floor to act as an unearthly glow in the faerie’s skin.
Sadly, I am neither thin nor faerie-like, so I’ll need to do some anatomy tweaking while I’m referencing this in my piece later.
And that’s it for the conceptualization phase!  Stay tuned! I’ll be blogging my progress throughout the week and hope to have this finished by next weekend. Wish me luck!
I’m gonna need it!