Virgo. The Zodiac Project.

So.  Today’s post is going to a bit random.  I’m going to be talking about a drawing/creation/thingy of mine that I’ve done over the year as a personal hobby project.  Personally, I’m quite proud of myself for actually completing it.  As you know, if you’ve read my About page, you’ll know that for many years I never really committed to anything, and that this blog is the first thing I have pledged (personally of course) to keep committed to, same as my writing.  SO I’m even more excited that I finished this project, since well, it’s something that started off with inspiration and grew until it became an entire set, and a major personal project.  There were so many drawbacks, so many things getting in the way I wasn’t sure that I’d get it done. But I did.  And then I realised, with the exception of two of the completed works, I wouldn’t be showing these to anyone, except those on my deviantart page.  And I felt like I’d be bragging too much if every friend I met, I jumped them with this.  Which I did do with some of my friends the weeks after I completed the project – oh gee my poor friends, they sure had to suffer my boasting through twelve images – except that I was really excited, and I know it can be considered bragging, but in my head it didn’t feel like it.  It felt more like, I’ve done something I’m proud of, I’ve achieved something, I want to tell the world about it.  

But you know, sometimes the things you do, don’t exactly translate to the people you tell, because they only see what’s on the surface and not the personal achievements underneath.  And you want to explain it to them, but it’s too much trouble, so in the end, the whole process of showing is wayyyy too much trouble, and you decide, nah, I’ll keep it to myself.  Which is what I did after the first initial weeks.   It’s not that all my friends thought I was bragging, no, rather they actually liked what I did and it was all positive.  It was only a few male specimen who thought every single one looked the same, and that they’ve all seen it before (I had actually shown them the previous stages), which is fair enough, since there is no denying that they are all the same.  They are a set of Twelve, so obviously they have the same design.

So let me tell you a little about the project.  Sometime way back in April I was testing out my drawing skills.   As a hobby artist, I don’t draw 24/7 because more often than not I don’t have any inspiration.  It’s just not the same as with words.  And sooooo when I started drawing in April again, it was random, and mainly because my laptop was out of commission temporarily (thank goodness it works again!!).  I really had no idea what to sketch, except that I had this hairstyle in my head I really wanted to try out.  So I sketched it.  Then I had a dress.  So I sketched that.  I kept drawing until I finished…with a pair of ram horns on her head.  I figured I’d call her Aries.  Then I started on twins.  So there was Gemini.  Then Cancer.  You know, I never though Cancer would be so hard to sketch.  And so on until I had a series of twelve, you guessed it, zodiacs.  Suddenly I had this idea to make them more interesting, and into the mix went colour pencil.

2013-05-08 08.02.32

Source: me
The first initial stage, just finelined, no colour.

2013-05-25 23.28.30

Source: me
So Virgo is associated with Earth, so I figured, how do I make her earthy? Add the colour, and floating trees…we have stage 2 mid-way completed.

2013-06-30 13.09.31

Source: me
Stage 2 completed. Excuse the blurriness, I did not realise I shook the camera when I took this pic, but you can see it, there is virgo with two floating trees. Of course, I was definitely taking this one more step.

Wahhh yay!  I love step-by-steps done by other people with their own work, so I wanted to try it for myself!  Anyway.  I guess for Virgo, even though they’re labelled a Virgin, according to this site, just one of many out there who have attempted to define and outline who and what is a Virgo, a Virgo is:

  1. Loving
  2. Susceptible
  3. Sympathetic
  4. Sensual
  5. Faithful
  6. Instinctive
  7. Charitable
  8. Over-reactive
  9. Moody

So with all this criteria, I really had my head in a spin.  Either way, I just kept sketching, doing my best to incorporate all these characteristics. I hope I succeeded, I hope she’s a little loving, a little sensual, a little instinctive.  Though she doesn’t really seem susceptible or charitable.  Maybe I’ll write a story about her!

Now the clothes.  It seems I love drawing clothes the most, especially long gowns and intricately decorated gowns.  I have loved that ever since I was a kid.

So, since the main style of clothing I was going for in this series was ancient Greek influenced, soft and flowy, I knew how I wanted it to look like.  The other thing I was gunning for with the clothing was slightly revealing, yet totally modest.  Well, both Virgo and Scorpio was a hit and miss with the modest aspect, because they have both been described as “sensual” and/or “passionate”.  So they’re clothes had to be a little more passionate I think.  I also wanted to incorporate the fact that each zodiac was associated with a body part.  And according to this site, Virgos rule the stomach, so I figured I might as well leave the stomach uncovered, and make this Virgo a little bit more modest by hiding her legs.  I actually really admired the original sketch of Virgo, but as for the background…

Here, firstly, are the links for the many brushes I borrowed to create the background.

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I want to thank them for their beautiful brushes that made my hobbby art project something I can admire in my own space.  Because really without them, I probably wouldn’t have such a great series.

And next the final stage.  That was the photoshop stage.  Again I was going for mixed medium, and it was a bit time consuming.  The entire background took about two and a half hours, including deciding what I wanted to do, how I was going to do it, what was I going to use, and a lot of trial and error.  In the end I settled for a green shaded background with fiery red, orange and brown trees and blowing about the background, glowing flowers, mixture of lilies and plumerias.  I think I read somewhere that lillies were symbolic to Virgos? (I think this fact is wrong, sorry Virgos!  But I liked the brushes, so I used them instead lol)

Stage 3 midway, Photoshop!

Stage 3 midway, Photoshop!

Virgo by ~N-arteest on deviantART

 To complete stage three, I used different layers and messed with the layer style to create different effects.  I think there were about three layers for this background.  For the glowing flowers, there were also about three layers, each a different colour, but all of them with the same blending option (outer and inner glow with a pale yellow colour) – I thought this effect was really cool, except I might have overdone the amount of flowers in this one.  And the trees, I spiced those up with several brushes, actually I could have done this bit better, you can still see my original drawing underneath.  Maybe I should have changed the layer style for that as well, but oh well.  And most importantly, because I was going for a contrast between black and white, and colour, I masked the original sketch using the mask too – really that tool is so amazing for selecting the parts that you need, I’m surprised I hadn’t figured it out earlier!

And lastly, so I’ve mentioned there were twelve.  I will slowly reveal all twelve soon, if you’re still interested, keep watching!  (Also, if it sounds like I’m bragging, I apologise!!!)

—-ALSO feel free to comment about the subject of Virgo, my research was pretty scattered and varied to things related to the sketch, relevant or not, so I feel pretty bad, so if you have some interesting facts about being a Virgo, Virgos and whatnot, tell me! I’m always interested in learning more.

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21 thoughts on “Virgo. The Zodiac Project.

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