Libra. The Zodiac Project #2.

As  said previously, I am slowly posting these up, and as I mentioned, I am currently being extremely negligent to my blog for reasons noted HERE (so apologies again!) Anyway, since I’m currently very tired of stressing my brain out, I decided to take a little break, and well, yeah, you got it! write a new blog post.

So, Libra!  In order of production, this was probably number 5 since it was pretty easy to draw, symbolic wise.  Libra carries the scales, she reminds me of justice lol.  Either way, I didn’t think too much of it, just started sketching:

2013-05-11 10.05.29

Source: me
And this is what I got. Stage 1 complete!

I guess, in a ways, the first stage is usually easier than all the others, because I have something in mind and all I have to do is draw it, but there are so many times as well where it’s the first sketch that’s the hardest (as you will hear about later on when I post about some of the others).

So a little bit about her design.  Once again, it’s ancient greek influenced gowns, soft and flowy tunic-like dresses.  The corset, well I always love drawing corsets, and since Libra is supposes to be refined, I guess I just drew on a corset.  Of course refined ladies in Victorian times wore their corsets inside :P!
Anyway, like Virgo, I did a bit of research on Libra, and once again came up with a list of criteria:

  1. Refined,
  2. Social,
  3. Artistic,
  4. Vacillating,
  5. Intellectual,
  6. Communicative
  7. Concerned with relationships 

All of which seemed pretty reasonable.  Except my Libra hardly seems social, maybe a bit artistic, definitely intellectual and refined.  It’s so hard to create an emotive character!! I always feel as though my drawings are emotionless, but my head always ends up creating a dialogue for them towards some other imaginary character, which is a) either a sign that I am a literary genius full of creative imaginings 😛 or b) I’m going crazy…. . Now in my honest opinion I hope it’s ‘a’, because the idea that I’m crazy seems unreal and totally uncool!  Plus I’m pretty sure my head is screwed on tight because I know exactly what I’m doing 24/7, I know it so well, I think it’s boring lol!

So I’ve mentioned about the body rulership before right?  Well, unfortunately I think when I drew this one, it was before I came up with that idea…so this one doesn’t depict it.  Libra is said to rule the kidneys, therefore I should have exposed the sides of her waist…but as you can see…I am a little disappointed by this, but it can’t be helped!  Clearly I should plan better but then again, who plans when inspiration strikes?

Her shoes…they were a surprise.  I hadn’t intended for her to wear wedges, much less wedges with ballet ribbons, but she is! So yeah, not sure why though, guess at that moment in time I was pretty into drawing heels, particularly wedges…I think I liked the shape.  Either way, my pen, my hand and my brain seemed to like the shape more than anything and in several other drawings in this series, you’ll probably see the return of the wedges once again!

Now the background.  First is the second stage, adding the colour pencil aspect that represents the element each of the zodiacs represented.  Libra is Air, so this is what air looked like:

2013-05-13 22.52.26

Source: me
Whoo air everywhere, stage 2 complete!

While for Virgo who is an Earth element, I went for something blue and flowy for Libra who is air.  I actually found it really difficult to depict air.  I meant, come on, all around us, we are surround by ‘air’, it is invisible, yet present, unseen, yet breathable, it rustles leaves, stirs dust, create trees, so on…so how to represent air?  While some represent air by drawing naked people, I didn’t want to do that…I like clothes on my girls, clothes are the best part!  So I decided to go for a metaphoric kind of idea, drawing a blue almost transient cloth that is blowing around Libra.  I suppose I could have thought harder, but well, I was certainly eager to get to the next stage!

The background.  Like I said earlier, this was production number 5 or so, so I did several others first, one of which was also an air element.  It seems, I ended up picking a familiar pattern.  Because the first air element zodiac that I designed the background for was very simple, I didn’t want to break the pattern for the next air zodiac.  The design is very simple in comparison to the Earth element Virgo.  Where Virgo was surrounded by flowers, lilies, plumerias, and trees, Air is surrounded in lightness, feathers basically an ‘airy’ feeling.  At least that was what I was aiming for.  What remains the me across all twelve zodiacs is: 1) girl dressed in ancient greek influenced gowns; 2) the background is a vivid array of colour and texture; 3) there is either a faint or strong impression of the element present;  and 4) there’s shadows that take up a portion of the frame, and to contrast the other portion must in a sense ‘glow’.

Once again, must thank these love Deviants on Deviantart for their great brushes that greatly assisted the creation of Libra by N-arteest!

Brushes for the feathers
Feathers: [Link]
Feathers: [Link]
Feathers: [Link] 

Brushes for the vines and flowers
Suddenly Spring Brushes: [Link]
Vines Brushes: [Link] 
Vector Foliages Brushes: [Link]

Brushes for the Background
Stormy Abstract Brushes: [Link]

So the process of Stage 3:  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.  I didn’t do anything particular with the original air element pencil sketch, primarily because I wanted that faint kind of barely there sense, like it really was air.  Though maybe I should have?  The effect is slightly different for Gemini, Aquarius and Libra, so I’m not too sure how I feel about it.  But most importantly, because I was going for a contrast between black and white (original sketch), and colour (the photoshopped background), I masked the original sketch using the mask tool. And I guess I really love the mask tool, because it definitely selects the area much better than the select too, and it’s also much more effective for blending in an original sketch and a photoshopped background.  Feathering the edges of the selection also blends in the scanned object ad the background much better (of course, you have to feather it before you start working on the background lol!)

And Wah-la!  Stage 3 complete!

Libra

Libra by ~ N-arteest on deviantART

I really loved the extreme colours in the background.  I suppose that’s one of my favourite aspects.

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 Libra, 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 Libra, Libras and whatnot, tell me! I’m always interested in learning more.

To see Virgo, click HERE

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5 thoughts on “Libra. The Zodiac Project #2.

  1. Nina, I was wondering where did you vanish, and now you come with aplomb. Fictional worlds, poetry, 55 fiction (my favorite) and now drawing.. You never stop surprising… what a delight. 🙂

    • Haha, well, sorry for disappearing :/, I shall be back properly very soon! Yes, I seem to surprise myself with the amount of things I seem to do… :S

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