Which Way Alice?

As promised!  Here is the final result of my procrastination, as mentioned here weeks back–> Procrastination, Thesis Diaries Part 4? I had to wait a while to upload it for two reasons: 1) I’ve been busy.  Busy, it seems to be the common denominator for every fraction of each day that comes.  So while I schedule well, some things just take time!  And making sure I credit every person whose stock resources made it possible, required ALOT of time.  I’ve always found linking to be such a pain, but well, they all deserve credit!  2) I had to wait because I had three other works to upload first.  And it seems I’m a bit of a sucker for doing things in a particular order.  My water photomanipulation series needed uploading before I could upload Which Way Alice?  since after all, I did create them first: Sweet Surrender, Euphoria, and Emancipation.

Here it is:  Which Way Alice?  The completed version!

And also, to go with it, a micro poem I wrote on Twitter:

She stared at the pathways

Running away from her

Stretching terrifyingly into the unknown…

Which Way Alice?

The above is a photomanipulation, which, were I much better at painting with a brush and a canvas, I would have love to do by hand (but alas, I am not good at all with a brush, lack the patience and skill to do it by hand, and do not think a finelined version would be worthy, thus, I went to my trusty laptop, opened up photoshop and decided to go from there).  Although I called this ‘Which Way Alice’ this one isn’t really an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scene.  But rather, it’s based on the idea of Alice in Wonderland, and grew to be something else entirely (as one has probably gathered if you’ve read my Procrastination post).

When I started out with this, I began with two thoughts:
1) An Alice image, a girl in wonderland.
2) An image about a girl who has a number of choices in front of her, all looking decidedly positive and good..  But which one is the right one?

I had a thought of making this available as a print on DA, but as I’ve never before wanted something printed, I don’t know.  But maybe, if I get enough views, I will seek out the necessary permissions and make this available as a print.  As for now!  This has been made as a 1366×768 sized wallpaper (and of which is currently set as my laptop wallpaper, as I’ve mentioned previously, I love being able to make my own wallpapers and really loving them too).  Hmm I’d actually love to have this as a jigsaw puzzle lol.  Maybe one day, for my kids if I ever have any! Haha.

Of course, I could still improve on this!  But this is the first time I’ve done something so detailed in terms of photomanipulation.  I never thought I could, but well!

Credits: Please go through to my DA page for the credits: Which Way Alice?

Advertisements

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

How I Spend Me-Time (TAG!)

SO Sophie over at Young, Wild and Writing has started this new blog post called TAG! and it’s all about what you do and how you spend your ‘me-time’ which I think sounds pretty cool.  After all, I’ve only recently finished my exams – albeit it was only one exam (but it was at the end of the exam period) – I’ve suddenly got so much to catch up on which I missed out doing while I was at uni.

The TAG! topic is “Me-time” according to Sophie’s post, so what do I do in my me time?

2013-06-30 14.22.30

My little Book of Musings which I use to write random things

1- Writing – Writing for me is a me-time thing to do.  I usually pick up a lot of inspiration wherever I go and for as long as I can remember, for me, it’s all about my Book of Musings and the possibility of either writing another short story/poem or building up another imaginary fantasy world to chase after my dream career.  It really is a relief that I can use words to express things, especially when there was a time when I felt I couldn’t express myself at all.

2- Reading – I am a serial reader.  I can’t help it, I read too much.  Seriously, I put books on hold at the library and then I put more books on hold, until I have too many books on hold and I can barely carry then out of the library.  Haha, it’s a good thing the borrowing period if four weeks, but still, there are times, that my crazy holding-of-omg-the-new-release-books spree becomes a pile of books that even I can’t finish in four weeks.  During the uni semester though, I miss out on reading a lot because I spend so much time reading academic papers which more often than not, are kinda boring (no offence!).

2013-06-30 14.23.14

Sketch books! I think the blue one is number 11

3- Drawing – I love drawing, it’s one of my favourite things to do.  Unfortunately, unlike writing I have a much harder time gathering inspiration.  I also think I have a tendency to be unable to picture how things fit together, so I take twice as long sketching than inking.  You know I was once told that people who are good at maths are also good at art.  I’m fairly good at maths, so I guess I’m fairly good at art? Well Whatever it is, I really enjoy drawing, good or not, I do it in my me-time.  I’m not that great, but feel free to check out some of it here.

4- Pondering the English Language – Okay cut me a break…haha, so since I decided to major in English as an International Language, I’ve become more aware of the issues that we discuss in class, and alot of the time, I watch something and then I question it.  It sounds like a totally nerdy thing to do, but I really do love looking at the current state of the English language and how it’s developed around the word, I just think its fascinating!

5- Manga – I love reading manga, almost otaku level (I actually prefer it over anime).  So this a total me-time thing.  The idea of spending a good few hours doing nothing but reading manga whether it’s online or in paperback form.

Instruction for Tag:

Bloggers tagged in this post are not being obliged to do a similar post.  After all this is just for fun so if you feel like doing it, feel free and if not, then don’t.  No harm done.  If you are saying yes to this, all you have to do is make a similar post presenting your list in any possible way.  It is up to you for as long as it shows how you spend me-time.  Be it through pictures, poetry, a narrative, haiku, etc.  As you finish, it is also suggested that you tag another five bloggers to your post so the fun will spread and who knows, a little self-reflection may go a long way.

I hope fellow tagged bloggers that you might join in on the fun as well :)!

As for me, here are my tagged bloggers:

1) www.stephrogers.com

2) www.walkingwiththealligators.wordpress.com

3) www.bokunosekai.wordpress.com/

4) www.peacelovegreatcountrymusic.com/

5) www.theelusivescribe.wordpress.com/

Expression Of A Cold Hearted Man.

He never smiled.
I painted his face, elegant in angles, enticing to behold.
He does not look at me.
I grace the canvas with his shadows.
He is the epitome of expressionless.
I paint the sadness in his eyes.
His clothes are impeccable.
I see a corporate business man.
He is a model.
I want to capture him.
I want him to love his work.
I want him to see the artist.
He is a model.
I paint his clothes.
He has long lashes.
I paint him leaning back, eyes partly closed.
He does not have a heart.
I can only see colours.
He thinks he’s alone.
I can’t see anything but a crowd of shadows.
He has someone he loves.
I wonder if he will open his heart.
He stands and thanks me.
He still has no expression on his face, but,
He is not longer just a model.

Tomorrow.

I have faith,

In the future of tomorrow.

I don’t need to cry,

For the lost love,

That was mine.

He might have said,

“I love you,”

And I might have said,

“I love you too.”

But I never knew,

That I could feel this sorrow,

This pain of never ending today,

With multiple tissues,

And endless,

Crying telephone calls.

I will only cry for one day.

I will only cry for myself.

I will not cry for the lost love,

For he lost my love,

He should cry for me.

Tomorrow, I will hang up my past,

Put away the tissues,

Wipe my nose,

Hold out my hand.

I will take the gift that tomorrow brings,

And cup it in my hand.

It is golden bright,

Shining and twinkling in the daylight.

I will kiss it,

Inhale it,

Live it.

Because I deserve a better love.

I deserve a better tomorrow.

No more crying.

No more anguish.

Nothing,

Just tomorrow,

The future, I embrace it.

Him, I Love.

 

He walks beside me,

Just once,

Because no one was around,

It’s a lie,

This bond between us,

We lie,

All the time,

To them, not just each other,

But we can’t help it.

I am drawn to him,

To his face,

To his heart,

To his loves, and his hates.

He had just been a star to me,

The first time I saw him,

He was shrouded in sadness,

And in happiness,

Gently carving away the rot.

There was nothing I didn’t understand,

Except,

That expression.

I didn’t understand why, why

Did he look like that,

Doing what he was doing?

It wasn’t alive,

It wasn’t dead,

It wasn’t breathing at all.

It was just wood, or something.

I didn’t get it at all.

But I wanted to paint it.

I wanted to paint that expression,

That was my first lie.

My second, the one where I said,

“I won’t fall in love with you, I promise,”

And he smiled.

My heart broke,

And I mellowed in my self hate,

Hating myself for being a coward,

It was just a promise,

A cold hearted, mean promise,

So why had I fallen in love with him?

He walks beside me,

And my heart races in anticipation.

I will paint his picture,

Just like I saw it,

Unblemished,

Untainted,

Raw.

He sits patiently,

A light smile on his face,

A taint of sadness in his eyes,

Mournful,

Appeased,

Unsure.

Everyday it’s like this,

This secret love of mine,

Unrequited,

I can’t tell him,

That I fell in love the first moment I met him.

How can I?  I made a promise,

But still, I wonder,

He is not the kind of guy to accept a girl’s company,

To sit and walk with,

Much less paint him.

He walks beside me,

Once again, and perhaps,

For the last time.

The painting is almost done,

But I didn’t want to finish it.

I’ve dragged it out too long,

Nothing has changed,

Except he still carves that wood,

Cutting out the rot,

Turning it from rough to smooth.

I still watch him,

Still admire him,

Still want his everything.

I can’t lie anymore,

But I don’t want him to hate me.

Not me, not my painting,

I want to earn his love,

And so I paint the last stroke,

And title it “him, I love.”

It hung in a gallery,

All my love,

Unleashed,

A portrait to the world,

I wished I’d kept it to myself.

It was a secret love,

A one love,

This was my confession, even if,

I never said it in words.

But I think he knew,

That I lied, from the heart,

Because he asked.

I think he knew,

Because I got my answer,

A statue of wood,

Of a girl, and her easel,

Carved by a beautiful hand,

Titled, “She, I love.”

I never thought,

That it could happen.

This time it’s not a lie,

But the truth,

When he walks beside me,

I know how he feels.

He’s still a star,

A gem from another world,

But I can touch him now.

I can hold his hand.