Year of the Rabbit – in color!

Year of the Rabbit
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Now, in full color! The Year of the Rabbit, from the Chinese zodiac, is now available for sale at my RedBubble page, as notecards, prints, and even T-shirts! I’ll be making more products available when the whole series is complete. Check out the details in this closeup:

Year of the Rabbit - detail

I have over half the zodiac inked so far, with three that are still in the pencil-drawing stage and two that I’m still mucking about with sketches for. That mischievious monkey just refuses to cooperate! I’m still playing around a bit with the colors, that’s the thing about a personal project: there’s really nothing to stop you from tweaking it forever and ever and ever. But the plan is to finish this series by the end of September at the latest, and that’s including my vacation. And I already have my next project lined up….

Work in Progress — the zodiac continues

Chinese Zodiac Preview — the Dog

Here’s a very rough scan of the next piece off the drawing board! Another dramatic close-up preview, this time of the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dog. I may still be tweaking the drawing a bit, time will tell.

I’ve been working on this series in batches, which has the advantage of being much more efficient for me, but the disadvantage of not having any more finished work to show for a while longer. I have the next drawing half-finished and then one more before I start final scans on this set. I’ll need to figure out the coloring for this series soon; I keep thinking a looser approach than I usually use would be very fitting….

A sneak peak…

Chinese Zodiac Preview — the Sheep

… hot off the drawing board! This is just a tiny preview of the next drawing in my Chinese Zodiac series: The Sheep. It was inked almost entirely with a Pitt brush pen, which doesn’t come to as fine a point as the Sakura brush pen but seems to be holding its shape better.

I’ll probably be a while trying to find a good brush pen, because I hate to have to lock the cat out of the room while I draw but I have trouble seeing any other way to keep an open ink jar handy and un-tipped-over. This one had a pretty good feel though, I’ll probably use it on at least a few more drawings to see how it holds up.

More will be on the way soon!

Illustration Friday: Talisman

The Year of the Rabbit
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This week’s Illustration Friday topic fits very neatly into my current project: portraits of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac. This is the Rabbit, accompanied by a symbolic stone with his sign. I’ve already posted the Snake and the Ox, and more are on the way. I debated whether to include the stones in these images, but I really liked having a concrete sign of why I was making them… a talisman of sorts. It turns a simple drawing of a rabbit into a symbol of something more, representing one piece in a whole intricate structure of meanings with an ancient history.

These images will all be for sale at my RedBubble page, if you want a card or print. I’ll be making more products available when the whole series is complete.

I’m about one third of the way through drawing the series, although I still need to color them all. It’s been fun using the brush pen again… if I think I can cat-proof the arrangements I’d like to start using a regular brush with ink again. Along with dip pens, they’ve been sidelined in the interest of keeping the ink on the paper and off of the floor.

Illustration Friday: Intricate

Year of the Snake — Preview
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Even though this week’s Illustration Friday topic gave me several intriguing ideas, I don’t have time right now to make any of them! (sketches will be filed away for later tho…) Instead, I’m uploading a preview of a particularly intricate image I’ve been working on. I just finished the ink drawing this week, and I thought those scales were going to kill me. Scale patterns are so complex and regular, I had to deliberately simplify or I’d be working on it for weeks despite modeling it after a species with simple coloration. I’ll be adding some more details and color shortly.

I just spent the evening scanning in this and three others in the series… almost halfway done! For anyone who doesn’t recognize it, this is the Snake from the Chinese Zodiac, and will be part of a series of 12. Of course, I’ve changed direction slightly and will have to edit my Ox image to match, but that’s what happens when a control freak like me has no outside deadlines.

Happy New Year – Year of the Ox


Year of the Ox

I celebration of the Chinese New Year, I have this little offering. It’s just the first finished from a series – I have one other inked and two more in pencil stage.  When I’m done I’ll have the entire Chinese zodiac.
Thanks to a bout of stomach flu last week this is a bit late… but just squeaked by in time for the holiday. I’m still not entirely happy with the background coloring and the typography, so I’ll probably do some more tweaking before making it available for sale.