Monday, April 11, 2011

More Zodiacs

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a little on what I was thinking when I designed the Western Zodiac set I've been posting on Etsy the last week or so--they should have been all up by now, but I admit to having gotten distracted by blanketing (see Wednesday WIP 1), so I did not get new posts up for Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. That will most assuredly be fixed over the next couple of days. This post will be a little of the same, plus a preview of those zodiacs not yet posted.

Taurus: My Taurus design features bull horns and a wild, intense, earthy look--at least I think so. When I'd originally started sketching her, I'd intended for her to feature jungle colors--more greens and browns than the orange and yellow she has in the final version. The dark skin and blond hair was there from the beginning, as was the gold body paint. When adding color, however, I decided that the orange looked much better than the green for her clothing, so I went with that; there are still some green accents in the form of jewels on her costume.

Gemini: I wanted to do something extra special and different for Gemini, since that's my sign (I'm allowed right, since I'm the artist). First of all, I did not want to draw two characters. It's like I'm required to have multiple personality disorder, or be bipolar, which might be the case, but that's irrelevant. ;) I chose to focus on the adventuring and exploration side--the part where Gemini's are always trying to discover new things, be creative, and seek to understand mystery. I briefly considered drawing some kind of alchemist, scientist, or inventor with a modern or pseudo-modern twist. Those were almost immediately supplanted by an eastern-styled wizard, because I like Asian culture and wizards are awesome (I even married one).

Cancer: For Cancer, I wanted to include something from the crab, but I wanted to keep it subtle. My first concept for Cancer had been a sacrificial victim look, similar to the current design except it would have been a dress (one piece, not two) and I wanted her to have a long, sleek, hooded cloak. After several variations of the sketch, I ditched the cloak; it hid too much of her in my opinion. The crab motif can be seen in the "crab legs" worked into the gold detailing on her clothing, in her jewelry, and on her staff. Her white hair and dark skin were part of the design from the beginning--I like drawing people with different skin tones.

Leo: Originally, I'd planned on drawing a character similar to Taurus for Leo. She was going to have tiger stripe body art (I like drawing body art too), and short, wild, hair. In hindsight, the hair would have probably looked something like a blond Lionel from Thundercats. Needless to say, that's nothing like what I ended up with for the final design, which was inspired more by my addiction to sweetened iced tea than anything else. I'd originally intended for the dress to be less yellow, and her hair to be a pale peridot green. After recoloring her several times because the original color scheme did not look very good, I ended up with the colors she has now.

Virgo: Virgo was inspired by Princess Buttercup from the Princess Bride, loosely. There's probably a little bit of Jane Austin in there as well. I wanted something medieval middle class (I know this never really existed), but I wanted a dress that was a couple steps up from a poor peasant dress, but I didn't want something ornate and rich. The apron was something that I added later in the design process, to go with the flower basket--the idea being she'd been out picking flowers. Originally, Virgo was supposed to be wearing blue. Like Leo, she went through a lot of versions when I was coloring her. I had meant for her to have brown hair, or maybe a reddish-orange. When it boiled down to it though, the blond just looked better with the character.

Libra: The original concept I had in mind for Libra was air druid--I was thinking something like a stereotypical earth druid, with all the vines and leaves and bark-themed clothing, but making it airy instead of earthy. I'd planned on there being layers of veils and gauzy material... Needless to say, that's not what happened. XD I had also meant for her to have short hair (same straight cut, but much shorter). I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon this design--it was something that came out of sketching on her character. The coloring was something I meant to reflect the scales theme--light on one side, dark on the other; she also has 2 eye colors to go with the theme.

Scorpio: Scorpio is another one of those sturdy survivor-types, similar to Capricorn, except with the element of water instead of earth. So where I went with a desert theme for Capricorn, I went with a frozen, icy tundra setting for Scorpio. His clothes are lined with furs, and I felt he deserved a kick-ass weapon of some kind to go with that. =) In hindsight, I kind of wish I'd left the hood down, and I did leave it down for the chibi version--I think Scorpio is my most favorite of the chibi versions.

Sagittarius: For Sagittarius, I looked at the symbol, the archer, and the element, fire. For archer, I think woodland, elves, Robin Hood, and other similar character types. For fire, I think of something wild and untamed. The amalgamation of the two was a gypsy-type character. To clarify, Sagittarius is a guy; yes, he's bishie. That was intentional. I think it'll be a little more obvious once I get the girl version of Sagittarius finished and have them side-by-side. The blue hair is from the sign's stone, turquoise. I originally gave him black hair, then tried blond, red, brown, and a few others in there, along with different variations of colors for the bandanna and vest.

The entire Zodiac set can be viewed in the Western Zodiac Gallery on my website. I will be working this summer on adding alternate gender versions for this set, so the ones drawn as guys now will have girl versions, and vice versa.

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