Majo's Showcase Gallery

This is a small gallery for what I consider my favorite/best works. There are both fan and original art-works here, in a variety of mediums. I've also included some commentary on each...hopefully it'll have something for both the first-time and frequent visitors both.

XiaoLungNu - original concept art for the Chinese Wuxia novel: The Great Condor and Its Companion

I've always been a huge fan of Jing Yung's Condor novels, and The Great Condor and Its Companion is my favorite. Needless to say, I was somewhat shocked and cautiously ecstatic when I found out that there was an anime being made for the story!
Alas, the anime was somewhat scary...and I was sad to find that none of the character designs really fit what I had in mind for the characters as I was reading the novels, even though they did stay true to the story.
Xiaolungnu brings to mind a maiden like an ice statue, as pure and cold as snow and jade. Her martial arts technique was founded by a female genius generations before her time who suffered a doomed love. Thus their school's techniques are all geared for use by women, and their doctrine insisted on a hatred for men and a focus on purging their hearts of emotion.
I tried to capture a classic sort of beauty with this picture. I really love how solemn her face turned out, and I left her hair partially down as normal for unmarried women back then (I think????).
The ribbon winding around her with the round balls at the end and her gloves are the first set of weapons she was introduced with. They're made from silk and a special sort of metallic thread that can block even blades. She uses the ribbon and the balls to hit pressure points, and the gloves for making and blocking attacks in hand to hand combat.

Brothers - Fanart for the manga/anime: Inuyasha

I drew this picture during math lecture (or was it during discussion??), as per usual. I think I started off just wanting to draw Sesshoumaru, but instead ended up adding in Inuyasha as well. This is one of the very few times when I think that I managed to capture the correct ages for what I want to portray. Usually everyone looks too old, even when I try to draw them as children.
The idea was that I wanted to draw Sesshoumaru annoyed about something, and that eventually evolved into the line "Did he really want me to read him a story, or did he just want to snuggle my fluffy?". Undoubtedly it was somewhat inspired by all the Inuyasha fanfics and fanarts I was collecting at the time.
Inuyasha turned out the best, I believe, with Sesshoumaru and his fluffy coming in a close second. I was very surprised.
This picture also seemed to receive a warm welcome on Deviant art and Livejournal...I didn't like the colored version that I made as much though. As Aido-san so rightly pointed out, I had some bad planning with colors there...

Team 7 - Fanart for the manga/anime: Naruto

The thing that I can say for this picture that I can't say for anything else in this showcase is...this is entirely done in CG. Corel Painter 8 or 9, I believe. At the time I was bored and wanted to produce some fanart for my new obsession, Naruto. I am actually slightly proud of the fact that I pulled it off, though I probably won't be doing it again soon.
I tried to stick with solid coloring instead of my usual soft and blurry style. I also dubbed this picture 'Team Primary', since Team 7 seemed the only team lacking the good sense to pick inconspicuous, ninja colors when it came to clothing.
Naruto at its core is a story about teamwork and friendship, and making family where you can (and kickass battles, and NINJAS, but I'm trying to be serious here!). I tried to show a bit of the 'teamwork' here...they all have each other's backs. I love the dynamics of Team 7...both what was there, and what could've been there. Truthfully, they didn't get very far before Sasuke left, but Naruto's little exclamation in the recent chapters still rings with me, and it seems like poor Sasuke won't stand a chance, now that both Naruto and Sakura are out to drag him back.

Xelloss and Filia - Fanart for the manga/anime: Slayers

Before Slayers, there was...*ponders*. Actually, there wasn't much before Slayers. Maybe Sailor Moon and Rurouni Kenshin, but Slayers (including Next and Try) was my first real foray into online fandom. And what a fun foray it was.
Actually, I had seen about half of the first Slayers season, and first half of Try before I became a fan. It's ironic that I actually watched the seasons out of order; I did watch season 1 first, but then I watched season 3 (TRY) on fansubs, then season 2 (NEXT) as it was officially released. I remember distinctly it was a day when I was in high school...I'd just made fried rice for dinner and popped in the Try tape that I borrowed from my friend (who was also my fansub supplier at the time)...and it was the episode where Lina and Co. finally arrive at the Dragon Sanctuary (???) and they had that fight with Alumace and Valgarv. By the end, I was IN LOVE.
Anyway, so as such, my view of Xelloss had always been somewhat more Try skewed, in which he plays an annoying but not ultimately evil sort of role. The whole Xelloss and Filia Together Forever kind of happened when I embarked on a long journey to write fanfiction...Somehow Slayers Inversed became somewhat of a Xelloss/Filia fanfic. It's been one of my OTPs ever since.
Art-wise, I really like all the coloring in this picture, with the exception of the stupid bed of flowers. Also, there was an amusing incident on the Dragon and Demon ML when I posted the pencil draft to this picture, asking for advice on revisions before I start coloring. Someone made a comment that I should go look up reference pictures (implying that I did not draw them correctly??) and  a bunch of ML members jumped to my defense.  I did take the advice to revise Filia's face though, and it looks much better now.

Saki-chan - Gift art for Asuka Kureru

A gift-art for Asuka Kureru (Askerian on Deviantart and LJ). This is Saki-chan, her sort-of-original character (long story). I really liked how the coloring turned out though, because the pencil sketch was somewhat mediocre. The boots turned out, for lack of a better word, absolutely bitchin', and so did the rufflies on her dress. It was worth it to flip flop repeatedly between Photoshop and Painter to try to get the right effects. Photoshop is wonderful for solids, and putting in that parasol, and the solid shadow and boots, but Painter did the wonderful coloring on her skirt and shirt and stockings. I love them both. ^_^

Mr. and Mrs. Kukai - Fanart for the game: Xenosaga

Inspired by the movie Mr.&Mrs. Smith and my rabid fangirlism for Jr. (though less rabid for the Jr. and MOMO pairing). I drew Jr. first, mostly during the time before and during Coffee night. MOMO came later, though I can't remember if she was done at another coffee night, or while I was watching Batman Begins. I have much love for how Jr.'s pose turned out, and MOMO's hands please me, which is a rare, rare thing. I'm somewhat sad that her face is not entirely MOMO-ish, and her legs don't look as good as they did on paper, but the guns are smexy and I'm super easy to please when it comes to solid blacks and whites.
If I could turn back time (cheesy song!), I better on MOMO's legs, and clean up the stray pencil lines better.
And yes, in-game they look about 12. This is a possible adult version...who says that parodies have to make much sense?

Phoenix Summon - Original art for Arcanum

This is a sketch of Gen that I did years ago (during lecture)...colored by the talented Imbrii-san. I think the coloring really helped bring out what I had wanted for the picture, namely the nifty flaming wings.^_^ The style is old...I wince a bit at the hair now, and the face looks strange, but it's one of the better pictures that I've made.
Arcanum was a little world that came up as a strange byproduct of my short-lived (only 140 hrs) obsession with Final Fantasy 10. I really liked the concept of "summoners" as a sort of special class of its own, that not just anyone can master. Not that I complained about FF7 or 8 (never got around to playing 9...), and it seemed like with each game the summoning got more specialized.
But anyway...Arcanum was built on the idea of summoners, in a sort of alternate earth where magic and technology were equally prevalent. Mages are fairly common, but summoners were a rarer sort. But all my mental images of summoners were grizzled old men or pretty young I thought, why not make them a couple of college students?
Gen as a character was somewhat of a delight to write, after my brief and unsuccessful attempt with my first original story. He is the kind of guy that you can trust to have an unbiased view of things, and says exactly what's on his mind, even when it's not the right time for it. His one outstanding trait that I still find lacking in a lot of my original characters is that he is absolutely, unabashedly honest. A refreshing thing, especially since his partner has the conversational capabilities of a rock and unlimited ability for self-delusion.

Emrys and Nghia - Giftart for Thea

A giftart for the wonderful and talented Thea-san, for a story being written by her and Pam-san. Emrys and Nghia, pictured above, belong to the two of them, of course. 
Since I don't have much in the way to share about the story, I'll ramble on about the artistic (???) aspect. Thea-san had mentioned her idea for a random picture of the two of them in an AIM conversation ages ago. It took me a long time to get some ideas down on paper, and once I had a pencil draft I liked, it took even longer for me to get around to inking it.
I'd bought a Sakura micron brush pen, which I have to admit was one of my wiser purchases (I tend to buy art supplies rather like normal women buy purses), and had received a wonderful printer from Yayoi on one of her trips here to California. The stars aligned and voila! Well, I inked it, and after much struggling with Painter 9, colored it as well.
The hardest part of this picture was the blood. I cannot draw blood and had the rest of the picture colored and finalized for days before I managed to get the blood half-way decent looking. After that, it was Nghia's skintone...For some reason 'bronzed' just doesn't want to work for me. *sigh* But after all that...I think the effort was worth it.

Amatsu Mikaboshi - Original art for Arcanum: Sinon's Redemption

Sad to say, this is the only completely colored picture I have of Amatsu...Shows that I love Shiva more. *waggles eyebrows*
*ahem* Anyway...awhile ago the inspiration to do something other than pencil doodles for the main characters of the Story That Ate Us struck ('us' being Yayoi and I, not the United States or anything...), and after much fiddling around, drafts were made. I did not realize until after inking that the legs were entirely wrong, so had to do them completely with the computer. Even so, I managed to get everything colored without too much screaming.
My favorite part of the coloring is his shirt and his arms. I am fond of working with reds in Photoshop and Painter, it's a versatile color, and the Phoenix print really added to an already nifty shirt. My usual problem with skintones is not enough contrast and muscle definition, and I think I did a better job than usual here.
Amatsu is a pain to draw because he's got an ego the size of a continent, and complains that I don't get his full glory down correctly. This makes for a lot of interesting arguments between us (nevermind that having arguments with imaginary characters is somewhat 'interesting' in and of itself), but he's also one of the better characters that I've worked with. I think he gets along better with Yayoi, because she does his coolness justice whereas I make horrible, immature fun of him.
I think the problem with my previous original stories were that the characters were all too...2-D. Scarily enough, Amatsu started that way, but he was not content to stay that way. Somehow he managed to claw his way up from 'standard bad guy B' (Shiva was 'sorta standard bad guy A') and has since then become very 3-D.
And he'll never let me live it down that he's got his own story after I used him briefly in Arcanum as a small plot point. -_-;;

Shiva Rudra - Original art for Arcanum: Sinon's Redemption

Things I like about this picture: Generally everything, but especially the over-robe and hair. However, I really dislike the left leg and will endeavor to become better at drawing so I don't ever mess up legs like that again.
This is the 3rd or 4th colored picture I have of Shiva. I'm not sure if it's because he's my favorite character, or just because his coloring and preference in clothing makes it very easy to color him. White hair will take minutes while black hair takes maybe that's it.
Much of what I said about Amatsu also applies to Shiva...except the ego the size of a continent and arguing part. He started very 2-D and simple, and instead of Amatsu, who developed a personality overnight and only grew with time, Shiva started becoming more and more filled out in small, barely noticeable layers. Before I knew it, he had a personality too.@_@
I hope to eventually put up some character profiles using these pictures...*shifty eyes* or I'll ask Yayoi to do them...otherwise, I'll leave the information dump for later.

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