Category Archives: Digital Painting

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY 2017!!!

Valentine 2017

To first glances, butterflies, blushes, hugs & kisses.

To laughing late into the night and crying in each other’s arms.

To friendship, family, and love.

To tiny moments that lead to Forever and make Forever worthwhile.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, an award winning artist, trained as a classical animator at Sheridan College, but when computer animation took over the field, she decided that she loved drawing more than animating. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time. Today, she passionately creates imaginative artwork and stories, always graced with a humorous modern twist.

Currently, Mili is working on an epic YA fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess, Lauraliee, who learns to become a queen as she defends Ardan from dragon-people (people who turn into dragons).

Mili Fay Art Published Books Book CoversMili Fay Art Fan Cub
“Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”Shop Mili Fay Art
Facebook: Mili Fay Art
Twitter: @MiliFay
Also posted in Digital Art, Gifts, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

Thank You For A Successful Launch!

Thank you to everyone who attended The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook Launch. Without you there, the even would not have been nearly as fun, now would the book have reached #2 in Kindle Store’s Conceptual Category and #9 in Kindle Store’s Animation Category.

The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook February 4, 2017 Amazon Launch Results.

Phantom Amazon Bestseller Conceptual

Phantom Amazon Animation

Congratulations to the winners of the Phantom Trivia Game: Kathleen, Kay, and Kei!

You can still see the answers to the questions and the Live-Sketching Request Results on the Launch Welcome Page, but you are no longer able to download the 4 Moods of the original cover art.

As promised, I will be posting time-lapse video of my digital live sketches as soon as I edit them. First up: Glamorous Gender-Bent (Lady) Phantom Requested by Bea:

If you have trouble seeing the embedded video find it on YouTube here.

Now that The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook has had such a wonderful success, it’s time for me to move on to the next project. I will be creating Mili Fay Art Princesses, inspired by Disney Animation and Maria Pascual. The first up is Beauty and the Beast in honor of the upcoming movie.

Live Sketching Request 01

Belle attacked by wolves! One of the studies for the final painting.

Cheers!

Mili

Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, an award winning artist, trained as a classical animator at Sheridan College, but when computer animation took over the field, she decided that she loved drawing more than animating. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time. Today, she passionately creates imaginative artwork and stories, always graced with a humorous modern twist.

Currently, Mili is working on an epic YA fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess, Lauraliee, who learns to become a queen as she defends Ardan from dragon-people (people who turn into dragons).

Mili Fay Art Published Books Book CoversMili Fay Art Fan Cub
“Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”Shop Mili Fay Art
Facebook: Mili Fay Art
Twitter: @MiliFay
Also posted in Mili Fay Art Princesses, The Phantom of the Opera Sketchbook, Uncategorized Tagged , , , |

Strider: The Lord of the Rings Mini-ME

The Lord of the Rings Mini-ME: Strider

The Lord of the Rings Mini-ME: Strider

This week I’ve been to busy trying to create a .mobi file out of .epub for my Digital Publishing and Design final assignment. The .epub looks great, but .mobi’s formatting falls apart on iOS devices and some Kindles. I do not know why. I have contacted Amazon, but thus far have not received an answer. There is a new KF8 format that is replacing .mobi, so maybe I’ll use that to create Warriors of Virtue.

Sadly, I have also managed to accidentally pause the screen recorder so there is no Time-lapse video available this week.

My favourite moment with Strider is when he is hooded in Bree; the very first time we see him in the film. However, that moment hides his face so I chose the time when he defends the hobbits from Nazgul. I did take some liberties with his costume. Feel free to use this illustration as long as you give credit for the drawing to Mili Fay Art. Contact me for a higher resolution image.

If you would like to see other time-lapse videos and receive free full-resolution artwork join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

 

Which The Lord of the Rings character would you like to see me draw next? Let me know in the comments and if I choose your character you will win the full resolution poster.

Cheers!

Mili Fay

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Also posted in Mini-MEs, Uncategorized Tagged , , |

Are Disney movies bad? Does Disney make fools of us all?

The past two weeks have been tough. I have not done much work, because I was paralyzed by fear. My dad is not well. We have been visiting hospitals to see if there is an operation that can be performed to make him feel better.

You may not know this about me, but I was an award winning student. Since we’ve moved to Canada, everything I wanted I was able to achieve through persistence and hard work. The world made sense during school. It is when I left school that my professional life fell apart.

Life is nothing like school. Nothing. No one ever bothered to tell me this when I was young. The real world makes little to no sense.

My dream is to work as an independent artist, create beautiful things, and make the world a little bit better through my work. I also want to take care of my family in comfort; especially my parents, who had nothing as immigrants and yet somehow still manage to give my sister and I everything we need and a lot of things we want.

I’ve realized after a few years of struggling with jobs, that to “make it” as an artist, I will have to put my name into the world. I cannot hide behind a studio. I will have to become famous. The funny thing is, I do not want to be famous. I would like my work to be famous, but I do not want to be in front of cameras, or to spend my life giving speeches.

Privacy is one sacrifice I made, and I accepted this the moment I created Mili Fay Art.

Now, I’m fighting for my dreams, and though I have achieved successes. I have not “made it” yet. With my dad being ill, I may have to contribute to my family more, which means that I will have to find a stable job and career, which means that Mili Fay Art may not survive after all.

With the horrors piling up around me, my mind has gone into its Thinking Mode, which almost always results in a Panic Mode. This can be put into a sentence: “What a %$#@ am I doing with my life?!”

I have this beautiful vision of what my life should be, but am I just delusional? Have I been fed too much Disney growing up? Is being an eternal optimist actually bad for my life and sanity?

Warriors of Virtue might be my last bid for creative freedom. I believe in this story so much, but I’m not sure if the rest of the world will care. Thus I am terrified, and when I’m terrified, I spend my days “thinking” and not “doing”; Paralyzed by Fear.

The only way to combat fear is with hope and faith. I have to believe that my life will work out in the end, because everything I’ve struggled with, and all the sacrifices I have made would have been pointless otherwise.

So, no. Watching Disney movies is not bad. Life often does not work out the way it does in a Disney movie. However, when it does… It is beautiful and it is a life worth living.

Stay Hopeful!

Love,

Mili Fay


Though I have not done much regarding Warriors of Virtue these past two weeks, I did create a couple of The Lord of the Rings Mini-MEs. Enjoy!

Gandalf the Grey Mini-ME

Gandalf the Grey Mini-ME

Legolas Greenleaf Mini-ME

Legolas Greenleaf Mini-ME

If you would like to see the time-lapse videos for free and get the full-resolution images join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

Check your Inbox and Junk Mail Folder!

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Mili Fay

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Also posted in Mini-MEs, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , |

Frodo Baggins Mini-ME and WofV Progress

By now I’m used to working on the Cintiq. I’ve spent so much time painting digitally that I almost forgot what it feels like to hold traditional mediums. Now that the weather is beautiful, I only wish that the screen did not get too dark when I’m outside. You would think that with all the technological advancements, someone would have solved this problem by now. Sadly, I spend most days slaving away at the hot computer staring at sunshine and greenery through my bedroom window.

Not this week. This week, I went back to the traditional medium of ink and paper.

At first I was terrified. It’s permanent ink and there is no undo button!

After a few deep breaths and telling myself that if I made a mistake I could always start again (which I did a few times for the following drawings), I remembered how much I enjoy traditional medium. I traced my sketches onto paper, dug out the old drawing board I bought in college, and settled myself in the back yard. Listening to A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, I dipped my crow quill pen in a jar of acrylic ink and spent an enjoyable afternoon drawing.

Cornelian has perfect timing.

Cornelian has perfect timing.

Queen Dragana is startled by the scream.

Queen Dragana is startled by the scream.

Vladimir waving.

Lauraliee finds Vladimir and Nikolina have come through the secret passage in her closet.

I only hope that the gamble with Warriors of Virtue pays off and that I can spend the rest of my life working from wherever, doing what I love. I think other than finding true love, that is the greatest personal happiness we mortals can hope to aspire to: enjoying work, so it does not feel like work.

I’ve tried to record my traditional progress using iPhone 4S, but the video is not that great. So, to give you something to look forward to each week, I’m going to create a Mini-ME. This week, it’s Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings: Frodo Baggins Mini-ME

The Lord of the Rings: Frodo Baggins Mini-ME

Feel free to use this illustration as long as you give credit for the drawing to Mili Fay Art. Contact me for a higher resolution image.

If you would like to see the time-lapse video for free join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Mili Fay

————————————

Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Also posted in Mini-MEs, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , |

Grown Up Cover Art: John Polidori’s The Vampyre

Updated June 12, 2016: I’ve updated the cover art, see below.

Thus far in my career, other than portraits or the few pieces I’ve done for National Geographic, I’ve never really had an opportunity to work on something that is more adult oriented. Until now. As you may know, I’m taking a Digital Publishing and Design course at Ryerson College. Assignment 3 is to create an eBook using the free text of John Polidori’s The Vampyre. I have finally read The Vampyre, and all I can say is, Mr. Polidori is the poster child for flowery language and run-on sentences. I did not like his misogynism and was baffled by the two letters at the beginning and the end of the story as well as the need for Introduction. The story itself was OK, though I’m sure in the hands of someone like Stephen King it could have been great.

Instead of just creating a plain cover, I’ve decided to use the opportunity this assignment presented to create a cover geered towards adults. The story is not that frightening, so instead of showing the horror, I’ve opted to show the allure of the villain.

What do you think?

The Vampyre Cover Art

The Vampyre by John Polidori – I tried to make him as compelling as he is in the story.

I’ve decided the cover would be more effective by brightening the font and the character’s eye, so I edited the original image. You can see it below:

The Vampyre Cover Adjustment

Can you see the difference?

If you are wondering why you have not received an email with a new Time-lapse video link, it is because I have had the stuffing kicked out of me by QuickFix Appliances, and did not have the time to work on the video as I hoped.

I posted the time-lapse video of The Vampyre, so check the Playlist Link. As promised Time-lapse videos are only free for Mili Fay Art Fan Club Members, so if you are not a member but would like to see the videos join below. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

Until next time!

Love,

M

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Also posted in Ryerson Digital Publishing, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , |

We Will Do What We Must: Acrylic Illustration to Digital Art

This week I’ve been dealing with Customer Service again! Our fridge is not working well and we had to renegotiate our cable/phone/Internet deal. However, I did manage to get some work done, too.

I love my Tuesday evening Ryerson Digital Publishing and Design course. I’ve spent most of Thursday figuring out Assignment 2 and marking up text for Assignment 3. We have to create an eBook from The Vampyre by John William Polidori.

I also binge-read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, since my mom wants to see the movie, and as a weeper I wondered if I could accompany her to the theatre, or if I will just have to wait for the DVD. I wept, and I wept, but it was a great book. I usually do not read such books, because I cannot handle the sadness. I finished the book yesterday, and I’m still sad today. I’m upset over fictional character that have never existed! Being emphatic can be such a pain sometimes.

The weather in Toronto is finally bright and sunny, so my weekend was mainly spent out of doors, but I did update the illustration for Warriors of Virtue Chapter 01: We Will Do, What We Must. (If you have just come across this blog: initially every chapter would have had the cover that was a full-colour acrylic painting. Now, I’ve decided to create these full-colour illustrations digitally).

Instead of copying the original illustration I wanted to see if I could make it more dramatic. Once again, I added light using Nathan Fowkes’ method I’ve learned from Schoolism’s Pictorial Composition. (I love adding light in this way to my paintings.)

This is the illustration I painted near the end of 2014:

Warriors of Virtue Chapter 01 Cover Art

Warriors of Virtue: Chapter 01 | Cover Art – Cornelian and Artemis on their way to the empyreal castle.

This is the updated illustration I finished today:

Warriors of Virtue Chapter 01 Cover Art

Warriors of Virtue: Chapter 01 | Cover Art – Cornelian and Artemis on their way to the empyreal castle.

The idea was to insure that the viewer would focus on the Empyreal Castle first, Cornelian second, and fairies third. The atmosphere is more stormy and dramatic. I’m thinking of the post/pre-storm skies with light fighting through certain areas causing that spot-lighting effect that looks somewhat unreal. Initially, I was going to add some beams of light, but I felt this illustration had enough texture and detail that beams of light would be a bit much.

Let me know what you think.

If you would like to watch the Time-lapse video of this work with written commentary, join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

Keep on smiling!

M

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Also posted in Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , |

A Tough Week For This Artist!

Hello! Hello!

It has been a tough week, mostly because I spent half of it dealing with Customer Service.

Yesterday was the first full drawing day I had after the fiasco of our fridge not working, and it was one of those drawing days that makes me think I’m worthless as an artist. You see, I’ve tried to paint realistic humans from scratch (without photo reference). I have spent so much time drawing cartoon characters that I could not do it. No matter how hard I tried, the proportions were off. The heads and eyes were too big, the bodies had no muscles just shapes, …

I also made the discovery that I need to brush up on my anatomy. I know anatomy looking at the facing person, but I have no idea what’s happening when the person moves. When do I show the triceps? Should I add a line to indicate supination of the arm? What happens to the muscles and tendons around the knees?

I wanted to cry! I must have been drawing for four hours and everything looked wrong.

This is what happens when I spend more time on the business side of things rather than on creating. I’m rusty. However, all I need to do is find a good anatomy resource and add studying anatomy to my schedule. I will be fine.

I wanted to try illustrating my book with more realistic looking characters, but since my anatomy is rusty I gave up on the idea. Someone told me that teens like realistic looking characters, and though I believe I’ve written the book for teens, teens are so advanced these days, maybe my series is suited to 10-12 year olds? There are mature themes in the series: war, rape, torture, murder… However, I do not describe anything in detail. I do my best to keep it PG, and leave the horror to the reader’s imagination.

In the end, I’ve decided to keep the slightly cartoony illustration style for the Illustrated Edition, and I will release a Text-only Edition with the more realistic cover upon the completion of BOOK I (about 9 Episodes). I want to believe that everyone watches cartoons and loves illustrated books, but I may be mistaken. I wouldn’t know, because in my sphere everyone except my mom watches cartoons.

With this decision a weight came off my shoulders and I was able to enjoy completing the cover art for Chapter 03: The Punishment:

WofV CH03: Punishment Cover Art

The three of them reach the door that opens into the hallway and stick their ears to its surface to listen.

If you would like to watch Time-lapse videos of my work with written commentary, join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

P.S. I love my Digital Publishing Class at Ryerson so far. I have done some Markup in the past, but now I know why certain elements are called as they are, and why the documents are structured as they are. I have already learned enough to know what questions to ask. If you would like to see my notes for the class, let me know.

Cheers!

M

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Also posted in Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , |

Warriors of Virtue Chapter 02 Cover Art Illustration

After illustrating the Warriors of Virtue cover digitally with Cintiq Companion and Photoshop CS 5, I’ve decided to illustrate all the colour illustrations with Cintiq rather than traditionally in acrylic as I’ve initially planned.

I have two reasons for changing my mind:

  1. I feel that having a digital cover, acrylic chapter covers, and ink illustrations may be too much diverse media for a single story.
  2. I’m trying to learn to paint digitally and I feel these illustrations will be excellent practice.

I will have to repaint my illustration of the wizard Cornelian walking to the Empyreal Castle. I wonder what it will look like as a digital painting. For now, let me share with you my step-by-step process for painting Chapter 02 Cover Art.

Warriors of Virtue Chapter 01 Cover Art

Warriors of Virtue: Chapter 01 | Cover Art – Cornelian and Artemis on their way to the Empyreal Castle.

Please note: The following blog post will be the last blog post to include the recorded step-by-step videos. I will continue to record my illustration process, but I will share them only with the Mili Fay Art Club Members, so if you wish to continue watching these videos for free join the club below.

Warriors Of Virtue Chapter 02 Cover Illustration

I begin every illustration by rereading the whole chapter or section of the book I’m illustrating. As I read sometimes images will stand out in my head. These are the images I will turn into illustrations.

I write down the text that describes each illustration. Usually, the text leaves a lot to the imagination. I do a lot of work inside my head, but once I have a rough layout in mind, I begin to create quick illustration sketches known as Thumbnails…

Let’s try something different.

Rather than writing about my illustration process, this time I have included little notes within the videos themselves. If you would like me to continue describing my process in the blog post instead, let me know in the comments.

In this video series I show you how I work my way from a sketch, to a tonal study, and two painting — two paintings, because I did not like the result of the first.

If you are having trouble viewing this playlist you can find it here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLVFkpVv04ZbqCunT59tuCpaqozMzkG2O

WofV CH02 Cover Art

Warriors of Virtue: Chapter 02 | Cover Art – Sugarplum asleep within the sowing basket.

 

If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact me.

Cheers!

Mili Fay

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. For a limited time you will receive a Beta version of Episode 1 of Warriors of Virtue. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with the dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Also posted in Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , |

Designing Warriors of Virtue Cover Art Part 16

(A.K.A. Schoolism Pictorial Composition Week 05)

Video 16: If you cannot see the embedded video: https://youtu.be/zVpSDdl3AJU

You can find out more about the Warriors of Virtue fantasy series by clicking on the link.

Iridescent Capes

On DeviantArt I found this wonderful tutorial by Chrishanhah on creating iridescence. After painting the iridescence as suggested, I decided to use the Magic Wand tool to select the inside of the capes that are to be made iridescent. Then I reversed the Selection, and erased the iridescent layer so that only the inside of the capes would be covered with paint. At the beginning of Video 16 I follow the steps suggested in the tutorial, but I got stuck in Part II. After applying different Blending Modes to the image, there were 4 I liked.

It is at this point that I reached out to the Social Community. I asked everyone who saw the post to tell me which blending mode they preferred.

(A Blending Mode allows the user of Photoshop to change the “blending” of the active layer. It can be found in the Layer’s Palette. I do not really understand the terms, but I think they have to do something with photography. In general, I just experiment with the effects and see which one I like.)

Blending Mode Question

Which Blending Mode do you like?

A friend of mine suggested I should use Colour Burn blending mode, but add some bright lights from the Hard Light mode. She was right. It ended my qualms about the work, and it made it look much better than I thought it would.

After finishing the iridescence of the capes, I had to fix the shadow. Then I move on to adding lighting to Lord Malachite’s eyes, using the same approach I used with the warriors.

Painting Stars

A while back, because I did not like the provided Photoshop brushes, I created my own star brush. I found several images of the Universe on Google, and I used these images as reference for adding stars around the warriors. In the story, when the chosen humans become Warriors of Virtue by merging their spirits with those of the elemental spirits, they are in a chamber which is flooded with the “illusion” of them standing in the middle of the Universe as they take their vows. I have chosen this scene for the main cover, because I feel that it introduces the characters and gives the audience a glimpse of what the book is about better than any other individual scene. However, looking at my cover up to this point, I wondered if adding stars may make the work too busy. In the end, I decided to add the stars, because I find it irritating when the cover art does not represent the scene from the book truthfully. Recently, I read a book where a girl wore a red dress in the story, but they made the dress purple on the cover. Artistically, I get that the Art Director wanted to keep the book visually separate from the first book in the series, but I don’t think the action was necessary. I would have bought the book even if she wore the red dress.

If you are reading this, I’m curious to see your thoughts: Do you find the discrepancies between the artwork and the story irritating, or do you not care?

An interesting thing about stars is that they are not all the same colour, so I decided to add colours from the elemental powers in the image. I added each star manually. I did not use a pattern brush, because I find patterns jarring. Then for the bigger stars I went back in and gave them a brighter center.

Adding The Title

Oy vay! I do not like adding titles.

I would not mind so much if I knew how to keep the letters neat to design my own font in Photoshop, but whenever I try to do this, they look absolutely dreadful. Designing fonts is an art in itself, and though I did have one assignment in school where I was required to design a font, that was one assignment in years of study. I did design a Warriors of Virtue font. As the video continues, I tried to use the provided font, but then I spent quite a bit of time sketching in the Warriors of Virtue font (most of this video is sped up to 8000% original speed. The part when I sketch the Warriors of Virute font I’ve sped up 16000%.)

I sketched it in, was playing around with its placement, when my sister walks through the door and tells me to use a simple font, because the rest of the image is busy.

Bwoom! My mind is blown.

Originally, I was going to have a graphic image of the tree (the one in the center of Warriors of Virtue’s uniforms) on a black background as the cover (a very boring cover), so fancy font would stand out. However, after looking at the image I painted, I agreed with my sister: a simple font will work better.

Not too simple. When I added the plain Arial font (my favourite font—maybe because I am a Libra and Arial speaks to my sense of simplicity and balance), it did not belong to the rest of the image. In spite of my sister protesting all the way, I decided to change the size of the letters at the beginning and end, to create more visual interest. I tried to do the same with my name, but on second thought I decided to keep the name simple. I want the reader to see the image, then the title, then my name.

To make the font fit the image better, I decided to make it look golden, to echo the embroidery of the Warriors of Virtue’s tunic. I did this by adding a layer of gradation above my font layer, then from the top menu I chose Layer > Create Clipping Mask. Afterwards I used the Dodge and Burn tools to make the font look shiny.

I went into Layer options and added Stroke of middling opacity and dark-blue colour I used for shading around the font to make it stand out better from the image. After considering the image, I decided to push back Malachite’s eyes by changing the opacity, so it looks as if they are emerging from shadows. I also made my name less shiny. As I said, I want the reader to see the image, read the title, then my name.

The font works, the image works, but there is still something not quite right with the image. Can you tell me what?

Warriors of Virtue Cover 01

There is something not right with this cover. Can you think of a way to make it better?

I think I figured it out, but I forgot to record the last edit. You can see the final cover image in the following post.

Until then, I hope you enjoyed seeing me create my first digital painting ever from scratch. Thank you for watching and thank you for reading.

Love,

Mili

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. For a limited time your gift is the Beta version of Episode 01 of Warriors of Virtue. As always, I only write when it is important or to give gifts. I hate spam and will never share your email address.

 

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with the dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

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