Tag Archives: digital painting

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).

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“Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”Shop Mili Fay Art
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Posted in Digital Painting, Mili Fay Art Princesses, The Phantom of the Opera Sketchbook, Uncategorized Also tagged , , |

BACK TO SCHOOL DEALS AND OTHER NEWS

Before getting into this week’s post…

Warriors of Virtue Logo

WARRIORS OF VIRTUE
Review Crew

Read Warriors of Virtue for free in exchange for honest reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and the Web. If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, Sailor Moon, Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Chronicles of Narnia, fairytales and mythology I believe you will enjoy this new fantasy series. Review Crew spots are limited.




 


school-starts-sep-4-resistance-is-futile

As a Trekkie, this image always brings tears of laughter to my eyes. The person who did this is a genius!

This year school starts September 6th for the students in Toronto, and though most of the students starting first grade or preschool have no idea what Star Trek is, it is important to make them laugh, too. For this reason, I’ve decided to create some deals for my book Animals In My Hair.

Note: The Countdown Deal price range is CAD$0.99 to CAD$4.99

Note: The Countdown Deal price range is CAD$0.99 to CAD$4.99

I created this picture book to be the greatest picture book on the planet, but if you don’t believe me, or the 5 star reviews, maybe you’d believe the pirates.

That’s right, my book was pirated last week by a really sketchy site most likely full of all sorts of viruses. I’m not going to say where you can find it, but if you find it on your own, I hope you are smart enough not to risk your computer for the usual price of CAD$9.99. If you are fast you can get the book for $0.99 during the Countdown Deal.

Today is Monday, and though you have come to expect Mini-MEs on Mondays, the Mini-MEs are postponed until I finish illustrating the YA covers for Warriors of Virtue.

As I paint these covers, I’m becoming more and more aware of the differences between traditional and digital painting. If I was painting the covers traditionally, I would have several brushes in my hand to achieve the textured or smooth look I need. However, painting digitally, there is a lot of trial an error, playing with different brushes and opacity, levels, layers, textures… I’m really grateful to the Schoolism students and DeviantArt artists who have helped me improve Episode 1 Cover Art.

Here you can see the version before their input:

WofV Episode 1 Cornelian

Thank you to Sarah Gaudette, Ella Ben Yacov, Rajen Ramkallawan, and especially to Evan Winston and Wildweasel339 for taking the time to pain over my work.

And here is the version after:

WofV Episode 1 Cover Art

I added more light contrast compared to the previous image. The awesome font I’m using is Immortal by Apostrophic Labs.

I’ve decided to add the extra background element to show more about each featured character. For Episode 1 you can see Cornelian and Artemis in the alcove of their cottage (a scene from the first chapter), and Cornelian’s cottage in line art in the background.

Episode 2 features Lauraliee Lumijer as Nenya the water warrior. The wave showcases her powers, while the background is a scene of the Empyreal Castle, her home, and the seat of power in Ardan.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 2 Cover Art

I’ve made several minor changes to this artwork in the last few days. The final was changing the position of the eye highlights. At one point I forgot that the inside of the cloak needs to be iridescent and I WROTE THE BOOK! 🙂

I’m currently working on Episode 3 featuring Vladimir DePompier as Narya the fire warrior. I’m not sure what to include in his background. His family is famous for raising fire steeds, so maybe I’ll create a sketchy version of a fire horse…

WofV Episode 3 Cover in Progress

Thus far I’ve painted the background flames and blocked in basic character colours.

In other news… Mili Fay Art finally has an Instagram account: mili.fay.art

If you see Mili.Fay note that this is not me. Someone opened an account with my name, and thus far has kept it blank. Since I’m new to Instagram, I’ve been posting my progress there rather than on another social media account. Does anyone know how I can post an image in a rectangular format rather than a square?

However, I’ll be posting on Facebook and Twitter, too.

I cannot believe the summer is almost over! I’ve been working to have Warriors of Virtue out by mid-September, and have unfortunately spent most of my summer indoors!

I weep for the passing sunshine. Maybe, I’ll just forget about everything for a while, and go to the zoo and other places while the weather is still nice. If you don’t hear from me, you know that’s what I’m up to.

Until next time…

Keep smiling!

Mili

P.S. My favourite Star Trek team is of course The Next Generation. However, I really like the new movies (I managed to see Star Trek Beyond this past Friday in 3D—wish I could have seen it in IMAX—it is soooooo worth it for the flying scenes), and currently I’m watching Voyager on Netflix. The last couple of episodes in Season 4 were really funny.

OK. This geek is out of here! Live long and prosper.


To watch 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.

 

 

 

 


 

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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.

Posted in Animals In My Hair, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also 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.

Posted in Digital Painting, Mini-MEs, Uncategorized Also tagged , |

Samwise Gamgee Mini-ME and WofV Progress

It took two weekends to complete the Samwise Gamgee Mini-ME from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love Sam, because he is so good. If more people were like him, this world would be a much better place. I confess, I do not remember the character from the books, but the way he was presented in the movies–he is basically the hero. Without him Frodo would not have survived long enough to destroy the ring.

Samwise Gamgee Mini-Me

Samwise Gamgee and pony Mini-Me

For this Mini-ME I’ve played around with proportions a bit more to make them even cuter. What do you think? The drawing took much longer, because there are 2 characters (Sam and the pony). In total, the time it took to create this Mini-ME was about 12 hours. I tend to charge 30-50$/h for my work. (The price varies depending on what the work would be used for and what rights I’m selling.) Therefore, the cost of this Mini-ME is $360 – $600. The image is created in Photoshop CS5 on a Cintiq Companion. The final PSD image has 2 rough folders, clean line layer for each of the characters, 3 background layers, and 3 colour layers (colour, shading, and highlights).

You can watch the Time-lapse video by joining Mili Fay Art Fan Club below to access the YouTube Playlist. Unfortunately, you will not be able to receive the colouring page and full-resolution PDF image this week, because the mail has been sent. However, if you do join you will get the PDFs for the following Mini-ME.

Why do I insist you join Mili Fay Art Fan Club and not just give away my work?

  1. I do not believe in giving away art for free. I need to sell art to survive. Even if I had a patron who would pay my living expenses for the rest of my life, there are other artists who may not be as lucky. It is wrong to give away art, because this creates the impression that art is free, and each free artwork is taking away food from an artist’s mouth. As is, you can enjoy the low-resolution image, but it will not work for commercial purposes. By joining Mili Fay Art Fan Club, you may help me spread the word about my work at least, which I consider a fair trade for some artwork.
  2. I’m working on a fantasy novel. I need to find other fantasy fans out there who like my work, who may be willing to purchase some of my work, or at least know others who would love to purchase my work and can offer advice on how I can improve my work. Currently, I’m looking for people who liked The Lord of the Rings, Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Sailor Moon, Chronicles of Narnia, fairytales and mythology, because I believe they would like my fantasy series, and I need to find these people so that they can read my series in exchange for advice and honest reviews.
  3. I like to meet people with similar interests and exchange ideas. It is great to work from home, but sometimes it can get really lonely.

I have not done much work last week other than my assignment for the eBook Publishing and Design course I’m taking and this Mini-ME. I’ve been drawing so much lately that I’ve hurt my drawing hand. I do not know quite what I did, but I can no longer lean on my right hand. Then I managed to electrocute myself by accidentally touching an exposed socket. I did not know the socket was exposed, and I got a nasty shock and a bruise. I can only be grateful that I’m in Canada and not Europe.

This week, I need to finish an eBook and Mobi for my class, so I may not have much time for drawing, but I’m still working on Warriors of Virtue. On the subway, I have worked out Vert’s basic design as a dragon (and let me tell you he will look amazing!). Remember, I have decided to paint more realistic covers for the text-only edition, and to use the first 9 episodes to introduce the main characters. Below are the final rough sketches for Episodes 1 – 4. I want to create all the rough sketches before I start to paint, because I wish to see how they will look together. The font is only placement font for now (I may create my own if I can figure out how), and the blue border gives me cutoff space. If you are reading this, I hope you will take some time and offer me advice if you see anything I can do better.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 1 Rough Cover Design showing Cornelian and Artemis at the cauldron.

Rough sketch showing Cornelian and Artemis looking inside the cauldron. I was inspired by some Arabian designs for the cauldron. This moment is the catalyst for the entire series.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 2 rough cover art featuring Lauraliee as Nenya, the Water Warrior.

Lauraliee as the Water Warrior, Nenya. Lauraliee at sixteen has a freakish talent with a sword. She has not been defeated in a swordfight since she was fourteen.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 3 Rough Cover Design featuring Narya, the Fire Warrior.

Vladimir at fifteen is the Fire Warrior, Narya. Even though he does not use the bow and arrow (in the first volume he only uses darts), he is superior in archery. (You may recognize this pose as the one I used for Legolas 😉 ).

Warriors of Virtue Episode 4 rough cover design showcaseing Viliya, the Wind Warrior.

Nikolina (fourteen years old) is the Wind Warrior, Viliya. She has the ability to speak with animals. She is surrounded by a unihorse, phoenix, griffin, and is holding her pet dog, Lunja–a mutt.

That’s it for now.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Mili Fay


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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

Posted in Mini-MEs, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also 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.

Posted in Digital Painting, Ryerson Digital Publishing, Uncategorized Also 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.

Posted in Digital Painting, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also 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.

Posted in Digital Painting, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also 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.

Posted in Digital Painting, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also 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.

Posted in Digital Painting, Schoolism, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also tagged , , , , , |

Designing Warriors of Virtue Cover Art Part 14 and 15

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

Video 14: If you cannot see the embedded video: https://youtu.be/cqNWSoopyNw

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

Video 14

I have never added light using Nathan Fowkes’ technique demonstrated in the Schoolism Pictorial Composition Lesson #5. I was very excited! With the help of a Facebook friend and by taking careful notes, I was able to copy the technique.

I soon discovered that I did not really like this technique for painting light onto my characters. The issue I had was that it coloured my characters with the same coloured light, and the light I wished to paint was cool pure white light that had no colour of its own. I scrapped the light folder and painted light and highlights by manually lightening the colour I picked using the picker tool.

Since the Water Warrior is the lead character in the story, I decided to give her most of the light. I also cheated. I added highlights in a way to help the eye bounce to the character’s face, rather than worrying about realism. As I painted light I considered different textures of the materials. Light bounces differently from different surfaces. Metal has stronger definitions of highlight and shadow, than does fabric. The same goes for the warriors’ leather gloves. I thought about giving them silk shirts, but then I decided that would be too shiny. I think the warriors’ shirts are made of linen, or really soft cotton.

Accidentally I managed to change the opacity on my light layer, and for some minutes I was baffled why my brush refused to paint at full opacity. When I realized this error, I had to scrap the layer and begin the process again!

I carefully added light, and then to finish the form off I added some highlights. I was conscious of the reflected light, but did not bother painting it in. Maybe I will do so in the future, but not at this time.

Below is the final result:

WofV Cover with added light.

Video 15: If you cannot see the embedded video: https://youtu.be/9fwKdDg80NM

Video 15

The next day, the time has come for me to paint magic and glowing light. For this Nathan Fowkes’ technique is perfect, since each magic has a different colour of light. After painting the magic as I did the rest of the painting, I moved on to this special lighting technique. Feel free to pause the video or to contact me if you have any questions.

Nathan Fowkes’ Light Painting Technique As Interpreted By Mili Fay

To add the blue light to the Water Warrior’s magic, I first selected the layer (or group of layers) with the magic. Then I proceeded to create the light layer.

Layers Panel

Layers Panel: Light Folder

Step 1. I have to create a special layer. To create a special layer: in the Layers Pallet click on the half white/half black circle (circled in the image above) then choose Solid Colour. Pick the colour you wish your light to be and click OK. This will create a solid colour layer you can see in the image above (Color Fill 2). Change the Opacity of this layer to about 18%.

Step 2. Fowkes suggests modifying this colour layer to make it look more like light by manipulating it with the Adjustments Panel. Instead of manipulating the layer, I believe the Adjustments Panel allows you to create additional layers, therefore if you make a mistake, you can always delete the adjusted layer. You can find the Adjustments Panel by choosing Window > Adjustments from the top menu bar.

Adjustments Panel

Adjustments Panel

As you can see in the Layers Pallet, Fowkes adjusted the colour layer by choosing the following adjustments:

Colour Balance–allows you to adjust colour by sliding the arrow between Cyan & Red, Magenta & Green, and Yellow & Blue.

Levels–allows you to brighten the colour and make it feel more like light by moving the light arrow closer to the gray.

Hue/Saturation helps you adjust the colour’s basic hue (instead of green, what if you decided you wanted blue light?), and up the intensity of the colour.

Then Fowkes suggests adding another Colour Balance adjustment to bring back more colour to your adjusted layer.

Step 3. Once you are happy with all the adjustments, group them together with the colour layer into a folder. You can do this by selecting all the different layers and dragging them to the folder icon in the Layers Panel.

Step 4. Create a mask for this entire group. With the Group selected, click on the mask icon (one on the left of the special layer creation icon in the Layer Panel) that looks like a gray rectangle with a white circle.

Step 5. Click Ctrl + I (Windows, I think the Mac equivalent is Command + I) to invert the mask. As you do this your light group will disappear from view.

Step 6. Choose your brush tool. For painting light you want a soft brush at low opacity (about 35-40%), since you want to paint your light in softly and gradually. Make sure you colour is pure white, then paint in your light. If you make a mistake, you can just paint over it with the pure black colour. Also, be sure that the mask is selected.

Step 7. Create another folder of light for highlights, reflected light, etc. by repeating Steps 1 to 6 until you have painted in all the light.

*****

As you can see in Video 15, the above technique is perfect for painting coloured light.

WofV Cover Magic and Glow

The state of the cover by the end of Video 15.

If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments, or if you wish to keep your inquiry private, feel free to contact me.

By turning a Warrior of Virtue’s cloak to the reverse side they become invisibility cloaks. That side is iridescent, so in the next video, I will attempt to paint iridescence onto the cloaks. That should be fun!

Cheers!

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.

 

————————————

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.

Posted in Digital Painting, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also tagged , , , |