Tag Archives: Mili Fay Art

Mili Fay Art 2017 Projects Update

There are so many things I wish to do, but I wonder if I could possibly find the time to do them all.

Since you’ve heard from me last, I’ve decided on my projects for 2017:

Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series

Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series will remain the number one priority. Saying this, I’m sorry to inform you that I’m not sure when Episode 5 (the episode that should have been available on March 1st 2017) will be published. After receiving edits from my editor, I’ve decided to rewrite quite a bit of Chapter 13. Currently, that rewrite is being edited. I’m also waiting for the final pair of eyes to check the remaining two chapters.

Meanwhile, I hope you like the new and improved cover art:

Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series Episode 3 Cover Art

Almost Famous Artist’s Interviews

Last month, I’ve stumbled upon the “Occupy Facebook with Art” movement for the second time. I love the idea, but most people feature artists that are already famous. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to feature artists who are just as skilled, but as yet have no huge following?” Personally, I know a lot of amazing artists, and I discovered others on DeviantArt. It would be a shame if you did not discover them, too. To help promote their work (and my own) I’ve decided to create Almost Famous Artist’s Interviews. I will be publishing these as soon as I get an adequate number of responses. I thought to feature them every Monday — to beat the Monday Blues. What do you think?

To qualify, the artist needs to be out of school (or in school but with two professional projects in their portfolio) and trying to make (or making) a living as an artist.

If you would like to be featured, contact me with a link to your website. If I feel you qualify, I’ll contact you back with the interview questions.

Fast Book Reviews

For years, I have been reviewing books on Amazon and Goodreads. I have finally decided to create a blog featuring these reviews. These reviews are for busy people like me, people who do not have a lot of time to spend reading detailed, professional book reviews. I’ve created a format to help you determine if you would like a book at a glance, followed by a few paragraphs expressing my personal feelings about the work. Be sure to check out the FAQ Page for more information.

Mili Fay Art Princesses

Belle/Beauty from Beauty and the Beast

One of the concept sketches for the first painting — Beauty from Beauty and the Beast.

One of the chief reasons I created Mili Fay Art is to use my talents to help the world, by raising money for altruistic organizations. For years, I wanted to create something for I’m a Girl campaign. I have finally decided upon the project: Mili Fay Art Princesses. In between working on Warriors of Virtue, I’ll create traditional paintings featuring princesses. Because of the upcoming move, the first to be featured is Belle/Beauty from Beauty and the Beast. The scene: Belle attacked by wolves. (Decided via social media.)

Fallow my progress on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you wish to get a postcard of the final art for FREE join Mili Fay Art Fan Club.

In accordance with Mili Fay Art rules, 30% of all the profits form the project will be donated to I’m a Girl campaign. You do not need to purchase items to help out. If you like what I’m doing: spread the word!

Animals In My Hair Update

"Animals In My Hair" Front Cover

Animals In My Hair was the first book I published. It was created in part to raise funds for wildlife conservation via the Toronto Zoo by donating 30% of the profits. The trouble is that I invested heavily in printing the book and local fairs. As such, I have yet to see any profits. However, I feel horrible for not raising anything for the conservation of animals. Therefore, I’ve made the executive decision to donate 30% of all the profits from each sale from now on. After purchasing the book (or books) I will take away the cost of printing the book (growing constantly due to the interest rate), Gumroad fee, shipping, and packaging, HST (or Amazon fees for the digital book) then from the leftover amount I will take 30% and add that to a donation pot. Once the pot reaches $250 I’ll make the donation to the Toronto Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation and Breeding Program.

Animals In My Hair has received nothing but 5 star reviews since its publication from parents, teacher, reviewers, and children. If you know a child or have a child of your own, you should introduce him/her to this book. If you cannot afford it, you can borrow it from the Toronto Public Library, Brampton Public Library, and Huntsville Public Library. If you would like the book to become available in your local library let me know, and I’ll see if I can make that happen.

I need your help. If you like what I’m doing, follow me on Social Media and spread the word of my existence. I firmly believe art can change the world for the better. Mili Fay Art’s vision statement is: “Together we support the world one artwork at a time.” I cannot do it alone.

Thanking you in anticipation,

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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Posted in Animals In My Hair, Mili Fay Art Princesses, Projects, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Warriors of Virtue Episodes 1-9 YA Fantasy Rough Cover Art

I’m currently seeking fans of fantasy who would like to read Warriors of Virtue in exchange for an honest review. If you liked The Lord of the Rings, Sailor Moon, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and love mythology and fairytales, join here.

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.

 

 

 

 


If you are new to this blog, I have been writing and sketching a fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue, since I was sixteen years old. Currently the text is with my editor, and I’ve been illustrating the entire series while I wait. However, after speaking with several fans who cannot wait for the illustrated edition, I’ve decided to release a limited text-only edition. This edition will feature more realistic cover art appropriate for a YA audience. Each episode features one of the main characters.

Episode 1: Featuring Cornelian and Artemis

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.

Cornelian the Great is great because he helped defeat the Dragon Lord Malachite approximately 150 years ago. He is the greatest wizard in Ardan (the land where the story takes place), and a catalyst for Warriors of Virtue. When writing Cornelian I was inspired by Gandalf the Gray and Merlin from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone. Cornelian has a quite complicated story of his own that I may write in the future, in this series he serves as our heroes’ teacher and guide.

Artemis is a descendant of Athena’s Little Owl. He’s lived for millennia, is immortal, arrogant, and brilliant. He did something terrible to anger the gods and has been sent to serve Cornelian as punishment. However, by the time this story takes place, Cornelian and Artemis are friends, colleagues, and companions, not master and servant. Artemis loves tea and manicures.

Episode 2: Featuring Lauraliee as Nenya

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.

Lauraliee Elizabeth Vickomtessa Lumijer (I have included her full name but am excluding all the exalted titles) is the sixteen-year old main character of the story.


Warriors of Virtue is written in the third person omniscient point of view, follows the point of view of many characters, but if Lauraliee is in the scene the reader is focused on her experiences.


Lauraliee is a reluctant princess, who knows that one day she will become Queen, longing for an ordinary life. However, she has also been raised well by her mother, the reigning Queen Dragana, and takes responsibilities of her stations seriously. She is the eldest child in her family, and strives to set a good example for her sister and cousins. Lauraliee loves to read and paint, and has an unusual talent with the sword. She has not been defeated in combat since she was fourteen.

As the story progresses, she becomes Nenya, the Water Warrior.


Warriors of Virtue (originally there were five: Nenya/Water, Narya/Fire, Viliya/Air, Terrya/Earth, and Mettya/Metal) were created by Mistress Nature (creator of Ardan) in the Great War to stand against Lord Malachite. Malachite killed the Earth and Metal warriors and managed to capture the spirits. As our story begins, there are only three Elemental Spirits free: Water, Fire, and Air.


Episode 3: Featuring Vladimir as Narya

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.

Vladimir Nicholas Alexander DePompier is Lauraliee’s fifteen-year-old cousin. His mother is Queen Dragana’s sister. His father’s family is famous for breeding fire-steeds, horses of brimstone and living flame. Vladimir is a quick-tempered, charming prankster. He’s been living at the Empyreal Castle most of his life, and is more like a brother to his two cousins. He’s in love with Anuck, the only child of chief Muhawaka. Vladimir loves Mushwaki and often argues with Nikolina over games. He is also a talented archer.


Mushwaki is a sport played in Ardan similar to soccer but at a certain point before scoring a player must continue the game keeping the ball of the ground (without using his hands). The ball is smaller, and the goalie must prevent its entrance by using a racquet-like instrument.


He becomes Narya, the Fire Warrior.

Episode 4: Featuring Nikolina as Viliya

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.

Nikolina Katherine Marissa Lumijer is Lauraliee’s fourteen-year-old sister. She is extraordinarily beautiful, sweet, and kind. However, she is not afraid to get in a skirmish with her cousin. She is a tomboy, who loves exploring nature and can speak to animals. She adores her sister and cousin, but just because she’s the youngest does not mean she will let them get away with anything.

Nikolina becomes Viliya, the Wind Warrior.

Episode 5: Featuring Srdjan

Warriors of Virtue Episode 5 Rough Cover featuring Srdjan.

Srdjan knows how to use a wooden staff. He also has more Earth than he should and becomes Cornelian’s Apprentice.

Srdjan Jović’s parents are court ambassadors. When he and Lauraliee were seven they met, got into a fight, and became best friends. He moved into the Children’s Tower and has been tutored by Cornelian with his new friends. He has a talent for wielding a staff, and has more Earth in him than any human should, eventually becoming Cornelian’s apprentice.

Episode 6: Featuring Vert

Warriors of Virtue Episode 6 rough cover art featuring Vert Swiftwing.

Vert Swiftwing is Prince Diamond’s best friend and Captain of the Guard. He can transform into a green dragon of Swift class.

Vert Swiftwing is Prince Diamond’s Captain of the Guard and best friend. He is about 200 years old but appears to be twenty. This is because dragon-people age slower than humans. Vert can transform into a green dragon of the Swift class. He has no issues with humans, but must follow Lord Malachite’s orders. Unlike Diamond who never ventured far beyond Storm Rock, Vert has spent his life exploring Ardan. He is witty and charming. His weapon of choice: throwing daggers.

Episode 7: Featuring Diamond

Warriors of Virtue Episode 7 rough cover art featuring Diamond Pendragon.

Prince Diamond Pendragon was a ruler of the dragon people for hundred and fifty years. He does not know whether to believe his father when he says that humans are evil.

Diamond Pendragon has ruled his people in a hermit kingdom at Storm Rock after the defeat of his father, Lord Malachite, since he was five (or should I say fifty) years old. He witnessed his father’s imprisonment (and—he thought—death) at the hands of the Warriors of Virtue. In the hundred and fifty years of his rule, he never returned to the council of Ardan, keeping his people to themselves. After his father’s miraculous escape, he argues with him against a war on humans. However, what if his father is right and humans are a plague that will destroy Ardan in the end? Diamond wishes he had bothered to find out more about humans when he had the chance.

Episode 8: Featuring Lady Avalon

Warriors of Virtue Episode 8 cover art featuring Lady Avalon Starshine.

Lady Avalon is an accomplished witch and in the author’s opinion a total nutcase.

Lady Avalon Starshine is Diamond’s Aunt, twin-sister of his mother, Elonway. Daughter of a dragon nobleman and a star, she’s extraordinarily beautiful and well-versed in magic. She practices all kinds of magic, including Dark Magic, but she is not as powerful as Malachite, Cornelian, or Mistress Nature. She loves Malachite Pendragon, but is not particularly fond of her nephew.

Episode 9: Featuring Lord Malachite

Warriors of Virtue Episode 9 cover art featuring Lord Malachite.

Lord Malachite has a very good reason for hating humans to the point where he wants to exterminate them.

Lord Malachite Pendragon, a.k.a. the Dragon Lord, is the ruler of the dragon-people and Diamond’s father. He learned to hate humans and has spent the last portion of his life trying to exterminate them from Ardan. He hates humans so much that he tried to get rid of his own human side with Dark Magic, but instead managed to get stuck in a form neither human nor dragon. Malachite is the most powerful sorcerer in Ardan, only Mistress Nature can match his magic and she’s a goddess. His goal in life is to destroy every human in Ardan, thus saving all the non-human residents, and rule as his people have ruled for generations.

Well, there you have it: the first nine YA covers. Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you are interested in reading the first 9 episodes in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads, please contact me.

All the best!

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 Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue 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 , , , , , |

May The 4th Be With You!

Star Wars day! From the moment I first discovered it, I loved the idea of May the 4th (May the Force) belonging to the movie franchise celebration. As many people around the world, I too have watched the latest edition The Force Awakens. I love that the main character is a girl! Finally. I’ve always loved Princess Leah, too, but I have also felt the lack of other female characters in the series. With the ratio of women usually surpassing the ratio of men in the world, do you not agree that there should be a greater balance between male and female roles in the movies? Even in this film there is only Rey and Princess Leah.

So let this day be a call to sex equality (feminist movement for those of you who did not know): May the 4th be with you!

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens | Rey

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens | Rey

If you’d like to see the step-by-step speed-up video for the above illustration, join Mili Fay Art Fan Club below.

Now that’s out of the way, I have an announcement to make: Yesterday, I went back to school.

I’m studying Digital Publishing and Production at Ryerson. The course is taught by David Ward and Shannon Culver. Most of my classmates are ladies, there is only one gentleman, and somehow I volunteered to be a Class Rep. After Sheridan College I said: “Never again!” But there you have it. It should not involve too much work, and I just could not NOT volunteer when the lady from the CESAR (Continuing Education students Association of Ryerson) was standing right in front of me.

Yesterday, the class mostly involved getting to know each other, getting to know the course and our instructors, and being tested on our computer abilities. I met my row of lovely ladies consisting of Carol and two Irenes.

I have already learned some things: most of the eBook customers are women between ages 35-55 (I never would have guessed this, I believed eBooks were read mostly by students); HTML programming is called “Markup” in the publishing industry (or is it called “Markup” in every industry); and there is a new classification for books–New Adult (YA with more risqué content).

Our diagnostic test was quite a challenge, and boy did I scribble all over it. I think I may have lost my touch for taking tests. I remember my papers were sickeningly neat in high school, but then again I do not think that I have taken a test since high school… In college we mostly submitted work for marking… Maybe in the Animation History class with Kai Pindal?

In the classroom we have MACs with enormous monitors–I think those monitors are way too large. I feel as if I need to move a row away to look at the entire screen at the same time.

Next week we begin studying “markup”. I can’t wait! It looks as if this class will teach me how to build eBooks from nothing, so that maybe I can program my own books with less code, resulting in a smaller file. Since I’m mostly a PC lady, I’ll need to download Notepad++. In class we will be using TextWrangler.

I’ll keep you updated regarding these lessons.

Regarding my Schoolism lessons, I have decided to skip Assignment number 6. I’m not inspired by it, and since I’m not getting marked by anyone, I may as well work on something I need to, rather than waste time on something I feel I know: rhythm and balance.

That’s it for this post. I feel as if I have been sending my words out into empty space, so if you are reading this type a quick comment to let me know you’re alive.

Until next time:

Sayonara!

Mili

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.

 

————————————

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, Ryerson Digital Publishing, Schoolism, Uncategorized 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 , , , , |

Warriors of Virtue Fantasy Series Cover Art and Back Cover Blurb

Warriors of Virtue Episode 1 Cover Art

I’m working on the back blub for the fantasy series. It is difficult to choose just what to write. If you read the following, would you read the book or put it back on the shelf? What is good about this back blurb and what is bad?

Introducing Mili Fay’s first ever fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue

After a hundred and fifty years Cornelian believed Dragon Lord Malachite was dead in his granite prison, but miraculously the King of the Dragon-people escapes. It is up to Cornelian to reawaken the Warriors of Virtue, but has Malachite escaped too soon? Can three sheltered teenagers stop a madman who has demolished armies and nearly destroyed the Land of Ardan in his quest for vengeance?

All Lauraliee Lumijer ever wanted was an ordinary life. At sixteen she accepted that Fates decided she will serve better as a Princess, and not just any princes at that, but the future Queen of Ardan! Now, Cornelian tells her that she, her cousin, and sister have been chosen by Mistress Nature to become Warriors of Virtue? Each will be granted power over one of the elements, then sent on a mission to retrieve Dragon Lord Malachite’s Blood Ruby from the Lonely Ice Mountain to prevent war. All they need do is avoid dragon-people, a score of other dangers, stay alive, and–oh yes–keep the mission a secret from her overprotective mother.

Diamond Pendragon is thrilled his father is alive, but he is not convinced a war to remove all humans from Ardan is in everyone’s best interest. Admittedly, since his father’s imprisonment, Diamond ruled the people in his kingdom far away from humans. He ignored Queen Dragana’s kind invitations, and those of her predecessors that attempted to welcome his people back into Ardanian society. Nevertheless, humans could not possibly be as bad as his father declares? If only he knew more about them…

Warriors of Virtue is for all who love an adventure-filled journey, but be advised: Warriors of Virtue contains some disturbing content and may not be appropriate for children under 13.

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.

 

————————————

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 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.

 

————————————

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 , , , |

Designing Warriors of Virtue Cover Art Part 13

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

Video 13: If you cannot see the embedded video: https://youtu.be/kcSZu9aUnyE

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

First of all an important reminder to save your work if you are working digitally. Today, I painted shadows for over an hour, and though I saved the Photoshop file, I did not stop my Camtasia recording in time. Therefore, the recording vanished and I had to begin again!

The good news is that the first attempt at painting shadows has taught me how to go about it, so the recorded video above of the second attempt involves less trial and error.

Since I do not want to paint outside of the characters, in this video I begin to pain shadows by selecting the characters. If you look at my Layers Panel you will notice that I have merge the three characters onto one layer. I did this by selecting the layers I wanted, right clicking, and choosing Merge Layers from the pop-up menu. I had to do this, because my computer could not handle the large size of the file. I have also gotten rid of some other layers, so that now I only have the essentials I need for the painting.

I selected the characters by using the Magic Wand Tool. With only my characters visible, I clicked on the background then chose Select>Inverse (Shift+Control+I) from the top menu. Then I removed additional unwanted bits by holding Alt key and clicking on the area with my magic wand.

Next I saved my selection by choosing Select>Save Selection. This way if for some reason my selection disappears, I can load it again. Note: by saving your selection, you also create a new channel in your Channels Panel.

With my characters selected, in the Layers Panel, I’ve created a new layer just above my characters. For simple shadows (shadows that are painted on 2D characters), I would paint the shadows in flat colour than change the opacity of the layer to a desired shadow effect. However, since this image is more three dimensional, I had to paint three dimensional shadows.

I chose a standard soft Photoshop brush, the softest brush I could find. Then I brought the opacity level of the brush (if you have the tool selected you can find these options in the bar underneath the top menu) to 10% and then I turned on the pen sensitivity for Opacity, Flow, and sometimes I would add the Airbrush to the combination as well.

The worst thing you can do when you are painting shadows is to have streaks. You create streaks by going over and over the painted layer. Instead, what you want to do is paint as large an area as possible, then only add more shadow to the layer where it is needed. The larger the brush the softer the effect. This gradual layering of paint reminds me of working traditionally with watercolour.

When I create unwanted lines, I try to remove them carefully with an Eraser Tool that has the same level of Opacity and Flow as the Brush Tool. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t. There may be a better way of creating gradual shading with digital painting using Layers, but I have not yet made the discovery. My painting is also not movie quality smooth. I actually wanted more textures and a few lines showing (a more painterly effect), so a few lines here and there in the shadows do not take away from the entire work.

Here is the complete painting up to this point:

 since I do not want to paint outside of the characters

Note: This is not the final cover. This is the art resulting at the end of Video 13.

In the following video I will attempt to add light using the Adjustment Panel as N. F. suggest in his tutorial video. I have never done this before, so wish me luck!

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.

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, Schoolism, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Also tagged , , , , |