Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Loneliness of the King

This is a painting of 孫悟空 (Sun Wu Kong) from 西遊記 (Journey to the West).

click for larger view

齊天大聖的孤獨 (Qi Tian Da Sheng de Gu Du)
The Loneliness of the Great Sage Equaling Heaven (literal)
The Loneliness of the King

Thoughts behind the painting:
I dug up the novel to read and spent many days thinking of what to paint for this one. I was reminded of many interesting events of the story but I really didn't want to do a straight narrative. I discussed this with my parents during meal times (being Chinese we were all familiar with the story) and just out of the blue one day, a thought came to me and I said to my dad, "Hey... Sun Wu Kong didn't actually have any real friends."

I suddenly realized what a lonely creature he was. I went back to read Chapter 27-28 - this was when Tang San Zang expelled him and he went back to Hua Guo Shan (Mountain of Flower and Fruit), which was mostly burnt down by the great war caused by his mischief 500 years ago. My heart literally ached for him when he cried for his master, which I feel did not deserve his loyalty and respect at all.

Tang San Zang, the historical figure, might have been a great man, but the fictional monk in the story was a hypocritical, cowardly and selfish bastard of a man. He's the character that I loath most in the story, much more so than any demon the group came across.

To see if anyone shared my thoughts on Sun Wu Kong's loneliness and to make sure that I wasn't being overly sentimental about this (xD), I googled around and actually found quite a few things... some blog entries and the lyrics to a song by Mayday. My painting isn't based on that but I thought I'd mention that here. [link] [link]

Here's the complete English version of the novel in PDF format, if anyone's interested: [link] A very entertaining read.

Photoshop CS3, Painter IX, & Gesso (textures)

Link to deviation:

I hope my next painting will be a happy one.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fairies are as cruel as children.

Participated in ConceptArt.Org's Character of the Week (CHOW #146) challenge. The competition for this round is like... woah, intense. Be sure to cast your votes for your favorite entry at: [link]. (You need to be registered and logged in to vote.)

This week's topic:
'Queen Titania'
Titania is a very proud creature and as much of a force to contend with as her husband Oberon. Due to an enchantment cast by her husband's henchman Puck, Titania magically falls in love with a rude mechanical (a lower class laborman), Nick Bottom the Weaver, who has been given the head of an donkey by Puck, who feels it is better suited to his character. Full story: [link] (Source: Wikipedia)

On my entry:
I wanted to portray as closely as possible what I felt fairies were like, so here's Queen Titania and Nick Bottom('s head).

Fairies are as cruel as children.

In my imagination, fairies are innocent and whimsical as well as selfish, remorseless and vengeful. They're very much like children. In this painting, I took some liberties with the original story and character from Shakespeare's play, and wanted to create a "fairytale gone wrong" image. I tried to keep her quite childlike and innocent-looking, and I hope I succeeded in making the painting feel little disturbing. (I've always found innocent children in horror movies/ghost stories extremely creepy and scary, and I want to put a bit of that in here.)

I recently acquired the book "FABLES: Covers by James Jean" (present from sister - best art book ever), and his work was on my mind the whole time when I was trying to create this image.

Um, I do not promote animal-cruelty.

Photoshop CS3, Wacom Graphire4

WIPs & Close-up:

Painting this was an exciting, fun, stressful, excruciating and rewarding experience. On the side note of things, I cut my hair! I've discovered my love for short hair and I can't see myself growing it out anywhere in the near future. Sooo much less hassle and it feels amazing- all nice and breezy. C:

So what else did I do in year 2009? Pretty much nothing. Asdfsfsdfsfsda. I can't believe it's February already. Oh, I updated the look of my website. [link]