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Art Update: Flowers, Faeries, & Witches

Art & Illustration

It's been a month with some ups and downs for my artwork. Some pieces turned out just the way I wanted them, while others feel like flops. But that's how things go when making art!

First up is one of my favorite pieces from the month above, Unfurl. She's inspired by the talking flowers in Alice in Wonderland, and she's meant to represent someone coming out of their shell and flexing their muscles. This was a piece that flowed really well for me, and the whole thing only took a few hours.

This piece doesn't feel very successful to me. I made a lot of changes as I was sketching it on the watercolor paper, and I tore up the paper with too much erasing. Because of that, neither her dress nor her face was able to be painted with a smooth wash, so they look awkward to me.

I'm really not happy with the colors, even though I adjusted them heavily in Photoshop. And I originally called this piece "Mushroom Faerie," but she wound up looking a lot less like a mushroom than I thought she would. So, yeah, onward...

And here we have a little Thunderstorm Witch. I sketched this idea years ago and have just now painted a more fully realized version. Since my main complaint about the piece above was the disjointed colors, I decided to work with a limited color palette here.

I mixed up a teal, a pink, a gray, and a blue (and didn't even wind up using the blue), and I'm so much happier with the way the colors worked out. I don't usually do a lot of planning on paper with colors, instead leaving all those decisions in my head, but I think I'll do more limited palettes as I move along.

Keeping with the limited color palettes, I finally painted yet another piece that's been sketched out on paper for years. I actually did the underdrawing for this piece the same day that I sketched the Thunderstorm Witch (both were done at Kumoricon in between customers).

I loved the colors in my last piece, but I felt that I wanted something with a "pop" color, so I added the orange to this one. I'm so happy with how it turned out, especially since I thought the pink outlines with pink fill would be a bit too flat.

This piece is called Porphyria and is based on my favorite poem. Also, fun fact: Porphyria is the name of a type of blood disorder that many think is the origin of the vampire myth. It's a disease that requires its victims to consume heme, one of the main components of blood, and one of the main symptoms is a severe sun allergy.

So imagine the delight of a young high school aged Cate reading a poem titled with her favorite blood disorder (is that a thing?) about (spoiler alert for the poem!) murder. And the poet who wrote it, Robert Browning, is married to the woman who wrote, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways?" I have a feeling they were the cutest couple around.

I'm trying to finally tackle my Tarot deck final artwork, but I keep running into things that I'm not sure how to draw or paint, so I like to do other pieces with less emotion behind them to test it out.

The Knight of Swords in my deck is riding an albino raven, but I wasn't sure how I felt about a white raven being inked with black ink. Turns out, it works out just fine, and now I have an extra painting to show for it.

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  • Zoe on

    A few months ago I was thinking about your tarot deck and wondering if it was still happening. Glad to see an update about it. I love your artwork so much!

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