Book of Zhu – Half-Dragons

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It’s time to share a design of a race with dragon ancestry that we’ve made for Book of Zhu. What it means is that we got to play around to create a hybrid creature, making it mainly Zhuni (human features) with Zhu Dragon characteristics.

There were several features that we looked forward to adopt as the Dragons themselves are majestic creatures with visible mana bursting through their scales since they create mana and chi in their own mana furnace and also their wings are covered in tiny scales that make them extremely tough.
As hybrids it seemed interesting for us to keep the mana bursts in several points, specially as a feature that would add impact in a fight, a punch or kick fuelled by an extra power to land it! We would think twice before stepping on their toes…

Here are more characters that we’ve worked on:
Alternative outfits: Aya, Rani, The Empress, Eraeli and Ing Rao.
Concept: Mika, Maru and Yi-Sunai

There’s more about the project right at the Book of Zhu webpage.

★Have a great weekend and stay inspired!★

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Ciara, the Black Amazon of Mars ~ Lines

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Linesforthe hot blooded reliable beauty

This is the closing of the Heroines Pin Ups for the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary of Leigh Brackett’s space Opera, for which we made the concept art, illustrations and covers while loving every minute of it. The three volumes are published by the sci-fi fan favourite Cirsova Publishing.
Ciara and her lines, the tribute for volume 3, in all her fiery self, keeping an attentive eye on everything, just in case.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3: Ciara and her lines are right on this post!

If you would like to know more check out these links:
Take a look at Cirsova Publishing blog
Check Black Amazon of Mars at Amazon (kindle and paperback)
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★Stay inspired!★

Ciara, the Black Amazon of Mars

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The tall blue eyed bird Ciara, hot blooded and ready to handle whatever needs breaking.

It’s time for the last book’s heroine to come forth. Praise Ciara from the third volume of the Illustrated Stark: Black Amazon of Mars by Leigh Brackett. All illustrations and covers of the three volumes are by us, StarTwo, and it’s published by the sci fi fan favourite, Cirsova Publishing.

Ciara is truly a character full of surprises. Not only is she master of the art of war but also owner of the true meaning of inner strength. It made us feel like she was ready to move mountains, literal or figuratively. And yet, there is also a sweet side, rational but not less giving.

As the passage on the book describes her well, inner fire is a strong part of her.
“The throat he held was white and strong, and his hands around it were buried in a mane of red-gold hair that fell down over the shirt of mail. A red mouth passionate with fury, wonderful curving bone under sculptured flesh, eyes fierce and proud and tameless as the eyes of a young eagle, fire-blue, defying him, hating him…”

She is fuelled by a strength that comes from inside, framed with long free flowing fire coloured hair, roaring and ready to stand until she can fight no more. Even then, she will surely be standing, pulling the best part of you to the battle, pushing you forward, not stopping until you are successful. We all need a Ciara in our lives!

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1, “The Queen of the Martin Catacombs”: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2, “The Enchantress of Venus”: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3, “The Black Amazon of Mars”: Ciara is right here and Ciara’s Lines

Want to know more? Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Give a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Black Amazon of Mars at Amazon (kindle and paperback)
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★See you soon and stay inspired!★

Varra, the Enchantress of Venus ~ Lines

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Lines under the wicked silver fairy of Venus.

Let there be more lines for the pinups of the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary of Leigh Brackett’s characters we did for the volumes published by Cirsova Publishing.
Here are Varra’s lines! The heroine of the second volume and her silver curls.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines:
Volume 1: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3: Ciara and Ciara’s Lines

Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Take a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Echantress of Venus at Amazon (kindle and paperback) and at Barnes & Noble
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★Have a great week and stay inspired!★

A Japanese Folk Tale: Okiku

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The relief of the word “ten”

Okiku or “Banchou Sarayashiki” (The Dish Mansion at Banchou) is one of the most popular ghost stories in Japan and as expected, has several versions. Within all of them we settled for its folk version.

The story tells us of a beautiful girl serving a samurai called Aoyama Tessan, who constantly made advances towards her and every time was met with refusal.
Tired of her resistance, he plotted to make her accept him through a cruel plan where he accused her of losing one of the family treasures, a Delftware plate from a set of ten.
Haunted by the terrifying fate of such an offence -none other than death itself- Okiku desperately counted the plates time after time but to no avail as there was no tenth plate, no matter how many times she recounted them.
Under the guilt she confessed to Aoyama, in tears, and was received with an offer of him disregarding her wrongdoing if she gave in and became his lover. Okiku once again refused him, and this infuriated him to the point of throwing her down a well as punishment and killed her.

The story says that due to that unfair death, Okiku turned into a ghost who haunted her murderer. Counting up to nine, then shrieking loudly, agonizing, unable to find the missing plate.
It is told that her haunting was broken by an exorcist who shouted “ten”, just before her shriek after her usual count. Finally finishing the set and releasing her from the fixation on the missing plate.

Other versions involve the anger of a jealous wife, another one where she finds out a plot from her master against his lord and contributing to dismantling it, unfortunately all the versions have her die and return as a ghost.

The most romantic version is where Okiku is actually guilty of breaking the plate, hoping that her lover proves his devotion for her, but instead she is killed when confessing that it was intentional. When appearing as a ghost, the beauty and calm displayed on her face instead of ugly and vengeful feelings reaches out and touches his heart, leading him to commit suicide (seppuku) to join her in death.
Romantic?… Yes.
Right-minded?… Well, Love and Passion are complicated matters. We’ll just leave it at that.

★Stay inspired★

Berild, the Queen of the Martian Catacombs ~ Lines

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The lines of the striking beauty from the hot desert land of Mars.

Let’s keep up with the Illustrated Stark, 70th Anniversary tribute to Leigh Brackett’s characters we created for the volumes published by Cirsova Publishing.
This time is Berild’s lines! The heroine of the first volume with locks for days.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1, “The Queen of the Martin Catacombs”: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2, “The Enchantress of Venus”: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3, “The Black Amazon of Mars”: Ciara and Ciara’s Lines

Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Take a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Echantress of Venus at Amazon (kindle and paperback) and at Barnes & Noble
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★Have a great week and stay inspired!★

Varra, the Enchantress of Venus

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Great power in a petite format. The wicked silver fairy of Venus.

Just like in the post dedicated to Berild, this time we bring you Varra, heroine of second volume of the Illustrated Stark: Enchantress of Venus by Leigh Brackett. Just like the first and the third book, illustrations and cover art are by us, StarTwo, and it’s published by the sci fi fan favourite, Cirsova Publishing.

Varra definitely struck an impression with the duality of elfish beauty corrupted by an inner evil that can crush you if you stand in her way -unless you’re Stark, of course. And yet, honest in her daring boldness and ambition.

As for all other characters, we received a description of Varra, who is a Lhari, and we added to her personality aided by reading from the volume as well.
This is from the wonderful information from the pre-production document we got from Cirsova:

The Lhari are described as having “alabaster skin, …eyes that were all colors and none, like the dawn sky, …hair that was pure warm silver”

Very much like an evil elf princess. She’s described as wearing a short red tunic and a leather falconry glove on her left hand (and a falcon to go with it). (…) Stark at one point calls her “witch with the silver curls”, (…) “lovely, like the red fruit of the swamp tree that bears death in its pungent sweetness”.

Her irresistible wickedness is like a red beacon warning you of danger, and yet, there you are, walking right towards it. Lured by the charming hazard dressed in red.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1, “The Queen of the Martin Catacombs”: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2, “The Enchantress of Venus”: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3, “The Black Amazon of Mars”: Ciara is right here and Ciara’s Lines

Want to know more? Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Take a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Echantress of Venus at Amazon (kindle and paperback) and at Barnes & Noble
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★See you soon and stay inspired!★