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Two watercolor commissions, one recent, one… not so recent.

Phoenix Magician. 9″x12″ watercolor. Private commission.

This was a take-home order from AnthroCon 2016, which I had to put on hold for a couple of months while I moved to Bend. I was doing a lot of yoga in defense of my sanity, and the affirmation of eagle pose (Amidst life’s storms, I stand serene) resonated with me. Well, I aspired to it, anyway. Combined with the fact the Sanskrit name for eagle pose, garudasanacomes from Garuda, the Indian Phoenix, and I found myself incorporating it into this work. Looks a little funny with bird legs, but then, it looks a little funny with human ones, too.

Promo art for Matthew Ebel’s 2017 Live Concerts. 12″x9″ watercolor. Commercial commission.

Jumping forward: this is from just before AnthroCon 2017, when Matthew Ebel asked me to do artwork for his 2017 season live show promo posters. He gave me loose enough prompts that I was able to run with them to somewhere I felt was evocative of the feeling of his live shows, if not their exact appearance. I went to my old ally, the Hubble Site, for background reference pictures, but the Ebel Ship, and his costume, are my own creation. Matthew Ebel is a geek piano rock artist, and his next show is on August 25 in Herndon, VA.

Commissions are currently closed due to pre-existing workload, but if you’d like to commission me in the future please read my terms of service. You may also let me know that you are interested, and I will keep you in mind the next time I open for commissions.

-G

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Righto, so it’s been a very busy, happy summer in a stressful sort of way. Conventions, moving, a friend’s wedding, more conventions (MOVING) so naturally I’ve been painting more cute owls in strange hats.

Whitefaced Owls in Assorted Strange Hours Hats

Whitefaced Owls in Assorted Strange Hours Hats

These darlings are modeling the Yellow-grey pixie, flotsam shell, and Fiddler’s Green fiddlehead hats!

Both the originals will be up for grabs at MidAmeriCon II this coming weekend! If you plan to attend, do go have a look! Chronographia will be there as well, with more of her amazing hats, so be sure to check her out as well! They will soon by added to my RedBubble shop for all your print and gift card needs!

Watercolors on 5″x7″ paper.

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The short of it is I was bogged down in long-term projects and one morning I woke up and realized what I needed to do was paint an owl wearing one of Chronographia’s marvelous hats. So I did. This was the result:

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Elf owl in a Sprout Beret

It made me so happy that I did another one the next day.

Barn Owl in a Sky Blue Counterpoint

Barn Owl in a Sky Blue Counterpoint

By this time I was on a roll, and knew I had to keep painting owls, if only to keep my spirits up.

Snowy Owls in Pixie Hats

Snowy Owls in Pixie Hats

Chronographia tells me these hats were made on commission for a couple going on a skiing trip—so my choice of owl was extra appropriate!

Great Gray Owl in a Yellow Star Jester Hat

Great Gray Owl in a Yellow Star Jester Hat

Half the fun of this, of course, if looking for reference pictures of various owls. Great Grays are incredible—I could do a whole series within this series of great gray owls!

Northern Hawk Owl in a Scarlet Pinwheel Topper

Northern Hawk Owl in a Scarlet Pinwheel Topper

Northern Hawk Owls are also stupendous birds! Very serious and majestic. So of course I had to put mine in the most outrageous hat!

Eurasian Eagle Owl in a Sugared Violet hat

Eurasian Eagle Owl in a Sugared Violet hat

Painting the owls in flight was very time-consuming, because of their wings, but also highly rewarding! Doing the details of light and dark on their feathers without white paint was an additional challenge.

Tawny Owl in a Red Atagaric

Tawny Owl in a Red Atagaric

There is something about owls that is so self-possessed and dignified that when they look offended it is particularly adorable.

Burrowing Owl in a Pine Jester.

Burrowing Owl in a Pine Jester.

As of this post the series consists of eight owls, which are available as prints and greeting cards over on my Red Bubble shop, but I expect there will be more in future. The original Elf, Barn and Snowy Owls have been sold, while the rest are slated to appear in art shows at AnthroCon and World Con this summer. Chronographia will also be peddling her wares at the later, but in the meantime I encourage everyone to go check out her Etsy shop, where she lists hats and other goodies for sale!

All were done in watercolor on 5″x7″ paper.

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Hunter and Hound

2016 by Goldeen Ogawa, watercolor on paper

This is a somewhat cheeky piece of work. You see, it could be a depiction of Arawn, King of Annwm, (or possibly Gwyn; the distinction between them being so fuzzy), with one of his red-eared Yeth Hounds…

or it could be Sirius, the Dogstar, incarnate in a bastard Yeth Hound/golden retriever mix and the Master of the Hunt, who is probably the original Child of Darkness on whom legends of Arawn and Gwyn were based. It entirely depends on how much of a Diana Wynne Jones fan you are, I suppose. 😉

Personal work done between book projects, to remind myself that yes I can make pictures that don’t take months to finish.

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hint: click for full view!

hint: click for full view!

Colored pencils • prints and merch here!buy the book here!

Cover art for Professor Odd Episode 7: The Dogs of Canary Island. Now that the book is out, I can finally share the original cover art!

This was done largely over the course of January/February 2015, all in colored pencils, as I do with the Odd covers. Still getting the hang of doing art-for-book-covers rather than just art-as-illustration, but this one came out pretty good, I think.

As for the story… genetically engineered dogs. A sarcastic Borzoi. A long-suffering Akita Inu. Professor Odd wears a ruffly apron. Dave makes breakfast. ALISTER FLIES THE ODDITY. Also wormholes. Good times.

Buy the book and read it yourself!

Professor Odd is a series of science fiction novellas about a universe-hopping woman-thing and her friends as they travel the multiverse looking for pizza, nice beeches, peace and quiet, and sometimes helping stray dogs on the way. You can find more episodes on it’s Heliopause page, prints and other merch for sale on my Red Bubble store.

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*click image for full view*

*click image for full view*

MERCURY • colored pencil, ink and paint pen • 9”x12” bristol board

Prints and merch available here!

Returning to my Planet Horse series, meet the first of the terrestrial planet horses: Mercury! Here represented by an Icelandic Horse performing its distinctive gait, I wanted to evoke the fleet-footedness of both the planet (Mercury has the shortest year of all the planets) but also his legendary namesake: the Roman god of messengers, whom the Greeks called Hermes. I couldn’t find any good true-color references for the planet, so I elected to keep him silver—yet another reference, this time to mercury the element.

Original is currently for sale!

*click image for full view*

*click image for full view*

VENUS • colored pencil, ink and paint pen • 9”x12” bristol board

Prints and merch available here!

The second of the terrestrial planets, Venus is named for the Roman goddess of love and fertility, whom the Greeks worshiped as Aphrodite. I have chosen to represent her with a Connemara Pony, and while her flowing mane and tail are reminiscent of different interpretation of Venus (hi, Botticelli) I’ve adapted her fiery landscape and thick, toxic clouds into something almost like heavy metal stage makeup—an oblique reference to the face that, on Venus, it rains acid and snows metal. In keeping with the inflammatory nature of both planet and goddess, her border is decorated with a flame motif. This arose naturally as I worked on the piece, and leaves me curious as to how I will differentiate her from Mars—who, as the Red Planet and the God of War, also has some claim to fire as a representative element. We’ll see…

Original is for sale!

*click image for full view*

*click image for full view*

GAIA • colored pencil, ink and paint pen • 9”x12” bristol board

Prints and merch available here!

Third and largest of the terrestrial planets, the cradle of life and the “blue gem” of the solar system, also known as Earth or Terra, here she takes her name from the Greek goddess of the earth: the great Gaia. Of all the planets so far illustrated, she is the only one represented by a truly wild “breed:” Przewalski’s Horse. With her rocky terrain and thick atmosphere, in appearance she is somewhere between her terrestrial neighbors and the huge gas giants—while her eyes and nostrils glow red in reference to Earth’s fiery core. She alone shows the signs of life: artificial illumination from human cities can be seen on the dark side of her face. This unique aspect is also reflected in her border, with its flowing, floral pattern.

Original sold.

*click image for full view*

*click image for full view*

MARS • colored pencil, ink and paint pen • 9”x12” bristol board

Prints and merch available here!

The final member of the terrestrial planets, I chose for the equine representative of the Roman god of war, whom the Greeks called Ares, the equally terrifying (at least to my mind) Shetland Pony. For while we may associate Mars with that fiery god, in reality the planet is a harsh, freezing desert, and needs a suitably indomitable avatar. In the series, this piece is unique in that it combines both gold and copper metallic ink.

With Mars, the Planet Horse series now contains every heliocentric satellite which astronomers call planets, but I have hopes of one day adapting Pluto—for old times’ sake. And if I do, perhaps Eris and Haumea will not be far behind…

Original for sale!

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The Planet Horses are a series which began with the four Gas Giants in November 2013, soon joined by the privately-commissioned Elemental Horses in 2014, to which were added Ligno and Ferro in late 2014/early 2015. They are part of a broader series called the Celestial Horses, which include Nebula (2015), and the re-worked Ouranos. Collectively they make up the Fantastic Equine series, which can be found in its entirety here.

 

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NEBULA • Personal work • 2015 • 11”x14” mixed media

Print available!

Revisiting my Planet Horse series (now perhaps more accurately called the Celestial Horses), this is the latest and largest edition: Nebula.

Unlike the others, which were all modeled off existing horse breeds, Nebula sprung right out of my imagination—but she looks like some sort of warmblood. I used references from the Cat’s Eye and Helix nebulae and the Westerlund 2 cluster. Her sigil, in the lower left-hand corner, represents the rings of expanding gases found in many planetary nebulae.

Acrylic ink, colored pencils and metallic pen on 11”x14” watercolor paper. Original will be going to AnthroCon!

When complete, the Celestial Horses will include the four gas giants, with a re-worked Ouranos (Uranus), along with Nebula and the Sun & Moon. They are the stylistic siblings of my Elemental Horse series (Fire, Air, Water, Earth and Wood, Metal) and together they constitute the Fantastic Equines series.

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OURANOS 2015 • personal work

Mixed media: acrylic ink, colored pencil and metallic pen on 9”x12” bristol board.

Print available! Progress pics here!

This is a redone version of the original Ouranos of my Planet Horse series from 2013. In this incarnation, Ouranos—third of the gas giants and first of the ice giants—is modeled off both a Lippizaner and an Arabian. They are depicted in a trotting side-pass, or traverse, a reference to the planet’s tilted orbit. Better known by the Latinized version of their name, Uranus was the primordial god of the heavens, the father of Saturn and the grandfather of Jupiter. The patterns running along the left and right borders mimic the arrow of Ouranos’s planetary symbol, while the curls and circles reflect its whirling clouds and vertical ring system.

Though I was pleased with the overall set, I was dissatisfied with Ouranos. Since I’m planning on producing a calendar consisting of the entire Fantastic Equines series, I took the opportunity to remake Ouranos—this time in landscape format. I also adjusted the pose and border, and overall I am much happier with this version. I also changed them from a pure aqua-blue to an “aqua palomino” which I felt added some much-needed variation to the color scheme.

Credit where credit is due: I knew I wanted to pose Ouranos side-passing from the front, but was unsure if I could find adequate reference photos. It is not something horses do naturally, but when they do it looks incredible. Thankfully, I found the perfect reference, and though I took enormous artistic liberties, it heavily influenced the end result.

Original will be going to AnthroCon!

See the rest of the Fantastic Equines (including the original Ouranos from 2013) over here!

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Now that Professor Odd #6: The Monster’s Daughter is finally out I can share the interior illustrations I did for the special two-part finale! They are both graphite pencil on bristol board, and while the versions in the book were digitally adjusted/cleaned up, I’m also posting the original scan, since I think the texture of the graphite pencil looks cool. I was greatly inspired by the work of John Picacio, and I think it helped me in this case—since these illustrations are something of a departure from my natural style. As always, click the image to embiggen!

The Detective Raw

Detective Final

Subject 0D Raw

Subject 0D Final

Prints are available here (The Detective) and here (Subject 0-D). Maybe also check out the book?

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"Woman of Thunder" • Graphite pencil on 12"x9" bristol board • click through for full view!

“Woman of Thunder” • Graphite pencil on 12″x9″ bristol board • click through for full view!

© Goldeen Ogawa 2015. WIP shots on Tumblrprint available here!

Raise your sword up, woman of thunder
’cause they’ll try to take you down tonight
Get your arms up, girl of wonder
you gotta chase ’em down before they fly

A personal piece I’ve been working on, on and off (but mostly off) since September of last year. This one features Clara, one of the three main protagonists from my Driving Arcana series (Rotation One available here!) with her trademark sword and custom Yamaha VMAX, Unicorn. Now I’m thinking I ought to do matching portraits for Selene and Jill, the other two leads, but considering how long this one took me, I don’t know when that will be. XD

Lyrics are from her signature song, “Miracles and Unicorns.”

 

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