watercolor

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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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or A TRIBUTE TO ALECTOR

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11”x14” watercolor and ink, 2014-2015 • Print Available! • Click for full view.

Original is for sale! Drop me a line if interested.

A personal piece I sketched out almost a year ago, which I’ve been nursing along ever since. Unlike many of my works, this one’s meaning changed a lot over the course of its creation. At the time I drafted it I was writing a novel where wolves were the protectors of a forest, much to the protagonist’s surprise, and I was also inspired by Alector Fencer’s plant spirit character, so that was where the wolf spirit came from. I toyed with the notion of elk and deer as being enemies of the forest, since they eat it after all, but as I finished the piece I realized that the guardian/enemy dynamic was not what the picture was about.

That wolf spirit is not a wood spirit at all, but the Death of Deer. The Death of Deer looks like a wolf, fittingly enough, but it is made of plants and leaves, representing the circle of life as the deer’s body returns to the earth to provide nutrients for the plants which it consumed while it was alive. I can only imagine this deer had a harder time than most letting go, which was what prompted the personal attention of the Death of Deer.

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GildenvernSm

Gildenvern Personal Work, 2015 • Print available!

This piece began as a test for me to practice gold leafing techniques with Sophie Klesen (AKA SoMK) at World Con last year, in London. I had a great time and learned a lot, but never got around to finishing it… until one afternoon, partially driven by not having created any new art in a while, I sat down with my watercolors and my new paint brushes with the goal of knocking it out in one sitting. This is the result.

(Had I given myself more time, I probably could have managed more details here and there, but it is what it is and what it is is finished so I’m not going to stress the small things overmuch. Besides, I think it looks cool, even if the gold leaf got eaten by the scanner. As usual. You can get a better idea of what the leaf looks like over here.)

Progress pics:

GildenvernProg1 GildenvernProg2 GildenvernProg3

Gold leaf, watercolor and white ink on 9”x12” bristol board. Original is for sale; drop me a line if interested!

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Goldeen Ogawa is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist. To keep tabs on what she is doing you can follow her on twitter @GrimbyTweets, and on Tumblr. You can also contact her directly.

 

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There are some ideas that take my mind by storm, blowing it and wrecking all the plans I have already set up. These are ideas that demand to be written now, and usually I acquiesce purely in order to get some peace of mind (literally). Then there are the ideas that start slowly, like seeds tentatively putting up delicate green shoots and buds, slowly growing in the nooks and crannies of my mind—safe from the raging winds of stormy inspiration.

Star Walker was one such idea. Though the concept of a space odyssey set in a magical universe came about fairly quickly and easily, the design of the ship itself (or himself, in this case) remained elusive. I didn’t want him to look like he came from the same world as the Millennium Falcon or the Enterprise (any version) or even to look like a real spaceship humans might build in this world.

So it was that I began writing the first chapter of his story last year, without even knowing what he looked like beyond some scaffolding and a huge, hooked profile like the horn of a crescent moon. I knew he had sails (gravity sails) and two appendages that stuck out at the bottom (appropriate for the name Star Walker) but beyond that my designs changed every time I drew him.

The painting below marks the first time I’ve rendered him with any sort of finality. It’s been almost ten years since I first conceived of a spaceship that sailed on gravity through a magic-infused universe, but I’m glad I waited. The idea that began as a seed has sprouted and grown, and now I can say with confidence that this is the FRA Star Walker, and these are his first steps out of my imagination and into our world.

Watercolor and ink on 11"x14" cold press watercolor paper, © 2014. Click the image for a bigger view!

“Star Walker’s First Steps” – Watercolor and ink on 11″x14″ cold press watercolor paper, © 2014. Click the image for a bigger view!

 Print Available!

Star Walker is a 24-gun astroship of the Federation of Reänen. An experimental gravity-manipulating ship, he was built off the hull and core of a decommissioned airship of the same name, which in turn was built off the keel of a sailing ship of the same name. Star Walker has walked oceans and air, but now, 130 years after his first incarnation appeared, he takes his first steps out among the stars.

The original will be for sale at LonCon3 this August!

Some notes about the painting. This was the first time I ever painted a starscape (though I have drawn them before), and I was deathly nervous of messing it all up. Armed with reference pictures from the Hubble Telescope site I set about crafting a nebula that incorporated all the elements most easily rendered with watercolors, while the star field was done using white gouache and acrylic ink, mixed with watercolors for pigments. Along the way, I took progress pictures to help document the process.

How the painting appeared after the first pass of blacks and colors. It should be noted that Star Walker himself is the only object that was penciled in—the nebula was painted entirely in freehand. Click image for full-view.

How the painting appeared after the first pass of blacks and colors. It should be noted that Star Walker himself is the only object that was penciled in—the nebula was painted entirely in freehand. Click image for full-view.

Here I have done a second pass of colors over the nebula, trying to get that multi-layered look of jets of gas at different distances.  I used a combination of washes and "lifting" pigment, and in a few cases white gouache highlights. You can also just see the orange base marks I'm beginning to lay down for the star field. Since this was done white on black paint, I knew I needed to build up the stars in layers, to get them as bright as possible. Click for full-view.

Here I have done a second pass of colors over the nebula, trying to get that multi-layered look of jets of gas at different distances. I used a combination of washes and “lifting” pigment off with water, and in a few cases white gouache highlights. You can also just see the orange base marks I’m beginning to lay down for the star field. Since this was done white on black paint, I knew I needed to build up the stars in layers, to get them as bright as possible. Click for full-view.

More progress with the stars. Here I have laid down a lighter orange over my original dots, adding the "sparkle rays" which really make them look like stars. Click for full-view.

More progress with the stars. Here I have laid down a lighter orange over my original dots, adding the “sparkle rays” which really make them look like stars. Click for full-view.

Here the starfield is complete; I've added the final white blobs and highlights, completing the gradient from orange to white. Star Walker has also got his first pass of watercolors, and his sails have been shaded. Click for full view.

Here the starfield is complete; I’ve added the final white blobs and highlights, completing the gradient from orange to white. Star Walker has also got his first pass of watercolors, and his sails have been shaded. Click for full view.

Finally, the finished piece: I've changed the shadows on the sails and added white highlights to Star Walker's body and rigging. Click for full view.

Finally, the finished piece: I’ve changed the shadows on the sails and added white highlights to Star Walker’s body and rigging. Click for full view.

Altogether I’m intensely pleased with how it came out, and I look forward to doing more space paintings in the future. In the mean time, you can purchase prints of this one here, and once again the original will be for sale at LonCon3!

Star Walker himself will be introduced in the novel of the same name which I hope write over the course of the next year. He (and his crew) will also make a guest appearance in the Professor Odd series.

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Goldeen Ogawa is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist. To keep tabs on what she is doing you can follow her on twitter @GrimbyTweets, and on Tumblr. You can also send her an email at goldeenogawa@gmail.com.

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The GreenThis is a portrait of Green (click image to full-view), a character from my short story “Abandon All —-” which appears in The Urban Green Man Anthology, currently out from Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy. I had a lot of fun with Green, both in the design and the characterization. I had in mind a character who was a bit more alien and inhuman that most versions of the Green Man. Someone who was a lot more wild and magical—a bit dangerous, but not necessarily malevolent.

Watercolor and acrylic ink on 9″x9″ cold press watercolor paper, prints available here. To read more about how I got involved in the Urban Green Man project, go here. You can also read my Q&A from the Bitten By Books online launch over here.

Art © 2013 by Goldeen Ogawa.

Goldeen Ogawa is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist. You can find more of her artwork online on her deviantART page. You can email her at goldeenogawa@gmail.com or peck at her on Twitter @GrimbyTweets

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