Tag Archives: nature

‘Six-Tailed Kitsune’

This is the first time I chose to create a self portrait; this wasn’t any sort of assignment for a studio class or even a prompt for an art contest.

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Sketchbook composition done in charcoal pencil and photographed with my lucky charm: a Chinese macrame necklace with a moonstone locket box.
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Sloppy underpainting: neat borders made with blue painter’s tape covering the edges.

I believe that the most difficult aspect of this original painting was the placement and structure of the foxes; in order to keep the flow of the work consistent I added another fox (lower left hand corner)

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vivid colors and details slowly being constructed
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Since kitsunes have different powers I chose to paint them different colors and allow the viewer to guess which had which magical ability.
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Tweaking the final details and placement of the eyes, lips, etc.

I have seen another contemporary artist, Kelly Denato,’s paintings which possessed a glowing effect despite no iridescent shimmer paints. In order to achieve that same effect I used a tiny brush and pastel paints to dip dots all over the backdrop, almost like fluttering flower petals and snowflakes.

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Final colors/signed acrylic painting. 

This will more than likely end up in my ‘Best of 2017’ post upon January 1, 2018. Thanks as always for viewing. Merry we meet and merry we part.

~Xi Wen Chen

‘August Eyes’

I haven’t been doing many digital paintings with Adobe Illustrator lately…until recently that is. I am inspired by the various cats that occupy my chosen college, Pratt Institute: Brooklyn Campus

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Here are Spotty and Pistachio exchanging a cute peck of the nose before grunting their disgust.

This is the reference photo:

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I decided to emphasize on the peridot green eyes and various shades almost naked to the eye in the pitch black ebony fur.

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The shaggy mane reminds me a bit of a lion’s mane; so pearly and silky!

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I chose not to add more highlights or shadows upon the splotches of shadows in order to fully sharpen up the images of the rosy border.

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The star shaped blended backdrop is meant to bring out the other parts of the scenery and complement my chosen colors for my typed signature:

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My ears are pointy and twitching; eagerly anticipating some unique commissions for door signs/posters. I just need to set up my payment info…..

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‘Parisian Doodle

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My final, finished acrylic painting, ‘Parisian Doodle,’ is the fourth entry of my collection submitted to the Westminster Kennel Club annual art contest. Fun fact: this glossy black plastic frame is $4 from the nearby Family Dollar

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To be honest, I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d continue after this stage; I was uneasy over whether I should or not stereotype in an asthetically pleasing way, with the Parisian Eiffel tower and Palace of Versailles garden.

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Is the ‘Parisian Doodle’ better off without the tiny delicate flecks of glossy gold Golden acrylic paint marks or not? You decide.

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I always make sure to shamelessly self endorse my live painting videos on my story portion of my Instagram page, @xi_wen_c  , at least three hours ahead.

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The close up are on my other ‘Parisian Doodle’ Instagram journal entry. Merry we meet, and merry, we part.

Your friend, coven sister, packmate, confident, roommate, ally, business partnery,

~Xi Wen Chen/陈睎文

‘Royale Mischief’

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‘Royale Mischief’ is inspired by Victorian era paintings of pampered dogs portrayed in mansions. I decided to use oil paint to create the vivid textures in the coat and and furniture.

fb 4        The fur coat is a mass of lightly blended colors, it was fun to experiment with vibrant and subtle hues. Creating the torso and proportions was quite difficult, since this pooch isn’t standing or sitting still.

fb 0fb-1.jpeg  For the first two layers, I was at a lost as to what to do with the background; I first painted it green since grass was the backdrop in my French bulldog reference photo:

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Photo credit to The Denver Post (Westminster Kennel Club)

fb 5        I am rather satisfied with the end results: I enjoyed painting the facial expression and implying the backdrop. I believe that a mix of cadmium red and Indian red Gamblin oils was a suitable choice sicne it helped define the curves and edges of the pup.

I’ll be posting a varnish video of it the minute this painting is completely dry. Blessed be your weekend!

~Xi Wen Chen

 

 

 

‘Decorative Flower for the Neck’

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I’ve always been a fan of beautiful necklaces, whether they are simple rose gold chains bearing open heart pendants or large elaborate decorations with matching pendants such as this creation. What is your favorite childhood treasure? I used to have a silver locket with a compass dial made of glass stones in colors: red, orange, green, and blue. I think it broke due to my nine-year-old carelessness.

But back to this handmade ‘wearable art’, I made it with the intention of combining past and present. The ‘ling hua’ knot in the center is a flower knot that is a popular entity of past Chinese dynasty art, whether it’s carved into pottery or embroidered upon a courtesan’s dress. charm

What makes this handicraft look ‘modern is the open ‘hui-ling’ knot, or rather, hollow square knot. There is a order and structure, but room to grow and develop.

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I had fun connecting the ‘chunky’ ceramic beads, since it was a struggle to try and keep the two halves of a half moon with an arc together. Finally, I just gave up, and taped the two rebels together. You’re bonding in the same room, like it or not.

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The clasp of this unique necklace was a bit of a struggle to create as well, since I am low on both jump-links and clasps, but I managed to create something unique, with a touch of tradition and innovation.

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I appreciate whomever took the time to read through the ‘crafter’s process’ if you will. If you are wishing to see how all these close-up photos relate to one another, but are unwilling to scroll back up since you think it’ll crush your scrollbar somehow, a combo picture lies right below this sentence.

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‘Nymph of the Petal Tears’

Originally I did not have a set concept for this acrylic painting; rather it was based off several reference photos I found in a few Bazaar magazines. Although the subject matter is a made-up nymph, I chose not to paint her wings and left them up to the viewer to decide whether they were large or small, insect like or resembling leaves.

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What I love the most about painting this besides the vintage jewelry is painting her skin tone; contrary to popular belief skin color isn’t just one color, but a mix of hues ranging from subtle green to vermillion red. It took me many layers to achieve the desired stylized blend of colors in the final layer.

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I believe that while tiny details add an incredible amount of depth to any illustration or design they should be used sparingly in order to avoid clogging the message or concept. As Louisa May Alcott put it in her renowned novel, Little Women, “It is the same as wearing all your dresses, hair ribbons, and jewelry all at once, just to let people know you have them!”

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I enjoy painting noses and hands, but eyes are a real nightmare to me. I usually struggle with figuring out where to place the eyes and the proportions when compared to the chin, ears, and jaw.

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First Layer
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Final Layer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do find it shocking that people find classic nude art ‘offensive’ when our pop media is filled with celebrities wearing scant bits of clothing and f-bombs filling rap songs. Instagram even deleted carefully composed paintings because they depicted the female body unclothed! That is the same as prohibiting leggings to be worn on school grounds but allowing spaghetti tops and short shorts.

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It is not just in art that I have witnessed this discrimination, but in real life as well. Random creeps will preach ‘Breast is best!’ to random pregnant women, but act disgusted at the sight of a woman feeding her infant in public. What are they planning to resort to? A hamburger for a toothless child? Oh wait, with every half-truth and blatant lie that plagues the media from authority figures we shouldn’t be so surprised.

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I sincerely hope that my art can reflect the thin line people tread on when it comes to denial and taking offense. We shouldn’t be focusing on whatever foolishness is being broadcasted from Twitter, but on graver concerns, including the environment, discrimination, and senseless religious fear. Remember this: a Versace purse may be someone’s first love, but it does not suit everyone. Religion is the same in that aspect. Thank you for reading, and all be well with thee.