For my main uni project this term, I am to create 6 illustrations including a cover for the book 'The Description Of The New World Called The Blazing World' by Margaret Cavendish in 1666. It's a story about a young lady who miraculously discovers herself on another world which is inhabited by animal-men including bear-men, fox-men, fish-men etc. whom make her their Empress and worship her. 

I knew I needed to make a final piece this weekend - we've about 5 or 6 weeks to finish our current main project. So far I've just been researching, sketching and thumbnailing.



I started painting - I can't be over fussing about the composition for too long.

 I got frustrated with the oils paints. I don't really know how to paint traditionally and I've never finished an oil painting. I decided I should go home and paint what I saw in my head in Photoshop that night then come back the next day and then I'd have a painting I could copy from which might make things easier.

 I decided to change the position of the body, although I still think the fish-men in the thumbnails have a more interesting look to them, something monster-ish. I also cropped further into the picture because I thought it looked better.

 Then I messed around with colours using an overlay layer, and tightened things up with a normal layer above that. It still needs more touching up obviously but it looks kind of nice. The over exposed highlight on the bottom corner of the face reminds me of underwater photography. If I take this to a finished state I may end up using this as a final. Now I think about it, it may be better for me to just do all my finals in Photoshop, then see if I've time to mess around with acrylics and oils without any pressure since I can use Photoshop paintings as back up.

It just looks like a fish with arms stuck on the sides at the moment. Am I worrying too much? The fish-men are from another world (in the book) so I want them to have a strangeness to them, something otherworldly and ethereal.

Enough for now.


  1. Would it work if the arm appeared from behind the gills as iif it was a capped T-sgirt sleeve? Just a thought.

    1. Yeah, I think the gill needs to be bigger and the arm moved over a bit to where the fin would be, like you said. cheers :)

  2. I like your second thumbnail sketch with the more muscular human like neck and shoulders. Also maybe you could try stylising the natural features - like a perch dorsal fin mohawk , or some tribal tattoos / seaweed clothes...

    1. haha yeah I've been researching tribal art for this project so yes :D all the animals live in separate tribes so I thought it would be cool to have them adorned with voodoo tatoos etc. signifying such things.

    2. and yes I like 2nd one too. I'll finish this one even though it's not my favourite, then do the other illustrations, and if I've time go back to that thumbnail.