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fourth illustration I did for last year's [ profile] fmabigbang (yes, the story is still continuing!) for the story of [Arcanum Parterfamilias]. the action is getting thicker and thicker and it's becoming one of my favourite long fics, with a great setting and OCs I just cannot not love. please, give the authors some feedback! every creator needs it to keep going!

Naomi sighed and started another prayer, muttering without much reverence. The gate swung open to her left, and Naomi glanced -- then straightened up and almost spoke to the newcomer, whether it meant starting over or not.

Papa removed his sandals, huge next to Jesu’s, then carefully laid his sword belt beside them. He met his daughter’s eyes for a moment, then went to the starting point and sank to his knees. Papa pressed his scarred forehead to the stone and began murmuring the prayer -- the adult’s prayer, lengthy and said in the temple tongue. Naomi stared until he moved on... but only to the next intersection of the lines. He was doing the whole Path, on his knees. Naomi exchanged a look with Jesu, whose open-mouthed stare showed some white all the way around his eyes. Naomi frowned, then pointedly bowed again. She wasn’t going to have to start over.

I wasn't exactly happy with this illustration until I did some minor edits to the light and the floor, as well as changing the structure of the Circle, from carved with differend colored stones to painted. this one looks much better in place now. still, I wish I could make this scene as wide and epic as it should be, but first, I can't for the love of got imagine what Ishballan based alchemy circle would look like, and format of pictures I chose (A5) wouldn't give me enough space as I needed for showing characters' expressions and details. still, I hope my authors will like it as it is><

and as the cut says, a little extra for you girls:
Jesu came to the bench, put his sandals on, then looked up. His face tightened, then he jumped and scrambled up onto the wall and tree branches without help. “Why is Papa doing the Sinner’s Path?”

“The Elders must have told him to,” Naomi said, watching her father abase himself again. The black lines of his tattoos flexed and moved among the black lines of the Path, making strange shapes and patterns as Papa said his prayers for forgiveness.

“I know that,” Jesu said with a roll of his eyes at his sister. “I mean what did he do to make the Elders tell him to do the whole Path?”

“It must have been something from the council meeting at the Pillars,” Asher put in. “Otherwise we’d have heard about it.”

“It must have been something really bad,” Jesu said pensively.

Asher changed the subject. “I came here to wait for you because I wanted to tell you Tiras needs your help. There’s a caravan coming in with wounded horses.”

“Horses?” Naomi twisted to look at Asher. “What happened to hurt horses?”

“I’ll tell you on the way.” Asher swung down from the tree. “Let’s go.”

yes, you get a surprise Asher again. and Jesu, because I don't think I ever showed you a sketch of him. a simple design, but I don't catch Jesu as anyone who'd stand out so much^^; the moment I read this scene the first time you showed me the chapter I wanted to draw the three of them on that giant tree, Naomi all anxious. her distressed face just wouldn't leave me. so yes, a little extra to give you a boost for next chapters. because this story deserves all the love!!

Date: 2011-12-13 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really love the art for this story. It's gorgeous! I understand why you'd be frustrated with the scope of the first piece, but it's lovely the way it is.

And the sketch is great! I love their expressions.

Date: 2011-12-14 10:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thank you! it's really fun working on it. because there's lots of dynamics and different characters, I can experiment with so many things^^ I'm happy you like the pictures

Date: 2011-12-14 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's a delight to see your work and read the story, too. :D

Date: 2011-12-13 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i love these. I need to catch back up with this story. I am enjoying it

Date: 2011-12-14 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm soooo happy to hear it! it's a really great story it'd be lovely if it got some attention. and I can't wait to read your stories for Big Bang! I got late for sign ups so I won't be participating><

Date: 2011-12-14 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oops that's too bad. Mine centers around two things, the Ishbalan reconstruction and a serial killer

Date: 2011-12-15 08:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
that sounds like an interesting story, can't wait to read it :DDD

Date: 2011-12-15 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
let's hope I can finish...

It's the sequel to Sorrow's Dark Array and let's also hope it's not as long as that one

Date: 2011-12-14 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love your work in general, but I love what you're doing for this fic, which is so wonderful! I love how you capture the emotion in the kids' faces.

Date: 2011-12-14 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thank you very much! this fic is amazing, I was surprised when I got to read it at the beginning of the challenge. and I think this fic deserves all the attention it can get, because it's fantastic. thank you very much for complimenting

Date: 2011-12-14 10:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
**facepalms** I forgot to log in to tell you how much I loved these. LJ said you got it, but it was screened.

But just in case, I love these, and was stunned by the surprise! You do such a wonderful job of capturing the OCs. The expressions on their faces are perfect and fit thir personalities so well.

Date: 2011-12-14 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hahaha it's ok^^ I got your comment, thank you very much for it^^ I'm happy you liked the pictures, I was a little affraid working with Asher again, my other friend had a hard time recognising him, so I might've messed him up a little>< glad you liked it anyway! I'll surely do some more pics, when you post more chapters :DD

Date: 2011-12-14 11:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And a thought... I think Asher's gonna grow up to be even better looking than his father.

((And strangely enough, Jesu looks a lot like my son did at that age! Seriously! XD ))

Date: 2011-12-14 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ahahahaha does it mean he looks right or wrong? XDD and you make me want to draw Makhu, Asher and Imena together but I have NO IDEA what Imena looks like ;_;

(LOL really? that's a funny coincidence^^;)

Date: 2011-12-14 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, you did a fantastic job on Asher. He looks so believable.

As for Imena -- Add to mfelizandy's description that Imena was once part of a nomad tribe, but she didn't like her "prospects". She fell in love with Makhu when he came through from Areugo, on his way to Xerxes, and she decided she was going to settle down and marry him. So she ran away with him.

(Yeah! Just make his hair red and eyes blue, and it's my son. Of course now? He looks a lot like an extra tall Seth Green (Dr. Evil's son Scotty in "Austin Powers"))

Date: 2011-12-15 09:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

yes, I remember you said something about her being tribeless because of her marriage to Makhu. and she strikes me as someone with a strong and stern personality, yet, from what you both said, it seems like she's also quite cheerful and prone to goofing around :D

Asher is a good looking kid

Date: 2011-12-14 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think Asher will grow up to be a good looking man, too--but remember, he's already spoken for, even though neither he nor the one who's spoken for him necessarily knows it yet.

So much to say!

Date: 2011-12-14 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
SQUEEEE!! *Faints.*

You've just made my week. I've had this up all day so far, and I keep clicking over to look at it again between tasks. I love all this so much! I have lots of observations and comments, apologies if the following is too disjointed.

I like the change of the Sinner's Path array to painted rather than inlaid. As for the design of it--in our version of the backstory, Amestrians and most other western cultures were heavily influenced by Ishvarun practices in the development of their own forms of alchemy. In those times the Ishvarun were the most advanced culture west of the Great Desert in a lot of ways, and their scholars tended to wander all over the world, so they had a pretty big impact on intellectual and engineering philosophies. As a result an Ishvarun array has some unique elements--it doesn't necessarily have to be circular, for starters--but most alchemists will recognize it for what it is.

I love the thought you put into the design of the characters' clothes. The sandals aren't all the same design, there's a band of embroidery along the bottom hem of the shirt worn by the boy in brown, and of course Naomi has that wonderful pattern around the neckline of her tunic. Jesu's little pendant intrigues me--might have to bring that in somewhere!

Speaking of Jesu--you caught him beautifully. You're right, he's not the kind of kid who stands out, largely because of his temperament and partially because he's overshadowed by his older sister and younger brothers. You also made him clearly younger than Naomi and Asher, but not that much younger--lovely work!

Eeeee on the sketch! Asher again! I still love his little braids and his tattoos. Naomi's expression is just right for her--she's a demonstrative girl and she's got a lot of distressed emotional energy to spare lately.

Imena--oh, we have a good bit of backstory for her! Some of it will make an appearance later in the story, but as a quick reference, Imena is tall (though nowhere near as tall as her husband) and has the usual coloring of full-blooded Ishvarun. She has elegant taste in clothing and hair adornments, and wears elaborate bracelets and sometimes earrings as part of her usual wardrobe. Imena is a skilled dancer, among other things, so she's in good physical shape. She is a master of organizing large events and projects, and she's very much a "people person". She and Makhu are often among the first dancers to start dancing, and they're a thrill to watch. Asher hasn't picked that trait up so much, but he's getting to the age at which an Ishvarun boy has to either dance or supply music.

Again, Eeee! And thank you!

Re: So much to say!

Date: 2011-12-15 12:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awwww you're being too nice, thank you! I'm happy I made you happy for a few hours at least^^

I'm glad you like the change. It didn't look too good for me when it was created with stones, so I changed it. It'd also work in a spiritual way. When the paint wears off, someone will have to repaint it. It's be a great oportunity for a new ritual. I don't know if it fits into your image of Ishbalan religion but I thought it'd work well^^;
Not circular array, hmmm it's an interesting concept. I'll have to try and process it in my head^^;

Hahaha well it's obvious! each and every person wears sandals that fit their style and I'm sure there'd be at least a dozen designs of such, even in poor Ishbal^^ As for the patterns, you said they like to have lots of ornaments and embroideries on their clothes, so I wanted to put at least SOME on it. Not enough I'm affraid^^; Jesu's pendant - I'm not sure what it was, only I thought I wanted to give him something. Maybe it's a gift from one of his parents or maybe a gift from someone he helped or maybe a girl he likes. If you want to use it, go ahead but you don't need to treat it too seriously^^;

That's how I imagined him. Rather silent and calm than troublesome. The twins strike me as little devils though, I hope it's visible in their design^^;

Asher is very fun to draw. He's a mix of two 'races', thereofore I can play with his facial features (his nose being bigger, his lips being fuller, his cheekbones being more visible). And his tattoos too! I had to do some research on traditional african tribe tattoos before I came up with Makhu and his ones but they're indeed a nice detail to their designs^^ I'm glad you like them^^

.... Great, you're giving me inspiration again. What do you think Ishballan dance would look like? If you compare it to our world's nations of course. India? Africa? Or maybe something else. It's a really cool detail you've given me, I may try to explore it^^

And I'm so glad you like those pictures^^ Thnak you very much!

Date: 2011-12-14 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
All the OCs look great! There's so much character in their expressions and the details of their designs. I especially love Naomi.

Date: 2011-12-15 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thank you very much! Naomi is a very sweet and interesting girl, drawing her gives me a lot of pleasure :)


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