Onsen = [link]
Betchya guys never would have guessed that Kitsune's mother was a geisha. Well she was.
She was stolen away from the Geisha house when Kitsune's father, Kitsune Kaji Kage, fell deeply in love with the mere sight of her. Then she was kept inside of his palace until the day she died.
Really, it's almost a little hard to tell that this is Kitsune, but it is. It's because she's older here, and let her hair grow out. It's also because she looks so "mature". For any of you who know anything about her character, Kitsune's a total ditz. She's not very capable of poise and elegance. Or at least, so she'd like you to think.
Being the symbolism freak that I am, I decided to name this illustration "Onsen" not just because she is bathing in one, but because one commonly perceived meaning behind an Onsen is duality. Something being two things at once; both the calm, placid surface, and the hot, bubbling energy below. Usually this is a metaphor for Japanese culture, but in this case, it also describes Kitsune's character very well;
Kitsune is two people. Not like a split-personality complex or anything, but she pretends to be one person when she is very much the other. Her ditzy, clueless, and infuriatingly blithe obliviousness to just about everything around her is all a facade that belies the truth of her character. She has adopted this persona as a guise help stave others away from her, to keep others from getting close, and to refrain from having to grow up and accept the circumstances surrounding her mother's death. Like an inverse onsen, the outside is alive and bubbly, while the inside is deep, serious, troubled, and a powerful sorceress/magician. She's more complex and intelligent a character then she lets on ;]
The line work for this picture has probably been done for a good... two years now. I've always liked the way that I drew Kitsune (especially her long, flowing wisps of silky hair), but I HATE/D the background. But since ~ClearExpressions
demanded that I post moar arts, I decided to color/edit/touch it up a little today. Really I didn't intend to put this much work into it. I just slapped a frame around it, found the kanji that I wanted, and then was going to call it good. But yesterday my younger brother made mention that he loves it when (in comic books and such) artists will use only black, white, and one color to emphasize their work. So I decided to try it out. First I did the petals/tree-leaves and then the flowers in her hair, and then the geisha lips, and then kimono. But with the kimono painted crimson, it looked like too much. So then I colored it black and made the obi (the sash) red. And THEN I wanted to put a crimson and white flower print all across the kimono. After tracing over 10 different flower patterns by hand, I made these little "stamps" in photoshop, and threw together the pattern that you see here. What was supposed to be a simple project to appease my friend ended up turning into an all-day effort.
But I am VERY happy with the end result, so I will not complain. X3
For any of you who want to know, The kanji at the top is "Onsen", and the kanji a the bottoms is "Kitusne Kaze Kage" (her name), or litterally "Kage Kaze Kitsune" as is proper, since Japanese is written right to left.
/END JAPANESE CULTURE LESSON FOR TODAY!
Kitsune Kaze Kage/Kitsune Kaji Kage/Miyu Kasui/ art © ~Kitsune-Kaze-Kage
(aka - *Iris-Uriko-Briefs
Tutorial on how to do kimonos - [link]
Kanji Brushes found on Google