A contest entry for 2005's International Manga & Anime Festival held in London. The work was displayed at the event alongside dozens of other fantasic entries. About Kawa:
Determined, confident and always ready to kick some butt! She is pirate captain of the great ship “Bomu Aoi” (“The Blue Bomb”).
Kawa came from a poor but happy childhood. When she was still young her mother was attacked and killed by evil Shadow Monsters. Kawa was determined to get revenge and defeat all Shadow Monsters and the supposedly invincible Shadow King himself! She persuaded her father (a former pirate captain, retired due to crippling injury) to teach her sword skills. A few years later after intensive training, she became very skilled. It was now time to gather a small crew and set sale in her dad’s old (but still impressive) pirate ship.
She went in search of a way to defeat shadow monsters. Kawa and the crew would smuggle rare items between continents in-between to earn some cash…
On a stormy night she was tossed overboard by a massive wave. Moments later she woke up in an underwater cave. That was where she found a fellow enemy of the Shadow Monsters in the form of a “Guardian of the Sea”! The Guardian granted her power to defeat the Shadow King by giving her a mystical “Guardian Sword”.
Her sword possesses the spirit from one of the ocean’s Sea Guardians. This sword is alive! It can talk, fly, swim and uses it’s own initiative to help Kawa defeat her enemies. It has combined it’s powers with Kawa which gives her the ability to cast water-based spells. She travels the world in search of other Sea Guardians who posses new spells she can learn.
Once she has gained experience defeating monsters and learning new spells, she will seek out and destroy the Shadow King and put an end to his evil schemes. About the Artwork:
This one took a seriously long time to finish! It was completed on and off over 3 months before the contest deadline and I’m pleased with the result. I believe I’m starting to find a style I like and can call my own.
I suspected IMAF would have some great entries this year, so upped my game to design this character specifically for the competition. I decided to start by thinking up a theme. I wanted to do a pirate, but not your typical rum drinking fat peg-legged swashbuckler. A female pirate captain seemed like an original idea, so I went for it! (I see Niki also thought Pirate girls are cool- what can I say, great minds must think alike!)
The outfit was key to the design. I’d describe it as a fusion of traditional fantasy, modern coolness and a touch of cyber punk. I kept to the sea / water theme by sticking to a primarily blue ‘ocean’ pallet. I added water-like texture effect to the main dress and made the top skirt like ocean waves. White frills were added to show a white water spray effect.
The line work was initial drawn in pencil, scanned, then digitally inked in Photoshop. The colouring was also rendered in Photoshop with the help of my graphics tablet. I spent a lot of time tweaking the colours throughout. I originally had the outfit in bright blue but it took away from the sword colour and it was important for this to stand out.2014 Update:
This image was used for the cover of my book Digital Manga amzn.com/1784040460