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Thunderbolt Fantasy: The Screaming Phoenix Killer
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Little Pixel Wing - White - Left Little Pixel Wing - White - Right

今朝啼鳥訴生死,眾生執迷;江湖宿命無人悟,一劍終末.

"Although ravens now bring news of life and death, people still persist uncertainly; since none can truly fathom fate, I shall end it with one strike of my blade."

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left Little Pixel Wing - White - Right

The inspiration behind this piece is Shā Wú Shēng (殺無生 or Setsu Musho in Japanese, meaning Eradicator of Life) from the Japanese-Taiwanese glove puppetry show Thunderbolt Fantasy (東離劍遊紀). He is a skilled swordsman and an infamous assassin known as the Screaming Phoenix Killer (鳴鳳決殺).

I got into this show because of SinistrosePhosphate, whose gorgeous fan works and love for the show convinced me to give it a try. Musho captured my attention from the moment he first appeared, and by the time I finished the prequel film, he became my favorite character. I've watched all of his scenes several times, bought the gaiden novel because of him, and even got my sister, who almost never shares my taste in characters, to like him as well xD.

I purchased this gemstone for another character two years ago, but couldn't come up with a design for her. After I saw Musho's tragic backstory, I felt that I had to make a piece for him. Purple is one of my favorite colors, so I was super excited to have a purple-themed character finally make it into my favorites; I immediately started brainstorming the design for his piece, and didn't lose motivation even though I waited two more months to actually start crafting him xDD. I mainly used his 2D artworks as references, so some of the elements in my piece don't match up with the ones on his puppet form.

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left Little Pixel Wing - White - Right

References Used:

Sha Wu Sheng by craftsbyblue  TBF DVD Cover by craftsbyblue


P.S. You can expect more TBF-themed crafts from me in the future ;).

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left Little Pixel Wing - White - Right

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left Thunderbolt Fantasy belongs to Gen Urobuchi, NitroplusGood Smile Company, and Pili International Multimedia. I don't own the character who inspired this piece. Musho's soliloquy is from Season 1, Episode 5. 

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left For more about this series check out the S1 opening: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jRxLs… and official site: www.thunderboltfantasy.com/.

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left This photo is unaltered, save for the addition of the watermark, and was taken under natural lighting conditions.

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left Time: 9 hours.

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left Materials: Silver Plated Artistic Wire (28 gauge), Enamel Coated Copper Wire in Black, Blue, Gold, Hot Pink, Ice Blue, Orchid, Pink, Rose Gold (20-26 gauge), Aluminum Rose Bead, 20 CTs Charoite Cabochon.

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left You may not copy or take credit for this piece or any of my other works.

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left This piece will not be sold or remade for commercial purposes. More info here: Commission Info

Little Pixel Wing - White - Left More fan art of my faves~

Undertaker's Scythe v4 by craftsbyblue  Pokemon - Blast Burn by craftsbyblue  Gintama - Oboro by craftsbyblue  Undertaker's Scythe v3 by craftsbyblue

Image size
4032x3024px 2.59 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Make
Apple
Model
iPhone 7 Plus
Shutter Speed
1/30 second
Aperture
F/1.8
Focal Length
4 mm
ISO Speed
20
Date Taken
Sep 3, 2018, 9:10:22 AM
Software
Photos 1.5
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happydoo2's avatar
happydoo2|Hobbyist General Artist
Super cool!
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craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks so much :thanks:!
Reply  ·  
SlytherclawPadawan's avatar
SlytherclawPadawan|Professional General Artist
[Commenting with the spirit of Critmas 2018. :aww:]

Hello there, dear Critmas dragon :D, interesting piece you've got here! From my amateur's eyes I think it's an unusual design, but to be honest it's rather close to the 'peculiar' side since I don't see much coherence in the design, looks like a bunch of different elements were put here rather chaotically or bit forced. Maybe it's because I'm not familiar with the character you're taking the reference from, but even when I looked at him and compared his look to this pendant, pardon me to say the design doesn't resemble him much aside from the colors.

And maybe it's just your style that you made a lot of round curve but I think sharp corners would define masculinity better. I see that there are lots of elements in his outfit but I think if you try to put every single thing in one pendant it's going to be jumbled and confusing. I'd suggest to pick only pick maximum 3 main shapes, like the white feathers (or are they flower petals?) with one pointy pink, the aqua color, and violet + golden ornament shape of his armor. And I recommend to put them in centralized way, not 'separated' from each other like you seemed to do in this piece.

But I'm still an amateur in wire jewelry making so I believe you did your best in uniting this complex design, still very neat and interesting to look at, thumbs up for effort! Also great job for the creative photography technique, the stones really caught my eyes. Merry Critmas!^^
Reply  ·  
craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter

Hi again :wave:! Thanks so much for taking the time to critique this piece :thanks:!


This was my first time tackling a character with such a complex design and wide color palette, and from this and one of my other recent pieces, I learned it’s best not to use more than three colors of wire in one piece xD. About the design, it’s based on a combination of the character’s appearance, personality, and backstory. The gemstone, the wire mask running across the cabochon, and the wings are either central motifs in his backstory or represent his personality and motivations - other than the mask, these elements are very minor details on his character design. The flower, purple cord, colors on the bale, and the gold chains at the bottom (I didn’t do justice to them at all in this photo) are based more on his appearance, but were also picked with his personality and story in mind :nod:. That said, I agree that the coherence of this piece could be better, and if I were to remake this piece, I would definitely work on the color scheme and streamlining the design more.


I agree that sharp corners would define masculinity better, but this piece didn’t feel like the place to include them - at least not with the current design xD. Agreed, I did put a lot of elements into this pendant, and I think decreasing it to three elements could work, especially since the gemstone and cord do some of the work of conveying his appearance and personality :nod:. And while the mask needs to go across the stone, I don’t see why the rest can’t be centralized :nod:.


Thank you - I’m glad you like how I photographed this piece :thanks:! Just a heads up/disclosure, I’m in the process of changing my artistic direction, and I’m not sure if I'll be making more pieces like this (one reason is that I’m moving to a limited wire color palette, so I’m slowly using up all the saturated wire colors like the ones used on this piece xD). That said, I found your suggestions very helpful, and will keep your advice in mind when making future pieces :nod:. 

Thank you again, and Merry Critmas :)!

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SlytherclawPadawan's avatar
SlytherclawPadawan|Professional General Artist
Wow yeah it's hard to incorporate many complex elements in one design, not to mention adding your own personal signature. You're welcome, merry Critmas too! ;)
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craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yeah - with fan art jewelry, there's a delicate balance involved: making a piece where the character is immediately recognizable usually means sacrificing some elegance, and making it symbolic/personal usually means that it's hard to recognize the character. Trying to do both simultaneously makes it even more complicated ^^;. The difficulty of striking that balance may be why some fictional characters have lots of wire jewelry made of them, and other characters have none :nod:.

Thank you again, and Happy New Year!
Happy New Year 2011 
Reply  ·  
Yuukon's avatar
What a gorgeous pendant! :iconilavplz: I absolutely love all the details you have managed to put in there, and all the different colours are gorgeous and work together so well! I've never worked with wires, so I can only imagine the amount of patience you need for it. One thing that bugs me a little in your presentation though is the purple thread/ribbon that seems to come and go out of nowhere. I think if maybe you have draped it to the side rather than out of the image, it would’ve created a bit calmer presentation. I also would love to see a shot of the details of this pendant! There are so many more than we can see now.
Other than that, great work! You always have such wonderful lighting on your photos!
Reply  ·  
craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblueEdited |Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much :thanks:! I'm really glad that you like the details and colors I used for this piece, and think that they work well together :heart:! The level of patience needed varies by piece ;) - this piece wasn't too bad in terms of how much wirework was needed. That said, the pink and magenta flower was tough, as it was my first time making a 3D wire component xD.

I really like your suggestion about the purple cord; I thought that it would be distracting to show too much of it in the photo, and at the same time, I wanted to arrange it in a manner that fit the character. Agreed, I think draping it to the side would make for a calmer presentation. You make a great point about posting additional photos as well - indeed, this shot doesn't show all of the details of the piece :nod:. I'll include additional photos more consistently in the future :)
 
Thank you again, and I'm really glad you like the lighting on my photos :)!
Reply  ·  
TigRaidoXXX's avatar
TigRaidoXXXEdited |Hobbyist General Artist
Comment featured by owner
Hi, I'm from ProjectComment :)

I have a mixed impression of this work. I'll tell things the way they appear to me, in hope that you find use for different feedback, as a professional crafting artist :)

The first impression of this piece is that the photo is a skillful one, it looks tasteful and harmonic, and presents the item in best way. 
Alas, I have to say that the necklace itself doesn't have same balanced look when I studied it closer. I think the main problems are overuse of colors on the piece (I see seven different, equally catching attention hues, and none of them takes the focus to itself), and the way front part of it looks kinda rough compared to the others.
The colors.
As this is a necklace with a cabochon, it naturally makes it and its color the main object of focus. I think that in such cases there should be another 1 (or 2, at most) dominant colors that should take second place in the art piece, and everything else should come in small details, or softened, muffled hues. Speaking of your piece, it could go as a blue-and-purple thing (that would leave the purple, dark blue and pink wire as main colors), or blue-and-gold (then gold and pale hold, as well as dark blue would become the supporting team). 
The shape.
I like how you made the wrapping around the stone itself (dark blue and gold part). The black one and the bottom golden one look neat too. They all look like fantasy flowing lines, and fit with each other and the stone. But the front, most visible element, being a pink flower, sticks out to me like out of place. Its pink colors aren't supported by other elements of the piece, so when I look at it, I don't see it as connected to everything else, as if it was added on top later than the main design was made. It also looks more roughly done compared to others. I can't see if the blue oval shapes on the far side have the same appearance or not. I admit that the places they take need to be filled with some other element, but I think it would look better with a curvy shape, like the black one. 
I read the description too, and seeing the visual reference explains the piece and gives it more depth. I can see the reason behind your choice of colors too. Still, I think that things that don't visually work together can't be fully covered by a visual reference. When I looked closer at the first ref, I saw that it does have the same scheme, but in the image the main hues are blue and purple, and black, most of them dark. Gold and pink go as little bright accents. I think that's what makes the difference. The second image is more confusing, when it comes to colors. I can't pinpoint what makes colors there merge together more harmonic than they do on the necklace. Maybe it's about soft transitions opposed to separate colored elements.

Interesting that the color scheme of the photo works way better as a whole. The dark background softens the image and makes it more unified, whole the blue crystals give the nessessary support, connecting to blue stone very closely in color. Your choice for the ribbon is nice too. It's as if you subconsciously try to connect and make more harmonic the appearance of the necklace by choice of surroundings. 
I can also say that the composition and focus of the image works really nice. It makes a good preview, it draws attention to the main object and makes me want to study it closer. So your presentation skill is pretty high. 

I hope this critique won't make you feel bad. I wanted to give an honest review, cause I see that you're a seller and that means that reaction of people to you art can be important for your development as a crafter. I also remember you from earlier Gallery at a Glance event ;) from what I recall, your photo quality has developed since then.

Good luck! Hope you can find use in this critique ^^;
Reply  ·  
craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi again! :)
Thank you so much for taking the time to critique my works again and write such a detailed comment, I really appreciate it :thanks:!

You don't have to worry about making me feel bad with such a well-written critique :nod:. I rarely get such detailed critiques, and I really appreciate that you addressed an aspect of my works that I really wanted feedback on, but is very rarely touched upon. I agree with your suggestions for this piece and find them very helpful, and I will keep your advice in mind when designing future pieces :).

Agreed, people's reaction to my art matters a lot from a seller's perspective - every piece, even the personal pieces like this one, has an impact on the impression my gallery gives. With this in mind, I should have been more deliberate about my color and design choices here. At the time of crafting, I was more concerned about how to restructure my inventory to fit my future artistic goals, and not as much about finding the wire colors and design elements that would work best with this character.

Full disclosure, I'm gradually transitioning away from fan art, and also moving towards a more limited color palette - which means that I'm not replenishing wire colors unless I plan to use them for commissions and sales. A side effect of this is that it's becoming increasingly challenging to find suitable wire colors for my fan pieces. That said, I could still have picked a more harmonious set of colors/color distributions among the wires I had on hand :nod:. I'm glad that you pointed these things out to me, and appreciate your suggestions - I didn't have previous experience working with this many colors at once, and found it difficult to anticipate the overall effect of the palette I used :thanks:.

Again, I really appreciate your critique - your suggestions are extremely helpful both this piece specifically and for future works :nod:.

P.S. I'm glad that you think my presentation has improved :thanks:! This had been a struggle since I first started crafting, and I'm happy to have improved enough in this aspect to start focusing more on other points of improvement :).
Reply  ·  
TigRaidoXXX's avatar
TigRaidoXXX|Hobbyist General Artist
That's good to know that this is useful to you.
If you're in the middle of shifting your style to original works and limited palettes, I can say that I see both changes as a good course. I hope this results in more beautiful works!
Do you plan to work more with big stones, like this one here? I think that's an interesting, but challenging direction, cause they require skill to be shown properly, not shaded by surrounding elements. But this kind of jewelry is beautiful, and I'm sure you can make it work. Good luck!
Reply  ·  
craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you again :thanks:!
I agree, I think both choices will increase the quality of my works - but in the meantime, I still have a lot of wire in my inventory, to the point that it's going to take several years to get down to 2-3 wire colors xD.

Agreed, big stones are a challenging direction - but I've gotten feedback about big stones being less elegant/sellable, and was advised to make smaller/daintier works. So I'm looking to decrease the size of the gemstones I use :nod:. This cabochon is one of the smaller ones (around 25mm long - I really need to work on posting more dimensions and comparison photos in the future) :). I'm working on ways to secure stones with as little wire as possible so that more of the gemstone can be shown - which I think will be more challenging for tinier stones since there's a smaller area available to begin with :nod:. (Thanks so much! I think this kind of piece will likely still be one of a kind, especially since I'm planning on taking the original route xD. The other characters in my queue have far fewer colors in their palettes :nod:.).

Thanks so much, and Merry Xmas :)!
Reply  ·  
swiftbird82's avatar
swiftbird82Edited |Student Digital Artist
Comment featured by owner
Oooh, very pretty!
I am commenting because of ProjectComment's point giveaway!
You used a good variety of colors, the wire is neatly coiled and nearly symmetrical on each side, coils are even and level, but, one thing I notice is...it doesn't really pop in the photograph. I think you should have had lighter rocks and base because the piece is very dark, and the darker background doesn't provide any contrast, so I'm looking sort of all over on the piece. My eyes keep drifting back to the rocks because there's contrast there. Also, multiple pictures or a different angle would have been useful, because as of right now, I'm wondering what the other side looks like, and you see the black and purple wire? I can't tell the depth of that based on this angle, and it is actually confusing me.
Reply  ·  
craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much :thanks:! Your comment is really helpful and you make excellent points, I really appreciate it :nod:.

I agree with your point about the contrast and will try to find some way to address this; will need to find the right combination of background and props that best mediates this issue :nod:

The main issue I have right now is that the natural lighting is very weak during this time of the year. For this particular piece, the combination of weak sunlight and a light background makes the colors in the piece look a lot more desaturated/muted than they really are. Another problem is that when I lay the piece down flat, the sunlight reflects off the gemstone in a way that obscures most of its details (that's why I propped up some of my recent pieces with the crystal).

Agreed about having multiple pictures and different angles as well - I need to do this more consistently :nod:.

P.S. I think you may need to tag ProjectComment in your comment for it to count towards the giveaway :).
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swiftbird82's avatar
swiftbird82|Student Digital Artist
You're welcome! I agree about the natural lighting being muted. Really good, interesting work though :) hopefully I'll see more of you're art in the future!
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craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much again :thanks: :love:!
I'm glad that you like this piece, and hope that you'll like my future works :)!
Reply  ·  
DSX62415's avatar
DSX62415|Hobbyist General Artist
As part of ProjectComment  s "End of the Year Comments For Points" promotion, I have been requested to comment on your piece. Here we go:

Good areas:

Just like some wire based crafts I believe I saw last year, the wire work is pretty well balanced on terms of colors and bends.

The coiling makes everything look like a solid line when they're supposed to be.

The colors do a good job matching and representing what they're trying to.

Minor Gripes:

I really prefer not to point this out, but there is a possible problem with the part of the flower stem with one color not really matching with it and possibly giving off joke material relating to........certain innuendos.

Again, that's only a minor nit pick, but the item in question is still pretty well made.
Reply  ·  
craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this piece :thanks:!

I'm glad you like the piece and the colors, coiling, and balance :nod:. The flower stem is part of the character's design - he wears a feathered flower accessory in his hair where one of the feathers is longer than the others and tipped in magenta :nod:
Reply  ·  
XxDeath--AngelxX's avatar
XxDeath--AngelxX|Hobbyist General Artist
Hi I'm from ProjectComment ,

Wow I don't think I've ever seen such jewelry as intricate as this, the pink petals have really caught my eye. That must've taken a long time to make as the wires must've been pretty complicated to bend in a certain way and to decorate the original shape. Nicely done! :clap: I'm sure it wasn't easy.

I also like the blurred stones in the bg, nice touch.
 
Reply  ·  
craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this piece :thanks:!

Thank you so much, I'm happy you like this piece and the presentation :)! This piece did take a while, especially the flower - the character this piece is inspired by has a really intricate design, so my design became very complicated xD.
Reply  ·  
XxDeath--AngelxX's avatar
XxDeath--AngelxX|Hobbyist General Artist
You're Welcome!
Reply  ·  
Ly-s's avatar
Ly-s|Professional Artist
The little stones in the blurry background really add a lot to your composition ! It’s such a great idea that compliment your beautiful work ♥️ I still remember when I first met you and your incredible work, when you struggle with making attractive shot. Well you can be proud and sure you achieved that goal ♥️♥️✨
Reply  ·  
craftsbyblue's avatar
craftsbyblue|Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much :thanks: :heart:!

I'm really glad that you like the composition for this piece, and that you think that I've improved in my presentation! I still find it hard sometimes (some pieces more than others), but at least, I've graduated from using tissue paper for the background xD.

Thank you for your support all this time, I really appreciate it :hug:!
Reply  ·  
SinistrosePhosphate's avatar
SinistrosePhosphate|Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... this is amazing! You really captured Setsu Musho down in craft form in fine style! (And I love the flower and feather combination is just perfect to frame this piece. Brilliant!) I also love the little 3D element built into the flower part, too. I love the story you told us, too. I didn't know Musho was able to capture both your heart and that of your sister's! That's pretty darned amazing. :nod: 

This is a really nicely crafted and absolutely incredible piece! :w00t:
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