In case you missed the email, Liz will be sending out not one but two book proposals for the Oxherd Boy. 🤯🤯🤯 The first is the same children's picture book we've been working on about how the boy becomes the Oxherd Boy in the first place. The other is a daily reader, a collection of 366 illustrated chats and quotes
As a part of the daily reader proposal, I have been working on updating 12 images from the existing collection of over 100 comics. When painting for the webcomic, I usually do quick sketches to capture a mood or expression. When I have the time to make something more fully rendered, I'll spend more time on it, which has led to varying quality of images.
The book, however, will be different. I intend to unleash the full force and breadth of my Chinese painting into these illustrations for you to enjoy. I'm excited to share a few Before/After comparisons between the originals sketches and the fully rendered artwork so you'll get an idea of what to expect. I hope you like them, and if you have any thoughts or suggestions, I am looking forward to hearing them.
This is one of my favorites inspired by a quote from Sadhguru. I didn't change much to it, but spent a lot more time getting the boy's and the ox's expressions just right and learning how to render fur more realistically in Procreate. I'm not positive I like how I painted the horns -- it reminds me more of a Texas longhorn than an Asian water buffalo, so I will have to go back to the drawing board there, but later.
My landscape painting had improved by leaps and bounds since first painted the one on the left almost a year ago. I also
added a little more of a storyline, with an introduction from the boy. I'm pretty happy with it, though by comparison, the second one looks a little too dark now.
This one saw the biggest change, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I attributed the quote to the rabbit, who conveys the wisdom of Mencius, a Confucian scholar who faced great disillusionment when his teachings were purposefully twisted by his pupil as an excuse to wage war against a neighboring kingdom.
I think as a standalone piece, the original is stronger and conveys the feeling of isolation and despair we feel when we witness great injustice. So I might change it back after all.