Among the Stars

I don’t usually do contests, but Clip Studio Paint’s 23rd contest motivated me to draw something I had in mind for a while. This time, the theme was « Animals. »

In November of last year, I visited the Mayan ruins of the city Ek’ Balam, which roughly translates to « Night Jaguar » or « Black Jaguar, » as jaguars were the biggest predator in that region at the time.

Since then, I wanted to make a night sky black jaguar of some sort. I also really love black cats (aka tiny black panthers) and I thought that the idea of a tiny panther aspiring to be a bigger one would be cute. I’ve seen the idea often with lions, so for my Black-Cat-Represent needs, I wanted to do the same with black panthers.

I ended up doing so many kits ahaha.

At first, the middle one was the only one I wanted to do. Smack in the middle, looking up, it looked nice enough.

But the bottom sides felt so empty. I thought adding silhouettes for trees or something would fill the void, but I couldn’t make it work.

And somewhere down the line, I decided to add eyes that would act like stars of their own and now I just had a lot going on, as usual. Before long, I caught myself just adding more black cats.

Overall, I’m quite happy with how it turned out. The cats are very cute and fluffy. I used Unsplash to find cat poses and understand how cat fur worked, for both the tiny kits and the big one, as well as the eyes.

At the end I decided to add the border + text to make it like a Tarot Card, but it was a very last minute ditch effort and unplanned and I feel like it shows, but it still holds together pretty well. The font is The Circous, for which I got a free commercial license from this website.

I don’t really have my hopes up regarding the contest: some of the artworks submitted are out of this world. But I’m glad I participated, as deadlines tend to motivate me to complete stuff. 😅

Finally, I ordered a print with gold foil where the frame and the text is. I barely can wait to see it!! I’ll definitely update this post and my social media accounts with the results. Hype!!

Art software: Clip Studio Paint Pro
Time spent: maybe 12 hours, didn’t actually keep track, 3 sessions total of about 4 hours each
References: Unsplash, and my own cat (follow her instagram)