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)