FMP – Kitsune Sketches

With one of my animal choices now set, I have begun to work on a fairly large selection of sketches in an attempt to pull together ideas for what the art style of the Kitsune may look like. Here is a selection of the ideas which I felt came the closest to what I want out of the design.


One of the first designs I tried was a somewhat rough attempt of a traditional Japanese woodblock art style. This was a type design style I had once used prior to me joining this course. I tried this sketch idea as I a had a thought about maybe using the art-style of each animal’s home culture. While this could lead to an interesting path, I feel now that this idea might be too complicated and time consuming method as it would require me to learn several entirely different style in time for the deadline, any of which may end up being pointless should at any time I swap the animal or culture of said animals, leading to a whole lot of time wasted.


This design idea is a lot closer to the what I may have had in mind when I wanted a unique take on how to the Kitsune would look. It has a somewhat stylistic interpretation of the fox’s figure, yet the face is leaning more towards the style of a more traditional Japanese Kitsune. I later a made a more refined and presentable version of the design down bellow.



The final idea that I found the most appealing was the last image shown above, as it has the combination of traditional style of its culture, but has its own sense of originality which I really do enjoy. I can also use the length of its tails to create a design which carries over to the over side of the spread make the design feel more larger. I may make some alterations to the over posing/design over time, but I will most definitely try to incorporate this version of the Kitsune within my final piece.

FMP Research – Foxes (Kitsune)

With the theme of my new project being the illustrations of mythical animals, I see it only fitting to use my favourite mythical animal, the fox spirits of Japanese folklore known commonly as “Kitsune”. Due to the nature of this project however, I will have to do some reminder research into their definition as it has been some time since the last time I used them within my artwork. This research will include the explanation of what a kitsune is, and later on, what stories can I find to use for the illustrations.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 11.37.01

The kitsune is the name given to a fox which has lived for over 100 years, at which point it obtains magical powers and other spiritual properties. Kitsune are not actually ghosts, as spirits within Japanese folklore simply refer to a being that has obtained an enlightend state of mind and knowledge, and are thus no physically different than a normal fox. There are two typical types

Once a fox has reached the age of 100 years they will begin to grow a second tail, and will continue to grow more tails (up to 9 in total) as it grows older, wiser and more powerful. It is often said that a fox will only grow a new tail after another 100 years have passed. The most common amount of tails seen in stories about them are 1, 5, 7 and 9. When a kitsune obtains it’s 9th and final tail, it’s fur turns gold or white and may ascend into the heavens. Another feature often associated with fox spirits is a small round/onion shaped balls called a “hoshi no tama”, which are commonly depicted as either being gemstones carried in the fox’s mouth or tails, or as small ghostly flames that follow it around (similarly to will-o-wisps).

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 12.22.28

A kitsune has a large and interesting array of abilities and magical powers which it uses to either benefit or torment humans depending on the fox’s personality and the individual it meets. The powers of a kitsune include the ability to fly, invisibility, long life (which it can share with humans in return for favours), manifestation of dreams, mouths and tails which generate fire and/or lightning (kitsunebi), and the ability to create illusions so great that one could mistake it for reality. Some tales tell of kitsune with even greater powers, like the ability to bend time and space, drive people mad, or become incredible shapes (such as cloud reaching tree or a second moon in the sky).

However, the most commonly known powers of a kitsune would be its ability to shape-shift into anyone or thing, and their habits of possessing human beings (typically females). A great many (if not almost all) stories about kitsune revolve around the theme of the fox taking the form of beautiful women with the purpose of meeting human men and marrying them, often resulting in their true forms being revealed to them many years later.

Because of this vast amount of abilities and characteristics (notably shapeshifting), there seems to be an almost limitless amount of possibilities for designs that I could use for my illustrations. I will likely have to do a lot of sketching and practicing with the overall design style of the Kitsune as I need to find a style which is both fitting to the culture it originated from, while also being aphetically pleasing to myself (also because of my skill at drawing animals becoming a little rusty over the years).

LightMaker – Final Presentation

Today we held the final presentation for the LightMaker project, showing our ideas to the clients to receive their feedback on our ideas and presentation of them. I presented my design ideas in the form of PDFs, as they were an accepted format for the presentation, allowed me free control over their size and because I saw the use of a power point being a bit unnecessary for just 3 images.

The presentation itself went fairly well, with no technical errors from the files/computer and no (not many) errors on my half. Not to mention that there were no negative reactions from the clients that I saw. After the presentation the clients gave me some feedback on my ideas as a whole. Overall, they seemed very pleased with my designs, saying that they really enjoyed my “artistic” take of the webpage designs. Like me, they also shared a good bit of enthusiasm for us taking an artistic take on how to design their webpages, as liked the amount of animated features I put into my plan.

Namely, the only negative comment they had to mention was about the speed of the “Tankopedia” page, as they questioned how it may make seeing the tanks a bit lengthy/repetitive, to which I completely agree. The only real thing that I can think of in order to prevent the animation from becoming too repetitive and lengthy is to simply speed it up to a quick yet still understandable speed.

Other than that, the clients were pretty happy with my work, as well as myself. Despite only being a week long, I have quite enjoyed the time doing this project as it has given me a bit of a refresh on the web design industry.