Phoenix (Digital Art and Crayon) Picture

This is the original image used to create the card “Phoenix” for my special “The Adventures of Meow” Magic the Gathering set/deck.

All of the original images have fading crayon lines and at times vague edges because it was always my intention to crop the pictures to fit them onto the card anyway, and thus the edges of the paper weren’t going to be seen in the final print of the cards.

One of the more interesting results of this project was how it forced me to dig more deeply into the lore of “The Adventures of Meow” and rethink most of the characters, their motives, and their appearances. There were certain taboos I had followed while I was writing and drawing the original material for TaoMeow in middle and high school. The biggest one was that there were certain characters that for one reason or another I could not draw. Not for a lack of ability, but more like a lack of understanding or some kind of missing connection towards the character.

With the Phoenix, as seen in other places in my Gallery, I had never drawn it from the front. The Phoenix was always either flying away from the viewer (TaoMeow Phoenix Color Pencil, TaoMeow Phoenix Water Color), or was too blurred to be easily recognizable (Quest II Title Digital.) This was the first time that I had drawn the “The Adventures of Meow” Phoenix from the front. This was probably because I saw the Phoenix as the culmination and the climax of the series’ plot, and I felt like in a way that as I was writing the series I was also endlessly chasing it. I’ve since gotten over that – especially since I’ve learned many new useful techniques as a writer.

The Phoenix as a giver of life plays a very important role in the overall story of “The Adventures of Meow,” it is sought after by the mentor of the heroes, Monheart, and thus indirectly also by Meow and Two as they all seek to save Angel from Dameonheart’s misguided curse.

In “The Adventures of Meow,” The Phoenix is considered a “Soul Guardian,” which is a mythological creature who works with the “Celestial Guardians” To preserve life on their respective worlds. Most have power over a specific element or virtue, and are able to pass these powers onto humans they deem worthy or necessary to preserve the balance of life in their world. Every world has its own set of Soul Guardians, and often the selection of Soul Guardians is similar from world to world. However, in the great war of good versus evil that is fought on every world throughout the universe, the Soul Guardians were one of the first and highly prioritized targets of evil, and most have been either imprisoned or killed throughout the known universe. Earth was no exception to this, which is why in “The Adventures of Meow,” modern Earth no longer has mythical creatures. In the third book of “The Adventures of Meow,” titled “Home, the Place to Be,” Meow and Two travel the Earth looking for a place to belong. In doing so, they inadvertently release and encounter many of the entrapped Soul Guardians of Earth

The Phoenix, however, is not to be found. But Meow and Two do encounter a legend regarding the Phoenix:

When mankind washed upon the Earth, seeking to end all of the pagan creatures and their perceived unholy powers, the Phoenix as the last of its kind shed many tears over the folly of man. The Phoenix then turned to its most trusted kin of man, a brave man and his loving wife. The Phoenix said to them, “Take my ashes when I die, and divide them between you. Take each half to the other end of the world so that I may not be reborn until man sees the error of his ways.” The couple did as requested of them, and went their separate ways. The couple never again reunited.

Unable to locate the Phoenix of Earth, Meow and Two eventually join Monheart and Chut as they explore the Triad Solar System in the fourth book, titled “The Fight to be Free.” Monheart suspects the Triad Solar System as a resting place of the last Phoenix because of the strange magical forces that seem to periodically save the solar system from disaster every century when the three suns threaten to collide. Monheart’s suspicion turns out to be warranted when it is discovered a magical amulet held by an ageless cleric, the Bloodstone Necklace, turned out to be ashes of a Phoenix with enough power to separate the suns enough to delay the destruction of the three worlds of the Triad Solar System for another hundred years. Meow and Two are then reminded of an artifact they were given by a friend as they traveled the Earth, and combining the two relics, the Earth’s Phoenix is finally reborn again. The ageless cleric had been the wife of the man who was charged with keeping the Phoenix’s ashes safe, and she had carried the ashes with her for thousands of years even when she was called to service on another planet.

Having finally rescued the Phoenix, only one thing remained to be done, obtain its feather to save Angel before Chut captures the last surviving Phoenix for himself.

For this picture, I wanted to recapture the same kind of epic majesty that I had created in “TaoMeow Phoenix Color Pencil”; it made sense to me that the bringer of life would be surrounded by nature and life. But I also wanted to capture the Phoenix’s power and character for the first time in a detailed and overwhelming image. Thus, most of the meticulously crafted background was covered, but the effect was achieved anyway. I also made sure to include the three suns of the Triad Solar System in the sky. I feel as though they are out of place, since being near the horizon, it should be either dawn or dusk. I even originally colored the sky in dusk colors to reflect this – but my scanner went derpy and didn’t correctly capture the effect in crayon. So I was forced to change the sky color anyway. Still, it feels right to see the Phoenix in all its glory in broad daylight, and yet be reminded that his rebirth occurred in the Triad Solar System where its powers played a vital role in keeping billions of lives safe over many hundreds of years.

I made some different choices in the design of the Phoenix this time. I gave it a longer beak, and simplified the design of the tail to make it appear like long, sleek, slender feathers rather than a tattered mess. I don’t know why I thought the extra appendages were so cool in High School, but now they are just an eyesore. So instead, I turned them into a set of smaller wings to give them a sense of purpose and to keep the idea of the phoenix being more of fantasy creature. Also, keeping them enhanced the nostalgia as I had always drawn the TaoMeow Phoenix with those strange appendages.

See also: TaoMeow Phoenix Color Pencil: kanetakeo.deviantart.com/art/T…

See also: TaoMeow Phoenix Watercolor: kanetakeo.deviantart.com/art/T…

See also: Quest II Title Digital: kanetakeo.deviantart.com/art/Q…

See also: Triad Solar System: kanetakeo.deviantart.com/art/T…

See also: Phoenix (Card): kanetakeo.deviantart.com/art/P…


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