Jun Qi - Art & Illustration
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Zodiac Road Race

July 30, 2022
Children's Books
A digital painting of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac racing to the Jade Emperor's palace, with story text woven in explaining how each animal ended up in each position. The animals are drawn with traditional Chinese papercut motifs and rendered in a textured style.
The finished contest piece
First part of WIP breakdown of the piece
WIP breakdown showing initial sketch, firmed-up linework, and value underpainting
Second part of WIP breakdown of the piece
WIP breakdown showing initial colors, initial text layout, and some finished rendering with all of the papercut motifs 'cut out'

This was yet another piece I created for the SVS Critique Arena Challenge for the month of July, based on the prompt "Rabbit Road Race", and is again based on Chinese mythology, this time on the commonly-told folktale about the race organized by the Heavenly Jade Emperor to determine the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, which are also shared widely by other Asian cultures.

I was again trying out an experimental style with this, trying to do something flatter, and more textured, while weaving in traditional Chinese papercut motifs. It was also quite an ambitious piece in terms of composition and design, as I had to fit in all 12 animals and their respective story texts in a convincing but not overly-cluttered manner.

Overall, I am happy with how it turned out!

Painted in Krita.

Jun Qi - Storytelling & Illustration ©2022