May 16, 2006 · Illustration Friday: Angels & Devils

Once again, I haven’t had time to create an all new illo for Illustration Friday, but I think this one works with the theme and no one has seen it yet. So…

Meet Indigo Adams. Indigo is one of those poor little rich girls. An only child, now an orphan, her mother was locked up in an insane asylum only days after her birth and her father was a deeply eccentric, enormously wealthy, cold and standoffish man with extraordinary red hued eyes who lived on an enormous perpetually fog shrouded estate where he is was consumed hourly with taxidermy. He died horrifically when the monstrous rhino he was working to preserve toppled over and impaled him on it’s single, deadly horn, leaving his vast fortunes to his one and only daughter, Indigo Belladonna Adams.

Indigo attends a posh private school on the outskirts of London which is governed by a headmistress of such grim disposition, she makes Miss Mitchum (of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess) appear most saintly and cuddlesome in comparison. This does not bother Indigo much. Nothing bothers Indigo much. And in truth, no one bothers with indigo. If they’re smart…

The thing is… Indigo Adams has attended that school for over 150 years. And her appearance has never changed. Not even her clothing. She remains resolutely eleven and alone. Strange and horrific things happen to anyone who dares cross her path or thwarts her will. She rarely speaks a word, but constantly mutters mysterious incantations under her breath. She has a strange fixation with Luna Moths and her room is aflutter with them year round. She smells of lavendar and jasmine and her laughter sounds like tinkling bells, and around her always is an unearthly, almost anglelic glow, but no one who met her in person would call her beautiful.

This illustration began really just as an exercise in color. I just wanted to try out a radically different palette from my usual muted color preference or the bright primaries of my childreen’s work. I picked away at it sporadically over many months, whenever I felt like goofing around. It began life as do all my illustrations with a pencil sketch that I scanned into Photoshop and painted up from there.

30 Comments so far


  1. the eyes and the color tone of the skin give it that haunting quality, nice pic

    Comment by michael dailey — May 16, 2006 @ 10:08 am

  2. Poor Indigo! I like so many things about this. 1. The fact that her eyes and lips are the same color. 2. The way the bow in her hair is painted. 3. The texture of the lace on her collar.

    xo L.

    Comment by leontine — May 16, 2006 @ 10:21 am

  3. Really love the story and the illustration.

    Comment by benconservato — May 16, 2006 @ 10:42 am

  4. Beautiful illustration

    Comment by AscenderRisesAbove — May 16, 2006 @ 10:52 am

  5. This is eerily beautiful. The glow of the luna moths, the intensity of her eyes. The story is great. I am in awe of artits who can master digital painting.

    Comment by Debra Cooper — May 16, 2006 @ 11:31 am

  6. I was a luna moth for Halloween once. My mother made the costume. It was MAGNIFICENT. I wish we had kept it. I love your girl’s name…inspired!

    Comment by lizardek — May 16, 2006 @ 11:48 am

  7. lovely work, lovely story. sad and melancholy, but lovely.

    Comment by juliemc — May 16, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

  8. beautiful expressive painting!

    Comment by Alina — May 16, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

  9. This is a beautiful illustration!She is so three dimensional!I an drawn in by the strangeness of her!And the Luna moths in junxtaposition to her violet hair and ruby eyes and lips are exquisite!On the surface she seems sad and fragile but, if you look a little harder she is terrifying!

    Comment by Catraven — May 16, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

  10. spooky, and v. mystical expression….great painterly style.

    Comment by ade — May 16, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

  11. what a wonderfully evocative painting and story, and of course i am now pining to know more about the mysterious Indigo Adams– angel or demon? perhaps the answer it will forever be shrouded in mist and luna moths…

    Comment by Nancy — May 16, 2006 @ 3:21 pm

  12. Wow, amazing images on your site, the eyes and details on this one are really striking

    Comment by robotJAM — May 16, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

  13. This is great… love her eyes.

    Comment by LudaChristian — May 16, 2006 @ 8:11 pm

  14. BEAUTIFULLY painted. You have a special talent.

    Comment by Bron Smith — May 16, 2006 @ 10:22 pm

  15. If Damian from the Omen had a sister this would be her. Seriously good illo.

    Comment by Detlef — May 17, 2006 @ 3:13 am

  16. Lovely illustrations, and those butterflies are wonderful. She really has an ancient glow about her!

    Comment by Ulla — May 17, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

  17. That’s quite a atory; perfect for your illustration! Your color choices are really exciting…the green tones in her skin with the red eyes and lips against all that blue…wow! The butterflies make me think of lovely things preserved forever, like Indigo. Your technique is wonderful:>

    Comment by carla — May 17, 2006 @ 3:06 pm

  18. oh— Indigo, there you are! I have been waiting to meet you– can’t wait to hear more of your exploits which your UBER-talented creator is sure to deliver one of these days.

    Comment by Elizabeth — May 17, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  19. Love your writing and the beautifully haunting image!

    Comment by scribblesk — May 17, 2006 @ 3:58 pm

  20. Oh oh OH I love her! I love love LOVE her! I thought of you today because I get my first Gilmore Girls DVD (I’m soooo beind, not having cable for 2 years and whatnot) and the thing I wanted to do most of all was call you so you could come over and watch it with me. Damn geography. Always getting in the way of my fun.

    Comment by breana — May 17, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

  21. An absolutely melancholy piece. Fits the theme very well without being obvious. Very nice work.

    Comment by REGGIE — May 18, 2006 @ 4:23 am

  22. Great work. Her skin has that haunting glow to it. I like the blue and green color pallette you used. Very nice work.

    Comment by SETH — May 18, 2006 @ 6:44 am

  23. Wow, wow, wow. You ARE going to actually write this up as a book, aren’t you? What a fantastic tale! And I LOVE the painting. It is mysterious and beautiful, and the Luna moths are particularly fabulous.

    Comment by violetismycolor — May 18, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

  24. the detail in the shading brings out the texture in you peice. good job

    Comment by JoshuaDavid — May 18, 2006 @ 6:20 pm

  25. Wow– I’m not sure whether I like the picture or the description better! Haunting and lovely!

    Comment by Liz Jones — May 18, 2006 @ 6:49 pm

  26. Wow. You guys have all been so generous with your comments. Thank you so much. You have really boosted my spirits this week!!

    Comment by wee — May 19, 2006 @ 8:41 am

  27. I’m late catching up with my blog-reading and I was stunned when I saw this entry. That illustration is beyond words. Such creativity in both the story and the art. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Chris — May 20, 2006 @ 7:04 pm

  28. Lunar moths are one of my favorite things. What a lovely and hauntig illustration!

    Comment by susan — May 22, 2006 @ 7:34 am

  29. How was this not the spotlighted illio of the week. It should have been. It is beyond gorgeous! Your colors and your style. . .just stunning! I absolutely adore this piece! Amazing.

    Comment by Tiffini Elektra X — May 26, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

  30. Wonderful! The colours are brilliant!!

    Comment by annax — May 29, 2006 @ 1:49 pm

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