POV: Research

All the sources of the images should be linked (if you click on the image itself)

I’m working with the idea of a silhouette, so here are some ideas on how they should/could look~:


The background of my silhouettes will be cityscapes though, so I looked into the different style and medium this could be done.

Most are in traditional medium as that is what I want to explore this time. Specifically, I was considering color pencils, but should I need to scan it in, perhaps paint will have more saturated and vibrant colors:

Same source as featured image

This is not a skyline in the anticipated sense, but it is cool one the less and could be a way to explore perspectives if I go with variations of only 1 unchanging sentence.

The oil paintings below are closest to (one of) my desired effect and I find them absolutely stunning. It’s slightly dreamy and abstract~

CG which I will try to avoid this time, but a good reference none the less:

More illustration style, which is the other direction I could go (instead of painting). Perhaps I’ll make it more colorful and fantasy-like though:

And finally, some photo reference of the city at different times of the day. I’m thinking if I’m going to draw a continued cityscape I might as well make it varied, and changing the time of the day is one way to do it.

Mostly, the reference are for the transitioning stage (I’m thinking of having 1 dawn, 2 daylight, 1 twilight and 2 nighttime cityscape):

The first 3 are from the same photographer, linked to image source only in the first photo. But he has a ton of other wonderful city images I feel could help me.


Danraxelia Lore: Festivities

(OOC: Say hi to another long post… This is no surprise anymore @@ )

New Year: Birth of Vo’a and Danraxelia (the world)

Unsurprisingly, the biggest and grandest celebration each year is for New Years.

The citizens of Danraxelia believes that the city is a unique blessing to them, and has existed since the beginning of time. It makes sense to them that the world began at the start of the year, so New Year holds the dual significance of welcoming the year ahead, as well as celebrating the birth of their beloved city.

This last for about 10 days, from the last few days of the previous year all the way through the first week of the New Year. Aside from general feasting and merrymaking, the main event starts with a parade involving every race and social class in the city. Months are spent preparing the Carnival floats and costumes for the parade.

The trip of the parade starts from the bottom, with the simple floater done by the farmers, or the surprisingly detailed and delicate floater done by the crafters heading the parade. As the course of the parade winds up, it is joined by floaters done by industrial workers and merchants, entertainers and other organisations, some of which are sponsored by wealthy individuals. Even the Library, the Scribes and the Parliament each has their own float joining the parade at the end.

Of course, how could the biggest celebration of the year be without the participation of the Oracles? While they and their disciples never produced their own floats, they will join in the Parade towards the end as it pass around their level, up through the parliament level and finally ends at the Sky Gardens. This parade last for five days, and on the last day of the year, in the Sky Gardens, around the Bell Tower, the Oracles will lead the ritual of burning all the floats.

To the commoners, the construction of the floats signify their thanks to both Vo’a (OOC: the world they live in, if you recall) for letting them have another peaceful and abundant year, as well as to the Oracles whom they view as Gods that protect their city and guide them.

The final burning of the floats signifies Vo’a receiving their gratitude, and commoners usually dress in their best clothes to flood the gardens and watch the spectacle. After all, it is also one of the only chance most of them get to see the Oracles themselves and are allowed into the Sky Gardens. (Usually only accessible to working Parliament members and Scribes and Oracles, even individuals from the upper class are rarely allowed up there).

For most, the burning of the floats is the end of the large scale celebration. Usually the next few days in the New Year are for everyone to rest, recuperate, have fun in their own little circles, and of course, prepare for the new working year ahead.

However, the next five days are also the only chance for some individuals to see the Oracles one on one, and gain their advice on their fate. This is limited to 5 people, one on each day, and if you are chosen, it is considered a great honour as you are lead up to the living areas of the Oracles.

Yet aside from the chosen few, nobody ever hears about what actually takes place with the Oracles, and it is assumed that speaking of your experiences with the Oracles are forbidden.

Remembrance of the Dead and celebration of Living:

This is another significant festival when the Oracles appear, although unsurprisingly this is usually starts as a much more sombre “celebration”, if it could be considered that at all.

In the day, the Humans and Tierans makes a long trip outside the living areas and beyond the farms, all the way to the edge of the forest at the bottom of the city where the graves usually are. There, they leave food, gifts and offerings to their deceased loved ones. Some set lanterns and offerings into the rivers flowing into the forest, for those deceased who are sent off in the same way, as they might prefer.

For Giowels though, as their death are rare and signify their return to the elements, with no graves to mark their demise, it is usually a much more private affair. Perhaps with alters set up at home and quiet remembrance of the life of the deceased.

When nightfall, the Oracles will stand at 3 corners on the outside (balcony?) of their living level, facing the rest of the city below. Although barely visible, their voice will be heard by all, guiding them to remember the good of the life passed, the fortune of being alive, and the importance of celebrating life, together with death. Their voice sooth the emotions of the living and a sense of calm, peace, and quiet will come over the entire city. Many will claim that that would be the night they have the most peaceful and restful sleep in the entire year.

The next two or three day, festive markets and carnivals will be set up at various locations and individuals will go around to mingle, socialize and basically have fun.

The markets and carnivals have all sorts of interesting games, food, crafts, and any other unique creations the living might have come up with through the year. It celebrates life with all its blessings, innovations and creativity, especially in a city as peaceful and self-sufficient as Danraxelia.


Of course, there are other minor festivals that different people celebrates base on their race, social class, beliefs and significance they place on any natural events, but for City-wide large scale celebrations, it would just be these two.

Danraxelia Lore: Entertainment

The entertainment available in Danraxelia is as varied as the individuals living in the city, and one man’s job could easily be another man’s hobby. Most of the entertainments are not unlike the ones available in our own.

Central Library is a main source of entertainment for the citizens of Danraxelia. There are compulsory schooling in Danraxelia, and, as the school is a part of the Library, most citizens are introduced to it since young. Learning is not a boring process there, as individuals get to decide which topics or books they wish to study. Most come to grow up enjoying the company of books.

The library contains more books than one could finish in a lifetime, as well as parts of it which functions as museums that contain important relics of the past. All residents are allowed into the library from their residential level, although the top few level are almost exclusive to the upper class, and of course, the Scribes who works in the Library, both as followers of the Oracles and as teachers to guide the students.

Of course, it is absurd to expect all to love books, let along having that as the sole entertainment. Thus, the residential area surrounding the central library slowly developed to be the arts and cultural centre where there are theatres, dance and opera houses and circuses (Imagine the tricks Tierans and their animals, Giowels and their elements could perform~!).

Aside from cultural activities, mindless fun such as singing, dancing drinking at bars or gathered around a campfire telling stories are all valid forms of entertainment as well.

Individually, aside from picking up a new skill (Pick up a book from the library!), tending to pets and small mushroom gardens are popular past times as well. (Mushroom because unless you live inside the library or really close to the “corridors” at the outside of Danraxelia structure, there will be some difficulties for plants to get enough light..)

For those more inclined to sports, there are competitive sports and fighting rings. Watching the sports and fights are common entertainment, but the ones who participate in it are doing it either professionally, or occasionally to settle personal disputes. Fighting to the death are not legally allowed, but incidents do happen…

Worthy to note though, is that the games and sports in Danraxelia do tend to differ at least slightly from those in our world, due to the different environment and races.

Of course, in the dark corners of the city, there always exist unsavory forms of entertainment such as drugs, gambling and prostitution…

Typographic Portrait: Trial and Error

All the Process.

Before this, as I was quite fixated on the illuminated manuscript idea, I was pretty determined to do all my designs by hand.

But. 2 problems quickly became apparent. Firstly, it appears my ability to paint are not on the caliber of medieval monks.

Secondly, I was uncertain about what to do with the backgrounds. Illuminated manuscripts also tend to either have florid or boring gold/silver backgrounds. However, I realize my font or script for the symbols are too plain to fit into complicate backgrounds. In addition I would like any designs in the background to be relevant the themes, which is not efficient for me to figure out and draw by hand…

So. Digital!

I decided I would still add the paint and decorations on top of them when I print them out, and for the background, I decided to add textures and patterns, both from what I already have, as well as looking for some free stocks online.

These are the ones I attempted, mostly background tryouts and a bit of WIP:

And print!

IMAG5792__1455794910_155.69.161.33 IMAG5800__1455794961_155.69.161.33

I bought a smaller, thinner brush just for this.

And then I experimented some with the placement of the sparklies. Again, minor differences from the final, but its there.

Next post will be the Final consolidated.

Typographic Portrait: Iconophiliac sketches

After deciding on the symbols I could use, I started to combine some of them to explore the meaning or themes I wanted to fulfill with each design.


The experiments are mostly on the left, while the final 6 designs are on the right. I tried to push the meaning of each design as far as possible without distorting it’s aesthetic value.

Along the way, I also considered the “name” and “vocation”. I had difficulties coming up with a solid vocation because I felt I am a very fluid person.. in a sense I can imagine myself doing a lot of things but it’s very difficult to settle on one or a few to explore just for this project (*cough* or even for life..).

It’s easier when I considered it in more abstract terms though, and to help me with that I looked up the list of “Philia”s.


Ailurophilia (Obsessive love of cats). Reworking of the first design. The initial design is the one on the featured image. I had to redo it because I haven’t figured out the proportions for my designs at that point in time and in the end it mismatched with the rest.

The one eye cat is just..me. As I have used the same motif several times before.


This could be  Lygophlia (Love darkness) or Nytophilia (Love of the night). Symbols used:

The moon
The Goddess (3 stage of the moon, 3 stage of woman)
Salt (Representing physical body in alchemy terms)
Wiccan blessing


Quintessence, I actually can’t think of a “Philia” for this. And essentially only have that one alchemy symbol although I added some twist to it.

I added a small square to the middle of the smaller circle to allude to the Chinese coin, which i remember my parents telling me it represents being well rounded(circle) on the outside, but with solid values (square) on the inside.

Also as seen on the left I wrote my name (Chinese, and English initials) in stylistically. This was an idea that occurred to me when parts of the symbol itself looks too empty, yet at the same time the symbol reminds me slightly of a summoning circle… (Just a thought, I am not a demon hehehe)

So yes, for the stylized characters I actually did reference the “signatures” of demons, which are ironically suppose to hide their real names from being known as well. I love those stuff. XD


This is the most plain, and first design to be rejected after the requirements for the assignment changed from 6 to 4 pieces.

It is basically a combination of the symbols of all the elements (Fire Water Earth and Air). In a way it’s representing harmony in nature, but it feels similar to Quintessence yet considerably duller in meaning… So this one I’m actually glad when I didn’t have to use it.


Astrophilia! I actually really liked this. It’s a combination of my ascendant/rising sign (Cancer, on the outside because that is suppose to represent the personality you show), Sun/Moon sign (the sun sign is the common horoscope, but my moon sign is the same as sun sign), the Mid-heaven sign ( Pisces, suppose to be for jobs I think..) and Venus sign (Gemini, for love). Just for the sake of it, I also added my Chinese Zodiac (rat) shape into the Cancer horoscope symbol. It also looks a bit like the yin/yang symbol..

I removed this design after attempting some coloring (Later posts) because although I truly love its composition and meaning, it might not fit as nicely with the others when it’s significance seems (to me) considerably more direct which I was not entirely comfortable with for this assignment


Final! My name is infinite and I am possibilities.

This is the only one I am completely sure about for the name and vocation because it fits so well with how I perceive myself as fluid and perhaps adaptable.

I wanted to (and in the end did) include the Ouroboros symbol as well, but for a while I thought it would not be possible because drawing it on paper will be too small. It was later done digitally.


Danraxelia Lore: Crime and Punishment

(OOC: Law Lore Lol. *cough*sorry*cough* anyways.)

There exist no capital punishment in Danraxelia.

The harshest form of punishment are life imprisonment in complete isolation. This means no chance for parole and no contact from anybody aside from the prison guards. In this sense, they will be dead to everybody in Danraxelia, never to be seen again even by their friends and family, who are not allowed to visit.

Not that their family will ever want to visit anyways.

There are strong social stigma attached to this sentence and usually the families will be too ashamed to ever be associated with the person again, unless they want to further jeopardize their status in society.

While it this stigma might sounds extreme, it is perhaps only fueled by how rare this sentence really is, occurring only once or twice in several decades.

It is usually reserved for the absolutely unrepentant criminals, serial killers or the insane with strong malicious intent…in other words, unanimously deemed a “Lost Cause” by the respectable Judge and their panel of Jury.

Interestingly, this sentence are usually not even given to murderers.

Murderers will usually be sentenced to life imprisonment, but visiting from family and friends are permitted, and there exist the possibility of parole. However, breaking the parole or repeated offences will be what grantees them to become a “Lost cause”.

Blatant disrespect and rudeness to the Oracles will be considered a blasphemy which is unheard of, but not a crime on its own.

Other crimes are punishable by imprisonment and fines, with severity varying depending on the crime.

But as Danraxelia prides itself on being a civil society (It’s built around a library after all), rehabilitation are enforced together with imprisonment or fines. These are usually in the form of education and various manual labors to “repay their debt to society”. This could range from anything from washing toilets to arranging the books in the library.

They will not be confused with respectable individuals taking up the same jobs though, as their grey prisoner robes- not to be removed until they served their time- speaks volumes of their differences.

Once they do serve their time though, they are taken to be sufficiently re-educated with newly guided and corrected sense of morals. Thus, they will usually be re-accepted into society in time.

Danraxelia Lore: Architecture

(OOC: Complicated post. Thus no chapter update this week..hopefully will have more time and less things to think about next week ><”
Actors I admit this might be confusing due to my excessive amount of detailed headcannons but you don’t have to read everything…)

The buildings in Danraxelia… or rather, the entire basis of the city itself is fashioned from some sort of stone, seemingly hand carved from an entire giant block. However, the truth of who, or what, was capable of such an inhuman feat has been lost through the ages, theories intertwining between stories and legends.

Basic top down view (Semi-complete), the bottom level is evidently the biggest ring, and the smallest dot in the middle is the tower.

The very bottom level of Danraxelia is considered the rural area, and has huts and cottages surrounding the main city structure. These are usually built with rocks and stones or even wood and straw. Cement are used sparingly to bind some materials together.

Inside the bottom city levels are a complicated mess of increasingly confusing and dark tunnels (OOC: which might be (part of) irrigation system but thats not something I want to think too hard about now @@) the deeper you go. But at the area closest to the farms and forests outside, there are rooms or even “apartments” separated out in the tunnels using the rocks, stones and cement. However, these rooms are usually use to store tools and other items farmers or workers might need for their jobs outside. People don’t usually live in these areas for long periods due to poor facilities and most usually have their own apartments in the lower levels of the residential areas anyways.

The industrial city levels consist mostly of factories and workshops. The heavy industries focusing on raw material processing and material recycling (For living in the middle of the ocean makes some of their resource pretttyyyy scarce) are at the bottom two levels while the more delicate crafting are done on the top level.

The residential levels are pretty hierarchic, with the poorer living on level 1-3, middle class 3-6, and higher class 6-9.

Although there are no hard and fast rule to who can become richer and more capable, the general trend is for farmers, manual workers and crafters to live in the most basic apartments, businessmans in the middle and the extremely rare upper class- those involving or once involved in the parliament- live right at the top.

The inside of these levels tend to be divided into different rooms apartments and streets between them. The most basic material used to construct additional (because of course the city structure has some walls or pillars of its own original stone to ensure the entire city will not collapse) walls are with concrete. Yet unsurprisingly, the richer you are, the more flexible your choice of size and material for housing will become.

Right in the middle within the residential areas, and extending to the level above it, is the central Library. It also functions as the school. Its walls are shelves carved from the original stones that make up the city, suggesting that the library has existed for as long as the city itself. Rather than describing it, please view illustration for a better idea:


The top level of the library is where the Scribes work and live, and is inaccessible to most.

Equally inaccessible above it is where the Oracles and their Disciples live, and even further up, the parliament, and finally the Sky Garden with the bell tower in the center. The bell tower is the only thing made of red bricks (And not bricks of stone etc.) in the entire city.

sketch of stairs possibilities

The outer most “walls” of most city levels (Except bottom two levels bottom) are mostly different types of pillars (Egyptian, Greek or Roman are all good references), allowing more lights into the deeper parts of each level or even the entire city. However, there are bits and pieces of actual walls on which lifts are built or stairs are carved into, particularly for the bottom two levels, to make transportation of both goods and people more convenient.


Danraxelia Lore: The Powers that Be

(OOC: Actors highly advised to read this~ Or at least the later part

Haish was gonna draw the symbol/logo for the parliament and oracle but I have no time. Perhaps adding in on a later date~)

On the surface, the main governing body of Danraxelia is the parliament, where the seats are somewhat fairly allocated between the three races. (~30~35 humans, 30~35 Tierans, 20~25 Giowels) through voting every 5 years.

As Danraxelia is a largely isolated city, the members of the parliament tend to argue more over the rights and benefits of their own races when situations arise. However, as the city is self-sufficient and large conflicts of interest has never arose, through the years the races have found a delicate balance co-existing.

With prolonged peace and self-sufficiency, becoming a member of parliament became as much an acknowledgement of individual’s social status and charisma as their actual purpose of maintaining Danraxelia’s various functions, and to be honest voting for the members of the parliament are not a priority to the people in Danraxelia.

At the head of parliament are the 9 Heads of Danraxelia, consisting of 3 Human Leaders, 3 Tieran shamans and 3 Giowel Elders (Yes, akin chiefs in the ships), who consolidates the opinions of parliament members and makes the final decisions over Danraxelia governing matters.

They also serve the additional function of the Judge when individual conflicts arise, and their position as judge rotates every month. They are usually the most respected members of their races. Of course, the voting for them are taken much more seriously when it comes round every 10 years.

Not beneath this regular governing body though, a form of almost religious respect also exist for “the Oracles”. 3 person who seem to have the same, if not higher authority than the government. However, they are almost never seen except during festivals, and when they do appear, they are always covered beneath a white, black, or blue veil respectively.

oracles 1
OOC: Speedpaint-ish again. Please imagine less flowers on their veils @w@”.

No one knows who they are or how they look like. No one even knows what race any of them are.

They are rumored to be Gods, having existed as long as the city itself, and are literally the heart that beats to keep the city alive.

They are in charge of the “library” which Danraxelia is built around, as well as the Scribes who work there.

And they are, supposedly, able to see all that is in the past, present and future.

(OOC: I will perhaps reveal more details at least about the library which is a big part of Danraxelia. But for now they are mysterious and although highly respected, command a different kind of authority than the mundane political sort.

They could be important, if you want more adventure… If not they are just these shadow entities that hang at the edge of normal Danraxelia lives)

Typographic Portrait: Iconophilia


Above is how my Journal looks like after my previous research. Although I researched a lot on the methods, I was quite stumped as to the theme. I love doing artworks about myself, but sometimes it’s hard to keep it interesting.

As I went along my thought process, I eventually drew the conclusion that I should use symbols in my typography portraits. They will fit more neatly into the size of the artworks without compromising the meaning.

Moreover, symbols in Alchemy and Pagan religions has always been of interest to me, so I proceed to the second part of my Research.

http://symboldictionary.net/ is a very helpful website, and all pictures and info are from them.

Below is the list of symbols that struck my fancy, as well as some keywords regarding their meaning:

Web of Wyrd (Skuld’s net)

Norse Legend fates (Nornir) woven Matrix of fate (wyrd). Contains all the shapes of the runes, therefore all possibilities. Consequences and links between past, present and future.
Interconnected timelines.
Tree of life.

Mercury (Alchemical Quicksilver)
Glyph derived from Ancient Greek God Mercury.
Previously emblem of the Punic Goddess Tanit.
Alchemical quicksilver
Magical element mercurius.
Human spirit.

 Sulfur (“Leviathan Cross”)

Human soul.
Masculine, hot and dry.
Combined with Mercury (feminine, cool and moist), the pair were considered the parents of all metals.
Historical association with the devil.
Fire triangle surmounting a cross of the earth.

With Mercury and Sulphur, that make up base matter.
Physical matter of the body; its earthly elements.


Hermetic Seal of Light (Quintessence)

Synthesis of alchemy or the Hermetic Seal.
Ancient Pythagorean philosophy
The square, circle, the and the triangle are the emblems of the material body, the soul, and the spirit, three elements believed to be necessary for alchemical transformation.

Fire (Elemental Fire, “Blade”)

Heat and dryness
“Fiery” emotions
Apiritual aspiration,
Rising force, rising energy.
Derived from the medieval magical Seal of Solomon.

Air (Elemental Air, Alchemical Air)

Warmth and moistness
Breath, life, communication, and the holy spirit.

Earth (Alchemical Earth)

Cold and dry
Physical sensation.
Medieval temperament: melancholic.
Esoteric tradition :manifestation of matter.

Water (Elemental Water, “Chalice”)

Downward flow.
Ancient symbol of femininity
Cold and moist
Intuition, the unconscious mind, the enclosing, generating forces of the womb.


My sun and moon sign
Head and horns of a bull.
Fixed, feminine, Earth sign
Ruled by the planet Venus.
Governs the throat/neck.


My Venus Sign
The twins.
Mutable air sign.
Ruled by the planet Mercury.


My ascendant/rising sign
The crab
Cardinal water sign.


My mid-heaven sign.
The fishes.
Water sign.
Ruler of the current equinoctial age
Emblem of early Christianity.
Womb of the fish


Alchemical metal, copper.
Copper mirror of Venus/Aphrodite
May be related to the Egyptian emblem of the goddess Hathor.
May be a variation of the ankh.


Alchemical metal, lead.
Scythe of Saturn, the god of the harvest and time.
Limitation, protection, and restraint
Alchemically, lead was the prima matera, or primal matter
Putrefaction and decay necessary for new life.
Similar to the Hebrew letter Tau, associated with time and death.


Alchemical symbols for silver.
Hermetic sciences, feminine, liquid, passive principle- alchemical Mercury.
Hieros gamos (divine marriage) combining solar and lunar principals to form the divine androgyne- the highest form of spiritual attainment.
Silver repel or even kill demons.
Purity (Silver = pure metal
Wiccan moon symbol of blessing.

Sun (Alchemical Gold)

Alchemical symbol for Gold.
Ancient Egypt symbol for the sun God Re.
Pinnacle of spiritual development and human achievement.

Ouroboros (Infinitysnake)

“Tail swallower.”
Egypt as a symbol of the sun,  travels of the sun disk.
Gnosticism, solar God Abraxas,
Eternity and the soul of the world
Spirit of Mercury
Continuous renewal (resurrection)
Cycle of life and death
Harmony of opposites.
A double ouroboros signifies volatility.
Spiritually, balance of the upper and lower natures.

Infinity symbol (Lemniscate)

Mathematical symbol
Patterned after mobius strip.
Balance of forces
Associated with Magician tarot card.

Enso (Zen Circle)

Zen Buddhism.
Symbol of infinity
Infinite void
Perfect meditative state
Satori (enlightenment.)

Tomoe (Mitsu tomoe, Futatsu tomoe, Tomoe-mon, Fire-wheel)

Turning or circular, referring to the motion of the earth.
Play of forces in the cosmos.
Akin to Yin/Yang
Threefold division of Shinto cosmology, earth, the heavens, and humankind. Associated with the Shinto war deity Hachiman.

Eye of Horus/Eye of Ra (Udjat, Wedjat)

Resemble the eye of a falcon
Right eye of the Egyptian Falcon God Horus.
Udjat (or utchat) = sun,  associated with the Sun God Ra (Re).
Left eye, represented the moon, and the God Tehuti (Thoth).

Flower of Life (Fisherman’s Net)

Associated with New Age permutations of Sacred Geometry.
Contains a number of other shapes within its deceptively simple pattern
“Blueprint of creation.”
By connecting points in the pattern, a multitude of patterns and shapes can be traced, including a tree of Life, pentagram, and various representations of three dimensional objects.
The six-fold “seed” pattern used as a basis = seed of life.

Other Wiccan Symbols:

Integration of body and spirit, and the spiritual mastery of the four elements.

The Wiccan emblematic pentagram faces point upward to symbolize the triumph of spirit over matter
Point downwards, to symbolize earthly gratification, or the triumph of the individual over dissolution.

Medieval Christians = five wounds of Christ
Proportions of the human body.

Horned God
Masculine polarity of the universe.
Related to the ancient Gods of vegetation and the hunt: Greek Pan, the Celtic Cernunnos, and the Egyptian Ammon.
Hhorn moon,” symbol of the Goddess Diana, especially in Dianic Wicca.

Lunar Triple Goddess symbol
Three aspects of the moon (waxing, waning, and full)
Three ages of womankind (mother, maiden, crone)
Fminine polarity of the universe