raven in a gilded cage

raven in a gilded cage At first glance you would assume this to be a romantic kiss between a couple by candlelight. But looks can be quite deceiving. It is just one instance of many, where things are not always as they appear to be, in The Raven by Sylvain Reynard. I thought I would attempt my first illo of Raven and William in their first meeting together, where one does not have a visual advantage over the other. 😉

Prior to this moment, several things Raven believed to be true were now in question. Her seemingly quiet and simple life had changed drastically due to her own kindhearted choices and her new mysterious acquaintance. This most recent conversation with William had revealed new information that had completely thrown her neatly rationalized thoughts into disarray.

Not that the circumstance surrounding this latest conversation were on mutually agreed upon terms. While previous visits Raven received were surprises, this time she found herself an unwilling guest in William’s villa. But while his unexpected and passion-filled kiss may have helped quell any thoughts that there were chances that he had intentions of bringing her harm, it held small comfort.

For as quickly as the kiss began, and Raven gave in to her growing attraction to the mysterious stranger…it abruptly ended. It was then made very clear, and in no uncertain terms that the evening and their conversation was over, and she should retire for the night. This left Raven more puzzled and bewildered by William than ever before.

But she would soon learn the answers to many of her questions, and embark on a future she would have never imagined possible.

-Victoria

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category: illustration, The Florentine Series

bits & pieces 3

kendo practice partner

Here is a roundup of a few pieces I’ve worked on and posted on my TwitterFacebookInstagram and Tumblr pages, but haven’t yet posted here.

But first, the new one above is an illo I’ve been slowly working on over the past couple of weeks. I haven’t had much time to sit down and work on an illo at length, so I’d been visiting this piece when I have a few minutes here and there.

A photo caught my eye which featured a man wearing a Kendo mask and holding a practice sword while standing in a room littered with random objects. I really liked the pose so I used that as a starting point. From there I decided to remove his helmet (which he has carefully placed on the floor, of course), gave him a face (heehee), changed the background and did slight tweaks to his pose.

While I painted it, I imagined that he had just finished a practice session and was turning to face a visitor after removing his helmet (which explains his rather unruly hair!) 😉

 

speed paint fail

Fortunately (or unfortunately) this quickie illo is all that is left from my first attempt at recording myself painting. On a whim I decided to try out some recording software to try creating a speed painting video. I began doodling whatever came to mind, using no references and with no plan in mind. When I finished, I realized it did not save correctly and lost the recording. :( I have since figured out my mistake, so I’m sure I’ll give it another try sometime soon. It will be fun to see the entire process from sketch to finished illo sped up into a minute or two.

 

social media shocker

Out of a bit of frustration that had been simmering for a while, came this illo. I cannot figure out why, but there are Instagram accounts using my site name and logo without my permission and pretending to be me. Sometimes they even go as far as to copy some of my posts word for word, and tag several other accounts on each post unnecessarily. It’s extremely irritating and I find it very rude that they are creating these misleading accounts.

So, just to let you know, the *only* Instagram account where I post my images can be found at: ruffles_and_restraints. If you frequent Instagram, I hope you’ll give my account a peek! 😉

 

wading and waiting

Up until just recently, I had been using the same single brush on every illo I’d created. Then I came across some different brushes and decided to try them out. The above illo is my first attempt with one of the new brushes! I had a lot of fun painting this one :)

 

Happy New Year 2016

And this last illo is the first illo I created to celebrate New Year’s Day! 😉

 

Phew! There were more illos than I realized! To see any new sketches, quickie illos or other pieces when I first share them on social media, be sure to follow me on any of my accounts. There are quick links to all of them in the ‘about’ section at the top right of my site–just click on the logos. 😉 But even if you don’t partake in social media, I’ll always do my best to share them here also!

-Victoria

 

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category: bits and pieces, illustration, miscellaneous

sealed with a kiss

sealed with a kiss

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, I thought I would try something a little different. While trying to come up with an illo idea, a scenario popped into my head that would have taken place after the time frame of the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy.

The lipstick scene was quite powerful in Fifty Shades Darker, and traces of that encounter (no pun intended) were revisited a few more times later in the story. It was a powerful and intimate scene, which was one of many instances that showed Christian attempting to overcome painful childhood memories but also showed his willingness to grow closer to Ana.

But I thought it would be fun to create an illo where one day–perhaps on Valentine’s Day– Ana surprises Christian in bed with the same tube of lipstick. By now, Christian had overcome his aversion to being touched in the areas he directed her to map out on his torso. So, he’s a bit puzzled…but when it comes to Ana…always intrigued. 😉

Seeing his confusion, she explains that although the last time he had her apply the lipstick to his body was an important moment for them both, it was also quite an intense experience for Christian to endure at the time. While it helped him on his road to escaping the traumas of his past, it probably didn’t hold entirely positive memories, since it did cause him so much anxiety.

So, she decided to create a new and more positive memory, while also acknowledging how much he had overcome and how much they had grown together. She suggests that she would now use the lipstick on him again…applying it in her own special way…in a series of kisses!

Plus one more kiss for good measure…although I’m sure there’s plenty more where that came from! 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Victoria

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category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration

there is no substitute

there is no substitute

If you haven’t yet read Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard, then this illo probably looks rather odd! Even if you have read the book, this particular moment may have slipped past you, since it was expressed in one simple sentence.

It was just one of several insights into the thoughts of the characters. Some are rather profound, some are sad, some are provocative…and in this case–some are rather random as well as amusing! 😉 A mental image popped into my head as soon as I finished reading it, so I felt compelled to attempt a depiction of Gabriel’s quick mental note.

In the second book of the trilogy, Gabriel finds himself with a bit more free time than he would like. Unfortunately, Julia does not share this abundance of leisure time. So while he does his best to fill each day with activities, he finds that it does not provide the results he is after. While realizing this fact, he contemplates some rather surprising alternatives…but in the end it becomes clear that nothing can replace what he was missing…

-Victoria

Note:
For some reason, I always imagined a friendly, sweet-looking dog, but an irritated, ornery-looking ferret. Picturing Gabriel and the ferret together with the same grumpy expression just seemed perfect to me. 😉

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category: Gabriel's Inferno Trilogy, illustration

revealing & healing

revealing & healing

In Fifty Shades Darker, unexpectedly alarming events followed up a rather activity-filled day then early evening at the masquerade ball. Rather than retiring for the night back at Escala, circumstances dictated otherwise.

I decided to try depicting the moment when Christian let himself show a bit of vulnerability with Ana. But while on the surface it was showing one of his weaknesses, it was also a large display of strength on his part…and perhaps a huge step toward his emotional growth.

Up to this intimate moment in his study, Christian had spent most of the day and night as role of protector and a figure of strength. In fact, just moments before Ana entered the room, he was engaged in a rather heated phone exchange in an attempt to protect her.

But for the second time that day, he also surrendered control over to Ana and allowed her to breach his comfort zone in regards to his aversion to being touched. She being the only person in his current world he would allow to assume such a role. Although Ana often felt intimidated in his presence, she was slowly gaining confidence as the two became closer. Occasionally in brief moments such as this, she would muster up some assertiveness in their interactions.

Often Ana would feel helpless witnessing Christian’s inner struggles. But by taking the reigns and urging him to confront his fears, she realized it was a way to help him heal emotionally. While allowing her to do this might seem as if he’s relinquishing all power and control, it also shows another sort of strength on his part by allowing himself to risk being subjected to something that brings great fear and discomfort. It also showed great trust that they both had in each other.

While this was a big step for him, these new experiences also caused him confusion since he had become so accustomed to having control in all situations. However, before long Christian made sure to bring the interaction with Ana back to a way in which he was more comfortable. Eventually Christian puts an end to his uneasiness in a manner in which both of have become quite well-acquainted, and Ana is more than happy to oblige. 😉

But life for the pair means never a dull moment, and soon, another shocking discovery puts a damper on their already very late night…

-Victoria

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category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration

bits & pieces 2

windy tie guy

Just in case you don’t happen to follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram or Tumblr, I thought I’d post a few small illos and sketches I’ve done over the past few weeks.

Recently I came across a new Photoshop brush and began doodling with it and found that I really liked it. So the above illo was the result of testing out the new brush. A photo I found was used as loose reference but somehow a strong breeze seemed to blow through as well. 😉

 

female seated with flower

I had come across a photo I tore out of a magazine quite a while ago. I can’t even remember which magazine it’s from! But I always liked the photo, and for fun was just going to do a quick illo of her face with the new brush. But I got carried away and painted the entire figure (with a few changes to some elements.)

 

female face sketch

A few weeks ago I picked up a pencil and did a quick sketch before bed one night. I hadn’t done that in a very long time, and it felt a bit awkward but I had a lot of fun. So…

male gesture sketch

female figure sketch

…I did a couple more sketches! 😉

These are all photos I took of each of sketch. All of the above pieces were a lot of fun to do, and provide a lot of good practice! I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at them 😉

-Victoria

 

2 Comments

category: bits and pieces, illustration, sketch

new store page and shop information

ruffles and restraints shop banners

When I first announced that my work was available for purchase as prints and other merchandise at Society6, I had mentioned that I would also be sharing another store location in the future…

Well, I am happy to announce two new locations where you can find my illos! 😀

The new shops can be found at Zazzle and CafePress!

You can find out more about what each shop offers and see a few samples, by visiting my new store page!

But no matter when you may visit here, the sidebar to the right has direct links to each shop, or you can access the store page by clicking ‘more info.’

I have been working quite hard over the past few weeks to set up these shops and make them available to you. The locations offer a variety of different products, which I hope will have something that will appeal to everyone, and that they will all be a lot of fun to explore!

Thanks! :)

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category: miscellaneous

clandestine kiss

clandestine kiss Just hours before, it seemed as if there was no question as to the intentions and devotion Gabriel and Julia had for each other. But in Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard, circumstances took a turn for the pair the next evening at the Uffizi Gallery Museum. I thought I’d attempt to depict a moment from the events that transpired that night.

Soon after completing a well-received presentation (save for one audience member), Gabriel was in high demand with his presence, which left Julia on her own to wander the gallery.

However, the sight of her enjoying the artworks unescorted did not go unrecognized for long. Julia found herself dealing with some unwanted attention. But, just in the nick of time, she was reunited (rather passionately) with her Gabriel. It seemed as though all would be well, but this small incident caused both of them to question their standing with one another.

Even though they seemed to be embarking on a serious and committed relationship, in reality it was still quite early. So doubts and concerns are bound to creep in, no matter how much reassurance each provided the other. But that evening in the museum, their pasts–but for different reasons–seemed to have caused them to question the intentions of the other.

Gabriel had doubts about Julia, when he mistook her usual politeness as flirtation with another man. While in years past, such playful interaction with strangers was a frequent tool in his own arsenal. But in Julia’s case, it did not fit her character at all.

Julia felt a bit of unease at Gabriel’s unexpected and seemingly unrestrained behavior in the corridor corner. She couldn’t help comparing it to what she’d seen in a past relationship and reluctantly wondered if Gabriel would differ in his self-restraint.

They were both unnecessarily projecting behaviors onto the other, that deep down they knew were ridiculous, or at the very least, highly improbable.

But while the past heavily influenced the situation that night in the Uffizi, their hopes for their future helped lift them out of conflict and forward in their journey together.

-Victoria

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category: Gabriel's Inferno Trilogy, illustration

bits & pieces

just lounging in bed... Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing semi-quickie little illos and sketches for practice. Mainly for fun, but also to try to speed up my process and try different things. My usual illos usually require a lot of research into detail from the book scenes I try to depict. So, these types of pieces are also a nice break where there are no real restrictions or requirements. I can change up details on the fly and not worry about it.

male sketch Some of you may have already seen a couple of these when I originally posted them on social media–such as my TwitterFacebook and Instagram accounts. But I thought I’d post them all here just in case anyone may have missed any and might be curious. 😉

National Kissing Day illo I hope to do practice pieces more often in the future, in addition to the usual finished illos. So be sure to follow me on any of my social media accounts to catch things when they are first posted! But I will always try to do roundups and post them here as well. :)

-Victoria

7 Comments

category: illustration, miscellaneous, sketch

cross training

cross training

I receive book recommendations quite often, but one series is suggested much more than any other, by far. So, even though I have been slowly making my way through a couple of other series of books, I decided to finally begin reading Bared to You by Sylvia Day.

Although I haven’t yet completed the entire book, I’m already really enjoying it so far. The variety of characters and how they interact is realistic yet never mundane. Out of them all, I have to say that I really enjoy Eva! She’s full of strength and still has a playful sense of humor, even though she’s had to endure and work through a very difficult past.

Of course it’s also fun to see the relationship between Eva and Gideon develop (even with all the bumps in the road along the way).

So, instead of choosing a particular scene from the portion of the book I’ve already completed, I decided to conjure up a simple illo of Gideon post-workout at his namesake gym! That’s not to say I haven’t come across plenty of scenes just itching to be illustrated! 😉

-Victoria

19 Comments

category: Crossfire Series, illustration