Goddess of Earth Creation

17 04 2012

For my Goddesses of Creation project I started working on the five images at the same time, to try to keep consistency as much as possible, but as usual, I ended up focusing more on one image, less on the other, finding a direction for some images sooner than others, so I did not end up working simultaneously on them. The Earth Goddess was the second to be finished.

Landscape references

To make her more akin to the Earth, I wanted her to be solidly grounded so I did not give it a sense of dynamism or levity, also I wanted her to be pregnant, to give an idea of fullness and fertility, of lush life. This idea was received very gladly by David and Mamiko, and I must confess I also felt very connected to it since I myself was going through pregnancy. For this project I had multiple references I had shot myself on my pass by Kawai’i, the garden island, and I took advantage to study the palette of many of my photos. Because of the iron in the earth and because of the flowers natural to the island, there is a lot of red, my clients also wanted quartz crystals which were to be amber, we went with a predominantly green, amber and red composition.

Palette study.

One of the themes that kept coming once and again during our correspondence was to have a sort of supernatural light ambiance, I thought of using a halo behind her head, that can read as her being the source but also the sun rising in the distance. Having never portrayed backlight (at least successfully) I knew I needed a lot of referencing for this to work. So off I went to the web to hunt down for backlit heads, hair, fabric, skin…

Earth Goddess references, did I mention I do a lot of research for my paintings?

So once the references were gathered I started painting the landscape, suggesting the light from the center and behind the figure. The mountains slope, the plants, rocks and crystals all point toward the goddess, making this a very simple yet effective composition. I also tried to keep cohesion through the use of the little red flowers on the ground, dress and hair.

As I start refining the image and adding details, I also soften the lines, I do this by locking the pixels on the line layer and passing a round brush set to transparency (20-25%) and painting over the lines with the color adjacent in the figure. This will make the image more dynamic.

I do leave notes to myself when I am too tired to go on but I am afraid to forget what I need to do next 🙂

Then it is just a matter of detailing some more, adding the last touches and sending the file to the clients for revision.

It’s finally finished!

19 03 2011

Sometimes a piece that is challenging and fun reaches a point in which it turns to “yes, it was nice, and it was a great learning experience, but I want to be done with it.” This commission was that. It was very challenging, a lot of fun, very interesting, but it became too long (my client was wonderfully patient, we started during my first trimester! and I had some really rough months) and by the end of it,  I just needed to finish it so I didn’t have to work on it anymore. Fortunately, with some good feedback from the client, we finished this piece recently and she is ready to go!

I am proud to show this new tattoo design! She is a winged Venus, and it is designed to wrap around the shoulder of the client, with the dress draping around the arm and the wings extending to the back. He is happy, I am happy, and all is good in my side of the world.


(c) Constanza Ehrenhaus 2011. This is a custom made tattoo that my client paid for. Please, respect him and do not use as your own.



Book review: Dreams of Magic by Michele-Lee Phelan

17 08 2010

Dreams of Magic by Michele-Lee Phelan

Yesterday I got Dreams of Magic, I was really excited since the postal service took forever!
The book can be purchased through Amazon or Michele’s website. If you purchase them through her site though, you get it signed and she included two of her wonderful oracle cards on mine!! So thrilled! 😀 The book runs a bit on the expensive side, but it is with good reason. The quality is incredible! I don’t think I’ve bought any book like this since I was a child and my mother payed for books 🙂 This is a hardcover book with pages of incredible print quality, vivid colors and great definition. Almost like having a small collection of Michele’s prints at home.

This is not a “how to” book, it is an art book. There are almost 60 full color plates showing Michele’s works from the Oracle deck, the Tarot deck, and also other personal works and some of her loved older ones, as “Night she cometh”. The book is also a display of the artist’s poems and spiritual path, which is completed toward the end with a series of questions and answers about her spiritual life and the role art plays in her life. She closes the book with a walk through of “the Gift” in which she explains her technique.

If you are in search of a book that will teach you to paint like Michele-Lee Phelan, you will be disappointed, this is not that kind of book. This is a high quality art book showcasing the artist’s best works and her poetry.  It is pricey because of that same fact. The one big drawback I found with it is that since it was shipped from Australia by boat it took over 3 months to arrive to me, which made me a little nervous. At the time it was the only way that Michele had to ship her books, I am hoping that she has other methods available to her now!

Tattoos and current progress.

11 07 2009

Hi there people!

God Nouveau

God Nouveau (c) Constanza Ehrenhaus

I have been working almost exclusively in a couple of tattoos this last week. They were commissioned and had one of my favourite themes, which is the pagan gods. It was very rewarding to work on them, and my client was wonderful, she knew very well what she wanted and gave me very clear instructions, but at the same time she trusted my artistic ideas to bring her vision to life. I am very excited for her, these will be her first tattoos, and I really hope the tattoo shop does an excellent job on her.


Goddess Nouveau (c) Constanza Ehrenhaus

Since I have designed a few tattoos I decided to open a new page in my blog dedicated to them so you can see them all together. Some of them are freebies, some of them are not, so please, make sure that if you want any of them on you they have not been commissioned by someone else. I am open for tattoo commissions, so if you would like me to work with you on designing one just contact me at faerywitchart(at)yahoo.com

In the meanwhile I have been working on a couple of pieces, one that is finished and uploaded to my gallery, the goddess Criede who was created for a contest on Addictive Hobby with theme Scottish Myths. Criede is the goddess of women and faeries, and it was an excuse to paint yet another celtic knot. I love knots and I really would like to learn to make them without having to rely so heavily on existent references, so I need to practice 😉

WIP (c) Constanza Ehrenhaus

WIP (c) Constanza Ehrenhaus

On the other hand I am working on a piece that I’ve been toying with for many months (over a year?) and that has been evolving nicely.  The objective in this piece is composition aided with color, so I found some inspiration in the wonderful Cris Malidore who really know how to use complimentary colors to make the images pop. I hope I can achieve at least half of what he does 🙂