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Dance of the Four Nations by faerie-chan Dance of the Four Nations by faerie-chan
After about a week of work, I have finished it.

In my mind, a veritable masterpiece. Call it what you will, but I'm extremely happy with this piece, which is a very, very rare thing with my art these days.

A very, very long time ago, I found a video on Youtube done for the abandoned Fantasia 2008 project. It was a short animation done to the music of the sublime Lebo M., titled "One by One." (You can find it here: [link] )

Instantly, images of dancers and airbenders flying filled my mind, and I simply had to draw.
The result was less than I desired, and I filed it away, not wanting to post it at dA. That was in September.

Cut to about a week ago, when I happen to stumble upon the song once more. I decide to go at another attempt.

Several days and cumulative hours later, combined with lots and lots of Lebo M., Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Damien Rice, this is the result. :) And my, I'm finally proud of myself.

I'd have to say my favorite part about this whole piece, really, is the unintentional surprises that it presented to me when I was working on it. (Your advice worked, ~donella!) I just let my pencil go where it wanted, and it'd give me the funniest things.
For example, the arms of the dancers all move in a circle, and mirror the arms of the dancer directly across from her. It was quite wonderful when I discovered that had happened. xD

Once again, the Ultimate Inspiration Award goes to ~Isaia, whom I'm sure is thinking "Oh, gosh, there goes that girl again." Really, though, my thanks go to her. Her art was a great inspiration and reference for some parts of it. :D

I really hope you enjoy this piece as much as I enjoyed making it. =) Feel free to download it to see all the little details, though there will be a few mistakes here and there. xD; I did this entirely in markers, with very little fiddling from Photoshop in the middle. So do pardon me.

Again, thank you very much!
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OraTheRebelKitsune Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful composition and magnificent epicness of this picture! XD
zarimox Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautiful! Very well composed and the designs are gorgeous... I love it.
Redbayly Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Student General Artist
Amazing picture. I think my fav is the Waterbender, she looks like a cross between Katara's mom and the blessed virgin.
Minuetsword Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Nice picture of the moment. Evrething is full of life! :)
Lizzy-Sakura Featured By Owner May 20, 2011  Student Digital Artist
amazing! gorgeous design! :D
orugosa Featured By Owner May 12, 2011
NightangelWorks Featured By Owner May 10, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
VERY Nice! I like the whole concept! Lovely!
creepella Featured By Owner May 10, 2011
The colors and the concept are really pretty and well executed. It's fantastic to look at.
NihonFreakMB Featured By Owner May 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Neat--you've got a nice elemental mandala there. I love the water and air patterns especially.
new-moongirl Featured By Owner May 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
it's beautiful :dygel:
blackbirdrose Featured By Owner May 10, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Absolutely lovely! :love:
Kataang-crazy Featured By Owner May 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lantis-Erin Featured By Owner May 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is just lovely! :clap: Absolutely fantastic job! :) I love the figures themselves, and the detail in the background designs, especially in Air and Water. :)
kitsuneopal Featured By Owner May 10, 2011
very nice!
mwuh-awesome Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011
:) :) :)
Scara161 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool. I love the colors.
misspepita Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2010
So beautiful! :D
3greenfrog Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2009
this is so nice! especially the poses and the colores.
do you mind if i redo it in my own style(i'd credit you of course)??
faerie-chan Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2009
I would be utterly honored! Please let me know when you finish it. =)
3greenfrog Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009
alryt XD
ming85 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009
well done! It goes wonderfully with the music, very inspiring and beautiful stuff. The calm poses really represent the different elements, and I also really enjoy the abstract patterns.
AkimayFernlin Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009
Just lovely! I like how each element creeps into the space of the next, overlapping and linking the images. I like each of the girls for different reasons, but I'm partial to the water girl (being one myself).
Lady-KL Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful picture. I love the detailed designs.

(that Lebo M. song is on the Lion King Broadway soundtrack, and the short film is on the TLK2 DVD ;) I love it, too )
MouseAvenger Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2008  Hobbyist Filmographer
Amazing! Beautiful! :)
Caterfree10 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2008
Beautifully done! :clap:
ilovezuko123 Featured By Owner May 9, 2008
this is so cool! i love the firenation girl and the air
almostgoth Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2008
u like avatar if so that is totally awesome and either way the picture is amazing i espically like fire, which imobsessed with, but not a pyro
donella Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2008
holy crappola the level of awsomeness is over 9000
I absolutely adore how you did this piece and hope you will continue on doing more
I like how your ladies look, everyone is different but they all are coordinated to conclude the same thing, that is indeed a very peaceful message. I must say though, it does have its loose points - the earth part is not as worked as the water and air ones for example - but SERIOUSLY, this is just me being anal lolol because who cares about that when the rest is surrounded by that dance of colours and elements, so awsome sydddd!!:heart:
much win indeedz.
angel--of--music Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2008  Student General Artist
Oh, this is beautiful!
toboewolf1 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
*_* whoa! this is amazing! GRRREAT job on the coloring! the air one looks like it was the hardest :/
wavemaster-SIFL Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2008
Wow, what a piece of art. Done with all markers? Insane, truly insane. I'd be terrified that one mistake could throw off the entire piece. It's worth it, though, because markers have a completely unique feel to them.

The borders are intricate, and add to the individuality of each dancer. The different styles help with that, and really bring out the uniqueness of each nation.

The sheer ammount of time that you put into this is astounding, and worthy of compliments in and of itself. I would hope that after all that time you're satisfied with your work!

Going back to the borders, each one is made with a very different style. It feels like I'm repeating myself a lot, but it's true for everything! It's a lot of work to draw in varied ways, and you did it repeatedly in this drawing. It's a shame you don't update more often, but I'm content to wait.
Isaia Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2008  Student General Artist
This is colored quite lovely! So smooth, bright and nicely blended, and I'm glad if I have inspired you in some way for this.

The thin different colored-lines used for the inking are also great, and used well for the graceful poses of the girls.

I haven't been doing my loldesigns for a while, but usually when I tried to get a feel for them, I look at art by Craig Thompson, Germaine Arnaktauyok and other aboriginal art..or the art which inspired each respective nation in Avatar (inuit, native american, japanese prints, chinese silk painting, tibetan mandalas and stuff) or anything ornate that fits your fancy.
I tried to sketch out a path for each design, then lay them out.

I'm glad you showed this to me, thank you X3
faerie-chan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2008
Thanks for looking at this. :D Really, I'm the glad one.

I've already seen Germaine's art (she's amazing, really, my gosh), but I should look up Thompson. I also have this great book of myths with some wonderful full-color prints of traditional art, it's a great inspiration.
The ol' reliable Google helped me with some Chinese painting references, too. I had the worst time trying to figure out what to use for the Earth Kingdom...

Again, thanks for the comment. =) I really appreciate it!
ckret Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2008
You know what I think of this already. ;D Absolutely gorgeous work, Rii. My fave's the green girl. (Earth, I assume? I know nothing about Avatar.) The colors there, in particularly, blend wonderfully - but I like the whole thing. Heck, the whole thing's pretty. And I'm being redundant, so perhaps I'll just shut up and fave this thing now. XD
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Submitted on
January 16, 2008
Image Size
2.2 MB


179 (who?)

Camera Data

HP ScanJet 3970