This is a fanart piece from Isobelle Carmody's series - Legendsong. This piece has been a good two years in the making :P so forgive me while I divulge into a bit of the thought processes behind this piece.
The idea actually originated sometime last year for the 2010 calendar comp, but with my entry not developing the way I would have liked and with time against me I placed this piece aside and submitted another. I decided to pick it up to try and submit it for this year's competition and at the same time I started re-reading Legendsong and in remembering how much I adore the story, I really wanted to make sure that my image could do the story some justice ^.^
I wanted to do a piece with the two sisters from Legendsong and decided I would like to do it in a slightly Art Nouveau style (i.e. inspired from Alphonse Mucha ^.^). I sketched the girls and then shaped them in Corel to what they are today :P The girls have taken on an anime look (because I love Japanese art ^.^) and their face/eyes are based on the art from Saiunkoku Monogatari.
In building the composition - I actually wanted it to feature the girls looking into the void, but went through several ideas, including choosing flowers for the girls (similar again to Mucha's style), the map of Keltor etc. In the end I ended up pretty much sticking with my original idea; I used a simple Nouveau frame and then textured the background (from a photo I took from my Japan travels ^.^;).
In the end I'm rather pleased with how it has turned out. To me - I think I've captured a sort of vortex-y/starry night feel and the golden arc could represent the girls being crowned - or could represent the comet which seems intertwined to future events...
I also decided to add music to the bottom - Ember has all notes while Glynn's portion of the picture is more notes featured in percussion music (since Glynn is tone deaf and preferred resonating bass and beats).
Oh! And the girls have butterflies in their hair because based on a quote in 'Green Monkey Dreams' and a reference to it when the girls (specifically Ember) first falls through the void and is reminded of a man dreaming he is a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he is a man...
This image went numerous revisions before it reached a stage that I was happy with (and did take up a significant amount of my time over the past couple of weeks in particularl ^.^;). In hindsight - if I knew this is what I wanted to produce it wouldn't have taken half as long... but I guess I was developing new skills and at the same time the image kind of built itself. :)