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Three Tigers by shelzie Three Tigers by shelzie
"The White Tiger is connected to the symbol of jinx in China history. Some Chinese might consider that 2010 White Tiger is a bad year....

...Tiger contains Mainly Wood, Fire and little Earth. Wood and Fire together will make Fire stronger. Metal is afraid of Fire and Metal is also against Wood. That means Metal and Tiger together will fight each other, which implies 2010 won't come quietly and peacefully. We can image that 2010 is a Tiger wearing armor. This Tiger doesn't like armor on the top its body and keeps jumping around. For safety, we should keep our distance from it. That's why many Chinese don't like White Tiger."

-[link]

A year ago, whilst celebrating Lunar New Year in Chinatown with ~rainELL, I slipped and fell down the steps of the subway, giving myself a massive bruise on my hip, and breaking a bracelet that ~SockHero had made me in the process. A week after that, my wallet (containing my immigrant work permit) and mobile phone were pickpocketed. This was the start to my third Year of the Tiger.

I had meant to draw this picture back then, but the incidents listed above put that thought out of my mind for quite some time, and after that things just seemed to keep cropping up. A recent trip to the Singapore Zoo made me remember it, and I figured might as well do it before the year officially ends (and it's not the Year of the Rabbit for another three weeks or so, so don't go overboard with rabbit imagery just yet, guys. lunar calendar ≠ gregorian). I try to draw a Lunar New Year picture every year, and I had meant this year to be far from an exception.

The Tiger is the year of my own birth, which means as of this year I've completed two twelve-year cycles (a complete cycle is 60 years, which means I've gone through the years of each animal in each of the five elements). Tiger Year children, generally speaking, are not traditionally favoured in Chinese culture (in the year of my birth, 1986, the birth rate fell dramatically), and girls particularly not so - apparently because it is supposed to make them overly aggressive, which is not a value that Chinese women are traditionally supposed to aspire to. The Chinese equivalent of the term 'bitch', at least where I come from, is 'mu lao hu' - 'tigress'.

It's been an interesting year, to say the least, definitely a year of extremes and firsts. A lot has been going on, some things nice and others not-so-nice, but one thing it has certainly not been is forgettable - as tigers never are. I've been very fortunate this year, but with all the good fortune came a great deal of stress and wear, and I've been trying to hold it all together and keep everything in check. Exhausting, but worth the effort in the end to my mind. Similarly, with all the not so nice things that happened, there was always a silver lining somewhere -- the day of my fall in the subway, there were good samaritans kind enough to help me up and give me tissues for my bleeding wrist; and the day my valuables got stolen, my friends pulled through for me unbelievably while I was being a hysterical mess. Also, I had already sent in the application for my work visa, so that was unaffected by my permit being missing (my social security number on the other hand was another story, but thankfully that's all in the past now and didn't really affect anything either).

So here's my image for the Year of the White (Gold/Metal) Tiger -- the White Tiger himself, sitting in foreground, the Yellow Earth Tiger (1998) in the middle and the Red Fire Tiger (1986) at back. I'm amazed at the ease with which this picture appeared within the space of a day or so, given that it took me long enough to get around to making the effort.

Anyway, actual Lunar New Year picture coming in a few weeks :B And a fond farewell to the Year of the White Tiger -- it's been rocky, but grrrr-eat.

(P.S. been thinking of making some prints to sell for money to donate to various conservation efforts. If I can figure out a good way to do that, would you be interested? :))
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:iconverticalgravity:
VerticalGravity Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I LOVE how you draw big cats! tigers are especially intriguing, I adore the color scheme here too.

I'm a dragon- only in China I suppose ;) heh, I don't do the whole astrology thing anymore but darn if the animals in their zodiac aren't amazing- well, I'm glad I'm not a rat I guess......though they are adorable.
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
...I also meant to say THANK YOU FOR THE COMPLIMENTS but got caught up in writing about the zodiac part xD!

Thanks, though, it just involved a lot of referencing from photos to try and get the faces right. :B
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Pff, why does it have to be 'only in China'? I'm pretty close to my Western zodiac sign too so I don't see how or why it should be limited. In any case, the Tiger is only my year animal - you get four different animals and elements in the Chinese zodiac for your month, year, day, and hour of birth which is something a lot of Westerners don't know about. So if you want to get technical, I'm actually a Water Snake (day) ;)
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:iconverticalgravity:
VerticalGravity Featured By Owner May 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Wow, I didn't know that either, that's neat- I found out I was an ash tree in the celtic and people kept hearing it as "ash tray" LOL.
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Professional Filmographer
HAHAH! I looked up what my Celtic sign was once but forgot. x.x; I should try and do more research on that one next..
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:iconjamjams:
JamJams Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your tigers are truly amazing!
I just love the informative description, and the tigers are simply beautiful.
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks so much!! And thanks for reading the description, I love to learn things and share them with people so it makes me happy to know that I'm not just rambling to nobody xDD
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:iconjamjams:
JamJams Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love to learn new things, so I thank you for sharing the information!
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:icontorenganger:
Torenganger Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I never new you were Asian :)

I love the whole comment you made, it gives so much more understanding to this piece! I'm now checking the website you gave :iconstormyhotwolf88: too check my own birthday.

I hope the year of the rabbit brings better luck too you!
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Professional Filmographer
So far it's actually been pretty miserable xD But it's not so bad that I can't deal with it. Thanks for the concern, and I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings!
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:icontorenganger:
Torenganger Featured By Owner May 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh, that's not so good to hear :( let my earth snake help you!
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:iconstormyhotwolf88:
StormyHotWolf88 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
This is interesting. I didn't know there were element animals. Now I wanna know about the Rabbit lol..
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
You were born in the year of the fire rabbit since it was right after mine, and the elements change every two years. but everyone has four animals + elements: [link]

coulda sworn I already talked about this with you :B
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:iconverybluebird:
verybluebird Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Just amazing. The stripes are very well placed, the colours are wonderful, and you captured the oriental spirit in this piece.
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thanks hun!! :) means a lot to me that you enjoy. not everyone realizes I'm Asian. xD
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:iconfreemeadows:
FreeMeadows Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2011   Traditional Artist
This is absolutely fantastic, and I really liked the interesting history about it. Wishing you a blessed 2011!
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thank you missy! :heart: you too! it's great to still see you around <3
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:iconseekhim:
SeekHim Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
They're beautiful!
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thanks :)
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:iconevilduckie227:
Evilduckie227 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
I love reading these. :3
Always so interesting.
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Yay thank you! I talk way too much xD
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:iconxeraki:
Xeraki Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011  Professional General Artist
I love how well you're able to meld correct anatomy with a very stylized look :3 great job on these guys, I love their colors~
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thank you Xera! <3 it's taken me a long time but I've finally wrangled anatomy around to something I really enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction out of :D
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:iconxeraki:
Xeraki Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2011  Professional General Artist
Anatomy is fun to stare at for me C: But, I don't want to stare at it to the point I only draw perfectly anatomically correct (thus realistically rendered) creatures all the time like some artists I know. I want it to still have that "me!" flare to it C: You've got that down pat, I love it :3
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Yeah, I know a few artists that have so devoted themselves to perfecting their anatomy that they find it really hard to break out of that. Thankfully I don't have the patience or inclination for that kind of dedication to it, so I just study it enough to understand it and then start playing around, it's much more fun for me (now that art is my job, I do have to work at keeping it fun and not a chore or I'd be a miserable camper) and I like the results much more too. I think a balance of both is key, and I think you do just fine :) Though at the same time I really do admire the folks that have the dedication to realism. It's somewhere I don't think I'll be going, but at times I wish I could do it with the same degree of polish.
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:iconxeraki:
Xeraki Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2011  Professional General Artist
Yeah I agree. I like to challenge and push myself to be able to do realism sometimes (especially with my school work..still lives and such), but even with that I still have my own personal style. I've started to try this with my personal art as well, just trying to see how far I can go without it being..perfectly realistic? This is the..current attempt xD (secret WIP time! [link] )

But I definitely do not want to go to that level of refinement all the time xD It takes so loooooong to do! I like being able to simplify things down into a more stylized look, and you're right...it does make it more fun :3
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Holy crap, woman, that is amazing. O: Can't wait to see it when it's finished.

And yeah - I've dabbled in realism and was pleased with the results. It was when I was still trying to find myself as an artist and I appreciate the training it gave me in drawing what I see. But ultimately I got bored and moved on, and I'm happy I did.I don't put a whole lot of stock into the predictions, and I don't live my life according to it. But I do think there's something to it because some in-depth research about the Gemini personality gave me a lot of insight into myself after years of questioning my own sanity, and I haven't felt crazy since.
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:iconxeraki:
Xeraki Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :3 This has been in the works off and on for...several months haha xD I dont know when I'll ever get the time to finish it lol.

Realism can be fun when you're in the mood for it, but you're right..doing things in your own way and style is so much more fun C:
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Yeah - sometimes if you don't really want to use your brain, just painting (or rendering something in pencil, which is really 'my' medium as far as fine art goes) can be very relaxing, even therapeutic. :) I tend to not stick with it for too long though - working on something on and off for several months is something that I've never done and I'm not sure if I have the temperament for it. xD
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(1 Reply)
:iconmaria-mar:
maria-mar Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
THis is just stuning. Your latest works are just stunning! I'm jealous :P
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
n'aw, thanks love <3
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:iconguidedoglover:
guidedoglover Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
"It's been rocky, but grrrr-eat"
FROSTED FLAKES! :eager:
Just had to get that out of my system. :P
Anyway, I love this picture! Each tiger commands the picture in its own way. Very neat. :)
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Haha, no worries, I did this on purpose after all. I own a 50s Tony shirt. :)
Thanks, that's what I intended. :) awesome.
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:iconguidedoglover:
guidedoglover Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
Nice! :D I used to love those commercials. :XD:
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:iconkeleri:
Keleri Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
Oh man, these are so lovely. Would you consider drawing a water and wood tiger as well?
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I was thinking about it! I think I may, just to complete the set xD
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:iconheart-of-a-wolf:
heart-of-a-wolf Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011   Traditional Artist
ooo pretty! i love the way you did the stripes!
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thank you! :)
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:iconkainaa:
Kainaa Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i would buy a print of this :D
i love the 3 tigers and the story behind them
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thanks love! <3
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:iconmirta08:
mirta08 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
They're beautiful, especially the white one :)
It's funny actually, the year 2010 was statistically the worst year in Croatia for ....well, I don't know how long (my great-grandpa told me, he likes statistics, but I forgot), but it was a bad year...
One 'happy' thing in the end of the year -our former prime minister is in jail in Austria xD Yeah, horrible as it sounds (kind of worse than Monty Python, eh?), it's actually a good thing ('cause he got caught and some of his former colleagues might go down with him hehe)
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks Mirz <3
It's interesting to look back and see what actually happened when things have been predicted. I'm glad the bad guys got caught.
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:iconmirta08:
mirta08 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Yup.
Everyone here (except the people who were allied with him in corruption and stealing -our current prime minister for example) is glad the he's been caught, but at the same time it makes you wonder what the hell kind of retarded country we are when our freaking prime minister is in jail in Austria xD
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:iconcoloran:
Coloran Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Student General Artist
these are amazing!!
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Why thank you dear :)
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:iconcoloran:
Coloran Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Student General Artist
you're welcome :aww:
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:iconobsidianwolfess:
ObsidianWolfess Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
This picture is really great, and you obviously know a lot about your culture. I had fun reading all of it.

I'm a little confused about what I am. My DOB is 1/4/89. On one hand, I've been told that I'm in the snake year (1989) because that's the year I was born. On the other hand, I was told that I'm still part of the dragon year (1988) because the Chinese New Year starts in February. Which is it? x_X

(And yes, I'd buy a print. :3)
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Yay thanks!! I know I ramble a great deal so it makes me happy when I hear people are actually interested, hahah.

Lunar new year is typically around late january-early february; the actual date varies from year to year. This year the Year of the Rabbit begins on Feb 3. If you were born during that time period then you'd probably have to look it up, but since you were born so early in January I'm very sure you were born in the year of the Earth Dragon (same as my brother, and my boyfran, lolol).

Not sure if you know, but Chinese astrology doesn't just encompass the year of your birth -- there's an animal (and element) for your month, day, and hour of birth too :) I'm actually born on the day of the Water Snake, and that's supposedly the animal that's my personal one. You can find your 'Four Pillars' here: [link]
Chinese astrology is more concerned with fortune telling than personality traits, though, so I don't think too hard about what it all means (I prefer not to know too much about my own future, whether the predictions are accurate or not. knowledge can be dangerous for me); but damn, the imagery is great and so fun to play around with in art. My Western zodiac sign (Gemini) actually fits me extremely well personality-wise and provides a great deal of inspiration too :3

(awesome!! I'll have to see what I can do about that...)
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:iconobsidianwolfess:
ObsidianWolfess Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
Oh that's really awesome! For my day/hour/month I got "You are Green Rat, born in the year of Brown Dragon. The first character in DAY represents you. So you are equivalent to Wood." That's really interesting, and ironically fitting, since my main character (Obsidian) is an "earth beast" of sorts. XD

Thanks for sharing that link with me! It's really awesome. :)
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:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
1988, the Year of the Brown/Yellow Earth Dragon, was a big deal over here, as much as Fire Tiger Year 1986 was not. Birth rates went up again that year.

I'm glad you found it interesting :) Was the Wood Rat your day or hour animal, then?
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