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Greg Lake by Cynthia-Blair Greg Lake by Cynthia-Blair
Greg Lake “The Voice” of early King Crimson and Emerson Lake & Palmer. He is also a songwriter, guitarist and producer… I confess that my favourite ELP songs were always written/performed by Greg. This painting is inspired by his song “Moonchild” off the first King Crimson album.

Call her Moonchild
Dancing in the shallows of a river
Lovely Moonchild
Dreaming in the shadow
Of the willow.

Talking to the trees of the
Cobweb strange
Sleeping on the steps of a fountain
Waving silver wands to the
Night-bird’s song
Waiting for the sun on the mountain.

She's a moonchild
Gathering the flowers in a garden.
Lovely moonchild
Drifting on the echoes of the hours.

Sailing on the wind
In a milk white gown
Dropping circle stones on a sun dial
Playing hide and seek
With the ghosts of dawn
Waiting for a smile from a Sun child.”


tech details: About 30 hours, painted completely in Photoshop
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:iconmravey:
mravey Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014
This is incredible, and you say that is your first wholly digital painting, wow.
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:iconniggiestardust:
niggiestardust Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah this is so lovely! 
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner May 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you :)
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:icondanmoore:
danmoore Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent ! I love it !
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner May 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! :)
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:iconfreaktrev:
Freaktrev Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
In the court of the crimson king....yes!...great artwork, luv it!
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner May 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Loved that album, such a classic! Thanks! :)
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:iconcapnskusting:
CapnSkusting Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
Featured... [link] :ahoy:
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
aww Thanks! That's awesome! :hug:
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:iconcapnskusting:
CapnSkusting Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
My pleasure!
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:iconchocolate-luver:
Chocolate-Luver Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012   Traditional Artist
Oh my. This is stunning! You can see the skill he possesses just by looking at expression.

Also, I really love that silhouette of the woman in the back.
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!!! :tighthug: I think I finally got him just right, after a few tries (other portraits). He's a rather private person, so having him focused on his playing makes it seem as though he's telling a story through his music. The girl was just to be sort of ethereal. I was going to illustrate more of the lyrics but it was more effective just leaving it as is, I think.
He loved it so I guess he felt that it captured him well, and I'm really glad about that. Strangely enough, people don't often see themselves the way you see them, and I don't always get direct feedback from my subjects. When I do, it's very helpful to know what I did right (or wrong) :D
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:iconchocolate-luver:
Chocolate-Luver Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012   Traditional Artist
He saw this? Oh, that's wonderful! It's so good to hear that he loved it. :D Congratulations!

You know, I always wish I could see myself the way other people do. xD
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, he commented directly on my FB. I never expected that, but it was really great!

Me, too! You can ask your close friends, I suppose, people that would be honest with you.
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:iconelainaunger:
ElainaUnger Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
The anatomy here is spot-on! I love the hands the most, especially the way the light hits them and adds to how real and organic they are. The backlight is stunning- this piece has such a presence to it. Definitely a really nice digital piece. Just for the sake of curiosity, I was wondering what brushes you used? And is the girl in the background another piece you made and overlaid it on top?
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Aww...thank you!! It took me way too long to finish...because I tried so many different brushes. I was looking for a brush that simulates trad. oil paint, was great for the figure and hair and hands...but I tried out all kinds for other elements, trying to get a feel for each texture. My favorite brushes came from chrisoatley.com (his free basic set is on his site) and some were from an old M.Dalig set from Imagine FX and some were concept art brushes. they were all freebies :D

The backlight was originally a stagelight, but I thought "moon" immediately...the girl was from a ref photo I painted from, strictly high contrast, then I sandwiched her in between layers of the clouds...some layer blend mode, I think, with lowered opacity. The idea was to add context to the narrative, in an ethereal sort of way, like the song.

His hands were the hardest! In my ref one was partially cut off so I had to "invent" him the rest of it, same with the guitar's headstock. I looked everywhere for sources of hands playing guitar, from that particular angle! LOL such is the problem with working from cropped photos :XD:

really glad you like it! :floating:
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:iconelainaunger:
ElainaUnger Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah geez, that's always annoying when a part of the anatomy is missing! You fixed that problem very well though, I don't think anyone could tell that you had recreated the hand. Also, yeah I definitely think adding the female figure achieved the narrative and ethereal mood you were going for =] I found some of the M. Dalig brushes you mentioned you used and I also downloaded some pdf tutorials she had of how to use them. I just have a difficult time blending the colors to look smooth and natural rather than smudgy and clay-like haha. You make it seem so easy!
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I must say it took me forever and lots of layers! It wasn't easy at all. I like to research digital artists I admire as much as I can, so as to learn...she's very very good, Marta Dalig, and has many tutorials in different types of textures, which is helpful. Like everything, it's always about practice! :D
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:iconlulu242:
LuLu242 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student General Artist
Beautiful :)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
oh, thank you!! :hug:
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:iconlulu242:
LuLu242 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome :D
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:iconvikingjon:
vikingjon Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
This is really wonderful. Such a beautiful song and amazing performer. I like that you capture an artist and imagery within your own beautiful work. :)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much, really :)
It was easy with Greg, his music really speaks to me, and this is one of my favourite songs of his. I had heard him perform this song live this past April, and after meeting him, we were all invited to sign his guestbook with our memories of the evening. I couldn't put mine into words, so I put how I felt into a visual "thank you". I don't often feel I've captured everything I wanted to say, but I think this time, I did.
He really liked it :w00t:
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:iconvikingjon:
vikingjon Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
That's cool! I had a chance to see King Crimson once in the early eighties and Emerson Lake and Palmer in the nineties. Great music! Great musicians. That's fantastic that you could do some art for him! :)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Lucky you! Greg left KC after the first 2 albums, but I hear they finally broke up just last year (KC).
I wish ELP would get together for a tour now but I understand why they don't. It's funny because they each play ELP's music on their own...it's weird to hear Carl Palmer doing ELP without vocals or organ/moog. He does considerably well with it, but the first time I went to see him, I couldn't help thinking it needed Greg's voice and Keith's organ.
It's probably alot easier to meet each one of them now, they all do M&G's. I like to give my small originals away, if they're small enough to tuck in my bag at a concert. The small ones are mostly just practice stuff. So I gave Greg a different one when I met him that was just a head shot.

They're all great guys...I've met Carl in person too but not Keith yet. I'm still jealous you got to see them back in the 90's :XD:
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:iconvikingjon:
vikingjon Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Professional General Artist
I know, they didn't play anything from the early albums which disappointed me, but it was still a great show. Sorry to hear they've broken up, but it's happened before, so I won't lose hope. :)
A lot of bands don't sound "right" after losing members. It is a testament to many great artists' talents that they add so much to a group's sound.
I've only taken art to a show once, a Jethro Tull show (who, coincidentally, ELP was touring with when I saw them in Philadelphia), but I was too shy to either toss it on stage or try to meet them. :shrug:
Congrats on the great work and meeting the stars! :)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Vocalists lend such a distinct and unique quality to a band's sound, I think it's hard if not impossible to replace. Can you imagine Led Zep without Robert Plant or Jefferson Airplane without Grace Slick? It becomes a different band, IMO. So I definitely agree.
Ahh, Jethro Tull - another one of my fav rock bands from that era! Ian Anderson is just brilliant, really. That must have been a fantastic show. Back in those days it wasn't so easy to get to meet bands, especially if you respected their privacy! haha...I've thought of tossing work onstage, but I've never done that. I use illustration board which is very heavy and stiff, so I could picture it hurting someone! That would be very awkward indeed.

Once friends and I held up drawings above our heads for Panic At The Disco (we were about 20' from the stage)and one of the band members noticed and called attention to them (the drawings) And suddenly we were on video cameras and the big screen behind the band...That was incredibly awkward. The band's singer was saying all these great things but I felt like a deer in the headlights! Never did THAT again! :XD:

But it does pay not to be shy. And if you look at it this way, it's a very lovely personal way of saying "Thank you for all the great music" :) The band knows you put a whole lot of thought and time into it.
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:iconvikingjon:
vikingjon Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
True, true.
Anderson is fabulous! Tull is notorious for it's lineup changes, but he and Martin Barre have kept a consistent unique sound going. Haha! yeah, I didn't want to hurt anyone! I had just laminated a print and wrapped it around my leg to get in. I was hoping to get a job doing an album cover. Oh well. :) I think my psyche is better for having not tried it than if I had gotten the art up there and then nothing happened. :XD: I am sure there are better ways of approaching a job. :)

:laughing: We you got noticed anyway, but that's the problem with fame isn't it? You get noticed! :D

I will always be shy, and I doubt I will ever be famous. I think I am ok, with that. :) I think it is great that you pay homage to our heroes, though. It tells the world how important they are. :)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I have gotten jobs that way, but it was totally unexpected. I just do all these studies and paintings in my studio mostly for practice, and what am I to do with all these? I figure it might as well (hopefully) bring a smile to those I painted. And when they hear of my name again, or see my work online perhaps, somewhere, they'll remember me. Giving away originals was the secret, I think. Again, I stumbled onto this realization AFTER the fact. People/musicians are so much more impressed by originals! Kids have stolen and printed my work to give to bands as their own, which is usually embarassing for them...because once I've met a band and given the orginal drawing or painting, they know I'm the real artist.
Once I did get a big commission from a band (last year, BVB) I worked with their art director and manager, mostly.

The funny thing is, that when I got this big commission after meeting the band and giving away an original, it dawned on me that they must have thought I was looking for a job. I was a bit embarassed later by that, because it truly wasn't my intention when I met them.

I'm shy, too! Well, perhaps reserved is a better way to put it. I like to think that my art speaks for itself.
When I met Greg Lake I had no idea what to say, so he led the whole conversation and I left never saying what I wanted to say about his performance, how great it was to finally see him play live, and all that. I finally got to say it with this painting! Because it is a more unusual way of thanking someone, it certainly got his attention, and I think it made him happy. Oh, I know these guys have had some of the very finest world artists work for them, so they may or may not appreciate my style, but it's all good. I don't expect anything in return but a smile :) anything else that happens is icing on the cake :XD:

But don't worry about putting yourself out there...it challenges you to be the highest and best you can be. Most of our fears about being 'put down' never happen anyway. Look at it this way: if you don't risk, you can't lose, but you can't win either! If you can put your creative heart and soul out there and just let go of any expectations (of returns) you can be quite surprised. The Universe delivers what we need but not always in ways we expect.
I'd say just "follow your bliss" (I LOVE Joseph Campbell's writings), push it to the limit and see what happens! Even if nothing were to happen, you've still learned something wonderful about yourself, and improved your work.

I love Anderson's sharp wit. I have to get around to doing one of him, for sure! He still plays concerts, doesn't he?
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(1 Reply)
:icon4scarface4:
4ScarfAce4 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
For some reason (other than the moon in the picture), this made me think of "Moonchild" immediately...
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Really? Cool!! Well maybe it's the colors, that sort of atmospheric misty feeling? The girl was painted very ghost-like, barely there... Thanks! :D
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:iconsheena7:
Sheena7 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Beautiful, it's a pure work of art. :)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you so much! :hug:
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:iconmoorglade:
moorglade Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely exquisite :heart:
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! I promised him (Greg) a really good one awhile back, and this is the first one where I really feel I came through for him :floating:
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:iconsmartcookie525:
smartcookie525 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love this picture, it's freaking amazing. I love your avatar, too! :D
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
aww...thank you! :hug:
I don't always get it just right, but this time I think I did :dance:
Thanks for the avatar too I change it around every few months :XD:
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:icondominoes4syd:
Dominoes4Syd Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love the touch with the moonlight. So beautiful!:)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! In my ref photo it was a stagelight, but that sparked the idea to change it all up :)
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:icondominoes4syd:
Dominoes4Syd Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That idea worked out perfectly! :)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!! :tighthug: every now and then the planets line up perfectly ;)
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:icondominoes4syd:
Dominoes4Syd Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's true. haha
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:icontyngel:
Tyngel Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
Outstanding! I wish I could create an illusion of light and shadow like this:)
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! It took me a bit longer than I normally spend on a painting to get that part right.
I'm so glad you like it! :D
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:iconanalillithbar:
analillithbar Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Another awesome piece!
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
hey Thanks! :tighthug:
I've been working lately to teach myself my digital painting techniques.
Still quite a bit harder for me than traditional :XD: I know, most people find it easier, LOL.

how've you been?
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:iconaquiliris:
Aquiliris Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
AMAZING! :D
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!!
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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Outstanding the moon gives an eerie glow., Makes me want to listen to ELP and kick back.
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:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! Yeah, I was going for a mood here...King Crimson/ELP/Greg Lake really did evoke a sort of dreamlike quality. :D
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November 26, 2012
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