Sunday, April 09, 2006

Art Sunday: Batgirl Chinese-style (Batgirl Meme)

In my previous Batgirl meme post, I wrote that I might draw my version of Batgirl after I completed some "homework". And here's my Batgirl, Chinese-style!

BatGirl Chinese Style (Apr 2006)I took about a month to do this, from research to completion, working on it bits and pieces at a time (basically, whenever I felt like continuing with it).

So, why Chinese-style?

Looking at the samples posted at the originating meme post (which is still going strong!), I noticed the Batgirls were done Western style -- basically variants of the original Batgirl.

I thought it would be a refreshing change to do one Chinese-style, starting with the Bat motif.

BatGirl ChineseStyle_0I used Google image search for "Chinese Bat" for references on the Chinese Bat motif (which tended to be rounder than the late Bob Kane's version.

I decided that my Batgirl would be a Chinese Swords-woman, relying on her martial arts skills rather than technical gadgets.

Her mask was inspired by my vague memory of some black-and-white Chinese movie in the 60s, featuring a masked woman who did good (kinda like Batgirl).

The image search for a Chinese Swords-woman was a lot harder. I tried keywords like "Chinese Swordswoman", "Chinese woman sword", which led me to search for "wushu". I even tried "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon". I realised I had better results if I turned the Google Safe-filter off.

As a final touch, I added the Chinese character for "Woman" -- "" in the background.

All in all, it was an interesting exercise and I'm glad I did it. For one, it was good practice on Photoshop (the picture was done entirely in Photoshop, from sketching to painting). But more important, the creative process itself made me feel good.

I've blogged more about the Photoshop process over at

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  1. all thats missing is a name for her sword. wats a wuxia character without a kickass special weapon with a dumbass name?

    also... is her alter-ego also a librarian?

  2. Oh, I never thought of that. Hmm... how about "Elsie"? Yes, alter-ego is a librarian of course. Though I doubt in ancient China, a female would be put in charged of books and libraries.

  3. Oh, in case anyone wonders why "Elsie", read this post.


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