The Bee Maiden and her Bursting Bonnet

Bee Maiden ATC and Bee Girl envelope art.
Copics, fine liners, white gel pen. Illustration board and envelope.

Nyuki* is a bee maiden. She travels with the hive she bonded with as a child, and can sing the name of every bee. The hive’s honey is a magical balm and can heal even the most grievous of wounds. Beside her is the Bee Girl. She is a friend to all the hives.

For the topic “Burst” at Illustration Friday. Made for a trade at Tons of progress pics below! I struggled mightily with the eyes, as you will see.

And since I’ve started doing more elaborate envelope art, I am including a few of my favorite envelope images:

Images from three envelopes. Copics, Sharpie & Staedtler markers and pens.

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Thanks for visiting! Don’t forget to visit other Illustration Friday artists (and the wonderful art blogs in my sidebar). If you want. ;D

*Nyuki means “bee” in Swahili

29 thoughts on “The Bee Maiden and her Bursting Bonnet

  1. Cindy Rodella Purdy

    Cool Bee Maiden! I liked that you went with the solid eyes too. They really pop out. I think its great that you show the stages of your work!

  2. eric

    I like bees and swahili, cindy d- you’ve got a real winner, here. and- naming every bee in a hive must take a lot of recitation.

  3. Abby

    These are really eye catching Cindy! I seem to remember a time when you said you didn’t like doing faces. Looking at these makes me wonder why. So fun as always!

  4. Leigh

    I really am loving the way you contrast rich pattern against solid colour – works really well. Super clever idea with the Bee maiden! What´s all this about envelope art? Those beasties are stunning – do they take up the whole of the back or a part of the front of the envelope? When did you start doing that?

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      Thank you! I have been doing simple flowers and things since I started trading ATCs, but then I started doing a bit more elaborate ones because the different paper style of the envelope makes the markers look pretty cool. Sometimes if I’m stumped for an idea I’ll just doodle out an envelope. You can see the black blocks are the addresses. These are mainly the left side of the envelope, which then gets totally covered in clear packing tape, for extra sturdiness and protection. (Maybe next time I’ll just show the whole envelope for a better idea, though the right side is generally neglected.) :)

  5. Sharon Wagner

    You must have had bees buzzing and “beeing” pesty just like me lately. They won’t leave me alone. But no bites. I guess I just smell like flowers or something. But I wasn’t inspired to do bee art. Way to bee proactive!

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  7. chelle hanna

    I am allergic to bees, when they land on me I close my eyes and say “I am not a flower.” Your illustration puts me right there in that moment! Beautiful work!

  8. crotchety comics

    Oh, I like them honeybees. I think I would get along with these women, and they would be happy to know that I planted a tree in my front yard that honeybees love to congregate on. Ever seen that B monster movie called The Wasp Woman? It sucks.

  9. Richard Ewing

    nice textures…
    ~but there’s something worrisome about the bee maiden.
    it’s her eyes.
    can’t read her intent.

    I’ll chat with the Bee Girl. YOU field the Bee Maiden.

    let me know how it goes…

  10. Creations By Mit

    I’m highly allergic to bee stings, so the 2 bee-releated pieces make me a bit squeamish! But I’m really lovin’ the envelope art! The characters on the ends look a little stoned! What’s going on in your studio, Cindy? ;)

  11. minnemie

    I love all your magical creations – AND their magical powers. I still have poison ivy – send me some honey!!!

  12. Claire Wildish

    I LOVE the Bee Maiden and her mysterious big black eyes and elaborate bursting bonnet. But I don’t think I would calmly let a giant bee crawl up my shoulder like Bee Girl though!

  13. clar anilles

    Envelopes……interesting……maybe you can start illustrating stationary like journal covers, notebooks, book covers. These images would lend themselves extremely well to those things.

  14. Rita

    Wow Cindy, I really like this one. I happen to love bees (as long as they are not about to sting me) and love the story you posted, too.

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