Fiola Shaku


Member since: 2007

New request from I. J. Thompson;

"Okay - I've been playing this particular character for almost three years, whom I've never made a request of to anyone, because she's just so dear to me.

Fiola Shaku is a musician of modest fame, who has since found herself on the wrong side of the law, and on the run. She's cheery and upbeat, but with a sarcastic side, and she has trouble allowing herself to care too deeply about others.

Fi is short, fit, and petite. She's modestly-busted (I hate to have to say that, but it's rare in the world of sci-fi!) and often has a bit of a smirk on her face. She tends to favour boots over shoes, and tight, functional clothing in blacks and blues. But please feel free to leave out the 'glass helmet' thing she's wearing in her portrait (I tend to think of that as a costume bit from her 'rock star' days)."

Wikia page HERE
Awesome story HERE

I wrestled with this sketch for a few days, and I'm still not sure I've got her right...
Still, here's the sketch. See what you think.


I. J. Thompson

Mercy, this is great! I love the pose, and the sense of fun conveyed. I didn't expect you to draw the mondoviol, too - wow!

Compared to the source picture, I think the only thing that might change (if you can or want to) would be to shorten her nose a bit? I don't know if that would throw her face out of whack, though. What do you think? Also, it might be good if we could see her ear... I'm not sure why I think that, it just came to me.

My, aren't I just the little Mr. Prissy Pants!?!?!? :D

Seriously, though - I love this picture, Mercy! You've really blown me away with your understanding of this character, and have once again shown me a thing or two... and this is only the first stage! :)

I. J. Thompson

Okay, a couple more thoughts 'cause I'm so excited! :D I see you've given her a jewel necklace, which is kind of a funny coincidence, 'cause she actually has one, and it's kind of figured into the plot a bit. It's a blue 'luxum' crystal, about the colour of a blue lightsaber blade - so, there's a suggestion, there! :)

Speaking of colour, it's funny - I'm getting a sort of 'medieval' vibe out of this one (though it might be the mondoviol making me think that), and as a result, my brain won't stop colouring in her outfit in bright reds and yellows, which would be, well... totally wrong! :D What are your colour ideas for her, Mercy?


Hey man, glad you're so excited by this!!

* I'm sure I can turn her nose up a bit - make it a bit more like the picture on your Wikia, yeah? May have to do this in the tone and highlight stage though.
* Glad to hear the necklace fits for you! Will definitely make it a blue jewel.
* As for the clothing - I had tried to keep blacks and blues in mind while drawing this, but looking at it now, I can't help but see other colours...
What do you think? I can come up with a few colour combinations and we can have a play until we find something that works, yeah?
And don't worry about being picky, man - I really want to get this as right as I can for you!

I. J. Thompson

Hey, thanks for the notes, Mercy!

You know, I totally trust your instincts in the colour department. I have my long-held preconceptions, but it makes more sense to let you work your magic, as you've got a flow going, and these things should come about naturally. Like, I never could have dreamed up that costume she's wearing in a thousand years. Everything you invent on your own is a delight and a surprise to me, so have at 'er! :)

I. J. Thompson

Whoah, I get a background, too? I love it!

I really love pictures done in that indistinct, 'concept-y' style, even when there's nothing in the foreground... so this is a win/win! :)


Okay, I think I have the base colours. Hope this looks okay, what do you think?

I. J. Thompson

Wow, that looks great, Mercy!

Those cool blues and purples definitely work against that warm yellow background, it's a lovely contrast. I was a little worried at first that those black and white stripes would dominate the picture, but of course, you haven't done any shading there yet. Man, I have trouble imagining how this is gonna get even better! :)

Oh - what about the 'ribbing' on her shirt, will that be given some sort of highlight colour? Lord, I must be a pain in the butt. Be glad you don't have me on the phone, I'd be yakkin' your ear off! :D


Ha ha ha!
No worries man - actually I've just done most of the skin and that shirt - I haven't added extra colour but I will attach a jpg and see if you like it so far.
Could probably add colour there if you like, though.


Hey Mercy... This isn't meant as negative at all.. but from my point of view the white is too white on the socks and gloves. It looks fake... just a thought. :)


Thanks Xan - I actually agree with you, man!
I'm hoping that this will get better once I do the shading and highlights on it, but I suspect that I will need to actually dampen that white into a grey-cream to combat that sparkling white properly.

I. J. Thompson

Holy moly, is this ever comin' together!

I'm with you both on the socks and gloves, though I know you haven't really gone to work on 'em yet, Mercy. The shirt... wow! I assumed you'd be using a brighter colour to make those details pop, but you didn't even have to - it's all in the shading. I love it!

Now's the time I must stand up and apologize for being a meddlesome pest, because... I think I prefer the way you did her nose the first time around! This is a great lesson to me, to stay out of the artist's way. Is there any way to go back? Don't get me wrong, they both look great - but I think the first version was more in tune with what you were doing overall, and made for a friendlier face. I must learn to leave the details to the pros! Again, this version of the nose is great too, but if it's possible to re-explore that, maybe we should?

Or, you can just tell me to butt out, and I will gratefully sit back and watch you work your magic! :D

I. J. Thompson

Addendum: Bang-on on the socks and gloves.

Okay. I be quiet now. :)


Hey man!

Glad you like the socks and gloves!
sorry, I should have posted the altered nose sketch before going ahead with the highlighting... I'll see what I can do about going back to the way it was.

Hey - no biggie, man. I love that you're so excited by this process, so I like the input you are giving me. Cheer bro!

I. J. Thompson

I've completely lost all objectivity... I like them both!

This puts me in mind of what you artists must go through sometimes, looking at a picture so closely that (perhaps?) you can no longer tell what you prefer? Or perhaps that's a problem that only us 'laymen' have!

Fact is, this is such a fantastic picture over all, that I think I really have just been 'meddling for the sake of meddling'. I'm really excited about the work you do, and I can't help but want to be involved. But I asked you to backtrack, and now I can't decide which is better, which means I really oughta shut up and let you do your thing! :D

How do you decide between two different flavours of awesome? You leave it to the one who created the awesome in the first place! This is your picture, Mercy, and I want you to love it as much as I do... so the choice is yours! :)

Lord Crumb

I dont have any creds to toss in her cup. She reminds me of Lisa Kudrow in the tv show Friends. lol

Kia kaha


Ha ha! I totally know what you mean, man! I have this bad habit of creating multiple versions in order to test out different colour schemes, patterns, styles, etc but it just creates a headache when it comes to deciding between them!
Will have a think, but you know, I think I'm kinda leaning towards the new nose (which is actually the old nose, ironically)...

I. J. Thompson

I would say so!

And another utterly fantastic job well done, Mercy! I'm sure you must be glad to have this one finished, and me out of your hair! :D

I couldn't be happier with this portrait, and I hope you feel the same. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


No worries, man!
Sorry it took so long - my shoulder packed up last week and I could only do a little at a time. Even so, I really enjoyed doing this one, and I'm so glad you like the finished picture!!

~ Mercy


PS - send me a PM with your email address, I. J. and I'll send you the larger image, k?