Now that all the moving from country to country thing is settled, I've had time to get back into a schedule. Spidersilk is updating three times a week and commissions have opened!
Below is a commission for six costumes for a D&D character by northernvehemence. The character is a bard who raps, and the world is a bit steampunk. I was pretty excited by this one! Very fun to do.
I've also been able to do a fair amount of personal illustrations. My recent one is a romantic fantasy image. I really wanted to do this one because I don't find the pose all that romantic yet I have seen it in a lot of places! I have this thing about drawing cliche poses -- in fantasy, pin-ups, whatever. Otherwise my "couple" illustrations are a bit weird, and they are always doing something like reading or eating for some reason.
Anyway, here's the sketch. The final version will appear in the illustration section of my portfolio.
Since this image was fairly successful (even with this pose!) with its flat coloring and dusty palette, I might try out something similar for the elusive Dragon Age fan art I keep trying to do. My Dragon Age II is somewhere over the ocean on a boat being shipped from Japan to home, but I could always make up a new Hawke. I have about six of them anyway!
I've been editing for printing my first volume of Spidersilk, as I mentioned in the past post, but there is not much to actually show. It's more of the same -- moving word balloons, continuing art, resizing pages, tweaking dialogue....
But I do want to keep sharing processes here, so I'm going to share my general process for making a character armor design.
This character is from Spidersilk. He's a weapons and armor fanatic and I wanted to redesign his armors. Every time I draw him his armor is different, and though he's got quite a collection I doubt it'd be reasonable for someone masquerading as a Carriage Coach to have several sets of fine armor!
Let's move onto process.
The first thing I do is draw the form. This was the first time I drew a shield, so I drew it right into the form as well as the sword (for balance).
Next, I lower the opacity on the form and build the armors on top of it.
Here's an image of that sketch over the form (shown in red here). I tend to not draw helmets. But if I were to send him into battle, then yes, I'd put a helmet on him. Even when playing games I use the "hide helmet" option and my dude in SKYRIM always wears a thief hood. I just like it more, aesthetically.
Next I'll show the sketch and the lines. I may change the designs on things at this state. That is simply a placeholder.
I kind of liked that sketch as is but decided to clean it up ... and make the sword not wobbly.
Embellishment makes armor look fancy very easily, even if it's just a simple trim. Check out those swirling patterns! I was playing Dragon Age: Awakening again and when King Alistair marched up I admired the embellishment of his armors and decided to try embellishing armor with that inspiration.
Below are the flats and some simple shading, with the final at the end.
Now, I generally color willy-nilly as I like. I will do flats for, say, the shield then get really excited and render the whole thing before moving on to anything else! But I forced myself, for the sake of this example, to do all the flats first, as you see above.
Notice that you can see his arming doublet under the armors at the neck and under the pauldron/spaulders combo and gauntlets; it's why those areas are not gold.
I wanted this to look a bit more warm, so I tried out some textures and effects. I may have said so before, but I use textures from this artist on deviantart.
The whole process took about three and a half hours. If you like this, be sure to check out my gallery. If you're into webcomics, read Spidersilk here!
A member on Inkblazers is holding an OC tournament, as mentioned two posts back. The deadline was two days ago and the entries are now being judged. It is fine to release the sketches and thoughts behind the process now.
As mentioned, I was assigned the comic Shapeshifter: A tale yet Untold.
I carefully read the comic. I have looked at it before, but I wanted to make sure I understood the world, as it is quite detailed. Reading a comic with the intent of creating a character for that universe was a strange experience, but I do not think it detracted from my enjoyment of the comic. On the other hand, I think I might have understood more of it since I was so focused while reading it!
Though the comic focuses mostly on Outbreaker characters (those who have been possessed by supernatural beings and therefore have heightened abilities), I became quite interested in designing an average human character. I wondered what the average human would be doing in such a world, and being that much information on humans was not given yet it was a bit of a stretch. I also considered creating a cultist character, but I understood less about them.
Here are four sketches after I decided on a human woman.
I thought it was highly likely humans would fight for themselves and their own survival, though there would be those depending on the strength of others (Outbreakers, mainly). There was quite a sad chapter focused on the plight of the humans, especially poor ones, from one of the great cities. I thought the characters were quite strong, but I still wanted to design someone who had taken it upon themselves to help not only their family, but others, and had taken the steps to defend herself ... and thus, she is armed, and belongs to a group of like-minded humans from her city.
Here is the final line art, and below it, the description released with the finished image on Inkblazers.com.
"Humans are protected from the monsters roaming the lands by warriors, by Outbreakers. In a city of little importance, things were going downhill. Only two Outbreakers roamed the area, and the situation within the walls was desperate. Most people went without food for days. Foraging for food was dangerous, and many never made it back.
Tired of depending on others for their survival, some humans banded together to look after their own needs. It was humans that saved themselves 1,000 years ago, and though that time is forgotten, the human spirit is strong. This band roams the wilds, hunting and foraging, so that others are not compelled by hunger to leave. Shani belongs to this band. She specializes in archery, as a guard for the hunters. She is quick and silent, her sight is keen. She doesn't resent the Outbreakers, but moreso the apathy of many humans. This group's acts may be small, but many rely on them."
I decided to take part in a tournament-styled competition on Inkblazers.com. For this competition, everyone who entered was paired off with another comic artist. We read each other's work and design a character to fit within their universe. Judging criteria is based on art quality, design, and description (how well the character fits).
Winners from each bracket will proceed to the next and face a new competitor. I did something like this on Inkblazers several months ago, where competitors entered characters and each artist drew his/her own character with their opponent's character. I enjoyed it, and have been looking for another competition to do on inkblazers. It's a great way to get familiar with another artist's work, get feedback from talented artists, and to have more exposure for your own work.
I will be posting sketches after reading the comic I have been assigned. By luck I already know of it, but it's quite detailed, so I want to be sure to create a plausible character. I will be designing a character for FixerTheWise with his webcomic, "Shapeshifter: A tale yet untold."