Here are some ideations for Prentice’s sacrifice dagger, as mentioned in the previous post. In Spidersilk, mages who cannot harness the full natural energy of magic and only the basic primal energy of blood are called “syphons.” There are all sorts of rules and limitations to syphon magic, but that’s not the point here. Prentice is such a mage, and he usually uses his own blood. It is why he carries a small knife or dagger.
At first I decided to try a new sort of dagger than the one he usually has in the comic. His last dagger looked more like some kind of combat knife. He will use the dagger as a weapon but he prefers to use it only for magic, which is why he’s usually otherwise armed.
Since it has such a specialized use, I decided it’d probably be ornamental, maybe pricey, and likely have spellwork or runes engraved right into it. He always has it and it clearly means a lot to him, though why hasn’t been revealed yet. I thought I should play up making it as distinctive as possible.
He’s got his summoning down to an exact art, able to form a summoning portal with two gestures, throwing blood from his arm and the knife. The knife should have some capabilities of holding onto his blood to facilitate a fairly even distribution when he does this – that’s when I started ornamenting the blade with small indentations rather than what could be ornamental spell support. You can see that on the last blade.
I don’t like any of these blades as is for Prentice’s purposes, but I can see some of them getting reworked for the final design.
As I noted in the previous blog entry, I am working on concepts other than characters at the moment. I am nearing a time when I will need to draw weapons more readily, and given that those can be expensive, I need to set what weapons each character uses to avoid that "I buy new weapons for every fight" sort of look. After I looked at the Hobbit's concept art book (for the first movie), I was inspired at how much care was taken with retaining individuality with the dwarves in several aspects -- clothes, colors, weapons, etc.
For Spidersilk, I want to make the main characters' weapons (if any) to be distinct and match their styles and combat preferences. For example, Prentice is thorough, if not a bit reckless and messy. He's never worried about not having enough weapons, so he seems to care little for them -- he really just needs his dagger and he can and will rely on his magic.
But I've been drawing him with a sword and staff combination lately, and that staff changes every time I draw it! Unless his staff is so cheap it breaks every time he uses it, I think he should have a recognizable one.
So here we have some staff ideations for Prentice:
While ideating I alternately considered his personality and style and others I just tried to run with it, seeking new directions in my designs. Below I'll give a quick thought about the staffs.
Staff one looks like a strange combination of Sailor Saturn's glaive and something from Dragon Age. I think ... no.
Staff two is a very stylized version of what I usually draw Prentice with, but it isn't weaponlike enough for him. The gem end is too complicated and it is lost in its own details.
Staff three I fear is not really a mage weapon. At this point I began to realize Prentice didn't really need a staff, but I kept drawing. I really like the weapon end of it, but the mage focus end is subtle.
Staff four is based on this tree I saw while in New Zealand. This is less of a melee weapon and is only for focus/ magic. While I love this tree, I think this design would need another rework to suit Prentice's melee combat tendencies.
Staff five looks more like a weapon and less like a staff, though I did include talismans in the shape and detail. It has variety, but since he tends to use two weapons anyway, such a versatile staff is probably not a good idea for him.
I think it is his sacrifice dagger I should focus on next time! I will revisit the staff designs I liked best and ideate more based on those select few.
I have completed my move and am settling in. I will begin the WIP blog once more! My current running side-projects include more Dragon Age fan art, a fan comic about SKYRIM, as well as various commissions.
In order to flesh out my portfolio, I do think it's important now to spend more time documenting processes on drawing props, environments, and architecture. To that end, I am going to draw a new staff for Prentice (of my comic Spidersilk), since it tends to be different whenever I draw him with one!
This is his latest, but I will be looking at all of his staff images for ideas, as well as generating quite a few new ones!