Monday, November 14, 2011

The Warden Commander

I did a drawing recently of my grey warden from Dragon Age Origins. I don't do a lot of fan art, because I don't think it serves well for portfolio pieces, but I've always loved the scene where the human noble origin catches up with the man who murdered his/her family. It's a very cool story filled with high emotions, so I thought it was be a good scene to try illustrating.

I'm really working on perspective, so I started with the main characters:
Just flat coloring to start, trying to get a sense of what colors I think would look good. I used a variety of references, as well as making up the things I thought would look cool. One of the things I love about concept art and illustration is being able to work with pre-existing concepts and pushing them to be as exciting or inspiring as possible. I'm glad I live alone, posing in front of a mirror with my swiffer to try and get the pose of whipping in a circle would have been pretty ridiculous with an audience.

I just added this to show how it took me a while to figure out what sort of background was right. I initially intended to do the scene in a dungeon, because that is where it is set in the game. However, I ended up deciding to go with a different location that I thought would be more interesting.

I set it in a chantry. It was fun making a variety of details and playing with light. I chose a chantry a) because it seemed like a cool place for a fight, but b) there is a lot of architecture to make my life miserable with perspective. Since I'm trying to push myself to sort things out, this was a good opportunity. The shadows here are wildly inaccurate.

Continuing to futz around. I made the table into a pew and that seems more natural for the setting. Messing with the shadows, but they still don't feel right. Other issues are that even though Howe is flying through the air, he still feels very close to the Warden. Since she's not traveling backwards, that just doesn't work. Also the windows behind her are behaving like they are on a flat wall, not on an elipse.

You're never really finished with something, you just have to decide when to throw in the towel. I adjusted Howe to make it look like he's really moving toward the viewer. I mapped the shadows from the light source and found that the reason they looked so wrong is from this angle you can't actually SEE his shadow at all. It looked a little odd, but I can't argue with math. I also fixed the windows, which is a relief to my eyes.

Overall I like it. I want to push harder to use less line in my work though, so I am disappointed in myself for falling into old habits. Must keep trying!

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