lördag 18 februari 2017

#Artwar Character Contest: Briannon | Part 1 - Design

As I mentioned before, I am making a character for Cubebrush's #Artwar competition. I was a bit late to start and have had many issues along the way, but also learned quite a lot. I wanted to try and implement some of the things that I learned while making my hand painted sword, from design through texturing. It is definitely not as easy without the help I had then though, but time to test my wings and see if I can fly on my own. :)

Anyway, after finally figuring out what kind of character/creature I wanted to do, I started with writing a background story.

Among the centaur clans, the druids are considered to be the highest ranked and serve as their priests and connection with nature. They both worship and draw their power from the moon and the flora. At the end of their training a druid to be go through a ritual where they meditate for three nights under the full moon at the foot of their mother tree.
If the tree accepts them, it will then ask them to offer a part of themselves, usually a finger or a hand, and in return provide a sprout of itself to replace it. Briannon gave her entire left arm to an ancient and holy oak tree, which made her one of the most powerful druids her clan had seen in centuries. As a druid, she now spends most of her time away from her clan, walking the forests and caring for the plants, trees and creatures and protecting them from harm.

From there I tried to figure out different directions where I could take inspiration from that would support the story. Once I had that down and a pretty clear image in my head, I gathered a lot of reference images and started sketching.

Main Moodboard

I wanted to draw inspiration from the Celtic druids and use the oak tree and moon as "the most holy" that the centaurs worship. I also wanted to incorporate living, healthy plants, specifically oak since it is Briannon's "mother tree". I am considering giving her a bow, since I feel her magic is more about healing and life that she might use it to hunt for food or in case she needs to protect herself or the forest, even though she is not a fighter. At the moment that is probably more a question about time, although I think it would be good to manage to make some props.

Early Pencil and Final Sketch

I know that my biggest mistake at this point, that I will need to keep in mind for the future, is that I did not really explore the thumbnailing and creating more variations. But with the deadline coming up I really needed to get going.

My general idea was to have larger and fewer details further out, leading to a focal point with more and smaller details around the face/neck area. I also wanted to keep most of the skin open to take inspiration from Celtic body paintings and give her tattoos that would symbolise and show her standing as a druid.

Moodboard for Jewelry and Wood Parts

When I had a sketch I tested a few different colour variations, mainly on the body. I wanted to, again, draw on the moon and oak tree, therefore using the silver and dark blue of the night sky, with details of the green of a thriving forest to break it up, and also to complement the red hair inspired by the Celts.

Colour Test Lineup

In the end I decided to go for darker in the bottom leading to lighter at the focal point I want to create, and to not steal attention but still looking interesting and having beautiful texture on the (horse) body, I decided to make her a dapple grey. Yet again inspired by the silver of the night sky, almost scattered with little stars.

Final Coloured Sketch

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