Friday, December 27, 2013

"Krugg" - The Witcher - Fanart

The Witcher - Fanart
"Krugg is an elder witcher preferring the solitary life in the woods, well camouflaged and close to nature - typically seen wielding his massive homemade sniper-crossbow. He prefers to carefully and calmly plan out his attacks from atop, selecting his targets from long range before striking his target. Should he end up in close-combat, a silver sword, his dagger and the wildness of his nature makes sure his prey goes down. "


First of all, I felt it was time to do something thoroughly - and like really thoroughly. Also I wanted to do a full-figure character, practise poses and study materials more in-depth, and really render something to completion, since most of my works are loose and quicker.
Since there hasn't been a witcher from the Cat and  Gryphon-school seen in The Witcher-universe, I thought that was an interesting starting-point. Designwise I wanted to incorporate a lot of things that would resemble the qualities of a gryphon (lion/eagle): The beak-shaped headpiece, feathers, lion fur, eagle-details on knee pads and sword, arm guards and the gryphon medallion hanging from the crossbow.

So this is what happened in the actual process:
I did preliminary sketches for three weeks to really nail a good pose. Ultimately I ended up having a friend take a picture of me in the pose and use that - but the whole sketching process definitely made me loosen up, and was not in vain. Finally I had the good pose, moved onto some quick value/colortests and then I was ready to separate everything into masks. This is something I typically never do - I merge my things all the time - but this time I tried being super strict in my layers, keep them organized, colorcode them - and paint within each mask (see process pictures). 

Anyways, everything was ready and setup to ACTUALLY render the picture - and then I procrastinated. Postphoned. Got scared. It's pretty typical - you start having these conversations with yourself, wondering if the piece will actually ever get as good as you imagined and set yourself up to. For this piece I insisted that it had to be GREAT in every aspect - and that's high ambitions to set oneself up to. In the end I thought "Well it's gonna get as good as it gets" - and just began taking the painting piece by piece, step by step - spending 2 hours where I'm totally okay with only having rendered an arm and a bit of a chestpiece. Complete patience. I think that have been a good lesson for me, not rushing it to completion too early.

Towards the end I had rendered out everything in the individual layers, but it still felt a little "not lit", a bit flat, and a bit not fully pulled together as a piece. I got some feedback from people and let the piece rest for a week over christmas. When I came back, I had energy to finish up the last. Yay!

And here a picture of the process:

Finally, thanks to all those who've helped me with critique and ideas along the way!
And merry xmas and happy new year to all of you, my readers!


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