Friday, 1 February 2008

Commission: "Esten"

My LJ friend redvelvetcanopy commissioned a drawing depicting Esten, a warrior character in the fantasy novel she is currently writing. I am posting it here because the commission required me to take on a challenge or two, and also because I am rather pleased with the result :-).

Esten is this dashing swordfighter - he had to be handsome, masculine and muscular, and the last two are not my strong point. It was important for the character to have a beautiful and athletic body, so I drew a grid in order to get the proportions right. I was especially weary of the size of the head, as I have a (very strong) tendency to make that too large. In the end I suppose expert eyes will find mistakes to point out, but I daresay they won't be quite so prominent as in most of my previous drawings. I should probably make it a habit to draw grids, and to keep redrawing until I have corrected the mistakes that I can spot and correct myself; but if I am honest I tend to finish drawings on the same day that I started them, because I am just so very eager to see the final image. I also draw impulsively, and never ever start with reference pictures: I draw a pose that I had in mind, and then go looking for bits of reference as needed for the bits with which I have trouble. I rarely think things through in the art department, which is funny in a way because when I a dealing with text, I do give a lot of thought to the construction and cleaning up and that sort of thing. It seems that when drawing, I am a perfectionist, but one who is too impatient to give perfection all the preparation that it needs :/. Time to break the habit of a lifetime, I guess...

Anyway: here is Esten.

(Click to enlarge.)

RVC liked the pencil sketch I sent her, and though the original plan was to ink the drawing, she now preferred the idea of pencilling. I used pencils ranging from H3 to B4, but the shading was essentially done with watercolour pencils in pale and dark grey. I like how the final drawing has the softness and smoothness of pencil and a touch of paint, as well as the clear lines of which I am so fond. All in all the picture is very polished - those pencils must be the cleanest and most meticulous I have ever produced.

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