The Dark Royal Lady/The Man with a Gauntlet (Vis Dev)
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The Dark Royal Lady/The Man with a Gauntlet (Vis Dev)

Zuheb Alep
by zuhebalep on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

I challenged myself to draw two pieces based on three keywords for each character - male and female. I wanted to explore what it is like going through a workflow of creating a piece and see how one could develop as an artist. Royalty

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For both piece, I gave myself a challenge by picking out three keywords to describe each character - male and female. Both characters are from a self-written story I have yet to publish. I have done few character design in the past, but this piece is one I believe that shows results from my own artistic skills.

The Dark Royal Lady (Vis Dev)

The three keywords for the female piece: royalty, evilness and elegance. 

I gathered references, mostly from Queen Amidala of Star Wars and Ultimecia of Final Fantasy VIII to help with this piece.

I started off with a sketch and worked from there. See progress above. I made a lot of mistakes. My biggest mistake was not creating a thumbnail of different ideas first and then choosing one. 

The reason is because after I had finished this piece, I started drawing different clothes on top of the body, using lots of  references to help me. It was then that I realised that doing a thumbnail is a faster process of idea building. There were other ideas better than the one I’ve originally chosen. 

As you can see above, I did a thumbnail of the Dark Royal Lady after I finished the original piece. I wished I had worked more on the last drawing on the lower right. It looked more evil which is what I originally wanted. The one I completed looked like she was attending a party/gala and up to some mischief.

I did a colour variation to show different mood of the character. Red and white seems bloody and villainous. Purple and gold says dark and wealthy. Blue says sadness and mystery. Green and dark pink says environment-lover.

The Man with a Gauntlet

The three keyword for this male character is mercenary, mystery, justice.

I gathered reference from Vincent Valentine of Final Fantasy VII and gunslinger by Gregory Lebidko.

I was working on both pieces at the same time and was following through the same workflow of doing a sketch  first and working from there. 

However, just like the first piece I realised that I could have done better with a thumbnail first. After I had finished this piece, I started doing a thumbnail of this character, keeping in mind of the three keywords.

Above content is the thumbnail for the Man with a Gauntlet. I experimented with my skills and style of fashion, again keeping in mind the keywords. My top favourite is the second one which seems simple and lightweight and also the last one which seems very mysterious with the shawl around him.  

Overall, I learnt a lot about the workflow of creating character design pieces, especially with thumbnails which should be done right after gathering references. More ideas means better choices, and maybe if something doesn’t work along the way, at least there are other ideas to look back to.

What I liked the most is doing the shadow and lighting, it was very satisfying and also brought more life to my pieces. 

Thank you :)


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