Happy Halloween, everyone! I have a treat for you today in the form of the completed collection of challenge pieces for this year’s Exalted Art Challenge! We moved right in the middle of this challenge, so I only had time to partake in the weekly topics, instead. Still, this challenge is always a lot of fun and a great excuse to experiment with different methods and styles!
I created all of these entries in Procreate.
Week 1: Your PC (Player Character)
Rather than draw the same old characters I’ve been drawing lately (cough Kalara), I thought I’d shine the spotlight on Laughing Fox, a trickster Kalara has met in her travels as a young demigod. Laughing Fox is a Lunar, chosen of the goddess of the moon in the Exalted RPG setting. He prefers seduction over murder and prides himself on his clever schemes and collection of secrets. His Tell, or the characteristic that marks him as moon-chosen, is the white tips of his hair which is reminiscent of a fox’s tail.
He wanders in and out of Kalara’s tale as he pleases! You’ll no doubt be seeing more of him before too long.
The inspiration for Laughing Fox’s animal shape is the gorgeous cross fox. Just look at this majestic creature!
Week 2 – A Meal In Creation
Next comes a fun topic featuring food from the setting! This meal comes from the celebration of Plentimon’s Day, the god of gambling. Inspired by the real-world King Cake from Mardi Gras, those who find the Plentimon’s dice in their serving of cake will be crowned royalty for the day and have the god’s blessing for the next year.
Plentimon Day’s feast consists of goat kabobs marinated in yogurt and spices, with a almond-based cakes in the shape of a D6 die with slivers of almonds to represent the numbers. The dice cakes all have different flavors stuffed inside to emphasize the Plentimon’s theme of gambling. You never know if you’ll get bitter or sweet flavors! Finally, you can’t have a feast day in Gem without an alcoholic drink, in this case, date wine.
I’m a big fan of the aesthetic of the food in Monster Hunter, which definitely shows in my choice of design for this dish.
Week 3 – Fave Charm
This one started off as a Fave Charm (or magic ability), but quickly got off-topic with drawing FX for Kalara’s anima aura, the glowing halo of energy which appears when she channels divine energies at different levels of intensity. When she’s at ‘fall blast’, a phoenix appears rising behind her, an animal that is part of her personal symbolism as someone who rose from her near-death to take on the world. This will be my first time drawing an FX sheet and it was quite fun. I will definitely be adding them to Kalara’s proper reference sheet!
Week 4 – Fave Fashion
For the final topic, I was going to keep it ‘simple’ and sketch a concept for glass armor, but the topic ran away with me and I ended up with a full portrait! The glass remnants of the magnificent buildings of old Chiaroscuro magically retain their luster and strength and are usually used for sturdy, but sleek armor. I figure why not armor AND a gown for Kalara?
This portrait also provided me with an opportunity to paint Kalara in a more realistic style, as well as test out a new style I’m currently evolving which combines a soft and painterly look with hard-edged elements for a look inspired by Klimt and tarot cards.
Fave Fashion was undoubtedly my favorite topic from this year! Which one is yours?
As ever, if you like Kalara or any of the imagery I put out for the Exalted Art Challenge, check out the Exalted tabletop rpg from Onyx Path Publishing and Kalara’s stories and art at The Uncrucified or check out the older Exalted Art Challenge collections for art you may have missed!
Now that the EAC is done, I’m turning my attention towards some fun surprises I’m working on for this Patreon’s re-launch and the topic you all chose for me for NaNoWriMo (Flame of the Sultana).
Till next time! Stay tuned for more writing and art peeks from Rabs’ NaNoWriMo adventures.