Continuing directly from last week’s collection, I finished my concept for Favorite Charm I teased last entry! The goal for me with this challenge was to generate ideas and maybe get a few TTRPG portfolio pieces out of them. I’m excited to say this piece has done that for me! It may mean I won’t finish this challenge in a month, but it’s been worth it to take some time to explore my other inspirations as an artist and get a taste of what kind of art I want to be making in the future.
I’m so happy to see the game setting’s company also Retweeted this painting on Twitter, which makes me hopeful I’m on the right track!
(Painted entirely in Procreate! This Challenge been a learning experience for new tools as well.)
Favorite Dragonblooded House
No, the Dragonblooded are nothing like the Dragonborn of Dungeons & Dragons. These noble houses descended of ancient mystic bloodlines imbued with the power of dragons do not have draconic attributes, but rather convey the aura and characteristics of their elements – wood, water, fire, earth, and air. The individuals who started these bloodlines became the founders of the first dynastic houses, all ruled under the Scarlet Empress.
I chose House Cynis, a wood-aspected house known for their luxurious lifestyles, finery, and debauchery. They feature heavily in the story of The Uncrucified and I wanted to spend some time conceptualizing Varia and Sana Cynis, two nobles from House Cynis who have fallen on hard times, though they do their best to portray themselves as the rich nobles they once were. This pair would be trouble for Kalara in her younger days, but also give her a very unexpected “gift”!
With their wood theme, I chose to explore bonsai-inspired framing and Hanfu inspired fashions, as their their home country in the Blessed Isle always struck me as more Chinese-inspired in the setting.
There was no contest in choosing a fave spell. How could I resist the motif of razor sharp obsidian butterflies that fly out of the caster’s hands, butterflies being a personal symbol fo mine? If a sorcerer chooses this spell as their specialty, they can also grow slashing claws of obsidian.
I made this character up on the fly as a sorcerer-assassin, of sorts. Instead of the more proper elegant mages, I imagine this nameless mage to be much more world-weary and cold. She would fit in well with the Guild assassins that Kalara will no doubt clash with later on in her story!
The Incarnae are the holiest of holy among the gods of Exalted. Their machinations and existence helped form the fabric of Creation. Again, choosing Luna, goddess of the moon, was an easy pick for me! She resonates so strongly with narrative themes I enjoy as a goddess of not only the night, but of tricksters, fertility, and chaos (not to mention her visual themes of tattoos and silver, which I am also partial to in my work). Luna balances the rigid order and burning presence of the Unconquered Sun, giving Creation a respite from his burning rays.
For her visual themes, I wanted to portray what might be a mural in one of her temples. I imagine this would be ever-changing, showing her in any of her countless forms as a Hunter, Maiden, Crone, Beast, etc. depending on the time of month you look at it. The masks around her symbolize the many guises she takes, with the rabbits worked in as symbols of fertility referenced as being connected with her in the setting.
I took strong inspiration from the beautiful murals of Steven Universe, particularly for the last sketch.
I’m currently favoring the asymmetrical take on Luna, as the symmetrical ones feel too defined by rules of order, which doesn’t fit Luna’s personality.
I don’t have any finished art from all of this sketching this week, as I’m exploring at my own pace. I may pick a few that speak to the muse more strongly to bring to final, then only create sketches for the rest. We shall see! The journey continues and it’s felt GREAT to indulge in this geeky art love!