Tag: Exalted RPG

Exalted Art Challenge – Collection 2 – Fave Spell, Fave House, etc.

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.

Favorite Spell

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!

Favorite Incarnae

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!

 ♥ Ang

Introducing My October Exalted Art Challenge!

The time is neigh, my October Art Challenge approaches!  So far, this year has been about allowing myself to rest and recuperate while also letting my muse off the chain to wander different paths for awhile.  The next excursion is going to be with the Exalted Art Challenge that I created with the Exalted RPG Discord community!

For those who don’t know Exalted, it’s a tabletop roleplaying game much like Dungeons & Dragons where you get to become a character with epic-level powers!  It features a world full of mystical places, vengeful gods, and faerie creatures with a rich tapestry of lore to explore.  Its roots in non-Western mythology have made it one of my favorite worlds to play in on my days off!

I’ve even drawn illustrations and written many words for a story set in this universe entitled The Uncrucified.  I’ve been sorely missing the characters from this story and wanted to get back into the mood of creating in this universe by challenging myself to a list of 31 art topics inspired by this fantastic setting!  I expect many characters from my storyworld to show up for this art challenge.

I know many of these topics don’t make sense to non-players, but I hope to introduce you to them with a bit of explanation and art to go along with each one!  In fact, enjoy a little sneak peek of thumbnail sketches for a few of the topics for a taste:

Patreon-Only Sneak Peeks!

Because my Patrons are the coolest, I wanted you guys to feel special during this event!  You’ll be getting Patreon-Exclusive Early Access to my collection of exploratory sketches with my thoughts and notes on the topics each week , while the finished paintings and prose will be shared at The Uncrucified’s project blog.  A compilation of the finished art will be posted here on Patreon once I’ve completed all topics! 

For those keeping up on my Patreon Discord Server, I’ll be sharing the sketches as they happen in my Ang’s Sketchbook channel as well!  (Read here for instructions on how to join my Discord Server dedicated to my Patrons and fans)

The Goal

I’m hoping by doing this event I can create more art in the TTRPG vein which is work I’d like to do more of in the future to channel my long-time passion for gaming!  I also plan to experiment with an expressive painterly digital style, since I have been so married to detailed tight line work for a long time now!  

With luck, I can finish all the topics in a month, though I won’t be too hard on myself if I can’t finish one a day.  The big goal is to remember how to play with art again and enjoy the process more than perfectionism!

I hope you all are ready for the ride!  I’m excited to see what happens during this hugely experimental time.  Are there any Exalted players here?  Sound off in the comments!  If you’re an artist who loves the game, I invite you to do this challenge with me and share in my Patreon Discord in the dedicated Art Challenges channel!  I’d love to see what you all might do for this list!

More soon.  I can’t wait to begin!

♥ Ang

Art Collection: Exalted Art Challenge 2020

After much contemplation, I’ve decided to go ahead and mark the Exalted Art Challenge as ‘complete’!  I’ve been working on it since October of 2020, so it was time to end this not-so-short break from the Birthstone Goddesses, despite the fact I didn’t quite get to finish the final two topics of the Challenge due to life throwing some major challenges our way.  

My husband is thankfully home and healing very well from COVID!  We’ve both been resting after the sleepless nights and it seemed a good time to put this challenge to bed.  It’s time to recuperate my energy levels and embark on the next part of my artistic journey!

It’s been a really great ride with this Art Challenge and I’ve enjoyed the creative challenge of strange and new topics for a while.  Did you all also enjoy the diversion?  I’m curious to know how this crowd likes my TTRPG-inspired art!

I do eventually want to finish the comic for the “Favorite Stunt” topic during my free time.  When I do, you can catch the finished pages on my Exalted project’s social media accounts instead:

For now, enjoy a compilation of all the topics!  Be sure to click the links to the individual collections for more on each topic and its creative notes.

The Master Challenge List

 

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View Collection 1 

  • Favorite Caste
  • Regional Fashion
  • Favorite Charm (Sketch)

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View Collection 2 

  • Favorite Charm (Final)
  • Favorite Incarnae
  • Favorite House
  • Favorite Spell

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View Collection 3

  • Favorite God
  • First Age Incarnation
  • Age of Sorrows Incarnation
  • Incarnations Back to Back

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View Collection 4 

  • Deathlord
  • Abyssal
  • Monstrance

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View Collection 5 

  • Limit Break
  • Anima Banner
  • Reasons to Have Ox Body
  • When No One Takes Sail

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View Collection 6 

  • Weapon
  • Artifact
  • Magic Material
  • Warstrider

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View Collection 7 

  • Familiar
  • Mutation
  • Animal
  • Beastmen

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View Collection 8 

  • Demon
  • Manse
  • Locale
  • Signature Character

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View Collection 9 

  • Favorite Stunt

 

Exalted Mini Comic WiPs

It’s been an anxiety-filled month with everything happening in the US this month and other personal challenges I’ll post about later once I have all the details.  For now, I wanted to at least share some progress shots of the mini comic I’ve been working on for the Exalted Art Challenge.

This has been a fun challenge to try in Clip Studio Paint for the first time.  I knew this program was created for manga artists, but everything about it is so much more efficient for this purpose than photoshop, especially the panel tools.  I really love its touch gestures for making my life easier as well!

This mini comic was created for the Exalted Art Challenge‘s topic “Favorite Stunt”, or in RPG terms, favorite cool moment of roleplaying!  For this particular campaign, my favorite moment happened when our band of weary Solar warriors went up against the Walker in Darkness, an extremely powerful Deathlord who had invaded our town.  My gal Kalara decided to initiate combat in a pretty badass way I had fun with!

Storyboard Sketches

My comics begin as loose sketches that give an idea of where the dialogue and main figures will be.

Ink and Screentone Style Tests

Next came figuring out how to ink and style the pages.  I opted for a style inspired by the energetic line work of one of my favorite manga, Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura.  I enjoy the graceful energy of the lines and the way the screentone portrays the local color of the elements (darker skin vs lighter clothing, etc).

Here’s a peek at our entire party of Kalara’s Solar band!  From left to right we have:

Cathak Demiato, Dawn Caste, who rose through the Dynast ranks as a decorated warrior, only to Exalt after discovering the war crimes her family was committing.  

Night Locust, Night Caste, a child slave turned assassin who Exalted when they tried to ‘test’ him by having him kill his young best friend.  He’s the prankster-sage of the group.  

Kalara Vadras (my character), Eclipse Caste, whom most of you know, but if you don’t, she’s an emancipated slave turned Guild reformer who has Major Beef with the Guild after they murdered her surrogate dad and framed her for it. 

Chaos Divide, Zenith Caste, raised by a wandering Air Aspect and Immaculate monk after his family was killed by fairfolk.  He bakes really good cookies!  He’s also the one who gave Kalara the most headaches because he never hesitates.  

Xesa, Twilight Caste, a wandering fortune teller who told the fortune of the wrong person and ended up Exalting when they hunted her down.

This comic has come along slowly, but surely.  It’s been a fun experiment to get to know Clip Studio Paint and to stretch my legs, creatively, before I return to the final phase of my Birthstone Goddesses project.

Are you enjoying the Exalted material thus far?  I’m curious to gauge interest here!

Next, I hope to have the finalized pages to show to wrap up this ‘finale’ for the Exalted Art Challenge.