Tag: Exalted

SKETCH DIARY: Tsu-Yin

I’m excited to share this character portrait of Tsu-Yin Aasha Hou Kapoor, She Who Knows Ten Thousand Things.  Daughter of high-born sorceresses and chosen of the Unconquered Sun, Tsu-Yin left a life of comfort to pursue epic adventures and a grand destiny as a Solar of the Twilight Caste!

She’s from the same tabletop roleplaying game as my character, Kalara, if you all recall meeting my gunslinging businesslady earlier this year.  Exalted is such a fun game full of amazing Eastern-inspired imagery and epic level action!

For Tsu-Yin, my brainstorming began with the many beautiful references of Indian clothing and character drawing references provided by Tsu-Yin’s creator, Minis-sketchbook.

Mood Board

mood-board-tsu-yin

Tsu-Yin’s mood board on Pinterest.

Tsu-Yin was described as excitable and energetic.  She comes from a life of comfort and is finally able to see the world for herself.  She’s also a martial artist with a snake-inspired style as well as a sorceress.  I knew from her concept I wanted a friendly and optimistic pose, something more energetic than whimsical. 

Gesture Sketches

Brainstorming began with a sheet of gesture sketches to help me discover Tsu-Yin’s personality through pose.  Finding a good compromise between energetic and aesthetically pleasing was pretty challenging!  None of my initial poses really fit her perfectly. 

ten-thousand-things-gesture Read more

SKETCH DIARY: The Uncrucified

Inspirations:

I’ve been working on a lot of tedious Art Nouveau of late and, while I love it, I decided to indulge in this little project after hours to help me unwind from the seriousness of that particular style.  I’ve been doing a lot of tabletop gaming lately, thanks to a friend who sucked me into a game of White Wolf’s Exalted setting.

This fun side project began as an urge to draw the character from our Exalted game as well as to create cover art for a short story about her that I wrote.  In our game, I play Kalara Vadras, a gunslinging Eclipse Caste, the diplomat of our Circle of players, and a no-nonsense businesswoman with a sordid past of betrayal and revenge.  Here’s one of her early character sheets.

kalara-sheet-lowres

 

Mood Board:

I’ve been gathering references for our game for over a year.  I love it when digital image hoarding pays off!  Kalara’s particular visual influences include Indian guns, Chinese fashion, and a generally non-Western collection of fantasy elements.

the-uncrucified-mood-board-lowres

Like this board?  You can view and Follow it on Pinterest here!

I monstress-lowresalso drew a lot of inspiration from one of my favorite comics currently being published right now – Monstress.  The art by Sana Takeda and story by Marjorie Liu are simply exquisite!

The Asian Art Deco steampunk aesthetic fit so well with what my mind’s eye conjures while we play Exalted.  Check out the cover to the comic, you’ll see what I mean!

Early on during the image’s sketch phases, I decided to push the image away from a detailed comic book style and more towards this anime-esque stylization thanks very much in part to Monstress’ influence.

Next, I did a lot of posing in front of the webcam, as opposed to thumbnail sketches.  This was meant to be a fast and fun image, so I decided to keep it simple and skip the planning step.

pose-montage-lowres

While posing, I kept in mind that I wanted her very symbolic crucifixion scar to be very noticeable to the image, which meant focusing a lot on expressive hand motions.  The 3rd pose on the far right ended up being my winner because of the diagonals that lead the viewer’s eye around.  That pose also feels the most natural and emotive.

Finally, here’s an animated GIF of my image’s evolution.

The-Uncrucified-Process-GIF

You can can watch a more in-depth video about this piece’s creation at my YouTube channel.

Final Cover Image:

The Uncrucified Cover Art

Uncropped Image:

The Uncrucified

Prints and products of this piece are available at my Etsy shop!


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