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story sketch: shine on [update: 07-18-2011]

This sketch is based on [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's poem shine on about Shahana, the world-weary paladin, and Ari, the peasant girl who became her apprentice and travelling companion when a raid on her village left her with no better options. Shahana has found a fallen star and speaks of her goddess Gailah, weakened in an attack by priests of a rival god, but does not concede defeat, using the light of the star as a symbol of the resolute faith by which Gailah's followers will one day prevail.

cleaned up sketch:


rough sketch:

This picture is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, and may be freely used under the terms of that license with a link back to mikaspace.net Please see terms of use for details.
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Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.

Comments

Yay!

I love this! The lighting is very much as I envisioned it. I love the circular effect you're getting with the trees, and the way the starlight shines up in little beams.

I have linked to this from my LJ and DW blogs, and on the Crowdfunding community for both services.

Re: Yay!

I'm glad you're pleased with it :) I did a bit more shading than I usually do at this stage, but that's kind of the point of the picture, and I had fun with all the scribbly foliage *g*

Re: Yay!

>> I did a bit more shading than I usually do at this stage,<<

Yes, I thought so. Thank you very much for the extra work! I will send you all the attention that I can.

>> but that's kind of the point of the picture, and I had fun with all the scribbly foliage *g* <<

... much like getting sucked into the golem, and that was one of the main inspiration pictures that had me choosing this scene. But I love the foliage. (Is there a critter near the boulder, sort of left-of-center? It kind of looks like a face in the brush.) The leaves look so diverse, the way a forest does, and glossy where they catch the light.

I am also reminded of what Moonvoice is doing with "Katt's Forest" which involves a truly insane amount of detail with ink pen. It's the texture of the fronds and leaves that puts me in mind, I think, that sort of coiled and layered effect.

Re: Yay!

(Is there a critter near the boulder, sort of left-of-center? It kind of looks like a face in the brush.)
I hadn't really thought of it..but there could be! Something to keep in mind when I go back to work on it...

Moonvoice's art is impressive; I'm as much in awe of her patience as her skill.

Re: Yay!

>>I hadn't really thought of it..but there could be! Something to keep in mind when I go back to work on it...<<

Hee!

>> Moonvoice's art is impressive; I'm as much in awe of her patience as her skill. <<

Patience, dexterity, and speed. This project is taking forever because, well, there are a million stipples in it. But I've seen her post a sketch one day, ink outline the next, and completed watercolor the third. And she can effectively use color combinations that normally work only for, say, God in sunsets.

Re: Yay!

This picture and re-reading the associated poem have inspired me to a story of my own.
This sketch is very nice! I think the light of the star reflected on the tree trunks is my favorite effect. They just seem so...shiny.

This may be because you haven't really filled in the faces yet, but Shahana looks a lot younger than I would have thought. Sort of elfin, too. I think it's the almost-point of her one ear we can see. ;)

Hmm...

I see what you mean about that ear. It's probably easy enough to fix by bringing that highlight up along the curve.

Showing age in the face may be more challenging, given the proportion of human figures to forest (which I like) and the lighting (which everyone seems to love). I can't think of an easy fix for this one. We'll see how it plays out, though.
Can I just be all gushy and say that this is really good?
That is so pretty! The light!

It's a very powerful moment, and I think the deep contrasts in this image are needed.

Wow!

The changes are subtle but in certain places they really pop. I think my favorite detail is that front in the lower left where just the tip turns white as it bends forward. Sometimes a drawing has a hard time conveying depth but the lighting makes this one of the most 3D images I've seen in a while. I also like the razor-sharp lines at the front of Shahana's armor. The critters are cute too.
I really like how you manipulated the tone to give the sense of a singular, intense light source. Nicely done!

This effect could be magnified by extensively extending the shadows of the characters, which would provide a very pronounced break in the light, given their proximity to the light source.

Edited at 2011-07-19 03:24 am (UTC)

Hmm...

I think you're right about extending the character shadows. That's a good detail to keep in mind if this picture gets another round of revision someday.

Re: Hmm...

Yes, that's a good suggestion. With the number of people who have shown interest in this piece, I wouldn't be surprised if I do get a chance to work on it more!

Re: Hmm...

Yay! That would be so awesome.

Looking at the discussions over on crowdfunding and then thinking about your project, I realize that this is another advantage. You often get comments that tell you what part of a picture works the best, and people give ideas on improvements or elaborations. That shows up in the refined sketches, and sometimes even in the source writing.
I love the little critters watching from the foliage! Such a lovely little detail, and I can picture them moving closer to the light from the fallen star.
Hope is a flash of light.