Tuesday Art Day: Dwarves!

So once upon a time, there was a lovely lady named Anea who asked me if I could perhaps make a blog banner for her such as the one I made for myself (see above). I actually keep meaning to re-do that banner but am unable to find the time, which is neither here nor there. Being a woman of many alts, Anea wanted a banner with an image of her dwarven warrior, Idyll. She told me some things about Idyll and what she looked like and what she was like. I find that the best way for me to start thinking about these things is to just dive in and start drawing. I’ve had this post in the works for awhile, but I wanted to wait until Anea had put up the header image before blogging about it. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to commission an artist for WoW-related artwork, this should give you some idea. Not that I speak for every artist, I can only do that for me! Here’s the first sketch that I sent Anea.

"Keep your feet on the ground!" Yes?

Incidentally, I’m not insane enough to go back through my e-mail history, so any historical inaccuracies are entirely mine. Basically, when Anea saw the first sketch she had a few suggestions – a longer axe handle, she liked the smaller heirloom shoulders, but the smile wasn’t quite right. And her bun was too…bunn-ey. Without being quite the right sort of bunn-ey. It needed to be more “I have so much hair it is piled on my head.”

I can't think of anything Dwarven.

So I came back with this – slightly longer axe handle, different facial expression, hair a bit more “piled on her head.”

Yes, there IS hot dwarf.

But it was TOO much piled on her head, so I messed around with it a bit more, threw flat colour behind it to see what it’d look like, gave it a bit more “form” without completely losing that messy feel. (Anea also sent me a photo of what she had in mind). The axe handle underwent another lengthening.

Too much with the teal.

At this point we were really starting to feel that the basis of the drawing was pretty good, so I went ahead and did flats for the whole thing. Unfortunately, the lighting in Anea’s screenshots was a bit blue-ish, and it made the armour look sort of teal when I grabbed a few colours from it. I like teal, Anea does not so much like teal! No problem.

Dwarf gets a touch of grey.

Ta-da! Now with 100% less teal. Or maybe 98%, there’s still a hint of it in the axe. A hint mind you.

There are some who are of the opinion that hot dwarves cannot exist. I beg to differ.

Confident with where the image was going, I started to add some shading to it. You can see in this image that the axe is still really, really rough. It’s the heirloom axe, the same one Vid liked to smack things in the face with on occasion. I really put off working on that axe.

Axe is just fine, what are you talking about?

See, I’d pretty much nearly finished all of the shading on the image by the time I sucked it up and worked on that axe, and I still hadn’t done it here. I’d even added armour highlights, skin shading/colouring, the works. But that axe? Oh nooo.

Huzzah!

And then! The background colour was changed, and I actually did the axe, and changed a few other things (most notably the belt, although it doesn’t show in the final image). Of course, this is only part of the story; the resulting banner image for Anea is a cropped version of this image over-top of some screen shot action. Go and look at it! Go now! It looks awesome.

If you know Anea you’ve probably already seen the image around as her avatar (and now in living banner colour), but there’s some background for it. If you scroll sort of fast down the page it’s as if it’s drawing itself before your very eyes… except that images don’t do that, trust me. It was done in Photoshop, with my trusty Wacom Intuos4. I’ve never really made a big fuss about art stuff here on Pugging Pally (not related to pugging) but you can check out my Deviant art page here if you’re interested in having a look at other WoW-related stuff I’ve done. It has a few things on it, anyhow. A big thank you to Anea for thinking of me to do this for her. I had a lot of fun with it, especially because I think female dwarves are pretty rare and unique. It’s not something I’ve ever drawn before.

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21 responses to “Tuesday Art Day: Dwarves!

  1. Nice post, Vid! I was thinking that you’d done the Dorf when I began reading Anea’s post yesterday.

    Very well done!

  2. Very cool to see the process, I was wondering what you used for your art. :D Great piece!

  3. Fantastic post! I love seeing the whole process – it is very inspiring.

  4. I really love your illustration style, Vid! If I ever were to start up a blog, would you let me hire you? :D

    Did you do all of this on the computer, or did you start on paper and then scan it in? If you don’t mind, could you tell us what kind of tools and programs you use? Just out of curiosity. :)

    • Of course I would! :D

      It’s entirely digital. Sometimes I work from line-work done on paper and scanned. It’s amazing how much scanning can reveal the flaws in paper/ink/dust etc. though so I often just sketch on the computer. I use Photoshop and an Intuos 4 Wacom tablet to draw directly. The sensitivity options make it so that it will make a thicker/thinner line depending on pen pressure so it feels pretty natural. And then of course it’s easy to clean up and adjust things like the axe handle that was too short, the mouth being not quite right, the list of things I don’t get right on the first try could go on for miles. ;) I love the flexibility of working digitally for letting me adjust things after the fact and keep “editing”, as it were!

      • Mmm, I’ve lusted after those Wacom tablets for years now, but my artistic skills really couldn’t justify the expense! Maybe someday when I win the lottery…or get a bonus at work. :)

        Thank you for sharing!

  5. I only have to say <3<3<3heart

  6. Hmmm. When I am not on my iPhone I think I will be sending you an email vid.

    • Sure, Nasi! It’s puggingpally AT gmail dot com. I have a super secret image version of it in my “about” page but I wouldn’t want you to have to spend an hour hunting. (I’m pretty sure most of the blogosphere has yet to forgive me for the Noblegarden egg debacle).

  7. Wow really awesome! I wish I could draw as well as that (especially knowing where to put shadows and highlights.. I’m really bad at that).

    • Aw, thanks Iris. I’m sure I don’t always get it right either. As with anything, I find that the more I draw the closer I can get (can’t quite use the trope and say that practice makes perfect, haha, far from it!)

  8. It looks fantastic.

    And Calidore wants to me to tell you he likes a lass wi’ great big … … axes.

  9. Awesome job, Vid. I’ve had good fun designing the banner for a guildie as well as my own banner (once I found a theme I liked that allowed a custom banner, that is). I spent a whole day mostly cutting the freaking path around my toons pics…ugh. I like your drawing style and wish I had a wacom to play around on. The pics in your post remind me of the video I saw about the coloring process for a panel of the most excellent web comic, Looking For Group.

  10. So at last my unasked question is answered:
    Where did your awesome banner come from? Draw it yourself or have it professionally done.

    I think your style is great.
    Next you’ll have to do a web comic and become “famous” like

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots.html

    or

    http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php

  11. Pretty :) I miss having time to fully photoshop-paint artwork… that’s why my blog is filled with stick figures, lol.

  12. Wow, that’s pretty awesome looking, you’re very talented! Nice to see the process from start to finish, too.

    I know we briefly talked about this on Twitter a month ago, but would you be willing to email me information about commissions, if you’re taking any? :)

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