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.
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.”
So I came back with this – slightly longer axe handle, different facial expression, hair a bit more “piled on her head.”
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.
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.
Ta-da! Now with 100% less teal. Or maybe 98%, there’s still a hint of it in the axe. A hint mind you.
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.
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.
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.