The makings of… a Primarch part 2.
Written By David.
In the second installment of this series, let’s talk about decisions and computercrashes.
So last time, we left with a fairly decent pose, as well as good set-up for the painting of Mortarion around the time of the Horus heresy.
A few decisions had been made in regards to how he would look:
-Similar to Curze (“siblings”)
-Gaunt/ Deathly posture and features
– Details to keep in mind are: censers, no greenor white colours of armour, smoke coming out of the high collar, smoking pipes coming out of his back.
This is the image we had/
At this point, I do “the google rounds”.
Essentially, I look through google for images that I can use as reference for various items.
Items like hoods (monk-robes), roman shoulder-guards, freaky scythes, censers, smoke, fumes from burning oil-fields etc.
These things are ten stored for references. I will not se them straight off, but more as guides to how something is shaped.
If I need to create something unique for a character, I might “kit-bash” some of the images together to create interesting shapes (using various layerstyles in a similar fascion to how I started this illustration, see part 1 , but for this illustration that was not needed. (An example of an item that could have been made thusly, is the scythe, but I made a decision to paint that from scratch, based on pre-existing art.)
Examples of art that fell under references vary from Scythes from Darksiders 2, to conceptart for the Angels in Diablo to exhaust-pipes from Trucks and Holocaust-victims.
During this time, I also refine the previous image a little to get to the point where I like it a bit more. Not much is done beyond adding some backlighting, a few placeholder-censers and painting in the face a little.
So let’s stop here for a while and talk about catastrophical crashes.
I have made it a habit to constantly save iterations of my illustrations.
This way I can go back and copy-paste something that might have been better from a previous version, but I also make sure I do not loose hours of work if Photoshop crashes.
I have, to date, never had a version of Photoshop that did not crash on me at the worst possible opportunities.
Lately, I have also made it a habit to use a cloud-saving source to save my most recent works/files, simply because in case the computer crashes and files are lost, atleast some of my work is saved.
Better be safe then sorry.
So I worked on Mortarion for a long while. Each iteration of the illustration moving towards a goal.
The face was altered to focus more on his skeletal look, whilst maintaining a somewhat proxiation to my illustrations of Curze and Angron. I also used references of men from the Carpatian region as reference, to hint at the origins of the Legionaires (who are supposed to mainly have been recruited from this region on Terra, before recruitment from Mortarions homeplanet began).
Some alterations to the colours happened. The reds/oranges moved towards gray/blue/greenish to reflect this sensation of the sick and poisonous.
A shhoulderpad was begun on and the robes and scythe was worked out.
I had 8 preview-images to show on the blog. And they all vanished in a severe computercrash, loosing several folders worth of illustrations and references.
Luckily I had saved the ast two iterations of the image on my dropbox-account.
So here is where we come back to the image. It is not done yet, and there will be a part three, but you need to know why there was a jump in the look.
And a caution- save often. USe external harddrives or cloud-saving if needed, but make sure your work is safe.
Luckily, everything for my proffessional work was saved on an external harddrive except a new sketch, which means nothing suffered for commissions and proffessional works, but it could have been much worse, so keep this in mind!
Now the astute viewer will notice a few things:
1) The pose is slightly altered.
This mainly comes down to the fact that the lower body is in shadow and the shoulderpad has to face a certain direction for him to be able to hold the scythe.
2) the collar looks completely different.
I went away from the crude stove-collar and moved towards a more knightly one.
3) Alot of the ornaments vanished from the previous image, including the censers.
During research, I found that Mortarion didnt fancy ornamentation, so I stripped it down. The censers where only really placeholders. They will return once I paint them in proper.
4) He is kind of stout/heavy set.
This, is fixed. Namely in the next preview image-
Following this I will be painting in the lower body, the scythe will be completed and the censers will appear After this I will start adding the gasses in an around the collar and finally there will be some colourcorrections and post-process work to make the illustration complete.
Let me know what you guys think.
Oh, and here is something Orky to end the day. Wprk in Progress:
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