Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Defender of the Castle

(click to enlarge)

UPDATE: I flipped the picture horizontally. I think it flows better this way and looks more dynamic...I feel like things are going from top to bottom/left to right a little better now. I guess it's something to do with readability (is that a thing)? I don't know, haha. I also feel like there's a greater focus on the dude now, rather than on the background. Plus this makes him right handed, which is way cooler.


Wow, it's been a while. This is something I've been working on (off and on) this month, and I must say that I'm pretty happy with it. I tried some new things and learned a lot in the process.

Lately, I've felt like reinventing myself as an artist, and fantasy illustration is something that I've had in the back of my mind for a while, so I thought I'd finally give it a shot.

I'm not really sure how this concept came to me, but I imagined the whole thing before I began working on it. That's another thing I've been wanting to do with my work and approach, instead of just drawing without knowing where I'm going. From what I've heard from other artists, actually imagining the entire piece beforehand can result in really powerful and unique images. I've done that several times before, but I really should do it way more often.

There were a couple of things that inspired the ideas behind this painting. The first source was from an online game I used to play back in high school, called Shadowbane. This game had a character class called the Templar, which was always one of my favorites to play. This also led to an obsession with Templars and knights in general. The knight in this picture doesn't really look like a Shadowbane character, but I'd like to think that he could be in that world. I have some really incredible memories from that time of my life (as most people do), and many of them can be attributed to that game, so in a way this is an homage to that.

Another big source of inspiration was a song by the band Symphony X called "The Accolade." This song was one of my favorites in high school, and it still is today. It tells the story of a guy who trained his entire life and became an awesome knight who saves everyone. I think it's implied that he eventually dies in battle, but he remains a "legend forever." I just really love how the song is all about a shiny hero doing heroic stuff. Nerd metal at its best. I also usually listened to it while playing Shadowbane, so I absolutely geek out when I hear it now. Don't even get me started on "The Accolade II" -- that could result in a hundred more drawings.

I'm considering doing more fantasy stuff and already have some ideas in mind. I'm thinking about making a series of knight/fantasy images over time, so this could very well be the first of many!