Commission for ~Krafus , posted here by his request.
FULL VIEW or I'll eat a kitty ALIVE!!!!
(just joking but please take a look at the fullview since the most important parts are details)
and PLEASE take a look at the files linked below and description!!! (there are closeups, references, sketches he provided me to setup the composition, details, etc... It is worth the look so you can understand better the background of this painting!).
(many sketches : references for poses, background, clothing, armour, etc... TAKE A LOOK AT IT, there is a lot of work involved here!) : [link]KRAFUS' REFERENCES
(LOTS of references too, please take a look at them!) : [link]CLOSEUPS
(you must see this or I'll die in terrible pain. Seriously, this is worth the look since you can't apreciate the skin texture, clothes texture, etc otherwise) : [link]
Description Krafus sent me (I've deleted some parts and changed a bit some sentences in order to make the description a bit shorter, there were even more details, and every item was linked to a photo reference he had sent me). Details of background and general mood of portrait
The woman is named Seffania Errane. She is the Mistress of Revels of the City of Twilight, also known as the City of the Setting Sun and, by its detractors, the City of Monsters. The man is Arghail Duskallion, the Lord Councillor and highest authority of Twilight. The Dusk part of Arghails family (actually noble House) name is entirely intentional, and meant to fit in with the twilight theme.
The portrait is intended to be vertically separated in two, with a transition zone in the middle, bisecting the sun. On Seffanias side, it should be a dawn of rosy clouds and bright colors, making people think of the start of a bright new day, full of hope and promise. The sun should also glow and generally be brighter than on the other side.
On Arghails side, the background should be dusk, with a dark yellow sun, a crimson sky at the very top turning to orange below, and clouds that look like dark smoke. You will see that, on his side, Ive divided the sky into two zones, red and orange. I initially planned to put in more red, but looking at pictures of sunsets, Ive realized that there would only be red at the top of the sky.
This side of the portraits background should evoke the sun setting over a blood-soaked battlefield, and should be generally darker than the left one.
For the general size of the whole drawing, as you can see in the overall sketch, the sky and sun take up a little over one-third of the portrait vertically. The tallest, middle mountain takes up exactly one-third. Ive tried drawing the bottom of the mountains and adding a small line of distant trees there, but my efforts there are obviously lacking. Ive come to think the mountains in the sketch are a little too pyramidal maybe they should be a little rounder. Also, I believe they would look better with their slopes covered with trees.
Below the mountains are green, grassy plains. Although I didnt draw them, there should be some low hills and rocks (with a bit more rocks on Arghails side) to give the plains landscape some variety, and perhaps a feel of the distance between the spot where the characters stand and the mountains.
Arghail should be fully half as tall as the entire drawing (which should allow you to then accurately proportion Seffania given their relative heights).
The picture will have the same name of the third book : The Last ArmmaenorAbout the characters :
At the time of the novels beginning, Seffania is 18, and almost inhumanly beautiful, as one might expect from a young woman who is host to part of the divine essence of a goddess of beauty and love. Though she stands a full 6 feet in height, she is slender and perfectly proportioned, with full, firm breasts. Her skin is pale and as smooth as silk. Her fingers are long and slender, perfect for playing the harp, her favourite musical instrument. She moves with a supple, almost liquid grace that draws all eyes.
Her hair is a thick, lustrous cascade of dark red hair that falls to her waist, and shines like crimson fire whenever light touches it. So there should be brilliant red highlights in her hair from the light of the sun.
Her hair frames a delicate oval face of surpassing loveliness. Seffania has high cheekbones set below captivating amber eyes, which are made even more arresting by long black lashes and finely arched brows. Her lips are a lovely shade of rose.
Seffanias voice is sweetly musical, and can be near-irresistibly enthralling when she sings. Nearly all males of races who find humans even remotely attractive stare when first seeing her, a reaction she has become used to (as well as graciously declining advances and propositions).Pose in portrait
Seffania is standing upright, with her head bowed forward and her eyes closed. She should have a contemplative, thoughtful expression on her face. Her right arm is upraised in front of her, and her right hand is slightly cupped. From her hand, projecting upward, is a glowing magical image of Alinauras holy symbol, called the Entwined Flames. The images core, so to speak, is what I drew.
The glow around it should be the bright red of passion and love, fading paler as it goes outward.
An important point to note is that the point of the magical images core should be the exact same height as the tip of Arghails sword. Also, the mountain behind can be seen somewhat through the red glow, but not the white core.Personality
Naturally gentle and caring, Seffania seeks to be worthy of the divine essence in her, and of the immense gifts of beauty and magic it has brought her. (Because of Alinauras power in her, Seffania became a high priestess, equivalent to an archmage, at the age of 12, much faster than other known mortal being). Happiness and beauty warm her heart, be it a childs delight at a treat, a rainbow in the sky, or a song that brings smiles to listeners faces.
Above all, she wants people to be happy with themselves and each other, and to find love, whether or not it is through worship of Alinaura. Through her position of Mistress of Revels, she seeks to arrange these things in Twilight by organizing public feasts, celebrations and art exhibitions in her goddesss temple and the House of Harmony. She takes her responsibilities as Councillor and temple leader seriously, and seeks to fulfill them to the best of her abilities.
Seffania is fully aware of her beauty, and has long since learned to graciously decline advances and propositions. Since she became a full adult, at age 16, a number of male Godblooded nobles from other cities have come to Twilight in the hope of courting her. Being the heir to Olandia, a direct descendent of one of the oldest and purest Erthillian bloodlines, a Daughter of Alinaura, a high priestess, and an incredibly beautiful young woman, she would make a priceless addition to any noble House. However, all would-be suitors have returned home empty-handed.
Being the heir to Olandia means little to Seffania. She views herself first and foremost as a high priestess of Alinaura and a Twilighter. The fate of Olandia saddens her, as does the death of her parents, but little more than the general decline of eastern Akrion since the Blackskull War. To her, home is Twilight, with all its social differences from the rest of the Leagues cities, its fortress-like architecture, its racially diverse inhabitants and its Lord Councillor.
Seffania is very intelligent and thoughtful. Alinauras divine power allowed her to mature intellectually much faster than normal humans or even fellow Godblooded. By the time she was nine, she could already hold full conversations with adults on abstract matters such as philosophy and theology.
She does not like using her magic to compel others against their will, but does so from time to time when a man becomes too annoying or persistent.Clothing and equipment in portrait
- Wide-sleeved robe of white silk, with gold embroidery at collar and sleeves (and hem, though that does not appear in the picture). The gown also has a slight V-shaped neckline, and looks at once elegant and alluring. I have created the embroidery pattern, a combination of the Entwined Flames and hearts that you can find in ScrollworkEmbroidery. There is also an image of the robes front (with other items) in FrontRobe. The wavy lines on that picture (and in Sketch1) are meant to stand in for the embroidery.
- Bright red cape made of velvet and trimmed with white ermine fur. The clasp, which you can see in FrontRobe, is a large heart-shaped ruby set in a golden circle. I dont know whether youll be able to add the clasp considering Seffania is seen from the side, but Ive always figured it was better to add too many details than too few. I think the simple red tone you can see at [link]
will be best for the cape.
- Broad belt of woven gold, with a round buckle.
- Dazzling golden tiara decorated with nearly a dozen rubies.
- Heart of Cindall, hanging from Seffanias neck. As I mentioned in the background, the Heart is a powerful magical item, which allows Seffanias Source (from which come a spellcasters magical energies) to replenish itself more quickly. It is a holy symbol of Alinaura with the Entwined Flames, which are wrought from a single ruby and surrounded by a platinum circle. The chain with small links it hangs from is also made of platinum.
- Ornate dagger with golden quillons shaped like wavy flames, whose tips curve back toward the lormsteel blade. A ruby is set in the center of the guard (on both sides), and a larger, heart-shaped ruby is set in the round golden pommel. Also, the grip isnt made of leather, but is rather a gold finish wire wrapped handle (actually gold-coloured lormsteel).
The scabbard for Seffanias dagger has an elongated golden version of the Entwined Flames along its length, between the locket (the upper part where the dagger goes in) and the chape (tip).
- Ring of Office, on Seffanias middle right finger, which denotes her position of Mistress of Revels and serves as her seal for that function. Given the pose and the glow from the Entwined Flames image, I expect very little of the ring could be seen, if any at all, so I did not create a picture of it or put it in Sketch1. Maybe, if you think it appropriate, you could add a small dark shape suggesting the presence of a ring.ARGHAIL DUSKALLION
Arghail stands 6 feet and 2 inches and looks to be in his early thirties by normal human standards (he is in truth 618 years old when the novel begins). He has tan skin and thick, wavy black hair that reaches to his broad shoulders (in short, he has the complexion of a Latino). His arms and legs are corded with well-defined, iron-hard muscles, and his stomach is flat and hard. He bears a few scars, but much fewer than one might expect from a man who has been in literally thousands of fights. His hands are large and strong, with long, callused fingers.
He is very handsome, with high cheekbones set in a chiselled face. His dark grey eyes are typically cold and hard. Ive included the portrait of a man whose face closely resembles how I picture Arghails. Of course, the face in the picture would have to be aged at least a little, and the straight hairs replaced with wavy ones.
Arghail moves with predatory grace, always in perfect balance. His voice is a deep and commanding baritone, honed on countless battlefields.
Even for a Godblooded warrior, Arghail is phenomenally strong, fast and hardy. This is due in part to the spirit of the demon lord Raeziel that is melded to Arghails, which increases his physical abilities. He might well be the worlds best warrior, and many Erthillians believe him to be the single greatest practitioner of the bladefang fighting style (described below) in history.
Sometimes, however, when Arghail grows angry or decides he must go all-out in a fight, he reaches into his soul and summons thick, swirling shadows that shroud his body. When Arghail is in this state, which he and others refer to as the Ravager, he fights with berserk demonic fury, and is nothing short of terrifying to foes and allies alike. Compared to Arghails normal state, the Ravager is even mightier in combat, and can single-handedly slaughter his way through dozens of foes with appalling swiftness.Pose in portrait
Arghail is standing upright, looking straight ahead. His expression is grim and cheerless, and his mouth is a flat, unsmiling line. In his right hand, he holds Thirst, his magical sentient bladefang (a type of sword I describe below), right in front of him.Personality
Arghail is a somber, often gloomy man. He but rarely smiles, and then only in the company of people he has known for years and fully trusts. He wishes for some sort of redemption for his deeds in the Blackskull War, but does not believe he will ever find it. He also blames himself for decisions that have led to grief for Twilight, most particularly trusting Brettian Dukkorrir, the treacherous Hierarch of Berexos. Though Arghail does not realize it, being Lord Councillor of Twilight has become a burden to him. Even so, he still seeks to acquit himself of his responsibilities as ably and fairly as he can.
With over six centuries of experiences to draw upon, Arghail is very perceptive (except where matters of the heart are concerned), and has learned to hide his emotions behind a mask of chill impassiveness. Often, the only outward sign of his anger is a cold, unblinking, deathly stare that few people can withstand for long.
Be it as General of the Order of the Black Skull or as Lord Councillor of Twilight, Arghail acts with forethought and planning, always seeking to gather as much information as he can before making an important decision, particularly when it will affect people under his responsibility. However, he is also fully capable of improvising when the need arises, especially on a battlefield. As Lord Councillor, he is harsh but fair. Practically all Twilighters revere him, though many Godblooded (especially those from Arlenia) hate him.Clothing and equipment in portrait
- Thirst, Arghails sentient, life-absorbing bladefang. To help you understand what a bladefang is, Ive included here two entries from the index Im compiling.
Also, I have created a drawing of a bladefang, with measurements, that I named Bladefang (see references sketches!!!)
- Suit of polished black lormsteel armour, with engraved silver scrollwork at the edges. It is very flexible, a necessity for the bladefang fighting style, which explains why the breastplate is segmented instead of being cast in a single piece. I tried to make the armour as realistic as possible, but I know I might have made mistakes. Speaking of the scrollwork, it can be found in ScrollworkEmbroidery. The small arrows in Armor2 indicate in which direction the tip of the mountains in the scrollwork should be pointing. To see how Id like the scrollwork to look like in general, see the scrollwork on the quillons of the sword in ExampleScrollwork, though the scrollwork of Arghails armour is of silver color and thus should be brighter.
By the way, it is completely intentional that there is no scrollwork about the armours neck Arghail doesnt want to give enemy archers a point to aim for at that location.
The gauntlet is a bit special. Due to the precision required by the bladefang style, it has to be fully articulated. Therefore, the gauntlets bottom stops at the wrist. The back of the hand is covered by a plate of armor, which is linked to articulated finger armour pieces. The black leather-covered palm itself has no armour.
- Black velvet cape, clasped in front by a chain of small silvery lormsteel links. Unless Im very much mistaken, the chain will be fully hidden by Arghails raised right arm.
- Sword belt of heavy black leather, with a round silver buckle (nothing spectacular).
- Dagger with black leather grip and silvery pommel. This dagger and its scabbard can be seen in DaggersScabbards.
Krafus told me he is very happy with the result, I hope you'll like it too (it's not my usual style, I'm usually into less symmetrical compositions, so it has been a bit hard to paint).
No other references than the ones provided by Krafus, so I had to figure out the bodies, hands, lighting, etc....
LOOOOOTS of hours (I had to fix lots of details.... especially the scrollwork on the armour, I made it all wrong the first time, stupid me!)
Huuuuuuge file : A0 size, 300dpi (which means it is 14047px wide x 9933px high !!! )
Lot of tea and lot of music! (and very few hours of sleep.... ^^)
Trees and grass have been done using my own photos as textures to create custom brushes (these photos were blurred, painted over then turned into custom brushes). I have used this brushes over a texture I had created with standard brushes, then painted over it again and again. I'm pleased with them since they look quite realistic in my opinion. They have been very time consuming to paint though....
My favourite part of the picture is Seffania's belt... another time consuming item. I was not used to paint gold at all, so it has been a nice training.
I'm still busy as hell so I'm sorry if I cannot reply to all your comments
Chocolate for everyone!