Commission #5 from Reiesu, a long time coming one that was initiated last June. I had been thinking of doing Balon Zfnoctewoohi for this or King Fla’neiel…of course, those I eventually did commission after figuring this out. For Reiesu’s next commission, I had an even better idea: Xinlara.
Xinlara, as in, Cyclone’s Vacore name, as in Cyclone when he was alive and young.
It seemed so provocative and daring to do Xinlara. Like…doing something forbidden. I don’t know, it’s about time we figured out what Cyclone looked like when he was alive. I had some vague ideas of him. Very vague. I mostly knew he was dark brown in skin tone. I wanted this portrait to have flaming red orbs like Cyclone does so we didn’t mistake him for someone else. He had to exude some primordial version of Cyclone that you could imagine…well, turning into Cyclone as he is now.
Before I sent it off to Reiesu, I drew my own picture of Xinlara as a reference in my signature medium of oil pastels.
Red eyes, dark skin, blue armor…hair I was questioning. I felt like dreads were the answer, but that was beyond my ability. The smirk wasn’t, though, haha. I felt like that Xinlara would be like a youthful, foolish, arrogant version of Cyclone.
And then came the WIPs!
The first WIP was so fascinating to me. The puffy hair, the pose. The smirk and the eyes. I liked it. Even though, perhaps, the eyebrows and noses weren’t ‘canonically’ alright, I liked it. He seemed, in this state, like a devilish child. It was compelling.
Second WIP was a major progression. I loved the armor detail and the interesting addition of the halo. I’m not sure why, but I liked it. It felt like Xinlara was somehow deified in this presentation. The foolish youth elevated to some near-divine status. And bending thin threads of dark too!
My primary comments were that the eyes could have been redder and his smirk more cocky. Also the ears! Jalon have weird ears so I had to provide some inspiration for that. I found that elephants and spotted bats sort of had the ear shape I was thinking of. I also wanted the hair to be more like WIP#1…like puffier/more textured.
With that, WIP#3 came back! Ears developed, eyes red, and more of a cocky smirk. The hair was also tweaked. So it looked good to go!
Long time coming, but Xinlara is DONE! It wasn’t what I expected, but it works really well and I like it. I think I need to figure out Jalon facial structure more, but that doesn’t really apply to this piece as much since it’s more like, an idea of Xinlara rather than maybe an objective presentation of him. Like an idealized, revered version of the gone-past. I relate personally to this probably more than Cyclone does himself.
The eyes and facial expressions are really magnetic to me right now. It just…seems so full of life and charisma. Of course, that all falls apart for him, but…here it is here in this piece. Incarnated into artform, defiant to the passage of time or the changing of reality. It’s powerful in its own way.
But anyway, thanks to Reiesu for bringing Xinlara (back) to life!