Commissioned Art of Dien!
As a member of the main cast, commissioning Dien was inevitable. But, Dien, by nature, was going to be trickier to get done. As a Dracite, she really has no commonality with a Human at all…as she is a Dracite. As in, a Dragon. Dragon artwork is a specialty of its own, so I knew I had to find someone who was specialized in it.
But, thankfully, I knew someone who excelled in this type of work and that I had worked with before: Haasio! I had commissioned Haasio in the past for a Dungeons & Dragons character. It felt very apt for Haasio to do Dien and thus the third commission of a main Trinity and the One character (after Balon and King, not counting Xinlara).
There was a lot of back and forth over small things and tweaks, but this is a pretty comprehensive overview of the progression of Dien’s artwork. I provided my drawings of Dien as a starting point, as usual.
And from there…
Above was the first conceptual go at Dien. I wasn’t too keen on her being in flight or attack mode for this first commission. I like starting with like iconic poses and for Dien that meant something more stoic.
As for…what that meant in actuality, Haasio provided two angles:
Front facing was an idea I had, but the side angled was just…so much better for this, I think. Also she did a side angle one with the beginnings of the background concept.
And from the sketch, we proceed to line-art. But first, we had to figure out the head shape. From the sketches, I felt like her head needed to be fuller/flatter…as in, more like my ‘concept’ art. Haasio, to make things easier/saner, provided some typical Dragon head options plus one based off of my artwork.
I went with #4, which was based on my drawings of Dien. The horn/head were aligned with my sketches. I really liked that. The others felt too…alien (heh). And after that was settled…
The first line-art was basically feeling out the body shape and the start of the bone wings, and the second is the refinement of the bone wings. I explained where the bones came from and that was part of the reasoning beyond how they looked/were executed. Which is so cool from multiple different angles.
I kind of felt like the legs were too long, but I didn’t feel that strongly at this point.
Color, Shading, Effects
Putting this all into one section so it’s easy to see the progression. We go from straight color, shading, and to the effects of dark-bone wings. Plus some tweaks on her shoulder area.
I am pretty pleased with the dark-bone wing effects and the dark wavy details on her scales. The dark was supposed to be like a fog or mist that exists between the bones and threads of her wings.
I wanted the background to be like this scene from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse where we see this web of realities and universes. This relates to Dien’s vision in ‘Here’ during The Corruption of Dark. That’s a major moment for Dien so I felt like that ought to be her backdrop. I imagined it as like threads connected by pulsing nodes.
The background went through a few rounds, here’s the major samples:
Basically, we started out as a very strong blue/purple toned background and then went more desaturated to make Dien pop more and because I realized that a more monochromatic hue is both more akin to the Cathedral of Dark and to the gray of Catasore so it works better.
Okay, so the above image was the final…but then I got some quick feedback that confirmed my earlier feeling of her legs being too long. Haasio, graciously, made a quick edit and shortened her up a little bit, bring us to the ACTUAL final:
I really like it! I’ve always had like a fuzzy sense of Dien’s form and like spatially how it relates, but after Emerald Haze, this feels like a really solid representation of Dien and how she might actually physically appear. It has expanded my mind in the domain of Dragon/Dracite anatomy as well. Super pleased with the dark wing execution and just generally how she looks. Plus that stunning background!
Now that Dien’s done, I’m thinking of commissioning Hequera and Ara’quera. Balon got a set of three for her family…why not for these three?
But! That’s later. For now, I am basking in the glory of this art of Dien.
Commissioned Art of King in an Action Pose!
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Commissioned Art of Malcolm Zfnoc!
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