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Remmirath
2011-07-02, 08:29 PM
Well, let's see. I draw a lot, so I figured when I was thinking 'I should post some drawings or something' I should probably make a topic instead of clogging up the general one.
I know I tend to kind of lurk around here, but I'm trying to stop doing that. Maybe this will even help. :smallbiggrin:

I draw so much that putting 'everything I've drawn that I'm not completely ashamed of' in this first post wouldn't work too well, so I'll just use some things I actually kinda like and that are mostly fairly recent. If people are curious, I can post more stuff.

The vast majority of things I draw are D&D related, usually my characters. It is safe to assume they are one of my characters unless I mention elsewise. :smalltongue:

Written blurb about the oddities of my normal campaign, which these characters are from, in case you get confused or curious:
Right, well, to begin with - it began (about seven years ago now) as a D20 Modern campaign with Urban Arcana. It evolved into a severely epic, as in most of these people are 60th level+, 3rd edition D&D game with occasional relic D20 Modern characters. The organisation headquarters are still on Earth, but campaigns rarely take place on Earth, instead taking place on other planets and planes throughout the multiverse.

The characters are all part of the same organisation, generally known as H.I.T. - because the people who founded it were bad at naming things and called it 'Honesty, Integrity and Teamwork' even though they had few of these things - and are fighting against a threat known as the Terrorspawn who are trying to destroy the gods and possibly the multiverse. Y'know, that deal. :smallwink:

It's a small group, consisting of myself and two others. Since the 'two others' are my mom and my brother, we play quite frequently. We take turns running the campaigns, and we each have a host of characters (I currently have upwards of thirty). Not all the characters appear onscreen at the same time, but it's not at all uncommon for each of us to have six-to-eight onscreen at the same time.

Dragons are fairly common to see, and all have a natural human form (which is good, because Gargantuan-to-Colossal+ dragons don't fit in corridors). There's a sort of subplot going on with Earth that ancient dragon generals have been controlling the doings on of wars for some time, and so if you see a dragon appearing in modern or Earth-historical clothing they're probably part of that. There's definitely some 'alternate Earth' type stuff going on, with that and with the fact that current campaign time is 2023 and events have been divurging from real-Earth events since it started in 2004.

We have a lot of house rules and our focus is very much on the roleplaying (although we like the fighting too).

Um... yeah, I think I might've covered all the confusing things by now.

Elf:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/homithrain.gif
One of my earlier attempts at actually having a horizon line. This is Ithenrael, a grey elf sorcerer. He'd just acquired new armour, which the DM has informed me doesn't look at all right here. :smalltongue:

Adventuring party:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/homithparnub.gif
Several of my characters from my first game of Baldur's Gate (I never use the NPCs), who've since been pressed into service as PnP characters. This would've been back in their early adventuring days.

In the front row from left to right are Retgar Nyatar (a half-elf fighter), Ithenrael (grey elf sorcerer, leader of the party) and Jarina Highcastle (human ranger). In the back is Gadragk Zarn (human berserker).

There are a lot of things wrong with this one, like the trees, and that Jarina's hair is too dark.

Elf:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/wobkuziprayer.gif
One of the best sideviews of a person I've done, but that isn't saying that much. The background is awful.

This is Kuzimiyel Bloodsun, the Divine Emissary of Gorthimaur (demon god of war in my usual campaign setting).

Dragon ranger in human form:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/dragderyan.gif
Deryanxalxivur, a blue dragon ranger, here in human form (all dragons in our campaign get a human form).


Dragon paladin in human form:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/dragansgflag.gif
Anzegarnox - frequently known as Ansgar - a copper dragon paladin, here in human form (all dragons in our campaign get a human form).

There are some problems with this, clearly, but overall I like it.

Dragon barbarian in human form:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/dragastridspear.gif
Aztoradiriax - frequently known as Astrid - a copper dragon barbarian, here in human form (all dragons in our campaign get a human form).

Githyanki fighting a mindflayer (warning: this one is quite large):
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/githastralbattlebg.gif
Dashaath'ro Kejar-Dra, known as Change-as-Death, a Githyanki fighter. Here seen facing down a mindflayer in the astral sea.

This wound up definitely short of what I was picturing, but I think it still turned out okay.

Githyanki:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/githzortajchaonka.gif
Zor'taj Chaon-Ka, sometimes known as Soul-of-Fury, a paragon Githyanki wilder (who spends most of his time fighting).

This was one of my earlier attempts at taking a while on shading and doing a full background, so for that I think it held up all right.

Group of characters:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/grouparmour.gif
Four of my characters who I hadn't drawn much at the time. Left to right: Aztoradiriax/Astrid (copper dragon barbarian here in human form), Kysoris the Thorn (elf fighter), Vedreth Zarkamidan (grey elf paragon D20 Modern character), and Aurelia Goldleaf (elf fighter).

Vedreth and Kysoris I think turned out well in this one, but the other two don't look much like themselves.

Group of spellcasters:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/groupmages.gif
My most powerful spellcasters at the time, from right to left (as that's how I draw): Ithenrael (grey elf sorcerer); Vartaan Starweaver (grey elf wizard, now deceased); Zelfidrel Fenalast (grey elf cleric of Lathander, now deceased); Istivarien Starweaver (elf sorcerer, now deceased); Asriel Schen (dragon-blooded elf sorcerer lich); and Dhenazir Bazloros (human cleric of Helm lich).

All of them but Zelfidrel turned out mostly all right.

Group of fighters:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/groupbestfight.gif
My most powerful fighters at the time I drew this. From right to left, because that's how I draw: Vexielzethix (paragon Tarterian dragon assassin/fighter); Zor'taj Chaon-Ka (paragon Githyanki wilder); Jarina Demonslayer (human ranger); Virelys Darkthorn (half-elf ranger); Retgar Nyatar (half-elf fighter); Segrinarix (battle dragon legendary dreadnought).

They've all got new equipment since then, so this isn't accurate any more. It would now go Vex, Retgar, Jarina-Zor'taj (tied), then probably Virelys and then Segri (although those two are now fairly close as well).

All of them but Jarina turned out all right in terms of looking like themselves (lots of proportional problems in this picture, alas). Jarina did not.

Group of fighters:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/hitswordnboard.gif
My best weapon-and-board fighters at the time, from right to left: Vivikyr (dark elf fighter-sorcerer); Gadragk Zarn (human berserker); Anzegarnox/Ansgar (copper dragon paladin); Karilion Goldleaf (grey elf fighter); Aurelia Goldleaf (grey elf fighter).

They all look more or less right except for Aurelia. I think Ansgar turned out the best here.

(Sidenote: due to house rules, this is actually a valid weapon style in our game. :smallwink:)


Elf (next two are the same, but one is pencil and one is finished in the computer):
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/merpfinscenebw.gif
Finril, a MERP NPC. I was trying to work on backgrounds.
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/merpfinscenecol.gif
Same but finished in the computer. I think the pencil worked better.


Elf (next two are the same, but one is black and white and one is colour):
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/morvivscenebw.gif
Vivikyr as he appeared when I was using him in Morrowind.
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/morvivscenecol.gif
Same as last but in colour.

Elf, Dragon Age: Origins related:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/dazemwindow.gif
This one I mainly like for the expression, I guess. Zemariel Tabris, my first Dragon Age: Origins character. I'll be honest, the background was just slapped together to accomodate the pose I already started drawing him in.
The guy in the background is supposed to be Zevran from that game, because sometimes I like to try to draw things that aren't my characters to see if I can (usually I can't).

Human, Dragon Age II related:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/daiirun.gif
This one I like because I think the sword-and-shield pose almost worked out and the hallway perspective isn't completely dire.

This is Thanatos Hawke, my first (and only - but I shan't get into that :smalltongue:) Dragon Age II character. This was the way his party usually looked. The other guy there is supposed to be Fenris from that game (who I really don't like in this picture, and is holding the sword very oddly). He also took Varric and Aveline around with him, but they spent most of their time on the floor.

Dragon in cave:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/misc2.gif
This is a few years old now, but I don't do much colour stuff so I thought I'd throw it in. Just some adventurer finding a (poorly executed) dragon in a cave.


Elf:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/morvivmask.gif
Vivikyr again, supposedly at the ending of Morrowind.

This proves two things: one, I usually get lazy on backgrounds; and two, I don't know how to draw people holding things and not have it look really awkward.

So... yeah. That's all I've got here now (hopefully it's not too much or anything). I like constructive criticism, by the way (it's helpful!), so please don't hold back on giving me some or anything like that. I know I have a lot of areas to improve in. Some of this stuff is a bit old, so I might already be working to fix those problems, but I'd still like to hear of them, especially if you know how I might fix them. :smallsmile:

Domochevsky
2011-07-02, 08:42 PM
Mhm, needs more people Doing Stuff (as opposed to just standing there) and more contrast. I got trouble here and there distinguishing just what belongs to what and where what ends/starts with those elaborate pieces of armor. :smallsmile:

Savannah
2011-07-02, 09:49 PM
The guy in the background is supposed to be Zevran from that game, because sometimes I like to try to draw things that aren't my characters to see if I can (usually I can't).

I recognized Zev immediately, so you got it that time.

As Domochevsky said, though, it was at times hard to tell the figures from the background, as with all that black and white pencil, there's not a lot of contrast.

Remmirath
2011-07-03, 12:08 AM
Thanks, guys! :smallsmile:

The background/contrast thing is something that I've been trying to work on, but I've been having trouble with it. If you have any advice on how to do it better, that would be awesome. Are the ones with lighter backgrounds (or any of them, really) better than the others?


Mhm, needs more people Doing Stuff (as opposed to just standing there)

Yeah, I see what you mean. I do try that sometimes, but usually I don't do very well with it. It is definitely something I should practice more, but I keep getting put off by how poorly it usually turns out. Probably means I should make myself do it anyhow.

I'll see if I can dig up some more non-static stuff...

Duel:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/wobxurghfight.gif
The guy on the right is an NPC from my campaign, and this was something that took place in the past that I did while I was working out the history of the world.

I think the poses ended up too stiff, and it doesn't look like the swords are actually connecting.

Adventuring on a cliff:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/wobcliffscene.gif
Left to right: Aurelia Goldleaf (fighter), Virenziyan Burningeye (fighter-thief), Kuzimiyel Bloodsun, Narakasiya Bloodsun (fighter), and Vedefriel Blackmoon (cleric, deceased).

The idea is that they were making their way along an ice-covered cliff, and were having some problems.

Gaming:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/dragdsa.gif
Right to left: Deryn, Astrid, Ansgar, Segri, two background characters.

The height scale and some other things are off about this, but it's at least slightly less static maybe? I wasn't sure this counted, because they're all sitting around, but they are doing something.

Duel circa 2008:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/misc10.gif
This one is three years old, and I really wish there was more improvement between this and the others. It's mostly the same problems. :smallsigh:

Vivikyr vrs. Xivenriya (perhaps a bit on the bloody side, so fair warning):
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/miscvivxivfight.gif
I simulated a fight between my best/newest two characters at the time, Vivikyr and Xivenriya (who is now dead, but not in this fashion :smalltongue:), and drew the likely results.

This is just... yeah. Really unrealistic. Her pose I think is almost okay, but his doesn't seem to work at all.

That's everything I could find, so you're even more right than I thought. :smalleek: Thanks for pointing that out. I think maybe I have a problem with trying to have all the characters facing towards the camera, as it were, and that's probably hurting more action-type scenes.

Savannah
2011-07-03, 12:40 AM
The background/contrast thing is something that I've been trying to work on, but I've been having trouble with it. If you have any advice on how to do it better, that would be awesome. Are the ones with lighter backgrounds (or any of them, really) better than the others?

The ones with a significantly lighter background are better in that regard. Perhaps it would help to choose to either make the background light and the figure dark or to make the background dark and the figure light. I don't know how it would look, but another option might be to darken or lighten the background slightly around the figure, so that it stands out more.


That's everything I could find, so you're even more right than I thought. :smalleek: Thanks for pointing that out. I think maybe I have a problem with trying to have all the characters facing towards the camera, as it were, and that's probably hurting more action-type scenes.

They all look pretty stiff, and I think you have the reason why. If they were turned more towards each other, they'd probably look a lot better. Also, you might like this (http://fri-freeman.deviantart.com/favourites/?offset=48#/ddeq1f).

Remmirath
2011-07-03, 01:26 AM
Thank you! I'll definitely keep those things in mind and experiment next time I draw something. Thanks for the link, too - that looks helpful.

Kaytara
2011-07-03, 11:12 AM
Hey, I know you from Deviantart! :D (I'm the one usually complaining that some of your faces look too similar.)

Anyway, as far as I can tell, the face thing has gotten better, and your detailing is gorgeous, a lot better than what I usually have the patience for. The perspective and composition of the background could usually use some work, and the proportions of the characters sometimes look a little off - with their legs too short or their heads just a tad too large for the body. Whenever the composition is decent and the poses a bit more dynamic, it looks wonderful, though. (My favourites are the one around the campfire and the kneeling elf with the sideways perspective.)

Oh, and another thing I just realised. Don't be in such a hurry to make all characters face the camera, so to speak. Especially in fight scenes and whatnot, but also in casual scenes. Do it if you can make it seem to work logically (e.g. the characters are all obviously walking towards the camera, or if it's just a lineup), but still try to vary the face angles and such, because otherwise, it just looks weirdly conspicuous and artificial, like they're all posing for a family album or something, or a religious painting depicting saints. If a drawing is supposed to have a "moment-in-time" snapshot feeling, having all characters coincidentally be facing the camera makes it look like something's off.

Remmirath
2011-07-03, 08:31 PM
Hey, I remember you! :smallbiggrin: I've been trying to work on the face thing since you pointed it out. I'm glad it's improved somewhat.

Yeah, I'm pretty bad at backgrounds and perspective in general (probably doesn't help that I avoided backgrounds completely until about three years ago and perspective until, well, last year - I wish I'd started doing those things earlier) as well as proportions. I definitely intend to keep working on those things, and I'm going to try and look through some anatomy books to try to help with the proportions soon (soon = once I find them again). I'm not sure what to do about getting better at backgrounds except keep trying, so I'll be doing that.

The facing forwards thing... yeah, I definitely see what you mean there. I'll keep that in mind. That's one of those things I had no idea I was doing until I saw it was really obvious in the fight scenes, and even then I didn't notice I was doing it all the time until you pointed it out. I don't know why I do it - but I'm going to blame it on too much theatre. :smalltongue: Thanks for all the advice!



I haven't finished it yet - trying to decide how to shade it and all - but I did a sketch of another fight scene, trying to get the poses better. I'm curious if I managed to. (One problem I noticed just after I scanned it is that I think the guard of the blocking weapon should be on the other side of the sword blade, so I already fixed that on the actual thing.)

http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/fightraw.gif

Savannah
2011-07-03, 09:06 PM
Ooh, much more interesting poses, there! Only thing is, I'm wondering how the lizard guy got from a normal sword grip to what he's got now :smallconfused:

Domochevsky
2011-07-03, 09:32 PM
Yah, as far as poses go this is much better, but i'm not quite buying the lizards left leg. :smallsmile:

Remmirath
2011-07-04, 01:10 AM
Ooh, much more interesting poses, there! Only thing is, I'm wondering how the lizard guy got from a normal sword grip to what he's got now :smallconfused:

He, uh ... he knocked the other guy down first, and then switched to try to just finish him off. Honestly, I hadn't really thought it through enough. Maybe he swung the sword around in one hand and switched that way?


Yah, as far as poses go this is much better, but i'm not quite buying the lizards left leg. :smallsmile:

Yeah, the left leg's really screwy. I'm not really sure where else I can put it at this point, though. :smallconfused: I did change it a bit, so hopefully that helped (tried to make it viewed more at the same angle and all).

I'm glad the pose is better!


Edit: Finished that fight scene, at least in one way.

Lizardman fight:
http://familylees.net/morgan/Art/misclizfightbw.gif
Trying for a different sort of style there. I'm not sure it turned out so well, but it was interesting. I still intend to finish it more like how I usually do, or maybe coloured, in addition.

Kaytara
2011-07-08, 08:56 PM
Yes, those poses are much better! :D The only real problem here is that the two characters together are protruding fairly strongly towards the viewer and seem close to the camera. This means that there should be significant size distortion due to perspective - the defeated figure in particular would look bigger, with parts of the body closer to the viewer (left arm and shoulder, shield, etc.) being even more exaggerated in size. On the other hand, the defeated guy's leg going behind the lizardman and deep into the image should look thinner.

In a single word: Foreshortening.

Concerning backgrounds, I've often found that the problem of backgrounds often boils down to the two problems of perspective and composition. Perspective is fairly simple to address by drawing guidelines first (you know, the annoying ones out of a point in the horizion), and/or a faint grid on the ground. It helps with depth immensely when sketching characters and other elements onto that background later. As for composition, just try to break up your planned drawing in advance into segments and lines. Elements of background generally serve the purpose of either framing the other elements (e.g., a generic, non-obtrusive sky background) or actively drawing the eye towards the other elements (e.g., a bright ray of light crossing the sky and highlighting something in another part of the image). There's also something called static and dynamic lines: horizontal/vertical lines and diagonal/wavy/organic lines, respectively. A spot where two types of lines intersect is also often a good way to draw the eye.

So... just try to make sure that everything in the picture serves a purpose and there's no empty space that just sits there passively. If there is, cropping it away can help clean up the composition. A lot of artists do so-called "thumbnails", i.e., tiny versions of their planned painting with basic shading and/or colouring, to help them decide on a composition.

Hope that helps and didn't sound too pretentious... ^^;

That said, kudos: fight scenes are hard. Getting all the anatomy right AND making the picture look interesting AND using dynamic poses and a dynamic composition... They're a witch to draw, certainly X_X

Remmirath
2011-07-08, 11:23 PM
I'm glad the poses look better! Makes me feel like I'm making some progress, at least.

I definitely see what you mean with the foreshortening. I think I keep wussing out on the foreshortening - it looks odd while I'm doing it, I tone it down, and then the result ends up looking odd in a different way. It's probably too late to really fix it on that one, but I'll certainly pay more attention to it in the future.

For the backgrounds, I think it's the breaking it down part I have the most trouble with. Probably part of my apparent natural aversion to managing to actually plan anything out :smallsigh:. I should try the thumbnail thing. Really, I should just make myself take longer and think more about what I'm drawing in general; that sounds like a good way to make myself do that. (I also need to remember to keep a ruler with my other drawing supplies so I don't get lazy on the perspective because I can't find a ruler.)

That was all helpful advice, thank you! :smallsmile: I'll be keeping it in mind next time I draw something. (And it doesn't sound pretentious, so don't worry about that.)