Friday, July 26, 2013

Kushiel's Dart Art Prints

For those who enjoyed my latest Kushiel's Dart cover piece, Jacqueline was kind enough to give her blessing on selling prints.  I may have to stop selling them should the TV/movie options ever be sold, but that's an instance where I would be more than happy to oblige doing so!

"Kushiel's Dart", digital painting.
Prints available at my Storenvy shop!

I am offering a more affordable photographic print option as well as a limited edition stretched canvas option.  I produce the former myself with my own Epson Artisan printer.  With the latter, I order from a giclee canvas printing source, which I hand stretch across a wood frame.  Both come signed by the artist directly from the artist.

I hope you all will enjoy this offering!  Meanwhile, I am preparing art for show at both Dragon*Con and Illuxcon (where you can see this piece on display), so I may go dormant here for a little while.

It's usually when I say this that my distractable muse finds me doodling the most!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sketch Diary: Kushiel's Dart Cover Part 3

After designing Phedre's marque and Kushiel, this painting has finally arrived at finished!  It's been a long, long journey and there was a definite turning point in the middle where this image changed completely, much to my surprise.

What was the turning point?  The biggest one was a change in color scheme inspired by Giancola's beautiful cover for Kushiel's Dart.  I decided mine was too similar and wanted to strike out on my own by experimenting with the color scheme, swapping the strong reds and whites for jewel tone garnet and pale blues.  The difference was like night and day!  Check out this process video to see how the painting morphed into what it is today:

The finished art:

Kushiel's Dart by =AngelaSasser on deviantART
Prints available at my Storenvy shop.

You can also view a step-by-step with detailed notes at WiPnation.

What did I learn?

- Keep it simple!  If I were to start over, I would make this even more simple, since I got very carried away by all the details.  Clear figures and composition with a hint of narrative to tease the mystery are better than jam packed images that tell you everything.

Master copies are the best medicine if you're ever stuck on a piece!

- Don't be afraid to 'murder your darlings'. I changed this image SO many times by the end that I pretty much destroyed it - ALL in service of making a more successful piece.

What's next?

Inspiration begets inspiration!  I'd love to return to the carving of Kushiel and brush up the design, as well as try my hand at the rest of Elua's companions in the same window carving style.

Considering how much I learned from this exercise, I'd really love to try my hand at rendering other covers in the series.  I've been wanting to re-read the books and this would be the perfect excuse.  I'm sure character sketches and other art will sprout up along the way.  I hope you'll stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Designing Kushiel the Angel of Punishment

After designing Phèdre's marque, the next phase of my painting involves the wall carving in front of Phèdre, where I plan to include a wall carving of Kushiel to ground the temple setting.

But what exactly does the Angel of Punishment look like?

Bronze wings.  A haze of red.  A whip of fire to punish nations.  Kushiel of rod and weal.  The Punisher of God never quite gets a detailed description in the series beyond his appearance as a temple statue and the presence Phèdre experiences during her spiritual and physical moments of duress.  That's where I get to have a lot of fun as an artist playing around with my own interpretation!

I began by researching how others have rendered Kushiel.  There are surprisingly not a lot of fan works involving him.  This rendition of Kushiel captures the vibe I get when I read his description.  Long haired, dark, beautiful, classical Romanesque clothing, and, of course the three keys to Hell engraved in his belt (Kushiel's symbol as adopted by House Sharizhai):

Kushiel Rising by ~XsilverleenX
I also very much like the idea of Kushiel wearing a bronze mask just as his priests do.  The idea of contrasting his angelic nature with his role as a punisher with the donning of a foreboding mask feels right to me.

Kushiel by *Winneganfake

My mood board for Kushiel. More on my Pinterest.

I let all of the imagery that felt right to me simmer in my brain and arrived at this design for the wall panel: