Return With Your Shield In Victory, Or On Your Shield In Death...

in character •  9 months ago 


Hi all! I've been working on this new piece (full image is at the bottom of this post) for a day or so. I wanted to try something a little different, as I was inspired by the work of artist, Nicklas Gustafsson, who's art can be found here:

Here is a quick example of his work below:


I really liked the dark tones and fragmented drops.... ghostly images that make a big impression. I have no idea how he made his work, digitally, painted, or a combination, but I had to try and see how close I could get to the same feel, yet still unique in style.

First I started as usual by building the character within DAZ Studio with a few DAZ props.


Then I render the scene to get my template...



I then took the template into Pixelmator for MAC in order to create the work and add the flare. I did use a few photoshop brushes, which I purchased a long time ago and have used religiously ever since. There are many on the market for PS brush compatible image editors, and they can make short work of long projects. I got mine here: Deviney


The first step was to take the template into my editor, duplicate the layer, then colorize. You then have to switch the image to black and white with dark contrast, then go darker with colour levels and brightness. I then duplicated that layer and made it into a black silhouette, placed the layer under the black and white and merged through transparency settings. Once done, I created another duplicate of the silhouette and blurred this one to act as the back shadow to pop the image, following up with a top layer of white stripping to accentuate the metal and cloth details while playing with its opacity as well. So to sum up, you have black blur, black silhouette, black and white (but dark) detail layer, white outline layer, and a few layers like face and boot to offset some of the detail loss with the other images, bringing them back from the original template. All layers are stacked on top of one another to bring the image to life.

Next is the background, using a simple white layer mixed with grey clouds. Black smoke, clouds, blood, weeds, moon, raven and other elements were brought in as well, each its own layer so that they could be shaped and sized easily. After about 25 layers, a few mistakes, and a couple of do overs, I got the following image.


And there you have it, my first attempt at this style art. I think I might try a few more, since I had a blast doing it. I also think it came out pretty good, but I'd like to hear what you all think. Thanks for looking, have a great day!

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Some good character design you got there, I was impressed! Warrior characters are really great, they signify strength and determination. I too was a fan of these characters, which makes me an enthusiast of movies, tv shows and gaming which subjects are about ancient and medieval warfare.

I also like how you did with the shadowy details, it somehow resonates the dark aura of the character. I would interpret it as the character's ruthlessness. Something that makes her scary to her foes. And I love it!

Just continue to do your work. I would love to see your future designs. Cheers to you @dutybound!

Thanks! I'm glad you liked the work. It was fun to put together and I already have ideas for a few more. Thanks again for looking.

Congratulations! Your post was selected by the @dropahead Curation Team (dCT)

Wow! It looks dope!!

@dropahead - Supporting your STEEM adventure

Quality review by the dropahead Curation Team

According to our quality standards(1), your publication has reached an score of 89%.

Well said Gabriel García Marquez: "One learns to write by writing" Keep trying, you will soon achieve excellence!

(1) @dropahead's quality standards:

- Graphic relation to the text (Choice of images according to the text)
- Order and coherence
- Style and uniqueness (Personal touch, logic, complexity, what makes it interesting and easy to understand for the reader)
- Images source and their usage license

Awesome news! Thanks!

Hi dutybound,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

I'm honoured. Thanks!

Really cool effect you have here. The illustration reminds me of the old PS3 game : Afro Samurai.

Congrats on your @curie upvote :)

Thanks! Glad you liked it. I had a lot of fun doing this one and have a few more planed. Game art has always been one of my main inspirations.

Sup Dork?!? Enjoy the Upvote!!!

I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dang - and its 8 days old so i can't upvote it!!!! LOL

but wow!!!!!! i absolutely LOVE this style!!! and congratulations on your Curie!!!!! nice to get some big upvotes like that!

i can't stop staring at this - its seriously incredible. i love all that texture and smoke and the mysterious other-worldly feel to it!

excellent job - have you ever thought of doing those videos where you can show the process? you know how they speed them up and people see the whole thing - or at least chunks?

that would be kinda cool

but i'd keep it under 5 minutes - and not sure how long it actually takes you... just a thought

very talented - this is .. hmmmm i think my favorite of your illustrations so far! yep - my favorite hehehe

Some take up to 12 hours.... But yes, a video would be a good idea. Just gotta find a subject and inspiration for something I can do in 3 hours and speed up. lol.

well.... my vote is for something landscapy. hehehe
no people at all.

just a cool storm scene on an open field or something

i'd totally watch that :)

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