So I recently participated in another contest on ArtOrder, the challenge was to create an illo based on the battle between Eowyn and the Witch King from Lord of the Rings. If you're not familiar with the story, I suggest you go out and take in a movie or book once in a while.
So I started out with some sketches to establish the feel of each character. I wanted to push the idea of a powerful and oppressive evil facing off against an unlikely and underestimated force of good (kind of like Star Wars... or every other movie for that matter.
Most of the approaches I've seen for the Nazgul make them pretty lanky. I'm not sure if it's a result of Tolkien's descriptions or if skinny guys are just creepier, but I thought I'd go with a more robust, sitting on a throne and nom nom-ing a giant leg of ham, kingly form:
I had already wanted to frame Eowyn's light complexion and features against the dark tones of the Witch King, so I tried to work out some thrusting action poses as seen from behind (coincidentally, "Some Thrusting Action Poses as Seen from Behind" can now be found at your local adult movie rental establishment) :
Once I had more of a feel for how to pose the characters, I worked out a few rough compositions, trying to keep my values towards the extremes of light and dark to help me group them and create focal points:
The comps had some nice things going on, but they were still too static, even if they were a moment of stillness amongst the action, and I wanted to create a piece that portrayed more of the endless tide of battle, so I kept playing with the composition until I came up with this:
Added details, rounded out forms, played with textures... :
Some of the nice people on the ArtOrder WIP thread helped me with a few adjustments, and I opened up the bottom of the composition to help spread out some of what was jumbled in there:
More details, textures, adjustments, etc. and added color:
Adjusted colors to create a more limited palette, and then sent it off to Jon Schindehette for the contest:
9 months ago