Beowulf Step by Step Part 2

Man it has been a busy few weeks. Writing can really consume your time. I am sorry for the delay but here is part 2 of my step by step pieces.

My process here is pretty much the same as before, with some slight changes. Such as you can see between steps 6 and 7 I altered the colors from what I originally had. I used a colorize layer in Painter for this, I really really love the way it works. It allows me to change any color I want without altering the value. The only other significant difference that is seen is in the early steps where you can see I started off by planning out the highlight shapes. This helped me figure out how much contrast I would need in certain areas for focus.

Since the rest of the process is the same I will just quote myself for the rough explanation.
I treat my digital work the same as I do a traditional painting. I start with a finished drawing then do a flat color wash as an underpainting. I also change the actual color of the linework as well, this I do in my traditional by tracing my drawing with colored pencils, or by printing out the drawing in a different color before mounting.

After that I roughly block in my colors and values, colorpicking from my original studies, it helps save lots of time.

Then I re-work and refine everything, make any appropriate changes until I finish. That is a very rough summation of my process but I figure it helps.

But if anyone has any questions about my process I will gladly answer them. I hope you find this informative."

I hope you enjoyed my process.

The End of a Legend (Beowulf Series image 3 of 3)

The final image in my Beowulf series entitled The End of a Legend. This one depicts the final battle between Beowulf and the dragon. Unlike his previous battles this one takes place years later after Beowulf is made king. A dragon begins to terrify Beowulf's land setting fire to all he sees. Beowulf with a group of thanes then faces off against the dragon. When the battle begins all of Beowulf's men except for Wiglaf abandon him. At the end of the fight Beowulf and the dragon both lie dead and Wiglaf sees to him. Wiglaf being Beowulf's only relative becomes the next king.

To contrast with my other pieces I wanted this one to depict the end of the battle, the aftermath of the carnage. I thought a nice way to show this was through the use of an above view so we could see the crows looking down upon the feast before them. I thought this quite appropriate as crows are very symbolic of death.

With the design of the dragon I wanted to keep with the same mammalian and aquatic fusion that Grendel and his mother had. I decided to give him a mane down his whole neck. I figured that any creature who lives in such a cold environment would need to have some form of warmth. He has the similar fin nature to his ear that Grendel and his mother does, but the main aquatic feature I gave him was to base his design off an eel.

I was really proud of how this piece turned out, I hope all of you enjoy it as well.

Mother of Grendel Grief-Wracked and Ravenous (Beowulf Series image 2 of 3)

Part two of my Beowulf series. This is the second battle Beowulf has in the epic, where he faces off against the mother of Grendel. Unlike the first piece, I wanted this one to depict the heat of the battle. I wanted Beowulf struggling to fight to show that even he can not handle the wrath of Grendel's mother.

I also really wanted to get that fierce emotion across of Grendel's mother. To show how much she loved her son as her love was turned into unmitigated rage against his killer.

Unlike Grendel I wanted to depict his mother with a slightly more humanistic appearance to make her a bit more sympathetic. For even Beowulf says that unlike the beast Grendel he can understand that Grendel's mother had to do what she did to avenge her kinsman.

Since Grendel's mother is said to look like that of a water demon I thought what if I combined a naga or serpent creature with that of a merrow and have a serpentine tail but with a fish fin. I figured this would work for how she travels on land and sea. The text also describes her as a sea-wolf and I wanted to play up that fusion. So I gave her aquatic features such as; fins, hand-webbing, and gills. I then also gave her the wolf-like features of her wolfen eyes, fur covered hands, and large mane.

This was really fun to create, I really enjoyed playing with the design Grendel's mother.

As always this was created in Corel Painter.