Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tribute to Martha Wells' "Raksura" Series

Jade, sister queen, and Moon, first consort, from the Indigo Cloud Court, of Martha Wells' Raksura series.

I really liked the first two books of this series, especially the world-building (so interesting how the gender dynamics are switched around because the biology of the Raksura). And for some reason, the third book of this series multiplied my "like" of the characters into "love," so I wanted to paint a fanart tribute to the series.

But I had so many issues painting this! I actually started this painting before the painting of Mercy, and I ended up having to paint Mercy as a breather/break from this one. My tribulations painting this are as follows:

Originally I wanted to paint Moon in his winged Raksura form, but I had major issues with figuring out how to do black scales with a bronze undersheen, so I ended up turning him into groundling form. Which was actually good, because my attempts at the Raksura frills apparently look like girly ruffles. I didn't really know what to look at as a reference for Jade/Moon's spines and frills. And then I had to repaint over Moon's face twice because it looked weird. And then I repainted over Jade's face three times, and I'm still not happy with how she looks. I wanted to approximate how cute Moon and Jade are in when they snarl at each other (eg., because one has taken some risk that the other doesn't approve of, but would of course do themselves) but Moon looks too young to me, and Jade looks too harsh. And by the time I put a single layer of scales on Jade, I felt like there was already too much going on with her skin to do another overlying pattern of grey. Also, I originally had Jade with claws, but then the picture started to seem really sinister, since I couldn't make Jade's face look less mean, and Moon's looking all vulnerable in groundling form! So I made them more like hands and less like claws, and then decided to throw out accuracy with the book for what was fun to paint, and made her wings translucent. *breathes*.

But despite all that, now I sort of want to draw Frost, Thorn and Bitter, the royal Clutch, with maybe Stone in the background, and oh that would be way too complex for me...

I was listening to the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce while painting this (pre-Mercy breather), and actually finished it off without an audiobook. It was around Christmas Eve/Christmas though, so I MAY have been listening to Christmas music.

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