Recent Sketches + Vaknaa Design Concepts

Happy Thanksgiving! We are likely cooking up a storm in the kitchen right now, but let’s cross-celebrate with a compilation post with a few recent sketches.

Above is a profile sketch practice of Corveil. I was mainly imagining a slightly different shape for the tip and bridge of his nose. Also, his hair was originally toned a bluer hue, but became more grey as the painting progressed. I think I still slightly prefer the bluer tone, but the more monochrome look seems fun to potentially explore.

I do have a story-based reason for tinting his hair more toward blue (it’s probably not too difficult to guess), but still experimenting to see if I like where it goes visually.

This was an Arquel practice painting that was really fun to draw. It didn’t quite turn out the way I was imagining, but it’s closer than past attempts of a similar idea I’ve had for him.

I’ve been experimenting more with Vaknaa’s design, and redesigning her to be slightly more practical. Oh, why don’t I post the very rough sketch sheet I made for her a while back: Main changes are making the head crest feathers more balanced proportionally, reducing their overall size. Same with the horns, and also adjusting their angle to not compete with the crest feathers. I also tried out a few different horn shapes, and this was the one I liked best so far. The most recent painting above deviates from the ref sheet, because I’m still continually adjusting her design to see which works best.

I’ll post a few of the other thumbnail concepts below:

I did an array of sketches, and these were the ones I narrowed them down to.

Here’s the full page of concepts. Not compiled neatly, because I wasn’t intending to show these. But since it’s my blog, I figure why not! My idea for Vaknaa that I’ve been toying with is that I want her & her species to have crests of head feathers, ideally visually identifiable as “feather crests” instead of “head wings.”

I was browsing some old files a few days ago, and nearly forgot that in her very old design, she had outright head wings. Which is a very cool and fun design feature that I always love seeing on characters, but I wanted to see if I could come up with with something that is still distinctly feathery, but more evocative of the crests you see on real birds. I was curious to see if I might be able to come up with a design like this that worked well with the humanoid skull shape.

It’s still an ongoing process that I don’t think completely works yet, but I think I’m getting closer to something I like for her!

Close-up of the painting from further up in the post.

Arquel, Corveil, Vaknaa, & Kurt Sketch Paintings

Crop from an Arquel painting I think might be fun to finish.

Corveil in his fancy new parka. This was mainly an excuse to try out the design.

Corveil in his parka with the hood up.

Arquel practice.

Crop from an Arquel painting I was fiddling with. For whatever reason, I seem to tend to draw the face from this angle when sketching aimlessly.

More experimenting with Corveil’s color scheme.

I was also experimenting with Vaknaa’s color scheme a bit – her original eyes were a dark blue-green color. I was trying out amber eyes with her for a while, and am now pretty settled on giving those to Corveil instead. I was then trying out a more mint color for Vaknaa, but am leaning toward her original darker blue-green coloration again.

This is a paintover of an old Kurt sketch from a few years ago. (It might even be in the archives of this sketchblog, but I couldn’t find it on a cursory search. Which reminds me how I need to improve the search results display for this blog, haha.)

I was curious to see if painting over such an old sketch would have any interesting results, or if it would look noticeably different with my current painting style/skills versus years back. I was expecting disastrous results – but to my surprise, the paintover was an improvement from the original painting.

Arquel & Corveil Sketch Compilation from the past few months

I’ve been wanting to start compiling the sketches I’ve been doing this year in this sketchblog to have a place to organize things a bit more.

Crop of a painting with Arquel and Corveil from a while back.

Underpainting of Arquel with his hair tied back. I think monochromatic underpainting might still be my favorite way to sketch, at least when sketching aimlessly. It’s the most relaxing method for me because I can immediately scribble away.

Felt like doing some torso practice with a shirtless Corveil.

Underpainting/sketch of the Corveil practice above.

Arquel painting practice. 

Crop of another practice painting with Arquel & Corveil.

Additional more rough sketches in the full post!

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