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.

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