Blizzard's artists have a knack of creating extremely cute Murlocs. We had Tinyfin and now with Vilefin, you have the ability to summon adorable Silver Hand Murlocs to fight for your board! And so for my first painting after the launch of WotOG, I knew I had to paint Vilefin and his army.
Speaking of which, how are you guys faring in the new expansion? I tried building a Paladin Divine Shield deck with Steward of Darkshire but it hasn't been working out. I've reverted back to the old Zoolock deck for laddering and quest clearing and I must say, Darkshire Councilman is massively OP. Another deck that interest me is Tempo Warrior, but I'll have to play more games with it to say for sure.
Revamping the site has been a task I've been putting off for quite some time. Having returned to Singapore and experience a sense of new-ness around me, I decided that it's time for me to introduce some changes to this 4 year-old site (wow how time flies!).
The first thing you'll notice is how the blog has become the landing page for the site. I usually only update the blog and therefore it is the most relevant page for anyone interested in my artwork.
I removed the subsections of my portfolio and grouped everything into one link entitled "Art". This page contains a simple ArtStation/Instagram-styled gallery with no text attached. If you just want to look at the finished artwork without all this banter, this is the place for you. I completely removed the 3D subsection off the site. It was a hard decision for me, but I think I'm primarily interested to focus on the development of my 2D art skills in the near future.
Finally, I moved my personal information and links to my other social platform sites to the "About" section. The URLs are listed according to the frequency I check them. So if you wish to contact me, head over to that section. (Note: Email is still the fastest way to reach me. No spam please.)
Coming back to the blog, I do have a few ideas on how to improve the quality of my content for the future. I have drastically cut down the text count in my blog posts recently, partially due to my on-going exploration with the YouTube video platform. I wish to write lengthier posts to accompany each publication of my artwork from now on. This will provide additional insight to my workflow/motivations behind each piece of painting.
With regards to the type of content, I am thinking of slowing down the production of Hearthstone fanart (or any fanart for that matter) in favour of devoting some time for personal artwork. I'm thinking of a ratio along the lines of 2 fanart to 1 original art, but more confirmation of that on a later date.
Nozdormu the Timeless is one of the five Great Aspects empowered by the titans to watch over Azeroth. He fought against the demons during the War of the Ancients. Following this intervention, he retreated into seclusion, immersing himself in his duties. He emerges only infrequently, when events require his direct presence. He intervened in the defeat of Deathwing at the hands of Krasus and his allies, one of the few times that he has been seen in the skies of Azeroth.
Lore from WoWWiki
The second dragon aspect I've painted (after Ysera). Arguably the weakest dragon aspect in Hearthstone right now.
I'll be taking a 3 weeks - 1 month break from digital art as I am moving back to Singapore from Seattle. During this time I hope I can do more sketchbook stuff. I will post them on the blog when I get a chance to. There'll also be some major facelift for all my social media pages and this site, so please stay tuned. If you have any suggestions and feedback on improving the quality of my content or if you have something you wish to see my paint, please feel free to shoot me a message.
See you guys in Singapore!
Two paintings for one character? Say whaaaat?
Sylvanas is one of the most requested characters and one of my personal favourites. Stories that involve a character going through a dramatic change (be it from good to evil or vise versa) intrigues me. I had difficulty trying to represent Sylvanas accurately with just one painting so I made two.
Which version of Sylvanas do you prefer?
As the corrupted Varian goes for the finishing blow, Anduin reaches out desperately for his last card in his deck. The one card that can keep him alive and awaken his father from his madness.
A little lore tid-bit for those who don't play Warcraft/Hearthstone:
In the WoW universe, King Varian Wrynn is the leader of the Alliance and Prince Anduin Wrynn is his son.
In Hearthstone, Varian is a Warrior-only card, which leaves him under the command of Garrosh Hellscream, former warchief of the Horde and overall bad-guy.
I thought it'll be fun to see the duel between the father and the son.
I started with a gestural drawing. As with the Ysera painting, I decided to loosely follow the golden ratio for the composition. Note how I tried to play up the dynamic perspective initially.
Added some details to the sketch. For this artwork, I decided to flesh out most of the details in the painting stage rather than in the lineart. This decision will prove to cost me quite a bit of revision time.
For the color scheme, I decided to go with something more sunset-sy to draw out the drama of the battle. I chose to have a desert/dry land as the battlefield to match the yellow board of Hearthstone.
In the past, I used to immediately start detailing isolated areas of the painting after the initial color scheme phase. I found that doing a medium detail pass is actually very beneficial for the painting. It sets the lighting and being able to quickly define the characters' facial features boosts my confidence to push forward.
My new laptop has a very saturated color display. When I compared my image on my secondary monitor, I noticed how dull my initial color scheme was. I quickly fix it before proceeding on.
With all the preliminary work done, I started working on the details.
Fixing the ground and background elements.
Fur and hair details and Varian's sword.
At this point, I was pretty satisfied with the painting. I posted on the LevelUp! group and my friend's comment was that the foreshortening on Varian looked wonky. His legs looked too big and disproportionate to his other body parts.
I merged all layers and moved stuff around. I think the legs looks more acceptable now and was ready to post the final image online. But after one night's rest, his left arm looked too long for me.
This is the final iteration.. I think.
Ysera is the Aspect of Green Dragons, and is the gatekeeper of the Emerald Dream.
Ysera is green, and her skin glitters with countless emeralds for scales. Her physical form is ghostly, ethereal, like watching a living dream or vision. The Emerald Dream is a place where all living beings dream when sleeping. It is a place of where sentient beings have dreams of hope, and faith for a better tomorrow. From the Emerald Dream, Ysera can observe all lesser races. Her eyes are always closed, although you can see her pupils move constantly below her eyelids as if watching many dreams at once.
Lore from Hearthstone Wiki
I started playing Hearthstone again after the latest expansion "The Grand Tournament" was released. This is actually one of the key reason for my disappearance that I did not mention yesterday. Since I'm a free-to-play miser, there are some cards that I wished I had. One of them is Ysera; the card design is just so cool! I decided to do a fanart of her to restart my personal art routine.
I started with a quick gestural sketch of how I wanted the image to be composted. For this particular painting, I tried to follow the golden ratio.
After I get a composition I'm fairly satisfied with, I sketch in more details of the characters. This is also the time when I started to gather more references (i.e play some Hearthstone).
After a massive losing streak in Hearthstone, I decided to go back to work on the painting. I start by filling in the general color scheme. Being a painting of the emerald dragon, the colors chosen here are pretty straight forward.
After the preliminary work, it is a case of grinding out the rest of the details. Much like grinding the ladder in Hearthstone, the process can be fun and painful at the same time. I, for one, like the monotony of painting details. The two major compositional changes here are that I opened the dragon form's mouth a little more to make it more fearsome, and I shifted the whole painting to the right because the tangent of her fingers to the left edge of the page was bugging me.
At this point in time, I thought I was done with the painting. The only problem I could see was the weird shape the cloak is making. The idea here was that the cloak shouldn't be behind her hand as I wanted to preserve the silhouette. I posted the above image in the Level Up! group and got some comments. One issue that I missed was how the right hand wasn't working. I imagined a more fore-shortened arm, but members of the group did not share my views. I tried iterating the painting based on their comments.
And here's the final form of the painting! I think that making the arm longer and less fore-shortened was a good call. I also like that the hand is no longer a clear silhouette now that it is placed in front of the cloak. This draws more attention to her face and the dragon form behind, which is the focal point of the painting.
Next I added more details on her face. Normally, I will work my paintings from the background to the foreground. But since this is a character-centric piece, I know that it is important to nail down her face as soon as possible. Getting the face right gives me confidence to carry on the rest of the painting.
When the DeviantART Heroes of the Storm fanart contest was first announced, I knew I HAD to participate. Although I haven't tried the game, I am a huge fan of the Warcraft and Diablo universes. In the midst of conceptualizing and executing this painting, I was hit with a major personal tragedy. It gave me some time in between to really think about the painting.
As usual, I started with a grayscale thumbnail sketch. Initially I wanted to create a series of thumbnails, but I kinda like this one and I decided to stick with it.
Next, I blocked in the colors using Color/Multiply/Overlay blending modes. You'll notice that I added the laser for Diablo. I wanted more interaction between the characters and this was something that players of the game can relate to. I wish to create fan art that players of the game can understand and relate to.
I started adding in some details to the painting and started to see some major problems with it.
Like the sci fi painting I did before, I screened a white layer and sketched over the painting to tweak the pose of Diablo. The old pose was too static and lacked the force of the action he is making. You'll naturally tilt your head forward when you shoot laser out of your mouth. Trust me, I know.
Did a quick block in of colors to test the pose out. Oh! I also replaced Gazlowe for Illidan. Illidan has always been one of my favourite characters in the Warcraft universe (I'll say it's between him and Arthas) and that also introduces some greens to the painting too.
Next was Thrall. You'll notice that he looks shorter as compared to the sketch from before. I tried to mimic the official proportions, which resulted in a shorter character.
Next, I moved on to detail Illidan. One of the problems Illidan posted was that his weapon will block off Diablo and Thrall. I had to come out with some solution to still show all three elements (because Illidan's dual blades are so darn iconic) and still keep the composition clean.
In the end, I made the blades smaller. I'm not proud of this solution, but its the best I can come up with.
Loading screen done for the recently published Ogre Magi set.
With this set equipped, you can easily carry the entire team with Ogre!