Thursday, December 15, 2011

maya's cloven crest illustration

(plain background)
(image one: Sabriel casts a diamond of protection to keep her safe while her spirit crosses into death)
(image two: frost forms on Sabriel's body as her spirit spends time in death. an dead creature approaches.)
(image three: the creature attacks and she destroys it.)

Symbols formed in her mind--
the four cardinal Charter marks that were the
poles of a diamond that would protect her from
both physical harm and Free Magic. Sabriel held
them in her mind, fixed them in time, and pulled
them out of the flow of the never-ending Charter.... The last mark was the North mark, the one
closest to the destroyed stone, and it almost
failed. Sabriel had to close her eyes and use all
her will to force it to leave the sword. Even then,
it was only a pallid imitation of the other three,
burning so weakly it hardly melted the snow.
Sabriel ignored it, quelling the nausea that had
brought bile to the back of her mouth, her body
reacting to the struggle with the Charter mark.
She knew the North mark was weak, but golden
lines had run between all four points and the diamond
was complete, if shaky. In any case, it was
the best she could do.... Sabriel, eyes closed now, felt the boundary
between Life and Death appear. On her back,
she felt the wind, now curiously warm, and the
moonlight, bright and hot like sunshine. On her
face, she felt the ultimate cold and, opening her
eyes, saw the grey light of Death.
With an effort of will, her spirit stepped
through, sword and bell prepared. Inside the
diamond her body stiffened, and fog blew up in
eddies around her feet, twining up her legs. Frost
rimed her face and hands and the Charter marks
flared at each apex of the diamond. Three steadied
again, but the North mark blazed brighter
still--and went out.... It was like a scent on the wind to the thing that
lurked in the caves below the hill, some mile or
more to the west of the broken Charter Stone.
It had been human once, or human-like at
least, in the years it had lived under the sun.... There were plenty of recently vacated bodies
where it emerged, so the thing occupied one, animated
it and ran away. Soon after, it found the
caves it now inhabited. It even decided to give
itself a name. Thralk. A simple name, not too
difficult for a partially decomposed mouth to
voice. A male name. Thralk could not remember
what its original sex had been, those centuries
before, but its new body was male.
It was a name to instill fear in the few small
settlements that still existed in this area of The
Borderlands, settlements Thralk preyed upon,
capturing and consuming the human life he
needed to keep himself on the living side of
Charter Magic flared on Cloven Crest again,
and Thralk sensed that it was strong and pure--
but weakly cast. The strength of the magic scared
him, but the lack of skill behind it was reassuring
and strong magic meant a strong life. Thralk
needed that life, needed it to shore up the body he
used, needed it to replenish the leakage of his
spirit back into Death. Greed won over fear. The
Dead thing left the mouth of the cave and started
climbing the hill, his lidless, rotting eyes fixed on
the distant crest.... Sabriel reached the border and, with a furious
thrust of will, her spirit emerged back into Life.
For a second, she was disoriented, suddenly
freezing again and thick-witted. A grinning,
corpse-like creature was just stepping through
the failed North mark, its arms reaching to
embrace her, carrion-breath misting out of a
mouth unnaturally wide.... Thralk
sidled closer still and his double-jointed arms
reached to embrace Sabriel's neck.
Just as his slimy, corrupted fingers stretched
forward, Sabriel opened her eyes and executed
the stop-thrust that had earned her second
place in Fighting Arts and, later, lost her the
First. Her arm and sword straightened like one
limb to their full extent and the sword-point
ripped through Thralk's neck, and into eight
inches of air beyond.

(sorry for all the text, Nix really enjoys his exposition!)

here are my process shots!

and my close ups!
hill close up 1
hill close up 2
hill close up 3
Screen shot 2011-12-15 at 11.38.17 PM
Screen shot 2011-12-15 at 11.43.26 PM
Screen shot 2011-12-15 at 11.38.52 PM


  1. I really like how your process played out, and I think you have really strong forms and color. I also really like the textural quality of your images, and the small details you put into the figures with shapes and lighting and reflections.

    Strong set up!

  2. I love the color you used and the way you had used the brush strokes.

    The angle of the person in the front is great! way to go all around.

    The story seems pretty simple to understand through the images. Im sure there is still a lot to the story the I cant see in the images.

  3. I love the way you used color and the hatching quality of the brush stroke!

  4. I like this new more graphic style that you are working with now. It seems like you are loosening up in a super good way! I think maybe a little more attention to planes would make the depth more readable, still AWESOME WORK!

  5. I love your style. the characters fit well with your background. I only wish I could see more action going on. Maybe if the scene was a little closer or if the lighting changed a bit to make the scene look more dramatic. Great job though.

  6. I like the way that you're simplifying here! I also think you've done a great job creating a deep space. I could see you possibly pushing the depth of a couple of the trees if you wanted to make it seem even deeper, maybe just by creating some less saturated ones that push back further! I also like the texture ahta you're using on the creature that is in the foreground in that one scene - he looks leathery and the marks you're using make him seem like a mummy, or zombie - which I think adds a lot to the tone. I do think, now that i'm looking at it another time, that it would also be great to see how small things in your backround could change witht hte passing of time- even if it was really slight changes - I could see you moving the clouds to the left or right- which would show a small passage of time, and would really show how long it was between scenes, I could also see the light from the moon illuminating a couple spots on the trees in the bkgrd if you did move the clouds -- making some spots of the environments. I suppose the last thing that you could try is to see if you could show that the one panel of her forcefield thing could look like it was broken a little more, or not working or whatever? the more i look at it, the more it I think you might be able to make it more apparent? I'm not sure if that is to really play with the shapes - or work with the color to make it super obvious? Or maybe the color of her gets different a little more? But that could be cool! Overall, I think you did a really nice job with this! I wanted to let you know that it has been supier fun to have you in another class- youve always got such an awesome work ethic, and I totally love your enthusiasm to try all of the crazy stuff that we go through in class- it makes me super excited for you and I can't wait to see what awesome things you do with all these crazy programs!! :) Take it easy over break & keep me posted on your up and coming projects :)!!