View Full Version : WIP - Lilith the dark elf cover

03 March 2005, 01:34 AM
Never posted my WIP stuff here, thought I'd be a little more active at CGTalk so here I am :D

This is the fourth cover I'm doing for a publisher in Taiwan, the books being "Dragon Master", this is Lilith the dark elf (or maybe she's a drow, I don't know), a nomad, she's a baaad lady! She doesn't wear much but she has a long red cloak so she can cover herself if need be. Description of her pose is one hand on her staff and the other stretched out as to deploy magic.

I did two pose sketches and the author chose no. 1. I *will* work on the right hand and staff asap. ;)

Then I did two costume designs. It's harder than I thought to come up with visually pleasing designs of this type, since I don't usually draw scantily clad elf chicks. O_O

Comments are very welcome of course. :)

03 March 2005, 02:12 AM
Very nice, I like the pose.

03 March 2005, 09:55 PM
your clothing is flattening her form. Her pose is great and clothing design is really nice .. just applied wrong. Its very difficult because the difference between getting it right and wrong are very subtle. Also line work .. keep your outer contour lines thick and your inner lines (clothing) thin.

03 March 2005, 02:59 AM
I'm not actually going to keep the lines in the final work, I just like to make them clean for reference as I paint. :)

I know there are lots of mistakes here, eeek.

03 March 2005, 04:00 AM

move her head to the right a little.

03 March 2005, 04:15 AM
Looks great. Like the concept so far. ;) But i think maybe the collar bone is a bit too pronounced? At least the one to the left (her left)? Maybe her breast are a bit too high too, or it's an illusion with her pose? I'm not sure. :) Though i really like the skin tone (and the fact that her eyes are not red, usually people paint/draw dark elves with red eyes.. old cliché..)

Looking forward to see the next update. ;)

03 March 2005, 04:54 AM
eek! can you show your work method? what prog do you use? did you use references? i didn't think too much of the sketch but the painting really brought it to life! i think her chin could be a little bigger but either way it looks really good! :thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 10:55 AM
The rendering on the skin is really beautiful - did you have a ref or is it all out of imagination?
As I already pointed out - her left wrist is a bit thick and also her hips bug me a bit but I don't know why exactly..I think the line is a bit too straight even though it's the perspective the hip would still be a tiny bit more curved.

And a previous poster is right - some of the armor you painted on on the sketch flattens the figure but I am sure your amazing rendering skills will pull it off beautifully :)

03 March 2005, 02:09 PM
Nice work so far Linda, subscribed this thread to watch the progress. Do you mind to elaborate a bit on the >baaad< lady part? :D Drow is just the "trademark protected?" term for dark elves in the Forgotten Realms franchisse, if I remember right.

As for the character design... in general, I wonder why did you choose to go the more human-like face approach? Personally I kinda prefer the more exotical face features like Michael Whelan created for the Sithi on the "Memory, Sorrow & Thorn" coverart, especially on the eyes. Just curious, don't bite! :)

03 March 2005, 12:05 AM
Lilie: Hmm, I see what you mean. After layering the costume sketch on top though, looks like her collar bones won't be showing anyway. :p

hpslashluvr: this is me showing my work method ;) Up to this point I've only used Photoshop 7 on this picture.

Kyena, I did her body without reference, I did search my art folders for anything that has a half naked girl :D Aly's latest devil girl was one of them, I also realized the pose is a bit similar to something I coloured for Hoon, so maybe I had some practice with the stomach area. But like you said there's something wrong with her hips, I hope it won't be too obvious once I add the costume, hehe. Her staff hand was my left hand... well sort of. Most of the times I just put down the basic colour, sit back and try to figure out what's wrong with it, then go paint over the offending area, rinse & repeat until it looks "right" ;) Not the best method I know, but it works for me at the moment.

Solothores, I don't know, the author and I talked on MSN, he didn't say much about her but only something like "SHE IS BAD" - in all caps, just like that. :p And yikes, I don't know drow is a TM term, I only rememeber seeing people paint dark-skinned elves with white hair, and they called them "drows" *shrug*

I haven't seen the Michael Whelan cover, might I have a link?

Aaand last night's progress. Some fixes to her face, hands/arms, blocked in the background--insanely blobby now.

A closeup of her face.

03 March 2005, 12:32 AM
Hello Linda! This is looking fabulous already! You do something I ought to do, and that is control your palette from the very start. I have a habit of running off all over the place with colour and then trying to bring it back under control later on... which isn't really very practical. Only one little observation at this point, and that is she's got quite narrow hips... :)

03 March 2005, 01:01 AM
Looking really good so far, but, I can’t help thinking that there is something not quite right with the hips. At first I though that they are perhaps not wide enough, especially the right side. However, I think it just looks like that because they are turned. Keep it up and keep us posted.

03 March 2005, 05:27 AM
This is going to be a winner L - looks really fab.
I see you changed the eyebrows now. Looks dead on :nod

The color palette on this is awesome - the Background and her read cloak bring her even more to life.

Tehehe I just realized that the background you have blocked in looks almost indentical in perspective to something I had on my current piece too. However I changed it to the flat honeycomb thing.

Question: is she supposed to look at the viewer? At the moment she looks past and down a bit like being in thought or concentrating.

03 March 2005, 06:40 AM
that's some nice sketches :D
like to see it more developed in the later stages. i love it how you put the details in her eyes....

what publisher is it for? does it have something to do with lineage][ ??

add oil~

03 March 2005, 03:11 PM
the center of her breasts seems to go up to high, as if they are sagging too much. i think a girl like that wouldnt have such a flat empty space between her boobs.

this is a great painting otherwise, your drawing and painting skills are excellent!

03 March 2005, 09:50 PM
peachysticks .. I did a little paint over of your pic, if you send me your email address I can send it to you. Your shading of the girl is subtely off making her body look not quiet right. On the head and chest the light source is coming from the top but as you go down the body the light source seems to move to the right making her pelvis look flat. Its kinda twisting the body.

03 March 2005, 02:14 AM
Okay folks, another update.

I spent a couple of hours last night to fix the face further, gave her more chin and some other bits. Worked on the bg and started to refine her costume. I'll keep in mind the comment on how her costume is flatting her figure. :) Thanks everyone.

Poshspice: Pffft, but your work ends up looking better than mine anyway :p And I think I see how narrow her hips are, not sure if it's something I want to "correct", as I like how they look now. I never liked the kind of girls in fantasy art who wear thongs and have the most curvaceous bottom, with their hips tilted in an suggestive angle... not that I don't like curvy women, I just don't like it when they're not wearing next to nothing. :p

Kyena: awww, you're giving me twice the comments for this! ;) Regarding your questions, hmm I don't know, I mean you can see down to her knees so the viewer can't be *that* close to her anyway. And I did want her eyes to look ever slightly spaced, I know the eye placement was wrong in spite of this, I've moved the whole right eye, I think she looks more focused now, but not too much.

floatingrunner: I can assure you it does not have anything to do with Lineage ;)

brenly: sure, I'd love to see what you've done. Will be sending the pm right now.

03 March 2005, 07:33 AM
Okay folks, another update.
floatingrunner: I can assure you it does not have anything to do with Lineage ;)

good, i don't like that game anyway... looking good still... i like the soft colouring tones for her body.
just curious... is her hair going to stay like that? cuz it looked kinda cool :)

03 March 2005, 11:12 AM
Coming along nicely linda, her eyes really bring out those "baaad" intentions. Feeling like I should be worried about the worst happening soon.

Unfortunately, I found no link to a good hires version of the specific image I referenced Michael Whelan for. So the facial details unfortunately are really not visible.
But a glance can be taken here:

Just a side note.
Regarding the cape of Lilith, is it intended from your side that it acts more as fashion item as for being a functional item? Since the main purpose of it was to basically cover from bad weather. So the wearer was able to wrap himself into it to protect himself from rain etc. As it currently is designed, it would be too strait to fullfil this purpose. On the other side, she is a dark elf, so bad weather shouldn't mind her much. :D Just an observation.

Bon Chance

03 March 2005, 12:26 PM
great progress linda,i kinda like the overall color schemes.the left leg seems alil odd around her knees,the cloak behind her seems to blend in which i think i its kinda awkward.alil suggestion..i'd like to see the round blue greenish thingy around the edge of the wand she's holding be something like a transparent crystal like material with alil bit of translucent due to the bright backgound behind her,just when u come to that part:)the rest is pretty well excercuted.keep it going ..~

03 March 2005, 11:07 PM
I worked more on her costume. Getting seriously confused about the specific material of it, I know I want some bits to be metal, the non-metal bits though...

floatingrunner: haha, yep, her hair is going to be even more "flying" I think, and lots more highlights. Right now it's just kinda flat since I'm not working on it yet. And dude, I just saw that you're from Taiwan too! :D

Solothores: the fact that she wears a cape was told by the author, so if that's how she was written in the book she need that cape... and I tried to work it in a way that "looks good" in the picture. As far as functionality is concerned, hell I don't know, the other spangly bits on her aren't particularly functional anyway :p if she really wants protection she needs to be covered from the neck down, lol.

ms@zx: with the round things on the staff, exactly what I was planning :) they looked like that because they were unfinished ;) But in the latest wip you can see they're all nice and shiny!

03 March 2005, 02:18 AM
This is looking beautiful so far. The color scheme is so dark and lush, and I love the design and her pose. I think it's turning out great!

One thing though, her ribcage seems to stick out a bit too much on the contracting side of her torso. It looks fine on the stretching side, but you need to smooth it out a bit on the other side.

Other than that, this is looking fabulous! :thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 06:41 AM
Looking good so far, can't wait to see the result! :clap:

03 March 2005, 06:10 PM
Any progress Linda? :)

03 March 2005, 02:14 AM
Oops, I didn't know people would be interested in the last steps. ;) These are just two of them, there are a few others I'm not posting here. Going to post this in the finished works section now, thanks so much for everyone who helped me with this image! :)

I've also added the steps in which I took to paint the faces here:

03 March 2005, 04:18 AM
while there are some proportion problems, it's still absolutely gorgeous

btw...I HATE YOU!!! (times 10!) :thumbsup: (which really means i'm jealous of you and prolly am crying at the moment in self-pity)

03 March 2005, 04:31 AM
wow, absolutely stunning. The blue side-lighting really made her stand out. (and is that really a face on the cliff wall behind her on the top right side, or am i just insane? ;) ) Beautiful details on the outfit and hair.

My only criticism is that the staff she is holding was great in the previous position, held at an angle to her hand. In the last image, it seems like it's a part of her gauntlet-type-thing rather than a separate staff. In the image preceding it, it had a very nice and distinct outline silhouetted against the lighter background, it loses that when it blends into her arm.

03 March 2005, 10:22 PM
your lighting scheme looks much better now!!

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