Illustration of the Silia
I recently had the opportunity to delve into the world of Gaeana, a world of legend and myth, a world of ancient technology, a world of possibilities. A friend of mine, Jeremiah “Blue Jai” Sanders is a writer, among many other things, and the creator of Gaeana, hired me to help illustrate his world. The first creature we tackled together was the Silia, a lizardman race of Gaeana, described as “ruthless, cunning, honorable, dangerous, and loyal.”
Visually the Silia represent the evolution of a lizard, something like a komodo dragon, into a humanoid creature. I got together with Jeremiah and did a number of concept sketches, and together we worked out the look for the Silia. The most challenging visual aspect of the Silia is fleshy ridge that runs over their eyes and down their back.
From there I started working up various sketches, positioning the Silia in different poses and environments. At this stages the sketches are super loose. Sketch is probably not even the right term. Scribble is much closer. After a few scribbles I settled on one to build up.
I scanned in the scribble. Blew it up and printed it out on 9 x 12 Bristol board. I then worked up a more refined sketch.
At this stage I showed the sketch to Jeremiah. His response was that the Silia looked too feral. He didn’t want the pictures in his book to look like something out of Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual (i.e. action pose, holding a weapon). Jeremiah explained that Gaeana is more about mystery and exploration, so he suggested changing the scene to a Silia exploring a subterranean cave, armed with the gear needed for spelunking and mining treasure.
So I scanned in the feral Silia sketch and printed it out on 9 x 12 Bristol board. I then re-worked the sketch based on Jeremiah’s feedback.
This time Jeremiah loved it, and felt that it matched the feel he was going for. So I scanned in the exploring Silia sketch printed it out on 9 x 12 Bristol board, and built up a more finished tonal drawing.
Once again Jeremiah liked it, so I scanned it in and starting painting. I started off by doing an under painting filling in tones beneath my pencil drawing.
I then started building up the tones over the pencil drawing to form a base painting.
One thing different about this digital painting from my past works is that I wanted to do the whole painting in Corel Painter X, a painting program that until recently I only used for basic stuff. To help me learn more about Painter X I’ve been reading Advanced Painter Techniques by Don Seegmilller. It’s been a big help, and I highly recommend the book to anyone wanting to learn more about Corel Painter X.
Armed with more knowledge of Painter X I set to work building up the painting to its completion.
In the end I’m very pleased with the results! I showed it to Jeremiah and he loved it! Success!