Wednesday, May 2, 2012

D&D Art Test: Culture - Soldier

Hey folks. Here's a new piece, done for the WotC D&D Art test. You can find the details here. This piece was done for the 3rd challenge: Culture. The challenge was to create a soldier or town guard based on the examples given in the brief. Here's the artist statement I wrote to go along with the piece: The two full-colour characters shown as examples evoked a sense of both Russian and East Asian influences, but contained a lot of calls to an Inuit sort of sensibility. For a soldier within that culture, I thought something taking cues from Mongolian style armor might nicely tie the above influences together into something somewhat militaristic. When it came to the weapon I went through a lot of iterations with the character holding a various pole-arms and both curved and straight swords. I ended up feeling like this kind of great-club fit with the sensibilities of the rest of the design. I wanted a strong sense that the warrior culture was about physical might, and intimidation, so the war-mask paired with a big, heavy and blunt weapon felt right to me. I really got into the idea that masks might play an important role in the cultural identity of these people. With the more shaman-like character you get a much more serene effect. Here I wanted to have something that might call back to the masks on the armor of samurai, but still play within the confines of the pre-established design, so I attempted to take the visual cues from the mask of the shaman character and make more complex, gargoyle-like masks that might be seen as more demon-like and give a more spiritual side to the warrior culture. I've included a couple of examples of war-masks just to get a better sense of that side of things. I figured maybe in the warrior hierarchy, different levels of complexity in your mask, different patterns of war-paint might indicate rank. The simpler, less intimidating mask going to the low-ranking soldier, the ones with all the bells and whistles (and teeth) going to the officers.

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