Making of "How dangerous could it be?"

 Hello everyone :) It's been a while that I posted something here, but I'm back with yet another intriguing „Making-of“ post for you! We've had watercolors last time, alcohol markers (Copics) before that and today it's going to be all about colored pencils, a kind of medium I don't work with all that often and I'm still learning to use properly myself *laughs* I included not only WIP photos, but also a close look on how I create depth by layering various colors.

 The picture in itself is something very special to me as well and you'll find out more about why and what it's all about, too in today's post. So please, go on reading if you like :)

Come on, let’s at least see what’s in that cave. How dangerous could it be?”

“That’s also what you said when you found that supposedly deserted hornet’s nest, remember?” Yasao remarked with a small grin. “And the next moment you went running like a mad man, lest they not sting you.”

Tamlen laughed at that memory – he remembered all too well how he ended up jumping into a pond and how she had finally chased off the angry insects by boldly reaching for a blazing stick from their campfire.

“Well, I know you always have my back.” He replied softly. “Also… Isn’t it you who always wishes for an adventure and a challenging battle to go with it? That’s what may be waiting for us, you know? Do you really want to miss that opportunity?”

Eventually Yasao sighed and went on ahead.

“Fine, you won.”

Ready for coloring
The finished lineart and my drawing tools are all ready for coloring! At this point I already knew: his was going to take quite a bit.

 Maybe you're wondering what you've just read and the answer is simple: this is part of my fan fiction to my absolute favorite game, "Dragon Age: Origins", a brief section of the very first chapter to be precise ^_^
To those who've been following my art on FB for a while, it shouldn't be that surprising to hear that I've been writing a story about it (btw, just recently I crossed the 300-pages mark, which means the story's already a stunning 1.000.000+ words long o_o ...And I've only been writing it since around May last year *giggles*) and I figured, some illustrations for the story were in order.

 In February I finally finished the first sketch for the exact same scene you've just witnessed: in it, my own character, the elven warrior Yasao Mahariel and her childhood friend Tamlen discovered a mysterious cave which held a terrible secret that was going to change both their lives forever. It's a moment that kind of breaks my heart whenever I think of it, but I simply had to illustrate it.


On the photo above you can see that I printed the sketch out (its roughly A5-sized) and traced it onto larger (A4) paper using sepia ink. As I wanted the color scheme to be in largely brown, grey, green and yellow tones, the lines would thus merge beautifully with the colors.

Furthermore, you can see some of my additional tools on the first photo below: a block of emery paper for sharpening my pencils and a battery-powered eraser for getting rid of unwanted color and adding highlights.

As I've stated in the caption, coloring Tamlen's belts wasn't quite that simple, for I actually had to mix a large number of colors to get the right tone. The colors also included some “odd” colors, such as blue for where I wanted the light to hit the leather and green to dull the brown down a little and make it appear less red. Both are colors I used allover the picture, even on layers such as his skin. Using the same tones on the whole picture really helps to make it all “come together”. Below you'll see the order in which I applied the colors and how they actually looked on paper (you can click the image to see a larger version of it).

Layering various colors
Figuring out which colors to layer for getting the right tone for Tamlen's belts was a tad bit difficult, but fun :) It's all about experimenting and seeing what looks right.

 Now that you saw in detail how I mix the right color, you also know how I continued drawing the other areas. For each element I picked at least 3-10 different colored pencils and blended them by layering them very lightly. Sometimes people will also use tools like blending stumps to smudge colors or might add things such as paint thinner to blend them, but I did no such a thing here (although I DO want to try something like this in near future, I heard of some interesting stuff called “Zest-it” which is supposed to be great for that purpose, but I have yet to get my hands on a bottle of it).


In the picture gallery below you get to observe the various steps until I finished the drawing – read the captions for more information on the single images :)

"How dangerous could it be?" (August 2016)
"How dangerous could it be?" (August 2016)

 There you go! The scan of the final drawing ♥
I will admit, I'm fairly proud of it, it's the first time in forever that I worked with colored pencils on such a large scale – and I do plan on doing it again soon, there's this drawing of Zevran and Yasao that's waiting to be colored ^_^).

All together the coloring process took me a couple of weeks, but admittedly, there were large pauses in between (in which I worked on other things such as trading cards for other people or commissions). Still, there were many times where I felt like I was never going to finish it and was about to give up, but I'm so relieved I managed to finish the drawing in the end.


And that's it, now you know the entire drawing process :)I hope you enjoyed following it and will return next time I publish another “Making of" post. Comments are much appreciated, as always – thanks a lot for reading and have a great day!

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