Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Scrap Pile: Jeid

There are so many paintings I start and finish, but some of them just don't live up to the vision that was in my head when I began the painting process. It sucks when this happens because you put all this time and effort into a potential piece of awesome work and you end up with a product that doesn't satisfy you. It hurts even more when you dig up these almost forgotten paintings and you remember all that hard work gone to waste.
So in light of all that effort, I'm starting a new series of posts called "The Scrap Pile". These posts will be of some works that were either never completed or completed but kinda sucked.

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This first post is of a character I came up with after going through a Prince of Persia phase and watching that PoP movie :P The movie was... meh... but it did have some pretty cool, inspirational parts. This image had a lot more than effort in painting - it had a whole backstory behind it, too! T^T

Backstory:
The character, Jeid, is of a race of outlaws known as the Resh-Anen. Resh-Anen people are notorious for their barbaric nature and passion for battle, and they are greatly feared throughout the desert lands ruled by the peaceful Holy Cities. People born outside the Holy Cities or banished from these cities are labeled as Resh-Anen.

Jeid is unique, however, in that he was born from a short-lived relationship between a Holy City priestess and a Resh-Anen bandit lord. He doesn't remember anything about his parents apart from a jade leaf hair accessory that he always wears - a rare piece of jewelry that only Holy temple monks and priestesses adorn. As an infant, he was abandoned at Ckessa, also known as the Trader's City and largest settlement in the land. There, he grew up fending for himself and thriving off of stolen food and goods. When he was 16, he met a small group of Resh-Anen thieves that prided themselves in raiding Holy City temples. By that time, Jeid had developed considerable skill in the art of freerunning and close combat, therefore he was enlisted into the group.

So is the backstory of the character known as Jeid. There even was a main storyline but I might save that for later, just in case I ever want to pick it up again...



The Painting Itself:
What I wanted to accomplish in this painting was lighting. I was thinking about the art style in the 4th PoP game as well as the atmosphere and colors from Aladdin as inspiration to painting this piece. I really wanted to get that cool contrast between the cold moonlight and warm torch light. I also wanted the transition of contrasting colors to happen on the character, so I got to play around with painting cool shadows and warm highlights. I really enjoyed painting the lighting on the character and I was satisfied with the end result. What killed me most from this painting was the background.

I suck at painting environments. It's always been a letdown for me and it's an area I'm trying to practice on. With such rich lighting, this painting demanded an environment for the character to stand in. I thought of a temple or a tomb at first - that's why that random column behind Jeid is there - but it didn't give me that sense of cool, mysterious moonlight. So I changed that idea into the open desert. I kept the column because it was suppose to reflect the warm light coming from an unseen torch. I tried to portray that by putting a torch in the distance, indicating that Jeid may be standing by an outpost or something...

What am I saying? I really don't know. All that was an example of me trying to make sense of the background I was struggling to portray. In the end, I rushed the backdrop and didn't put as much effort and detail into it as I did the character. Therefore, in my eyes, this painting failed.

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