Wednesday, December 23, 2009

004 - Devoid designs

Even though I have already begun explaining these creatures known as the Devoid, with the encouragement of a good friend, I have decided to share the earlier designs. They were not always the way they are now.

In fact, they used to only have two different stages, originally referred to as levels. Due to the nature of how they manifest themselves in the Human Realm, oftentimes possessing human hosts, the Devoid were originally designed to emphasize this. The limbs would reverse their positions while the skeleton would mutate. The jaws would mostly remain closed while a true mouth structure would appear from the torso, and the spinal column would act as an extended tongue. As an extra note, the Devoid originally had four eyes.

At this time, there was the option to give the Devoid legs or not, perhaps depending on if it was in a battle or at rest. That was an early question that later helped inspire the physical makeup of each phase of Devoid. What should be present and what would be missing were two key points in the later designs.

Although the basics of the Devoid designs remain the same, the initial rough design for this mysterious level 2 version is nothing at all like the current designs in any form.

Here, the body is even more mutated from the original form. An almost angelic addition to the appearance comes in. The Devoid are not angelic entities, and I already have a race of aliens known as Angels, so it might have been confusing if I had kept this design.

Something I do find interesting about this version is that the supposed head is no longer attached where a normal head goes. Instead, a neck kind of limb protrudes from the center of the chest. The impression is disturbing because all signs of humanity are no longer present and everything is reversed from the norm. The front of the torso is having to lean backward to work with the monstrous head with wing additions. The arms become legs and the legs become wings. Two sets of spinal column tongue tails are present as well. Overall, a gruesome creature.

Over the years, the general Devoid designs have changed rather drastically. Here is one of the few examples I have of my rough brainstorming sessions.

This is where it really begins. The face no longer has a human skull appearance, the neck splits into two, the torso becomes more like a large gaping beast mouth, and the legs are not as important, possibly burned away or only showing up in an energy blaze.

Early on, even during this redesign process, I had really intended for the Devoid to maintain a human skull look to their heads. The more I fleshed out their background and behaviors, the less and less human they became. They were never intended to be characterized as human in any way, but the deception aspect used to be almost a requirement in the early design phase.

Well, that certainly changed after an interesting brainstorm one day at work. This is how everything related to the first stage of the Devoid took the design turn it did.

Although this is the earliest design rough for a much more alien appearance, the body is what gave me the hardest time at this point. Trying to maintain a reversed or disturbing feel to the body or lack thereof, I played around with what section would have the most substance. The main rough here has practically no torso as we know it. Instead, the "body" is formed from the backbone or outer shell.

Before even considering the eventual wings, I tested out having a mouth design coming from the Devoid's back. The lower "jaw" would in actuality be the upper legs, this in turn returning the spinal column to act in a more normal tail fashion. The idea was interesting, but the Devoid ended up looking more humorous and not as scary as intended, so it was dumped very quickly.

Now we reach one of the final roughs of the first stage Devoid, Diu. Even at this point, it no longer has any obvious hints based off the original designs.

The four eyes of the original became the glasslike cover. The smiling gills replace any hint of humanlike jaws. The neck is split into two segments. The upper neck follows the spinal column, while the lower neck follows the front ribs and arms. Unlike with the current design, this version gives an almost "freshly hatched" or "stretching away from the body" appearance. There are muscles, tendons, and other slimy organic sections being tugged at while acting as supports to keep the shell-like wings and back support connected to the lower neck and following sections. There are no legs at all, instead a tail continuation forms from the lower neck.

Although the designs are still considered rough, the changes are pretty interesting. A reversing human skeleton design that changes all the way to being something alien and feral? That certainly was the case for the Devoid Diu. Out of all my characters, these creatures have gone through possibly the most changes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

003 - Morpheus

Since I recently finished a nicer portrait of Morpheus, I've decided to go ahead and make a kind of bio for him here. As I finish portraits for my other characters, I'll probably do the same for them.

Morpheus' design backstory:
According to my old sketchbook notes, Morpheus was officially the second character I designed for Infinite Serenade. Back then, he was merely known as the Dream Master, and in the very first sketches, his hair was spikier and he sported a special symbol on his chest. More sketches came and went, then I ended up with this more final design. This is how Morpheus looked back in the summer of 2006.

Initially, Morpheus was an entity opposite of Sear, who was simply called the Wish Master back then. Compared to how little Sear has changed in design and personality since 2006, Morpheus developed somewhat differently than my initial intentions. When I first designed him, he was intended to be completely alone in the dream realm, with Sear and several other characters as visitors. That was dropped once I gave Morpheus siblings and a father.

Over the next couple years, Morpheus gained more of a personality and can be considered one of the more selfless characters. My style changed a bit as well, which can be reflected in my later attempts at making reference images.

This particular image was one of the only references I used while working on an unfinished acrylic painting of Morpheus I was to submit for an art exhibit. The painting still remains unfinished since January of 2008. I simply do not have enough free time and acrylics take me a while to work with.

The most recent reference image that I use would be this one. Even though it possibly makes Morpheus appear slightly younger than he's supposed to look, it covers all the major features. This was done in 2008, but it holds up well enough to my current style.

The raven creature was always designed to be a living creature to act as a guardian to protect Morpheus. It may appear to be a circular mess of limbs, but it can alter its appearance and stretch out if need be. This guardian raven creature was a gift by Morpheus' younger half brother, Icelus, and as such, Morpheus treats it with great respect and enjoys the company. They get along splendidly.

After getting the colors straightened out in my mind, I colored the above reference image. It isn't a perfect coloring job, but it does the trick.

Now for some statistics.

Name: Morpheus Stellatene
Age: physically appears 25-27
Species: Cambion
Hair: black
Eyes: royal blue
Family: Hypnos (father), Thanatos (uncle), Phantasos Morion (older half brother), Icelus Galena (younger half brother)
Birthday: November 17th (Scorpio)
Height: 6' (183cm)
Associated Tarot: XV The Devil
Associated songs:
"under the darkness" by C.G mix
"Galaxy" by Buck-Tick
"Just Like You" by Three Days Grace (for both Morpheus and Phantasos)

Here is the portrait I recently finished, which can also be viewed on my DA page. It's one of the only images of Morpheus not smiling as well as lacking the guardian and showing his wings.

About the whole species situation, in my story, Cambions are a mix of Celestians (such as Hypnos and Thanatos) and some other race. In Morpheus' case, he is part Celestian (prominently) and Demon. Demons are another race that tends to have more prominent animal appearances and behaviors, although they generally appear human-like. Since Morpheus deals with humanoid energies, he appears human.

I was asked today if Morpheus transformed or had a "true form". The answer is that yes, he can transform if he wanted to, but he doesn't see the need to most of the time. If he does choose to transform, it would be to other human forms. If anything ccould be considered his true form, it would be of his current self with slightly longer hair while those wings are present. It's also considered taboo by Celestians for a Cambion to transform into a more Celestian form; such a transformation can become permanent and may disrupt the forces that be, just to name a couple reasons.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

002 - Devoid (Diu and Alio)

In my story, there are beings that seemingly act as "attack dogs" for the main antagonist group, used to attack and drain the energy of their enemies. These beings are called the Devoid. They appear in the human world in a total of four main stages or forms, each varying in appearance and capabilities. As a species, the Devoid are alien to the human world and only truly exist completely within an entirely different realm.

The first stage, called Devoid Diu, can be considered a shadow of what the Devoid truly look like. This rough sketch/design piece illustrates the hollow nature of their appearance.

As a Devoid grows in strength, experience, and energy consumption, it can develop into the next stage. Each stage allows for a Devoid to slowly regain that which it doesn't normally physically have while existing in the human world. In other words, a Devoid at a higher stage will become more powerful and appear more complete.

I don't have a current scan of the second stage, but I do have this rough design of the third stage, called Devoid Alio. Although noticeably different in appearance from the Devoid Diu, the Devoid Alio is far closer in appearance to the final, true form of the species.

Which of these two seem scarier? Diu, with its long bony arms and reptilian jaws instead of an abdomen? Alio, with its stretched flesh and limbs, appearing to be scheming? Or perhaps both are disturbing in their own ways?

001 - Introduction

A starting point is necessary, so here we go!

I can normally be found on places such as LiveJournal, DeviantArt, and YouTube.

My LiveJournal is a place where I gather and share anything of interest, sometimes including sketches, sounds, or videos. It's a more general, less focused place for my thoughts.

My DeviantArt page is where I prefer to share my more completed works. I rarely post unfinished pieces there, but exceptions do come up every so often.

My YouTube account is mostly for my fanmade music videos, but that may change in the future.

As for this place, I intend to share my artistic pursuits specifically. What I share may be rough or in progress, but if it helps me keep drawing, then all is good!