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About Digital Art / Professional Not actually DonovanMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 8 Years
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Mirabel Illustration Commission by LordDonovan
Mirabel Illustration Commission
The imperatortitan5046 commissions conclude with this illustration of his character Mirabel, who's entire rambling explanation is posted along with her model sheet. Sure, a model sheet is good for showing what a character looks like as directly as possible, but generic model poses aren't the most exciting thing to look at, and interesting coloring and lighting would be counterproductive details in that case. So to really show off the character, you need more of a splashy standalone illustration, and this is it.

Initially I tried some much more dynamic actiony poses, but they all very poorly communicated one part of her or another, due to foreshortening, overlap, and so on. While the goal here isn't necessarily to perfectly show everything, this is a new character that nobody would have any previous knowledge of, so the first image shouldn't be too unclear. For a comparison, if you look at the character promo illustrations for a fighting game, the poses and angles are pretty straight-forward at first, and only get more exotic in later sequels. Presumably because they figure that by, say, 3rd Strike, we know what the characters look like enough not to be confused by some wacky angles. Also, having used the easy poses already probably figures in. So with that said, I settled on this walking forward pose, and tried to zazz it up with contrasting angles and a little bit of a looking up angle. She's supposed supposed to be a cold killing mercenary, so this is the slow terminator walk of doom. Will the killing blow be the spear? The gun arm hidden under the cloak? Who knows, but that cybernetic eye glow says target acquired. Speaking of which, I initially gave it a red glow, because all laser sights and cybernetic eyes ever are red, but then settled on teal in order to better unify it with her overall color scheme.

As usual, it's all Photoshop.
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Mirabel Model Sheet Commission by LordDonovan
Mirabel Model Sheet Commission
imperatortitan5046 commissioned me to design him a sci-fi version of my female Livahk character, to be named Mirabel Lilac, and here she is. The specifics were minimal beyond that, which was very nice- it was a little taste of my dream of being one of those really iconic artists like Akira Toriyama who have a style and people come to them because they want that style. Here's a few specifics, now do what you are naturally inclined to do. Yep, that'd be the life.

Anyway, she was requested to wear armor of some sort, have weapons like a spear or arm-mounted gun, and maybe a cybernetic eye. (Speaking of which, I totally forgot to add the gun to her leftt arm. D'oh!) If you've followed my work much, you know I don't really do much sci-fi stuff, it's never really been my genre of choice. I prefer my flashy fantasy stuff to be magical and innate, not technology-based, and aside from Jedi, "natural" cool powers are fairly rare in science fiction. And overall, the level of fantastic wacky impossible stuff is just lower, and what fun is that? Plus, as a genre overall, I associate sci-fi more with drab, grey, ugly realism, which is so obviously not my cup of tea. Still, that's just why I don't naturally lean toward that stuff, doesn't mean I hate it, and if a person's paying me for some sci-fi, and didn't specify I had to make it drab and gritty, great! So I went ahead and designed the sort of colorful stylized designs I wish were in sci-fi more. First off, it strikes me as odd that there seems to be less fabric in the advanced space future, I'd think that it could continue to advance as much as anything else. Yet it seems generally minimal short of ultra-form-fitting body suits, often weirdly drab and low-tech if fabric figures in much at all aside from that. So I knew I had to throw in some brightly colored drapery. Of course, since that alone is pretty anti-sci-fi, and she was supposed to be armored, I figured classic futuristic white armor underneath would help balance things out. Plus, the one futuristic techy aesthetic I do like is the dark stuff with smooth white plastic/ceramic/whatever casing over it. As for the other colors, I didn't want things to be TOO white, and I wanted to unify her with the design she was based on to some small extent. She's in the advanced space future, but she's still a Livahk.

As for personality, she was specified as a mercenary with honor, having a generally calm nature, and haunted by something, thus having bags under her eyes as if she slept poorly. I wrestled with how much to draw the bags into the default neutral model sheet faces, and I suppose, maybe I under-did it in the end. She has the calm low-key look, but not so much the haggard. For the expressions, I decided to push them well beyond the default, because even if she has a default low emotional energy level, that doesn't mean she has to be one-dimensional. Plus, I really don't draw enough expressions since I seem to design characters more than I ever actually do anything with them. Just so many fairly neutral default expressions to go with model sheets. (Though I did check out some of my favorite art books and felt better when I noticed how limited the emotional range was in typical design sketches for any given character. Darkstalkers sketches and illustrations, for example, seem to have about two expressions per character. And since that was the first thing I saw when I was a newly hatched baby duck, I believe it's my mommy and emulate it in all ways.) So even if she usually has that calm look, on the rare occasion she's really happy or shocked, there you go. And of course even her hair and ears emote, because I love that old-fashioned cartoony style and think it is sorely missing these days. Again, everything should be more like Darkstalkers, with its wacky animations.

Regarding her weaponry, I really like polearms, so giving her a spear or more specifically, probably a glaive, was a-okay by me. To make it look techy I added some extra bits, I figure that it charges up or something for extra cutting power. Probably glows with some cool energy effect. What with those advanced space materials, you need some extra oomph in you slashamabobs. And again, she was supposed to get an arm-mounted gun on the left arm, I even sketched it out roughly, but forgot. Now personally, I always found them a bit silly, because they'd be really hard to aim accurately. But, since this is cybernetic implant level technology, it seems to me that a cybernetic eye could integrate with the aiming system on the arm gun and iron all that out. The user could switch to seeing what a gun-mounted camera sees at will, or mark targets with the eye and let the software do the fine adjustments to make sure that's exactly what the gun hits. Either way, that's totally how the thing I forgot to finalize would work. But that's just my thoughts, the commissioner said he planned to write stories about her and who knows what he'll specify.

Miscellaneous things: The color samples are broken up into sections, those being spear colors, body colors, and clothing colors, in that order. There is a little redundancy, so the palette isn't quite as bloated as it appears. The commissioner specified direct front/side/back views, and no offense to him, but man, I forgot how much I dislike doing those. For some reason, diagonals feel so much more right. And easier. And as usual, everything was done in Photoshop.

And finally, if you like what you see and have money to spend, send me a note or something. I'm up for just about anything if the price is right.
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Commission for nazuu-m0nster by LordDonovan
Commission for nazuu-m0nster
This is a single color illustration commission I did a ways back for nazuu-m0nster.deviantart.com/ who has apparently vanished from dA entirely at some point. (Significantly more so than even I have.) It's a depiction of her character Nazuu, who is maybe a dinosaur or something? I'm not really sure, I didn't do the original design, just this particular illustration. After which point, it sat in my commission folder forgotten for a long time, but since I found it, figured I might as well post it. If the painting looks a bit different, it's from back when I was trying out Paint Tool Sai, which definitely had some things I liked, but ultimately lacked some conveniences of Photoshop. Now that I think about it, I wonder what condition SAI is in these days? Is there some other hip new Photoshop alternative now? I've been 100% stuck in my comfortable Photoshop rut.

As usual, if you want a commission or otherwise wish to employ my services, note me or something and hopefully we can come to an agreement.
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Sunny Forest Path by LordDonovan
Sunny Forest Path
Before the customary rambling, might I suggest some classic Secret of Mana music? As usual, I've tried to recreate that old favorite game feel, and what better to accompany it than authentic, thematically appropriate old video game music? This image isn't as good as the classics, but if I pair them up, I might trick you into thinking it is. (Don't tell yourself you just read that, let's keep it between us, okay?)

So yeah, this picture is yet another attempt at that tone I loved so much in older games, in this case the lush vibrant feel of Secret of Mana, and I think I'm getting closer at least. It's also more practice at cracking the challenge of digital painting that doesn't feel too crisp and digital, in other words trying to be as good as my current digital painting idol Ovopack. How in awe of his skillz am I? The only reason I don't consider his digital painting technique 11/10 is that I re-calibrated the scale to make him the new 10. Unfortunately, his technique is as mysterious as it is awe-inspiring, and I've clearly got a long way to to. So far, I should apologize for bringing his work up in regards to mine.

And finally, the picture is about just creating what I'd want to make games look if it were up to me. (Which isn't the case because I'm not good at programming and can't afford to hire a programmer.) As should be abundantly clear, I miss the old colorful and not perfectly realistic style old games had. I miss those cute video game style ponds with the sharply defined, non-marshy edges. And those trees with the relatively compact, dense foliage. On the other hand, I don't really miss the old technical limitations, the need for perfectly tiled graphics and the like, so I left that out. I want to recreate that old intent, but using the capabilities of today's hardware. In fact, ideally a scene like this picture wouldn't be 2D at all but glorious interactive 3D. That's what I'd be doing if I could. Well, eventually. My first priority would actually be the game I wish Minecraft had been, in which case, while I sure would try to kick the GRAPHIX up a notch, and make things more organic where I could, scenery like this just wouldn't be practical. There'd have to a lot more straight edges.

Now, with that all said, and because it's not enough information until it's too much information, you might be wondering about the composition. It's a bit... bland for a stand-alone image I just made for my own artistic fulfillment, right? Well, that's because that's not how this picture started. It was originally done for a person who wanted me to do some backgrounds for their game, and turned out not to like where this was going once it was well into production. So, since I at least liked where it was going, I went ahead and changed some things, like replacing the bland dirt clearing in the middle with the pond, made the path continue off to the right, changed some of the plants, and turned that lemon into lemonade. In a way it works for the sake of "what I want games to look like," since it was originally drawn as just another background for a video game. And it was the first time in a while I did a finished image with no concerns in mind except for how I wanted it to look, how much it was falling short of that, dang this is taking too long, I"LL NEVER BE AS GOOD AS THE GREATS, HOW DOES OVOPACK DO SO MUCH BETTER WITH LESS DETAIL, utter despair... And finally finishing it. Oh, and then failing to color correct it so it looks on my newer main monitor like it did on my old Cintiq, where it had a subtly warmer feel I just can't replicate. I'm pretty sure that until I can get a newer one, I'm just going to use it for drawing and color on the main monitor. So as usual, I need more money. Wonder if I'd have any luck on Patreon...
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When the air grows chill and the shadows deep, I return from beyond the veil to... Finally be active on dA again. And write in dramatic Halloween-esque fashion because it's the time of year I can get away with it. Yep, thematically speaking, Halloween is easily the best holiday, and Autumn in general is pretty cool.

But I digress, the main point here is to announce being back, if anyone cares. I figure it's been long enough that a formal acknowledgement is appropriate, so I'm finally biting the bullet. As a friend suggested, there's really no other way around it but to get it over with. I could try to explain various reasons for my hiatus, such as a long stint of Internet connection problem issues, but is it really important? Probably not. Point is I'm going to actually try and post stuff and reply again instead of just checking in for Notes and such. Maybe even deal with that huge pile of messages that's accumulated. But in any case, I figured a new Journal was the best place to start. Speaking of figuring, I'd like to post a Journal with some photos that are mildly interesting but not of adequate artistic merit to post on their own, so I need to figure out how to do that exactly.
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Castlevania SotN Soundtrack
  • Watching: Ancient Aliens
  • Playing: Terraria

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LordDonovan
Not actually Donovan
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
Single commissions, contract work, full-time employment, whatever- If you think I'm the man for job, let's talk.

volcott at gmail dot com
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Comments


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:iconautoman217:
Automan217 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the llama! :D
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:iconlorddonovan:
LordDonovan Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Glad you enjoyed it.
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:iconautoman217:
Automan217 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hope you enjoy yours! ^ ^
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:iconliquidreaper666:
Liquidreaper666 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the llama. :rainbowllamaride: 
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:iconlorddonovan:
LordDonovan Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
No problema! No probllama?
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:iconzebuta:
Zebuta Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks for the llama I really appreciate it!
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:iconlorddonovan:
LordDonovan Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Glad it brought you a smile.
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:icondarkzadarprime:
DARKZADARPRIME Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Herr Llama Emperor 3D Llama Badge Herr Llama Emperor                                                                                                     thanks for the llama badge !
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:iconlorddonovan:
LordDonovan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
No problem. And neat choice of imagery, by the way.
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:icondarkzadarprime:
DARKZADARPRIME Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks!
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