My picture is a scene that I imagined while reading the pages from the first book "The Novice" where the main character abandoned his home with his Imp that resembles a small dragon. In the scene Imp made a fire for our main character to get him little bit warmer.
I decided to do this work based on the story that haven't gotten so much artwork yet because It is quite new book and I didn't want to be biased in any possible way (If you think about it that's quite harmful in the case of LOTR movies - because now we have a firm picture about environment, scenes and even the appearance of characters in the given universe)
I started project with pencil on paper:
This sketch and the one that follows were done from imagination. That is to say that I erase a lot and chase the idea quite religiously - It is not a loose sketch - I spent about an hour on each of these because of that. I would love to have that ability to sketch something in 5 minutes :-)
in the pencil sketch above Imp is right in action of spitting the fire and the whole composition is quite flat so I decided to give it a little perspective and since in the book the Imp is wingless I decided to put the wing out of the picture as well. After some thought I realised that it would be better to portray the scene as a "aftermath" with the fire right in the picture. For next stage of sketching I went right into photoshop - because erasing in this program isn't that cumbersome.
Fletcher (the main character) and the Imp Sketch #2
From this sketch I proceeded to the final painting. I downloaded a loads of reference images - about dozen forests, fires, characters near the fire, dragons etc. I didn't rely on any given reference so much always striving to make the appearance my own.
I have to say that painting and drawing from life is much more relaxing and easier than to make a scene completely out of your imagination. The most rewarding thing on this kind of work for me is the final product when your vision is somewhat realised.
I have to say that in the original series the imp's appearance in "The Novice" book is lot more smaller and can actually fit behind your neck as a small ferret so I deviated a lot in this case. I used it only as a inspiration.
So here's the final painting:
Fletcher and Ignatius (digital)
In overall I'm happy with a picture and the whole process of picture making. In the hindsight I have to admit that the first pencil sketch had more impact composition wise - it makes you think more about the scene out of the frame (the fireplace isn't included in the picture) and hence makes it maybe more interesting. Maybe the final painting is too literal..
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.