Tuesday, February 16, 2016

1001 Knights: The Sun Knight

By joining the Order of the Sun, a Sun Knight gives up her right to secrets and doubt. In return, she is blessed with the gift of Discernment. As she can never lie, neither can she be lied to. Her heart is a stainless shield that reflects the light of our Father. In her hands, the Sword of Light protects the helpless and exposes the schemes of darkness. She rests assured that at the Dawn of Eternal Morning, she will look into our Father's face without blinking.
This is another piece I drew for the 1001 Knights project. My friend Young Kim, who is also a part of the project, and I were brainstorming about what we wanted to draw for our knights. After throwing around a few ideas we settled on the idea of a sun knight and moon knight. He would draw the moon, I got the sun.

As I started thinking about this character, I liked the idea that she belonged to an order that reflects the qualities of the sun: a bold, noble, righteous kind of knight. Unflinchingly honest and a little dogmatic, the kind of person who sees things in black and white. So I was going to give her the Hero Deluxe treatment: a strong stance, flowing cape, bright colors, the works.

This painting is strongly inspired by two fantasy artists whose work I admire very much: Chris Rahn and Pete Mohrbacher. Chris Rahn is a master of drawing people heroically standing in front of glowing sunsets, and Pete Mohrbacher is a master of drawing surreal, strange divine creatures. I am a master of drinking chai lattes. Here is the sketch I settled on:

 The design of the sun god is a remake of another sun god I drew back in 2013, which had an Incan inspiration. I wasn't totally happy with how that illustration turned out, but I did like the ribbons emanating from him like rays of sunlight, so I kept that design element.

This was my first time drawing and designing plate armor. Turns out that armor is kind of complicated. I started a Pinterest board full of armor references. I soon got hooked on pinning, and started four more armor reference boards. Turns out Pinterest is a great reference source for armor!

As for the color scheme, I knew that I would need to include a lot of warm colors for the Sun God. To provide some contrast to all that warmth, I decided to make the foreground cool, with a cool blue light hitting the character from the front and a golden rimlight hitting her from the back. A rich royal purple made the perfect accent to all the yellows and oranges.

After struggling with a few different designs for the armor, I chose one that echoed the Sun God's ribbons.

The flowers in the foreground are Gladious. (Gladiolii?) According to the internets, in Victorian times the gladiolus symbolized "strength of character." The word "gladiolus" also comes from the Latin word "gladius" which means "sword." So it was the perfect flower for my sun knight.

Here's a process gif, because I know you guys like those:

I liked how this turned out so much that I later drew a moon knight to go with it - although the moon knight is not included in the 1001 Knights book. I will show you my moon knight on Thursday. Here is the serene, mystical moon knight that Young drew, which is included in the 1001 Knights book and was even chosen as a special print reward:

This will be the last time I will plug the 1001 Knights project on this blog, I promise. The campaign has just about one week left! Artists have been posting their drawings for the book on social media, and they actually make me feel ashamed of my own work, they're so good. This book is going to be incredibly packed with first-rate talent.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing piece. I love how the idea evolved and all the details you managed to squeeze in.



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