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So here is my final set of art created for the  eagle_rbb !  sineala has written a rather lovely story for the original artwork here: An Unexpected Omen.    

I tried every so hard on this painting when I first made it, and I got motetus to beta it (which improved it) but I kept fiddling with it and got to the stage where I really didn't like it very much but couldn't work out how to fix it.
The original: Meeting at the Stone Circle

I looked at it again after reading Sineala's story, and thought: AARGH! Esca's legs and eyes are wrong and his waist is peculiar, and Cottia's eyes are the wrong colour and Cub looks strange, specially his ears. And it's later in the evening in the story. So I overpainted it a bit (although the lighting still isn't quite in keeping with the story) :

sca's eyes still aren't quite right.  I am much happier painting landscapes than faces, but this seems to lead me to creating images where the faces are exactly of the size where one hair's breadth of slightly-too-dark grey makes the whole face look Very Wrong.  

This particular stone circle, by the way, is based on The Hurlers, near Minions on Bodmin moor, but in the story The Hurlers are playing another stone circle somewhere in the South Downs.  I feel the Hurlers would probably enjoy a bit of activity and getting about the place, what with them having been sportsmen in their youth

Then I had another go at Esca, for this line:
" His russet hair whipped back in the wind as the fading sun shone palely on his face; his wide-set eyes caught and reflected the last of the light."

I'm quite pleased with this one though I'm not sure the lighting is quite right. 

"Cottia ran towards them, Cub bounding forward at her side"

I like this Cub better, though Cottia's face looks odd. I think it improves a bit if you look at it more closely. No idea why.

"the hare still sat on the left side, the auspicious side"

I am pleased with this, both for the lighting, and because it has no stupid faces in it for me to screw up. Apart from the hare, and I am happy with hare-faces.

All of these were painted with acrylics, apart from the last one which uses yellow pastel for the torch, because it's easier to create smudgy flame-lines with pastels. 


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
27th Oct, 2012 18:20 (UTC)
These are all so beautiful and so perfectly bookverse. It's nice to see Esca with that hairstyle (even though I admit that I usually imagine him sans facial hair). I really like the last one, too--it has a mystical atmosphere to it. And the one of Cottia and Cub is also a favorite. Although I must say that I really like Cub and his ears in your first version of the painting with all three of them. I also like how you did the stone directly next to them--it looks very smooth and textured.
28th Oct, 2012 13:22 (UTC)
I confess I usually imagine him without huge moustaches when I am writing him, but - well, how often do you get to paint someone with GIGANTIC FACIAL HAIR blowing dramatically in the breeze? :-D

Also, I just watched the 1970's series, and the close-up portrait does owe a bit to Christian Rodska's Esca
21st Nov, 2012 17:57 (UTC)
Haha, I was wondering if that was your inspiration - I think the picture looks very much like him!
27th Oct, 2012 19:30 (UTC)
I want to thank you again for making all this wonderful art. If I had actually signed up for the original challenge it would have been the one I was going to pick; I scrolled down and went "Awesome, Esca has mustaches! He's a proper Briton!" and then I realized that [Unknown LJ tag] was signed up and I figured she should get it because OT3. (I hope she finishes and posts her story; I would still like to read it.) So I never signed up, but I got to write for it anyway!

You didn't have to darken the sky or anything just because I wrote it darker -- while I was writing I was thinking "oh no, I hope she doesn't think she has to repaint it! surely it doesn't have to be an exact match!" I really like both versions, though.

Thanks for being so accommodating about the short notice and, wow, painting three extra pictures in a week! I feel so fortunate! I really love the sense of movement in the Esca and Cottia-Cub pictures; it's all so *swirly* and flowing, and I love the backgrounds, especially the coloring. (Yeah, yeah, this is why I don't critique art.) I think my favorite is the last one, with the hare and the stones -- I love the lighting in it!

Thanks again for doing such wonderful artwork!
28th Oct, 2012 14:26 (UTC)
No no, thank you! *bows in elaborate manner vaguely reminiscent of Byzantium*

I am still hoping seascribe will finish her story too - it was quite different (as far as I read) to yours and multiple interpretations of paintings are interesting! (plus, of course I want ALL the stories, mwahahaha)

Actually jain did the same with the lighting on the other art entry I did, and it was fine, I didn't feel the need to adjust that one. But with this one, because I just wasn't happy with it overall, the scene you described suggested something I could easily adjust that might improve things, and I think it has, actually.

I think the first version looked a bit more static, somehow - darkening the sky and the shadows I think gave things a bit more movement and interest.
27th Oct, 2012 20:03 (UTC)
I would happily put any of these on my walls. Love the colours especially.
28th Oct, 2012 14:26 (UTC)
High praise indeed! Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
29th Oct, 2012 08:36 (UTC)
Ah, no problem - am still hoping you will feel inspired to come back to it at some point!

Glad you liked Esca, I was pleased with that one.
29th Oct, 2012 01:08 (UTC)
I love the one with the hare, I like hares & they seem to appear in art so infrequently.
29th Oct, 2012 08:36 (UTC)
They are like rabbit sighthounds, all legs and angles ;-)
(Deleted comment)
30th Oct, 2012 20:24 (UTC)
That moustache is very much inspired by the 1977 Eo9 series where every Briton seems to have a moustache larger and more ridiculous than the last :-D

I'm really glad I darkened the sky on that first painting. I think doing that has taught me a New Thing about colour and contrast.
19th Nov, 2012 02:17 (UTC)
These are great! I especially love Cottia and Cub trotting through the grass--people can paint Cottia and Cub hanging out FOREVER as far as I am concerned.
21st Nov, 2012 17:57 (UTC)
I suggested the original prompt (although I think you had already wanted to paint this) and I want to repeat how much I like what you created - and the additional pictures are gorgeous! I especially like the two of Esca and Cottia with Cub.
11th Dec, 2013 18:46 (UTC)
That's brilliant! It's the BBC Esca!
Gorgeous art.
Here from some art recs :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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