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Fan Art Spotlight - April 2016

Posted April 21st, 2016 at 05:24 AM by HS Codex

From the Desk of a Frostrager
A fan art spotlight
Author: Evar Scarcarver

Titles are hard. Whenever I name my work—whether it be drawings, stories, or songs---I usually end up making the titles overcomplicated, in a fruitless attempt to encapsulate the entire subject described in the piece in as few words as possible. A good example of this is the title to this column, which actually has two names at once. “Fan art spotlight,” which explains that I am indeed spotlighting Heroscape fan art, and the second title, “From the Desk of a Frostrager,” which explains that I will get sidetracked from each piece of art to talk about my overly philosophical thoughts on life and the Heroscape community.

It’s hard to find a title that explains what a drawing is about but is simplistic enough to let the art speak for itself. But this week’s spotlighted piece, by DeviantArt user MichealHoweArts, is titled extremely well: “Take Wing.”

Even the title itself adds to the drawing without stealing the focus from it. Elegant simplicity.

The sketch, which was made as part of a drawing-a-day challenge the artist was doing at the time, uses the iconic kyrie Raelin as a model, depicting the winged warrior rising into the sky, the feathered wings and pure expression on her face emphasizing the similarities of this figure to common depictions of angels. She is, indeed, taking wing.

It is drawn with pencils over a brown base, a canvas that allows the artist to not only add shadows using dark colors, but also allows highlights to be added just as easily using white pencils or paints. (If you’re a budding artist wondering where to find this type of canvas, you need not look farther than your pantry: one artist I met simply cut up empty cereal boxes and drew on the interior. Now that’s recycling!) Using this medium allows the artist to add more depth and mood than normal white paper usually allows, which opens the door for a lot of creativity.

One of the hardest things to get the hang of in figure drawing is foreshortening. Unlike drawing blocky buildings, where you can simplify distances through drawing lines in a perspective grid, human (and most non-human) forms are built almost exclusively using perpendicular and parallel angles. So to apply perspective to such a form, and trick any viewer’s eye into believing your flat canvas has a three dimensional person on it, takes much practice, study, and perseverance.

MichealHoweArts shows his artistic dedication in “Take Wing”: not only is the foreshortening on point, aiding in giving a cinematic angle on this kyrie warrior’s flight, the artist uses several techniques to bring this piece into the third dimension by making the objects in it farther away. Raelin’s lower half and the fortress below her seem to fade into the distance, using lighter pencil marks and fewer highlights.

While the piece’s subject is drawn in a symmetrical manner, making her seem in control and calm, the framing is at a slight angle, which adds to the idea of movement and motion in the sketch, as though she were moving too fast to look at head on.

The entire image comes together in a way only a practiced and dedicated artist could achieve, depicting the vertical ascension of this angelic warrior. And that brings us back to the title: “Take Wing.” This title not only drives this work of art home to the viewer, but it opens up the idea of a metaphorical interpretation of the art; it encourages the onlooker to “attempt flight” in their own lives, to tackle their problems and weaknesses head on, and jump into whatever makes them passionate, and, maybe in this jump, they too will take wing.

Whether or not this metaphor was the artist’s intention, I don’t know. But that’s one of my favorite things about all mediums of art: it can inspire in ways the artist never even imagined. I’m sure when Craig Van Ness, Rob Daviau, and Stephen baker designed Heroscape, they never imagined the number of people it would inspire.

Last month, I encouraged everybody to keep on inspiring. This time, I want to parallel this with another idea: keep on being inspired.

And then, with that inspiration, take wing.


You can find more of MichealHoweArt’s work at his DeviantArt page.
Total Comments 2


The Grim Reaper's Friend's Avatar
I continue to be astounded at your ability to draw so much analysis from a picture, ES. Every time I read one of your reviews, I find myself looking at the picture entirely differently, as I realize things I only sub-consciously noticed before. Well done.
Posted April 21st, 2016 at 11:49 PM by The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
Evar-Scarcarver's Avatar
I'm lucky enough to have found a writing subject in which I can utilize my passion for art and my mostly useless ability to analyze anything almost to the point of absurdity, and sometimes beyond.

I'm glad my work is appreciated.
Posted April 22nd, 2016 at 05:02 PM by Evar-Scarcarver Evar-Scarcarver is offline
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