Every time I start a new sketchbook (roughly every six months or so), I draw Rivek in whatever is outfit design is at that point. it’s a way of seeing how far I have come and how far I need to go. These are usually done in airports and on planes since I like having new sketchbooks for trips – and because the whole character centers around flight.
I did this waiting to take BUR -> OAK to see some college friends in San Fransisco. It has some stronger linework due to influence from Eric Canete. His costume uses more metal and doesn’t have as dramatic sleeves anymore since I wanted to trim the silhouette into one that accents vertical lines (I know, because he’s not a skinny whelp enough as it is). And his pose is not relaxed and he’s got more of a smirk because I wanted something more excited about life this time around.
When I flew back home for a week in August, I lost my pencil case (including my signature stamp). So after flipping out, I bought some cheap pencils to draw with (HB, I am accustomed to 4B). But I still didn’t want to do anything fancy, so I decided to try and draw portraits of my characters (a few I have never shown the public before, even!). The goal was to get them to look different but keep nationalities and family relationships similar. I need to draw smaller eyes.
Rivek is our socially-stigmatized main character who serves as the personal agent and doer of dirty work to the doctor-princess, Willow. She is as stubborn and bull-headed as she is hopeful.
In order to gain an ally and stop a war, Willow is set to marry another prince, Fenne, but he re-negs on the engagement when she proves her feelings really lie with Rivek – costing him his ability to walk. To take our his frustration, he banishes Rivek and hires Rivek’s best friend, Bohren into his guard. Knowing they are now on opposite sides tears Bohren to pieces because he still needs to separate his feelings between friendship and homosexual romance.
In exchange for a new pair of legs, Fenne allies with Sorian, the leader of the country invading Willow’s territory. Together, they build war machines and commit genocide.
Eamon is Fenne’s scientific advisor – who helped Willow with her doctor training back in school – is afraid that the princes will murder his daughter, Perrin. So the pair seek refugee status with Willow. She accepts, and Perrin develops a rapport with Rivek due to their interest in dark magic. Rivek looks over Eamon’s notes and helps re-work them to use dark magic, thus giving their side an edge advantage.
But to using dark magic requires dark mages, so he seeks the help of his estranged sister, Mirab. She agrees if once the war is over, Willow and her congress stops the genocide against their people. Kai is her adopted son. His merchant father abandoned him when he began to show traces of dark magic.
There are more details, but I think that’s enough for now. Those things in the corner are some dress silhouettes from the Alexander McQueen Exhibit. Everyone’s name ends in an “n” sound.
This is an outfit design guide for the seven countries that make up the continent of Mondigan. It details stuff like climate, color scheme. All designs are based around a central tenet of the countries’ value system – represented as a simple geometric shape that gets repeated in the outfit. Countries that are more similar in mindset use more similar shapes. Each also has a signature style item unique to that culture. Unity for the entire continent, though, should be derived from similar materials.
Expanding on that further, I went ahead and drew some male and female Alisian outfits. Alisians live in a strict, role-based meritocracy where rank is determined by what you have done and what your forefathers have done. Although there is a certain genetic phenotype common in Alisians (tall, thin, pale, non-red hair, angular skull, hooked nose), appearance, gender, and sexual orientation are not measures of a person’s value. Especially if that person can wield a sword. An Alisian is self-defined by their devotion to their religion and having been raised in an Alisian culture.
Despite being a military culture, the central tenet of Alisian religion is “balance” of light and dark. All things in moderation. Therefore, their visual design symbol is a diamond – symmetrical on all sides but still highly dynamic. Given that Rivek and Mirab are half-Alisian and best represent the phenotype, I have drawn them in generic male and female Alisian clothing. The cuts are slightly different to exaggerate how the diamond form falls along each gender, but given that gender is not a defining trait of the individual, the overall design remains mostly the same.
The sleeves are tied to the main shirt body and often not used in summer. They can come in multiple lengths, mix and match for variety. However, it is important to note that – even in the dead of winter – sleeves and arm gear are not worn during religious ceremonies out of respect.
Alisians begin combat training as soon as they can walk, and young adults tend to venture to other countries to seek temporary work. So although much of the Alisian economy is self-sustaining on fish, sheep, and tough grains, they also receive a strong vein of outside income from steel and mercenary work. Unscrupulous, non-religious, private businessmen will usually hire an Alisian bodyguard (this is how Rivek’s father and mother met). So, completely illogically, I drew Bohren in a tentative Alisian armor design… which I am not promptly scrapping. It is far too impractical. I also meant to draw Willow in Alisian priestess robes, but I got lazy.
Sometimes, I draw my characters in their skivvies. For the record, this is what they would wear to sleep. Done in the lobby of =ProdigyBombay‘s ultra-cool workplace while I was waiting for her to hang out with me.