The Blog of Angelmorningstar & Dacrylagnia
This is my blog where I detail my thought process when making an illustration or creating a new character.
You may also find work-in-progress pieces, sketches, and other things I would not post elsewhere.
6.11.2023—A Noble Girl
Recently, I made a character design of a knight. It was my first real, true attempt at not only drawing armor but designing original armor. As to why I did both at once...well, I am a masochist, after all.
Thankfully, it is easier now than ever to find resources for all sorts of artistic endeavors. Going through tutorials and using photographs as references, I designed this fair lady:
The poor girl has no name yet. I drew her based on an idea I had of a beast girl who wishes to be a kind, noble knight - however, due to her nature, she is plagued by fantasies of violence and assault. As to not frighten people, she takes the form of a human woman.
Since she rejects her nature, I did not use pointed ridges for her armor like the ridges on her body. The way a character dresses can say a lot about them, so I was mindful while designing this aspect.
At her core, she is brutal, so I gave her a weapon to signify that part of her. It's a silver spiked club; sort of like a morningstar, but without the ball. The inspiration came from this picture:
I thought what if the weapon was just the handle part? and went from there. Sometimes inspiration is what you personally see in something, and not the actual intended vision. As Maung Thuta said: "A statue doesn't have to be inspired by a statue." (source)
Overall, my biggest mistake with the design is that I did not consider what her real form would look like while making it...
Nonetheless, I gave it my best shot. I gave her true form a lot of pointed ridges, black horns, and very small wings. She's supposed to be a wyrm. In her world, wyrms are seen as the less graceful, less respected version of dragon.
To be frank, I am still not very great at drawing dragons or dragon-like creatures. All the detail makes me go a little crazy. I think my prior practice helped a lot here. I could still do a lot better, but that will come with time.
I don't plan to have this woman as my main character. Actually...I have not even thought of the main character yet (ーー;) But I'll think of something! I think it is important to have likeable/interesting characters, even if they're just side characters. Something I love about 【Dark Souls】 is how there are so many eccentric, interesting characters, and you can really become fixated on any of them. I hope to bring out that kind of fascination in people with my own creations.
Until next time! ★
6.29.2023—Leucrocotta, To Devour a Human
I've designed a leucrocotta (also known by nigh endless variations of the words "crocotta" and "leucrocotta") as a part of my medieval-based world. I picked this as it came up during a conversation I had with David, where - among other creatures - the leucrocotta was mentioned.
For the appearance, I was inspired by a few things, one of which was this photograph I saw on Pinterest.
It's of an okapi, which have particularly long, black tongues. I ended up basing the leucrocotta's appearance pretty heavily on an okapi. Unlike an okapi, however, the leucrocotta does not feature stripes, large ears, or very thin legs.
For the sclera, I chose red as it is very striking. It is also reminiscent of one my favorite animals, the bearded vulture. Evolution-wise, they supposedly have these as a threat display. For my leucrocotta design, they just have them because I thought it looked cool.
source: Michel Gunther
I also chose to use red on the chest as it is supposed to resemble how male geladas flaunt the red flesh on their chests to attract a mate. I already used this idea for the ghouls in Angelmorningstar, so I dialed it back a little and just had the red be a splotch of color on the chest area. Perhaps female leucrocotta don't possess this marking...
I considered making the ass blue, but I wanted to avoid too much color and distraction within the design. No blue ass for you, leuleu.
As for the traits of the leucrocotta, I based it on actual descriptions of the beast, especially Pliny's from 【Natural History】:
"When crossed with this race of animals the Ethiopian lioness gives birth to the corocotta, that mimics the voices of men and cattle in a similar way. It has an unbroken ridge of bone in each jaw, forming a continuous tooth without any gum."
"In Ethiopia there is an animal called crocottas, vulgarly kynolykos [dog-wolf], of amazing strength. It is said to imitate the human voice, to call men by name at night, and to devour those who approach it."
This, to me, is absolutely fucking terrifying. And because I'm just like this, I decided to crank it up even further: my leucrocotta is a creature which preys on the heroic and empathetic of this world. The people who wish to save & help others are the ones who fall victim to it.
You may notice that in both written descriptions and visual representations of the leucrocotta, it is most popularly represented to be canine-like in some way, possibly because the creature these people were describing was what we now call a hyena. However, I think visually and conceptually this depiction is incredibly boring, nevermind how accurate it is. Ultimately, the biggest source of inspiration for my design was from the amazing person behind 【A Book of Creatures】.
I am obsessed, OBSESSED with creatures that resemble peaceful herbivores and should otherwise be peaceful herbivores, but are actually violent and cruel. Bonus points if the creature is also a carnivore. You can see this within the design of the unicorns in Angelmorningstar, which feature lion-esque front legs.
I am not sure I will ever get tired of this concept. I think my initial fascination of it came from the classic possessed horse scene with Farnese in chapter 124 of 【Berserk】 where the trusty steed of Farnese suddenly becomes possessed and attempts to rape her.
For today, that's all I have. Currently I am working on an illustration featuring the leucrocotta and Cateline, our noble knight. I hope to see you next time! ★