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Kushiel's Dart
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By AngelaSasser   |   Watch
Published: July 24, 2013
© 2013 - 2019 AngelaSasser
| Signed Prints | Kushiel Art Blog | Kushiel Tumblr | Step-by-Step With Notes |

Time Lapse Video & Marque Design:

Phedre's Marque Final Version by AngelaSasser

EDIT:  I've re-uploaded this painting with a few changes suggested by the amazing folks at IlluXCon.  You can still see the old version here.

In an ancient land founded by angels, a young woman discovers her destiny as one touched by the Angel of Punishment, himself.  This is the tale told in Kushiel's Dart, one of my favorite mature fantasy novels and an endless source of inspiration for me.  I decided to test myself by designing a wraparound cover for this book as an exercise in my artistic and book illustration skills.  Check out the original cover by John Jude Palencar to see what the original cover looked like.

What I Learned:

-  Keep it simple!  If I were to start over, I would make this even more simple, since I got very carried away by all the details.  Clear figures and composition with a hint of narrative to tease the mystery are better than jam packed images that tell you everything.

- Master copies are the best medicine if you're ever stuck on a piece!

- Don't be afraid to 'murder your darlings'. I changed this image SO many times by the end that I pretty much destroyed it - ALL in service of making a more successful piece.

I'm keeping a journal, of sorts, of my Kushiel related art over at Kushiel Concepts and its tumblr mirror, for anyone wanting to see more.  The stuff that's too racy to be in this account's gallery will most likely end up there and over at angelicremains.:devil:  

You can also find more Kushiel's Legacy inspired work over at Nights-Doorstep:

Thanks to Zephyri and the Oatley Academy for all the great feedback!  I never would have pushed myself so hard without your knowledgeable guidance and ceaseless encouragement not to settle for less.
Image size
1200x837px 64.93 KB
anonymous's avatar
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SchmiedeTraum's avatar
Pretty artwork of a story i just began to read.
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
Ohh you're in for a treat.  Happy reading!
Itscary's avatar
Excellent and great work! I was impressed... what did I say? I was enthralled by the Jacqueline Carey's universe and literary style. Very good evocation of the Kushiel's mercy :) (Smile)  (if I remember well the name of ritual, mentioned at the beginning of one of the three books)
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
I was thinking of a very specific scene with Phedre where she was scourged as part of her penance by the priests of Kushiel.  That scene always stuck with me!  It's no coincidence that the doves in this painting symbolize the same ceremony with Naamah as well.  I'm glad you enjoy my painting! :)
SunfyreArt's avatar
SunfyreArt General Artist
This is more beautiful than I can properly express right now. Heart  I recently got into the Kushiel's Legacy series and love it to bits. Currently, I have too much month left at the end of my money ;) (Wink), but I shall buy this and hang it right next to my beloved bookshelf! There's some tragically empty space on that wall. :D (Big Grin) 
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
Thank for your kind words!  I consider it a high compliment that readers of the book enjoy this work.  :rose:
KushielFan's avatar
LOVE these books - this painting is a beautiful rendition of Phedre!
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
Thank you!  I'm glad a book reader approves.:)
Legion1a's avatar
Love the books - love your image :)
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
Thank you!  I'm excited to do more in this vein in the future.
AubreyDurant's avatar
AubreyDurantStudent General Artist
Love, Love, Love, This piece... She is quite Beautiful. You have captured Phedre in a Luis Royo kind of way Well done!
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
Thank you! That's quite the compliment.:)
Xuneneko's avatar
Love the books, and certainly love this one 
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
Always happy when I can please the book readers!
Aaron-Radney's avatar
Aaron-Radney General Artist
I've been following you for a long time actually without realizing it. I found this piece while doing work on a Kushiel's Legacy project of my own. Awesome! 
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
Hey cool! I spied the Kushiel's Dart t-shirt design in your gallery.  Awesome stuff!  I totally need to get back to this project of mine sometime. I hope to do my own versions of the other covers as well, including supplemental illustrations and designs.  Just not enough hours in the day right now!  Funny how you found this one before you knew who I was.:D
OtherWorldsArt's avatar
OtherWorldsArt General Artist
I love the process you're sharing with us. Cookie?
dashinvaine's avatar
Intriguing and beautiful piece. 
aicus's avatar
aicusHobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my goodness this is gorgeous! The lighting creates the perfect atmosphere, and I really love the little splashes of crisp detail and especially Kushiel OH MAN. I'm inspired to go pick up and reread the books now.
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
That's exactly the reaction I wanted to hear with this piece!:D
Keeshaba's avatar
KeeshabaHobbyist General Artist
Quite amazing. It's so serene, but at the same time, I can feel her longing. Bravo on bringing this to life.
MrsNox's avatar
MrsNoxHobbyist Writer
This is so beautiful, I liked the smaller image but this is a triumph. Rally well done on this. :) I was drawn to the attire at first, but now the candles are catching my attention. =3
impactbooks's avatar
impactbooksProfessional General Artist
This is amazing! I just re-read the Kushiel series this summer for about the 8th time. I love those books. This is such a great illustration for it! I'm going to have to go and look at all your other Kushiel art now.
AngelaSasser's avatar
AngelaSasserProfessional General Artist
So glad I have done this book of books any justice!  It truly is one of my favorite stories and it was important to me to try to channel the spirit of it.  It's gratifying to me that other fans can look at this piece and resonate with it.

I don't have much Kushiel art complete...yet!  To be sure, there will be more in the future, as I have plans to redo all of the covers for fun and practice.

I have to recommend you to the Kushiel group I run here on DA too. Lots more folks of similar interest there. 

Thanks for dropping by!  It's awesome to know someone on staff over at F+W is a fan of the series too. ;)

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