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MorriganFearn's avatar

Our Heroes Go for a Stroll

Done for #Evo-Obsessed-Club's Epoch Challenge! Finished two days late...

Anyway! Mystique (seen here as Raven Darkholme) and Destiny (the always lovely Irene Alder) living it up in Boston 1890s style! And I had other reasons for choosing Boston than the delicious history of marriage, but it fits. Also, celebrating Mystique and Destiny laughing in the face of society and Victorian!X-Men is actually a much better reason than my original thoughts. Which had to do with liking the TV show Cheers, and personal feelings about the Massachusetts set of comic book villains that never made it to Evo. >.>

This is definitely an early date for them. Mystique looking like a besotted lady hanging with her first crush was... a lot more challenging to draw than I thought. Besotted just isn't an expression that is easy to picture on her face. All clothing is based upon 1890s fashions, though some of the dresses I drew from were from a little after 1893, which was my intended year for this piece. And Irene's hair is not entirely out of place. Young ladies did have to cut their hair all off on occasion (if lice hit, for example), and a few women kept it short. Evo's Destiny, being a rather practical woman, probably wears hers short. Her lack of hat, however, is a failing that Raven intends to remedy with all speed. But right now Destiny is getting wonderfully ranty about how much she hates Wilde, and while Mystique disagrees in every particular, she loves hearing Irene lighting into people.

[link] (Note: OMGthatdress Tumblr tag '1890s' which I browsed at length. It's like TVtropes for Victorian fashion enthusiasts. It will eat your day if you get sucked in)

The view of that particular street of Boston visible over the park fence was extrapolated from reviewing Google Maps. I sincerely doubt that the park ever looked anything like this. I know that there is no climbing vine shaped like the bright green thing that has ever survived a New England winter outdoors (Boston being balmier than my area of New England not withstanding). With the setting I was just drawing greenery, and making guesses about what Boston looked like in 1893, but mostly I was drawing bushes and trying not to get bored drawing bushes.
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Thank you for this.
MorriganFearn's avatar
Thank you very much.
Beautiful piece, I particularly love the braiding, lovely work. The neck tie has to be my personal favourite though, being the same colour as Raven's true skin. Also it's a neat little reminder that the clothes are her skin too.

MorriganFearn's avatar
Haha! I'm so glad that you caught the neck tie! I thought it would be one of my secret jokes. If I was doing this piece over again, I think I would have tried harder to overtly match the colors of Raven's clothing to her season one costume, since she doesn't run around as Raven Darkholme after season one. Instead, I tried to incorporate all of her main costume changes through out the show. There's even some Risty there ;).
rodentfanatic's avatar
Oh man I thought this was awesome BEFORE I read the desription and now that I know it's DESTINY AND MYSTIQUE?


Firstly, just the idea is great. But the execution is what makes it marvelous. I love all the research you did on hair and fashion and such, Raven's top looks MARVELOUS as do both their boots, and the entire background is just...amazing. You got in trees, bushes, vines, and buildings and the streets sfjsjfkg ALL THIS DETAIL HOW DID YOU MANAGE THE PATIENCE IT'S GREAT. Also, uh, I love their noses and the difference thereof. Also, great hat, Raven! Get Irene one like it, stat, yes!
MorriganFearn's avatar
If you don't ship Rogue's Mommies being really dopey young ladies together, you are doing it wrong.

I saw the parameters for the contest, and I thought "I wanna make a fan art of Evo in period costume. They got my number entirely. It's as though they knew me. 'Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name...' WAIT! The year on the Cheers sign is 1895 or 1893 or something. I will use this era! This is an awesome idea!" Then I spent about three days looking at OMGthatdress and imagining Hellions in Victorian designs.

Initially it was going to be a much bigger ensemble piece on the Beacon Hill street with Charles and Erik passing each other in the night as it were, and the cast all about and running around. But it turned out that my lack of practice with strong landscapes means that I'm not great at drawing perspective properly. I started almost as soon as the contest was announced (March 19th was when all of my thumbnails and sketches were finished and I began to lay down the flat colors). I knew my picture would be really ambitious for my skill level, so begin early. About a week and a half before the deadline: the streets and sidewalks were a mess, one building had not been painted, and I knew that I couldn't fix everything, as well as finish doing all of the characters. So I had to change it up!

Beacon Street runs along one of Boston's famous parks, and I thought that I could use the bits of the background that were working--which was mostly the very far background--and use the greenery of the park to cover up everything that wasn't working. It was time to change the focus of the composition from "clash of ideologies" to something more personal. I already had Mystique and Irene heading off in an unofficial "third direction" from the main group in my initial sketch, and I decided that I should focus on them since they don't get a whole lot of fandom love, and I think their relationship in Evo--which seemed to be heading towards a breakdown in Rogue Recruit, but must have repaired itself slightly in the aftermath of Season One's ending since Destiny seems to be perfectly willing to give Mystique information in Season Three--is really fascinating. Also, the era's smart dresses would look fun on Raven Darkholme, while the era's practically frumpy dresses would work well on Irene.

The last week and a half have basically been drawing greenery, with about two days spent on Irene and Raven--mostly due to the horrible braid on Raven's jacket. So much pain. The trees and bushes were painful just because there were a lot of them to do, but I could be pretty sloppy with them because they were background... Raven's braiding had to look right. Sigh.

Anyway, I only detail my trials and tribulations because I read your journal--which I have thoughts about, but I wanted to get big projects off my desk before descending from on high to say rubbish--and I wanted to let you know that even when everything is a mess, you get to a point where you can figure out how to turn it around. It's rather like math, or reading and understanding something: you have a problem with your art, but if you think things through, it can come together again.

Also Raven's hat wouldn't work on Irene's hair. That hat is only staying on with the help of a hat pin. Irene needs something more solid, and possibly tied to her head so it doesn't fall off. She strikes me as the kind of lady who will happily go off the beaten track trying to discover a bee hive, or follow the sound of a cat stuck up a tree. Quiet but adventurous.
rodentfanatic's avatar
Thank you for the long response, and I do appreciate you listing out all of what you had to go through! It's nice to be reminded it's not just magic for other people either.
MorriganFearn's avatar
Whether you get a tablet or not, drawing to improve is going to be pretty frustrating as well as totally awesome. There's a lot of learning programs and tablet specific stuff that is horrible and boring, and digital classes often concentrate on photomanipulation rather than digital drawing and painting, so you'd want to ask your teacher about the direction the class would go in.

But if you want it, you can make it happen. It's taken me years where I am--and I still have new goals of my own to reach--but because I'm working on art projects so often now, I can see myself improving with each piece, and that is always going to be awesome. So! Go in the way that suits you the best, and keep at it. You might want to try challenging yourself to draw a character each month, or do someone's face per week or something for a bit. My New Year's resolution has been to take on at least one contest/challenge set by someone else per month. I do work, and try to go outside of my technical zone, and since I'm doing it pretty consistently, I get to see change, and practice new things that I've learned.
rodentfanatic's avatar
I've been checking out tutorials on how different brushes and such work, and it all seems very tedious and complicated, so with my illusions about the seeming ease of digital work properly adjusted, I'm thinking about whether this would work better for me or going further on what I already know about using different real materials, applying different pressures, etc. Periodic challenges sound like a good idea either way!
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