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Shinok for Justin by rndfantasy Shinok for Justin by rndfantasy

15 minute painting video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_6Rzr…
60 minute painting video with commentary: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc30dD…


Justin’s Shinok the Crucible was a neat character. I rediscovered how much I love drawing reptilian things in the previous week’s character and was relieved I got to do another one again so soon. Though not a conventional dragon-esque race, I felt he still fit in a Fantasy setting fairly well so I was happy to move forward.

My primary concern was the anatomy. Creaturely races are my favorite because of the challenge of resolving their anatomical issues. Shinok was a great opportunity for this because he was really a blend of four different body types: Human, Pterodon, Theropod and Avian.

When incorporating wings it’s best to put at least moderate effort into attaching them. If they have arms that are wings (rather than arms and wings) then you’ve got an easy path laid ahead of you. But if you’ve got all 6 limbs going on it’s going to be a challenge. Once you’ve looked up how a bird’s double-pectorals line up you’ll see what I mean, not to mention the nightmare that is the shoulder blades. Those are hard enough when there’s only two. I fall on the side of “it’s not SUPER critical to get something anatomically accurate”, because unless you’re a zoologist you’re probably never going to get there. I think there’s a lot to be said about lumps and bumps and arrangements of anatomical features on a character that showed you tried being plenty. If the thought is visible then you’ve done your job.

On his wings and feet I gave him shorter fingers. Pterodactyls were more often than not cliff dwellers that would climb up and jump off to glide and they often had short, stumpy little fingers. It just makes it much easier to hang and climb for longer and further that way, so I figured some aspect of that would carry over into his species.

His armor is designed to be flexible and light, so it’s segmented and perforated. It’s really there mostly for stopping slashing attacks. Plus, with it being gold (he is royalty after all) it wouldn’t be as suitable for flying if it was solid.

His race can breath fire, so I gave him vents on the side of his snout for an air-intake. Nostrils might not be big enough, plus it’s a unique look. I have used this design in my professional work so this isn’t the first place it’s been seen but I’ve always been fond of it. And besides, a large creature like, flapping and flying and fighting would need to be able to take in a lot of air.

The rods in the quiver between his legs get heated up and hurled towards his enemies as molten bolts, and his people are talented glass workers because of this ability, so he has little glass beads inlaid in his armor here and there, which was Justin’s idea, and I thought it was a very wise call.

He has golden rune “stones” on his belt in the sacred symbol of his people, the triangle. The runes are done in a cuneiform that his race could write with their talons pushed into clay.

His cape is covered with the weapons of his fallen enemies he’s gathered, but I rolled it up into two ropes and tied it up behind his head so it didn’t interfere with his wings. The feathers act as distinguishing plumage. Like a crown that won’t fall off or weigh him down.

He was a challenging and rewarding character to do. I hope he serves as an encouragement to people with less-than-conventional characters to join in.

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Submitted on
March 27, 2016
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