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Shadaan's avatar

Cottilion: the Rope - November

Cottilion: The Rope. God assasin from Malazan book of the Fallen.

Toll the Hounds, Bantam Press TBP page 525 .

From Karsa's meeting with Shadowthrone and Cotillion.

"The bare-headed one was plainly featured, pale as if unfamiliar with sunlight, his dark hair straight and loose, almost ragged. His eyes shifted colour in the sunlight, blue to grey, to green and perhaps even brown,
a cascade of indecision that matched his expression as he in turn studied the Toblakai."

Shirtless of course for pin-up vibe, took liberties with his weapon and attire, but still happy with the colour and depth of the image. thats ST in the background being shifty.

Took me ages to develop. Had to call an end to it eventually though.

Done on CS4
while Listening: to 30 seconds to Mars on replay/ it was ritualistic so kinda freaked people in the house :)
Image details
Image size
1700x2333px 539.3 KB
HP Scanjet dj_d02c
Date Taken
Sep 11, 2011, 7:54:19 AM
© 2011 - 2021 Shadaan
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Limon4Rock's avatar

Is he available for parties? ;)

Incredibly beautiful and realistic - major props for that. He doesn't look like his muscles are a sack of footballs shoved in a torso-shaped bag. He's gorgeous!
Shadaan's avatar

Thank you for this comment, I'm glad to hear you like it so much!

...And yes, if the pay is good. ;)
DameOdessa's avatar

Your splendid work has been featured in my journal: [link]
Shadaan's avatar
Oh that is great news indeed! hehe thank you so much :D
ryusenka's avatar
wow, the muscles are really detailed. Is this from reference or the mind?
Shadaan's avatar
mostly from my head but I had a few refs. Helped me work out veins and such.
ryusenka's avatar
That's what got to me actually! How realistic the veins are, man I go to the weight room and see this big doods looking just like this!
hellhowler's avatar
I always wanted to paint those two. Your artwork makes it clear how hard it is. Both characters are so.. unusual and weird.

I really like how you developed Cotillions character, even though I always pictured him with less muscles. Probably with some shirt/coat, but hell, you probably stop caring about such things when you become a god. And if I had a chest like that I would remain topless even in winter.

As for the Shadowthrone, I have ~20 different sketches of this figure and I'm happy with none of them. Many are close to your idea, but in my opinion they don't, just as your doesn't completely, show the ever-changing, semi-transparent creature made of shadows.

I still like this picture, especially how skillfully you've rendered the muscles.
Shadaan's avatar
Thanks for commenting! Yep these two are really subjective characters. My mental image of them shifted a few times through the entire series, I'm happy with cottilions face and shadowthrones smile, the rest I'd change in a hartbeat given the time and incentive.

I have always seen Cottilion as a cross between classical greek super athlete and a traditional Martial artist. something about his character says he'd obsess over perfect form. the problem is an athlete can be lean or heavy built my gut now tells me I should have aimed for something leaner. Also yes, a god of assasins would likely be covered in dark cloth, this was meant for a pinup calendar so I felt It more appropriate to have him half dressed.

shadowthrone is not the type of character I'd appreciate without motion. if someone (me or anyone so inclined) where to try him, I'd imagine a more dynamicly abstract shadow pattern second time around.
wow love your work its nothing short of incredible.
i had always imagined cottilion to be quite sturdy of build though i feel as though he should be dressed i a robe of some sort similar to the night of knives. also cottilion may be a god but he is also a man in his mid to late 40s, as such i think he should have some grey in his beard and maybe his hair.
also is i remember correctly its cottilion who smiles since he is possibly insane, shadowthrone on the other hand is sound of mind and an ascendant of the warren of shadow, so his smile might be more sinister.
anyway just some suggestions and feedback, as i said i love your work and hope to see more.
Shadaan's avatar

Thank you for the feedback, really appreciate your enthusiasm.

I hope to do something like this again soon. when I do I will keep this in mind.

I haven't read Dancer's Lament yet but when I do I think I'll give the characters at the heart of the Malazan Empire a proper go with all the lessons I've picked up over the years.

Again thanks for coming in and sharing your thoughts. :D
hellhowler's avatar
It's really hard to find information about Cotillion's looks in the series. I'm just about to read all the books for the second time and this time I _have_ to take notes. But I digress.

As for the Dancer, yes, I guess I'd see him much leaner (but still well-built) and wrapped in night camo, but again - It's pretty hard to make a shadowy-dark-hooded-etc creature look interesting.

Still, after seeing the rest of your gallery (and how fast you're progressing as an artist), I'd love to see an updated version of Cottillion some day.

And again I agree, Shadowthrone is to me more like a pattern of ever-changing shadows without a surface or a direct source of light to cast them. Probably the closest I got was making a 3D model, rendering it with strong light, then extracting only the shadows. Then changing the angle of light and repeating the process a few times. What I ended up with were many layers of shadows resembling a vague representation of a human. It still didn't work to well.
Shadaan's avatar
Wow that's interesting, did you post it up anywhere? I'm keen to have a look. As far as originality goes that tops the chart!

I think I'm gonna try a more elaborate picture for my next Malazan effort, trying to get my dynamism game going so I'm planning to do a few fight scenes.

Cottilion and Kalam fighting in the tent was one of the ideas I felt like persuing but I doubt I could make the lighting work as its meant to have been in near complete darkness.
hellhowler's avatar
I guess it's still somewhere on my drive. It never actually went through digital painting process, just a shape on a transparent background. If I stumble upon it you'll be first to know :D

As for a fight scene, I'm all for it, especially that you've some sketches of them both I can see.
kulezamtima's avatar
i taught u well hmmmmm bakha tis better when viewed on big screen ya ..not on ur phone love the rope thing ..dopeness bro . wait did u do this one with a mouse too ?
Tellann's avatar
Looks really great, love that Shadowthrone is indistinct in the background, really adds to the painting as a whole.
Lunn's avatar
Love this!
Shadaan's avatar
thanks lunn, glad you like it :)
max7773's avatar
Fantastic work; he looks like a pretty scary guy! The purple brings the shadow into it nicely too - nice one :D
Shadaan's avatar
thanks max, had too play with tones a little, the original colour scheme was a grey type effort, felt too literal so went with purple too up the vibe. Good to know it was the right move.
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