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Black Library: Damocles by ukitakumuki Black Library: Damocles by ukitakumuki
Check out the e/book here! :…
Illustration Games Workshop
Art director/producer: Karen Miksza

The brief for this one was a three-way melee between Kor'sarro Khan of the White Scars, Tau Commander Shadowsun, and Captain Kayvaan Shrike of the Raven Guard, amidst a mixed-force battle of White Scars, Raven Guard, and Cadian IG versus the Tau fighting atop a rocky promontory with jungle.

The main focus of the show is Shadowsun, whom according to the reference and specs sent to me, often fields two shield drones. I thought that could be a perfect excuse to not end up in an awkward "2 on 1" prong attack. So that resulted in our assault marine captain Shrike pulling off a DFA and Kor'sarro timing a strike to take out her shield on one side.

Given the hardback template/format I decided early on to have two back to back crisis suits behind the main trinary to visually frame the action and hopefully some narrative link to what was going on in the background. While sketching in comp ideas I was thinking of World in Conflict FMVs (yeah I watched a compilation vid of the different sequences but set to just Audioslave's Shadow on the Sun... how apt for our Tau commander :p) which inspired that jungle crossfire for the back cover (left of image), along with some physics logic I thought should be observed such as "if plasma based weaponry gets spammed in the general direction of a forest, there should be a moderate to high chance of a forest fire occurring" which kinda explains why we see the charred dirt and branches and hints of trees on fire in the back.

Other favourite points of interest that I recall from half a year back:

-Singed/scorched Imperial armour versus cracked/gouged tau armour
-Drones buzzing a tree (near the sun)
-Devastator Raven going head on with the battlesuit turned away from us, armour in the process of being seared off chunk by chunk.
-White Scar reading poetry on the lawn in an admirable last stand
-Unfortunate IG, now literally half the man he used to be. Courtesy of being in the open when Tau heavy artillery drops.

Check back soon for The Shape of The Hunt!!!
Add a Comment:
Epifairos Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2017
Yes! The arrogant xeno filth learned to fear there. Barely escaped with her own life. Were not for the bitter endgame, I'd be quite satisfied. Hell, as I look upon this, I just see her chest punctured by Shrike's power claw even when I know how this actually eneded. My mind just wants to see the good guys win.
BULLETPROOFCHEETAH Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2016
Brutally epic!Red Hood 2 Icon 
fanglish Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2016
Considering Shadowsun still lives after facing those two badasses... I outta respect the girl. Even if she is a Xenos.
Sgt-Grimstad Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2016
Nerf Tau plz. 2 S8 AP2 Blasters is excessive for runty Shadowsun. This is how it should go down on the tabletop too. Love the Lore but can't stand the imbalance and unfair advantage of Tau & Eldar dominance on the tabletop.
phyzimpa Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016
not only is this a damn good drawing, it has tau getting their asses kicked. you trying to make me cry of joy or something?
AZpeasy Featured By Owner May 4, 2016
Way to look like a dick.
Ibnadiya Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2016
I wholeheartedly agree, Tau have no place in WH40k IMO.
Elouq Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2017
lol and the blocky legomen mary sues do? 
Ibnadiya Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2017
Elouq Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2017
No they really don't. space marines are the opposite of grim dark.
AZpeasy Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2016
Don't be a dick, Dick.
cheeselover555 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
Thing is, after this SHE'S NOT DEAD. I'm just about done.
Elouq Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2017
except this didnt happen you idiot.
turtlegate107 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2015
Pfff, The homegirl Shadowsun got dis!!! No prob she just likes to yell before she owns dem noobs lol 😁
SkyPotatoFire Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015
Very nice image of raw emotion of a battle.
mrjon17 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015
Thank you for sharing :) (Smile)

Joker iphone Wallpaper
Jeova0sanctus0unus Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2015
oi oi oi, but let´s be honest, they never stood a chance against Shrike, or am i wrong?
AZpeasy Featured By Owner May 4, 2016
The thing is, shrike actually never stood a chance against them.
Dragon-the-Tribrid Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Shadowsun looks like she's in trouble! The poor girl!
Elouq Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015
Very nice work of course, there's no denying that. However, I admit I do not like the portrayal of Shadowsun in this image, nor does it make much sense.
SFaccountant Featured By Owner May 27, 2015
I love how that one Crisis Suit is just sort of watching as Shadowsun is double-teamed by Astartes leaders.
"Should I... Should I help? I dunno. I think she's got this. I probably don't need to help."
Warhammer40kfanatic Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015
This is gorgeous!
guterrez Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
your work is amazing! the dynamic action puts you right in the middle of it.
any chance to see wip shots?
AngaelWings Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Student General Artist
more raven guard plzzz
qjs83 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014
I love it look like Tau got sandwich
Ravenkeeper Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
that tau commander is a gonner ^^; rocking action picture =)
Jase3gt Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
These are so awesome!
Chickendude Featured By Owner May 7, 2014   Writer
Incredibly gorgeous work, but as a Tau player I'm simmering with contempt for you portraying Shadowsun getting pwnd. On the tabletop each of her 2 S8 AP1 BS5 fusion blasters can insta-kill Kor'sarro Khan and Kayvaan Shrike at the same time.
cyberenddragon420 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2018
Deal with it. Shadowsun needs to brought down a peg, like on Voltoris, where she almost dies. Shrike's Raven Talons could gut her in one swipe and Khan's Moonfang could bisect her from head to crouch. Plus they're at close quarters where our two Space Marine commanders have the advantage.

Also, why is Shrike the only one wearing a helmet. I can get why Khan isn't but shouldn't Shadowsun be wearing hers.
Disembowell Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
Just assume the Crisis suit casting a glance at Shrike is actually about to explode his side wide open with a salvo from its Fusion Blaster, allowing Shadowsun time to swing round and slug a reeling Khan in his exposed face!

(...or not, everyone has to die but not everyone dies in such epic fashion)
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Don't shoot the messenger! :fear: Such was the brief

Thank you for the kind words nontheless! :)
ArtisOneofThem Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
Absolutely stunning work!

Davy-Art Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
Love it!
Badtucker Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
amazing work, tau lady has the wrong amount of fingers on her hand though, should be 4... not 5 :D 
I-am-number-777 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
oh very nice
JRDpaints Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
im very disapointed! its clear to me that ukitakumuki has obviously built a time machine, traveled to the 41st millenniem, taken a photo of this epic battle and then come back here to pass it off as his own artwork! :D
CanadianDesperado Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, technically seeing as how photography is considered a form of art... it would still be his artwork...
Legion1a Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
Stunning image :)
jamga Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
love it man!!! love it so much!
what could you do with the blood angels? niark niark niark
thevampiredio Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
brilliant piece dude!:D
drbrBr Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Stoooop eeet.
This is so awesome. All the little tiny storytelling details, the tying of foreground and background...
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Professional Writer
Another amazing work. :)
dukeleto Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very dynamic composition, tho it begs a few questions about the narrative ( I suppose I'll just have to read the book!)
How did Khan get so close to the centre of a Tau gunline?? (Shrike would find it easier of course, with his pack)
More importantly, how can all three named characters POSSIBLY survive this situation??
Still, amazing painting :+fav:
thenotsowelltaught Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014
breathtaking carnage!nothing screams Warhammer 40k better than that!for the details?I'm speechless,your work is literally godlike in terms of meticulous detail.
GreyMatterExtrusion Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
ArtistikReaper Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That Devastator though
eeLiquid Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
White scars. <3
blackcore11 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
epic work man.
DocWolph Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
"How did this happen? We were having such a nice picnic... Arrrgh!"
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Submitted on
March 15, 2014
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