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Art: Adol and Dogi, Mountain Path

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Adol is pointing towards the shrine above Zepik village, a part of his adventures that Dogi wasn't there to share with him first time around.

Bigger image below.

There are about 50 more images showing the stages in making this drawing in the next two chapters.

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The many stages of this painting.

First, practising drawing Dogi from official art. He has several different character designs..

Practising Adol.

The composition of this is directly taken from the game Ys I, the beautiful mountain path on the way to the shrine.

The clouds are pretty much done but the rest is still to be worked on.

I used a photo reference for the clouds and will also use photos for the cliffs, trees etc.

Screenshot from Ys I showing where I got the composition. I adored the scenery in this part. The background scrolls as you move, giving a huge sense of the rolling vista. A still image doesn't really capture it. Later on you see the same ring of hills from the tower, which is also amazing, but I loved the openness here when you first break out onto the top of the mountain.

Possible placement of the characters. I haven't yet decided how shippy I want it.

I'm swinging between more-than-friends-if-you-squint, all the way to outright adventure-boyfriends romantic kissing. Depends on how sappy I'm feeling on the day.

Worked on some of the mountains.

More work on the mountains and alternative placement of the figures.

Action romance. I liked the vertical placement and their clothes caught in the breeze but wanted more movement.

That mountain ledge was clearly far too perilous a place for action romance, though. A fighting pose perhaps instead?

Working on the mountains.

Mountains on the right. Trying to stop myself getting too detailed. Had to go back and add extra detail to the left cliffs to balance them out.

Starting the trees. You can see my reference photo peeking out underneath. Did a little more on the clouds between the mountains. I made them more realistic, but they looked worse like that, so I undid half of it.

Feeling a little nervous now that I've progressed this far. Backing up my drawing constantly because my tablet sometimes garbles my work, like this:

This pic is all messed up with a huge line through it when I try to view it on my tablet but it looks fine here? I don't get it.

Discovery: I have no idea how to tree. This is the third way I've tried doing it and I'm not yet happy.

Hair ruffling! Like in regentzilla's fic!

I think I just need to pick the simplest version of the figures and not try to be fancy or overstretch my abilities. Just getting disheartened now. Perhaps the pointing setup, but with their Ys Seven outfits?

This one.

This is about my seventh attempt at those trees. There are six layers in there although it doesn't look like it. Finally starting to be happy with them.

The whole picture is going to get cloud shadows over it once I'm finished, hopefully. That's what I'm most looking forward to doing.

Colour test for the figures. I think I'll do them in cel shading, a little brighter than my background, but a little more sketchy to give them a windswept look.

I kind of like this super sketchy look now.

More in the next chapter.

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Underdrawing for actual final figures.

I'm very heavily going by the promo art, but hopefully I've introduced enough small changes, mostly in their faces and their clothes fluttering in the breeze.

It's not turning out as sketchy as I planned but I still like it.

Colour test again. I might have to darken that green cloak.

Without the linework.

Nearly finished. Just the dark red areas to shade, then back to the landscape.

Dogi keeps going cross eyed on me. I might fix that later once they're in place with the background to give reference to his eyeline. He looks a bit young as well, although I think he's only 28 anyway versus Adol's 23 so I might leave that.

Working on Adol's sword hand. I used a hand reference from a fencing website. I found a reference for Adol's hair by searching for "boyband hair", which amused me greatly.

I changed Adol's grip on his sword to a more Japanese anime style grip instead of the Western fencing one I used before. This grip looks visually stronger although I'm not sure if it's a sensible grip in real life with the odd placement of that thumb.

Practising hands gripping swords, anime katana style.

New grip.

Back to the landscape next.

I doubled the cloak up by accident but it looked better like that, darker and like it's moving, so I kept it. I think I'll do the same to Dogi's clothes when I have some layers free later after finishing the trees.

Finally getting back to the trees. I make myself all nervous about these kind of things. I also added some highlights and shine on Adol's sword and armour.

Tree versions. No, I can't tell them apart either. I went with version one.

Doubled Dogi's trousers.

Finally did the cloud shadows across the land. I was looking forward to that. They didn't take that long in the end.

Foreground next. I'm going to put in a few wild flowers among the rocks, like in the game.

Messing with the faces at a late stage never goes well.

Reverted it back.

Did the foreground rocks and shadows. They were really quick. Just the blue flowers to add, and perhaps a little butterfly.

Pretty much done. I added some highlights to the front rocks as well. Finished! Woooohoo!

And there you go.

Just the landscape. This is kind of peaceful. The butterfly is the hero!