Wicked Presence of Spirit Hoarder || Splinterlands Art Contest
Spirit Hoarder's lore gives me the creeps. It is one of the few Chaos Legion monsters that have a very mysterious lore. There aren't too many details about its origins or its background. It makes the monster that much more scarier and gives depth to the character. It exclusively pushes the dangerous nature of the monster. After reading the lore, I decided I wanted to depict what I felt Spirit Hoarder would look like roaming the lands.
I started with the environment. After reading the lore carefully I pictured Spirit Hoarder in a barren land, which became barren because of him, of course. It felt like wherever he steps, he ensues chaos and death. He leaves nothing but fear and confusion in the hearts of the victims before reaping their spirit. So the environment must feel eery and confusing. The best way to depict that would be to create a dark and distorted reality.
I used this free to use image from pixabay which has a very dead look and the sky looks a little eery. I distorted the image a little bit, added some dark blue color balance to make it darker, tweaked the brightness and curves in a few places and darkened the top of the sky.
From the lore, we can learn that the body of Spirit Hoarder is somewhat timid and weak looking. The beady yellow eyes and the staff is what really grabs attention. So I sketched out a very generic looking body in a walking position and tried to map the perspective. While sketching I thought of adding 3 mini-vortexes to match the lore but I later trashed the idea since it would not make sense to have a dead environment and vortexes in the same scene. Also, no idea what would be inside the vortexes since there is no info about it in the lore.
Described as almost dryad-like in its appearance by the few that have lived to tell the tale, the Spirit Hoarder is a faceless creature aside from two large, yellow eyes. Its body is a deep green with tributaries of aqua blue running through its skin, converging into jagged dorsal vertebrae along its back, and the uneven ruts of its head almost look like broken wood jutting away from the otherwise smooth and serene outline of its body. The alien appearance of this creature makes it difficult to tell where it resided on its home world, and it is likely at some point in evolution its habitat was in water, but now it is clear that it makes its home on solid ground and is completely terrestrial.
From there it was all about giving definition to the monster and adding all the details as close to the lore as possible. I began by first filling in within the guiding lines and then erasing parts to make it look more natural and free-flowing. Then I added shadows and highlights to make it look a little three dimensional. Finally, to sell the perspective, I added some really dark shadows to one side and bright highlights on the other side where his staff would be.
The most fun part was creating the glowing eyes and the marks on the body. I wanted to create a beady set of eyes but while making them I realized it wouldn't stand out during nighttime so I switched it for glowing yellow eyes. I created the shape with the pen tool, filled it with a dark yellow color, added a brighter yellow pupil, and added glow around it.
For the markings of the body, I used the pen tool again to create paths. Then I filled these paths with varying brush sizes and bright aqua colors. I used the "neon" technique on these paths. Basically giving them a little glow and light dissipation.
The staff was a very fun learning experience for me. It would be the first time I would be making a single piece into different separate pieces. The top of the staff is basically two wooden pieces hovering against each other. That means I have to create convincing and well-placed shadows to make them look like separate pieces.
I used this free to use wooden texture image from pixabay. I had to color correct it and orient them differently since I didn't want the grains facing the same direction. Just a small detail.
I created the shapes for each segment, added shadows and a blue highlight around the center where the blue magical ball would be hovering.
I used the shape tool to create the base structure of the magic blue ball. I filled it with a bright blue color, added a white round dot on the top side to make it look like it is glassy and glows, added some highlights and a bright white stroke around it to make it look a little crispy.
I learned a new skill today. I wanted to show that the Spirit Hoarder is magical and surrounds himself with spirits.
The mystical bubbles of light! Finally, when I had the idea to make the entire thing more mystical, I played around with the brush settings and found out that I can scatter brushes. I used that to create mystical bubbles of light of varying sizes and brightness. I thought it looked very good.
This is the final result. I added more spirits around him with varying colors to make it look more intense. I blurred the background and the lower foreground to add perspective. To really give it a grungy and eery vibe, I added some haziness and dimmed colorful mist around the Hoarder.
I really enjoyed giving life to the Spirit Hoarder and learned a few new things in the process. Do leave your honest reviews and a few tips on how I can improve!
See you on the battlefield!