Tuesday, January 27, 2015

AS&SH: Terracotta Warriors (Tomb Guardians)

I have been working so long on this project I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. +Jeff Talanian's Astonishing Swordsman & Sorcerers of Hyperborea has filled even my dreams at night. This illustration is for the supplement "Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess" by +Joe Salvador. It should be released via Kickstarter (once I finish my bit).

It was a real treat to work on this one, after drawing all of the dinosaurs that were required. 

Here is my version of the Terra-cotta Warriors. 

Terracotta Warriors RPG drawing
Copyright Del Teigeler 2015. Licensed to Jeff Talanian 2015. 

I went with a pseudo-mongolian/middle ages feel with these guys. I really liked the thief from the Arnold Schwarzenegger film with his fur hat with the turned up ear flaps, so I added that.  

I wanted them to be different from the originals of China, but keep the feeling that they were produced in a similar manner. The Chinese of the Qin Shi Huang dynasty, molded theirs from several clay molds and then attached the pieces. They produced them in assembly line style a millennium before Henry Ford was born. 

I started by researching the originals, google was great for that as usual. Then I worked on developing the look. I knew I wanted the hats, and the shoulder armor is reminiscent of the originals. I love drawing scale armor so that was a good choice for them as well. The problem with scale though is that it has that middle ages sort of feel. Combine that with thick bands at the hem, and the oriental styled shoulders and it actually went well. Top it off with a nice neckerchief (Asian inspired again).

For the boots I wanted to again recall a look that might be slightly oriental, so split toe with hard sole, and a bit of a looped clasp (which I mimicked in other places on the figure to tie it all together) and wallah! 

I think what I loved most about the Qin Shi Huang dynasty Terracotta Warriors was they all seemed to have that rolled-up sleeve look to them. Warriors needed to have their wrists and forearms bare so that they could perform martial arts with ease and agility. (or so I'm told). So i incorporated that as well. 

I started with the central warrior, and at first had the notion of just leaving it as that. But if this was to represent more than a solitary guardian of some long lost tomb, he needed associates.

This is where the fun began, at first I tried to duplicate by hand each of the others, but it didn't turn out quite right. So, off to the copier I went and copied the one on the left at 90% size and the one on the right at 85% size. It was perfect. A little sun lit window tracing and making sure they were lined up in proper perspective and we have ourselves a complete illustration. 

Thanks for reading along. 

Thanks for looking and comments always welcome.