To finish off this week’s HeavenWard art, a poster of the main cast. Thanks for looking!
I wanted the first thing you notice to be his half-mask. His perceived destiny is heavily influenced by the prophecy of the next Buddha leading the world into a new age, and so I wanted that mask to reflect the neutral, enlightened expression commonly found on the faces of Buddha statues. I thought it unnerving to have the mask of inner peace on part of the face while the eyes were still visible to betray Maitreya’s actual emotions.
Oh, and while I gave him a robe, I left his chest bare because I was sick of women getting to be the only ones to be showing some skin in video games ;)
These are some samples of the research I did to come up with the final sword design. I looked up real sword images that had the shapes and details I was looking for, followed by mythological concepts and imagery that would suit the sword’s purpose in the story. From all this information I eventually created a sketch of Sunyata that I was satisfied with and used it as the basis for the colored final.
This palette is interesting because you can see my intentions vs. how it actually came out. I had originally planned on it being colored in a painterly way, utilizing Tara and Daigo’s colors (seen on the bottom half of the palette), but blended with the firelight and night colors. I wanted the light and dark to be important, so I started my first pass by coloring using only the yellows at the top of the palette and the dark gradient in the background, so I’d know what do in later drafts. The result was so unexpectedly unified that I realized that all the additional colors weren’t necessary. So my palette went from dozens of colors down to six, and I think it’s all the better for it.