Photoshop Painting Catchup #16: Master of Scrolls


  • Agard walks the halls of the cloister library, hunched and wrinkled, his gold-tipped quill raised over the ancient tome he carries in his other hand. His long, greasy, gray hair lays in tangles at his shoulders and his bushy grey beard is a mess, hygiene is a small price to pay for learning.
  • He's draped in a ragged, grey cloak with a white tunic and brown tunic. A series of pouches around his belt carry tucked away scrolls and vials of ointments and inks to maintain the aging pages of the books he tends in hopes that they can outlive even him.

This is the most 'character' driven illustration I've done to date. I always try to find a pose that at least compliments who the character is, but interesting visual details usually lead the way. However in this case it was much the other way around: this pose isn't about showing the visual details, clothes, and character inventory. This is much more of a portrait.

I'm intimidated by the idea of drawing age wrinkles, beards, and scraggly hair, so I stayed in my familiar thick-lined black-and-white territory for this one. Heavy shadows definitely help with wrinkles, it makes the judgement call on what lines will and will not show easier. Thankfully I also had an excuse to put him in a fundamentally shapeless robe, which takes quite well to this style.

I am less than thrilled with the hands. The fundamental positioning is actually quite good, but I failed somehow with the thick line technique. I think I might have been better served showing more age details on the hands, but I'm also not sure how to do that without overdoing it. Something to chew on.