April 15, 2009

Ehlonna (DnD Goddess)

First of a series of five for my final project in Concepts 2; my self-designed project is to illustrate a selection of the deities from the Dungeons and Dragons universe in the tradition of medieval saint icons and images.

Here we have Ehlonna, the neutral good goddess of the woodlands. She represents balance, peace, and the natural world, uninterrupted. According to the Player's Handbook (I'm not looking at the deities book for this project, so as not to color my interpretations), her worshipers include elves, half-elves, rangers, druids, and those who live or make their livings in the woods. For this piece I chose to represent her as a traditional medieval hermaphrodite, an allegorical figure that represent balance by showing a single being that contains the range of human features. The hermaphrodite of this type of imagery has essentially two complete bodies, one male and one female, connected somewhere in the vicinity of the hip or ribcage. They're usually accompanied by other symbols of elements in balance, like the sun and moon, water and fire, or predators and prey at peace. I chose to take a light palette for this, along with simple costuming, to give the impression of light and purity. The backlighting was tricky to paint, but I wanted to give the figure a sense of luminescence even though technically the 'halo' is the light source. The textures applied to this are a collage of my own creation, which includes several prints of actual medieval images and a free texture from bittbox.


cait o said...

Am going to start with the 'critique' part, but they look really uncomfortable...? I think it's probably because of their positioning and how their arms just kind of exist but...not. If it's possible, it might just be better to meld them into each other and not give them separate arms in between because, while I like the idea of them holding each other, I think that you need more room between them to pull that off. The rest of your drawing is pretty realistic in terms of anatomy, so the weaker parts (like her shoulder) really pop out. Also, I don't know how far you want to push it, but I could go with some more 'neutrality/balance' symbols/decorations/accessories to take them into a 'god' realm, because (and I mean no offense by this) they kind of just make me think conjoined shepherd twins. (But I am alas, not a DnD-er, so maybe I'm missing something...?)

So for more tl; dr -- I really love the colors you've got going. That soft light is really excellent for 'neutrality' nice and 'in between', kind of a dawn or twilight feel (like in between night and day oh I feel smart!), I think, especially if you're going to push the 'good' piece towards ::insert heavenly sound effects here:: and the 'evil' piece to insane darkness. I'm especially drawn to the light on her face and, for some reason, the way they're backlit on their feet. The collage adds to a 'worldly', observer feel and I think it's used effectively as a texture (though you might want to push it back a little on his leg, just so it doesn't look like he's transparent.

So yeah, nice work! :3 Seems like you've put a lot of thought into it, and I'm excited to see the rest of them~

Wolfie said...


Thank you so much for the in-depth critique! I'll definitely see what I can do about those shoulders for the final--not for this week, since I have another one to color by tomorrow, but I should have time for edits before the last class :) I'm still really unsure about what other balance/peace/whatever symbols to include--originally, I did have a unicorn and lion symbol sort of hanging from a chain off the belt-thingy, but it looked very pasted on and awkward to me. Too forced, I guess. So I cut that one, but now I'm at a loss for how else to represent that with the constraints I have (size/shape and non-background). Any suggestions would be great, because I agree that they need another symbol or three but I don't know what they should be D:

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