Norwyn Graves is a background character from the Dungeons & Dragons campaign I was involved with at the time. And actually, this image is related to the D&D Rogue render since I explored similar ideas (Norwyn is also a rogue), and the two were drawn a day apart. I had a tendency to do long bangs hanging down in the character’s face (for both male and female characters) at the time, and with these two images I wanted to try something different. I wanted the hair pulled back into a ponytail except for a few short stray strands. I also wanted to see the ponytail as it would flow down her neck and upper back, but at the same time I didn’t want to hide her face. The solution? Draw her looking over her shoulder.
Drawn from my imagination one Saturday morning while listening to the commentary track of William Malone’s The House on Haunted Hill. At the time I didn’t have a still life handy, and even if I did I think I needed to do something drastically different from the headshots I had been doing. It’s clear I had no guideline due to the lack of distinctive facial features and a number of subtle inconsistencies—her head is turned at an uncomfortable angle in relationship to the rest of her body and her ponytail would not be that visible. But, on the plus side, it does bear resemblance to a quick (very rough) sketch I had done of Norwyn previously; however, considering that image also looked generic it’s not hard to match up things.
I did like how her hair turned out (especially in her ponytail)—the placement of highlights, shadows, and just the overall flow and shape of the hair. That’s easily my favorite aspect of this render. Drawing hair in detail still feels overwhelming, but at least it doesn’t feel impossible anymore.
And much to my surprise, I wound up liking how her hand turned out. Usually when I struggle endlessly, laying down line after line trying to correct the shape of an element it looks like complete and total crap. For once I manage to massage it to something I’m happy with and not ruin the picture with a bunch of lines that can no longer be erased. This is the first in a long long time, folks.