How can I show a war­rior point­ing a sword at the viewer?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -

Blaire Went­worth, US

Sara replies

This is a great way to in­volve the viewer in the il­lus­tra­tion and there are many ways to ap­proach it, but the first thing to keep in mind is that the war­rior’s eyes must be look­ing in the same di­rec­tion in which the weapon is aimed. I place this point ap­prox­i­mately in the mid­dle of the im­age, where the viewer’s eye is fo­cused. The most im­por­tant el­e­ment is the per­spec­tive of weapon and arm, be­cause this will de­ter­mine how three-di­men­sional your il­lus­tra­tion looks. For the sword I choose a van­ish­ing point com­pat­i­ble with the di­rec­tion of the arm, and I draw the blade in a not-too-cen­tral per­spec­tive, be­cause cen­tring it would make the im­age very static and a lit­tle ‘con­trived’.

The more pro­nounced the fore­short­en­ing (point­ing to­wards the viewer’s eyes), the more the tip of the sword will ap­pear big­ger and brighter, but the length of the blade will be re­duced, as well as the arm. I pay at­ten­tion to the anatomy of the arm (you can use some pho­tos as ref­er­ence), which is es­sen­tial for cre­at­ing a con­vinc­ing im­age.

I add some de­tail to my war­rior, but not too much – I have to keep the pointed sword the fo­cus of the piece. No­tice how the sword con­struc­tion lines con­verge at a point ori­ented with the di­rec­tion of the arm.

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