One of our major projects we have this semester is the canon project, where we were to make a reference sheet of a character, describe the style we used and how to replicate it, and the story of the character. I wanted to use this project as a way to help myself flush out a character I’ve had sitting in the works for the past two year; Illia, a tribal ‘witch’. Before this I had never really taken the time to write the things in my head out, or apply a permanent color to Illia’s design. This project also helped me work on consistency in my style, which was admit-ably something I found a bit challenging as the views began to turn from front to side. We used pen and beinfeng paper for our black and white images, and in order to add line weight I bolded the lines where skin, clothing, and hair overlapped. It was then transfered my image into Photoshop and balanced out the colors to get a nearly solid black and white image. In order to add color I added a multiply layer on top of the lineart layer, which allowed the lines to show through the top layer of color.
Illia’s world is based around a tribal or village-like society, with pockets of people working and living together to survive. They come from a more arid environment similar to Africa or South America with high temperatures and a vast variety of biomes around, hence the lighter clothing that would prevent the trapping of heat. These tribes are stationary, and rely on hunting, farming, and herding for their food. All of the tribes believe that there is a realm of spirits parallel to their own, where the dead go and where god-like spirits come from and reside. There are only certain people, generally females as they are believed to have a more loose soul, who have the ability to cross between the two and communicate with the spirits, and they are the Witches of these groups of tribes. A Witch acts as not only as the bridge of mortal and spirit planes, but also as a sort of healer or magic user. They perform rituals and ceremonies, and help keep troublesome spirits in check
Illia is the latest Witch to the tribes under her care, after the passing of her guardian and mentor. Witches choose their apprentices at a young age, basically raising their successor from a young age and act as their guardian. Witch apprentices are generally chosen before they turn four years of age, and spend very little time socializing with other tribe members due to the secluded nature of Witches. This ends up giving them a loner nature, as throughout most of their lives they only truly converse with one other living person; their mentor. Illia is no acceptation, and along with this she is a very serious character. She has little time for joking and prefers to get her work done and swiftly and smoothly as possible. She believes her duties as a Witch are her first and only task that need be bothered with, so she socializes only when performing her work. This can make her a bit awkward in some situations where she doesn’t truly understand social cues not taught to her by her former mentor, and she isn’t one for long explanations or exposition.
Illia’s outfit is light and easy to move in, due to the hot climate and how much she needs to travel and the terrain. The necklaces she wears are made of gold, along with the bangles on her ankle and arms, and the ovals on her belt. Gold is believed to have a powerful spiritual connection, allowing easier transport of herself across the planes or mortals and spirits. Her top is dull brown as it is made from animal hides, while her purple skirt is a sign of her ranking and power in the tribe. The other accessories also have a connection to her ability to touch the spirit plane, and the marks under her eyes are to act as other eyes, or allow her to see spirits. Her belts are not used to hold up her skirt, but rather to tie items onto for transportation.