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Everything posted by sheep

  1. Branderbot 2000's newest novel features a love triangle for our sassy redheaded heroine. In this episode, she goes stepping out with a handsome prince in armour (refer to previous episode, Six Feet of Steel) who is not very smart but is pretty good at beating people up. Does she choose the mysterious shirtless bridgeman Kaladin? Or the well-heeled prince with sacks of spheres? It turns out the prince has mysteries of his own... how he poops in Shardplate.
  2. I'm still not happy with this picture but after a certain point I think I'll just call it a day. I started this a very long time ago and never finished it because I was unsatisfied at how it didn't match up to my mental image. I left it unfinished because leaving it for some time would let me have a fresh look at it later. Well I found it while poking around in my hard drive and tried reworking it several half a dozen times. It's better now but I think I will try again in another year and see how a fresh perspective will improve it. Some thoughts I had: Alethi genetics - they are like magnets: how the Braize do they work? There's variation between individual Alethi and between lighteyes and darkeyes due to foreign blood, but to Alethi viewpoint characters the differences between them and Earth humans are never pointed out unless they are very strange, like Shin eyes or glowing Knight eyes. In this drawing, I gave Adolin monolid east Asian eyes even though Polynesians have been described as similar to Alethi, and they have eyelid folds. I got no idea, man. I think Brandon wrote Dalinar while inspired by Mongolian generals. Trying to get the hair right was difficult, but I feel like I managed to capture my mental impression of it. I'm not sure how "black speckled blond" is supposed to look but most people interpret it as individual strands of black rather than streaks/locks of it. That is how I drew it, blond enough so from a distance you would just see yellow hair. However, in my stylised cartoon depictions I draw it with black streaks for convenience. In terms of his haircut shape I wanted to convey "youthful" and "playful" but not go full Bieber mode. And soft looking enough you would want to maybe touch it and pat his head like Shallan thought about on her first date. As a side note, I made his eyebrows blond and black as well. That prison scene in WoR mentioned that his beard hair was blond and black. One cannot help but wonder about the carpet and the drapes, heh. Officers in the warcamps wear "knots on their shoulders" to signify their rank, and Adolin's are gold for second or third dahn. Some other artists interpret this as the epaulet braids that some Earth military use, but I felt that if they were braids they would be described as braids rather than knots. So in my interpretation, they are like Celtic knots stylised into symmetrical glyph designs. I am aware that my Kholin Army officer uniforms are off-model compared to the book description of double breasted longcoat with silver buttons and single breasted waistcoat. In my original sketches I drew it that way, but it seemed clunky looking to me, so I took artistic license and designed something I felt looked sleeker and cooler for sky fighting. I know cravats are not in the official description either, but Sadeas and Amaram both wear them (book calls them "stocks", like the ones Earth equestrians wear) so they are known in-universe. Even though Kaladin probably wouldn't know how to tie one. Maybe Adolin taught him. Or maybe he uses Lashings to make the folds stay put. Apologies for this wall of text but explaining my artistic decisions is part of the process of transforming amorphous mental impressions of written media into visual media. And it demonstrates why everyone comes up with different visual impressions of a character.
  3. So, I know there's a gallery, but it only allows you to post one picture at a time, and I thought it would be a cool idea to share fanart illustrations I've done. SA is really colourful and reads like a graphic novel in my head sometimes, and I like creating character designs after finishing a book. Inspired by many many years of watching cartoons, as you can probably tell. Feel free to ask questions, give feedback, or whatever. This is just my take on SA, so artistic license disclaimer. Click to open spoilers, click picture to open up full size. Illustrated scenes "Visions from God" "Honor is Dead" "Lashed to the Ceiling" "Blossoms and Cake" "The Chasms are Mine" Character portraits "Kaladin" "Dalinar" "Navani" "Jasnah" "Shallan" "Adolin" "Renarin" Character designs "The Kholins" "Shardplate Proportions" "Dalinar and Navani" "Eshonai and Szeth" "PoV Portraits" "Frenemies" Shallan's sketchbook pages "AK + SD" "Stormfather" "Unconscious Brother" "Oathgate" "Adolin" "More Adolin" Silly stuff "Arena Groupies" "Eshonai the Explorer" "Mornings" "Kaladin Valentine" "Adolin Valentine" The end!
  4. I think of hand-painted book covers as throwbacks to the cheap pulp sci-fi or fantasy paperbacks I used to read as a kid. They're more charming and unintentionally hilarious rather than cringeworthy to me. Sure, they can be cheesy and really really dumb, but there's some nostalgia appeal to them, especially when medieval fantasy or futuristic space characters have big puffy 80's hair on the women, and gelled curtain hair for the men. Just look at this cover. It's so crazy. The Wheel of Time series has the same cheesy covers. Though to be fair, I get books for my eReader, so I don't have to publicly carry around these crazy covers that no one but me thinks is charming. At least it's slightly better than the bad stock image photoshops that many teen novels get. I wouldn't say I'm the old grump who yells at kids to get off the lawn or stop throwing cricket balls through the window, but the more fiction (books, movies, TV, etc) I consume, the less patience I have to tolerate blatant stupidity. I can deal with some of it, if the work has other redeeming qualities, like other smarter characters, or the stupid character smartens up, but my dislike of it is mostly due to the fact that my tastes have changed over time. I used to like the cartoon series "Spongebob Squarepants" when I watched it as a kid, and thought it was hilarious. But when I watch it as an adult, I don't enjoy it anymore, because the show runs off Spongebob and Patrick acting incredibly stupid and getting Squidward (the only sane character) into trouble. Spongebob is on the extreme end of stupid character that Kaladin doesn't come close to, but both of them trigger my reaction to dislike. It's hard to explain, but it pretty much comes down to factors that determine whether I enjoy a work of fiction changing over time. When I was younger, a story ending where the main character gets the guy/girl and teaches the bratty football captain/cheerleader a lesson in humility was enough for me to enjoy it. If I read the same story now, I would be rolling my eyes all the way through. We all look for different things when we consume fiction, and we all get different things out of it. I don't think any less of people who like Kaladin as a character, but his story arc doesn't create the same emotional response in me as it does for others. I think he's still an interesting character, and I don't hate him, and that is why the art section down below is "Kaladin Time" this week. It isn't explicitly mentioned in the series, but the Alethi characters are brown skinned and dark-haired like Polynesians or south/southeast Asians, and ever since I read that WoB, it's hard for me to picture any Caucasian actor or celebrity as an Alethi. My brain just doesn't compute. However, I've seen a few posts by people in the SA Tumblr community who think that Luke Pasqualino who played d'Artagnan in BBC's production of The Three Musketeers would make a decent Kaladin. I've done a couple of Eshonai pieces scattered in the first few pages of this thread, if you are bothered to look for them. I haven't done any proper Parshendi designs that show the differences between their different forms, since I've only drawn Eshonai and Shen/Rlain and they cover themselves up with Shardplate and uniform. So far, I distinguish Warform Eshonai from Stormform Eshonai by glowing red eyes. Bridge Four being in a band was so weird for me to imagine that I tried to balance out the "this would never happen" weirdness with a dose of realisticness. Lopen would be one of the few Bridge Four members who would willingly join the band, since he is the unofficial team mascot and comic relief. But he is limited by what instruments he could play. I enjoy reading lots of things so outside influences always show up in my art. A lot of the silly stuff (and the serious stuff too) I do was inspired by other things I've seen or read, and I try to point them out in the text descriptions beneath the art. Because the truth is that I am not really that creative or original as people think I am. I am just good at melding inspirations into something new-ish. As Adolin hasn't had enough vision difficulties to have impacted his daily life (he doesn't absolutely need to read when he has secretaries to do it for him, probably more of them than before since most of them are now widowed and in need of work) I don't see him getting the written version of the Breather Episode when there are more important things to worry about in Urithiru. And whilst he can't read glyphs, and may or may not be near or farsighted, he isn't colourblind at least. The wineshop menus label the wines by colour, so there's that. If you ever want to take a break from epic fantasy, there is a genre called "slice of life" that focuses on the everyday activities of characters in a fantasy universe. It's not highly dramatic, but sometimes it's good to read something where the fate of the world isn't at stake. It's surprisingly nice to have a book where no one dies. Something I have noticed about fantasy fiction (and other genres too) these days is the vocal movement of readers who thirst for and demand protagonists and settings to represent them, who reflect them in terms of identity, whether it be gender or race or sexuality or a combination of the above. People want to see themselves in the books they read, they want to see protagonists struggling with similar conflicting circumstances, they want characters whose difficulties reflect their own. It must be another weird personal quirk of mine, because most people want to read characters who are just like them, and I personally do not care. I do not need to relate to a character in order to enjoy a story. I don't need characters to be just like me. In fact, if there was a character out there just like me, I probably wouldn't read it. Because it would be so familiar as to be boring. When it comes down to it, I read fiction for the escapism. Everyone knows what their own life is like, but through fictional media can a person experience the alternatives. So when I see people who complain that there are no protagonists that perfectly represent them, and that a series or the whole genre of contemporary fantasy sucks because of it, I think it's kind of silly. I don't care who or what the protagonist is if the prose and plot are creative and well-written. All the people who demand authors write relateable characters, and refuse to read stories where they are not, are missing out on really good books with original characters who might not be human or even alive. Black Beauty and White Fang had great animal protagonists and Caves of Steel had a robot android MC. Just to be clear, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wanting a protagonist to be relateable, I'm just wondering when it became such a vital component of having an enjoyable reading experience. It has never mattered that much to me; the real factor for what I consider a readable story is having a likeable protagonist, and other than that, I have never felt unsatisfied because I could not see myself in the character outside of the most basic human urges of securing life, love and the ability to pursue one's happiness. So I have to wonder why it is so important to other people to have relateable characters when it has never been that important to me. Am I the weird one? The characters I do like to read are the pragmatic type, grey morality antiheroes or antivillains, mostly because they are nothing like me. The choices they make and the actions they carry out are ones that I have never made, nor will I ever be placed in a situation where I have to, because their ethics and environment are nothing like modern day Earth. That is what makes them interesting - they get to do all the things I will never do. I am not overly disappointed that they are not so common as goody-goody protagonists, but it is a character type that I do enjoy reading if they happen to appear - they are mostly found in niche subgenres like grimdark or military fiction. If you have trouble finding fantasy protagonists that are outside of the mainstream young male of modest means and supernaturally exceptional skill at sword fighting or underwater basket weaving, you should look outside of mainstream fantasy. Mainstream fantasy is defined by what publishers think will sell to the masses, and what the masses want to buy. If you are disappointed by the route that the future SA books are taking, you might try to emotionally distance yourself from the series instead of focusing on the things you want to happen but most likely won't happen, or are confirmed to never happen at all. Focusing on it will only make the disappointment feel worse. Reading fantasy should be for enjoyment, and you can't enjoy something if you are fixated on a story not being what you expected it to be, rather than enjoying it for what it is. You have said in the past that if you had known that Adolin would only be a supporting character and never be promoted to main cast, you would not have gone so deep down the rabbit hole. Well, it's not too late to un-rabbit-hole yourself and take a break and do other things. It's a weird thing to say on an SA fansite, but it works for me, and so I don't get disappointed about how the series was supposed to be released at the rate of a new SA book every 2 years. Dragons are the fantasy equivalent of the super hightech aliens of science fiction stories, who come and deliver a couple of beatdowns to teach puny humans some humility. They tend to be plot devices thrown in to create a conflict and cause the humans to work together for a common goal. So my opinion of dragons depends on how heavy handed the plot is (sometimes it's a moral lesson to respect nature) and how developed the worldbuilding is. In a magical land where magic exists to make giant 20-tonne flying lizards ignore the laws of physics and aerodynamics, and there are people who go around saying they don't believe in dragons? There better be a good reason for that. I like word humour in fiction, and fantasy comedies too, but that is one of the rarest of subgenres. What I do not like is bad puns and unfunny comedy, and that is most of Shallan's immature cringey toilet humour. Kaladin's reaction to her jokes is a realistic reaction. After Shallan tries to joke Kaladin before she takes his boots, his reaction is blank faced "what", more because it's not funny rather than not getting the joke. I think if you looked deeper into it, and saw that Shallan really isn't funny but she tries anyway because she believes it makes her life marginally less sucky, it is surprisingly similar to Renarin being clearly unfit to be a soldier, but still going ahead with training. Still, Renarin and Shallan would be a "earn your happy ending" style plot instead of a "meant for each other" plot. While Brandon did okay with Vin/Elend or Rao/Sarene, I'm still not sold on any of the romance subplots of SA. Mostly because Brandon has such a hands-off "interpret as you will" writing style when it comes to romance. The Harry Potter wizarding world economy is all sorts of nonsense. Seemingly half of wizarding Britain works at the Ministry of Magic, so no wonder there are barely any worthy careers when wizards easily live to 150 years old. Wizarding Britain has a population of 10,000, and they have 13 professional Quidditch teams, or 1 team to every 780 people. Say a team is 7 players with 7 understudies, it means 1.82% of the British wizard population plays professional Quidditch. Then you add in managers, referees, support staff, and then the number gets higher and even more ridiculous. There are plenty of blogs and websites where fans poke holes in the worldbuilding logic. If you have ever read the classic children's books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, it runs off the same crazy logic that requires you to not think too hard or you'll ruin the fun of the story. The last book is actually self-aware enough that a character is shushed when he asks too many questions. If and when you rant, it is always good to put a notice saying "rant ahead, be warned". That way people who don't like rant, or think rants are too negative when they involve a favourite character and they take it personally, can skip to the end or ignore the post. On Goodreads, reviewers post a warning because some of them do use salty language, and that is not something everyone wants to see. And the entertainment value of a review comes from how self-aware the writer is, because it is always more entertaining to see a bad book get roasted in a funny way than to read "it was the worst book ever", which is no better than the "best book ever" type reviews in terms of usefulness. The line between a good rant and a bad rant is knowing the difference, and pointing out specific points of absurdity instead of being general and saying "the whole book was pure trash". What is about the WoB's that ruined Kaladin for you? I didn't know he had clinical depression until I read a few discussion threads which mentioned it, but I'd noticed reading on my own that he was moody and emo most of the time. I thought it was just an extension of his teenage edginess, since his mood swings were introduced as part of his character from the first flashbacks where his surly and sullen temperament was contrasted to Tien's happy personality. It never crossed my mind that it was mental illness level depression. Long series with years and years between the first book and the last book's release are the worst at delivering a satisfying ending after years of speculation and hype. There are a number of series that had the flattest endings when they had the potential to be so much better. I read so many of them when I was younger, and I can barely remember the names of the books or who wrote them, but my lasting impression was how disappointing they were - that is how bad they are. It is worse these days because a lot of publishers don't want standalone stories, they want authors to delivery a trilogy or they don't get a contract. So it leads to filler, padding, inconsistent pacing, and unenjoyable story. Reckoners is not that bad for a YA trilogy, but focus on the gimmick of "superpowers, one weakness" and action scenes overpowered the focus on the characters. I remember picking up Calamity and when I read it, I realised I had forgotten who the heck Mizzy was and I didn't go back to Steelheart/Firefight because I didn't care at all. I really liked Lirael when I first read it, and on subsequent re-reads. It is only recently that I realised why. One of my favourite themes in fiction is when characters undergo a skill progression with applied hard work and perseverence. No instant expertise (that is a massive NO), but skill acquired from practice or honed talent. That is what I find satisfying and fulfilling in a character arc. I liked the Old Kingdom series because no character stood out as annoyingly stupid. If they behaved erratically, it was justified. Yes, it's stupid for a villain to brag in front of the heroes, but it was established that Rogir was always vain and prideful. I'm glad you liked Prince Sam, as I thought you would. If you liked him, you might like Prince Khemri from Garth Nix's scifi standalone novel A Confusion of Princes. The MC is not an introvert, he's a prince instead of an underdog hero, and also develops a sibling relationship if you like reading about that. It's more space opera than hard sci-fi, which makes it more of a fantasy IN SPACE. And all protagonists have the potential to be well or poorly written, whether they are introverted or extroverted or somewhere in between, depending on the skill of the author. If an extrovert is annoying and develops a hatedom, it is not specifically because they are an extrovert, but because the author goofed somewhere. In the series I was talking about, I hated the extroverted protagonist because the author was bad and kept throwing in random plot elements to keep the story going and draw out the tension (which made the last book in the series a disappointment) in a way that writing guidelines warn against. If your plot gets boring, the last thing you should do is throw a ninja through the window to spice up some action, but that book was filled with it such contrived plots. I've been thinking about which books I've read had extroverted protagonists actually, and I don't think they are as rare as you make it out to be. They're mostly in character-driven stories, and it is never explicitly mentioned that they are extroverts, and it is not focused on as a defining character trait as that makes a character one-dimensional, and most people are a mix of traits. But it is not so impossible to find if you keep your standards relatively generous. Art Time One Hundred Spheres My favourite part about SA's magic system is how the investiture makes everything glow. It means that everything is an opportunity to use some dramatic lighting that makes everything look like a Dutch golden age painting with high contrast symbolic sunbeams. It sounds like such a trivial and silly reason to like a series (on the same level of watching the Transformers movie for a certain eye candy actress) but after fiddling with the light levels, a piece looks +5 with a cherry on top when it glows. Young Kaladin is based on my "Kid Kal" character design a few pages ago. I really like this one, because it's my attempt at portraying a Kaladin without his self-assured "I'm always right" attitude grates on me after a while. It was interesting to convert my adult Kaladin design to a Kid Kal design, making them distinct and different, while still retaining the important and recognisable elements. The skin and hair colouring is the same for both, but Kid Kal has shorter hair, rounder and larger eyes, and a softer looking face without the big ol' Chin of Justice that Adult Kaladin has. It's the standard set of techniques that many cartoonists use to differentiate young characters from old ones. Detail You can see here that Kid Kal shares the big nose and no lips of my adult Kaladin design, and that he has the monolid Asian-ish eye fold thing. I try to avoid making Kaladin look too pretty or too handsome, because I think his physical "appeal" and charisma qualities come from his being super serious, intense, and taller than most people around him. Process Now you can see how a piece where the lighting hasn't been accounted for looks unfinished and rough compared to the final copy. This is what makes digital works so much easier to learn to do compared to old master oil paintings. Mother Davar I've wanted to do an illustration of this scene for a long time, but it's a massive massive spoiler. To me, a Shardkilled corpse is one of the creepiest things to imagine, and I don't think any artist has ever drawn one, or drawn Shardkilled grey limbs. I've always thought sclera contact lenses (those coloured contacts that cover up most of the eyeball, including all the iris and the white bits on the side, look it up) that actors in horror movies and cosplayers of demon characters use are some of the most unsettling special effects over (but they are really effective). Detail In case someone points out: Shardkilled corpses don't bleed, but there was blood from the other man in the room who was killed by Lin Davar. Shallan at age 11 was too young to wear a safe sleeve, so her left hand being bare is canon compliant. I think it was one of the later flashbacks at age 13 or 14 where Shallan is proud to wear her new first havah gifted by her father. Again, Asian eyelids and Asian features but with Caucasian pale colouring this time. If you have ever watched The Lion King, the part where Simba tries to wake Mufasa up and says "Dad, please wake up, let's go home" gets me every single time. Hearthstone Just some concept sketches of a small town in a lait. I later checked and I got the houses wrong. The roof is so long that the eaves almost touch the ground, like the old thatched peasant houses in medieval Russia and Finland which were designed to shed snow and be comfortable when snowed in for several weeks at a time. The icicles make it look like Santa's elf village to an Earth person, but it's all made of dried mud. Hearthstone 2 Kal and Laral hang out and talk about life and try flirting when neither of them know what flirting actually is. Some people think it would be cute if Kaladin and Laral got together in the end, but IMO, Kaladin was only into her because she was the only girl he really knew in town, and vice versa for her. Kaladin is a massive grump, and Laral was not a cheerleader type like Tien and Shallan are, and I don't think she would be able to tolerate depressed Weepings Kaladin where his emo level goes past 9000. Still, childhood romance like the one in Bridge to Terabithia always guarantees an emotional response, and tragic romance is one of the best ways to tug on my heartstrings. Detail Chouta Poster ...Basically a burrito in a cone. Don't know why I did this, maybe because I realised I don't draw food items that often. Obligatory Silly Stuff Stormlight Archive: Graphic Novel Edition Kaladin Stormblessed and the Road to Superhuman Powers This is what SA would look like in a manga/comic book format. While I used the frame style and shading of a manga volume, I cannot draw in an anime style (my attempts at such are just pathetic) so I set the text to read left to right like in a comic book page. This is a parody of a manga page from One Punch Man where the protagonist gets his superpowers from training really hard every day for years. In this version, it's Kaladin the Bridgeleader, with Lopen, Rock, and Moash from left to right. To continue the explanation of why I draw Kaladin the way I do, I tried to find a balance between youth and authority. Kaladin is an adult and acts like a adult (most of the time), and is treated like an adult by his colleagues and superiors. But it's also pointed out that he's also ridiculously young for his position, so my character design tries to balance this. He's in charge, gets taken seriously, but he's not 35 years old (as some other artists have drawn him. I get why they do it, because he is as jaded as a middle-aged divorcee, but it just doesn't work for me), and even if life has taken a dump on him, he's still only 20 years old in Roshar years. It is also in-canon described that Alethi have black hair, but I never colour characters with straight black hair, usually brown in different shardes of dark. This is an artistic choice because flat black doesn't show depth that well in paintings where you want to give an illusion of depth and atmosphere. If you ever look at people who have black hair, their hair isn't a uniform flat black anyway. The hairs are different shades from exposure to sunlight, so you will see a mix of dark brown. In multipanel comics or sketches, drawing flat black is acceptable because they are intended to be only black and white for ease of printing, and the visuals come through contrast of line and negative space.
  5. Here's a Word of Ben about it: Source: Q&A Session with Ben McSweeney For those who don't know, Ben "Inkthinker" McSweeney does a lot of the interior artworks for SA, and also did the character pieces for the Mistborn Adventure Game. I personally think designing 30+ sets of Shardplate in the Alethi army is overkill. Sure, they look cool and awesome, but the basic structure of the armour and power boosting abilities are the same for everyone. The only real difference from set to set is the shape of the pauldrons or helm. I would be more interested to see a catalogue of Shardblades with notes on what Radiant Order the original owner/spren was associated with.
  6. Thanks! I've always wanted to be solid. It's heaps better than liquid, and gas blows. I should clarify that what I meant was that I preferred the original ending to WoR where Kaladin kills Szeth with a hit to the spine to the new edited ending where Szeth is hit in a less vital point and "dies" when he hits the ground. The original ending felt more in character, and the new one felt more OOC, especially as you pointed out, Szeth was a legitimate danger and an actual murderer compared to the unintentional murderer by negligence that Elhokar is. There are many moments through the whole book where Kaladin says he wants to kill Szeth. All of these were building up and foreshadowing Szeth getting killed by Kaladin. I won't say that Shallan doesn't have moments of plot convenience, and how everyone who didn't like her ends up respecting her by the end because she's clever, funny, unexpectedly honest, good at getting what she wants through personal charm or magic, or a combination of the above. But Kaladin's sudden ability to learn how to change the direction of gravity was accelerated beyond disbelief to me. When I first read it, I didn't know about all the whole Cosmere-verse stuff with the three realms, and I didn't recognise that Kaladin saw into the Cognitive Realm until much later. But it was never explained in-story, and Kaladin didn't think about it again, so I felt unsatisfied by it. It is likely that Kaladin will go to the Cognitive Realm again in the future books and my response will retroactively shift as a result, but as of now, his accelerated learning is a moment in the book when my reaction is like "Really? Is that it???". Your mileage may vary, of course. I don't get the hate for Kaladin's headband. Brandon Sanderson didn't like it, which is why Michael Whelan changed it for the cover of WoR, but I think it's pretty cool. It reminds me of Rambo and also martial arts movies full of angsty young men trying to prove themselves to the world, so it fits Kaladin. Is it too goofy looking or something? Urithiru also had glass windows. Everything is built on giant scale and flat glass windows are pretty difficult to make without industrial processes - in the old days they were made with lots of little panes set into a lead frame instead of big sheets of plate glass that modern skyscrapers have, so it must have been Soulcast. If the Cosmere didn't have magic to explain things, I would have said ANCIENT ALIENS. Kaladin's (and most characters') appeal differs from person to person. I would have liked him more if I read his story when I was younger, but preferences change over time with life experience. When I read about Kaladin being hotheaded and shooting himself in the foot because he acted without thinking, a part of me cringes. It overshadows awesome moments he might have later on. I think I just focus on the insignificant details too much. Yeah, it's a photo that I put some blurring filters on because I didn't want to draw all the gym equipment. It gets tedious after three or four treadmills. I blurred and used some pixel noise in the background, and painted the foreground and dumbbells to blend it with the cartoon character art. The grunge filter is some layered textures. I used a parchment and a concrete texture set at low opacity, but you can find a lot of different ones that give a similar effect on google. Sites that sell flooring tiles often have good high res photos of their products that you can layer on in Photoshop. Like this one, for example. A pet peeve is something (usually small and insignificant) that annoys you personally. I think you mean "head canon" there. Lirin and Renarin have glasses, which means Alethkar has optometrists or some basic oculists who are qualified to test eyesight and fit glasses to customers, if only in the big cities to rich people who can afford the service. Which Adolin can. So it is likely that Adolin doesn't have bad eyesight, or least not bad enough that he requires glasses to be able to function normally in his daily activities. He might have mild hyperopia/farsightedness where things that are far away look normal, but close up is blurred. But we will never know, because slice-of-life moments where Adolin goes to the optometrist, or Kaladin and Rock go grocery shopping at the commissary for the evening's dinner stew are charming and humanising but add nothing to the plot. A lot of WoB's that happen at conventions and signings only become fandom knowledge if someone records it or posts the answer here or on the Coppermind wiki or another site. Not everyone is a Sharder, involved with the fan community, or bothers to copy down spoken answers into text to post online. Finding WoB's is difficult because it only works if you know what you are looking for. Many of them can be found in a Google search, if you know the keywords in the question, so if you've read it before, you can find it again. It is the new or obscure information that is almost impossible to find. I don't judge or dismisspeople who don't know information that isn't published in a book, but for the better known information that answers many repeatedly asked questions (Dalinar's Shardblade switch, was X character really Hoid, why doesn't Kaladin fix his forehead scar, does the Stick have magical powers) it would be good to have a place where this information can be read and sorted through. Does it all come down to a difference in personality and attitudes? I have no issues talking to people, or new people I have never met before. It's kind of fun, but I know that 95% of these people aren't people I could maintain a long-term friendship with, and of the few that I can, long-term doesn't mean forever. People change, and trying to maintain a relationship with someone you have less in common with than when you first met them is not that enjoyable when all you have to talk about is stuff you did a long time ago, when you liked one another more. Sometimes you just have to let things go and downgrade a friendship to an acquaintanceship and make new friends. Perhaps I am more blasé about relationships, but while it is disappointing when it happens, I don't consider it a rejection on the level of having my feelings stomped on and shredded. I am more easy-going in nature, and you are more... intense. If people have rejected you for some unknown reason, it might be because you can get emotionally invested in things and way more passionate than other people, so a casual conversation that started out as friendly turns into an unexpected heated discussion. Not everyone wants their conversation to derail into a debate, and if you have very strong opinions, it may come off as aggressive or as if you are ignoring opposing opinions that might be equally valid. The solution to that is to chill and not to take things personally, but then again it is the same sort of advice like "Just go outside and talk to people" that natural introverts get that doesn't help them much at all. So another solution is to be more judicious with what you say and remember your audience. A friendship involves one or more other people! I don't know if that helped. But if you can detach yourself from the negative emotions of rejection and try to figure out why people might like or dislike you, you could understand why things happened. Even extroverted characters can be introspective and self-aware. And now I think I am beginning to understand why people don't' see as much into Adolin's character as you. True, hardcore extroverts are rare, because most people, including me, have a mix of both traits, and anyone who strays too close to either end is in the narrow bit of the bell curve, statistically. Adolin's personality is taken at face value - he has friends, he likes hanging out with them, it's sad when they don't want to hang out with him. And it isn't developed further unless it is to set him up as BFF's with Kaladin and Shallan. I myself cannot even imagine being so extroverted that my whole identity is defined by what other people think of me. Sure, I understand what crowd hype is, and to feel pleased when you have made a good impression on a large group of people who think of you as lively and interesting. But I cannot comprehend a person who so deeply needs interaction with others that their life becomes meaningless without it, and I would not be the only person. It is such an extreme that it would be like someone who is agoraphobic to the point where going outside gives them anxiety, and making eye contact with a late night supermarket cashier sends them into a paranoid panic. And if I am being honest here, it is something that few people relate to, like they don't relate to extreme extroversion. That is why such characters are the side character of a cast ensemble in a TV show, like Joey from Friends or Barney from How I Met Your Mother. It is a personality trait that could be explored, but in a supporting character, it doesn't take the overall narrative forward. I totally understand the "book hangover" feeling when you finish a big series with a well-developed character cast and world and when you start a new one, you cannot help but compare and feel like it isn't as good as the last one, until you get fully immersed in the story (which may or may not happen). If I only read the same few books, I would not have discovered other books as good or better than the old ones. And I think it's better to return to an old favourite after a break where I read other books. I get a fresh enjoyment upon my return, and it stops me from being tired of the same character or character archetype. You criticise underdog farmboys with magical swords for being repetitive plot device characters, but you prefer to read only extroverted protagonists. It is not so different. I disliked the dragons and thought they were all selfish, manipulative lizards. Which is cool, since many other fantasy stories portray them as majestic creatures you can't argue with, like beautiful vegetarian elves. The dragons were useful in fighting off the invaders who did the Forging in the first trilogy, and it turned out that the Skill came from Elderling descendents, which is useful. But I would rather live in a world with no magic if it meant there were no selfish dragons who do more harm than good. So many stories are about magic returning to a mundane world (Westeros, for example), and it is rare that characters decide that magic is more trouble than it's worth and get rid of it. Renarin would not have thought that Shallan is funny or witty. In the Boots chapter in WoR, Shallan makes a joke about "vesture" and "virtue". Renarin would have been silent for a minute to analyse (the habit of his that makes girls think he is awkward and unsettling) and then commented on how the two words are pronounced similarly but mean different things, and killed the moment. I don't know if you read WoR in French or English, but it was not really funny to me because they're not that close when you say it aloud compared to how it looks on the page. Renarin would not have responded to Shallan's teasing and baiting, and he has the patience and composure that Kaladin lacks. I still think he and Shallan could have made a better long-term couple than Shallan and Kaladin, but it would take more work to set it up and sell it. Obviously it won't go there since there's Adolin, but if Adolin carks it before SA5 , Shallan could be the Navani since Vorinism has a love of symmetry. I loved the HP universe as a kid, but now I can see all the little holes in the world building. This is where the trend of a more scientific approach to worldbuilding in fantasy has stepped into the niche for all those readers who want something more solid for their backstory - authors like Brandon who have so much extra detail that he spends hours at signings answering questions about it. When I think about Harry Potter, it's kind of ridiculous that their economy runs off gold coins, and there is a rule of magic that says you can't create food from thin air, but you can take a tiny sliver of carrot and enlarge it until you have a carrot the size of a house. But somehow the Weasleys are so poor that Ron only has a sad corned beef sandwich on the train, while Harry buys everything on the snack trolley. I like to rant on Kaladin because I like to rant. I can take the rant to any and every character if I wanted, like Renarin or Navani or Shallan, and characters from other books and series and other authors. I love ranting and I like rant reviews on Goodreads, because they're the most entertaining ones to read compared to the boring "This book was great, 5/5". As long as it is done in a tongue-in-cheek and self-aware humourously sarcastic manner, it doesn't devolve into tiresome complaining where you have to point out, "If you hated it so much, why did you keep reading?". It's a fine line to walk, and I like to keep practicing at it. I dislike Kaladin's narrative more than Kaladin the character. Sure, his depression can be painful to read, but what I really am not fond of is all the bad things that happen to him to make him bounce from plot point to plot point like the pinball on the flippers of fate. This is mostly a personal preference thing. I did not like Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" for the same reason, because each book left me wondering what sort of bad things the author would force onto the poor orphans in this episode, and made me incredibly frustrated because their lawyer and guardian was made intentionally stupid so bad people could keep trying to steal their inheritance. Sure it keeps the plot moving forward and characters going in a new direction, but it is only because the author keeps introducing freak accidents and sudden deaths of the one foster parent they actually liked. And if it is only good things that the author gives instead, then you get Mary Sue characters common in wish fulfillment-heavy Asian light novel and web serial novels. Gosh, I now realise I am probably very picky. At least I have read widely enough to realise what I like or dislike about novels and can now pick the ones I know I will enjoy instead of attempting to slog through. The longer the narrative buildup is, the more people expect in the eventual payoff. And if the payoff is falls short, it colours the whole book and readers are disappointed, even if the rest of the story is well-written with compelling characters. Brandon is pretty good at managing buildup and momentum to payoff, which makes reading his 1000 page doorstoppers easy to fly through, but sadly not every author is as good at this. I have been disappointed a number of times in other series, but no matter how much I rant, I still think Brandon is one that guarantees satisfaction. Except with the Reckoners trilogy, but let's just ignore that. I thought you would have disliked Lirael since she is an obvious introvert who even tried to Honor Chasm herself. She gets better, obviously, and is not so annoying once her dog tells her to stop whining and get over it, but it's pretty clear she's not a happy neurotypical standard protagonist. That is why I enjoy Garth Nix books. You get presented with what seems like a straightforward growing up story, then your expectations don't pan out, but the ending is still satisfying and bittersweet. Sabriel never really rescued her father, after all. Also the character from "Bloody Jack" wasn't a caricature as much as she was a victim of fate and circumstance. The story would end after Book 2 if she got away with her crimes and settled down into obscurity. But it became a cat and mouse situation where the author kept milking the series and making the protagonist go on the run like Valjean to Javert. It wasn't just her extroversion and big mouth that was getting her into trouble, but rather eavesdroppers at the wrong place and wrong time that reported her, and other contrived situations like an accidental distinctive tattoo reveal. You know, (in)convenient bad luck. Johnny Rico's actor has a rectangle head and he looks like Ken doll. There, I said it. Art time Elhokar and the Symbolheads This is based off the Elhokar character design I did a few pages ago. The crown is the same one on the House Kholin glyphpair. Elhokar wears a different glyphpair (I'm assuming it's his personal glyphpair) of a crown and a sword, which is what I put on the shoulder patch. I wonder what they use signet rings for when it's the women who read and write all the messages. In the old days of Earth history, people used wax and signet stamps so they knew if other people were tampering with their mail when the letters arrived with the seals broken, but in Roshar, they have spanreeds linked to one other fabrial pen, and personal code passwords to authenticate users. Detail If you watch scary movies, they always have a jump scare when someone has a bathroom cabinet over the sink with a mirror that opens and closes. This drawing was inspired by that. Process Elhokar's Garden I'm taking artistic liberties with the timeline, but this is the time in between the 4:1 duel and Kaladin getting released from prison, where Elhokar sulks about how cool Kaladin is and how it made him look bad. I imagine that Elhokar likes to go to his fancy feast islands to drink alone and whinge about his first dahn privilege and how much his life sucks. And then Dalinar comes to talk to him and Elhokar gets mad because "You're not my dad, you can't tell me what to do!". Full image The Feast Rough concept sketch based on book description. I drew the dining platforms as Asian style pagodas. But I think they're too small because it should be able to fit a dining table and a quartet of musicians. Still, I am happy with the overall aesthetic, which is supposed to be ostentatious and a obvious waste of a rich man's money. Kind of like the old Victorian folly which is supposed to look cool rather than have some practical purpose. Szeth the Assassin This was me just messing around and experimenting with the aesthetic of Alethi interior design. Soulcast buildings are made of solid pieces of stone and decorations have to be carved out of them, and because of highstorms, windows are weak points in the structure. I've mostly drawn interiors to have big arches and columns because it is symmetrical and looks regal for the inside of a palace. Detail Costume design by Ben McSweeney. I follow canon descriptions and illustrations where they exist, and Szeth had a chapter header picture in his interude PoV chapters. The only time I disregard official description is when it is nothing like how I imagined it (Dalinar on the cover of WoK. Actually I don't think Michael Whelan's covers are offical canon after all) or it would not be practical or time efficient or sanity retaining to do so, such as the Kholin glyphpair on the front and back of Kholin army uniforms. In a painted piece, it looks really weird to copy-paste the vector file. Drawing it manually looks much, much better, but it is not something you want to draw over and over unless you don't mind going Taln crazy. Obligatory silly stuff Kaladin Stormblessed and the Power of Rock So Kaladin on the flute was sad and pathetic. You know what, let's throw away all attempts at realism and just crank the awesome up to 11 because why not. Why bother to make sense if you could be awesome instead? That's Kaladin. KALADIN THE ROCKSTAR. Oh, and he wears leather pants.
  7. Adolin is so handsome that when Kaladin sees him for the first time saving the prostitute in WoK, he mentally remarks how handsome he is. And that is workaholic bridgeman pre-Chasm adventure Kaladin who wouldn't even admit that a lighteyed girl was pretty just because she was lighteyed. Adolin must be next level Zoolander-style really really ridiculously good looking or something. @maxal and I disagree about the hair, which every artist and reader envisions differently. I even made a big chart for all the alternatives because no one ever draws the same thing. The interesting thing about hair and character design is that hair that covers the forehead makes someone look younger (see "The Justin Bieber") and showing the whole forehead looks older and more mature ("The Dalinar"). That is why I draw something that covers half the forehead but stops before the eyebrows - Adolin doesn't get treated as a full adult by a lot of people, including his father and Sadeas, but he is still in charge of half an army. There's a balance between youth and maturity there. I draw Adolin's hair like #1, and maxal prefers #2, which is the messier version. Adolin's hair is described as a "stylish mess" and while the tousled look comes from drawing in the hairs one by one, it is time and effort consuming. #1 is much easier to do in quick cartoon pieces where all the individual strands can be shorthanded into chunks, like in this stylised depiction. I also draw Adolin with Asian-ish eyes, without the eyelid fold that Earth Europeans have. In Alethkar, Adolin is of mixed ethnicity (Alethi and Riran), but in Roshar, it is only the Shin people out of all the nations who have the eyelid folds. It is only in the painted pieces that I can show the eyelid detail. Anyway, that was my summary of how I draw Adolin and why I do it like that. Very little fanart by other artists matched my own mental image, so I made my own pictures. Okay, here you go: I have seen a lot of SA art over the ages, and I can see the influences from other artists in the piece you commissioned. Dalinar's uniform design is from Exmachina. Excepting the scarf, Exmachina's Kholin Army uniform is more detail canon perfect than mine, because I don't draw the giant Kholin glyphpair logo on front and back. I thought it was too busy and it really sucks to draw consistently for a multi-panel comic strip. The Shardplate design looks like Gavilar's, drawn by Ben McSweeney. Some thoughts that other people have already pointed out about the piece is that Dalinar, according to Brandon Sanderson, doesn't have a beard and has a darker skin colour. The Shardplate is plain grey with a high chin-length collar as matching the book description in Ch.12 "Unity" and Ch.28 "Decision", but the side that isn't holding the Shardblade doesn't have the same pointy bits on the shoulder and elbow as the other arm. If Roshar is so big on symmetry, would suits of Plate be symmetrical from side to side? It would be pretty bad to have a right-handed Shardplate when you are lefthanded. And one other thing - the fontface that the text "Dalinar Kholin" and "Shardplate" is written in is the font "Deutsch Gothic", a German-style blackletter font used in WWII propaganda posters. Which is a weird choice to me, but maybe I'm the only one who cares enough about typography to notice. The official font used in the maps and the text "Roshar" is the font "Stonecross". Overall, I think it's a decent character piece that sums up the most important aspects of Dalinar Kholin. But I can tell that it wasn't drawn by someone who is overly familiar with SA, since the official title is "The Stormlight Archive" rather than "Archives". If the artist you commissioned is someone who has never read the series and had to work off reference material created by other people, it must have been a very confusing experience. Shardplate is difficult to draw for the first time when seeing Ben McSweeney's detailed and intricate sketchbook illustrations. If you liked the artwork, and it fits your mental picture of the character, I think my opinion of it is really unnecessary. That "SIGH" written there gets me every time. I used that as a reference for Adolin's hair length, and it looks like Ben McSweeney has the same thoughts about it as I do. One thing that most people forget is that because Adolin's hair is blond and black, it is only natural that his eyebrows are blond and black as well. I am reasonably certain the rest of his hair is the same mixed colouration.
  8. Some WoB's about Dalinar and Dalinar's appearance: Source: 2014 interview. Source: SLC Convention, 2014. As a side note, Gavilar is the one who had a beard, not Dalinar. Since Alethi aren't Earth people, I can't think of any celebrities or actors who could match my mental image of Dalinar when I read the books. Anyone IRL who naturally had the tan skin dark hair combo of the traditional Alethi look without resorting to spray tans and hair dye would have to use contact lenses to be a lighteyes, and coloured contact lenses look really weird up close. I always imagined Dalinar to have a combination of Arab, Polynesian, indigenous Amerindian, and Central Asian features. One of Brandon Sanderson's influences for Dalinar's backstory comes from Mongolian legends. Source: Reddit thread from 2015. That was what I used for my interpretation of Dalinar when I did a character design for him. Most people draw him in a very similar way, as a brown guy who wears blue. It's only the small details that differ from artist to artist. Young Dalinar: Basic character design: Animated Dalinar: I imagine it would be difficult to find someone with that perfect combination of features, since Alethi are a fantasy ethnicity that doesn't exist on Earth. And then there are problems with people who look the part and can't act, and non-Anglosphere actors who don't speak the same language, or even English at all. Well, at least with our imaginations and homemade fan art, we can pick and choose all the things we like without having to concern ourselves with reality.
  9. I gave myself a Sharpie tattoo a while ago. With this design and turned it to this, with washable marker for guidelines and permanent marker for linework. Here was the thread about it where two other people did it. It lasts about a week before fading to grey, but it's possible to keep tracing over the fading lines for touchups and keep it going forever. I think I am too much of a pain weenie to get the real thing.
  10. There are some older cosplay pictures on the second page of this thread, including a Shardblade made of foam, hot glue and plaster. The blade length is only around 1m long, so definitely not to scale. I drew the details of Iyatil's mask to look like it was made of layered sections, like the overlapping wings of a dragonfly. The official book description said it resembled a carapace, so in reality it's probably more smooth and flat like a turtle or a beetle shell. But that doesn't look as cool. The Ghostbloods logo can be pretty much anything if the vague description of "three diamonds" is all there is to go on. You can throw them together in a surprising variety of designs that may or may not resemble modern Earth corporate logos. Ghostblood Logos I went back and forth between "cups up" and "cups down" before settling on the "up" positioning of the terraces. The up position means that the tower doesn't have to look so disproportionately huge and squat, and advertising posters are supposed to show off buildings as looking impressive and imposing. A fat unicorn horn just doesn't look cool when typical posters that I was trying to copy tend to show grand deco buildings like the Chrysler building or the Empire State. It's interesting that the infographic you posted had Taipei 101 as one of the example buildings. I actually looked at images of that same building to draw the Urithiru poster, and pictures of Chinese pagoda architecture too. They all have stacks of upward curved roofs and it gives an exotic look. Urithiru Concept You gotta hand it to those ancient architects. They must have fabrial segways or something to cross from one side of the ground floor to the other. Music is a feminine art in Vorinism, so most men (especially bridgement) would not have the inclination or leisure to learn how to play an instrument. I don't think the Bridge Four band would be very good to listen to. They're the kind of band that gets peanuts thrown at them at open mic night. Scroll all the way down to see it. I have read Shogun before (and played Total War: Shogun), and know a little bit about feudal Japan and pre-gunpowder and Early Modern history, and my conclusion is that Alethi culture isn't any one culture, or even two cultures from IRL Earth, but influenced by many in small ways. Generals or battallionlords of highprinces haven't been pressured into killing themselves if they are beaten to the chrysalis by the Parshendi. Lighteyed nobles don't slap each other with gloves and aim to kill when they demand satisfaction. Whilst they value honour enough to fight about it, as Adolin does, they don't go to the death, unless they are compelled by the King. So the real question is: do Alethi value honour, or the appearance of having honour? I think that is the difference between Dalinar and the Knights of old and the modern Alethi. It's also interesting to note that in IRL history, people fought in pistol duels well into the 1800's when their honour was insulted. It looks like Alethi mostly choose pragmatism over honour, or at least the top ranking lighteyes with something to lose. I doubt they buy into the Tranquiline Halls/Rosharan Valhalla business either. So darkeyed Alethis also follow some sort of honour code system where arguments are settled by physical confrontation. I wouldn't say that Alethi values mirror the Japanese honour codes, but they don't resemble feudal (pre 1400's) Europe 1:1 either. In a real feudal situation, brightlords like Amaram would not be so blasé about throwing kids recruited from his fiefdom into the frontlines as cannon fodder. Large landholders made their incomes from rents, and products produced or grown on their land, and the whole feudal system tied the workers to the land with carrots and sticks -- rights and privileges for registered tenants, punishments for those who ran away and got caught. An IRL medieval European Amaram would be resentful of his liegelord Sadeas for conscripting his untrained peasants rather than hiring mercenaries when his professional armsmen fell short of the levy. I wrote a couple of boring mini-essays comparing Alethkar to medieval/early modern Earth European history, if people are interested in reading my thoughts. I've always been more interested in the culture, history and economy aspects of worldbuilding in fiction than theories about magic systems and faster-than-light travel. For anyone who really enjoyed Shogun, there's a political fantasy version written by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts called "Daughter of the Empire" with a "death before dishonour" society that is way more intense than Alethkar's. They even have a fantasy version of ronin. The first panels in my process pictures are always rough outlines in basic blocks and simple shapes not that far from stick figures. Learning to draw means being able to see things in front of you and around you, take them apart in your mind, and then put them back together adding colour and detail until you get a finished picture. People look at the finished picture and think it's too hard, too complex for them to do something similar. But the first step, and the basis to creating art, is not hard, technical skill-wise. You need to train your mind, and that is done through endless repetition and observation. That's the hard part. If AU Adolin ever ends up in a management job where appearance and reputation matter a lot, would he wear fake glasses? Or would it go too much toward making him look intelligent? He avoids being a know-it-all in front of people, but Adolin has always had a problem with people underestimating his abilities. Glasses help with the perception. But fashionable glasses. Personally, I'm a bit conflicted about the existence of WoB's. They are great because you can clarify things that you didn't understand from the books, and get some extra tidbits of information to fill in the months and years between book releases, but it makes a division between people who are extremely well-informed and the more casual readers who only read the book and don't bother with the "extra experience" from participation in the fan community. Only a limited amount of people get to see Brandon in person to ask questions, and not all the questions get posted somewhere that is easily accessible and searchable (the official Theoryland website is out of date and the search function for 17S can be inconvenient to use when it puts a time limit between searches) so most of the information is concentrated within a small pool of people. I am not complaining about Brandon answering questions, but I do wish that new worldbuilding material not from the official Cosmere books was put in a separate book like the Pocket Companion or a "Worldhopper's Guide to the Cosmere" in a way that was accessible to everyone and not exclusive to small groups of people. I would pay money for that. I don't mean to sound salty, but it's a good reason why many authors don't do Q&A's as often as Brandon (then again, few authors have huge series in one universe). And informal interview answers (JK Rowling's, for example) have a tendency to ruffle feathers if they happen to be on fan-divisive subjects. You can't make everyone like you, and you can't be friends with everyone. That is why trying to be friends with everyone you meet is unnecessary - it doesn't mean you have to be rude, but if you find that your personality is incompatible with someone else's, it doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you, and you don't have to feel bad about it. Sometimes relationships stay at an acquaintance level rather than being true battleforged friends, and that's okay. If it upsets you because not being able to form a meaningful friendship on a level of true empathy and understanding with everyone you meet feels like a rejection, you need to chill out. I would not say that I am as much of an extrovert as you are, and I do enjoy company, but I value most of all the true friendships I have among a very few people. They are the ones you work to maintain, but forming them is organic. It just happens, when you "click". Or whatever they call it these days. The lesson is to not take things so personally. You will be happier that way. And downvotes will slide away from notice like tears in the rain. That was unexpectedly poetic. For someone who is described as so extroverted, Adolin has remarkably few friends, real or fake. He courts girls for two weeks before getting dumped, and doesn't really have a chance to get to know them. He drinks wine with fellow lighteyes, but they only hang around because his family is rich and influential. He mentions feeling sad when Kholin soldiers die during the chasmfiend hunt, and after the Tower happened and the Cobalt Guard got decimated. For someone who cares so much about his friends and former bodyguards, it was disappointing that his friendships were more informed than apparent on-screen, since it was just one passing line about how he missed them. And even in WoK, there was barely any interaction. Adolin doesn't go out to the pub like Kaladin. He spends most of WoK and WoR with his family taking care of family problems. You may dislike this alternative character interpretation, but maybe Adolin is less extroverted than you think. If he valued friendships so much, it seems strange that out of all the "friends" he has or had in the series, he confides his troubles with his Shardblade more than anyone else. I know that you have disagreements with Brandon saying that Adolin is less complex a character than the rest of the cast, but the fact that a lot of his personality traits are informed sort of matches up to his role as a supporting character rather than a main protagonist. His insecurity issues with girls are never explained since the dumping happens off-screen, and played for humour. If it really mattered for characterisation rather than a contrived plot point that left him open to being set up with Shallan (see: trope), it would have been more than an off-hand mental note. I do like Adolin as a character since he is purposefully written to be likeable, but from the beginning I had always picked up on the fact that he was the literary equivalent of an hors d'oeuvre and Kaladin was the entrée. Out of his family members, Adolin seems closer to Navani as a parent figure than his actual father, who is his commanding officer. He can talk about personal problems with Navani, like the Dalinar going crazy thing, and was familiar enough to warn her off seducing Dalinar because it looks bad. It didn't work, but the attempt counts for something. Compare his relationship to Renarin where he pressured his brother into taking Salinor's blade and Renarin never asked about the screaming in his head, even though Adolin is an internationally famous Blade expert that even rural, sheltered Shallan knew about. Compare his relationship to Jasnah where he was more interested in flirting with Shallan instead of being worried that someone just killed his cousin and his other cousin Elhokar was almost assassinated the previous day. Is it a cultural thing, or do Alethis just have their priorities out of whack? Malta growing up and turning out to be a genuinely good person was a immensely satisfying ending. It made the contrast to how selfish and self-centred the dragons were, and they never got any better. By the end of the Rain Wilds series, I started hating all the dragons and it would have been unbearable if the human characters were as terrible. Malta as the sane voice of reason is something I never expected in the first Liveship book. Oh, and by the way, the third trilogy has some "pat the dog" moments when Fitz gets recognised for his service in a most satisfying way. Life still manages to screw him over, but at least he gets one good thing. And by that time in the timeline, he is an old man with wisdom not to be as stupid as he was as a young man, and he has a magic combination that makes him more powerful than almost everyone. I'm still waiting on the third book because the second book ends with the worst cliffhanger. I could see Shallan/Renarin being a thing if the author had wanted to go that way. It wouldn't have been the instant attraction of "he's hot/she's hot" that Shallan/Adolin had, but Renarin has hidden depths and Shallan could have been the one to help him reveal it to the world after telling him to stop moping and get on with his life, the way she did to Kaladin. It would have taken more work to get it to happen in a feasible way, using a contrived Chasm Scene/Stuck in the Elevator situation, but it could have happened. Honestly, I care more about an author developing a relationship in a meaningful and thoughtful way rather than disregarding predictable plotlines. I don't care if Designated Protagonist gets together with Strong Female Lead as long as it's well done and not a series of sappy coincidences that YA and Harlequin romances are filled with. Movie HP and Book HP are two completely different things, you must remember! The movie was written and directed by a bunch of different people, so of course characters are inconsistent from movie to movie and lack the development of the book counterparts. And HP is a series that doesn't have the meticulous and almost scientific worldbuilding that Sanderson and other newer fantasy authors have with all their research on axial tilt. It doesn't hold up if you look too deep into it. It seems super weird that most people got together with someone in their Hogwarts year group. But according to Rowling, the Wizarding World of the UK is only 10k people, and marrying a Muggle is awkward since they have the Statute of Secrecy stuff (the reason why Harry got into so much trouble for doing magic outside of school). And in-canon, Lily and James Potter got married and had Harry when they were 20 years old, pretty much straight out of school. There are a lot of things I don't understand about HP, and it would only ruin my enjoyment if I thought too much about it. My favourite horse books as a kid were The Black Stallion (1941) and Misty of Chincoteague (1947). They're the type of old-fashioned wholesome classics with children whose parents let them run around in the woods with pocket knives and pellet guns, as long as they're home in time for dinner. A lot of newer YA novels set on IRL Earth don't have that. It's always disenfranchised foster home runaway teens and secret government child soldiers these days. I think we could rant on and on about Kaladin for days, for various reasons. But hate the player, not the game. You have to admit that Kaladin, due to choices he made and freak incidents of circumstance, is in the thick of the action most of the time, and the plot moves forward because of the things he does. He may be the irritating Boy who Lived that even the storms couldn't kill, Chosen by Destiny to potentially be the Champion everyone was hoping for, but without him SA would be closer to a political fantasy with secret society after secret society all planning in circles. I don't know if you have read political intrigue fiction within the genre of fantasy, sci-fi, or historical fiction, but unless they are paced very well, they can get pretty boring until the inevitable Plot Avalanche bit happens. Without Kaladin, WoK would be even more tedious to new readers than it is already - just go on Goodreads and read those low star reviews on people complaining how long the buildup took. The problem with Kaladin, in my eyes at least, comes down to how he is a pawn of the author and all the good and bad things thrown at him in his life were all contrived plot points to put him at the right place at the right time rather than an organic movement from Plot Point A to Plot Point B. Where had those words come from? Convenient how this one sentence from five years ago conveniently pops up at the right place for Kaladin to save the day. "There", and that's all it takes. Well, that's convenient. For a plot-driven story, this author contrived convenience serves to move the plot along, because otherwise WoR would be 1800 pages long and we'd have to slog through more chapters of Kaladin moping along. But it annoys me and confirms in my mind that Kaladin has plot privileges and that any time he gets into a pickle, he will get out of it at the right time and right place after he has gotten the mandatory morality lesson. The hero rises triumphant yet again, and I don't feel any sense of tension because I know he will be thrown an Awesome Moment in the Plot Avalanche. In these times where I get annoyed, my solution is to read other books. Instead of over-dwelling on what I dislike, why not read things that I like? Because I did not like the revised ending with Szeth's fight in WoR. Brandon corrected it because he thought it was out of character for Kaladin to do what he did, but in my reading, I thought the new version was more OOC. It didn't matter in the end because of you know what, but I'm still hung up about it. Acting OOC to further the plot is one of the no-no's of rational fiction. I didn't think the scene was as awesome as everyone else thought it was. I thought it was kind of sad. Szeth came to a realisation that the Knights Radiant were back and his whole life as Truthless was a lie as he was dying. If you know something of stage operas, one thing they like doing is sing a melodramatic sad song while they die, and when they finish the last note, they drop dead. That's how contrived I thought the ending of WoR was, with You Know Who at the right place at the right time to rescue Szeth before he became completely braindead. Maybe I'm too picky because I'm complaining about fantasy fiction being unrealistic. I don't mind fantasy elements in fantasy. It's just a personal preference for characters and the invisible hand of author-involvement to be more consistent, and if foreshadowing and Chekhov's Guns are around, they could be a bit more subtle. And with Kaladin as a character, he is anything but subtle. I dislike when the readers know the answer to the mystery that the Multi-POV cast haven't figured out yet because they didn't bother to talk to one another and compare notes. It's justifiable and acceptable if everyone is questing all over the continent, but if magic mirrors, scrying glasses, and Magic Telephones exist in the universe, I'd be tearing my hair out in frustration. I dislike withholding information for stupid reasons also. I dislike zombie stories for this reason, because there is always, ALWAYS, going to be someone who gets bitten and hides it from the rest of the group until it's too late. Especially when everyone knows there's no cure, and the consequence of a bite is ALWAYS turning zombie. I don't actually mind introspective characters, as long as they are well-written. The better written ones tend to be self-aware and I can better understand how they make decisions, act, and react within the plot, even though I might not personally agree with their values or ethics. On the other hand, I don't think being an extrovert makes a character automatically more interesting, solely because of their rarity value. In one series I read, there was an extrovert character whose character flaw was that she liked people and attention too much and it always got her into trouble because she was a wanted criminal. It was a part of her personality like Kaladin's depression, and she couldn't change it, so it always led to her cover getting blown just when she thought she was safe. I can't re-read it because of how much frustration I remember feeling in certain parts pretty much the whole series. For the curious, the series is "Bloody Jack" by LA Meyer. Art time Thaylen fashion folio page Inspired by Dan dos Santos' fashion pages from WoR. In the story, his name is Dandos Oilsworn and he is the dead artist whose book Shallan read as a kid. Shallan brags to Jasnah in WoK that he was her art instructor. Thaylens are island people travelling merchants. The ships' sails are modelled after Chinese junks. I thought that it would fit the Rosharan setting better than a full-rigged ship of the European colonial age. Roshar only has one super continent, so ships can get around just hugging the coastline. Full-rigged and classic European square-rigged vessels were built for exploring and travelling months over open ocean from continent to continent. Rosharan ships in contrast only go from harbour to harbour and stay in port during highstorms. So as much as I like the beautiful sail arrangements of the Cutty Sark or the Horst Wessel, Kharbranth and Thaylenah are more likely to be filled with simple three sail junks. AU Buddies poster I don't have any good reason for drawing this other than not wanting to draw yet another uniform. Adolin wears nothing but uniform because DA CODES. Kaladin wears nothing but uniform because he doesn't own any other clothes. In a modern AU, everyone gets to wear street clothes. Shallan is so small. Proportions-wise, I try to keep things consistent from picture to picture, so everyone follows canon description but everything still fits on the page. So I draw Kaladin at around 6'5" (195cm), Shallan at 5'6" (168cm) and Adolin at 6'1" (185cm). Of course, only Shallan's height was explicitly given, and I'm not sure if a Rosharan foot is the same size as an Earth foot, since their years and seasons aren't the same as ours. It's as weird as the historical cubit measurement which is the length of a forearm, or hands for measuring horses. Multiverse Crossover: Science Fiction Edition Renarin, Kaladin, Adolin I honestly think it's kind of silly when people finish reading the most recently released Cosmere book and think there's nothing else good to read. There are plenty of other books out there with great lore and worldbuilding and twist endings. And sometimes they are standalone novels, which is refreshing when you can wrap up a storyline in one go and not have to be anxious about waiting for the next book in the series to come out. Brandon is good with release deadlines, but other authors are not. So standalone single stories are definitely satisfying in comparison. Renarin as Paul Atreides Dune "Teenage boy inherits title after his father is killed in a betrayal planned by a rival house. He develops magical powers to mathematically predict the future in order to save the world." Sounds familiar, doesn't it? In-canon, the Atreides are descended from Greeks and living on a desert planet makes everyone tanned, and some people get magic blue eyes. Genre - space opera Detail Kaladin as Hiro Protagonist Snow Crash "World's greatest fighter has a menial and stressful day job with an unpleasant boss. He also does cool things to save the world." Hiro's boring job is delivering pizza, but failure at getting it to the customer in under 30 minutes is as fatal as a failure during a bridge run. And his name is actually Hiro Protagonist, seriously. In-canon he is half Japanese, half African-American. Genre - dystopian cyberpunk Detail Adolin as Johnny Rico Starship Troopers "Wealthy young man and his father fight giant bugs in powered armour. They also want to save the world. Would you like to know more?" Powered armour is the science fiction version of Shardplate, and giant alien bugs is the scifi version of non-human species with odd cultural habits and valuable resources worth taking. Starship Troopers is also the mother of Space Marine stories. When Shardbearers start worldhopping in the future of the Cosmere, they will be magical Space Marines. Genre - military sci-fi Detail In-canon, Johnny Rico is Filipino. In the movie adaptation, Johnny is a blond-haired, blue-eyed Argentine, and the powered armour is really lame and definitely not a robot suit the way book described it. I kinda wanted all the crossovers to match with story and character appearance as much as I could. That's why there's no Shallan; there really aren't that many classic sci-fi stories with red-headed female leads that are more exposition than action. I really like drawing costume designs. So if you have read the books, and think the aesthetic I tried to capture for each image is on point, then I have succeeded. If you haven't read the books, they are generally well-regarded as staples of their subgenres, if you are into science fiction. They are not YA novels, so be warned. Bridge Four Garage Band Kaladin on flute, vocals by Shen the parshman, with Lopen playing the triangle. It's kind of ambiguous whether or not this is an AU, since they're all in Kholin army uniforms, and the timeline is all sorts of messed up since this is a Parshman form Parshendi rather than the Warform that Rlain gets later on in WoR. Suspend your disbelief in the name of humour. My Favourite Villains Jakamav, Amaram, Taravangian, Tyn Rough concept sketches because I just love all their costume designs. Everyone has a distinct look and I chose certain details and elements that I thought fit their character, and it's just so much fun to do them instead of the same Kholin Army uniforms over and over. If you've ever watched Hong Kong kungfu movies set in historical periods, there's a contrast between the traditional characters who wear the loose shirts and pyjama-like pants and slippers of native clothing, and the wealthy "modern" characters who wear Western suits and gowns. They're all Chinese, but the people in Western three piece suits want to show that they represent "enlightenment" and "progress" and "modernness". Some cosplay props A quiver with fake arrows. Just wooden sticks with foam fletching. They stay glued inside the quiver so they don't knock about, so there's no point in making arrow heads for them. And a real arrow being made. It's a wooden dowel from the craft store painted green. With some foam pieces that are painted and hot glued on later. Props are a big part of doing cosplays, and it's an easy way to elevate a cool costume to an awesome one. If you cosplay a character that normally carries something or has some sort of accessory in-canon, and you don't make it, you run the risk of looking like you're missing something. It just means you have to be careful about what characters you choose to do, because some things are just way beyond budget or skill-level for many people. Usually these are things that involve electronics and wiring for moving parts that light up or glow, or expensive materials like thermoplastics for sci-fi style guns and armour. And if you make these cool props, people at conventions always ask to hold them or touch them so their friends can take photos, and children can get grabby. The response most of the time is a big "NO" because these things are a work of love, held together by hot glue, duct tape, sweat, and tears. Obligatory Silly Stuff SA AU: Kaladin and Adolin at the gym "If you can lift a bridge, you can lift a dumbbell" That headband. Late post because I've recently been too busy and tired to have much time for recreational art.
  11. Has anyone seen the movie or read the book "Starship Troopers"? "Kill 'em all" is a meme line from the movie. The basic plot of story is a rich kid joining the army to kill alien bugs in powered armour. Pretty much plateau runs IN SPACE with nuclear Shardplate. I actually drew the mech suit to look similar to Adolin's Shardplate. The helmet's face opening is designed to resemble the shape of his helm visor. Well, I thought it was funny.
  12. Does anyone know if the Fashion Folio pages from Words of Radiance are canon representations of Rosharan ethnicities? Or does it have an "artistic license" factor, like how the Michael Whelan Way of Kings cover art isn't supposed to be an exact depiction of any scene. Interestingly, the Alethi man looks Eurasian or Central Asian, and the Makabaki/Azish man looks Middle Eastern. It makes a pretty useful reference if you are working on a more detailed "Peoples of Roshar" infographic. And I did a homemade "Thaylen Fashion Folio page". With ships because Thaylens are the merchant people of Roshar. I would really really love it if SA#3 has more Fashion Folio pages. It's awesome worldbuilding material. It doesn't even matter that the tiny script-font text is impossible to read on an eReader. I just like looking at the pretty pictures.
  13. I like Art Deco, and Art Nouveau too, but I would have to switch up my character designs a bit for them to fit the Art Nouveau aesthetic - human proportions and anatomy-wise, it's close to realistic. And it uses a lot of geometric shapes in the backgrounds and borders inspired by IRL Earth plants and flowers, which wouldn't translate to Roshar, so I would have had to figure out what to substitute. I was lazy, and didn't want to outline a bajillion rockbuds. That's why I went Art Deco. And the fact that someone else has done Art Noveau SA, but no one has done Art Deco. I like a lot of old art styles; there was an old-fashioned engraving poster set I did a couple of pages ago. Hoid the ability grabber? Sharders get triggered when someone says that Reckoners-verse is Cosmere, but if Hoid was secretly Calamity... I had trouble picturing Urithiru's scale because I had difficulty imagining the building itself. It's supposed to be like cups stacked on top of each other... are the cups' openings facing down, or facing up? Which changes the angles of the terraces and the silhouette of the whole building. I don't think any other fan artist knows, since I've seen it both ways when someone bothers to draw it (which is rare). All I see is "inspiration boards" using paintings of the Tower of Babel ripped off Google. Everyone has room to improve, no matter their current skill status. There is no level cap in art. THE GRIND IS FOR LIFE. In my experience, if you take a break from doing one thing because you think you're good, the skills deteriorate when you come back unless you're brushing up on a regular basis. I used to be pretty good at coloured pencils but didn't use them for 2-3 years and when I picked them up again, I was scratching at the paper and thinking to myself that it was harder than I remembered. It was a weird but humbling experience. The tips I posted are usually the same ones an art teacher will give to students on their first few drawing lessons. Unless it's an art theory/history class, which means you get to discuss art and write essays about it, but you don't get to make things of your own. If you keep all your notebooks, 10 years later, you will have an insanely effective source of nostalgia cringe. It's like looking at old yearbook photos with ugly bowl-cut hair, but worse. I've always found it interesting how different people show their interest in the same book series. We all find different things to enjoy in the Brandon-verse, from analysis and discussion to generating creative content, but somehow we're all here on the Shard. The text that comes with the picture isn't super serious artist statement stuff. It doesn't point out secret Satanic messages hidden in a 6x6 square of pixels in the corner. The art can be viewed perfectly fine without text - I personally think art shouldn't require text for a viewer to get it, unless it's a comic strip or something. I just type stuff for context, and to show where the designs come from Brandon and where they come from my imagination. It's kind of like the production notes in the DVD extras of your favourite movie. You don't need them, and other artists don't bother, but I like them, and that's why I make them. Drawing fruit bowls and life drawing in general forces students to analyse their environments and break down a scene in front of them into its most basic components. Sitting there, you end up realising how all those earlier lessons on perspective, shape, colour, form and shadow end up tying together. Those skills are pretty flexible and can be used for drawing other things. Whereas when you draw dragons from your imagination, you only really get good at drawing dragons. If Adolin was better at school subjects with applied mathematics, like chemistry or physics or statistics, he wouldn't be able to get away with playing the dumb student. Those types of subjects, at least once you get past the high school level, you either show you get it, or you don't and they politely suggest you transfer to something better suited to your aptitudes. I just can't see Adolin the Actuary or Adolin the Accountant. He would be able to do it if he applied his obsessive Kholin singlemindedness to it like he does with duelling, but I don't think it would make him happy. I think Adolin would be better at vocational subjects than academic ones. When I was in school, there was woodshop class, sewing, cooking, and architectural drafting. Trade skills can be as useful as book learning, no matter what Jasnah and Shallan think. In my mind, I have mostly separated authors as people from the works they create. I want to read the stories in a fictional universe without bothering about an author's personal life or what they do that isn't related to their writing. That's why I can still enjoy Ender's Game without reading too deeply into Orson Scott Card's personal beliefs, which have ruined the series for other people. Compared to other authors I follow or have followed in the past, Brandon is probably top-3 in terms of fan interaction. There are couple of authors I know of who have forums set up by their publishers where they post in person and answer direct questions, but the vast majority of authors just post updates for book signings or sales of their books and merch, or advertise their newest book. I hold Brandon on a expectation scale compared to all other authors, and compared to them, he is an absolute machine. You compare all Brandon interactions to how often he has replied to posts in the past, and get disappointed if he doesn't answer as many questions now as he did a year ago. It's a mindset thing, I think. Brandon doesn't create expectations; everyone creates them in their own heads. That's why they are so different from person to person, where some have none and some have them up way too high. And you have to keep in mind that the time he takes to write detailed answers for people is time that he isn't spending on his newest book. You just need to chill, gancho. Not getting an answer from an author isn't the end of the world, and neither is getting a downvote. Life is less stressful if you don't try to analyse yourself or other people when things like that happen, or take it personally. I've always found that trying to fit in is easier if you make it organic rather than worrying about downvotes or upvotes or whatever. Why does it even matter? They are just coloured arrows. Shallan wouldn't have needed Tyn to turn her lying and secretive. She's got plenty of that on her own. I always thought that Tyn was another female role model teaching realistic life lessons that Shallan never got in her sheltered past life. Just like Jasnah wanted to teach Shallan a lesson in that alley in Kharbranth, and show her how power is all about perception with the Thaylen sailors when she wanted to draw the lucky giant squid thing, Tyn's presence was a continuation of that, a way to toughen Shallan up and prepare her for journey as a Radiant. The same way Lirin and Kaladin amputated that girl's fingers in the first flashback chapter in WoK was a lesson about what it means to save people. If Alethi culture is as warlike as warlike cultures on Earth, there's the possibility that an Alethi commander won't accept defeat unless there is absolutely no one else left to fight, total war "to the last man" style. It's the death before dishonour type mentality, where even though the Kholins lost two thirds of their men at the Tower, they didn't "lose" because there was still one third left to throw at either Sadeas or the Parshendi. The difference between the typical Alethi commander (Dalinar included) and Adolin is that men and soldiers are tools to use to achieve a means, and Adolin thinks of his men as real people with human lives and families and other nice things. I would expect that any mental breakdown that Adolin gets as a result of losing a "for real" battle is more due to the senseless loss of life rather than an ego-blow of being a big fat loser, and any typical Alethi who sees Adolin beating up walls in Shardplate or carving holes in the floor with his Blade afterwards would assume he's doing it because of his shaken ego. He projects the confident image, and people assume he's confident, but in reality he has really sensitive feelings. I found it interesting that Adolin's mental dialogue pointed out that Jakamav's termination of friendship in WoR shook him up worse than all the Shardplate shenanigans fighting for the gemheart, and they could have died from that if something went wrong. Kaladin is the weird one where the people he has accepted into his "sphere of protection", such as his squad in Amaram's army, or fellow cage slaves, or Bridge Four are real people worth protecting. The people who don't fall into his protection bubble are the ones he doesn't care about, and aren't real people to him. This would be the lighteyed cavalry who died in the side carry chapter, Gaz's boss Lamaril, and Elhokar until the end of WoR. Kaladin would call Shallan's ability to have people want to take care of her and keep her safe "lighteyed privilege". And the funny part is that he himself falls for this ability after their adventure in the chasms. As a character trait, I find Shallan's ability mildly Mary Sue-ish, but it is mostly justified by her magical powers, since I personally don't find her as funny as other characters keep telling me that she is. It has the effect of making her interactions with other characters and gaining their trust so easy that a lot of tension is lost when Shallan can just talk her way out of bad consequences. I liked that Navani was not immediately won over by Shallan's sweet talking that Dalinar and Adolin and presumably Elhokar (who gave her the pardons for her guards) were at first impression. By the end of WoR, Navani was cold to Shallan multiple times and it was only those last 2 weeks that the chasm thing happened and she warmed up. Two weeks with Shallan and Navani supports her over two decades of being Adolin's aunt? Ugh, please no. I thought that Malta and Reyn were kind of questionable as a couple at first, because Malta's introduction made it pretty clear she was naive, didn't think about consequences when she spent her family's money on things they couldn't afford, and was easily taken advantage of, when she went to that dodgy dressmaker. This stereotypical bratty teenage girl which would be perfectly translated to modern Earth is exactly the kind of person who shouldn't be getting into relationships with anyone, let alone some guy who is half a decade older and wants a serious long-term relationship where Malta just wants to flirt and have pretty things bought for her. If they didn't get character development, their relationship would have ended up as a trainwreck. Fitz's problem was that his character development took decades and he is an old man by the Fitz and Fool trilogy, and Molly wouldn't have waited for him to grow up. Adolin is the only guy other than Kaladin or Renarin who is in the same age-range as Shallan. When Jasnah set up the betrothal, Shallan didn't care which brother it was, and would have been grateful to have Renarin because he was still a prince and a Kholin. Who knows what could have come of that? Shallan might dislike Renarin for his weirdness, but she'd still be polite and flirty with him because that is expected for her. The male with the closest age to Shallan was Tien, who would be one year older if he was alive. More open-minded readers would expand the net to include everyone, not just guys or Alethi/Vedens or even humans, to be potential future partners. But Shallan is Vorin, and I don't think Vorin church ardents would accept a marriage contract with them. The Ron supporters out there say that he is the heart of the group, helping Harry feel less weird about being the Boy Who Lived celebrity, and Hermione being the Muggleborn class prodigy. He is the only one fully brought up in the magical world, while Harry and Hermione spent all of their early childhoods and their summers iin the Muggle world. In the first book, Ron takes on the magical chessboard for them, and when Hermione angsts over one of the puzzles, he yells at her "ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT". So he does bring something to the group, and is a good friend when he doesn't get hit by the puberty hormones starting from book 6. He and Hermione or even Hermione and Harry could have ended up dating given enough time, but the problem with the ending to HP7 was how abrupt it was. One chapter, not enough buildup. In comparison, Ginny had a bit more buildup and character development for her relationship with Harry. She got over her crush, the Tom Riddle mindcontrol thing and dated other people, and continued calmly with her life. Cho Chang was an emotional rollercoaster. After the war, I think Ginny's personality would have suited Harry much better, if the whole deal where Harry looks like James and Ginny is a redhead like Lily doesn't freak you out. Cornelia Funke is a German author and "Dragon Rider" took a few years to be translated into English. The books about animals I suggested a few posts up are 20-50+ years old, and they should have translations out there, but maybe not at your local library. When I was a kid I loved books about animals, and the selection for children focused mostly on pet dogs and pet horses in the English countryside, with other animals being rarer. Kid books about dragons seem to be a newer trend because they were never that common as they are now. Same with ninja, assassin, super spy, martial artist, secret organisation operative kid protagonists. Protagonists in the old days were just regular neighbourhood kids with homework and paper routes. I dislike "forced marriage with mutual dislike" type plots common in political fantasies and historical fiction. Outside of romance novels where the girl and the guy gradually get to know each other and fall in love for reals, the "realistic" plotline is something very depressing where both partners are miserable together and end up cheating or poisoning one another. Unless it is handled well as a secondary or tertiary plotline, it becomes very unpleasant to read and goes nowhere until someone dies. Cersei and Robert, ugh, no thanks. There's nothing wrong with a protagonist gaining new powers through hard work or an in-universe god. The problem of being boring comes from the lack of conflict and tension when the newly powered protagonist can easily win any fight he participates in. You aren't on the edge of your seat when it's a guaranteed win every single time, just like being a level 100 game character crawling the noob dungeons and every single monster you meet can be killed with a single click of the mouse and swipe of the sword. It becomes so easy that there's no effort, no fun, no sense of achievement. That's Kaladin when the main Big Bad Monster of the series (Szeth) just gives up and is killed. Up until then, Szeth was going around killing piles of Shardbearers in the Veden court, the Azish primes one after the other, and a bunch of other world leaders. To retain tension when leveling up protagonists, you have to have a balance, and either level up the villains as well, or introduce new villains with an increased difficulty as lots of superhero cartoons do with their Rogue Galleries. Or you go the opposite route (which I rant about) which is where the author tries to retain tension by de-leveling the protagonist and he loses his powers for an episode, or is gets the Idiot Ball and forgets he could fly or walk through walls. One of the key features of rational fiction is that the characters have to stay in character at all times, and all of the actions that occur happen because the characters did them, not because the plot demanded it happen. In rational fantasies, saving the world can happen. But it happens because the protagonist understood what the villain was up to and took steps to prevent him from blowing the moon up or spreading the zombie virus, and didn't stick around to listen to the villain's pre-world domination bragging speech where the dastardly plans are explained in full detail. There can be impulsive actions from characters, but only if the character was established as impulsive and the action doesn't violate any of the previous characterisation. Elhokar might order Kaladin arrested for execution after the duel, because he is petty and spoiled. Elhokar would not order all of Bridge Four executed as punishment because he is only petty and not sociopathic. Some authors would do it as a contrived plot point to make Kaladin darker and more vengeful, and that is what rational fiction seeks to avoid. If the trauma stick is applied, it not only has to have a purpose, but it has to make sense in the story and not just be author-guided bad luck like what happens to Fitz. I find reading rational stories really refreshing because I face-palm much less often, and it's a good thing to decompress with after watching a movie where you throw popcorn at the screen because the characters are just so darn stupid. And contrived plot coincidences get my eyes rolling. I don't have a problem with Kaladin saving Elhokar or saving Dalinar at the end of WoR. I just find it highly coincidental that Kaladin came to his moment of truth that Elhokar was Dalinar's Tien exactly at the right moment to stop Moash. And then he flies across the Plains at the right moment to catch Dalinar in the air and stop Szeth. With one liners each time. Kaladin is overpowered relative to everyone else. He can one hit kill pretty much everyone at this point. In the first book, a Shardbearer, a Chasmfiend, and an experienced Surgebinder were established as the three most dangerous opponents on Roshar, and by WoR, Kaladin has defeated all three. Sure, his power level makes him "awesome" but there's no conflict and no tension just like if he had been Merrin the Shardbearer. You expect Adolin to get a beatdown as the first step to spren awakening, but I am eagerly anticipating Kaladin getting a beatdown for humility in SA3. We're all horribly biased. I have a personal dislike of characters who know important things but don't do anything about it, like you dislike secretive characters. I feel that having important facts and taking no action can be as stupid as doing stupid things directly, and I have no patience for secretive personal "issues" being an excuse for such behaviour when these issues are so lightly touched upon that they sound more like informed excuses rather than a solid reason. We all dislike that flakey friend who sends you a text message saying "sorry didn't feel like coming today" when "I'm getting a new kidney" is so much better. That's why Renarin and Wit annoy me. Art Time SA Poster series The Ghostbloods Poster 1 The cut off characters on the top were supposed to be Wit, Taln/Talenel, and Amaram. All characters in the Ghostbloods plot arc. Poster 2 The Ghostbloods would make a pretty cool band name. This unintentionally turned out to look a lot like the Franconian coat of arms. Totally not on purpose, I swear! One thing that always bothered me was that the Ghostbloods logo was never properly shown. It's 3 diamonds, but how are they arranged??? So here are two posters where I fiddle with the size and shape of the logo and came up with two designs. They are more in the style of movie posters than the travel posters of the last Art Time post. This is the first time I've ever drawn Iyatil. I think the mask needs a bit more work. I drew it as a mask, because the first impression Shallan makes of her is thinking "weird mask". Only up close does it look like it's growing into her skin. But blending in the edges with her skin made it look like she had a weird scab or skin disease growing on her face, and not a mask, so I just kept the distinct carnival mask look. The Slave Wagon At first this was supposed to be another travel poster for "Tvlakv's caravan tours", and that's what the top half is - a stylised journey into the sunset, with romantic colours in a warm red and orange palette. But the bottom half got dark, because it's a freakin' slave wagon. I imagined a slave wagon to be a boxlike cage on wheels. The roof unclips into panels that can be slid down and locked into place over the bars during highstorms. The colouring on the bottom (the glowing windspren) was influenced by the Michael Whelan SA covers. So this is like a double homage to vintage travel posters and fantasy cover artists. Detail Syl is a silly windspren. In cartoon depictions I make her a faceless blobby thing with stubs for limbs, but in painted depictions, she is more like a little blue girl with Rapunzel hair. And yes, I am aware that the chull looks more like a turtle than a chull. A six legged turtle bug. Training Day This is kind of a mashup of the timeline, but whatever, artistic license!!! Normally I dislike drawing backgrounds because it requires a lot more planning to get the perspective right and the lines mostly straight (which sucks) compared to jumping straight into the fun part of colouring. But I wanted to draw the Kholin warcamp's training arena, because I have seen few artists drawing Alethi architecture, so there's few good pictures to make my mental imaginings more vivid. I drew the training arena to be a square of long rectangular blocks made of solid pieces of Soulcast stone, and that is why they're mostly the same shade of brown. The steps lead down into the sand, and the shallow pool/sandbox keeps it from washing away in highstorms. The doors lead to storage and bathing rooms, and one goes up to the roof. On a regular working day, there would be more people around, and random spectators, but I didn't feel like drawing them. Detail 1 Shallan and Adolin flirting, while Kaladin is a grump. Detail 2 Renarin's Shardplate training. Process The amount of extra planning, sketching and drawing that goes into pieces with backgrounds... But it makes it more atmospheric. Is it worth it? Who knows? I guess it gives me the reputation of being one of the most crazy obsessive Cosmere artists in the fandom. Not shown in this pic - drawing the characters in and adding all the shadows so that they blend into the environment, and adjusting the colours and lighting for a warm "storybook illustration on a summer day" look. Compare this look to my previous illustrated scenes in an animated series style a few pages ago. I like to mix things up. Jasnah in coloured pencil Since I mentioned coloured pencils higher up in this post. It looks way better in real life. Process 1. Outline - I use Sanford-Prismacolor Col-Erase pencil rather than traditional graphite. I've found that graphite pencils smear when you put colour pencil on them, and this leads to messy dark grey streaks in your colouring. The Col-Erase has wax in it, and blends better with coloured pencil. It's also washable and brushing it with water turns it into a watercolour pencil. Pretty cool stuff. 2. Base colours - Everything done super light. You have to be careful and keep a light hand. Never go dark too quickly, because the smooth look comes from applying light layer after light layer in a bunch of different colours for extra depth and dimension. Blending looks better in light layers. When you've saturated the paper completely (imagine going full force with crayons on paper) and it's fully covered in the wax and pigment blend, new colours won't have anywhere to stick, because the colour comes from pencil lead being scraped off onto the paper. 3. Going dark, and defining the shadowed parts of the face and hair. The face is something like 4 shades of brown, 3 shades of pink, and 1 burgundy red pencil that makes some really nice warm shadows. 4. Clothing and hair details. I don't use black or white pencil until the very end. The black to define the darkest points (the hair, the corners of the mouth, the corners of the eyes). The white is really great for blending out the colours and smoothing everything out, but you have to leave it until last because you can't add colours on top once you've blended. I haven't used coloured pencil in months, and now I understand why. I get sad every time I have to sharpen a pencil, and the lead breaks and I have to keep sharpening it and I lose a centimetre of length. Digital art doesn't burn through physical supplies that need replacement after use. A lot of the techniques from graphite and charcoal drawing can be carried over to coloured pencil. One of the most important skills is control. Learn to control your strength and apply only the lightest layers with even consistency, or else you get streaks of colour instead of an even flat base. Then you carefully build on from light to dark like making a 2D topographic map. The softer the lead, the easier it is to go dark too quickly. That's why I think graphite is the easiest medium to work with, because you can just get a set of pencils from H to 2B hardness and control suddenly matters a lot less. If I go outside and draw things, people passing by look at it like I'm doing magic or something. I think that's why I prefer going inside and drawing digitally. If I draw glowing people and giant fantasy swords on the computer, nobody is standing behind my shoulder judging me for being a weirdo for not drawing fruit bowls. Some random cosplay stuff Not SA, but I thought it was cool enough to be worth showing you guys. This is Juggernaut, a playable character from the game DotA 2. Sketch concept Armour pieces Gotta prime these and then spray paint. He has armour on the back and the front, in rectangular panels like the lacquered wood on IRL historical samurai armour. But cosplay is not historical re-enactments, so there's no need to do everything accurately with the same materials and techniques as the original stuff. Lacquered wood or plate metal armour is too heavy and expensive and hard to work with so everyone uses foam. And vambraces from another cosplay. The armour is made from EVA foam as a base, with the details cut out from thinner craft foam and hot glued on. The more complicated the armour, the more pieces you have to draw patterns for, trace, cut out, prime, paint and glue together. That is why Shardbearer cosplay is really rare, and none of it is as complicated as the official canon drawings in the books. Whew, this one was a long post.
  14. I'm curious - what made you come back to this thread? I am aware that my art style isn't appealing to everyone (like my old art teacher, haha), and doesn't match everyone's mental images of what fictional things look like, and that's a perfectly valid reason not to have any interest in this thread. I find it kind of unusual that you gave it another go. It's all custom. When you're rich, you can get everything made to order and personalised. Kaladin gets his clothes one-size-fits all at the quartermaster's storage room, but Adolin's underpants probably have his initials monogrammed on the waistband. Jasnah goes full skin when she takes a bath. The practical answer to "what to wear when at the pool" for high ranking Vorin ladies is to have separate areas for swimming. But if a lady wants to swim with the guy, the realistic solution is something prudish and Victorian-esque, like a black woollen drawstring sack that goes around the wrist and turns into a wet lump when wet, instead of clinging to the skin like silk would, or high tech scuba fabrics. Yeah, when I drew Wit I realised halfway through that if he did this with canon physics, the coin would fly off at an angle in the direction of the viewer. But it wouldn't look as cool, so my excuse is artistic licence. One of the Misborn E2.0 books had a character asking Wax about his coinshotting abilities and how weirdly it mixes with his feruchemy in unexpected ways, and Hoid has other magical abilities from his home planet. Maybe they would react with allomancy so he could control certain effects. With a large enough fandom, it's only a matter of time for weird niche topics or crossovers to come into existence. I used to draw on MS Paint with a mouse, which is not very far from the party games in the Tenth Circle of Braize. Even Taln would hesitate to make a heroic last stand if he knew that was what he was facing. Hooks? Fires? How about carpal tunnel! I don't know what I was thinking back then... It probably builds character or something. The most important part is understanding the shape of the body and how it looks when you view it from a bunch of different angles. Learn the shape of the skull and human skeleton and how all the muscles layered on top work, and they are pretty much the basics you need to know to draw recognisable humans. Use a mirror to practice faces and expressions and learn the proportions of the human face. There are certain proportions most people have in common, such as the placement of the eye sockets and nasal cavity, and once you have them down everything gets easier. EXAMPLE For figure drawing, if you don't have live subjects to practice with, I suggest Posemaniacs. You can view the skeletons from a bunch of different angles and rotate them - the 3 minute drawing exercise is useful for building skills. Once you learn "the rules", you can start deliberately breaking them, and learn to stylise. It's usually what art teachers suggest you do first, since you become a more flexible artist if you learn all the "classics" before branching off into developing a personal style. I have plenty of stories about the art teacher I had as a kid who said it was a waste for me to spend my time drawing comic book things and cartoon dragons when I could be more productive drawing fruit bowls in charcoal. The real secret to getting good is grinding. Endless, endless grinding. You don't have to draw every single day, but you have to do it consistently. Here's something crazy - this is about 6 or 7 years' worth of sketchbooks. That's 1 A3 size book, 5 A4 books, a handful of lined notebooks, and 4 A5 books. The coffee mug is for size comparison. I don't do "a sketch a day" that some artists do, but I try to draw on a regular basis. Sometimes I can go weeks without drawing on paper, and sometimes I can burn through 30 pages in a weekend. NOTEBOOK PILE And here is something from the first pages of the oldest notebook. Feel free to laugh. POINT AND LAUGH Expensive tools aren't a cheat code to suddenly being amazing. That's one of the most repeated rules in art that get quoted whenever a newbie artist asks whether or not a Wacom Cintiq will up their art-game. Fancy Japanese knives with the ripple lines on the blade won't turn you into a professional-level chef if you can't cook. Improve your pencil and paper skills. It will improve your skills in other areas of art you decide to venture in the future. Honestly, sometimes I feel that all the shortcuts in digital art have weakened my traditional art game and taught me some bad habits. Instead of placing lines more neatly and more precisely in pencil, my muscle memory has been trained to mash the CTRL+Z command (Undo), so I am messy in a way that would make my art teacher frown. My lines are what he used to call "hairy lines" instead of one single continuous stroke. And the small working area of a tablet has trained me out of doing sweeping gestural "whole arm" strokes for long lines because only "wrist strokes" fit on a tablet. When I pick up a pencil for the first time in weeks and draw on paper, my first thoughts are often "Man, I could do this and this on the computer and it would look so much better" and that's probably an indication I should get better at traditional. In a modern AU where Facebook exists, Adolin wouldn't be a Shardbearer or participate in duels. So there's a chance he and Jakamav would still be friends. Being illiterate would be pretty much impossible in a modern world, so AU Adolin would be monolingual, dislike mathematics, and is the type of person who watches the movie and skims the Cliffnotes edition rather than read the school-assigned book. Focus groups or test audiences are a staple of market research for designing products, and a guaranteed bestselling novel from a reliable and proven author is, essentially, a product being sold at the end of the day. So having beta readers is a useful thing, but because the format of a novel means that it has one main creator, it's completely up to Brandon how much he listens to the readers. His book will sell thousands of copies no matter what he does. TVTropes calls it "Protection from Editors". Brandon giving updates and being communicative with the fan community is fantastic and sets him apart from other authors who aren't so interactive, but it's not something I expect from an author, or from anyone involved with creating serial media that I enjoy. I mean, it's great that he does it, but I don't expect him to, nor do I think anyone should feel he is obligated to be as communicative as he is. It's like if Holt Renfrew had a members' club, and if you spent $500 in a year and scanned your members' card with every purchase, you got a gift bag with scented lotions and shampoo and stuff. Holt Renfrew doesn't have to give you a gift bag, and it would be silly to be angry if the next year you bought $500 worth of stuff and they cancelled their offer and you didn't get the gift bag. Because you got $500 worth of goods for your $500, and that is all they're obligated to give you. So it kind of bothers me if people think Brandon is expected to acknowledge his readers. It is nice that he does, but it shouldn't be taken for granted, and I think it's a healthier attitude if everyone is happy that Brandon answered a question at all rather than being disappointed that he has left questions unanswered. I have been to non-Brandon signings before and no other author answers questions like he does. Most of them just sign your book and hustle you along to make room for the next person. And it could be that Brandon doesn't answer everyone's questions because he would rather not answer than give a short answer that has the potential to lead readers to assume things so they end up reading the next book with biased perceptions, and ruining the experience. Kinda like watching the movie first before reading the book - your mental imagery is all skewed and if you know who dies, the suspense is gone. Or it could be that anything he might hint about is a spoiler. In that case, it's better to go silent because saying "RAFO" over and over is frustrating to him and to the people who ask the questions. I think it's just you being so obsessive about Adolin. The solution, but you probably already know it, is to read other things. You dislike Tyn and Jakamav because they were mean, directly or indirectly, to Adolin... That's an interesting way to react to characters. I don't think they actually hated Adolin, or even knew him that well, really. They were more self-centred and self-serving than deliberately antagonistic towards Adolin, and that is why I don't hate them like you do. In fact, I wish Tyn had stayed alive for a little longer, because Shallan could have learned more neat tricks and she was in no danger of being turned evil. But she had to die so Shallan could learn independence, for the same reason why Jasnah and Lin Davar had to go. Also - regarding unpopular opinions. Downvotes and upvotes are just imaginary internet points. The official justification for giving downvotes is for people who are needlessly rude or offensive (-insert character- is -insert swear word-, personal attacks and insults, etc), or are off-topic (derailing, spam). Downvotes aren't meant to be used when your opinion is different from someone else and you're too lazy to counterthem with a post. But people still do it anyway because lol rules r 4 chumps. And that's why you should ignore them if it bothers you so much. It's not like these silly points do anything. Oh Dalinar. He is a hammer and all problems are nails, and therefore can be solved the same way. The more I think about it, the more I believe that Adolin's situation isn't a problem caused by Dalinar being a failure of a father, who was too much focused on the greater good and producing a perfect son, but rather a side effect of the warrior culture in Alethkar. If Dalinar was a monster when he was the Blackthorn, it was lauded and glorified by Alethi culture, and he was considered the greatest warrior in the newly unified country. He's a product of his society, and his bad habits were not criticised; Dalinar only decided killing indiscriminately was wrong on his own, because no one ever told him not to. Alethi society seems pretty weird and alien when you think about it from a wider perspective, because doting parents are rare (people like Sadeas and Kaladin think Renarin is spoiled and soft because of how gently he is treated), and children are expected to be more obedient and self-sufficient than anyone expects of modern-day Earth children. You have Adolin starting training at 6 years old, Kaladin beginning his surgeon apprenticeship at 10, lighteye children in the city being officers' aides, Tient being recruited at 13, Kaladin being in a combat unit at 15, and Laral and Navani married at 16. So what Alethi in general expect of children is something that would never fly by our modern day viewpoints, with laws against child labour and making important decisions up until age 21. That's possibly why Dalinar doesn't seem anything unusual in the way he and Adolin have a father-son relationship, because it is within the normal range of behaviour for fathers and sons, with some veering into the strict end because Adolin is his heir as well as his subordinate officer. A character reader would of course be focused on Dalinar as the source of the conflict in a family drama, but I think it's a bit more than that. People are products of their environment, and the society that promotes manipulation and backstabbiness for power is the same one that encourages the search for excellence as a test of worthiness. This last one is probably ingrained in Adolin since he had ardents as tutors as a kid, and from what we've seen, lighteyed children are taught from a young age Vorin priests owned by their parents. It's great worldbuilding, but a messed up world. Does any Alethi commander really know how to lose? In their mind, the loser is the person who gives up first, which is why years after being forcibly pacified b Gavilar, they're still fighting pointless border skirmishes. And that is why they continued to wage a war of attrition against the Parshendi. If Adolin learns how to command and regroup a battalion after a complete rout rather than a strategic defeat, he might be mentally broken because of it, but in the end he'll be more experienced that any other commander. I don't think even Kaladin knows how to lose for reals. The last time he felt real defeat was the Honor Chasm in WoK and he only recovered from it because he had Syl. And Adolin didn't have to be the pillar of the family to everyone until Dalinar started getting visions. Does anyone know when the first visions happened? Dalinar didn't start reading The Way of Kings until Gavilar died, and the visions came later, so Adolin would have had a more normal childhood (or whatever the Alethi version of "normal" is) until then. He would have been open to accepting Navani as a parental figure when he wasn't expected to be the strong one back then. Navani's loyalty is also a character trait of hers - even though Jasnah distanced herself and she knows that Elhokar is a weak king, she still supports them. She didn't love Gavilar but she was faithful for their 25+ years of marriage. She wouldn't throw Adolin over for Shallan, who may be a scholar and a Radiant, but has only been known to the Kholins for a few weeks. If Navani decided Shallan was more worthy of emotional support and counsel than Adolin, that would be kind of annoying because that is reinforcing the perception that readers have of Shallan the Mary Sue who can't do anything wrong and is loved by everyone. Seriously, everyone who disliked or underestimated Shallan at the beginning liked or respected her by the end, from Vathah and Sebarial to Mraize and Iyatil and Kaladin. I know it's her magic power, but it's overpowered in a similar way as Kaladin's invincibility. I was okay with Burrich and Molly because even though he was old, it was established from the start that he was capable of taking care of children. He might not have been nice, but he was responsible and didn't shirk his responsibility and that is better than a blood parent is always off doing their own things instead of raising their children. Molly ended up being happy with Burrich over time, which I do not think she would have had if she had settled down with Fitz. The real cringe for me was Malta and Reyn Khuprus. She was 15 and he was around 20. In-universe Rain Wilders marry early because they have short life expectancies, but Malta wasn't a Rain Wilder, she was a Bingtown girl and a bratty child that everyone knew was a brat (everyone except Kyle) when he first started courting her. I don't understand "schoolyard rivals fall in love" romances either. I can suspend my disbelief if it happens very gradually over time, because people change and personalities that clash in the beginning won't be so opposed after character development and maturation kicks in, like what happened for Anne and Gilbert. But when it happens too quickly? I roll my eyes. If Harry Potter had been Harriet Potter, she wouldn't have been attracted to Draco Malfoy because they formed an instant rivalry. But in many other stories with similar characters, it ends up happening. I think it's because when you have a main character male and a main character female, the audience pretty much expects for them to get together. If the main characters are the same gender, people don't come in with the same expectations. It's refreshing when an author can write a satisfying ending that doesn't involve pairing up an alpha couple and a beta couple (an example being Siri and Susebron with Vasher and Vivenna). When I was a kid, I enjoyed Cornelia Funke's novel "Dragon Rider". It is one of those cliche filled self-insert fantasies with your average plucky orphan who tames a dragon and saves the day. Completely unappealing to adults, but it has most things that kids love. Most of the animal-themed books I read as a kid were about farm animals or furry animals in the woods, and considered "classics" with that old-prose. It might not be suitable for a child to read on their own until age 8 or so, unless you are reading them out loud so you can explain the big words and scary concepts. Because many of those classic "boy and his dog" stories end up with the dog inevitably dying. Any girl powerful enough to bring something valuable to a marriage alliance would have enough power to resist being forced into something she didn't want. They all wanted Adolin to marry another highprince's daughter, but he alienated them all, so realistically the only type of girl that could be forced or pressured into an arrangement would be the daughter of a Kholin army officer, like Janala was. I think Dalinar and Adolin are too honourable to do that to a subordinate officer. In the end, it would make a terrible dead-end plot arc. What narrative purpose could it serve? How could it move the story along, or develop the characters in a significant way? It would only make Adolin bitter and resentful. I don't see it happening, because it something with needless soap opera overdramatics that slows the overall narrative and doesn't have the ability to redeem itself with a satisfying conclusion. It would be like Kaladin's prison scene, but worse, since there's no evidence divorce exists, and Adolin has proven himself to be a loyal guy, even when it shoots him in the foot. You dislike overpowered protagonists, but my personal pet peeve is protagonists doing stupid things because the plot needs it. Not everyone is stupid on the level of horror movies where drunk highschoolers decide to explore the local abandoned cemetary for a dare, but being deliberately obtuse counts as stupid in my book, and makes me want to throw things at the wall. You hate that Kaladin saves everyone (or almost everyone; one minor character has to die so he can keep feeling guilty and moody) at the end of the day, and he is the fix-all for resolving major conflicts in the Sanderson Avalanche. My dislike of Kaladin is how he can be so...nearsighted and obtuse. He had all that evidence that Moash was up to no good, since Moash was on guard duty every time something bad happened, Moash tried to hook him up with a conspiracy...and he gave Moash yet another chance. With his whole lighteyes prejudice thing, Kaladin never tried to understand the source of their power. This is why I dislike Kaladin. If he wanted to get back his old life which was stolen from him, or wanted to punish lighteyes for his mistreatment with some elaborate planned revenge, he could have gotten it all if he stayed quiet and observant and learned information which he could apply later on. His stubborn and antagonistic behaviour did nothing to help his goals, whether they happened to be good or bad. I have recently discovered a love for rational fantasy, which is a niche genre where main characters' actions are a result of informed decision making. It pretty much means they do reasonable things for a good reason, and their reasoning is realistic. Or as realistic as you get in a fantasy universe. What you don't get is people doing stupid things like visiting the haunted cemetery on a dare, or Kaladin suddenly challenging Amaram to a duel, or Harry Potter forgetting that Sirius Black had given him a magic mirror until the end of the book. In other words, the Idiot Ball doesn't exist. I find that more satisfying than a so-human-it-hurts character from a Robin Hobb book, who does stupid things on a regular basis and gets plot-contrived bad luck dumped on them by the bucketful. Whew, this was a rant. But it's satisfying for me to read other books with sane characters who make reasonable decisions that follow a train of logic I can personally follow when I am annoyed at annoying characters in other series. It might just be that Kaladin has the personality of a leader who does things, and I am more careful and organised, and that rubs me the wrong way. Whatever it is, it's always good to take a break and enjoy Kaladin chapters in short doses. And I personally don't dislike a protagonist saving the day over and over, as long as their powers, abilities and presence have been established earlier and it makes sense within the story. If a character happened to save the day because he was coincidentally at the right place at the right time, over and over, that would be so contrived as to be questionable. Huh. What seems to be the problem is when a character is defined by one particular trait, such as a disability or Anne Shirley's red hair. Everyone in Avonlea thought the new red-headed Nova Scotian girl was temperamental and over-emotional because of her red hair, and they only started to like her and accept her as part of the community after she proved she was more than that. That is what characters like Steris and Renarin have to show - characterisation beyond that one little label. Steris was the weird uptight sister at first, but she showed everyone she was capable of pulling her weight and keeping up with the magically powered characters. Renarin hasn't done anything onscreen. Admittedly, there are small things he has done like join Bridge Four or jump off a roof in Shardplate, but they still haven't shattered the in-universe and readership perception of being an invalid with an enabling family. So until he can get a gradual buildup to a a grand event where he can save the day, Kaladin-style, to most people, he will be considered the disabled little brother. The problem stems from basically no screen-time, and no PoV. He is not seen as involved in the decision-making process, and involved in determining the flow and direction of the overarching narrative as Dalinar and Kaladin are. Because he is barely seen at all. And that is why his characterisation suffers and he is like a cardboard cutout onto which readers that like and relate to him project their personal experiences and struggles with neuro-atypicality. To everyone else, he's "that weird guy" or "the autistic brother" or "wait, who?". I think I'm a bit biased. I've been re-reading an old favourite of mine, "The Secret Garden". There's one spoiled invalid kid who throws tantrums and only gets better after he is told to shut up and get out of bed. It's the kind of old-fashioned no-nonsense tough love you'd approve of. Of course, stories like this don't work in today's world, because people stopped believing that fresh air, exercise and spankings could cure anything in obnoxious children. Art time Stormlight gifs Renarin test If the eyes are the window to the soul, glasses are like curtains. This is a rule of fiction, which is why a boring and plain girl in a highschool movie suddenly becomes beautiful when she gets her makeover and the glasses come off. Seriously, glasses are really annoying. They add another layer of complexity to a character design and detract from showing emotion. Unless they are giant coke bottle glasses that don't cover up the eyes, like Milo's from Disney's Atlantis movie. Renarin is kinda boring...I guess. I couldn't think of any cool facial expressions for him to make. Shallan test Shallan is one of the easiest designs to animate because she is made up of round edges and it's harder to tell when they're crooked from frame to frame as straight lines are. The rounded lines give her character design the appearance of youth and softness, which is shared by Renarin's design. This is done on purpose because they are the two kid characters of the series. If Shalladin became canon, they would be an odd looking couple. Shallan is super cute, and Kaladin is definitely not. Vintage travel posters - SA Edition A while ago, I once said I'd make an SA-themed vintage travel poster, so eventually I got around to them, and here they are. If you don't know what they are, they are advertising material from the old days back when people didn't have computers and got their information from print media. No flashing banner ads or pop ups, but brightly coloured stylised posters that sell an ideal to magazine readers. Google "vintage travel posters" if you want to see more - they have a certain aesthetic that a lot of print ads had back then. The posters I made are homage mash-ups with inspiration from 1920's - 1960's era posters originally made by tourism boards and airline companies. Visit Alethkar The Outer Market, inspired by French Riviera posters. Bright, colourful, stylised, and romantic is the aesthetic I tried to copy. Here's a real poster from the 1930's with a similar look. Inspiration Discover Urithiru Urithiru in the mountains. The official description of Urithiru had 100 layers, but nobody's got time for that. There are Oathgates in the front and back. These types of posters tend to have a common design with a defined foreground, focus point/midground, and background and that is something I tried to retain when I sketched up this design. This one was purposefully very "Art Deco", with lots of straight lines and a simplified central shape like old posters for big cities like New York or Chicago. The muted colours come from older posters from an earlier period. Inspiration Not a travel poster, but a fashion plate illustration. Alethi Lighteyed Style Detail I showed this to a friend who asked if it was a geisha and a Chinese pirate. I guess if ithis design appears vaguely Asian-ish to someone who is not Cosmere aware, then it's not too shabby. Truthfully, the clothing I've been drawing on various characters is a mish-mash of IRL Earth cultures from all different historical periods and continents, with some fantasy elements thrown in for coolness value. But I do try to follow the book description of sleek silk dresses for the women, and high collars and buttons up the sides on men's coats. So far, the more traditional Vorin clothing has been more Asian-ish, with mandarin collars as the aforementioned high collars. The modern military style that Dalinar prefers is more Western/European-inspired. The two aesthetics mix and mash and sometimes clash as a quick way to tell who is frumpy, who is stylish, and who ignores fashion for reason of practicality or unit cohesion. I might get one of these printed as a poster. They look cool enough that even someone who hasn't read SA wouldn't think it's too weird. If anyone else is wants to do this, I can send you the full-res versions. They're around 2500x4500px and too big to post here. Oh, and for the curious, my old art teacher wasn't a nice guy or an inspiration to children everywhere. He was like a meaner, shoutier version of Mr Miyagi the karate teacher, and tried to force out by the power of attrition the bad habits of any student he thought showed promise. He singled me out for being a "hairy liner", making those fuzzy looking sketchy lines instead of a single, continuous and confident stroke. Tough old drill sergeants from military movies have the "drop and give me 20", my art teacher had the "you suck, draw 20 lines or however long it takes to get a straight freehand line with no fuzzy edges". Apparently the road to self-improvement is built on an acute awareness of personal suckiness. Well, journey before destination, as they say.
  15. EXACTLY AS PLANNED. HAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHHH The reason why I draw fan art is so I can share my headcanon/mental images of fictional characters. I enjoy looking at other people's art because I like seeing how other people picture things, but nothing anyone else draws matches my mental visualisation quite like my own drawings. Adolin to me has always been on the cute and boyish side of handsome rather than the smoking hot butt-chin stubbly Hollywood-style lead actor handsome. I'm not the only one who thinks that, but it is probably a small minority. A virgin who blushes a lot and is smitten at first sight of a cute girl can't be a movie star action hero hot in my mind. My brain just can't compute. I'm glad that Alethi have such weird appearances like dark skin, stripy hair, and light Asian-looking eyes because it makes movie casting almost impossible. Then they will never cast actors that I will disappointed with, because they will never cast actors at all. On a side note, I just can't wrap my head around fan drawings of Kaladin where he looks like a 35 year old grizzled chain-smoking detective, or ones where he looks like a sparkling anime prince. In Roshar years or Earth-converted years, he's only 20/22, so he's not that old, but he's lived a tough life so he's not that pretty either. And that's why I draw things. Nothing else out there looked "right" to me, so I had to make my own. My headcanon is really picky. Hey, feel free to join the discussion if there's something you want to add! I know we talk about all sorts of weird and random things, and complain all the time because we like complaining. If you want to read discussions that aren't all various degrees of complaining about characters we don't like, or you want to complain too, jump in!!! The beach is more important than the Shard! Have fun!!! (Does saying this mean I just lost my Cosmere Fan privileges?) Thanks! I like doing something different now and then, like cosplay or watercolour or animation. It adds some variety because I would get tired of doing the same thing for 6 pages of thread, and I think people would get tired of seeing the same thing. This is a funny story - I actually asked some other Cosmere fanartists if they were interested in collaborating in a "Cosmere Swimsuit Calendar" project, where each artist does one month with a Cosmere character of their choice. I got a lukewarm response, because this concept had already been done before with a Cosmere pinup calendar. (NOTE: it is a pinup calendar, don't expect anything different) I had a few swimsuit sketches lying around so I combined them and threw in a beach background, if you scroll down to the bottom. You can post your art here! It's better to use this thread instead of cluttering up the forum with multiple threads, and it makes it easier to find art if it's all in one place. If you want to post multiple pictures, put them in one post and spoiler them, or else we would have to scroll for days to reach the bottom post. If you read 17th Shard on mobile, it gets super annoying. When did you last look at this thread? I try to update with new art pieces approximately once a week, and totally didn't intend for it to be scary. If you look closely, it's more silly than scary. Thanks! It's always a bit of a fun challenge to tackle the minor characters. I always end up using more imagination when there's not much canon to build off. Art time Stormlight gifs Dalinar test The "Am I going crazy" Dalinar from WoK. Dalinar has such a strong and forceful personality that drawing him is relatively easy for me, compared to, say, Renarin. Various character descriptions of the Kholins have given the impression that the Kholins have strong chins and big noses, as both Elhokar and Gavilar have. So Dalinar gets both. Other artists' drawings of Dalinar always felt off to me, because I didn't think they were aged or Asian-looking enough. My version isn't perfect since it's probably too handsome for someone whose nose was broken is all beat up from years of fighting, but I can't change my mental image. Which is kind of suck since all those wrinkles and lines that make Dalinar look authoritative and dad-like are also incredibly tedious to draw. Adolin test That cheesy grin. He's probably the only Kholin who practices smiling on a regular basis. I once tried to draw Dalinar smiling and it was so weird that I trashed it. HIS BRAIZING [email protected][email protected] It was so difficult trying to keep the stripes consistent from frame to frame that I just gave up. In the old days where animators sat at their desks to hand draw frames, they often had little statuettes of character models to make sure the shapes of things looked right at all angles. Oh, and for the morbidly curious, here is that picture of Dalinar... Pencil sketch test I sketched the key frames on paper first. Blah. My pencil work is really messy and not clean and neat like other artists. They're also really wonky and the size gradually gets bigger the later in the evening that I'm drawing them. So uggo omg. And yes, I draw on lined paper too. I used to lurk on stationery forums, and there was this brand of lined writing notebooks that everyone on the forum kept hyping because the paper was so smooth for fountain pen writing. When I saw it on sale, I got a bunch of them to practice calligraphy on, because ruled lines keep the letters straight. Eventually I felt that I didn't need to practice calligraphy anymore but I still had those notebooks lying around. Turns out they're pretty decent for sketching too. Wit test - "Heads or tails" Reminder: don't play gambling games with allomancers. Just another smug and knowing Wit who is smug because he has a coin and no one else on the planet knows what the heck a coin is. Even off planet, only he knows what the meaning of the coin is, if you've read Bands of Mourning. To stay consistent with the Napoleonic era aesthetic of my uniform designs, the side swords and side knives for Alethi men are also Napoleonic-inspired. The side swords are like cavalry sabres (specifically the szabla) and the side knives for lighteyes are like naval dirks. Top - lighteyes. Bottom - darkeyes. I've posted this before. The Highstorm A storybook-style illustration. Then I decided to torture myself and draw the same thing in MS Paint by eye. A lot of people say MS Paint sucks, but I remember a long time ago when it was the only thing I had to draw with, other than pencil and paper. For Nostalgia If you zoom in, you can see the individual pixels!!! The Beach I made it an AU version rather than the canon-verse because I don't think Vorinism approves of going to the beach. How does a proper Alethi lady swim? The water would make her safesleeve wet and you could see the shape of her hand through it! That's indecent! And also because an AU is cooler. This picture was meant to look vintage postcard-y. I have decided that Kaladin's theme colours are black and electric blue, and Adolin's theme colours are white and cobalt blue. Adolin wears a high tech wetsuit because he's rich and he's shy. Shallan wears a one-piece bathing suit because she's a prude. And that's The Stick!!! Detail Now you can see surfboard designs. Shallan is building a sandcastle in a lait because she is scholarly while still having fun. The end.
  16. It took me awhile but I figured out why the B&W was better. The colouring removed the contrast on the Shardplate back plates so the detail was harder to see. It made it too murky for what was supposed to be a centre of focus, for where the viewer's eye was meant to glance at first when "reading" a picture left to right. The B&W looks cleaner in comparison, and easier to "read". I hope Sebarial is pretty close to what you had in your head. I filled in the info box with Adolin's information, for those who noticed. There is a section for where a real facebook page would list your school or university, but Adolin didn't go to school. I'm still not sure how he even made a Facebook page since he can't read and relies on an ardent to send text messages/spanreed to Shallan. The answer to that is not to think too deeply. Thanks! I'm a very visual person so I think a lot about the imagery when I read books. I also do cosplay now and then and it has gotten me into the habit of being obsessive about the details. Most authors are aware of readers' reactions, or they try to be. That's what alpha and beta readers are for, which is the same thing that visual media (tv/movies) or advertising do when they work with focus groups. The thing about writers is that because they are the sole creative force behind a work, their "blockbuster" level can protect them from publishers and editors wanting to change part of the work that isn't the spelling/grammar proofreading stuff. Which can be a good thing, since media created by a committee bent on hitting the demographics can be really terrible or just really generic (examples being an unnecessary movie franchise reboot, or idol singer music group). An author's creative freedom and licence to ignore the advice or wishes of their audience and publisher can be a good thing too, because otherwise it would lead down the dark path of plot armoured characters that lose all dramatic tension, or annoying characters that end up being hated. Brandon has alpha and beta readers, and he takes their advice sometimes, and sometimes he doesn't - the WoR love triangle subplot was something that the beta readers reacted to in a predictable fashion (because SA wasn't intended to be YA, but somehow a distinctive YA trope fell into it), and we got the Kashadolin setup . So I think that Brandon is aware that Adolin has fans, even if you don't think he knows it. He's just too active and communicative with fans and readers not to know, and for someone who plans so far ahead, he won't have forgotten Adolin. If you end up getting bored of SA before Oathbringer's release, or think Oathbringer is a terrible book because it barely mentions Adolin, that would be a shame. But it doesn't mean that Brandon thinks Adolin is boring, or thinks readers think that Adolin is boring. It may be that Adolin's spotlight time isn't just at that moment, and if he were to pander to the audience and include gratuitous audience, it could slow the rest of the story's pacing or make the Sanderlanche less satisfying. If you look at the statistics here Adolin has had way too much screen time to be a minor character rather than supporting character. He may not get as much screen time as he has been getting in every book, but in the end the wordcounts will add up to make him a character with more PoV's than a named flashback character. Being a named flashback character doesn't guarantee anything, since they are confirmed to be possibly be dead by the time their book rolls around, or even that they will have the highest wordcount in their own book. Kaladin had more pagetime than Shallan and her flashbacks in WoR Awww, you hate Tyn and Jakamav? But neither of them are really evil. If they are "bad" people, it is only because the choices they make are the selfish ones that fit within their culture's definition of morality. If the plot decides they are to be the antagonists because of this, I don't think it makes them worthy of hate, since they are interesting. They are either unaware that they are being selfish and callous because they rationalise it as the "right" behaviour, or they know it and go ahead with their dastardly plans because they don't care. That's what I really like in an antagonist that I don't see very often - the moustache twirling villain who ties a girl to the train tracks, and knows it's bad, but still doesn't go as far as killing puppies for fun. I like Tyn because she is like an outside viewer of Vorin restrictive prudishness, and because she wasn't indoctrinated with it from birth, she observes the rules because she feels like it. It makes a contrast to Jasnah, the princess who breaks the rules because she can get away with it. And Jakamav is to Adolin what Sadeas was to Dalinar, or what Moash was to Kaladin. If the Shardplate that Teleb wore in the Battle of Narak was Jakamav's, he will be mad at Adolin forever and ever, since that suit of Plate was lost in the chasms with the Everstorm. Dalinar lives his life teetering on a knife's edge, scared that he will fall into barbarism if he relaxes his standards by one little bit. It's how he lived ever since he was reformed, and such a big part of his life that the idea that other people don't live by balancing their good and bad sides must be a strange and alien idea. But he's not totally wrong, since Adolin experiences the same extremes of emotion that get amplified whn he gets stressed, and Kaladin gets his mood swings when he blames himself or it's raining outside. The most conflict-making part of parental relationships in fiction (and life in general) really comes down to misguided good intentions being justified by "it was for your own good". And a conflict resolution comes from both parties acknowledging that and moving on. Hey, don't let an opinion being unpopular stop you from saying what you think. Why should you let anyone's approval or disapproval stop you from enjoying yourself and expressing your opinion? I think that is one of the reasons why you like and connect with Adolin so much, and why I like Tyn. Were there any regular knights in regular metal armour on the Shattered Plains? I don't remember reading about about any lighteyed units in Kaladin's PoV chapters, other than the cavalry and archers. In the border skirmishes, there were regular knights because they were only fighting against humans, with no Shardbearers because all of them would be making real money on the Plains. On the Shattered Plains, the enemies were warform Parshendi, stronger than humans (they leap chasms instead of using bridges or chull drawbridges) who carry war axes and war hammers as their weapons because they specifically want to counter Shardbearers. A regular knight wouldn't have a chance unless he is part of a heavy mounted cavalry unit - a metal plated knight's advantage is armour and momentum for quick flanking charges. Without the height and speed a horse gives, a metal knight would have all the disadvantages of Plate (the portable sauna) with none of the advantage. I enjoy military strategy games and military speculative fiction, and I think about these things, even if they're not very interesting to character readers. If Adolin is aware of this, if he has trained with other units like the spearmen he bunked with for a couple of months, I hope he is sensible enough to realise that jumping in the front lines unprepared is very stupid. Adolin is self-sacrificing when it involves defending the people he loves, but there comes a point where one realises that they're not being very helpful when they're dead. He's a capable commander, while still having his flaws, or he wouldn't be one of the top Kholin Army officers. He values the lives of all his men, because the lives of men are priceless, so why should he value his own life any less? Anyone who doesn't arrive to that conclusion is neck-deep in angst and is close to the sort of eye-rolling drama that involves brooding vampires and the Volturi. The reason why I think Navani could be a good parental figure for Adolin was because in the beginning of WoK, Adolin thought Dalinar was going crazy and all of their "allies" were distancing themselves from the Kholins because they all thought he was going weak. Navani was one of the few people that Adolin and eventually Dalinar could trust, and later on fully confide in. Adolin trusted her from the start, when Dalinar was giving her the cold shoulder, and was willing to discuss what to do with Dalinar and the abdication. Normally Adolin doesn't talk about this stuff because he wants to look confident in front of other people, but Navani knew. The only other people he has trusted enough to tell them the truth about his weaknesses and vulnerabilities was Kaladin (the girl advice) and Shallan (the first date). When they are busy doing Radiant things, Navani will be the only non-Radiant he can trust. Navani's character quirk is that she perceives her own value as a person based on how much other people need her. Without it, she feels useless. She's not a queen or a wife anymore, and her children have outgrown her so she doesn't feel like a mother. Even Renarin has better things to do these days. Adolin (and Elhokar if he stays normal) is the person in the best position to connect with her. It would be heart-warming if it happened, and if they also happened to discuss Shshshsh, it would tie in nicely with Dalinar's flashbacks. I think my cringe from reading certain romance plotlines comes from their being badly written and not really representative of a healthy relationship between two emotionally stable and mature adults. When I was younger, I was perfectly happy to read the really shallow stories where the main character gushes over how the hottest guy in school looked in her direction. And when I got older, I realised that you can't build a long-term relationship off "omg he's so hotttt" and any plot-contrived relationship drama that can be solved by people sitting down and having a talk, or a phone call or text message, is just stupid and unrealistic. It's not necessarily the age gap between characters that makes me dislike a novel, but rather how unrealistic or poorly written it is. Molly and Burrich had something like a 15 year age difference, but I didn't get a cringe reaction from that. I would say my current "pickiness" comes down to being aware of what exactly ticks my boxes now that I've read enough to tell apart the good from the bad. Even nostalgia isn't enough to make the terrible novels I read as a teen enjoyable. There are always classic children's books if you dislike stories by modern authors. The ones about animals are always appealing to both girls and boys (I don't know if 6 year olds have gotten into the stage where they think the opposite gender has the COOTIES!!!). Doctor Dolittle, Charlotte's Web, Lassie Come-Home, King of the Wind, or Redwall, for example. They might be extremely tropey and full of predictable characters (and sometimes literal underdogs), but kids don't care about that and they were written 30+ years ago so the prose is better than what many modern children's or YA authors use these days. You forget that a marriage involves two people. Adolin might be pressured into a marriage, but even though Alethkar might be prudish with values different to modern Earth, any girl with a rank in the upper dahns high enough to be considered a potential wife would not be forced to marry against her will. All of those girls that courted him would have married him if they were forced to do it, because he is the heir to a Highprince, but they chose to dump him because he did something they didn't like or disapproved of, and since he's not really a bad guy, they were all insignificant things easily overlooked by a real gold digger. The only woman who could be forced into marriage would be someone low ranking and without connections, like Laral, but why would Adolin marry someone who would give no advantage when he doesn't even love her? Even Shallan had the connection to Jasnah to her benefit. I see Adolin as more likely to die alone than choose a loveless marriage. Certainly it is not something that Dalinar or Navani would force on him, since they would have the experience to understand how unhappy an unhappy marriage can be. I personally like reading unorthodox protagonists because they tend to be less predictable and therefore more interesting than the plain vanilla heroic underdog. Not that I dislike heroic underdogs who start from nothing and work their way up, as long as they have depth that is more than "I do good things because it's the right thing to do". But someone who breaks the mould and is a sympathetic protagonist who is shown as sympathetic because they do things other than rescuing cats from trees and dogs from wells is interesting in this age where the fantasy genre is simply flooded with generic everyman sword-swinging dragon slayers. Kaladin as a struggling bridgeman was interesting, because he was inventive and it reminded me of Ender figuring out how to win the battles in battle school when the odds were stacked against him. Kaladin as an overpowered Radiant with chronic hero syndrome is less interesting - but at least that is more interesting than the Kaladin (Merrin lol ) who took Helaran's Shards and became a Shardbearer. I think many more people would dislike Shallan if she had no flashbacks. Without it, she's dangerously close to a Mary Sue dream girl whose only visible flaw is her sense of humour (to those who think she tries to hard to make unfunny fart jokes funny). Her past makes her more complex and justifies some questionable decisions, and since I like pragmatic heroines who are willing to do illegal or bad things because they are the right thing to do, Shallan's magical amnesia preventing her from accepting her past actions makes me disappointed. Not only is it hurting herself and Pattern, her mental denial response to prevent accidental triggering is stopping her from moving on and being a total butt kicker of a character and doing interesting things. If Wax had the same habit and he'd moved on from Lessie too quickly, it would have made his move to Elendel less significant, and his developing relationship with Steris less meaningful. Adolin is already likeable as a character, and in the narrative sense he doesn't NEED a flashback for readers to understand his motivations. All the justifications for his actions in the story so far have been the result of things that have happened in the last few months, with Dalinar's visions going public. If he survives the first half of SA, I'd be more interested in seeing a more mature and level-headed future Adolin. That's the difference between characters who are revealed to have hidden depths previously unknown to the audience. In the case of Steris, her disability doesn't stop her from making herself useful in unexpected ways, exploring her skills and showing what she is capable of to the reader. Steris is organised and meticulous and plans obsessively, and it's shown to the reader first as a character quirk, and later in a humourous way when they are at the hotel, and then even later it pays off in a satisfying way. In comparison, what exactly are Renarin's hidden depths, his secret skills? (Disregarding his Radiant surges since we don't even know his oath leve.) Previously he was known to be a quiet but careful thinker, he likes wine, can read and write glyphs, and is interested in fabrial science. Most of this is mentioned in one or two lines, or inferred by the reader and not outright stated. And of this, how much of it has been used as a plot point or Chekhov's gun? The answer is very little, and of that, the glyphs scratched on the walls wasn't entirely voluntary and was attributed to Dalinar the whole time. That's why Renarin comes off as boring and passive. His skills are never demonstrated on-screen as Steris's are, and his ridiculously high pain tolerance when he summons and holds his dead Shardblade is only inferred by the reader because Renarin has no PoV chapters. And it is not exactly an example of being pro-active since he just accepted it as a normal part of being a Shardbearer and called himself a coward for not being able to do anything but stand there and hold it (see that conversation with Adolin right after Jakamav unfriends him). Honestly, most of this comes from Renarin just being in the background all the time as a minor character rather than the supporting cast. If more of his identity, personality, and skills were explored, I'm sure he would be a more sympathetic character rather than a pathetic one. He has done very little, and because of that, he has very little to redeem himself in your eyes, since you do not automatically think him an endearing character because of his disabilities. Which is a reasonable response, because to me, a character's likeability should stand on the strength of their characterisation. After all, you aren't automatically obliged to like every female protagonist you read just because you are female yourself. If you dislike the idea of Renarin being a focus character, remember that being a focus character doesn't mean he will get the most screen time. If Kaladin survives past SA#5, I would not be surprised if he is still the spotlight stealing, one-liner spouting underdog hero we all know and love. Art time Stormlight Gifs EDIT: Apparently uploading gifs don't work in the same way static images do. The Weeping Adolin test This came out unintentionally creepy. It wasn't supposed to, I swear! If you ever watch kids' cartoons and get annoyed at long drawn out scenes where nothing moves but some mouth flapping, the reason is that animation is extremely effort intensive. Jasnah test Imagine you met Jasnah and tried to break the ice with a joke. That is her reaction. My costume designs are relatively simple compared to the elaborate havah designs by other fan artists, but there's a good reason for that. If you ever draw the same character over and over again, you will soon wish that you hadn't made their clothing so fancy. Same with the hair. One of Jasnah's hairdos described in WoK had 6 hairspikes with golden chains strung between them. I only use a two spike design because it's much easier to figure out placement - notice how they chance position when she turns her head. Kaladin test Kaladin has only two facial expressions. :-| and >:-( Notice how jerky this animation is? It's because I set it approximately 6 frames per second, where a movie animation goes at the rate your eye can see, which is 24 frames per second. That is what makes a cartoon movie look so smooth - the transition from frame to frame is so gradual that your eyes make it out to be one continous movement. But obviously it requires creating 24 slightly different frames. On Roshar, a traumatic experience is enough to crack your soul for a Nahel bond. On Earth, hand-drawn animation does the same thing. Traditional animation using cels is enough to destroy it. These days, modern animation for TV cartoons is efficient enough that a production studio designs the characters and draws the key frames (usually the first and last frames) and sends them overseas where other people do all the tedious transition frames between Kaladin's first :-| and his last >:-(. Kholin Army Shallan Because Shallan likes to steal other people's clothes. I think in past drawings I've established that Shallan is small compared to Adolin and Kaladin, since she has mentioned how big Alethi guys are, but other than freaks of nature like Kaladin and Rock, there have been no real numbers on the height of regular Alethis. Whatever the actual numbers are, Shallan wearing an officer's coat would look pretty funny. And it wouldn't be too inappropriate because the sleeve would be long enough to cover up her safehand. Kholin Army Adolin Shardplate Adolin because I like Shardplate and I want to get better at drawing it. No matter how many times I draw it, I still absolutely hate drawing the visor. The visor slits aren't perfectly straight shallow "V" shapes, but kind of crooked at the end, which is super annoying. But I stay true to the canon depiction where there are canon depictions, so I do it anyway. The background was supposed to make the Kholin blue "pop" but it really does nothing for Shallan's hair...
  17. Sadeas has lusted over owning a Shardblade of his own for decades, and he's salty that Adolin in his first appearance in WoK had a Blade and he didn't. So the fact that Sadeas managed to get a blade, and the blade he got was Dalinar's legendary Oathbringer, which makes it double priceless. It's enough that he will sell the Bridgemen to Dalinar, which was a sore point to him, because he wanted to make honourable Dalinar look bad in front of his men. Just imagine that in private he summons the Blade over and over in his bedroom, and whispers "MY PRECIOUS" to it. Wit is like thousands of years old. I, and other Shard artists (I think it's better to use the portmanteau "Shardists" over "Shartists") interpret the description of him to be ambiguously 30-something, in the way that Wayne is a generically faced 30-something. He may look on the skinny end of normal when you talk to him, but when you look him in the eye, there's some indication that he's seen some things. I think that's where unintentional (or not) creepy face comes from, when people try to draw that. No author expects to make you like every single one of his or her characters. It's just a fact of life that you will end up being ambivalent toward some of them, just like you can't be friends with every single person you meet. I am doing this character design series of minor characters because they are like the acquaintances of the literary world, where the hero protagonists are the best friends 4 lyfe. They are the kind of characters who are equivalent to people you pass on the street and don't think much about when they're gone. And I think it's a bit more of a challenge when you only have a very vague idea of what they're like. But still there is enough for me to be able to form an opinion on them and their personality, so Brandon has that going for him. My favourite minor characters are probably Tyn and Jakamav. I am aware that they are both not very nice people that I wouldn't want to have anything to do with if they were real people, but that makes them interesting. It's the difference between characters in the soap opera genre versus slice of life. I don't watch them because I see myself in them. I just want to eat popcorn and laugh because Tyn is the SA version of a "bad role model big sister" and Jakamav is the head cheerleader. Terrible people, but engaging drama - picturing them doing things and interacting with others is easy, so drawing them becomes easy. People like Renarin are the boring ones. I got the impression that if you bribed the judge very very generously, you could get a retraction on the witness statement and cancel a duel that way - without an official witness, a challenge would just be a matter of "he said, she said". Of course, the judge would have a bad reputation forever after, and it's pretty dishonourable by Alethi standards, but it would prevent someone wholly unprepared from being crippled in the duelling arena. Being branded a coward is better when you're a Shardbearing coward. Dalinar makes Shardbearer duelling out to be way more dangerous than it actually is. Is he just being very inflexible or very overprotective, in his regular Dalinar way? The way arena duels are fought is very civilised and no one fights to cripple unless they agree on the terms beforehand. And since the way Shardbearing is taught emphasises control and knowing one's strength from day one, there would be little chance of a Shardbearer accidentally crippling another. If it happens, it would be on purpose. To me, it seems like a spectator would be more likely to be hurt in a duel than a Shardbearer, since shattering Shardplate looks like an explosion of ripping metal. Dalinar could have just banned duelling for Shards the way it was banned for Jakamav, and also bans on duels where the winning condition isn't breaking X amount of Plate sections. Duelling until forfeit (the way the 4-on-1 duel was fought) is serious. Everything else is pretty tame. But Dalinar. "Unreasonable" is his middle name. According to the Codes, duels should be avoided in times of war. When Adolin was 16, Dalinar was still Blackthorn, and he didn't care about the Codes, and they weren't at war. So he wouldn't have had the moral dilemma about duelling back then, and he doesn't dote on Adolin (as of WoK/WoR) like he worries over Renarin's wellbeing, so any qualms (if he had any) about Adolin duelling as a kid would be based on the risk of losing Shards more than anything else. Harsh, right? Without Shardplate, a Shardbearer instantly gets demoted to an infantryman. And since standard Alethi infantry wields spears because most of them are darkeyes and can't use swords, that's a pretty big demotion. I would have thought that anyone who loses their Shards would retire from battle, or at least change their tactical approach so that they don't actually have to unlearn anything. Cavalry and archery is open to lighteyed men, or they could just be a behind-the-lines commander rather than in the front line. Unlearning anything is difficult, especially if you're a 30 year old seasoned veteran, and having Shardbearer training drilled into you when you have no Shards is more of a liability than a benefit. I could see Adolin without Shards assigned to being a tactical commander than a front-liner, just as he could be a good Highprince or King if it came down to it. Perhaps it makes for a boring plot, but they are worthy positions that suit his abilities more than an Ardent or a citylord suit Renarin. Adolin is one of Navani's baby chickens too, for longer than Shallan. She has been motherly to him and Renarin since WoK, when Dalinar was still giving her the cold shoulder. I think you are seeing too much on the negative side than what is likely to happen. Sure, going in with low or negative expectations means you tend to come out with less disappointments, but it really is a depressing way to look at things. For instance, Shallan with her involvement with Mraize and the whole Ghostbloods sideplot is going to be keeping secrets, and off doing things on her own wihtout supervision or wanting people looking over her shoulders - not even her brothers, when they reunite for the first time in almost a year. Navani, though she's probably not the one with the greatest relationship advice, has more experience in these things than anyone else that Adolin is comfortable talking to. With Kaladin out of the picture, and Renarin busy exploring his Radiant powers, Bridge Four might be more of a support system to Adolin than to anyone else. They are Kaladin's men, but Kaladin went away to Hearthstone/Kholinar, and Kaladin always kept himself distant from most of the bridgement apart from the named lieutenants like Rock, Sigzil, Teft and Moash. Adolin since the beginning of WoR has shown some relationship progression with them. I could see it developing further. Adolin was annoyed by them and their eavesdropping on his dates but he ended up appreciating and valuing them by the end. He probably wouldn't bond with them like a chasm scene would do, but they are people who understand what it's like to be the sidekick to the hero, without superpowers but still doing the best they can. I actually went back to Anne of Green Gables (and you can read it online for free because the copyright has expired, btw) and after reading it, I have come to the conclusion that if Anne was an SA character, she would be a Lightweaver. She brings so much happiness to Avonlea with the power of imagination. The Radiant order is so perfectly fitting for her. Regarding the age gap, my most recent cringe was reading a romance novel where the main character, when she was 8 years old, loudly declared that she would marry a boy whom she was crushing on (he was 17) when she was grown up. And they get engaged when she is 18 and he is 27. I love childhood crushes becoming romance, don't get me wrong, but this was a bit much for me. Honestly, anyone I liked when I was under 15 years old I now realise would be horribly unsuited to my preferences today. And that is why YA romances appeal to me less and less as the years go by. Most of them would appeal to 15-year-old me, but now they make me roll my eyes. (Gosh I really love this smiley) Jamie's rank was uncertain with his uncles being leaders of the Clan Mackenzie. It was more convenient for him to not do anything which might produce an heir and put the succession into question. Whereas for Adolin, it would be very useful if he were to produce an heir as soon as possible when people don't think Dalinar will live past book 5. Kaladin makes a good squadleader when there are few enough men for him to know each one personally, enough to know their strengths and weaknesses and tailor the squad's tactics to fit that. He would make for a terrible commander or general, because he wants to protect people so much. That is what makes him different from Ender Wiggin (though no one who is not Mazer Rackham can be anything like Ender). Ender's lesson that he learned is that sometimes you have to make sacrifices to fulfill the winning conditions, and that goes against the whole "journey before destination" thing - which is idealistic, but sometimes not realistic. Good thing not everyone becomes a Radiant, right? Protecting people and saving lives is what Kaladin does, and that is enough to make him disobey the orders, which throws the whole big-picture plan down the toilet. It's well-meaning, but nearsighted, and he is just too pure and morally white for a world where things are fifty shades of grey. And that is why people love Kaladin, because you know he's unambiguously good, but I personally like the more pragmatic characters. Their internal conflicts, if they question their morality, is so much more interesting. Ugh, Kaladin and his "suffering is a contest and don't bother competing because I win" attitude is as off-putting in the same way that you don't like Renarin's moping about. If Kaladin meets Laral in Hearthstone in SA3, and he is mean to her because she's a lighteyes and lighteyes do not know the meaning of adversity, I will be extremely disappointed. For someone who is more of a character reader than a world-building or magic system reader, I am strangely neutral to the main characters than most. I don't really like most of them, nor do I hate them, I just think of them as tools in the plot and they have to be very interesting to catch my attention. None of the main "flashback" characters of the first 5 books make me super immersed; for me it is the character interactions rather than the character personalities that make me want to keep reading. I'm probably weird that way. I just care more about what they do than who they are. Character development is great and all, but how does that affect the action and the overall plot arc? Malta Vestrit's becoming less self-centred led to dragons returning to the world. I want to see what cool things other characters are capable of. I think we feel similar things about Renarin. I don't dislike him, but like you, I just don't feel empathy with him or his situation. I don't go out of my way to force myself to feel empathy for him, nor do I feel regret or disappointment that I do not like him as much as some other people do. Sure, it sucks to be disabled in a family where no one else has the same disability, and be in a society where it's stigmatised in terms of social interaction and relgious dogma to be anything other than perfectly fit and ready to defend Heaven from Voidbringer demons. But I find Renarin ... boring. To me, he is one of the hardest characters to picture and draw because in my head, I can't easily frame an image in my mind of him doing things. Because he doesn't do many things. He is a passive character, instead of active. He fades into the background. He is mentioned in one or two lines to establish his presence in a scene by a PoV character, and then completely forgotten. That might be some magical Illumination surgebinding going on, or it could be that Renarin is just so boring that people's eyes glaze over and they stop noticing him. He has few hobbies, and they are informed instead of shown on-screen (the difference between show and tell, pretty much). He has very little physical description other than slender and speaking slowly, and being "proper". It's just hard to understand him unless you keep up to date with all the WoB's and personally empathise with his disabilities because you are aware of what exactly they are. At this point I think that Renarin is one of those characters who is on his journey to character development, and hasn't gotten to the end yet, and that is why his characterisation feels so ... incomplete. He wants to be a soldier, becomes a soldier for the first time in his life, and the next part of the plot would be realising that he doesn't actually like soldiering, and realising it wasn't as good as he thought it would be. But his story so far ended at WoR and so we haven't seen the end, and what we have now is unsatisfying. But that is okay, it's only a matter of time for now. In the meantime, we can relieve our frustration by reading stories that have complete character arcs. Since you finished Eagle of the Ninth, Marcus had similar problems. He couldn't be a soldier, when he had wished to be a career legionnaire his entire life, and after his injury, he found something else to do. He became an oculist and saved lives that way, even though it wasn't super exciting. That is why I enjoyed the book so much. When people find a simple life satisfying and fulfilling, that is what I call a good ending. Not everyone has to save the world to be a good person. Just don't be boring and passive. That is all I want. The difference between Laral and Shallan is that Shallan had so many more opportunities and advantages, including having more family wealth, and more of a support system in the form of her brothers. Because she had brothers, Shallan was more willing to take risks to save them, to leave the known comforts of an estate she rarely left and endanger her own life. She had people to protect. Laral was alone in the world after her father died, and she didn't have Shallan's inquistive scholar's mind, or artistic skill, which are incredibly advantageous because they are the perfect Vorin womanly virtues that make a woman attractive as a wife. She had no agency, I agree, and no choice, and no opportunities, which makes her the anti-Shallan, who had these things for narrative convenience. Shallan's life sucked, I don't deny that, but Shallan had the chance to get out of it. Laral didn't, and she had no Jasnah Kholin as a childhood dream to chase, to become a teacher or mentor. Shallan got Jasnah, Tyn, Palona, Iyatil, and then Navani as female mentors. Laral's only alternative to marrying Roshone was running away and becoming a tenner in the city, equivalent to Gaz's desertion from Sadeas's army. If Gaz didn't have a patroness or benefactor in the form of Shallan, he would be a nameless mercenary/bandit languishing in obscurity and mediocrity just like city tenners would. And that is sad. If you ever watch animated cartoons (especially the classic Disney ones from the 1990's) in slow motion, you will be able to see how expressive they are. If you pause anywhere when a character is talking, you can see what they feel, beyond the dialogue. That is the level of emotiveness that I aspire to recreate, the kind of expressions where the audience can understand what emotion I want to represent just with a quick glance. Of course, there is only so much I can do with a static image, but I try. And when people notice, that is always a good thing - it means that all my practice and obsessiveness in trying to capture a moment and shove it into a 2D sketch made of flat lines on a flat screen was effective. It's the same thing that a lot of graphic novels and webcomics try to do, but they have panels and panels of context to set the scene and the mood. If my visual "message" in the form of one random sketch got across so that a non-artist can appreciate it, then I feel extremely flattered. Thank you. It makes me feel that what I am doing is "working". Art time Character design - Helaran Davar What do Veden noblemen wear? Helaran is the oldest brother, and described as a man where Balat and Jushu and Wikim were boys. But he still died pretty young, early 20's I think, with a young man's temper and hotheadedness, so I wanted to keep some of that. His colouring (hair and skin) is slightly darker than Shallan's because she stayed indoors most of the time due to her clingy father, but I kept the same colour palette. I don't know exactly how Horneater-blooded Vedens differ from Vedens closer to the Alethi genetics, I coloured him close to how Earth gingers look when they get some sun. The top picture is Helaran giving Shallan a sketchbook, and the bottom one is Helaran confronting Lin Davar and summoning his Shardblade, which is the same design I used in older Amaram drawings. Because they're the same Blade!! As a note about Rosharan fashion, military-style coats and jackets are considered fashionable for modern Vorin men. I draw this as structured, tailored-looking jackets. The buttons are frog buttons, or toggle and loop buttons. The frumpy, traditional older men wear robes and manskirts (takama or ulatu), and some mix and match to make a fashion statement, as Aladar does. While every character has a different costume design based on where I think they fall on the fashionable-and-frumpy spectrum, I try to keep the basic design elements consistent. If you noticed, have a thumbs up from me. Character design - Moash Moash is a hard one. He's almost universally disliked, because he's like a Kaladin-lite, without the redeeming qualities, and he only appears in a handful of chapters. Well, I used what I was given, and so I drew him as someone in his early 20's, not far from Kaladin's age, which is why Kaladin tried so hard to be friends with him. Scruffy hair as a bridgeman that only got slightly neater after becoming a bodyguard, no tattoos, and no smiling. Isn't it interesting that the first time Kaladin talked to Moash, he punched him, and Moash's farewell was a punch? (And Kaladin's hair - the plot demands that it blows dramatically in the wind every time he says something cool and oathy, even if he is indoors or in jail.) I don't know what one of Sadeas's portable bridges looks like, but I think it is has been discussed in past threads. I drew it as curved with supports running along the bottom for reinforcement, because arches are way stronger than flat surfaces, and cavalry horses cross these things two at a time. In my head, when the bridgemen carry their bridges, it sort of looks like a bunch of men walking a giant canoe. When it is properly carried (which is not depicted in my sketch), the men have their heads underneath, with the edge resting on the outer shoulder vest padding, so only the bridge captain at the front centre can see where they're going. And that is why my version of the bridgeman's uniform vest looks the way it does. Character design - Sebarial Sebarial makes a likeable impression in most readers' eyes. To me, he was the "friendly wizard" type, or "the good grandpa" even though he might be mean on the outside and yell at kids to get off his lawn. His house is a fancy mansion when other people like Dalinar live in practical but ugly highstorm bunkers, so I designed him as someone who likes good living. His robe is traditional and old-fashioned, but it gets lots of elaborate embroidery, and if you ever tried doing this by hand, you would know how much labour goes into that. The curly design on the edges of his robe are supposed to evoke the House Sebarial glyphpair of the the swirly sky eel, and his house colours are black and yellow. The top picture is Shallan lightweaving the first time she meets Sebarial, and he thinks she's 25. The bottom is Palona and Sebarial during the Battle of Narak. As a Herdazian, I drew Palona darker, and she has those sparkflicker rock-like fingernails. She also wears a safe glove instead of a safe sleeve. Adolin and Jakamav I drew two versions of this, a black-and-white to match the other sketchy pics I posted earlier, and a coloured one. I kinda like the b&w one better, but what do you guys think? Black and white Colour This is that scene after Jakamav and Adolin have a plateau battle on a rock formation that looks like a tiered wedding cake, but by the time they get to the top, Eshonai has already taken the gemheart. Jakamav changes into his street clothes, and drinks wine in his tent. Adolin has to sit on the floor because Shardplate is too heavy for chairs. In my mind, Shardplate makes its wearer look bulky and imposing, so I wanted to show the size difference between a Shardbearer and a normal person. I think that's something that fan artists have difficulty showing - to me, other people's drawings of Shardplate make it either look too small and thin, like it's skintight (think Power Ranger suits or Cybermen from Doctor Who). It's not, since Shardbearers wear other clothes underneath. Or they make it look too big, like it's a giant robot exoskeleton and not like there's a regular person underneath the magic shell. Finding that perfect sweet spot right in the middle is hard. I have trouble with it all the damnation time. I decided that Jakamav's favourite colour is green because you can paint Shardplate any colour you like, and his is green. So that is why he wears green a lot. Since emeralds are the most valuable Soulcasting gem, green is probably associated with wealth in Roshar, so it makes it more fitting. Something silly now. Yeah I know, it's really stupid. Adolin and Jakamav part 2 What would Adolin's Facebook page be like? He and Shallan would share cute pictures of baby animals that make Kaladin block them on his newsfeed. They both have couples photos as their profile picture. Adolin posts pictures of his duelling trophies in his status updates and uses them as his cover photo. When he wins too many, he gets unfriended, and the only people who like his statuses after that are Dalinar, Renarin and Shallan. Adolin pretends not to care. btw the "1173" refers to the year. They use Vorin years, not Earth years. Thanks for reading my wall of text. And sorry I am taking a while to update this thread, to everyone who stalks follows this. Normally I draw things before bed as a way to relax before going to sleep (it's very calming for me to slowly turn my brain off thinking mode while I sketch), but this week I've been so tired that I just went straight to bed.
  18. UPDATE: This whole story can be found broken into cohesive chapters on Archive of Our Own. It is a more up-to-date and better proofread version with proper formatting, without all the random comments from other people scattered in between. Feel free to comment or leave a review here or in the comments section on AO3. There is also an option to download the story in EPUB or PDF format to read on your eReader or mobile phone. This was originally posted as part of this thread, but since it was a multiple part entry I decided to post it here where it would be more visible and easier to find. The original idea started here and I decided to extend it. The author I was stylistically trying to emulate was Charlotte Bronte, but if you read through you can tell that there are more modern influences in my writing style. The Stormlight Archives Regency Romance PART ONE "That ship, you may have noticed, had two very fine cabins that I hired out for us at no small expense," said Countess Jasnah, with a sigh of dignified resignation. "It is rather a shame that I cannot say likewise for the quality of these...lodgings. And it seems my dearest cousin shan't be gracing us with his presence – he has engaged a proxy to escort us to the Court." Shallan hadn't thought the journey tedious - not at all: it was one thousand nautical miles from Kharbranth to the great port of Varikev in Roionshire, most of it spent splendidly barefoot and scandalously clad only in her chemise and petticoats. The days on the road since had been less pleasant, of course: fifty miles a day by carriage, a night spent in a common coaching house, fifty miles the next. It was only a wonder that the constant rhythmic rattle and clop of the horses hadn't been drummed permanently into her head. But now they had arrived at the very last coaching house, curiously named "The Black Thorn Inn". The idea of her marrying still seemed strange to Shallan, though it hadn't necessarily been one she was dreading. Day by day the journey had shortened ahead of her, and though she was glad of it, she had mused on what few joys she had left. Kholinar Court, the hereditary seat of the Kholin dukes, was the destination - the terminal, one could say, and Shallan was briefly solemn as she was reminded that it could very well be the place where her body was interred. It was not her home; it could never be - it was not a place where friends awaited her arrival with fond welcome. Shallan and Countess Jasnah stood under the shaded eaves of the inn, porters scurrying around them to pile up their numerous steamer trunks, travel valises and awkwardly shaped hatboxes. As they watched, a cloud of dust slowly drifted over the horizon to soften the sharp blue of the sky with a fringe of golden mist. A line of carts - that was it - clattering down the road, gaily painted in Kholin blue, preceded by a carriage with the Duke's arms in white upon the doors. "Hallo!" cried the man sitting on the high driver's seat next to the coachman. He was a lanky man whose long legs bumped up against the coachman's on the narrow shelf of a seat. With unexpected grace, he swung himself to the ground, and Shallan noticed that his shoulder-length hair had not been tied into a tail as current fashion dictated. He had on a plain gentleman's suit - no sign of ducal livery - the wool worn shiny on knees and elbows. "There you are. We must make haste-" "If it pleases you...sir," said Countess Jasnah, rather coldly. "Might I have the pleasure of an introduction? Cousin Adolin promised a trusted proxy to receive us, but I am afraid I do not recognise you." She did not hold out her hand for a kiss. He did not bow. "Doctor Kaladin," said he, pulling a leather wallet from the inside of his coat. "The Duke's personal physician. My letter of introduction, addendum by the Prince Dalinar and reference from the Duke's brother the Marquess of Kholinshire." He held it out to Countess Jasnah, who stared at it for a second, then took it stiffly. "You must be the girl, then. A Scot," Doctor Kaladin said, as he turned to Shallan, looking her up and down, then added, "though I can hardly imagine that you would be any more of a nuisance than the Duke's, ah, previous matches." Shallan felt unpleasant emotions rise up in her throat; she was scarcely aware of what exactly they were, though she was certain they were neither becoming nor ladylike. She did know, however, that impertinence answered by impudence was fair and just, and that Jasnah was out of earshot directing the porters to load the carts with their luggage. If this stranger, this Doctor Kaladin, had been properly courteous - or even good-humoured in the least, in his manner - Shallan would have felt no inclination to respond with insolence. But he had not the air of an elegant gentleman; that surely would have made her shy instinctively towards girlish hesitance. Doctor Kaladin had instead a dark face with heavy brow furrowed in irritation; though he was young - not much older than her, on inspection - his face had none of the softness or gentleness of youth; his lips were set into a stern line. This Kaladin creature spoke with the cultured tones of gentle breeding; despite this, he seemed set on being disagreeable from the start: Shallan had always thought herself sympathetic with those of lesser station, but here, she could feel nothing but antipathy. "Aye, ye be addressing the Lady Shallan," said Shallan, exaggerating her rural accent to one fitting of the servants back home. Her former governess, Madame Tyn, made a study of regional accents and dialects, and had taught her on the condition to never speak like that in front of distinguished company. That would hardly apply to Kaladin. "Pledged clanswoman and shieldbearer to The McValam." "You don't sound like a lady," remarked Kaladin bluntly. She gave him shallow curtsey, no more than a mere dip of the knees, and with a curt toss of her head, circled around him. "Ye dinna look like any doctor I ken," Shallan said. "A real surgeon would ha' better hair than yers, I reckon. Do ye keep it for emergency bandages?" Kaladin sputtered. "Emergency bandages-" "Too stringy fer tha', maybe. Emergency sutures, more like." Kaladin's brows gathered together, and his mouth twisted down with ire. "You do not seem like any lady, would I not be mistaken if I judge you an opportunistic impostor who has managed to deceive herself into Lady Jasnah's good graces? And I, Miss, am no leech-peddling barber surgeon." "E'en tha' job's got folks looking foward to yer comin', aye," said Shallan, "I'd think ye'd be better suited fer bailiff...or hangman. Ye would'na need a rope when yer breath would work faster." Kaladin's face reddened pleasantly, or so Shallan thought, and his body stiffened. He took a breath, then stepped closer to her, hands clenched in tense fists by his side. "Look, you-," he began. "Lady Shallan, the carriage awaits," called Countess Jasnah. The last trunk had been loaded onto the last cart; the first had already departed and was now a merry puff of golden dust on the road ahead. "Doctor, your credentials are in order. My uncle the prince recommends you warmly, I am most astonished to see." "Yes," Kaladin said, and after a pause, "thank you." He turned finally away from Shallan, and took the offered wallet from Jasnah's hands. He did not offer the wallet to Shallan; instead he tucked it into his coat's inner pocket. Lady Jasnah nodded; a footman bowed as he held open the carriage door painted with the tower-and-crown in white with gold details. The folding steps had already been pulled out. "A Kharbranth Academy scholar, I was naturally impressed to see that," said Jasnah, holding her skirts, as she ducked into the soft curtained dimness. "Will you be joining us for the ride to the house, Doctor?" Doctor Kaladin's eyes flicked sideways at Shallan. He had composed himself by now, and she observed that when he wasn't dis-tempered, he made a well-formed figure of a man - taller than most, with handsome breadth of shoulders, and graceful hands etched here and there with pale white scars over tanned fingers and knuckles. His face, though it lacked in beauty or elegance, had its own decisive character made more distinguished by darkly perceptive eyes. Shallan tore herself away and took the footman's guiding arm into the carriage. She did not look back. "I shall ride with the coachman, if it pleases you, Lady Jasnah," said Kaladin after a few moments. "I would not want the road dust from my journey here to soil your clothes nor the upholstery - my Duke had it cleaned for your arrival. He comes from The City to-night and expects Lady Shallan's informal presentation for this evening after supper." There were a few clinks and creaks as footmen found their places, and the horses shuffled impatiently in their traces, then the carriage started moving. Shallan twitched aside the pale blue lace curtains on the window and watched the warm green countryside trundle by, dotted and dashed with the occasional hayrick or wind-breaking treeline. She now felt a thrill; elation gently warmed in her chest: the world suddenly seemed to blossom around her when not very long ago she had imagined that it was like a box folding inwards and unstoppably inwards. She had dealt with that Doctor Kaladin, unpleasant as he was, with remarkable ease; no doubt this unfamiliar southern land would be filled with many such as he, but she could - yes she would - crest over such trifling difficulties and find herself comfortably settled as a lady Duchess that all of Anglethi society would look to. Author's Notes: The last time I wrote short stories or fanfiction was 4 or 5 years ago, so I'm a little rusty with my prose. For stylistic influences in this work, though I'm copying the writing style of classic period romances in general (not the modern paperback bodice-rippers), I would name Charlotte Bronte as the main inspiration to fit with the thread topic. Of course there's some Austen in there as well, mixed with more modern authors for the dialogue lines because I feel using old-style for that sounds too stiff and lacks emotional impact. A few hundred years ago, barbers and surgeons were the same thing. Physicians diagnosed illnesses, but it was barber-surgeons who did the actual surgery and amputations. Their razors could cut skin and give a close shave. Shallan is joking Kaladin on his unfashionable and messy hair. A bailiff in medieval times collected taxes as part of their job. I also referenced the scene in the hallway of Elhokar's palace when Shallan meets Kaladin for the second time in Words of Radiance. If you're wondering why I made Shallan Scottish, it's a reference to the post from a similar thread here, and since all those classic romances took place in England, I tried to make a weird fusion for humourous reasons.
  19. I find myself disliking a whole lot of fictional characters; I'm kind of picky that way. But I am aware that I am being overly nitpicky, and if I dislike them, it's due to something that I feel is justified, and it's not just because of something silly, like "I don't like their face". It doesn't ruin my enjoyment of a series, or prevent me from being able to understand their character enough to turn them into a visual, drawn image. In fact, I think that because I dislike them, I understand them better - their defining character traits are what I recognise as something that, if I ever knew them in person, would prevent me from wanting to be friends with them. Wit is an interesting character, and he pops up so often and knowing so much. I guess I am frustrated at that because he's always shown doing mysterious things for significant purposes, but the purposes and motivations are never explained, and I find it incredibly frustrating. But if I never drew something because I disliked them, I would rarely draw anything at all. Elhokar's a bit hard to pin down, to me. One of his goals is to be a respected king, and he wants to look good to the people so that the people will love him, and that is why he hated Kaladin so much in the arena. So my drawing of him shows him as someone who is somewhat aware of how royalty should look, with flamboyant clothes and fashionable hair, but is neurotic and overcompensating. So I give him sad eyes. All those minor characters have interesting personalities and motivations, and they need a bit of love, because no one ever draws them, and people rarely discuss them because it's more interesting to try and determine exactly how many lumens the stormlight coming out of Kaladin's mouth is compared to the lumens of a diamond broam. I don't blame them, since it's been years since the last book, but I quite enjoy coming up with character designs. Adolin at 16 had 10 years of military training by then, even if he only had Shardplate for a few months before the duel. It would have been obvious that he was talented and dedicated by then (I'm not sure how old a person has to be to choose their Vorin religious Calling, but Adolin mentioned he chose Duelling as his), and if everyone underestimated Adolin's skill, they still respected it enough not to call off the match. Remember in the 4-on-1 duel, Relis Ruthar's friends didn't want to hurt Renarin because they were all aware he was completely outmatched and couldn't put up the least resistance if they went hard on him - there's still some honour to them, even if they are completely scags. If Adolin had been completely useless, and Tinalar had won, he would have been a full Shardbearer and everyone would clap him on the back in public. In private everyone would think he was a bully, and be extra careful when socialising with him because they didn't want to risk the wrath of Blackthorn Dalinar. Even when Adolin challenged Relis to a duel, the Brightlady highjudge Istow asked him "Are you sure this is what you want?". So that gives the implication that there are mechanisms in place to stop foolish kids throwing away their family heirlooms (and it makes sense because these things are considered priceless). So the fact that Adolin went through with his first Shard duel means that there was consent. If Dalinar wanted to, and wasn't confident in Adolin's abilities, he could probably stop a duel before it took place if he paid off a highjudge witness enough. The reason he couldn't in WoR was because she was already bought, and the duel already in progress, which would have resulted in a public forfeit. Evidence points toward Adolin's using Gavilar's Firestorm in his first duel, btw. If Dalinar was so proud of Adolin, he would have encouraged him. in beating anyone who dissed the Kholin name. I can't remember reading that Dalinar was upset with Adolin specifically for wagering his Plate, because Adolin in WoR reminiscing about Tinalar thinks "nobody took me seriously then, either", which I understood to mean the high dahn lighteyes rather than his family. Please correct me if I have forgotten something! Adolin would probably wear a full body wetsuit on any beach photoshoot. Only the Shattered Plains annual wet uniform contest would be something he would participate in, and then only unwillingly. Kaladin is probably more fit than Adolin, but I wouldn't say Adolin's current physical state (minus the bruises and broken wrist) is a disadvantage in itself, maybe when compared to stormlight-fuelled tanks like Kaladin, but to other Shardbearers, Adolin in top form. It is difficult for Shardbearers to learn to fight without Shards, but how often does that happen? Shardbearers give up their shards when they die or get old enough to retire, so they never need to learn to fight without. And even when Shardbearers do fight in Shardplate, they take it off as soon as the battle ends, as Jakamav does when he goes to drink wine. Adolin and Elhokar are the weird ones for staying in their plate for up to and over 24 hours out of paranoia, because although they can't feel the weight of the Plate while wearing it, it is still a stuffy, closed metal sauna that you sweat continuously in. Dehydration can be as exhausting as fatigue at the end of the day. Up until the end of WoR, Adolin's only fights without Shardplate were with Szeth and Sadeas, he otherwise didn't fight against humans. So up until then, he had no need to consider learning to fight without Shards, just as he probably never learned how to ride normal horses in Plate, or how to go a week without a bath. Maybe things will change. Gilbert courted another, and Anne courted another man but refused him. Courting back then was just "walking out with a beau", just dates and nothing really intimate. I thought it was romantic for Anne to realise that she loved him the whole time and never knew it, but yeah it was frustrating for readers and Gilbert in the friendzone. But compared to other authors that follow the "loved him/her all along" plotline, Anne of Green Gables does it very well and they end up married for the long term. There have been other stories where it just seems too forced, or too convenient, or just kind of unsatisfying and kind of gross at the end if someone says "I have loved you since you were a child" and he/she was in an adult in the story at the time. You focus so much on Adolin that you forget that there are other cogs in the machine that are small, but still important. There are plenty of normals who are happy being normal and don't resent their lives. Navani has found her purpose, and it was proved to be useful, and I think she has the experience and motherly instincts enough to be able to help Adolin, since she understands what it's like to love someone that she can't be with because reasons. There was never a good opportunity in the past since she had a grudge against Shallan because of Jasnah, and it forced Adolin to have to pick one over the other to spend time with, and he chose Shallan. The bridgemen too - and the Bridge Four bodyguards have been around enough to be aware of the level of hate Adolin has for Sadeas, as one of them nodded to him after the confrontation in the chapter "Uncut Gems". They're with him all the time, and after they saved his life in the Battle of Narak, Adolin stopped resenting them for invading his privacy and not being his dead Cobalt Guards. They of all people would be the most likely to sympathise with his situation. If everyone is getting something out of their relationship partner, what are they putting in? I think that's the more important question. What does Adolin contribute, and if his virtue is "being genuine", what does that mean when he's hiding the Sadeas secret and his public persona is a sham? Jamie Fraser was a soldier too, with all those soldierly opportunities just like Adolin. Jamie said he didn't want it because they were all prostitutes in poor condition and he was grossed out, and thought he had better standards than that. Harry turned out commendably well for being an orphan who was abused throughout his formative years, surrounded by many terrible adult role models like all those DADA teachers, the secretive Dumbledore, and the manchild replacement-father Sirius Black. Renarin is different from Harry Potter that he has no named antagonist figure like Snape or Draco, and Dalinar keeps people from ever becoming one, like Wit and his teasing. The sheltering/hover-parenting in some instances can be more of a bad thing than a good thing, and it is enough to set Renarin apart from his peers like any bully could do. Just look at what Petunia and Vernon Dursley's love did to Dudley Dursley. Kaladin's childhood was different from the other children because Lirin was a light-touch discliplinarian. Lirin raised Kaladin to understand why the rules were rules, and that involved questioning the establishment. The intent was to create in Kaladin a rational and clear thinker, which would make him a better surgeon. But it failed because Lirin was so lenient in encouraging Kaladin to independently conclude that saving lives through medicine was the right thing that Kaladin ended up formulating his personal moral code in another direction. Kaladin can be too clever for his own good that he ends up shooting himself in the foot, which makes him unsuitable for being a foot soldier or a squadleader/sergeant, because they are roles that require obedience and discipline. He would be good in a commando unit, or as an elite solo bodyguard as he is in WoR, but the role of a regular soldier is something he could never truly be happy with, even whilst he is discontent doing it and wishing for the good old days. I do not think Kaladin could ever be really happy no matter what he does; it's just not in his character. It would teach him humility and to be more considerate with people instead of lashing out, if he understood himself enough to admit it. Even the people who sympathise with Szeth and admire his more positive qualities such as his determination know that it's fuelled by blind faith. I do not think you need to sympathise with Szeth to enjoy SA. It is likely that he gets an eventual death by redemption so it's better for you not to feel an attachment. I personally don't bother to like every single character or protagonist I read. Understanding their motivations and accepting their importance in creating an enjoyable story yes, but a personal attachment or empathy is very, very rare. I've read and thought about it and concluded that Renarin's introversion, isolation, and lack of occupations/hobbies has led to him being focused on his own experience and preferences to the point of self-centeredness. He can't participate in physical activities and doesn't devote himself to his other interests like fabrial science because if he can't be a soldier, he doesn't want to do anything else. Nothing else would be good enough, and when he becomes a real soldier, fabrial science wouldn't help him much. I think it was always a matter of time for Renarin; he can be so fixated that if he didn't get Dalinar's plate he would eventually directly demand to be a soldier or threaten to jump off a chasm, rather than continue to make offhand passive-aggressive comments about his uselessness. And that's why you don't like him - Renarin swims in self-pity, and you prefer pro-active protagonists who wield their agency deliberately and with awareness. Dalinar chose Leadership as his Calling, and Adolin chose Duelling. Neither of them chose being a soldier. The only thing required by Vorinism is excellence. Renarin wants to be a soldier because it is the opportunity that was stripped from him by a fluke of genetics rather than a faith-based desire to get into Vorin heaven, no matter what he says. He singlemindedly wants what he can't have because he thinks it will make him "normal" and "just like the other boys", and anything else (like a comfortable desk job) would be a consolation prize to remind him of how he wasn't good enough for "the real thing". Other people who lack a disability would not be able to understand it. So he passes it off as being pious, which people would be understand, even if they do not keep the faith as much as they think he does. You consciously picked up on Renarin's sulkiness, and if you have also noticed his secrecy and lack of transparency with others and himself (though this last one is due to lack of page time and PoV) this has helped to set him up as a character undeserving of your empathy. Art time Character design - Torol Sadeas My strongest visual impression of Sadeas was that he was smug and punchable. And his description in WoK as someone with a ruddy face, bulbous nose and long curly hair was not something that was particularly heroic, so I didn't bother try to make him look trustworthy at all. The top sketch is him and Ialai as arena spectators. Imagine Ialai saying something like, "That young Kholin is perhaps better than you at his age" and Sadeas saying "Hah, gurl pleeease." Bottom is Sadeas in his Shardplate gloating (seems like something he'd do) over his new Shardblade, Oathbringer. I try to follow book descriptions for clothing designs as closely as I can, but I do take artistic license and I prefer a sketched outfit to be cohesive in colour and style. So I will choose something that I feel has a stylish and coordinated "look" over book perfectionism. A "stock", by the way, is a cravat, and the coat design is based on a Tyrolean jacket. Character Design - Laral Wistiow Lots of people don't like Laral because she wasn't very nice to Kaladin, but I kind of like her. Her story is the one of the girl-next-door who got hot, and her motif colour is yellow, because she wears it the most often in story. The dress design is a havah version of Madeline's dress from the animated tv show with the nuns, with open sleeves because Laral is young enough not to cover up, and it was a visual way to show how naive and innocent she was. The bottom sketch is "Laral's farewell", because in that chapter it is where her engagement to Roshone is announced, and also when Kaladin and Tien are recruited into Amaram's army and they never see each other again. The sad part is that Laral is pretty much the anti-Shallan. She is the orphan girl from a good family that became poor, but unlike Shallan, Laral doesn't have Shallan's strength of will, precocious intelligence, creativity or determination. Shallan killed her father and chased Jasnah by ship for 6 months, and when she didn't have suitable tutors for her education, she made up for it by studying on her own. Laral, in a small rural town, had few education opportunities either, and fewer natural talents than Shallan, and therefore passively wished for a Shardbearer knight to come to her rescue. Now you can see where "Shallan as a Mary Sue" character interpretations come from. Character design - Gaz Gaz, the designated villain who is actually quite sad and pathetic once you take away the sergeant's knots. I drew him as wiry and scruffy, and because he is short, the "one size fits all" uniforms are too big for him and look baggy. The uniform jacket is similar to the Bridge Four foot soldier uniforms, but in Sadeas green, and on Gaz it is wrinkly and poorly fitting. The top sketch is Kaladin bullying Gaz after coming back from the Honor Chasm, and if I illustrated it properly, it would be all dark and dramatic with an open wire cage of recharged spheres spilling over the ground. The bottom sketch is Gaz the carpenter, earning redemption by fixing up Shallan's slave cage. This was one of the easier designs to do; I think everyone has a good idea of what he looks like. I also think Brandon Sanderson makes people blush way too much. Even Gaz blushes at one point at something saucy Shallan says. Gaz. Blushing. Alethi fashion plates Styles by social class Lower - Hesina and Lirin You can probably tell this was inspired by Russian peasant clothing of the earlier 20th century. In my mind, darkeyes wear simple, practical clothes in natural (undyed) colours because Soulcasting is expensive. The crops that can be used for consumption can also be used for fibre, such as flax for linen, which is what was done in the old days before industrial farming and market demand for a hugely varied diet. Middle - Laral and Roshone Laral's dress is a version of the vintage 1950's housecoat, which looks glamourous but is made to be worn by working housewives. Laral's job is to be a citylord's secretary. Roshone wears a takama, which is the traditional manskirt. The text description says he wears a tailcoat with a skirt, so out of lack of inspiration, I used the aesthetic of the Scottish black tie kilt, which has a similar silhouette. I think this is too fancy and would be more fitting for Aladar than Roshone, honestly. Now imagine Dalinar in a takama. Do they wear pants underneath? Upper - Inkima and Jakamav The fun thing about drawing rich and frivolous lighteyes is that I can use all the impractical designs and fanciful colours as I want. I find it interesting to combine Vorin modesty with elaborate designs - I figure that a young and wealthy Alethi girl would think it's fashion forward and alluring to cover everything up except for her face and her right arm, which reminds all the young men that there's another arm just like it. And Jakamav has a preference for the curvy girls, which Adolin lacks. A random sketch Nothing Ridiculous When you look Wit in the eyes, all you see is crazy looking out. The end.
  20. I originally put Kaladin at what I thought was a tall but normal-ish for Earth height, as some other artists were putting Kaladin at 6'9" because apparently he is only a few fingers shorter than Rock (what the heck is a finger???), and being someone who is not tall like that, I just cannot wrap my head around a person being that tall. And it turns out that in some areas and some countries such as the Netherlands, 6'2" is not considered tall because it is the average height for young men under 25. So I gave up and settled on something that is taller than average for most people, but not too far into walking beanstalk territory. I know it's a fantasy series and most people don't care, but I thought about it a lot because I am crazy and want to get things right. Even though I draw in a stylised style, I aim to stay close to realistic human proportions. Yeah...I can't imagine Kaladin as an Ahnold. Ever played the game Street Fighter? The proportions on those characters (Guile, Nash, pretty much everyone, girls included) was something I tried to avoid. To me, Kaladin has what they call functional strength, and he is fit and has those veiny arms, but a lot of intimidation-power comes from his scary eyes. I try to draw them as best as I can when I know my art style can be cutesy and Disney-ish. So if you would be too afraid to pick a fight with my mental image and depictions of Kaladin (relevant picture in the art pile at the end of this post), then I feel like I've done a decent job of capturing his character. There must be something about Rosharan gravity if Shallan thinks she is short for a woman. Kaladin actually spent 8 months as a slave and even though he was punished worse than regular slaves for his escape attempts and being disobedient, somehow he is still the most physically fit. That is why there is so much confusion about Kaladin's physique - bodybuilders and weightlifters have to maintain a high protein diet even on their off-season if they want to keep their muscles. If you're starving, they're the first thing to go. The headband is cool! It keeps hair out of his eyes and covers up the shash brand. In my head, Mraize had a smooth and slick personality but since he is battle-scarred and carries a dartgun (like a pocket pistol in a world without gunpowder) he seemed too tough to have sharp features. It would have made him look more delicate, and he is not the kind of care to worry about getting his hands dirty. That is why I drew him with his sleeves rolled up in the character portrait. The sharp features I reserved for Wit/Hoid. Thaylens do have long white eyebrows. The crew of the Wind's Pleasure were Thaylens, and Shallan would have recognised Mraize as one immediately, but she didn't point it out in the Ghostbloods chapter. I can only assume that Mraize trims them off and dyes them, just as Tyn uses the eyedrops to change her eye colour. Big white Thaylen eyebrows would be unusual and make for a bad disguise in Alethkar. Thanks! I know it is kinda weird, but when I do a cartoony sketch of a character, I try to translate my thoughts and impressions of their personality into a visual image - and it becomes my version of a character analysis. When I draw several drafts of a character, incorporating details I know about them from the narrative, and come out with a finished picture that screams "Yes, I am Wolly Winka" , I feel like I know them better. It helps me understand characters better if I can translate text to a visual image, and if it has helped other people, then I am glad. I think this paragraph makes sense if you skip to the bottom of this post and look at my character art. In that picture Renarin I tried to depict Renarin as young and vulnerable, and conflicted - he holds his autism box, something that he knows makes him different, and reminds him of his blood weakness, but it is comforting to him. And the spren that only he can see and hear and whispers things to him, healed his eyes. And even though it is creepy and probably a Voidbringer, it is somehow comforting to have, too. Glys is wrapping his tendrils around Renarin in a spren hug. It looks a lot better now! The jewels look way improved. I think you could add a little more shadowing under and around the base of the gems, in order to show that they are hanging on top of the hand. Right now, from far away, they look kinda like they are growing out of the hand. You could add a bit more shadow underneath the chains as well. And as a side note, if you want to portray a flat, reflective, polished surface like a gem or polished metal, don't be afraid to use a sharp highlight. Reflective, shiny objects reflect more light, and facets facing the light source should have a highlight. An example of this would be in this depiction of a gemheart. Gemheart Example It's a very stylised picture, but the sharp highlights give the impresion that it is very shiny and made of sharp edges, like a crystal. You've done highlights on the tops of the gems, but you could try use a more opaque white instead to make them "blingy". And you could do that to the gold settings on the gems, and the soulcaster wrist band. Pretty much everything but the skin. I think Dalinar would have been proud for Adolin to be a full Shardbearer at 16. I think Elhokar became a full Shardbearer at 21/22 after the War of Reckoning, with Parshendi Shards, and I don't think he collected them himself. That is pretty young, but Adolin must have set a record for youngest Shard duel winner. Even when proto-Bondsmith Dalinar banned Shard duels in WoK, he still allowed honour duels, and the old Blackthorn Dalinar was the type of person to kill a man who insulted him. Honour is important, and Tinalar dissed House Kholin. He had it coming. It was probably Gavilar's Blade. Gavilar is the King and a diplomat, lending Shards is what a King does, as a show of power. Dalinar is the enforcer and nobody touches his Shards. That's why it's super shocking for him to give his Shards to Sadeas and Renarin, because it's like he's throwing away his Blackthorn legacy. Daily duelling practice is still vigourous physical exercise, Shardplate or not. Every time Adolin gets out of his Plate, he's disgustingly sweaty. He also does a lot of riding and some martial arts in the form of Shard-wrestling, given that he has a habit of using wrestling moves in the arena when he wants to show he can win a duel without using a Shardblade. So even if Adolin doesn't have Kaladin's bridge-lifting bulk, he eats well and is very physically active, and in my imagination could give Kaladin a run for his spheres in the Cosmere's annual fundraising swimsuit calendar. See, Gilbert is very loyal, even if he didn't know how to show it. How many other stories about school crushes have characters who love no one else for years and years and stay loyal? Of all the novels that featured 12 year old protagonists that aged up, most of them dated or did the things with other people before realising that they loved their school friend all along. And the trope you are looking for is the "Florence Nightingale effect". Narrative causality is the mysterious force in fiction that forces probability to bend in order to create an interesting plot for readers. It is the magic that leads a completely average cow herding farmboy to find the mysterious sword in the enchanted lake, and makes the evil Dark Lord explain all his evil plans to Cleftchin McMullet . Yeah, none of it is realistic, but readers enjoy reading it, otherwise it wouldn't happen so much. Navani would care for Adolin. She's a non-Radiant who has a "too old for this crem" attitude and it's the kind of down-to-earth response that would help ground Adolin and keep him from dwelling too much on what his new station in life is. Since she experienced a similar thing when Gavilar died and suddenly she had no power, and no one wanted her anymore, and Aesudan took over all the things she thought was her contribution to family. It would be nice if he got over the "you seduced my dad" thing and they had a heartfelt discussion about the importance of holding Alethkar since Dalinar is Bondsmithing and Elhokar is useless. If Adolin has kissed 5 or fewer girls, it averages out to around one a year since he started wife-hunting at age 18. That's rare enough to make a guy go "wow" if most of them were very quick, rushed kisses given by girls who were watched over by chaperones. I find it hard to imagine that a guy who courted half the warcamp didn't get a kiss or two at the end of a date, when he drops them at their houses by carriage. Even Jamie Fraser, that other 23 year old virgin, made a point of mentioning that he was a virgin and not a monk. Harry was 11 years old when Hagrid busted down the Dursley's door and told him he was a wizard. Kids can be pretty resilient and impressionable, and if you raised them in an abusive household, they would assume that is the way life is for everyone and wouldn't question it. It wasn't until he went to Hogwarts that he realised he was special and abuse isn't the status quo. When he went home, he had Hogwarts to look forwards to, and that made his suffering bearable. Renarin is 19, and he has no Hagrid, and his "owl letter" is a spren that gives him crazy visions and pretty much condemns him to Damnation. Or it could be that the first Harry Potter book was written for 12 year olds and kids want to read triumphant escapism rather than an analysis of mental illness. So Kaladin's rebelliousness and lack of respect of authority came from his parents? It makes a lot of sense, since Kaladin was given a lot of freedom and choice, compared to other children in the village, and people of his own rank. Lirin is too much of an intellectual and raised Kaladin to be one too. An after many long chapters of Kaladin not knowing what he was and what he should do with his life, he decided to become a soldier. And that is what WoR Kaladin identified himself as, when he was too afraid to accept that he was become a Radiant. The amusing thing is that because Kaladin is so difficult with authority figures, it actually makes him a terrible soldier because the chain of command is one of the most important institutions of being military. He's a good fighter, but that doesn't make a person a good soldier. He's a decent squadleader because of his charisma, but he is not a good commander when he rejects the chain of command -- and instead of trusting his Bridge Four bodyguards to do their job, he takes the burden on himself and pulls shifts without sleeping for a week. If you are looking for flaws in Kaladin, one of them is his wilful blindness. At the end of WoR he came to a realisation about prejudice and trust, but it's not full self-awareness. And until he begins dissecting his behaviour and understanding the source of his resentment, his self-assured identity based on being an oppressed victim lashing out at perceived wrongdoers (or a soldier) is going to be mentally blinkered. Maybe it doesn't sound like a huge flaw, but it's a very realistic flaw that other characters have, and many people IRL have too. If everyone had huge flaws, they'd run the risk of being unredeemable to readers. The example being Szeth - so many people hate on him, and a small amount of others think he deserves pity. I would not say that Renarin is being disparaging toward the Ardentia or city government. He doesn't look down on them, or think that they are institutions filled with terrible people - he just does not want them because they are not his childhood dream. Just like Adolin doesn't mind if people give their Shardblades names, he just personally doesn't do it for his own. Not much has been mentioned about Renarin and Adolin's childhood, but based on how Dalinar treats Renarin and how he and Adolin step around his disability, Renarin, lacking army training unlike most high ranking lighteyed boys, hasn't had much in the way of being taught discipline. Sure, he can follow orders to wash plates and jump off roofs, but I think his childhood was filled with "you shouldn't do this" instead of "don't do this" and "no". His family is just too loving and supportive to be strict on him. And that is why no one killed his dream of being a soldier and going to soldier heaven. Your view on Renarin shows that you are a tough love type who doesn't empathise with long and drawn out internal struggles in the mind of an introvert. You'd rather grab them by the shoulders and shake them and say "SNAP OUT OF IT!!" or "GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF MAN!" rather than let them stew until they reach self-realisation. Some people would think you're too harsh because it's not like you can just punch depression in the face. Other people would agree that the "Get over it" approach is the right thing to do when you don't know what to do, but then again they are also the kind of people who give advice like "Just talk to her and ask her out" and to people like Renarin, and people who like Renarin, that kind of advice just doesn't work. Well, it would be a very boring world if we were all the same. Art time Because we were discussing and asking the question "How tall and how buff is Kaladin?", I have come to a conclusion, and my answer is "Very". My eyes are up here A really silly piece inspired by you guys. Would you mess with this Kaladin? Keep in mind that Shallan is 5'6"/168cm and in this picture I drew Kaladin as 6'5"/196cm and he is slouching slightly. To anyone who ships Shalladin, how would this ship even work, logistically. She is eye level to his armpits and we all know Kaladin is lucky to bathe once a week... It is also in character for Shallan to enjoy looking at shirtless young men. One of the first drawings she does in WoK is a sketch of Yalb, who goes around shirtless in only a vest. Character design - Elhokar I have only drawn Elhokar a grand total of once previously, and based his design on that old sketch. I'm not really a huge fan of Elhokar, but I tried to depict him as I understood his personality. He likes feasts and hedonism, so I gave him the classic spoiled prince hair (the prince from Shrek 2 has the same haircut), but he is actually tired and sad and aware that he's pretty useless. The crown is based on the design of the stylised Kholin glyphpair, and the uniform looks like a very relaxed "pyjamas" version of the standard Kholin Army officer uniform. Combined with his hair, he looks very unsoldierly, but Dalinar is too soft on him to call him out on breaking the Codes. The bottom picture of "thumbs down" Elhokar is based on how Roman emperors showed their disapproval at the circus when gladiators didn't perform well enough. If you've seen the movie "Gladiator", I was thinking of the Commodus character. Character design - Wit I don't really like Wit either, so I drew him as knowing and smug because he knows all the secrets and doesn't share any. I saw the King's Wit as a court jester-like position, so I gave him one of those old fashioned page boy haircuts. In my head he is very bouncy and energetic and exaggeratedly expressive - if Elhokar was giving a speech, Wit would be behind his back making funny faces at the crowd. In the top right sketch, Wit is allomancing, not retouching his lipstick. In the bottom sketch, Wit is talking to a cremling telling it his life story or whatever, as inspired by the epilogue to WoR. I figured he was annoying like the Doctor from Doctor Who and did all sorts of crazy random things while talking very quickly for unknown reasons that end up making sense 5 episodes later. Character design - Kid Kal Do I like anyone at all? I don't even like Kal that much either. This design was deliberately made to resemble adult Kaladin, but with softer features. Instead of intense and grumpy eyes, kid Kal is confused and uncertain. His hair is shorter and neater (isn't it cute???), and I drew his trousers in the knickerbocker style because when a kid keeps growing taller by the day and clothing is expensive, you don't give him long pants. Top right - Kal can actually smile when he is with Tien and the smiley rock. Bottom - Kal being emo and thinking "These spheres ruined my life". I tried to sum up my thoughts on his character in these sketches, and from my impression of his flashback chapters, he gets nonstop mood swings on top of those pesky puberty thoughts. And those are my views on various characters. As I've mentioned before, my imagination runs in 2D and this is how I interpreted these characters when I read. Feel free to share what your own mental image is like. I know that mine is biased because I don't like everyone! And since we speculated on Kaladin's physical appearance, why can't Adolin get some time to shine? Some random comics. Disclaimer: They were funny in my head! Meanwhile, During a Highstorm - Shallan and Adolin What does warcamp interior design look like? Who knows. The right side portrait is Dalinar's Shardplate and Oathbringer, if you bothered to inspect the details. This was inspired by the "draw me like one of your French girls" scene from Titanic. Meanwhile, During a Highstorm - Adolin and Kaladin Kaladin: Fashion? You're spending the highstorm looking for new clothing? Adolin: Presentation is important, not that you would know. What do they even teach in bridge school these days? Kaladin: You idiot! We're wearing the same thing!!! The end. Sorry for this post being so long.
  21. I wish everyone could draw so then we could gush and gush over each other's mental images. What was your mental image of Mraize? I honestly didn't have one until I decided to make a sketch and read and re-read the passages from WoR. I'm so boring and obsessive that I try to keep my depictions canon-exact, and only use my own imagination where Brandon doesn't fill in the blanks. I even went searching through all the Words of Brandon to make sure I drew chouta the right way. And yes, I really love silly AU's. It's hard to see in a small picture, but the scars look scarier up close. There are ways to make scars look deeply carved in, by shadowing and texturing the skin on either side, and I made the eyebrow patchy where scar crosses it. But in low-res to fit the width of this forum, it's difficult to tell. Admittedly, I could have made the scars even bigger, but Shallan's first impression of Mraize was "I think I know this guy" rather than "run away screaming". And he is described as so charmingly affable, refined, and smooth that I figured that it was safer to go light on the scars than to go all the way into Uruk-Hai territory and make him completely disfigured. Mraize's Scars It was my impression of Mraize as easy to like that influenced how I drew him. If I had read the book and thought he was evil or annoying like Roshone or Elhokar, I think I would have drawn him less handsome. I will probably go back to the picture later and fix a few things, and adjust the lighting so the scars show up better. I have a habit of returning to older pieces months down the line, because immediately after finishing something, I am usually so tired of looking at it that I would do more harm than good attempting to fix it up. Good luck!!! Use lots of layers over what you already have, so you can delete them easily if you mess up. You can also do multiple paintings of the same thing, and compare different brush or lighting effects. I think that anyone who looks at a lot of other artwork and experiments with recreating and combining what they've seen will inevitably improve. It's just a matter of time. Dalinar pre-Gavilar's death was still Blackthorn Dalinar. He would have been more willing to lay the verbal smackdown on disobedient children than the moral and lead-by-example Bondsmith Dalinar - not that Adolin and Renarin were disobedient children. But at that point in time, Dalinar and Gavilar were exploring, and Elhokar was managing Kholinar. If Elhokar managed to get into trouble with Roshone, then Adolin would have had an equal (non-existent) level of parental supervision. Well, something must have happened between teen Adolin and Tinalar to make him challenge for a Shard duel. Is your mental image of his hair closer to this? It's the hipster undercut but with less styling pomade and no shaved sides. In fact, it's the same haircut as the classic vanilla Adolin hair in terms of length of and texture, just combed in a different way. It's messier, but would you say it's stylish? Adolin's Hair part 2 This boring hairstyle is in fact much easier to draw than other styles, since I can quickly shorthand it into "chunks" of hair when doing quick cartoon sketches or multi-panel comics where drawing in the individual strands will make you hate a character after a while. And speaking of mental imagery, I asked a couple of other Cosmere fan artists how buff and tall they thought Kaladin was, and there was no consensus, because most people had no idea. The whole "beaten and starved slave" thing makes a big impression on many, and that is why they draw Kaladin as skinny. I say that end of WoR Kaladin could outbench Adolin with or without stormlight. Gilbert is more of an Adolin, even though he has Kaladin qualities. One of his main (and best) qualities is loyalty, and he loved Anne for years even when she refused him, and promised to come back and marry her after he finished doctor school. Kaladin had opportunities to do what he dreamed of and what he promised Laral as a kid, but he's no romantic figure. He is more like the Mr Darcy who is grumpy and rude to Elizabeth, because he thinks her family are all gold diggers. Gilbert's story is way more romantic, especially because he's the childhood friend rather than the dark and mysterious shirtless Fabio that appears on the covers of cheap romance novels. And you love hurt/comfort storylines, nothing wrong with that. According to the laws of narrative causality, Adolin has to have a near death experience, or pass out after week on ridgebark, for Shallan to come to her senses and rush to his bedside. Regarding none of the Kholins angsting over Renarin being unmarried when Adolin can't land a wife - Adolin's mental monologue is aware that Renarin is weird to girls, but he and Dalinar don't angst over it, because it would require admitting that Renarin's habits are weird and there's something off about him that isn't just the blood weakness. They know he has been diagnosed with epilepsy, but not the autism. Adolin is obvious unicorn bait, but I still think he has kissed at least a few girls. He doesn't back off or push Shallan away screaming "GET THEE TO A NUNNERY, WITCH!" when she kisses him. It's pretty clear that he enjoys it, and suggests that if he is too prude to make the first move, he wouldn't reject a girl that he likes (and he likes all of them, at least at the beginning of every courtship) if she makes the first move, when no one is looking. For someone who slept in a cupboard and was abused and mistreated by his aunt and uncle his entire childhood, Harry is remarkably sane. The treatment has nothing on Kaladin's slave life, but Harry was raised in 1990's Muggle England, and the life where a young boy is fed on his cousin's leftovers and sometimes forgotten about altogether (at one point Harry during summer holidays is living off snacks sent by owl) is extremely shocking. Now that I think about it, young Kal's childhood moodiness comes from an internal and unconscious resentment of authority, which carries over to adult Kaladin and turns him into a surly, grumpy soldier. As a kid, his unhappiness was not from being forced to be a surgeon, because ultimately his parents weren't going to force him, but being told he has to be something and make something of his life. He doesn't even know what he wants to be (before Tien's recruitment) but the thought of doing what he's told is something he dislikes, unless he personally agrees with the decision. YMMV if it's a personality trait or a character flaw. Some people cheer on Kaladin's indepedence when he rejects expected social norms and does what he wants, and sometimes it is pretty cool, like bullying Gaz and Lamaril and organising Bridge Four into a team, but to me the same characteristic makes him needlessly abrasive. Kaladin is no diplomat. And Kaladin's depression could be said to be a character flaw as well. It is what limits his power, and combined with his internalised bitterness with authority figures, ended up stripping him of his powers. It's not an external or narrative-contrived plot point to nudge him into self-realisation and character development, but rather something from within that pushes him into mental low points that he has to actively struggle out of. If you are concerned that Kaladin is too overpowered, his depression could be the trait that is supposed to balance it out (it's up to your interpretation if it actually works, of course), the curse to his boon. In fact, mental illness or having atypical thought patterns in most of the Knight Radiants we've seen so far might be the narrative solution to keeping the Radiants away from the label of "god modding", as RPers call it. And a King can only be as powerful as the Highprinces allow him to be. And that king is Elhokar. Is suspect that in Renarin's life there were very few things he wasn't allowed to do, outside of combat training, and only because he might actually die if he has a seizure and gets hit in the head when he's not in control of himself. And added to that, he has so few expectations placed upon him by his indulgent father that a suggestion that he do something with his life, like get a job as a citylord or ardent didn't come across as a genuine expectation, but a soft recommendation that he can just say "no thanks" to with no consequences. Since Dalinar isn't giving him ultimatums, his impression of the situation is not incorrect. I wouldn't say he looks down on the positions; I'm sure he's perfectly aware that they are respectable jobs for a highborn young man. He just refuses them because they aren't the one thing he really wants. Renarin would rather wash dirty dishes used by ex-slaves instead of being assigned a permanent desk job. It says a lot about his character. And what everyone, from the readers, and the characters like Sadeas, and the characters like Adolin, make of the whole thing says a lot about them too. In Alethkar, there's no distinction of "teenager" as the interval period between child and adult. Shallan and Laral, who are teenagers by modern standards, are treated as adults in their society, regardless of personal levels of maturity. I think the "my life sucks baww" impression of Renarin's character stems from the fact that even though he is a legal adult, he has none of the accomplishments that society regards as what makes a man a man. In the beginning of WoK, everyone is freaking out that Dalinar, the legendary Blackthorn has gone weak. Sadeas makes pointed comments on him going weak. Adolin is mentally panicking at the thought. If you have an eReader and can search for the keyword "weak" it's all over those first chapters starting from Chapter 12, "Unity". Renarin's entire life consists of being considered weak, with not even a glorious past to hold up to the critics. And that is why some readers dislike Renarin. His angst is justified, but to some people, it's just too much angst for them to stomach. To others, it makes him endearing and relatable. Art Time With all that discussion of Renarin, why not start with a picture of Renarin? Truthwatcher Spoilery title, hahah. It's Renarin, his metal box thingy, and his spren Glys. I draw Renarin as much younger looking than Adolin. He's not as handsome, and I try to keep his features softer and more childish. I drew Glys as something in between Pattern and Wyndle. His "face" is like Pattern's, symmetrical and made of 10 overlapping glowing green leaves instead of Pattern's eye-twisting fractals. He has floating tendrils and sprouty vines like Wyndle, but I took a lot of influence from the description of Ym's spren. I have no idea what Ym is, but he's either Edgedancer or Truthwatcher with his healing magic, so I tried to include that. Just imagine that in this picture Glys is whispering to Renarin, "Those crazy visions are what will come to pass unless you listen to me". Renarin is creeped out but he can't tell anyone, and the only thing he can do is keep opening and closing his little metal box. Stormlight Noir - Veil in Amaram's Office After drawing Mraize, which was influenced by classic trench coat and tommy gun mobsters, I felt like the whole Ghostbloods storyline could fit well with a film noir aesthetic. Lots of sneaking around at night, hats and trenchcoats, rainy streets and dramatic spherelight. Replace spanreeds with typewriters and we'd have something awesome. You think I forgot about the headband? Remember that headband from Michael Whelan's first draft cover of WoR? Kaladin remembers. People think Kaladin is lanky-fit from his days starving as a slave, but apparently he is very muscular, which is hard to believe since you can't get huge muscles unless you are eating a lot of protein, which bridgeman gruel and soulcast stew doesn't really have. On another thought, how tall is Kaladin anyway? If Rock is 7 feet tall, how tall is Kaladin? How tall are Alethis? For the purposes of convenience, I make Kaladin around 6'5", otherwise his head would be cut off by the top of the frame in group pictures.
  22. I ACTUALLY WENT AND DID IT. I had my digitally drawn picture open on my screen and eyeballed it while drawing the guidelines in with a water-based red felt tip marker. It was supposed to be washable. I traced the red outlines with a Sharpie at first but it smeared too much, so I switched to a Faber-Castell permanent marker, which actually turned out to be better, with a finer tip, less bleeding, and a more opaque black. I let it dry and rinsed my arm in water to wash off the red marker, but I couldn't get all of it off and I didn't want to scrub it and risk ruining the black lines. I continued on with my day as usual, and had a shower and went to bed and when I woke up, it was fading already. There's still a slight tinge of pink from the red marker, and the black ink is now grey. If I wanted to touch it up, it would be much easier than starting from scratch since I just have to trace over the old lines. I'm not sure if I want to, now that I know how high maintenance it is. Well, it was an interesting experience. Postscript: I showed my friends and they all said it looked fake.
  23. Did you freehand this or mark out guidelines before you started? Whatever you did for the glyph worked, because it looks really great. I really want to do this too (with Sharpies of course) just to see what it's like, but I'm afraid that my hands are too shaky and I'd have it on me for a month. I'm really tempted.
  24. I like to make my fanservice-y shipping pics as sweet as possible, because that's what fanservice is for. Oh man, Pompadour Adolin is great. Because of this post, I had to draw this: HEY, DOLLFACE! He can make anything look good. But Dalinar disapproves. Adolin: Dad, look at my new jacket! It's swell! Dalinar: First you wear grease in your hair, then you buy a leather jacket and listen to loud music all day. Son, you'll be worshipping Odium by next week. Shading it in black or with blue would have made it clear that it was part of the Shardplate or part of the padding underneath. It's kind of like those pictures of tennis players jumping about where they're wearing skin coloured tights underneath their tennis dresses and everyone on the internet is using their CSI enhance tools to zoom in and ogle. I think you did a great job for drawing armour without a reference. Keep drawing; it gets less scary when you break it down into rectangular sections of arms, legs, and chest and draw it piece by piece. Ah, another lurker has been revealed. Since it's usually the same people posting in this thread, I forget that there are other lurkers around reading all the crazy (and sometimes off-topic) things we post. I hope we don't sound too crazy. The strange thing is that I label the random sections at the end of my art dumps "Obligatory Silly Stuff" because I have a weird sense of humour and a lot of time the silly drawings are ideas that only sounded funny in my head -- that's why I call it "silly stuff". I'm glad to see that other people think they're funny too. And if there's an excuse for Shallan to draw shirtless Adolin, I think she would take advantage of it. Just in case people were wondering what it looked like up close. Oh wow, that work on the skin looks good. Those brushstrokes show texture, and that is exactly the rough but realistic effect I was talking about -- perfectly smooth skin in a digital painting starts looking like one of those clothing store mannequins if you're too perfect with shading. In terms of constructive criticism, I'd like to point out that due to the angle of the hand being slightly tilted, the gems should be slightly tilted away too, instead of facing the viewer face on. If you taped a coin to the back of your hand and tilted it, you would see that the coin is an oval shape and only perfectly circular if you were looking at it directly. The gems facing away from the viewer should look something like this, with the back facets looking narrower than the front ones, and the curve of the settings wrapping around and being invisible from the back due to the angle of the gems. EXAMPLE And some suggestions to make your painting "pop" and look more dramatic: using more and darker shadows and complementing them with highlights in specific points will make your painting appear more three-dimensional. Don't be afraid to experiment a bit and use a deeper brown in shadowed areas such as the place where the fingers connect to the palm, and highlight the highest points on the hand, which is usually the knuckles and the bones that connect them to the wrist. The areas closest to the viewer are lighter, and the areas that are farther away, or are blocked from the light are darker. And if you incorporate the background colour (the apricot-y shade) onto your subject, the result looks more atmospheric and cohesive. In the shadows I've used an apricot-y shade here and there. If you held your hand on top of a piece of red coloured paper, there would be reflections of red on your skin where it is closest to the paper. That's the effect I tried to replicate. If you are having trouble colouring in a metallic gold object, such as the bands on the fingers and wrist, I've added a colour palette for you to experiment with. Metallic objects reflect more than skin, so they have brighter highlights and reflect more of the surrounding colour. Gold on a blue background would have a similar but cooler set of shading colours. I hope this explanation was understandable; please ask if you want a clarification. You've done a good job so far, it's seriously impressive work. If you're drawing from life, you're getting pretty good at it, and when you do it enough, understanding and applying your knowledge on how light works becomes second nature. It gets easier from here! From what I've seen, everyone seems to imagine Adolin's hair as way more fashionable than my version. Long top, short sides, or undercut styles are very popular these days, but mine is the equivalent of vanilla ice cream. It's not too long and not too short, not too old and not too young, fulfills the criteria of black and gold and kind of messy, and doesn't really make a statement. I guess I am boring, because instead of a cool and fashionable pop star or soccer player's hair, I designed Adolin's hair to be a wholesome kid movie hero's hair, like Peter Pevensie from the Narnia movie series, or Taran from Disney's version of The Black Cauldron. Oh gosh, Gilbert. If you haven't read the Anne series and like historical drama/romance/slice of life books, you might like it. Gilbert is adorable and loyal and kind, but kind of stupid at how he shows it in the beginning. He only called Anne "Carrots" and pulled her hair because he didn't know what flirting was. If Mr Darcy is the Kaladin of romance novels, Gilbert is the Adolin. And Anne didn't even notice it for years and years. And Gilbo is Canadian, too. Adolin is one year away from how old Dalinar was when he met Shshshsh for the first time. At this point in time, he might be considered an older spouse, or at least close to it. The traditional age for being an "on the shelf" spinster was 25 in the old days. I think that at his age, people would not be shocked or appalled to find that he is not a virgin. Shallan didn't care about his playboy tendencies when the betrothal was arranged because it was only the marriage she wanted, and I don't think she expected unicorn bait on her wedding night. But there is reason enough to suspect that she has revised her opinion on him. He is very shy and doesn't like being kissed in public. That's one of the things she wished for while she was in the chasm with Kaladin. Harry was put in a bad spot by circumstances out of his control, because of Snape and Dumbledore and the prophecy. He's the victim of the situation, and would happily have traded being "the Boy who Lived" for his parents being alive. For that reason, I can forgive his moodiness in later books (being in the magical equivalent of high school with fellow high school students doesn't help) but Kaladin ... Kaladin was yearning for glory since he was a boy, and discontent with a comfortable life as the highest ranking darkeyed family in town because it was boring. Kaladin thinks he's the lead actor in what is really an ensemble cast production, and the people around him are NPCs or mooks who are incapable or can't be relied on to take action. Some are sympathetic, like Bridge Four and that guy Hobber who lost his legs, but they're still mooks. That's why he think it's his job to save the girl, save the day, and save the world. Some people would say that you will only get disappointment if you expect realism in fantasy fiction. But my opinion is that Kaladin has been set up since childhood at having a habit of excelling at whatever he tries to do, which is only balanced out by his really terrible luck. If Kaladin was bad at things and also the recipient of the universe dumping chull dung all over him, he wouldn't be the type of protagonist people like and root for. You hate the underdog characters, but the majority likes them, because they work -- they make stories fulfilling to most readers. At least there is one thing that Kaladin is bad at, and that is making one liners. I'll accept "Honor is dead, but I'll see what I can do" as cool because it's understated and mostly humble, but the whole "skies are mine" speech had me rolling my eyes all the way around. I assumed that being a landlord, Jakamav would fulfill the traditional requirements of being one, which is owning land. They own land within a princedom, but the land is theirs (or their family's) and they pay taxes and send soldiers to the Highprince, but they get to make their own rules on their own land. That's what I assumed based on how the Sadeas princedom worked, and how Amaram worked for Sadeas. It would also explain why Alethkar was united only a generation ago. All that autonomy for the landlords and the Highprinces makes it difficult to have an organised centralised government, which they don't have even now with most of the Highprince of Commerce/Information/Whatever jobs vacant. Renarin was being pressured to go into the Ardentia through most of WoK. He mentioned at one point that he didn't want that, and the other option was to be a citylord somewhere. From that I am guessing he doesn't own land and is not expecting to get anything unless Adolin dies. Yeah, the dahn ranking is a confusing thing when you have people like Jakamav who owns Shardplate, and holds land and the landlord title in his right, who happens to have the same rank as a second son who mooches off his dad and has no assets or prospects of his own. I can understand why all the lighteyes would hate Adolin when Renarin collects Plate and Blade within a few weeks of each other. Art time Character Design - Mraize This one was a bit of a challenge since there was barely anything to go off. But I read the chapter, and gathered my thoughts, and drew Mraize as a guy who is tough and intimidating but outwardly stylish. Black hair, sharp white suit, scars. My interpretation of his character was based on how he approached and threatened Shallan in Urithiru, and how he seemed likeable, polite, and civil when talking to her. The result was drawing him as inspired by classic mobsters. "Wouldn't it be a shame if your house burned down?" types. Peter Ahlstrom said Mraize's nationality was Thaylen, but no one mentioned him having big white eyebrows, so I drew them to match his hair. Maybe he trims them down and dyes them. Mraize - Character Portrait With a stylised Ghostbloods logo. I'm guessing that this is what the shape of the triple diamonds looks like, but the arrangement of diamonds was never specified in the book. He looks tough but Taln could beat him up. Process pic: I reworked the face multiple times because I couldn't get a good grasp of his features...minor characters are hard when there's not much to build on. Let me know what you think of this character design. I'm aware most people don't make clear mental images when reading, and the ones that do rarely do it for very minor characters who appear in like 3 chapters.
  25. I am glad people want to know about how stuff works! I post process pics so you guys in this thread can see that cool arts start from very humble origins. I don't feel like I'm qualified enough that my answers are the ultimate answers, but I can answer a question or two to the best of my ability. I found an old example that shows the difference between airbrushing and textured painting. I think it illustrates the techniques much better than the hamfisted 2 minute job I posted earlier. The first one is a sketchy, textured painting done with chalk brushes. This kind of look has hard lines and exaggerates shadows, and gives a more stylised, storybook illustration type of effect. The second picture is the first one redrawn from eye (not traced, so it's not exactly the same) with a combination of airbrush and hard round brushes. The cheeks and chin are smoothed with airbrushes, and the nose and lips detailed with hard brushes. This gives a soft and smooth appearance which is good for portraits and photorealistic copying. Brushes are tools, and tools aren't bad. You need to keep working at it, so you can get better at using your tools to their full potential. An example is this one that I drew around 7-8 years ago. I used the airbrush to shade the arms and they look like tubes. I used the dodge and burn tools to shade and highlight. That's another tip digital painting - don't do that! It looks bad on skin, it looks bad on cloth. You think you have discovered the new pro-tip shortcut (that doctors don't want you to know about) but it's not a shortcut because it makes your paintings looks weirdly flat. The hard way works the best way, sadly. And now you know how long I've been level grinding to get to this point. And I still think I can improve. That Szeth one is awesome! I feel so sorry for poor King Hanavanahananahanahaha (gosh I can't even remember how his name is spelt.) It's so dramatic! Everything Szeth does is so dramatic and literal overkill and you showed it really well. As a note for the Shardplate, officially there are no gaps, and in between the big plates are small layered ones like scales. The way your drew it looks like there's bare skin showing underneath (I don't know if you intended it for it to be pants). So now I'm a bit concerned for poor Adolin's inner thigh area, the bits that aren't covered by the codpiece. Everyone draws Adolin's hair a different way. The description in WoK says it's a "messy mop of blond sprinkled with black" and it's vague enough that all artists take their interpretation of it, and I love to see how people do it differently. It's one of the things I enjoy about the Cosmere fandom, next to everyone's designs for the Bridge Four and Kholin Army uniforms. Michael Whelan drew it on the cover of WoR like a strange fusion of a utility jumpsuit and a Middle Ages doublet. Mine is closer to a Napoleonic era army uniform. @maxal and I had a long conversation a while ago about Adolin's hair , for artistic research only, of course. That is why I came up with this handy chart so you can see what best fits your personal mental image of his character and appearance. THE OFFICIAL ADOLIN KHOLIN HAIRCUT CHART The reason why I draw Adolin with the first style is because it's standard young man hair. The "Bieber" makes him look too young, like a boy. The "Dalinar" is the soldier's haircut to fit under a standard helmet and Adolin hated the standard uniform in WoK. So something that is in-between fits him when he is referred to as "lad" or "youth" through all of WoK. It's the same hair as Gilbert's from the Anne of Green Gables animated series. Well, I'm not even going to ask what sort of strange things poppped into your mind. I think my own imagination on that is more than enough. And a whitespine named Toothless is so deliciously ironic and so cute that even hipsters who don't do irony even ironically would like it, because everyone likes the How to Train Your Dragon movie. Everyone values their purity differently, and it's down to culture and then personal preferences. But generally speaking, for cultures where it is valued, it is more important for the woman to be pure than a man. Since there's no way to tell for men, so it comes down to the honour system. Alethi might value purity on wedding day for both bride and groom, but I don't think they expect it, not for a high ranking lighteyes that can get away with lots of things through connections. So Adolin must be an odd one out in his society for his purity, even though everyone is supposed to be proper and reserved in public. Dalinar and Navani are proper in public and he resents her trying to get close to him in WoK because it looks bad. Makes you wonder what Elhokar is up to . His wife lives in the capital and even if he doesn't miss her, he must be restless. Harry was marked as the "Chosen One" from birth and Voldemort kept following around for years trying to kill him. Kaladin chose himself by deciding that he had to be the one to stand up and protect everyone. Some readers praise his willpower and determination but to me it feels like he has a martyr complex. And his belief that he is responsible for everything and blaming himself if something goes wrong is ... tiresome . I don't think Harry got that annoying, even if he was as blind and unobservant as a flobberworm. Oh man, have we derailed this into a "let's complain about Kaladin" thread? I think most people who don't particularly feel an emotional bias towards Kaladin have criticised him for how fast he picks up Lashing skills. And I totally agree, it's way too fast - but I accept it because it's part of narrative convencience, like a training montage in a kungfu movie where they play "Eye of the Tiger" and have the student break planks with his face in slow motion. It doesn't make sense realistically, but if you get hung about it, you can't move on to the next chapter and enjoy the story. Adolin couldn't land a blow on Szeth twice, but in the prologue of WoK, Gavilar hit Szeth a couple of times, but Szeth healed each time. It has been commented in that duel with Resi (I think?) that Adolin is the best, better than Dalinar in his youth. Adolin in top form without panic-mode would therefore be able to land a hit on Szeth, even though he wouldn't be able to kill him. But of course he couldn't, because Kaladin needs people to protect. So the big question (which probably won't be answered because he's dead) is where Sadeas got his Plate from. If he won it from someone, then why couldn't repeat his performance? Unless people refuse Shard duels with anyone who has won one in the past, because they don't want to lose. I think Gavilar getting Plate for Sadeas of all people is a bit of a stretch. Uncle Toh and Shshshsh wouldn't give their family heirloom to a stranger. Shards are family heirlooms that go to family. You can't just loan Shards and expect them to be given back once your son is old enough to hit the practice grounds. And I would say Elit is around late 20's. He hangs with the group of young lighteyes, including girls that Adolin dated. It would be kind of weird for a 30+ year old man to be socially involved with young 20-something unmarried girls. Is there a difference between having a house under a highprince's banner and being a landlord? I don't understand the distinctions between the dahns and the requirements for each rank. Jakamav is a landlord at Dahn 3 which is the same rank as Renarin. Does Renarin have land under his own name? Or does his rank just come from having a highprince as a father? I don't get it, and it's confusing. When Feather sees the Renarin picture she will die. In other news, I cleaned up, repainted and coloured a picture that has been sitting around in my art folder for a while after I abandoned it. I posted it on Page 1 of this thread and wasn't happy with it so it got revised. It's now slightly better, but I think my monitor settings are off because it's more yellow than I intended. Oh well. Disgusting Shadolin Cuteness (pls close your eyes if you ship Shalladin or Shallastick) Original pencil sketch All of my sketches are messy as Braize. I draw with red coloured pencil then go over with graphite pencil, and when I scan it in the red pencil lines can be removed with some easy digital editing. I also adjust things slightly, moving and rotating lines around so things come out proportionate and symmetrical. The final piece looks a whole lot different from the original but the skeleton is the same. How big is a Shardbearer exactly? On Page 1, in the "Shardplate Proportions" picture, I estimated Adolin in Shardplate to be around 6'6"/200cm. So yeah, I based the proportions on that. And in Shardplate, when you touch things through your gauntlets, you can feel what you touch through the Plate. Lesson 1 of Shardbearing is jumping off the roof, Lesson 2 is eating dinner, Lesson 20 is hugging someone without breaking them.