bdoble97

Adolin art Commission

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Hi earlier today I posted a photo of Dalinar Kholin that I had commissioned by unbelievably talented artists @venamis who has a amazing page on Instagram. I had him do a rendering of the the actor William Hurt as Dalinar. The early response and comments do not agree with me and picture Dalinar looking differently that's cool everybody has their own idea on what characters should look like. I would love to hear people's idea of what his son Adolin should look like.  I think it would be really cool to get a concessions from a big group of fans of what they think the character looks like and then have  the artist create the character. So if people think this is a cool idea please comment below what you picture Adolin to look like. Thanks 

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You have entered treacherous ground here...

What does Adolin look like?

I try, as much as possible to base my personal imagery on descriptive elements present within the text at hand. Adolin is thus described as handsome and youthful. Kaladin thinks he looks like a spoiled child once removed from his Plate. He is tall, but not as tall as Dalinar, not as physically imposing as his father either. All in all, he seems to be a balanced mix in between his father very strong stature and his mother's slender limbs, sitting somewhat in between. His hair have been the cause of much discussion: they are described as unruly, messy and abnormally blond for an Alethi, even a mixed blooded one. His eyes are light blue. His skin tone is sitting somewhere in between typical Alethi tan and Riran pale skin: Brandon confirmed both Adolin and Renarin would be paler skinned than both Dalinar and Kaladin due to their white mother. In my canon imagery, Adolin looks more Riran than Alethi, except for his eyes which are definitely Alethi.

How does this translate into a mental picture?

Typically, I envision Adolin as an odd mix in between his uncle dignified handsome looks and his mother exotic beauty. While all Kholin men have a strong nose, Adolin doesn't, having inherited on his mother's side more elegant features. He looks somewhat boyish and playful, with an easy smile and shining eyes, but he can also endorse his father's stern and grave expressions when the occasion arises. His hair are short, but the top section is slightly longer, enough to give him the capacity to toss them in a stylish way and enough for them to fall over his forehead during battles and exercise. They aren't curly, but straight with slight waves and a fluffy nature uncommon among Alethi which causes many people to comment on them.

In my canon imagery, Adolin's eyes are very pale blue, like the sky. He also doesn't look a day older than his age. He has a young looking face, which causes people to refer to him as "boy" and "lad" despite him being in his twenties.

What I do not picture Adolin like?

Beware, this is going to be personal. I do not picture Adolin with either of the followings: large prominent nose, long or curly hair, laughing wrinkles or any sign of age. Adolin is a character whom is described by all who meets him as looking young, stylish, but with an unruly quality to him he can't quite get rid of.

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MAXAL thanks man this what i am looking for. I do agree with you that people will probably disagree alot on what they think he will look like but I love talking to people about theses characters.

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Check out @sheep's art. It's solid. Not my favorite, but accurate to the book descriptions as far as I can tell. It's better than I can do though, so I won't judge too harshly ;)

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9 hours ago, bdoble97 said:

MAXAL thanks man this what i am looking for. I do agree with you that people will probably disagree alot on what they think he will look like but I love talking to people about theses characters.

In the absence of a formal picture disclosed by the author in order to canonize the character's appearance, people are bond to disagree. I have seen various arts of Adolin. My most frequent critics relate to the followings which I believe break canon: too tall (some make him taller than Kaladin when he is canonically shorter or 5-6 inches taller than Renarin which is a non-sense to me as Renarin is a man, not a small child), too dark-skinned (some make him darker skin than Kaladin: Adolin has a white mother, he can't be darker. Besides the author has confirmed he wasn't), not handsome enough (Adolin is considered handsome by all he meets, so he isn't just eye pleasing to the few) or too old looking (I have seen well made art which pictured Adolin as a mid-thirties guy when he is a young twenties one everyone calls "boy", "lad" or "youth").

Drawing handsome though is the hardest part as it is highly subjective. The large nose though is the one aspect many drawings seem to have which doesn't fit the "handsome" part, not for me this is. It breaks the "universally handsome" criteria as many wouldn't call him such with such features. Arguably I am also extremely picky in my Adolin art

The great thing about SA is the author has explained how he wish for his readers to have their own personal imagery of the characters: he doesn't want to enforce it on them. Hence, there isn't just one representation of each character, there are several. I can only speak for my own. As Djarskublar said, @sheep as arguably some of the best available art in the fandom. I like how she draws her Adolin even if he is not quite exactly as my mental imagery (we have had discussions on the matter and came to the conclusion both our representations were valid, just different), but it is among the best ones I have seen.

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Maxal @sheep has some very nice art of the characters. Very talented artist. I would love to hear their opinion of the peace I posted of th Dalinar commission I posted for some reason everytime I try to post it in the galleries it says uploaded failure

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1 hour ago, bdoble97 said:

Maxal @sheep has some very nice art of the characters. Very talented artist. I would love to hear their opinion of the peace I posted of th Dalinar commission I posted for some reason everytime I try to post it in the galleries it says uploaded failure

Now she was pinged, I am sure she'll pop by to answer.

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I admit my vision of Adolin was always coloured by this sketch from Shallan's notes:

 

adolin.png

Not sure if it's helpful, but if Adolin's appearance is being discussed, I suppose I might add this picture, since it's as close to the "canon" rendering of Adolin's appearance as we're likely to get.

Edited by Rasarr
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On 17/09/2016 at 11:44 PM, maxal said:

The great thing about SA is the author has explained how he wish for his readers to have their own personal imagery of the characters: he doesn't want to enforce it on them. Hence, there isn't just one representation of each character, there are several. I can only speak for my own. As Djarskublar said, @sheep as arguably some of the best available art in the fandom. I like how she draws her Adolin even if he is not quite exactly as my mental imagery (we have had discussions on the matter and came to the conclusion both our representations were valid, just different), but it is among the best ones I have seen.

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. 

 

Quote

“We have legitimate business,” said the officer in blue. He had light golden hair, speckled with Alethi black, and a handsome face. He held his hand before him as if wishing to shake hands with Sadeas’s officer. “Come now,” he said affably. “Whatever your problem with this woman, I’m sure it can be resolved without anger or violence.”
Chapter 46, "Child of Tanavast", Way of Kings

Adolin must be next level Zoolander-style really really ridiculously good looking or something. :lol:


@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.

Spoiler

8nFCXBi.jpg

 

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.

Spoiler

JWBzmMi.jpg

 

#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.

Spoiler

UfM0tKi.jpg

 

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.

Spoiler

liOk9j4.jpg

 

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.

 

 

23 hours ago, bdoble97 said:

Maxal @sheep has some very nice art of the characters. Very talented artist. I would love to hear their opinion of the peace I posted of th Dalinar commission I posted for some reason everytime I try to post it in the galleries it says uploaded failure

 

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

Quote

Like every other high-ranked lighteyed officer in Dalinar’s army, Adolin wore a simple blue out-fit of militaristic cut. A long coat of solid blue—no embroidery—and stiff trousers in a time when vests, silk accents, and scarves were the fashion. His father’s Kholin glyphpair was emblazoned quite obtrusively on the back and breast, and the front fastened with silver buttons up both sides. It was simple, distinctly recognizable, but awfully plain.
Chapter 18, "Highprince of War", Way of Kings

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.  

 

 

18 hours ago, Rasarr said:

I admit my vision of Adolin was always coloured by this sketch from Shallan's notes:

Not sure if it's helpful, but if Adolin's appearance is being discussed, I suppose I might add this picture, since it's as close to the "canon" rendering of Adolin's appearance as we're likely to get.

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.  :o;):ph34r:

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@sheep I love how detailed you commit is. It shows you have a real passion for the topic. The artist venamis who is on Instagram real shpuld go look at his art he is more a star wars artis but he can do anything. He had never herd of the books and only went of what I had given him in emails for the commission. I  really love the character of Dalinar Kholin he is by far my favorite character in the books. To me I love the vesion of Dalinar he did bc it fits perfectly the mental picture I have of Dalinar. I really want him to do Adolin next. Just today I had seen another artist do a young  Dalinar and to me he looked alot like Chris Evans from the Capt American movies. To me as soon as i saw it I thoughtof Adolin. Whpuld love to see what you rhink of Evans as Adloin. 

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3 hours ago, sheep said:

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. :lol:

This is one of the greatest problem I have with most Stormlight Archive art: several artists draw Kaladin as being more handsome than Adolin. It is highlighted on several instances how handsome Adolin is while nobody ever comments on Kaladin's physical looks in any flattering way. There recently was a very talented artist which drew a fabulous picture of Kaladin, but when he tried to do Adolin, I thought he missed it. His take wasn't handsome enough, much less handsome than Kaladin and too old looking. 

3 hours ago, sheep said:

@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.

Yep, I keep on picturing Adolin as being slightly more messy haired than sheep here. The reason for it is based on Dalinar's constant remarks with regards to his own son's hair do, calling him a "mop haired youth". The fact Dalinar reflects so often on his son's hair is made to emphasis how distinct they are among the Alethi. Brandon recently explained how Alethi didn't care much about skin color (hence the fact Adolin is more paled skinned than most Alethi doesn't get commented on), but they cared a lot about hair and eye color. Therefore, having several characters comment so often on Adolin's hair serves as an indication as to how different they were. People's eyes are always drawn towards the one distinct individual, just as the one black man inside a crowd of white people may attract more glances, the reverse also being true. Adolin's messy light golden hair attract glances where ever he goes.

For my part, the messy stylish look is also meant to position Adolin as a young character with a playful quality to him made to opposed Dalinar the stern and rigid man. Adolin and Dalinar are made to be contrasting. 

Also most people still treating Adolin as a youngster as opposed to as a full grown man does highlight the fact he physically looks quite young. He is called "youth", "lad" and "boy" by several individuals and while Dalinar thinks to himself he shouldn't refer to Renarin as a boy anymore, he never once have the same thought for Adolin whom is older. He keeps on referring to him, mentally, as "boy". Navani adds to it by calling him "child". 

3 hours ago, sheep said:

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.  :o;):ph34r:

I love the sigh :wub: It is funny because I recall Ben wondering how to draw Adolin's hair back in the days of WoK. I think the general consensus is Adolin's hair are slightly longer on the top and they do form a bang whenever they aren't "stylishly combed". As for other hair, I have a long time ago decided Alethi didn't have "other hair" :ph34r: 

2 hours ago, bdoble97 said:

@sheep I love how detailed you commit is. It shows you have a real passion for the topic. The artist venamis who is on Instagram real shpuld go look at his art he is more a star wars artis but he can do anything. He had never herd of the books and only went of what I had given him in emails for the commission. I  really love the character of Dalinar Kholin he is by far my favorite character in the books. To me I love the vesion of Dalinar he did bc it fits perfectly the mental picture I have of Dalinar. I really want him to do Adolin next. Just today I had seen another artist do a young  Dalinar and to me he looked alot like Chris Evans from the Capt American movies. To me as soon as i saw it I thoughtof Adolin. Whpuld love to see what you rhink of Evans as Adloin. 

The Dalinar is really nice, but I agree with sheep about the beard. Canonically, Dalinar does not have a beard, but apart from it, it was pretty solid. I'd be curious to see what the artist will do with Adolin... Of all characters, he's the one I feel most artists are getting wrong. Chris Evan, just as all suggestions for Adolin as a real-life actor, is too old for Adolin. It isn't so much his facial features doesn't work, it is more the fact he doesn't look young enough to be Adolin which is only natural as he is 35 years old. 

That's Chris Evan when he was about Adolin's age:

Spoiler

f15de5c343fa6f5afa9d108f40eefa53.jpg

 

The problem with the picture typically are the hair.... Adolin has much lighter and messy hair than Chris here, circa 2003-2004. The age though is right. I'm kind of terribly picky on age. 

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@maxal I also was thinking about a younger Chris Evans I did not realize he was 35.  His body type is too large as well. I don't know how old Adolin is I always pictured him in his early twenties 21-22 topps.  

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3 hours ago, bdoble97 said:

@maxal I also was thinking about a younger Chris Evans I did not realize he was 35.  His body type is too large as well. I don't know how old Adolin is I always pictured him in his early twenties 21-22 topps.  

Younger Chris Evan would work, but with lighter hair. Chris Evan's hair are more chestnut than light golden blond. What do you mean by his body type is too large? I admit I didn't pay any particular attention to Chris Evan's physical built: actors can either take or lose muscles if need be. I tend to picture Adolin as a tall man, but not absurdly tall so about 6-6.2ft. I picture him as being physically very fit, but not bulky or especially large: without his Plate Kaladin says he isn't physically imposing. I thus took the imagery to another level: with his Plate, Adolin looks like a killing machine, but once you remove it, all you see is a spoiled kid. I mean, there has to be a reason why everyone keeps on dismissing him as a worthy opponent, something I doubt anyone ever did with younger Dalinar. I thus took it Adolin did not physically look particularly threatening. In other words, he does not have the built which would cause many people to stop, stare and worry he might bring it on.

Canonically, Adolin is about 23 years old though, depending on when his birthday is precisely, he could still be 22, but verging on 23 or he could be nearing 24. For my part, I tend to picture him on the younger side because it is what works best with the other descriptive we have of the character. 22 is my preferred age for Adolin, though it is slightly outside canon. A lot of people picture him as 27-28 years old which to me is way too old for the character we have been reading. IMHO, 21-22 is how old the character should have been, the additional year or two seems completely superfluous and it clashes with how the character is written, but YMMV.

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@maxal I say Chris Evans in Capt. American is way to built. Picture Evans Johnny Storm Adolin in good shape but skinny like he is naturally in good shape but doesn't work out. The people saying he is 27-28 are just plain wrong haha. 

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1 hour ago, bdoble97 said:

@maxal I say Chris Evans in Capt. American is way to built. Picture Evans Johnny Storm Adolin in good shape but skinny like he is naturally in good shape but doesn't work out. The people saying he is 27-28 are just plain wrong haha. 

Johnny Storm has about the right built for Adolin: athletic, but not bulky. Arguably, Captain America is heavier, so I do agree with your analysis here. I do not know why so many readers are so keen on aging him uselessly. The character just works better as a younger man: everything rings false within the main narrative once you age him absurdly as such. 

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