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Mistress of the Gray Waste by artastrophe Mistress of the Gray Waste by artastrophe
Viconia DeVir, drow priestess of Shar
(Baldur's Gate Bioware)

"Drow have obsidian colored skin and pale yellow (or pale golden), silver or white hair...some are known to have different colored, commonly much paler, eyes such as blue, lilac, pink or silver." ~Forgotten Realms wiki

Trying to be more lore-adherent... but it is really hard to paint "obsidian-colored skin," let me tell you! Still, I did try to make her darker than her original portrait, where her skin was light blue. ^^

2nd attempt at darker/"obsidian-colored" skin: xD
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:iconmaharhette:
maharhette Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013
No matter the skin colour, still quite beautiful.
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:iconitalianempress1985:
ItalianEmpress1985 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Viconia De'Vir, the Sun-Touched Drow.    My favorite Dark Elf . . . EVER.  Yes, I love her even more than Jarlaxle, and certainly more than Drizzt, even if her being in the games, and them being in books gave them more exposure, I always loved her personality best.   She was every bit the Dark Elf, yet her storyline, and her struggles to adapt to surface life after the fall of her house, I found to be better handled than most Dark Elf characters.   She retained enough of her former self, yet had developed some convincing traits from life on the surface.  As if she was clinging to her past life, but unable to escape her new one.

However, I didn't mean to go into a soliloquy, I just love her to bits, and adore well done fanart of her, as this is.

She made a gag to a little boy who didn't realise she was a Dark Elf, that she was just covered in soot from falling down the chimney.  So I think the skin is just sort of charcoal, not quite the BLACK black that is sometimes described, or it could just be her.   Anyway, this is lovely, and she's spent a lot of time out in the sun, so it makes sense that her frequent exposure to daylight has lightened her skin, and brought gold threads to her once entirely ivory hair.    The sun has a tendency to darken the skin of topsiders, so it makes sense it'd do the opposite to Underdark races.
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:icondionisante:
Dionisante Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very nice!
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:iconmihoshi5:
Mihoshi5 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
Beautiful art :heart:
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thank you! ^^
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:iconmihoshi5:
Mihoshi5 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
No problem ;p
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:iconrhian-skyblade:
Rhian-Skyblade Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I really liked Viconia and had her with me all the time :) I also made her "phrase" "Trust is for the foolish... and the dead" my life's motto and fared better with it than with being naive and too trusting ^^
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
awww.... poor, jaded Viconia. <3 I mean, she certainly has a point about being taken advantage of (which is how I believe her philosophy could be integrated in our somewhat-less-dangerous modern lives...? ;D), but hers is a rather bleak outlook just the same. :hug: There's so much juicy bitterness on her tongue when she spits it out; the voice actress did such a great job with that line!! I really love her character, too. ^^
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:iconraynetempura:
raynetempura Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Oooh, Viconia looks gorgeous! Nicely done. :)
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thank you very much! ^^
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:icondeglorath:
Deglorath Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Very good image of Viconia, not quite as sharp featured as she appears in her ingame portrait, more of a classic style, like the more homely, less pretty elf, Drow in classic 2nd Edition AD&D.
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I suppose her original portrait looked more like a model, so hmm perhaps in comparison... but don't let her hear you call her homely!! xD
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:iconbobartles:
Bobartles Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I approve most wholeheartedly of this.
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
yay!! :D
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:iconzireael07:
Zireael07 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
For me, the skin is a bit too purple and too little black, but still, a great work.
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
yeahhh I should maybe try another version where she's more black; when I was experimenting with it, it looked rather horrid/flat/unrealistic that dark, hahaa... xD But I've gotten a lot more practice painting skin since then, so it might be worth another attempt! ^^ Thanks!!
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:iconnicolaas-g:
Nicolaas-G Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Absolutely brilliant :D
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
thanks! :D
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:iconnicolaas-g:
Nicolaas-G Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
You're most welcome :)
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:iconbanshee56:
Banshee56 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student General Artist
*worships* gorgeous work, to be picky i think she's a bit too brown, but that's just me being very picky, she's an amazing piece of artwork :) Hey, you ever thought about doing the character portraits so you can use them in the game? O_O
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Why, yes, actually! :D [link] I was just finishing little tweaks to them. Then they will undergo a testing phase, and should be formatted and ready for deployment shortly! ;D

And thanks! I was adjusting the color balance because I thought it was too yellow/brown earlier, lol, and then I was worried it ended up too purple. So that's actually kind of reassuring! xD I did use some warm undertones in her skin--which is probably the brown you're seeing-- mostly because when I started using cooler colors it ended up looking too blue/too much like her original portrait. And I had to use some color; her face looked really flat and bleh when I tried it with more grays... but, um, a learning process, for sure! Next one I'll try to do blue, maybe. (and it sounds like people expect red eyes, too...) ^___^
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:iconbanshee56:
Banshee56 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Student General Artist
Oh yeah, i think i remember seeing them and thinking that they were awesome at the time :) You got Jaheira perfectly for me lol

And I never imagined her with red eyes... dark brown I always thought, but you have to bow to popular opinion :P Hey, you could always go a very dark red, so it would make every-one happy lol. And yeah, every artwork is a learning experience :P
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
oooh dark red... that actually sounds pretty cool; I think I could get behind that! :D thanks for the idea!! ^^

and for a long time, I don't think I was learning anything with my art hahaha (:roll:), but now I'm actually trying again, and it's quite exciting for me. x3
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:iconbanshee56:
Banshee56 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Student General Artist
No problems hunny, thanks for the idea about the Baldur's Gate rewrite :P Maybe we could get a poll going after each chapter about what should happen next or something 'do we pick up this character' 'do we try and talk the flaming fist down or just punch him'. If the character was chaotic neutral it could work lol :)

And learning with art is awesome! :)
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:iconorionali:
Orionali Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student General Artist
yeah, the original portrait made me curiously raise an eyebrow when I first saw it. But, me thinks, that Salvatore said a few times that drow have crimson eyes, with some notable *cough*Drizzt*cough* exclusions.
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, it did say some drow could have blue eyes, so I figured I'd leave hers like that... I think it suits her a bit more than red eyes would (plus, blue fits my color palette better haha). But! I could always include a version of her with red eyes in my side-portrait-pack (PC portraits and such, maybe alternates of Edwin x3), if anyone wanted it! ^^

lol @ Drizzt. What color eyes does he have? Are they all sparkly blue? :D
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:iconorionali:
Orionali Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Llllilllacs. Often described as lavender. :iconimthinkingplz: In fact, the number of times I saw 'lavender eyes' in Salvatore's books begin to remind me certain tasteless series with a certain amber-eyed E-character. I think you know about who I'm talking here. >_>
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA :rofl:

I just hate unnecessary character descriptions, especially involving the eyes. (Especially especially when they stop using the word 'eyes' and call them 'orbs' or something...) :roll: IMO, if people really must know exactly what the character looks like, paint them a literal, actual picture, not a sickeningly over-the-top prose-filled one.

"LILAC EYES" LOL FOREVER
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:iconorionali:
Orionali Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Student General Artist
Glad my old antics amuse you. ^^ But, more on-topic-y, that is one snazzy flipped picture of our favorite drow. :eyes:
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Well, I think you pointed out to me before how "Gary Stu" Drizzt was, so just the fact that he has purple eyes made me chuckle like a moron, because it seemed so fitting. xD But maybe I should correct my little rant, there, a bit. ^^ It's not that all character descriptions are bad, you know?? I just get irritated by the ones that go on about how pretty their character is because all I hear is: "HI MY NAME IS MARY SUE LOOK AT ME I'M BEAUTIFUL! SO BEAUTIFUL LET ME TELL YOU HOW I AM SO BYOOTIFUL!!"

And honestly, I'm just so afraid of sounding like that when I write, that it's easier for me not to write any character descriptions at all and say, "if you care what they look like, here's a picture." xD I'm sure there's a good way to write descriptions, but I don't know it yet... they all seem to jump up-and-down and call too much attention to themselves; it kind of takes me out of the story. ^^;

oh, yeah, thanks! xD I didn't even realize she was reversed from the first pic I posted.... I keep flipping the canvas back and forth while I'm working to make sure everything is still aligned okay, and I forgot which way it started. x3
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:iconraynetempura:
raynetempura Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Do you mean [general] all author descriptions or ones primarily done in fanfiction? I think a lot of young writer's use the roleplay method for description and, yes, that is not the right way to do it. It's verbose and frankly a massive block of text that draws the reader out of the story. I think most professional writers do it well enough. Everyone writes differently, addresses these things differently, and it works in various styles. Finding new ways to say things is a way to avoid unneccessary repetition that can clutter sentences and also bring readers out of the story.

But I will have to disagree with you on the "if you care what they look like, here's a picture" mentality of addressing the problem. It's a writer's job to paint pictures with their words. If one can't find the words to describe something, they shouldn't just fill in that gap with another medium, but rather search and practice until they can use their words. Telling stories is done in many mediums. It's the writers job to do it with words and the artist's to do it with a brush or a pen.

I do think its important to have character descriptions (unless the characters are supposed to be generic representations of the common man, therefore any face could be put to them) because they are a part of the story. It's as important to know what the characters look like as it is to know what the landscape looks like, or if its going to rain, or how the battle played through. If we wrote without those details, we'd have characters moving through a bland world with no environment or action. It would be boring. The level of character detail is up to the writer. Maybe you want to say she has long hair, rather than long, blond hair... Or dark eyes rather than black or brown. But giving even just snippets of details help your characters come to life. When humans experience things, they do it visually, so a writer must help the reader experience everything visually by using their words. If that makes sense.

Sorry to just jump into the conversation. I understand the frustrations and, on some days, would probably join you in the ranting (I swear to Tunare, if Terry Goodkind called Richard "rare" one more f*%&#$@ time, I'd strangle him). I just thought there is another side to it and wanted to say what I felt.
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:iconartastrophe:
artastrophe Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
no worries about jumping into the conversation! :) But now I feel bad you got dragged into it by what was kind of a facetious comment on my part; it was more an exaggerated projection of my own insecurities than a legitimate perspective I would enforce, ahaha... :blushes: Because there's nothing you said (and said very well!) that *I* disagree with. ^^

I still think of myself as aspiring to be a writer rather than legitimately being one, so I suppose I trust my instincts as an illustrator foremost. So it's easier for me to say with confidence, "here's what she looks like" with my paintbrush rather than with words. And as it's easier for me to see mistakes than see what I did well (which seems to be consistent in all my endeavors...), I'm more comfortable declaring what SHOULDN'T be done versus what should. I'm sure there's a happy medium with descriptions; my fears of sounding like a n00b have just prompted me to err on the side of saying too little. (Which I still realize is quite the error itself.) ^____^;

But that lacks humor and brevity, so I just said something flippant which I feel quite stupid about, now. xD

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, in any case!! I hope you don't feel it was too much a waste of it, as you didn't really have to convince me of anything! ^^ I think I was referring more to the casual/amateur/fanfic kind of writing anyway (though I have certainly seen it come up more than once in professional/published work. Maybe depends on what genre I'm reading... maybe I shouldn't include 'self'-published work, either... xD). Hmm, I should really just go back over some of my favorite books and dissect how they did everything... :sherlock:

also: omg your signature xD xD xD :heart: (who is the lucky character? :D)
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December 4, 2012
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