Turning a Bat’leth Into a Demon, by Chandra Reyer
A demon. A demon coming out of a portal was the assignment I got for a D3 Adventures supplement. I was being given a lot of freedom on this assignment, which is just amazing for an artist to get. I had so many ideas that went beyond the usual bat-winged, red skinned devilish demon most commonly depicted.
The title sounds like a magic trick, but for me as an illustrator and comic book artist, it’s just Wednesday. I’m not talking about drawing a bat’leth, that uniquely shaped weapon of the Klingons from Star Trek, and then turning that drawing into a demon. This was a real, metal bat’leth that had been used in stage fighting.
I had given the bat’leth to an actress friend of mine, who agreed that she would be a reference model for me in the future if I needed her. She didn’t specify for demonic purposes, but that’s what I needed. When I asked if she’d mind being a demon, she said yes immediately. Okay, maybe the affirmative was more enthusiastic and less PG than just “Yes”, but you get the idea. Actors are great for models because they really get into the character. They do more than just pose in place. My demon had plans, ideas and an odd facial structure. My friend gave my demon intent, and some make-up which made her look less demonic, but like motion capture marking trackers would help me when it came time to make the face look less human. What proceeded next was an hour of photography, improvisation, cardboard armor and what probably looked really insane to someone from the outside. That’s the best thing about being a fantasy artist, maybe an actor, too. The totally weird, un-glamorous things required to pull off something fantastic.
As an artist it’s important to never be a slave to any reference used. Yet, it’s equally important to use reference, because something an artist wouldn’t have thought of out of their head will come out of it. This painting became so much more than I had originally envisioned thanks to my friend.
All it had cost me was a Klingon weapon of destruction.
Art covers coming soon from Chandra Reyer at Greystone Studios to D3 Adventures also include: