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The strangest things by akitku The strangest things by akitku
Humphrey is just a regular mortal man, he didn't ask for all this magic and ghosts and vampires and necromancy. Unfortunately being commander of a preceptory that includes Sebastian and Amalfi means constant run-ins with the supernatural are pretty much inevitable...At least now he's got Vento, his adopted demon-dog to cheer him up...Humphrey says: don't buy dogs, adopt! ;)

I'm actually really disappointed with this picture. I had meant to finish it in time for Halloween but I didn't manage. Only recently did I finally have the time to paint the lineart and I was really unhappy with how it came out...I was planning not to submit it at all. But it took so much time that I decided to after all. Maybe I'll scrap it later, but at least it will be here for the record...

Title from this song: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBmxzt….
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Watercolour, white ink, black ink
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:iconshadowriderthesecond:
shadowriderthesecond Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015
Very good! And creepyyyy...
I like that expression of his... what a brave guy!
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! I'm glad it comes off as creepy! :)
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:iconshadowriderthesecond:
welcome!
yus, it's creeeepyyy...
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:iconmatakoura:
Matakoura Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014
I LOVE his expression! And the composition, and colour, as always. Wow!
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! I think his expression (and the dog) was the only thing I was more or less satisfied with in this picture!
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:iconmatakoura:
Matakoura Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014
You're welcome! :D It's completely awesome, though :)
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:iconflibertyjibbeth:
Flibertyjibbeth Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014   General Artist
Whoah, I wish I looked through my deviant watch messages more often, in that case I wouldn't have missed this piece. The idea appeals to me so much as well as the character (I just love bearded guys lol ) I wonder if any other hospitalliers know that his dog is a demon

All these details are amazing, the shadows, the birds, the face on the tree, these goblins or what are these creatures... And you know, the details do not fall apart, they  still look like a part of the whole composition. 

Well, perhaps the pavement and the sitting goblin in the right corner should be a bit darker so that they wouldn't distract attention from the knight and his pet. This is quite easy to correct, if you don't try to avoid any photoshop editing in your drawings (I  know that some people think it's a kind of cheating to correct anything digitally)
In addition, the dog's head is just as dark as the knight's cloak. I see the white lining, which is the best decision in such a case, but perhaps the scaner made it too dim.

Anyway, I don't see any solid reason for you to be so disappointed with this picture. There is nothing that you can't improve in it. Maybe it's just because it took you so long to finish it and you expected some other result?

Oh, and thank you for the song! It's beautiful
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Edited Nov 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Gosh, thank you so much for the long comment dear! That's so kind of you! I'm so glad you like it! 
Well the dog isn't really a demon - in the story it used to be a regular dog but it was kept chained up and experimented on by Veto the necromancer (he was in one of my earlier picture). And this changes it drastically. Humphrey rescues the dog from Vento's laboratory at one point in the story and tames him (it's half wild and really visious). Most people do see there is something strange/scary about that dog but Humphrey refuses to see it. 

Thanks so much for the advice, I will try to darken the pavement and the imp creature so that he stands out less. I think you are probably right that this distracts from the centre of the picture. But I think also the very composition of the picture isn't too good...and it will be impossible to make any improvements there. I guess Humphrey and the dog will just have to get another picture at some point! ;) 
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:iconflibertyjibbeth:
Flibertyjibbeth Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014   General Artist
Yeah, I remember this Veto guy.  The dog has an exciting story, it's a luck that the poor thing has finally found a true friend.

I'm looking forward to more artworks with these characters!
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:iconxiw:
xiw Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Professional General Artist
nieźle :-)
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Dziekuje! Nienajlepsza praca, no ale jest. :)
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:iconramatto:
ramatto Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014
It's great thay you decided to submit it Tard OMG Emote i like your characters and the way you draw is excellent:la: choir 
wow Humphrey is so brave if it was me i'll be running like mad llama chase 
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm really happy you think so! :heart:
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:iconramatto:
ramatto Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014
you're welcome
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:iconjoolita:
joolita Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014
I really like the fog (the new technique works great, i think) and the spectral skeleton in the background. And Humphrey's face is just perfect! The mixture of mild fear, confusion and resignation (he must be used to this...).
I do feel, however, that the picture is somewhat crowded; the eye is not drawn to any specific point, but has to wander, jumping from detail to detail. I know this was most probably intentional, but since your watercolours usually have such a nice clear point of focus, that one feels, how to put it, atypical. I don't know if i'm making any sense right now...
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You know I think you really put your finger on one of the things that bothered me about this picture. I was really impressed by how here on dA you can see so many pictures which are filled with details and characters/creatures and yet do not feel overcrowded at all. I really wanted to try do do something like that here, but as you say in my picture it didn't work right. Perhaps it is the amount of details in all the surrounding creatures, or maybe it's more about the compositions, how they are placed within the space...So yeah I definitely know what you mean and I think you're very right, problem is I have no idea what I would have done differently if I tried it again....
Your description of Humphrey's feelings is spot on by the way! I'm so glad! :)
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:iconjoolita:
joolita Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014
Putting multiple characters and lots of details in one drawing is so hard! So you get points for trying. :) (It is pretty much beyond me; that's why i always stick to simple compositional arrangements).
And Humphrey's expression is so well depicted it wasn't hard to read :D
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:iconpenguinity:
Penguinity Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014   General Artist
I love it! Awesome spooky atmosphere. I'm glad you decided to uplaod it after all. :) Thanks for sharing, it's great!
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the kind words dear! I'm happy I uploaded it after all, not only is it now on record for my self, but people's supportive comments have really made me feel better about it. So thank you very much indeed! :hug:
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:iconpenguinity:
Penguinity Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014   General Artist
You're most welcome! :D
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:iconstars-in-well:
stars-in-well Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
Wow, so many mysterious creatures! <3 And the colors create such a dangerous atmosphere :3
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Glad you like it, thank you! I really wanted to give it a somewhat tense, danger-filled mood, but I wasn't sure if I managed at all. Happy to hear it works at least a bit. :)
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:iconalessiahv:
AlessiaHV Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Oh my... ç_ç
This is beautiful.
I love the blue everywhere!
I love the way you drew the night ky and the moond, the trees and the spirits: ok: I love all of this one :°D
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! I was afraid it came out to dark/grey rather than blue so I'm very happy to hear that! :heart:
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:iconalessiahv:
AlessiaHV Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
No no, it's perfect this way! :D
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:iconsleyf:
Sleyf Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh this is fantastc,and I love the various ghosts and ghouls, my fave is the face in the tree, but that demon child on the right with the ridge of spines down its back freaks me out lol
Humphrey seems unbothered by the whole thing, but then again I'm sure he can handle himself against them, and he has Vento
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So glad you like it, thanks! :) The imp-creature was one of my favourites actually! Humphrey's supposed to be of very mixed feelings about all this, a bit spooked, a bit annoyed, a bit grumpy...
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:iconsleyf:
Sleyf Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lol its brilliant, its design is great and scaly and nasty. Lol he kind of looks like "Don't even think about coming any closer!" *hurries a little further away*
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:iconevagataartist:
EvaGataArtist Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I love the magical atmosphere and alive vivid characters <3
your rich inner world and kindness are shown in each Piece^^
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! I'm so glad the characters seem vivid. They certainly are in my head! :hug:
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:iconazul-din:
Azul-din Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
It is good you have these expectations of your art- as one old alchemist said,' How mockingly execution still parodies design' - but then any serious artist might say as much. I think the Chinese white looks very effective- the softening effect it gives is hard to achieve any other way. Your main figure is not so out of scale -- a really developed physique can give that impression (ie the head being too small) and then of course there are the robes- the one thing you have a tendency to do is put the elbow joint too low in the arm. The rule is, one 'head' from the point of the shoulder to the elbow, one head from the elbow to the wrist, and one head, (more or less) from the wrist joint to the tip of the middle finger. The dog is good- a black dog against a black robe is quite a challenge but I think you pulled it off. And that cowled figure rear right is SERIOUSLY creepy!
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha, I love that quote! It really speaks to me! :) I tried the Chinese white on the moon as you suggested, but I think I was working too slow and it had dried too much by the time I started doing the sky washes. Plus I was using pretty smooth paper this time, and it seems to me that watercolours dry more quickly on the smoother types of paper. But maybe I'm wrong.

Yeah, getting the dog right when he is standing right by Humphrey's black robe was pretty difficult. At first I wanted to simply make the dog greyish rather than black so that he would stand out against the black of the robe, but then I felt that really the dog being black was an important aspect of the story - you know black dressed hospitaller with his black dog, especially considering all the folkish stereotypes concerning black dogs. So in the end I decided to give it a go...
Thank you for pointing out the thing about the elbow joints. I had a look at some of my other pieces and I see what you mean, the arms all look a bit awkward and now I have a better idea of why! Thank you!
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:iconazul-din:
Azul-din Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
On smooth paper? What they call Hot Pressed? That stuff is deadly difficult to work on! Of course the watercolor dries extra fast, because being pressed to a smooth finish it doesn't absorb as fast, plus the lack of texture means there isn't as much water there in the first place. Well done then!
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:icongoddessnemesis:
GoddessNemesis Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
How long did this piece take you? 'Cause gosh, it seems like you're making these paintings relatively quickly. :)

What is your process for a typical painting?
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Edited Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Um...well I'm actually a pretty slow worker. It usually takes me around 3 days to finish a drawing. On the first day I draw the first sketch where I try to get the composition, the expression and the overall mood right. This takes me around 4 hours. Then on the next day, I do the inking on watercolour paper. The more details the longer it takes, but again it's usually between 3-4 hours. Sometimes more sometimes less. Then finally next day I paint over the lineart and the painting process itself takes me sometimes even up to 6 hours, I do lots of washes and I tend to work a lot on dry-on-dry so I have to wait for each layer of paint to dry. Sometimes I paint the rough sketch without the inking which saves a little time and sometimes I manage to do both the sketch and the inking on the same day. And I don't necessarily work on the piece all three days in a row either. Often I will have an inked sketch lying and waiting to be painted for weeks. Actually I have some right now that I finished inking a month ago but never got round to painting them...
Sorry for the long answer! :blushes:
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:icongoddessnemesis:
GoddessNemesis Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
No worries.

Still if you can manage to work on a painting in three consecutive days, that's still pretty fast. :)
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, well that hardly ever happens unfortunately. Usually it takes me days, sometimes even weeks to actually move from one phase to the other! ;) Lot's of RL plus I'm really bad at time management.
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:iconellimeca:
ellimeca Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
There is something really likeable about this character. And those creatures look so cool!  
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha, thanks! I think Sebastian agrees with you on that point (about Humphrey being likeable). :aww:
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:icondanikatze:
Danikatze Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Student General Artist
I absolutely understand the feeling and I might understand where you're coming from. However, it's still a pleasure to look at, as the details (like the structure of the trees, and the dog - especially his fur - and Humphrey's expression) and colours are terrific. Thank you for sharing it with us despite your disappointment :hug:
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you! Actually, now I'm feeling a bit better about the picture itself. I guess not every picture has to be perfect - it's still a good exercise/experience even when the result isn't completely satisfying....
Haha, his expression made me laugh actually, it's supposed to be this mixture of annoyed, grumpy and spooked. ;)
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:icondanikatze:
Danikatze Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Student General Artist
Ahaha! Yes, that's exactly the right face to pull with such feelings! X)

I'm glad you feel better about it now. :heart:
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:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
Very cool characters and concept!  I really like the details!
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :heart:
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
This picture is great, it brings out the fable-esque feeling but that....that thing smiling at him, that's a bit eerie. I agree with what ermek is saying, the attention of detail you put into this, especially the bark and that white dots surrounding humpreys, I'm assuming those are not stars but some kind of, spirits? :O
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for your words Gin! Yeah, those are supposed to be little spirits that are following him...Glad the smiling imp-creature is eerie, it was supposed to be. :)
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:iconelisamelis:
ElisaMelis Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
i know the feeling on working hard on something and then feeling disappointed, i might not so much objective as i should (because i love everything you do :XD: ) but i really like this! :heart: is full of little details, is beautiful and dark! 
I like the spirits/ghost and the creatures hidden behind the trees and on the wall, waiting to do something, also the face in the tree i love this!!:love: and the little detail of Vento with his tail up like ready to defend Humphrey if anyone try to harm him.
I like also the night scene in general, is not easy to make those kind of scenes with watercolour, i am glad you decided to submit it, I know is important to want always *more* from ourselves, but sometimes is also good to relax and appreciate what we do even if there are little mistakes. (easy to say but, really..i understand how you feel and this is also what i say to myself :XD: )
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the kind words! They really helped lift my sprits about this. You are right of course, not every piece has to be as I have envisioned it, some mistakes are just part of the learning process, not point on crying about them too much! :)

I'm so glad you like the details, and that Vento's body language is readable (I really like dogs but I'm still working on being able to convey their emotions through body language).
I often do night scenes in watercolour, but it's difficult to get them really dark. Especially on smoother paper that doesn't absorb the water that well...
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:iconelisamelis:
ElisaMelis Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
(oh well but you are free to vent every time you want of course, also often it helps, what i meant was that, while a piece can have mistakes, that's doesn't' necessary dismiss his beauty! I recently realized that many of my favourite artists aren't my favourite because they works are "perfect", is mostly a feeling they works convey, and your works have that feeling that i love too :heart:!) Dogs and animals in general are difficult to draw, and i love drawing them too, but i have the same problem..^^; body language/expressions..
also can i ask you what is it your favourite kind of paper for watercolours?
i may advise you to try with ink for reach faster the blue/black tones for night sky also..:nod: is something i am planning to try and an old friend of mine used to use it and obtain very good scenes.
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for the advice! It sounds like a great idea, I have only ever tried black ink up till now but it does spread more smoothly, so that could be especially good for hot-pressed paper maybe? I will have to give it a go!
Have you ever used ecoline inks?
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