Sword commission

A lady commissioned me to do a couple of black and white illustrations for her upcoming novella (short story?).

Naturally, my tablet decided to crap out immediately. No amount of fiddling with the cord could induce it to work.

Fortunately I’d managed to get one sketch done. She asked for a particular kind of sword with vines of ivy wrapped around it. Here was the concept, working off a reference photo she provided:

pauline-commission-sword1

I dumped it over into Illustrator and traced it all out in vector. I experimented with different ways of shading, and decided that gradients made it look too artificial. So I went with a pen stroke to give it an “illustration” look.

pauline-commission-sword3

Here’s how it looks with leaves.

pauline-commission-sword-sm

I’m on the fence about it so far–the leaves obscure the sword if I make them darker, and the whole image is too busy if I give them lots of detail. I’m tempted to print the thing out, add all the extra bits by hand with pen, and scan it back in. Illustrator doesn’t like crosshatching at all.

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