Ix the Kobold

Image: Ixmolik the Kobold

Ixmolik the Kobold. Adopted brother of my 5th Edition D&D Player Character.

I'm currently playing a 5th edition D&D campaign with a group of friends that's been going strong for close to two years now. It's by far the longest running campaign I've been part of, by a wide margin!

For this campaign I decided to flesh out the backstory of my character through a series of short stories. Ix is a Kobold that my character encountered, and ended up traveling with as a child. Ix was abducted before the campaign started, and recently rescued by the party.

Since I haven't provided the group with a good description of what he looks like I decided to draw him in front of the party's stronghold!

This is probably the first piece of digital art I've finished in over a decade, experimental 3D stuff aside. Painted on a Surface Pro 2, using Ubuntu 17.10 and various betas and nightly builds of Krita 4.0 (which was released last week).

I've been meaning to use Krita for some actual art for a while now, but so far I've mostly used it to debug image data and create placeholder images. I also wanted to do something without a deadline attached to it for once.

In the end I think I spent north of 100 hours on this, trying to figure out workflows and the best way to achieve certain effects. I ended up redrawing the line art multiple times, and had similar issues with the shading because I did things in the "wrong" order. I really need to practice more.

For the most part I relied on four of the brushes in the default brush set, the color picker shortcut, and lots and lots of layers. I've also (ab)used the new text tool (for layouting), Filter Layers (non-destructive color balancing), and brush Blend Modes (to create glowing, hard lights).

I did try to use the new Colorize Mask feature, but since I like to work with large resolutions (source file is 4961x7016 pixels) it was too slow. For similar reasons I occasionally ran into issues where some of the brushes were too slow to be used properly on the canvas at the desired size. Other than that my biggest technical issue was that I eventually ran out of RAM on my Surface Pro, and that autosaving started freezing the application for tens of seconds at a time. While I did use a "large" number of layers in the final file (around 50), most of them were either disabled or did not contain much data, so this is probably something that can be vastly improved. On the flip side, I encountered zero crashes for the duration of the project!

All in all it was a pretty relaxing experience, and has made me seriously consider getting a Wacom Cintiq.