Nyx the assassin

Image: Nyx the assassin

Nyx the assassin. My 5th Edition D&D Player Character. Adopted sister of Ix the kobold.

"Nyx" grew up on the streets, taking on odd jobs when available, stealing when necessary. Most of the jobs were mediated by the local thieves' guild. Some jobs were risky, some dangerous. One ended with her group being betrayed, used a diversion, and trapped in a cave along with the kobolds that lived there. As her employers sealed off the entrances and turned the place into a death trap, the situation quickly turned into a massacre. Venturing deeper into the cave, she eventually found herself in a room with a young kobold, backed into a corner by one of the men who had hired her.

Seeing an opportunity for revenge, she attacked. The kobold—whom she would later come to know as Ix—joined the fray, and together the two managed to bring him down.

After an awkward conversation involving broken Common, new nicknames, and lots of hand gestures, the two agreed to team up, and managed to escape together.

This drawing took a long time to complete. My goal was to draw Nyx reasonably close to how I had imagined and described her to the rest of the group, which was a bit of a problem as I could barely draw decent stick figures at the time!

In total, this iteration took me the better part of two months worth of spare time. Counting all previous attempts I've probably spent a few hundred hours on it, although that includes watching tutorials and redrawing whatever I had difficulties with until I got it mostly right.

Nyx is supposed to be a bit on the shorter side (5'3"-5'4", or 160-163cm), and one thing I found surprisingly little information on was how to draw someone at a specific height; nearly every tutorial and book I read describes how to measure proportions in "heads" (probably from Andrew Loomis' Figure drawing for all it's worth), and that the ideal height is about 8 heads tall. While heads themselves can vary a bit in size, the common scale people use still gives you a total height of around 5'8" (173cm) for women and 6' (183cm) for men. I found very few examples going into details about what to do if you wish to deviate from that.

A decent rule of thumb I eventually arrived at was that the legs would account for most of the height difference, with the torso changing some, but not much. Supposedly the head size also changes with height, but unless you are drawing a really tall or short person, it's way less noticeable. I ended up using a scale of about 7.5 heads for Nyx, with a close to average head size.

When it comes to facial details, I would've probably saved a lot of time if I had followed Andrew Loomis' method instead of kinda winging it, and then trying to correct everything after I had started coloring. If there's one thing I'd do differently next time, it's to ensure I'm really happy with the sketch or line art before moving further. It doesn't have to be perfect, but the whole image should at least feel complete before moving on to the next stage.

While it is possible to fix things after the fact, there were a lot of things I decided to leave in simply because I found them too daunting or time consuming to fix.

As with Ix, I drew Nyx with her current armor and gear. It was a fun challenge to try to incorporate everything without making it look ridiculous.

Drawn in Krita 4.0. This time on a Cintiq Pro.

Bonus mashup

When I finished this drawing I got a bit curious and decided to incorporate my drawing of Ix with this one, to see if it held up when scaled to the right relative height:

Image: Ix and Nyx

Ix and Nyx

Even though the art styles and lighting don't mesh, it does kinda work! Now I just need to draw the rest of the party...

Useful resources

For the most part I would try to find resources as needed. The resources below contain tips and techniques I found especially useful and ended up coming back to whenever I needed to correct or tweak something.