Calling the Spirits of the Winged Ones

The Scene:

This drawing was one of those pivotal pieces that helped me to develop, not just the illustration style and atmosphere, but also the writing itself.

This image came through very powerfully: Rowan, kneeling on the sand, with her sword in front of her as she draws upon Stone Guardian magic to summon the spirits of the Winged Ones to aid her during a time of perilous need.


Excerpt from Book Three, A Light in the Dark

Chapter: The Winged ones

Dal Hattah shrugged, his shoulder spikes rippling. Your Spirit is tied to your body, but not completely, Guardian. It can travel to other planes. You have already done so when you entered the Spirit Realm to visit Idrion.

So if I call to them, they will be able to come here as spirits? Rowan sighed and shook her head. But when I went to Torrin, I could not touch him, or interact. If they come, they will not be able to do anything more than witness the battle.

Dal Hattah rumbled. Did you not see what she did, Guardian?

Rowan frowned, thinking back to the vision. The woman had knelt and summoned the Spirit, or opened to it. She had called to comrades not present and they had come, appearing as Winged One selves. Her eyes widened. So instead of calling to Torrin and Lanfear, I am to call upon Nyrian and Lanfyel, the Winged One versions of the two men?

Dal Hattah nodded and ground his staff into the sand. If these Hounds are as terrible as you believe, we will need the help.

Detail: Rowan Calling to the Spirits of the Winged Ones

Detail: Rowan Calling to the Spirits of the Winged Ones


The Final finished Drawing:

I enjoyed how this one turned out so much that I plan to feature her on the cover of Volume Three of the Companion Sketchbook.

I also will create a painting of her to grace the cove of Book Three of The Stone Guardians. She will share the cover with the painting I did of Torrin channeling the magic of the Great Winged One. It will be a challenge to have them be together on the cover, yet occupying separate scenes...

I will share that process as it unfolds.

Keep scrolling to see some early process and concept sketch photos as well as my original hand source.

Final finished drawing: Rowan Calling to the Spirits of the Winged Ones


Early Process:

I photographed my own hands, lit from below, to create an accurate source to work from. The light on my own face and my hair braided to match also helped when I drew Rowan's face.

This illustration of Rowan doesn't really look like me, but when drawing, it is always easier to start with a source that comes from life. Seeing how the cast shadows and highlights play over the fingers and reflect from the fingernails helped to ground the drawing in realism and bring me closer to the scene I wanted to convey.

Early Process photo: Rowan Calling to the Spirits of the Winged Ones:

First strokes and line drawing.

Early Process photo: Rowan Calling to the Spirits of the Winged Ones:

Here I am beginning to layer in the white pencil crayon. It is always magical when those first strokes of highlight get laid in. The drawing comes to life!

Detail of Early Process photo: Rowan Calling to the Spirits of the Winged Ones


Concept Sketch for Rowan's Vision of the Winged one Battle:

This is the sketch I did for the Vision that Rowan sees just previous to the writing excerpt above: An ancient battle where The Stone Guardians stand against an overwhelming force and Rowan witnesses the possibility of how to call upon the Winged One Spirits.


First Rough Concept Sketch:

This rough sketch was my starting point. I then went about creating some photos of my own hands to work from, based on the idea from the sketch.


Final Hand Source:

More soon....

Best regards,