Monday, May 30, 2016

Jusha Lewa

 More from the Life of Lewa series image collection. This one is pretty old, in fact I made it back when my practice in digital art was still pretty small. Jusha Lewa, the first stage of a Makuta Lewa when Jusha poison spikes in his nervous system.
 I worked on three different versions to get the lighting right, but still didn't quite grasp it, my knowledge of filters and soft brushes lacking, leading to basic, but not quite right results.
 "You're slowing down, and I almost have you. No one can outrun Lewa, ever-fast shadow-wind."

Since I have more experience with some things in PSE now days, I decided to revisit the image and do some touch up work, along with some new versions of the idea.

Now the first version seems more appealing with a higher gloom to it. Being chased by a shadow Lewa through a bamboo forest is the first stage of scary.
Will you see him coming? 

I had someone suggest to me that I should try some zoom effect to create a teaser poster like a heads up to what's coming in the next chapter of the story. I liked the idea, and found the image to be even more interesting this way.
"Lewa's Darkness"

(Concept story clip)

Erozion's heart thud so loudly with panic that he felt like regurgitating as he ran as best he could through dense jungle terrain of the dark forest. 
The day had already been bad, but this just made it worse. One moment he and Kazikii were bickering about the subject of how foolish it was to wander near or even slightly over the dark forest border, next thing you know he's running for dear life from a raging mad Jusha close on his trail, Kazikii nowhere in sight.

As Erozion ran he recalled how the day started, thinking back on why he even wandered too close to Jusha territory in the first place. He and his dad got into an argument about his reckless move of nearly blowing up the basement lab while combining two unstable elements, knowing full well his mother said not to continue dangerous experiments at home. He then recalls losing his temper and expressing a few choice words at his father, when he should have just kept his mouth shut.
Lewa was very unhappy, and when he tried to grab the back of Erozion's neck so he could take him to his room for reprimanding, Erozion bolted out of the house as fast as a spooked gukko. 

No more than 15 minutes had passed since that moment, when he found himself confronted by Kazikii, his half brother who had heard about what happened and followed him to make sure he didn't wander too far at such a late hour. Ero knew the sun was setting and the jungle was dangerous at night, but he had just as much fear in the dark woods as he would at home in the presence of his angry father. In these thoughts of dread he hadn't payed attention to his surroundings, and neared too close to the dark borders. 
It's then he and Kazikii got into a bicker before the shadows seemed to close in on them, and suddenly someone came from the dark. Little did Erozion realize that Kazikii didn't abandon him, but rather hid so he could determine where to strike this Jusha whos eyes were fixed on Erozion with an odd sense of anger. 

If only Ero knew who this figure was, but it's a mercy he had little time to look back and notice as he ran for the first clearing of light he could find, now wishing he were back home hiding under his bed, the loud thud of running feet making him regret all his bad choices of the day.

The newer version of the old image does have some extra spookiness. I switched up landscape to appear as part of the dark forest, the dwelling place of Jusha tribes. It's known as the dark forest because it's so dense light hardly makes it through, which means Jusha can live there with ease. 

In this particular version of the scene, it's around late evening, hence why there's still some color showing. I'll also note the wisps on Lewa's swords is shadow energy.

In any of these scenarios I imagine Lewa is either chasing Erozion or Kazikii, one of them having made him angry enough to cause a Jusha poison spike in his system which temporarily turns him shadow and makes him extremely violent. You don't want to be anywhere near him when that happens, odds are he won't use his swords to hurt you if you're one of his own, but rather the metal whip he carries around.
I experimented in making a night version which is all black, gray, and blue, but it's harder to see Lewa in this one.
(Story clip concept)
The darkness was so dense you couldn't tell whether you were going left or right. "Get them." a voice growled from the shadows. What had happened to their fellow Toa was the next shock as a shadowed Lewa ran through the fog of Makuta's lair, pursuing his targets with a sadistic joy as his blades wavered with shadow energy. 

I also made this ultimate shadow version of the image which reminds me of Makuta's lair. Imagine shadow Lewa running around Makuta's lair like he owns the place, his sudden goal to capture you. It would be super scary having to run from this as you stumble your way around in the dark and fog.
Run run run as fast as you can, here come the shadows, you're a dead man. Yes, I did a zoom version poster of Lewa's Darkness.
 (Story clip concept)
 "What did you fast-say?!" the one Matoran shouts as he looks back at an angered Toa figure clad in black armor.
"All I said is that I didn't know which way his kid went!"
"Well next time a high-tall, black armored Toa of shadow-darkness is acting rage-angry and wondering where his son went, just point!" the other returns while running ahead along the bridge as shadows flash through the air, causing the two to yelp.

Best not slip on this dark trip through dense green jungle across a bridge. Lewa's poison stages vary, sometimes his appearance adjusts to fit the toxin in his system. Sure hope whatever village this bridge leads to has lots of light stones for a misty evening with a chance of shadow filled frights.
I made two versions of this, one with shadow attacks, and one without, which is this one.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lewa's Shadow

Long time back when my blue LED Christmas lights were still up and working in my room, I had put my two Lewa sets on the desk (Axalara and Phantoka versions), finding the shadows of them to be interesting as they were cast on my closet door.
Original without lighting adjustments is a bit harder to see, but I thought I'd share color difference.
 The main image is on the left. Though the sets are both Lewa toys, I use the Axalara set as another character (Erozion, Lewa's son). This image is a reminisce for the Life of Lewa series, shadows of the past if you will. In this image I imagined Lewa and Erozion going on a walk in either the moonlight or possibly in the city of this alternate dimension which Life of Lewa takes place.

I imagine the two having a long conversation about life, hopes, dreams, responsibilities, training yourself out of reckless behavior and learning from your mistakes. No doubt Ero was having a tough week and had made a few mistakes which left him feeling kind of ill, so Lewa took him out for a walk to try and help him get back on top in mood. A little venting is never a bad idea. 

I have some emotional attachments to this piece, especially because I'm able to relate to the characters. Dreaming about what I just wrote makes me wish I could actually be there in the perfect night weather while the green dudes talk things out.