Thursday, December 27, 2012

Zelda Calendar Contest 2012

You know how I said I had some very late news to post?  Well, this is it!

On November 30th, my entry was due for the 2nd Annual Legend of Zelda Calendar Contest hosted by the History of Hyrule.  Unfortunately, my mom was sick in the hospital all that week prior.  I considered dropping out of the contest, but did my best to try to finish my piece when I wasn't with her.  (Including a large amount of time when I probably should have been sleeping...)  I turned it in a whopping two hours before the deadline, but hey--at least I made it! 

This year's theme was "The History of Hyrule" focusing on historic events in the Zelda games.  Here is what I came up with:

Jump horsey, jump!

And here is my contest blurb:  In order to complete his quest, Link must travel to the Spirit Temple.  But time has destroyed the Gerudo Bridge.  The canyon yawns like the maw of a beast as Link stands on the precipice.  Epona stamps her hooves beneath him, tossing her head as she gathers courage.  Link takes a deep breath, sends a prayer to the three goddesses, and gallops towards his destiny.  

If you're not familiar with the Zelda games, this is a scene from "Ocarina of Time," and one of my favorite parts.  I tried to depict the scene as I imagined it when I first played Zelda--a massive desert, skeletal bridge, and colossal canyon that somehow Link and Epona had to leap over despite all odds. 

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, and really stepped out of my comfort zone. This was my first time painting: a canyon, rock formations, a sword, a front-view galloping horse, a rider, tack, sand, dust, ropes, and a perspective like this. (This totally counts as my one human-drawing for the year, too!)  I also used a few textures for the sand and rocks, which I've never tried before.  I really had fun with the color-scheme in this piece and was inspired by pictures of Monument Valley for the background.  I'm not too thrilled with the finished canyon, but it was my first attempt at drawing one, so now I know what to do better next time. (At least I got over my fear of painting rocks!)

Surprisingly, that little shadow of Link and Epona was by far one of the trickiest parts of this piece.  (Front view characters + strong side-lighting = one difficult shadow!)  And for any Zelda fans reading this, you may just find your favorite fairy-obsessed fellow hidden in the background...

As I said before, this is a rather delayed post.  I already found out that my piece did not make it into the final 2013 calendar, but I really don't mind.  This was a FANTASTIC learning experience, and with everything else going on at the time, I'm just happy I finished it.  You can see the superb winning pieces here: historyofhyrule.blogspot.  (The official calendar can be downloaded for FREE at the link, and you can also create one with your favorite entries, too!)  The winning pieces definitely give me something to aspire to next year!

If you want to see how I've improved as a digital artist, you can see my last year's entry here.  Comparing them makes me feel pretty good about my progress over the past twelve months.  

A big thanks to Melora who hosts the event at History of Hyrule.  She is one of the nicest artists I've met and puts so much time into this project.  I can't wait to see what next year's theme will be!  :)

Note: Link, Epona, and the Legend of Zelda are (c) Nintendo.  This is just my humble homage to them.  All references for this piece are credited on my deviantArt page here.

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