Fremen ***FINISHED!!!*** + Orc chief ***FINISHED!!!***


I decided to start a new project, so you can check the finished one below (the Orc Chief).


According to the Wikipedia:

The Fremen /ˈfrɛmən/ are a group of people in the fictional Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. First appearing in the 1965 novel Dune, the Fremen inhabit the desert planet Arrakis (also known as Dune), which is the sole known source of the all-important spice melange in the universe. Long overlooked by the rest of the Imperium and considered backward savages, in reality they are an extremely hardy people and exist in large numbers. The Fremen had come to the planet thousands of years before the events of the novel as the ZensunniWanderers, a religious sect in retreat. As humans in extremis, over time they adapt their culture and way of life to survive and thrive in the incredibly harsh conditions of Arrakis. The Fremen are distinguished by their fierce fighting abilities and adeptness at survival in these conditions. With water such a rare commodity on the planet, their culture revolves around its preservation and conservation.[1] Herbert based their culture, in part, on the desert-dwelling Bedouin and Kalahari Bushmen.[2]"

The Fremen are a proud nomad race that populate the deserts of Dune. Their main characteristics are that they can ride giant sand worms, and that they wear a special suit that recycles water from their body, specially sweat and urine, which is then inhalated through a mask (it is not strange they are a proud race, you really should have high selfsteem to inhalate your sweat and urine and still look cool).

In my mind, since I first read Dune, some eons ago, they are dressed in a kind of cloak with a hood and their skin is hard as leather, due to sun expossure and dehydratation. They have the famous blue eyes that abusing melange provokes (Dune's main production is this famous drug), and look like proud people that try to save every word (and every water drop).

Here are a couple of sketches of a Fremen and their masks, just to start warming up:


The Fremen are famous for riding giant worms that can be several kms. in length. They use a special device that looks like a grappling hook to get on top of them.



I am trying to improve the "gesso phase" Mr. Bultkus showed in his video, and I start to think the real effect is not the white gesso, but the tints you apply with watercolor on it. Suddenly it becomes a really bright colour which improves a lot the impact of the picture.

Just a test made over a dark brown near-to-card paper, with Prisma pencil, watercolor and gesso:


Just a more elaborated sketch to fix how the mask should be. Next will be the final illustration, trying to follow Mike Bultkus' advices!


Following Butkus' advice I decided to design a big hook that fits with those giant worms. The problem is that a big hook needs a device to launch it, so I thought a RPG like launcher could be nice.

So, here is a quick concept of the device. Next, the final illustration.


I've had nearly no time for painting lately, so I couldn't finish until today the illustration. It was made with watercolours and some digital touches at the end...



So, nothing too imaginative here but...I love ORCS!

This guy is the son of an Orc King who is going to split his kingdom between his two older heirs. Unfortunately our character is the third male son of the king (there are several sisters in-between who don't count in orcs' succesion rules, and there was an older brother who died while hunting giant aardvarks, but that's another story...) so he thinks he has some rights and wishes to make his claims come true.

The fact is that he is not too intelligent. He might be strong and ambitious, but mother Nature didn't gift him with a big brain. His elder brothers don't think he is really a threat so they have offered him a small county to keep him at rest. Our character has tatooed his new county's coat of arms on his shoulder, and thinks that maybe in  a short time all his arms will be covered with the tatooed banners of all the lands he claims.

  1. 1st drawing

Just a quick sketch in Primsmacolor. Too human-like, then next one will try to emphasize and distort some of the main features of an orc, specially those who show the personality of our hero (low rank chief, tatoos, not too inteligent, ambitious...)

Orc first sketch by Tayete

2.- Developing the sketch:

orcs' sketches 2 by tayete

From the previous "too human" sketch, I start to exaggerate or minimize some features: 

  • As he is a bit dumb I have reduced his craneum. A bit in the first sketch, some more in the second.
  • The distance between the eyes and the bottom of the chin increases to show a powerful jaw.
  • The eyes become smaller, the nose wider and shorter, and the distance between eyes and bottom of the nose reduces a lot. This shows some more idiocy signs in our culture (I guess Disney is linked in some way to this way of thinking).
  • The neck is even stronger.

At the end, the bottom sketch of the 2nd page is too cartoonish I guess, so maybe I should develop a bit more the 1st sketch of this second page. And then I can start with the body and such...

3.- Further developing the structure of the face:

I am not yet adding any expression to my character. Just trying to get to know him well: how big is his mouth, his nose, how those fangs come out of the mouth, how small his eyes can be. So, not a fancy sketch (just a couple of minutes and I would never have posted it unless we were all learning here) but we can consider this wasn't a date but just some Whatsapp chatting to get knowing each other...Probably next one will be the real face and expression so I can get on with the rest of the body and costume.

tayete orc 3

4.- Some expression:

Time to add that mix of dumbness and ambitiouness to this guy. A small (more or less half the size that it appears here) quick sketch to test what I have in mind...

orco4 by tayete

5.- Some more expression and posture:

Time to start to think of the body and posture. Hence my rough sketch (sorry for the photo, it was taken with the phone - as all the rest) just to test the shilouette and possible negative spaces.

The other sketch are just some tries at the face, but not introducing yet Mike Butkus' advices in my project. He knows how to exaggerate and distort a face while keeping it real!

orc posture by tayete

orc faces by tayete


So, This will be the sketch I will pass to the rendering paper to be colored and added shadows and highlights. I have used no references (which I should) for the pose, so maybe some parts are a bit odd...

Finally I went for a not too exaggerated orcish face, though I distorted the eyes and mouth a bit as Mike suggested, to give some more expression.

Wish me luck!


Here I am starting the final phase of the painting. Mr. Butkus uses a toned paper sketchbook that seems quite sturdy to hold watercolors nicely. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find anything similar in my town, so I decided to use normal watercolor paper and tone it myself with coffee. In the first picture you can see this first staining with a sponge soaked with decaffeinated coffee because... who wants to have a vicious orc high on caffeine on your drawing table? Not me, for sure.

After that I simply load the scanned sketch I did in the first steps on my computer screen. As it is a 24'' monitor I use it as a light table for cloning the shilouette of the drawing on the final paper, so I know where the main features are located. It is just a matter of filling again the inside of the contour, having the sketch at hand to take a look to some details.

You can see in the next picture how far I have gone and how I have altered some parts of the sketch: the chin is now twisted to a side, armour has been added as Samantha Braithwaite suggested, some details to the clothing to make it look like he is a noble and not a peasant (though still ragged), and so and so...

I finished the drawing trying to correct the flaws I detected in the sketch, and probably creating many more in the process...

...and then the first coloring steps: initial gesso wash (I guess I'll have to make another pass as it looks too diluted and some color to the clothes. Just the first layer.

...aaaaaaaand it is finished. I have tried the technique of the videos and I am not too happy with the step of covering with white gesso the highlights of the figure. So, I'll guess I'll have to give it another try...maybe a new project to see if I can get an original of Mr. Butkus to hang with my other masters' masterpieces?


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