Thursday, March 19, 2009

Guncraft Character: Feather Man

This is the third member of the main trio of characters that I'm developing for my Guncraft world, the other two being Hawk Girl and Skullface. I really need to figure out the names of these characters soon, because these silly placeholder names are becoming an integral part of their identity in my mind.
Anyway, Feather Man is an aged protagonist, a man of incredible bravery and spiritual strength. He's a member of a mostly-vanished tribe known as the Sky People, a counterpart to the Earth People mentioned in my Manticore portrait, of whom Skullface traces his descent. Birds, and especially eagles, are of great spiritual importance to the Sky People, so Feather Man has golden eagle feathers tied to his hair and his rifle, as well as an eagle skull hanging from his neck. These are talismanic objects, increasing his spiritual strength and enhancing his Vocal abilities. His tattoos (which, more than anything else in this image, are subject to redesign and change) represent the hills and valleys of the earth (the dark lines) and the sky above it (the light lines). His choice of weaponry furthers the eagle symbolism. The eagle chooses its prey carefully, from a distance, and once it dives to catch its prey it is committed, for it is difficult to fly back up and dive again, and by then the prey will have fled. His gun is an old-timey breach-loading rifle which must be painstakingly reloaded after each shot; therefore, each shot must be taken wisely and carefully, just like the eagle diving for its prey.
As stated, this character fills out the main trio of my Guncraft characters. He and Skullface represent opposing forces. Skullface represents youth, idealism, war, vengeance, etc., while Feather Man represents age, compromise, peace, forgiveness, etc. Hawk Girl, as my best friend in the world put it when I was explaining the story to her, represents the human element of the story.
Feather Man's theme song is Ceremony, a guitar instrumental by Joe Satriani. Youtube link to the album version: [link] . I think it shows that there is much more to this character than meets the eye.
On a related note, Skullface also has a theme song, Hill of the Skull, also by Joe Satriani: [link] . I've been keeping my ear out for a theme song for Hawk Girl, but so far haven't found anything fitting.

As far as the technical aspects of making this image go, I was sort of experimenting with a new rendering technique in this image. I used only hard-edged shapes, not blending the values at all. I think this had a nice effect in the face, making it nice and craggy and blocky, but I think it was somewhat less successful on the rest of the body. But it's hard to see underneath the layer effects and textures that I put over the original rendering anyway, so whatever.

This man's face formed the basis for Feather Man's features.

Feather Man's feather-laden hair is based on this man, Last Horse, below.

I have no idea who these photos belong to. Sorry.