THIS. IS. WONDERFUL. I am a great Okami fan and I approve of this =P You are lucky that I am not such a symmetry maniac ;)
Upfront I shall say that I find it ironic that I called this wallpaper "Hidden Red", and yet there is red everywhere LOL but I decided to remain true to my inspiration for this wall (as I shall mention later), so I left it as it is.
As per usual, my long rambling description is in my dA journal. I have a background only version here; my building reference is here, and my Ammy reference is here. For the first time in my life, I decided to do a WIP, which you can see over here.
This wallpaper has 2 versions because I felt that some may find the words too jarring. But I felt that the words - the kanji, to be more precise – are an integral part of the wall as they add to the battle effects. In the game Ookami, when the battle arena walls go up, these kanji appear and disappear all over the borders of the wall and the ground. They add to the evilness of the battle.
Anyway, this wallpaper was inspired back in 2010 by Shikata Akiko’s booklet design for 朱隠し (Aka Kakushi) and by the album art to Ali Project’s 刀と鞘 (Katana to Saya). You can see the reference images in the WIP. I sat on this wallpaper for 3 years since then, thinking of how to go about doing it, before finally coming up with the idea of making it a sister wallpaper to this one here – The Dreamers. As such, I followed the art style which I used in that wallpaper, which means thick outlines, uneven lines and shadings which are not properly blended. I know it sounds terrible but it helps to achieve a textured painted effect, which I wanted.
I also acted on user comments from that wall, by making the ground curvy to add to the fish-eye perspective, as well as adding stuff on the ground to make the ground less empty.
The main brushes used were Photoshop default brushes and brushes from LadyVictoire’s star brushes 2 and gvalkyrie’s starfield brushes. These custom brushes were used to add the “ember” effects, which may be a bit jarring, but I like that it adds to the fiery atmosphere.
All references are from the Ookami official illustration guide. I redrew and painted them to suit the style of this wall. I also wasn’t too careful with my brush strokes to create a painty texture. I referenced in-game battle screenshots to do the kanji, as well as to draw the path on the ground. I used a Sword Unicode font for the text. The total number of layers used is 224.
Something that doesn’t sit very well with me is the black foxtails on the ground. They look like shadows; however, if they were shadows, that would be contrary to the light source from the moon. Technically, the moon is supposed to be overhead, but I just couldn’t bear to make it a tiny, puny moon such that it’d fit in the space above the torii, so I left it nice and big. Anyway, the foxtails on the ground are referenced from the official Ninetails artwork. Yes, NINE; hence the asymmetry. My initial idea was to have them upright, as if the viewer were so close to them that they appear as black silhouettes. When that didn’t work, I placed them on the ground. To counter that nagging thought about the light source, I envisioned them as nasty black…swirls exuding from an off-screen enemy >.<
Personally, I really, really love this wall a lot. *covers ears from brickbats* I hope there’ll be someone else who likes it as much as I do!
More Okami Wallpapers
axxxrey Oct 17, 2013
angelxxuan Oct 18, 2013
outstanding beauty, really enjoying the detail and pretty colors and dedication to okami, well done. +fav
Gablogarb Oct 20, 2013
It is a great atmosphere, You have really worked in this wallpaper, that is what tells me the image at a glance. I like it ^^ congratulations. Really nice job.
kuchukuTulip Oct 20, 2013
I think it is very interesting and well made. ^^
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