This picture started as an Inktober doodle!
Basically the idea behind this picture is simple enough… Azra’s an admitted animal lover. He’s not really super open about this fact, simply because, as an animal lover, people would expect someone who feels so passionately about animals to probably have a bunch of them, right? But Azra doesn’t own any. For the simple fact that it breaks his heart every time they die, and most animals don’t live very long, as opposed to Azra who lives, well as a vampire, forever. So he’s already dealing with the heartache of humans having relatively short lifespans in comparison to his own, but all these mini-heartbreaks along the way of something as selflessly loyal as a dog he just can’t stand to stomach.
Typically, his particular brand of vampires, the Durandalites, in their clan didn’t mingle much with animals, for the sole reason that animals were mostly food. Just like they had a distaste for humans, they mostly stuck to their own kind. For approximately the first 203 years of Azra’s life, he doesn’t really know the joy of having an animal friend – aka pet – so when it both comes and goes fleetingly, you can see why he’d be upset.
I imagine he probably made some truces with animals during his time in the forest, but he didn’t really know the bond with an animal until he met his lone-wolf friend at a difficult point in his life. Since Azra has empathetic mental abilities, he can quickly create a bond with something such as a wolf. It is after meeting this wolf, who he names simply Dolf (but later lovingly may have called Dolfie), that he figures out that while dealing with humans empathetically is difficult, dangerous, and more often than not painful, animals are not. They are straight forward and easy to understand, even easier to get along with. And this is where he really falls in love with animals.
I’ve been trying to experiment with different textures and different color palettes outside of my usual range of colors (you know, foggy, greenish, greyish, that sort of thing). In doing so, I started playing with a completely different range of colors for this piece. I started with my normal colors and a “golden” type of hue, much like I did for Waldeinsamkeit. But then I got to thinking… Azra is colorblind to the degree of tritanopia (or blue-yellow colorblind) and I always wanted to draw a picture that would be similar to how he might see things, or how a tritanopia colorblind person may see them.
You can see my original thoughts on the right, and the new pink one on the left.
…But, when I went to post and ask which people thought was better on Instagram, I started going through the filters there. This is a dangerous path, I know. I often try to steer away from the filters because it can very harshly deviate me from my original vision. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but usually since I’m posting in progress works, it can be a real hinderance to suddenly derail into getting the same look and feel as an Instagram filter, and it can just be straight up bad.
But this one, I actually liked. The almost 80s-esque color palette with the dusty rose pink and the dark, saturated blue. So I worked at it!
I thought about what one commenter said about the intent. Originally when I was asking about colors, they said the feeling was different from one to the other. While originally he didn’t look as upset as he does in the final version, the commenter specified that the colors could alter the definition of the piece — did he kill the animal, or did someone else? I think it’s clear in his expression now who killed the animal, but I added an additional bit of clarification, and a necessary pop of a third color.