Often times I think of characters of mine who so happen to fall into the category of “vampire” as more of wild beasts. They’re more like animals than anything; they act more as nocturnal carnivores rather than insatiable blood lusting beings. This may lend a lot to the idea that these characters dislike being called “vampire” or lumped in as such. They find the word says more about Dracula than it does about them.
With that being said, Azra is often compared to a wild beast, either by people who know him or even himself. He also sometimes is stricken when another “vampire” of his kind — say, Falco — does something quite beastly as well. Azra is often compared to a wolf, lone or not. Since Azra and Falco often hunt together, I kept envisioning them taking down a large animal together… And treating their prey as a pack of wolves may.
I did some photo research on wolves and took a look at what they look like when they defend their kill — or at least warn people and others away from it. All territorial snarling, flashing teeth, blood, and in instances of night, flashing eyes/tapetum lucidum. I’ve already explored the idea of tapetum lucidum in other works of mine, but I thought… how would they look to anyone else coming across this scene?
So after some sketchy sketching, I came up with this idea. Things I knew for sure were: I wanted the prey on the ground and them circling and/or ripping into it. I wanted it to be at night so we could see the flash of their eyes. I wanted there to be some blood, but not too gruesome.
Working it a little more. Smoothing things out.
I wasn’t quite sure what kind of colors I had, but I knew I wanted snow and fog, almost like it was a warmer winter night. This proof turned out to be a little too dark.
I added some vague colors, the only thing really popping being the setting (or rising) sun in the background and the blood. But, I thought… I liked this texture I had:
I just didn’t like it everywhere, so I did a little give and take to come up with the final work: