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Marco Valerio Hispánico

This gladiator is Marco Valerio Hispánico, character that many will know to have been interpreted by Russell Crowe in "Gladiator" of Ridley Scott. Knowing this I tried to create a new character and not to portray R. Crowe, I wanted to make a man very strong and with Iberian features (¿? :D), brown skin, brown hair, dark eyes…

I decided that the illustration had to have an epic aspect but without resorting to a fight scene. At first I considered drawing the moment in which the gladiator enters the Coliseum but finally I thought that drawing the moment in which he has already beaten the opponent, and looks at Caesar waiting for the verdict of the thumb, could be equally epic and also could resolve as a moment in which in the scene does not have to see either the Caesar or the rival.

Lorena loguen marco valerio hispanico by lorena loguen

Things I had clear: afternoon light, everything very warm, dusty, muscles! not much clothing and draped to give that touch of Roman sculptures, massive coliseum background, sloping perspective, low angle view and a very pictorial cartoon.

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I think it's interesting to say that I gave a thousand laps to the pose before concluding with the "winner" pose. I knew I wanted to show only the protagonist but first I tried some combat poses that did not finish convincing me.

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I discarded the previous poses and the first thing I did was throw two inclined lines in the background. These lines were to determine the coliseum. In this way he gave action to the image and could situate the character.

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I looked for many reference images, they are great to look at the muscles, the colors... With this illustration I did not intend to do a demonstration of anatomical control but knowing that I wanted to make a man burly and athletic I needed references.

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I tried with a pose with open arms, looking up. I researched the armor and robes of the gladiators. I'm very interested in working the attitude, the expressions of the character and for today I need to draw their look.

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...and muscles, and the skin tone of a gladiator had to be very dark. I used a gradient layer to make the lower part darker, this part was also meant to work less because my main focus was the face/torso/hand of the sword.

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I wanted a coliseo totally epic and huge, with exaggerated forms, crowd of people... but also wanted to be interpreted in the background and that was not defined, I defined some form and did a lot of spot work.

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I applied a stone texture to the wall and defined general lighting.
For the upper light I used a blurred brush and made two points in a layer in "Overlay" mode, I wanted to make a very hot afternoon, as if the gladiator had been fighting for hours.

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I didn't work much more the background, I considered that it wasn't necessary. I make this kind of decisions when I'm drawing, what elements matter to me and which ones serve me "only" of support and, in this case, the background is only a support.

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I applied a lens blur filter and then I refined some areas with the blur tool, lowered the color intensity of the background.

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