It’s been a while since I’ve drawn wings.
I mean, realistically, it’s only been a few months. I did draw a full set of stretched out wings in a medical setting that I didn’t really publish anywhere. I just had a need for gore and drew a bit of gore along with some wings, and I also wanted, in that piece, to show an actual sense of the scale of Azra’s wings, which I don’t often get to depict. That one I completed in April (I can’t even believe it’s been that long already!) so I was hankering doing some wings.
I was thinking a lot about this idea of how anyone would fight fast-flying vampires with huge bird wings. Chance are you’d have to be pretty strong, and you’d need some very sturdy arrows. Your best chance against these particular vampires would be to find a way to bring them down — that would mean aiming for the wings and hoping to pin one to the body hard enough that it couldn’t be broken free of very easily. Okay, so we’ve got one element… A big ol’ arrow through the wing, probably a chance shot that pins to the ribs on the front.
I didn’t really want him staggering. I wanted him looking a little more like he was getting up from a tumble.
More elements: You’d probably want to ambush these vampires, because they do tend to armor their tender spots. So catching them off guard is key — not when they’re going out to fight someone, but rather when they think they don’t need armor, so maybe when they’re going to look for animals for food.
Then let’s throw in some character specifics: Azra tends to go for light armor because he thinks the normal, standard Durandalite armor is too heavy and cumbersome. He may have large wings but he’s a lean, smaller vampire in comparison to many. He will optimize his speed and agility anywhere he can. So regardless of when he’s caught, Azra’s probably under-armored anyway. But, also, Azra is one of the few vampires who tempts the sunlight. He is not as photosensitive as others and will go out as the sun is setting, so it’s easier to catch him without a “flock” of others nearby.
Then there were some other thoughts, too. What would someone who gracelessly tumbled from the ground look like? They’d probably try to break their fall with their hands and their arms, leaving them at least a little scuffed up. Then the feathers would probably get a bit mangled in parts, too. There’s blood, of course — he did get pelted with arrows — and he really has no choice but to remove the flight-impeding arrows to get back into the air anyway.
Those were my thoughts! I think it came out okay. I tried some new methods for texture on the wings that I’m not sure I’ll use in the future, but I do enjoy the color palette… Which you can thank Pinterest for. 🙂