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Submitted on
February 4
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4.0 MB


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Cast in Shadow by Dreamkeepers Cast in Shadow by Dreamkeepers
Our new full-size Dreamkeepers poster, featuring virtually the entire cast of the graphic novel series to date.  This was a doozy to draw- check out the progress videos here:  

Literally the largest illustration I’ve ever attempted.  I’m satisfied with how it came out, and glad we took on the challenge.  If I could only use a single image to show somebody what Dreamkeepers is all about, I think this would be it.

Special thanks goes to our Kickstarter backers- this artwork was triggered by their awesome support when we hit the first stretch goal on the Prelude Collection drive, and they voted on the subject matter.

Now that we’ve fulfilled rewards to our backers (including a copy of this poster to every one of them) the remaining copies are available in our site store.…

Thank you to everyone who made this possible, it was a lot of fun to make and I’m excited to show the final piece around!
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I think this piece of art deserves a full critique instead of just a comment. So let's start:

The first impression of the work, that comes to my mind, is a dark toned feeling with elements of mystery, threat and fear. The overall number of the characters feels a bit overwhelming, but not overcrowded for a knowing reader. More like a warfield picture, where details are first spotted at the second view. If I would give the picture a short description, it would be 'clash of fates'.

The layout has a loose positioning structure without being too strikt, organising the most characters in fitting connected groups like the Troika, the dark dreamkeepers, the nightmares, the government or the main heroes.
The focus is on the main cast, where the other groups are organised around them in a halfed circle action line. That underlines the main cast without focussing too much on them.
The placement at all is well chosen, placing groups like the Troika and the government against each other, but the 'main evil' as a constant thread in the upper half and background.

The placing ground of the characters is multishaped, featuring locations from the story. They blend in each other very good with a believable transition, without cutting the picture in strict pieces.

The background with the stars and clouds looks convincing and maches the detailed rest of the picture. The moon may be too clean drawn and detailed, drawing too much attention and putting it too close in the foreground.

The characters are drawn dynamically and in motion, giving the picture a flowing living touch and breaking with the problem of group shots being too static and thus uninteresting.

The details are high and sometimes, like the motion, throwing up questions, for example Kalei evoking some power not yet seen. Or the whole 'Neon Knives' cast, where the reader may ask: Will there be more focus on some characters of them just seen as background until now?
A recurrent pattern are the ryuu-nekos placed all around the picture, some being mere decoration, some being part of the story. There are many detailed elements to discover if one views longer at the picture and searches around. It invites the viewer to take a closer look.

The overall color sheme appears to be based on a variance of purple, grey and blue tones, supporting the dark and mysterious feel, but also making it feel cold and denying. A viewer not familiar with the story gets the impression of Dreamkeepers being a more horror based storyline. If thats right or not one should find out on its own ;) Maybe the picture is a bit too purple based at all.

The drawing style is detailed and clean without significant errors to find. The shadowing is a mix between mostly cell-shading, combined with soft-shading to support a three-dimensional look and picture depth. The ground and object surface patterns look convincing and believable.

Conclusion: The art consists of clean, well set lines and drawn with high technique ability, featuring a great variance of details and variety. For the knowing reader, it is a pleasure to look closer to it and find all the story relevant characters and even some background ones. Some elements throwing up story questions, making it more interesting.
For a new reader or an unknowing viewer it may be a bit overwhelming with too many characters. Though the positioning tries to focus some spots like the main cast to break with that impression. The positioning itself is chosen with thought and not just mere by accident.
The idea of a group shot of a story cast is not new, but the dynamic and interesting poses and the combined settings and completeness of the appearing characters of the story offers unequaled opportunities.
The color sheme supports the dark and mysterious feeling, but may be a bit too purple based, if one doesn't like that color.
So if you like anthro comic art and a dark setting with many details, there is no reason to not approve it highly. For Dreamkeeper readers this picture is a must have in the favourites list. I would hang it as a poster in my room :D
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InMyDefence Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I want this poster. I want to buy a poster frame for it and keep it nice. This is awesome :D
dragonslayer0945 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
VM893 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
that women sitting with paige…could that perhaps be her mother?
InMyDefence Featured By Owner Edited Dec 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That's Kalei, sister to Jeneviv (…, though what I don't know is what she's doing with Paige... I know of no connection between those two characters. Kalei's the girl who was sacrificed at the start of Volume 1. Jeneviv is the girl Grunn had locked in his boat, for some reason.
soundestguitar Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014
So cool! :)
stephbadbadger Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2014
i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant imagine how LOOOONG this has taken for you to draw! im impressed that you drew this O_O good job man, keep up the good work and may your comic be a HUGE success! Clap  
Lean07 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014  Hobbyist Interface Designer
wonderful cast assembly Ika Musume (Sparkle Eyes) [V1]    Kao Emoji-06 (Shy) [V1] 

more than half of them already appeared and I find myself wishing there was more characters Racing Girl Emoji (My life) [V4] 

great comic!! the story and characters are so gripping and exciting! I'm eagerly waiting for updates  Anime Emoji (Oh yay dance) [V3] Masato Inohara (Dance 4) 
shadowhunter131 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014
Just amazing. All I can say.
A-man3713 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014
... I am without words... THIS IS GODLIKE!!!!!
JazzDreamer Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014
Wow. more than wow, this is awesome to extreme levels! This must've taken so long to do! It's so detailed!
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