Stalking (2019)

[Original manuscript]

“Malena was closing in on her quarry. Instinctively she knew her scent and presence would be masked by the light breeze coming from the Polar sink that whipping up sand flurries around her carefully placed footsteps. However the tracks puzzled her. They were obviously made by something bipedal – they had to have been made by humanoid as no other Wesdrakian wildlife walked on two hind legs – but these tracks were too carelessly and regularly placed to be Sadusi. It could not be an adolescent childling that had slipped out of the g’havara before the dawns. Sadusi children instinctively knew how to traverse the dunes of the open deserts almost as soon as they could walk.

…Malena looked at the sky off to her right – there was a storm coming. A Devourer – and a large one. She wondered if she could reach the distant scarp before the storm arrived. She picked up her pace and replaced the breath mask of her moisture suit over her nose and mouth…”


Technical aspects: Early on in the process, when I decided to revisit “the Annals of Malena”, I decided to confine my compositions to a portrait orientation becuase I saw this artwork as illustrations in a novel. This meant that much of the artwork of the original series would have to be reworked. “Stalking” was no exception. When I started with a basic pose, adding a “dune” (essentially a triangular prism) I rotated the camera around the scene until something inside me clicked. Only after printing out the initial image and drawing in some perspective and construction lines, I found that the composition closely conformed to the “Golden Section” – that is why it clicked!

I used 3d-Coat to sculpt the dunes and the distant rocks, and after retopologizing and texturing them, I pulled them into Daz Studio to complete the image. And old version of Marvelous Designer created the extra clothing items with a wind simulation applied. A Wacom Intuos tablet and Affinity Photo turned the final render into something that looks like oil painting on canvas.

Worlds in the Making