Seeing as there is quite some interest in my latest Vega piece, I will expand further on it to give all that are interested, an insight into how my brain works when it comes to making my art.
My reason for drawing fan art is because I like to have subjects that are already established, leaving me the freedom to focus on practicing and experimenting techniques (I am very much still learning), while at the same time being able to express my appreciation of the subjects and share that with their fans. Having said that, I rarely just draw a character for the sake of it. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I just like to give my drawings a bit more thought and depth so I usually have some sort of concept that revolves around an interpretation of the character.
So "why is Vega your favourite character?" I hear you ask. Yes, he is beautiful and I do love my pretty boys - they are an absolute joy to draw, but I'm not that superficial Beyond his visually pleasing exterior, he is a rather complex and interesting character for anyone who cares to analyze it. I'm not sure if Capcom intended for him to be so when they designed him and gave him his backstory, but boy did they gift us with one of the best characters ever to be created.
My very good friend proposed a Vega drawing challenge for the both of us and she had the idea that we should try and interpret his character and the significance of his tattoo being a snake in particular. The interpretation could've gone in any direction for either of us and while we did completely different drawings, the take on the idea was very similar as we discussed them. So strap yourselves in for the break down and blow by blow of the symbolism in both of our pieces and how they came to be:
by by me
- You'll noticed that in both, Vega is caught between the viewer and the face of a wall in a dark, pit like environment. Normally you could say for someone caught with fresh blood dripping from their hands and claws in this situation that they're compromised. But as we see it, it demonstrates Vega's power - his confidence in his abilities means that he isn't afraid to be caught, rather he looks back with defiance as if daring/taunting you to come closer in a "are you my next victim?" kind of way.
- There is blood and it's everywhere except on his body for mine. The way I saw it was that Vega is an efficient killer and he needn't get it all over himself to stain his clothes and hair, spoiling his good looks (being the narcissist that he is, he'd be fussed about that.) Criscura had some on his hand and I think it works too because Vega relishes the blood of his victims and we know how much he likes to lick it up and stuff But that's my reading of her drawing and I'll let her speak on that if she wishes
- Eyes are windows into the soul. While I usually try to give sparkle and life to those I draw, I deliberately made them almost pupil-less and blank as has my friend with hers (the left eye in the shadow.) They are devoid of warmth, emotion and mercy, subtle symptoms of someone who is far too gone to be saved though his beautiful exterior mightn't give away the darkness lurking beneath. I have also muted my colour palette as such so that his skin has a slightly sickly hue, which also plays into that sinister nature of his.
- No movement is suggested other than in the non living things around him - the slowly dripping blood, his signature rose petal calling card and his sash and hair. He is posed in haughty confidence in a way that is an extension of that snake/monster in that he becomes one as is subtly suggested by the sash and hair. The stillness is like an ominous sign that you should be on guard because he can strike any moment now when you least expect it.
- So while we know Vega is one loopy guy, we both opted for subtlety rather than depict him with a manic grin, bouncing off walls and yodeling while at it, as most would be expecting that. For us, it was about exploring his character and Vega becoming the personification of darkness - the trauma from the tragic loss of his mother has set him on a path of no return because of the choices he has made. He is in a 'pit' in a literal sense as we have drawn to represent the metaphorical one because of his narcissism, which in Criscura's words is both "liberating and confining...he can physically go wherever he wants, say whatever he wants, satisfy no one's needs other than his own...but that lack of connection to other people traps him in a very lonely place where the light doesn't touch and people don't come to visit, they only come to kill him or be killed." She goes on to say:
"In that lonely place, he doesn't have anything to depend on but himself, and for everything. He has his back to the wall. If he wants money, he earns it. If he need confidence, he makes it. If he's craving love, nobody will give it to him except for him. So he's got to love himself.
He preens his pretty face and keeps his body clean because that's all he's got...and because there's no hope for the spirit inside, which will only get even more rotten and revolting as time goes on. Like falling petals, like dripping blood, he can't stop it from happening any more than he can make time go backwards. All he can hope for is to keep himself the way he is. He stays pretty to cover up how ugly he is, just in hopes that he'll earn his own love. It's that kind of pitiful duality that also makes him sympathetic - that, despite all his killing and insults and snobbishness--makes him "spotless" in our eyes... he's also more beautiful because of it...which is the first and last thing you notice about the picture." - ain't she a poet! :3
This little drawing exercise really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I appreciated that - while I enjoy dark themes, it's doesn't come naturally for me when I draw for some reason... I guess it's also a sign of maturity in a way to think beyond the obvious and deliver something unexpected and fresh for a subject that we assume we already know.
Sorry that was so long... thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed that as much as we enjoyed creating and discussing them!