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Half Elf Mage

Last night I put the finishing touches on a character portrait for a client. For reference, here’s the description I was given (which was the rare combination of brief and highly descriptive):

“The characters name is Traben. He is a half-elf wizard.
Traben looks 17 years of age, stands at 5’4”, with shoulder length brown hair that is disheveled. His cheek bones and jaw are angular. The back of his ears taper to a point. His eyes are a bright emerald green, but not angular as a full elf would have. His face for this portrait, should show a look of concentration and excitement. (I bet I will have more portraits of Traben =-] ).
Traben is a serf by birth, and then lived with a hermit as apprentice. He wears old worn clothing, with little tears and worn appearance. His shirt is a rustic long sleeved faded red. Breeches of brown wool, and worn over all this is a gray wool cloak, hood down. In one hand a Straight Oak staff, charred black on one end. In the other his spell book, a well kept thick tome, full of runes going every which direction on the pages. Bound in deep brown leather, on the cover is a circle with a hexagon inside, each corner touching the circle. I want Traben sitting on a boulder, staff in the crook of his arm, the book cracked open in the other with Traben reading intently and happily”

I sent them both of the versions above because I think I actually like leaving the sketch layer visible (as seen on the left) but I could imagine folks wanting to only see the clean ‘inks’ (on the right).

Which made me curious – what do you think? If you were to commission me for a character portrait, and could only have one or the other, which would you pick? Why?

Leave your thoughts below, and if you have any critiques, I would love to hear it!