I’m working on a piece for the ChoW over at ConceptArt.org called Koschei the Immortal. He’s an old Russian/Slavic folk-character who has hidden his soul away and thus is immortal. But he looks ancient and bony (Koschei is similar to the word for “bones”) and pretty horrible. If one could find and destroy the receptacle into which he’s placed his soul, they could destroy him. (The receptacle is usually a pin inside an egg inside a hare inside a duck inside a chest on an island in the middle of the sea.)
So here’s what I’ve got so far. I’m still rendering out details and polishing, but don’t want to go too far with it, because I like the immediacy and energy of the strokes. The hat, boots and kilt are recent additions to make him feel less like a generic undead or crazed prospector, and to give him a touch of Russian flavor.
So I’m pretty settled on the latest hat he’s wearing: I went through several different ones, from a fairly standard Russian nasal helm, to a Russian Orthodox headdress, to a traditional Russian fur hat with flaps. Playing with the various layers I stumbled across the fur-hat-with-flaps combined with the top of the nasal helm. It’s my favorite, and I feel like it evokes a bit of that Russian/Turkish thing. It carries the directional energy of the figure more than the others, too. I liked the priestly thing, but I feel like it was breaking the directional energy of the figure too much. The fur hat seemed a little anachronistic, and the original helmet was a little boring and didn’t feel “Russian” enough.
P.S. When I say “Russian”, “Turkish” and “Slavic”, I mean these things in only the most broad and sophomoric way. I didn’t do a lot of cultural research for this!