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Submitted on
March 13, 2013
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61.2 MB
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Dawn of the Icon by Inna-Vjuzhanina Dawn of the Icon by Inna-Vjuzhanina
I totally understand how no one likes reading long artist’s comments, but I really ask you to take few mins and read the idea of the piece. I didn’t want to create smth. that will be simply visually appealing, I put a lot of thoughts and ideas into this piece and I would be really happy to know that you took few minutes to read description to smth. that I’ve been creating for long weeks.


When developing the concept of a survivor I didn’t want to show Lara in the midst of the action or in some life threatening situation. You can get washed out on the shore after a shipwreck and you will be called a survivor, for me the real survivor is who HAS survived in the end, who came through all the trials and was strong and resourceful enough to reach the top alive.

This reboot was meant to bring back the classic Lara into the spotlight, to tell her story. So I wanted to tell a little story in this piece too combining few key elements in the composition. First of all I needed Lara exiting a tomb. I necessarily wanted to indicate this is not just some random cave she’s standing in, but exactly a tomb. If you take a close look you’ll notice faint markings on both walls (this is how tombs in the new TR are indicated). I wanted to symbolically make this tomb like Lara’s final trial after completing which you get a final “piece of the mosaics” which clicks in its place turning her into the woman we know. Hence her pose. I depicted Lara is in a fighter stance, I wanted to capture the moment of her turning around and confidently rising her head towards the viewer. Covered in dirt and blood with ragged clothes and heavily bandaged, but fearless.

Lighting is very important part of the piece too. The new game is predominantly made in blue-greenish colors, I wanted to depict everything dark and sinister receding back into the cave while Lara steps from the shadows into the light to face the dawn of her new life. While her whole figure is still covered in shadow the first rays of sun are already lighting her face.

And here finally comes the part with the shadow she is casting. I made a little surreal turn with this, to emphasize that despite the fact that she is still wearing the clothes and hairstyle of the scared girl who appeared in the beginning, inside she is not like that anymore, she is the icon that can be confused with no one, she is the icon stepping into the dawn of her new life.

If you read till this point, I wholeheartedly thank you. :heart: Now you can skip the next part for it will be technical information only.


Tools: painted from a scratch in Photoshop. No textures or photobrushes or whatnot used. Created with basic PS presets + I made own brushes to get some parts better.

Time: eternity, really. Well if seriously, since the day the contest was announces I spent like 2-3 days thinking over different ideas and choosing this one as final. 1,5-2 weeks for shooting references, reading some tutorials, making researches. Around 3 weeks the painting process itself.

References: base of the stones was done looking at some stones I found in the neighborhood, most part of it was painted from imagination based on the made research, observations and tutorials.
I made own reference for Lara’s pose just to get the anatomy right, all the features were changed completely.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (c) Square Enix & Crystal Dynamics
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Tiancum Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i love how much thought went into this one. great work with the lighting and colors. i mean, the shadow should probably be a bit longer, given the angle of the sun, but i like how the shadow becomes her future "classic" self, so it doesn't matter too much. a beautiful piece all around, and one of your best in my opinion. :nod:
Inna-Vjuzhanina Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, you're right, the shadows are way too short for such a low light. But at the time of creating the piece I was a total fool ignorant of all the principles of picture making :D Thank you so much for the kind words thought, great to see people are still liking my old work :hug:
Babou-Shka Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
Inna-Vjuzhanina Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awww, thanks :hug:
Babou-Shka Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
You're welcome :aww:
Kingoftheplatypus Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Wow just WOW ! I love this pic, the lightning is perfect the pose is excellent and I particularly love the shadow of the old Lara. The background with the Japanese statue and the little details of the painting on the cave make it even more perfect, and, as I'm proud to tell you that I've read all of your description =D, I can tell that I totally love your vision of the new Lara Croft and how you made this pic.  
Inna-Vjuzhanina Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Awww, thank you so much, your comment totally made my day :aww: :heart: And sorry for the late reply :hug:
Kingoftheplatypus Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013
You're very welcome it is really an awesome pic !
No problem for the late reply (usually I just don't have reply at all =D)
lawsonme12 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
I am a wordy man, but words fail me right now. I am in love with this piece. My words may fail, but your amazing art prevails. Thanks for this depiction of the gorgeous survivor that we all yearn to know and love to love. I love it. I love it. Did I mention that I love it... Thanks for the amazing art. You rock my socks off. I only have one question: Why didn't you win this contest?
Inna-Vjuzhanina Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You're adorable, your comment really made my day :heart: Ah, I just wanted to put so much sense and meaning into it which ended up being meaningful, but looking not too good. Should have gone for just an action scene with fancy effects :D But the winner is great, I love the first place piece so much :heart:
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