Abderramán and his horse finished like that where they admire each other, but I assure you that the illustration began being different...
Like the illustration of Marco Valerio Hispánico, this illustration of Abderramán, is also part of the book (still in the making and in the campaign of patronage) that brings together different historical figures from the Iberian Peninsula, which are being interpreted by different illustrators.
Abderramán was, in short, the first independent emir of Córdoba and the builder of the mosque of Córdoba (year 785), which today is an architectural symbol (precious and monumental) of Muslim Spain.
[Photos bellow of the Mosque of Córdoba made by Barbara Desiderato]
The research I did on the historical figure was somewhat difficult since there have been many "Abderramans" and there were readings in which the data of each of them was crossed, in addition to very few illustrated representations, which interested me above all to see the clothing.
If you want to find out more, I found these links to blogs that address the historical topic much better than me :)
I didn't know anything about him, if the teachers ever told us at school about him I don't remember it (maybe I was drawing ...), but I had quite clear the composition I wanted to make and the protagonist's face, so let's go into work ! I did not want a heroic or warlike illustration, I think I already put a dose of that on Marco Valerio. In this I had to reflect other aspects and I wanted to include 3 key elements:
· I read that most of his conquests were made riding a white war horse for the same reason I liked to imagine Abderramán as someone who loves and fully trust his horse. The horse had to come out in the illustration.
· The Mosque of Cordoba is another element that I had in consideration but I didn't want to make a Background with the monument, I was more interested in doing something symbolic such as the red and white stripes arches or the floral motif tiles.
· And of course, Abderramán, who before seeing the engraving (at the beginning of this post) had already imagined him with dark skin, long beard and angular features crowned by a turban.
I made a moodboard of references:
Everything had to be of very simple lines and of warm and contrasted colors. So I did this:
Although it served as the basis to devise the final composition, I discarded it right away, the characters I made did not convey anything to me and now I'm glad I gave a round to all the work :D
I don't usually draw male characters and much less horses, I saw that I needed to give more practice to this and, as I said in the post about this same illustration on Instagram, I think it is useful to show that "shameful" part behind a project, the making of it It gives me a lot of value because it shows all this process that is done until the final work.
I like to see the process of artists that I follow and see that in the end it is a bunch of practices and hours, sometimes some frustration but with a very good final feeling.
Your drawing does not have to go right the first time to be good, you do not have to leave the first time to feel satisfied :)
I show you a couple of horse sketches of the many that I was doing when I was returning by train after leaving work, and of Abderramán, who also had to practice it but had clearer features:
I discarded the idea of the simple lines and the "preschool style" I had given it on the first try. Based on the sketches of Abderramán and the premise that he loves his horse, I started to sketch something like this:
And I put base colors and defined lines.
If you notice, I eliminated the right ear of the horse because it seemed to break the curve formed by the two silhouettes together, the cinch also changed it several times, I wanted it to have those typical decorations and refills but it attracted too much attention and little by little I was giving other forms.
I defined some lights and shadows, I also gave a lot of turns to the mane of the horse, at the beginning it was going to be white but there was too much "spot" white, I also put some of those little white spots that some have on the fur and that I liked how they were in the sketches I did previously.
On the other hand I put eyebrows on the horse to "humanize" (I think there is no character in the animated films that doesn't have eyebrows or, at least, humanized expressions. #INFLUENCES)
Neutral and warm background...
Very, very warm ... super warm, with the evening sun shining on the Mosque that we are in Cordoba!
And finally I put more light zones that enter on the left (they are in Overlay), I made a grain filter and some color adjustments in the Abderramán turban, the skin and the composition in general... this is the result:
I hope you enjoyed it!