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Shepard And Samara - Quiet Reflection by rsek Shepard And Samara - Quiet Reflection by rsek
A Mass Effect 3 commission for ~flatlinedreams.

My commission info is here.

This is the most complex painting I've ever done, but I wanted to push myself with a challenging piece. I budgeted extra time for that but between my own perfectionism and some real life issues cropping up, it took longer than I anticipated. The bright side is that I don't think I'll be forgetting that particular lesson in workflow and time-management any time soon.

Flatlinedreams was wonderfully patient with me, and provided a very detailed description of what he was after. An excerpt, since I think he put it better than I could:

"[...] The idea is that after the events of Mass Effect 3, Samara has decided to resign as a Justicar. The scene is supposed to symbolize Samara having her old armor in the display case so that she can remember her past, but she has moved on from that, and Shepard is there with her."

I couldn't find any existing reference photos to my satisfaction, and I wanted to get the lighting, perspective, and reflections right. What I ended up doing was teaching myself a little about Blender (a free, open-source 3d modelling program), grabbing some in-game models from the Mass Effect 3 (including Samara's unused gown from the citadel DLC!), and arranging (and rearranging...) them until I finally had a composition I was happy with. Game assets are pretty low-poly and look on the stiff side even with some work posing them, but as long as I used them for reference only and not a literal copy, I was golden. I took a lot of artistic liscence with Samara's gown in particular.

In a way, using 3d models like that is just a digital extension of using maquettes (small scale models) as a lighting reference. The real thing is always going to be better because of how complex light is, but the flexibility of modelling a reference in 3d is really handy. And much more convenient in my itty-bitty suite, where space to paint is at a premium, let alone sculpt!

(Can't say I have many glass domes around, either...)

All in all I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and I learned so much from doing a composition beyond my regular portrait work - much of which I couldn't have anticipated beforehand, but that's the stuff I probably needed to learn most!

Tools: Krita (and a little Blender, for lighting reference only) under Linux Mint 15 (KDE edition); Wacom Intuos4 4"x"6".

Samara, Shepard, and Mass Effect are all (c) Bioware, of course.
Add a Comment:
Mantic64 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2016
Wait, Wheres Shepards Armor?
PHEOLIA Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. What a beautiful scene. I could cry.
drakenimmortal Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
A peaceful moment perfectly captured.  This is great work, thank you for sharing.
Even without much romance those two forged a strong bond. 
NewGuy13 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014
Femshep: So.... You thinking what I'm thinking?
Samara: Hells yes!!
techgi19 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
are justicars similar to spectres? Wow Femshep and samara, two poweful species
Shuriken123 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Student General Artist
This is cool.
mk456 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
If you romanced her in MA2 and you get that citidale DLC and you remain loyal in her romance she indeed says 'my way of life is a dying one...I must honor my code and make no promises' she says this after shepard tells her to 'live in the moment' Id like to think had Shepard avoided the SNAFU he got himself into. This would have been a foreseeable future. 
OutLawAl Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Impressive! (:'D)
zoompixs Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
Very moving.  WELL done!
killacam1982 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I Promise you. This deserve a frame with an accent light over it. Totally great, You deserve more comments.
nightchildmoonchild Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Wonderful work!
yuhime Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's a beautiful picture. :)
botsketch Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nice :)
ActuallyFenHarel Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Professional Writer
This is beautiful. It's not my ship, but there is something so perfect about this, so serene. It's not something you get in ME fanart much. Really well done!
gearseffect Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013
as a hardcore DudeShep/Samara shipper (like they're MY ME canon ship) this fills with with so many feels. Wonderful work. I LOVE IT!
wizjer Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Totally stunning!
anonrahem Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013
Saw this on reddit, awesome.
Exar-Kun-IV Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Holy S%$T.

that is simply amazing.
Shard1k Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
sliferred123 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
simply amazing
Crazyman0 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
This is one of my favorite Samara and post ME3 pics ever!

With all the amazing fan art and fan fiction of Mass Effect it's a real shame it's unmodable.
Carter-Kaine Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
*overcome by feels of this ship*
ChaosAvatar18 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
I love this, it's so well done, and you can really feel the emotion from the artwork. I'd love to see something like this for my other favorite pairings. MShep/Tali and MShep/Kasumi
SiwaPyra Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is seriously awesome! The idea is great and I love how you drew/painted it. Great, great job!
BelovedofTHEKING Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist
this is really amazing. I love the story i see with out reading anything. I also really like the colors =) and the distorted reflection in the glass is really cool also. 
ScionicSpectre Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, sweet atmosphere. I've always wondered about using Blender just to more easily get correct lighting in scenes, not to mention as a color reference for reflected light.
carpeomnios Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This looks amazing *__*
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Submitted on
September 7, 2013
Image Size
13.0 MB


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