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Black Library: Damocles by ukitakumuki Black Library: Damocles by ukitakumuki
Check out the e/book here! :…
Illustration Games Workshop
Art director/producer: Karen Miksza

The brief for this one was a three-way melee between Kor'sarro Khan of the White Scars, Tau Commander Shadowsun, and Captain Kayvaan Shrike of the Raven Guard, amidst a mixed-force battle of White Scars, Raven Guard, and Cadian IG versus the Tau fighting atop a rocky promontory with jungle.

The main focus of the show is Shadowsun, whom according to the reference and specs sent to me, often fields two shield drones. I thought that could be a perfect excuse to not end up in an awkward "2 on 1" prong attack. So that resulted in our assault marine captain Shrike pulling off a DFA and Kor'sarro timing a strike to take out her shield on one side.

Given the hardback template/format I decided early on to have two back to back crisis suits behind the main trinary to visually frame the action and hopefully some narrative link to what was going on in the background. While sketching in comp ideas I was thinking of World in Conflict FMVs (yeah I watched a compilation vid of the different sequences but set to just Audioslave's Shadow on the Sun... how apt for our Tau commander :p) which inspired that jungle crossfire for the back cover (left of image), along with some physics logic I thought should be observed such as "if plasma based weaponry gets spammed in the general direction of a forest, there should be a moderate to high chance of a forest fire occurring" which kinda explains why we see the charred dirt and branches and hints of trees on fire in the back.

Other favourite points of interest that I recall from half a year back:

-Singed/scorched Imperial armour versus cracked/gouged tau armour
-Drones buzzing a tree (near the sun)
-Devastator Raven going head on with the battlesuit turned away from us, armour in the process of being seared off chunk by chunk.
-White Scar reading poetry on the lawn in an admirable last stand
-Unfortunate IG, now literally half the man he used to be. Courtesy of being in the open when Tau heavy artillery drops.

Check back soon for The Shape of The Hunt!!!
Add a Comment:
phyzimpa Featured By Owner 2 days ago
not only is this a damn good drawing, it has tau getting their asses kicked. you trying to make me cry of joy or something?
cheeselover555 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
Thing is, after this SHE'S NOT DEAD. I'm just about done.
turtlegate107 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2015
Pfff, The homegirl Shadowsun got dis!!! No prob she just likes to yell before she owns dem noobs lol 😁
SkyPotatoFire Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015
Very nice image of raw emotion of a battle.
mrjon17 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015
Thank you for sharing :) (Smile)

Joker iphone Wallpaper
Jeova0sanctus0unus Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2015
oi oi oi, but let´s be honest, they never stood a chance against Shrike, or am i wrong?
Dragon-the-Tribrid Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Shadowsun looks like she's in trouble! The poor girl!
Elouq Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015
Very nice work of course, there's no denying that. However, I admit I do not like the portrayal of Shadowsun in this image, nor does it make much sense.
SFaccountant Featured By Owner May 27, 2015
I love how that one Crisis Suit is just sort of watching as Shadowsun is double-teamed by Astartes leaders.
"Should I... Should I help? I dunno. I think she's got this. I probably don't need to help."
Warhammer40kfanatic Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015
This is gorgeous!
guterrez Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
your work is amazing! the dynamic action puts you right in the middle of it.
any chance to see wip shots?
AngaelWings Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Student General Artist
more raven guard plzzz
qjs83 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014
I love it look like Tau got sandwich
Ravenkeeper Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
that tau commander is a gonner ^^; rocking action picture =)
Jase3gt Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
These are so awesome!
Chickendude Featured By Owner May 7, 2014   Writer
Incredibly gorgeous work, but as a Tau player I'm simmering with contempt for you portraying Shadowsun getting pwnd. On the tabletop each of her 2 S8 AP1 BS5 fusion blasters can insta-kill Kor'sarro Khan and Kayvaan Shrike at the same time.
Disembowell Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
Just assume the Crisis suit casting a glance at Shrike is actually about to explode his side wide open with a salvo from its Fusion Blaster, allowing Shadowsun time to swing round and slug a reeling Khan in his exposed face!

(...or not, everyone has to die but not everyone dies in such epic fashion)
ukitakumuki Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Don't shoot the messenger! :fear: Such was the brief

Thank you for the kind words nontheless! :)
ArtisOneofThem Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
Absolutely stunning work!

Davy-Art Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
Love it!
Badtucker Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
amazing work, tau lady has the wrong amount of fingers on her hand though, should be 4... not 5 :D 
I-am-number-777 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
oh very nice
JRDpaints Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
im very disapointed! its clear to me that ukitakumuki has obviously built a time machine, traveled to the 41st millenniem, taken a photo of this epic battle and then come back here to pass it off as his own artwork! :D
CanadianDesperado Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, technically seeing as how photography is considered a form of art... it would still be his artwork...
Legion1a Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
Stunning image :)
jamga Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
love it man!!! love it so much!
what could you do with the blood angels? niark niark niark
thevampiredio Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
brilliant piece dude!:D
drbrBr Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Stoooop eeet.
This is so awesome. All the little tiny storytelling details, the tying of foreground and background...
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Professional Writer
Another amazing work. :)
dukeleto Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very dynamic composition, tho it begs a few questions about the narrative ( I suppose I'll just have to read the book!)
How did Khan get so close to the centre of a Tau gunline?? (Shrike would find it easier of course, with his pack)
More importantly, how can all three named characters POSSIBLY survive this situation??
Still, amazing painting :+fav:
thenotsowelltaught Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014
breathtaking carnage!nothing screams Warhammer 40k better than that!for the details?I'm speechless,your work is literally godlike in terms of meticulous detail.
GreyMatterExtrusion Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
ArtistikReaper Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That Devastator though
eeLiquid Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
White scars. <3
blackcore11 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
epic work man.
DocWolph Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
"How did this happen? We were having such a nice picnic... Arrrgh!"
Krisis141 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Student Digital Artist
DUUUDE. Stop being such a good artist. Geeez. No but seriously don't ever stop. You capture exactly what I want to see from Warhammer 40k. I wish there was more canon like this. Keep being awesome.
Antaria-Nova Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
This reminds me once again how much I want to see a bigger and more complex/detailed WH 40K-based shooter and also strategy game. They could crank up Dawn of War a notch or two. Also, I really want to get Tau and Necrons in there together with what races Dawn of War II already has to offer.

That aside, you've done another stunning and finely detailed piece of work here. Please do keep it up. It always provides a good while of just staring and admiring all the details. :)
dukeleto Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
the action & atmosphere of DoW2 was spot on, really reignited my love for 40K, but in terms of the gameplay, I found the small-scale squad level focus really disappointing. I wanted BIGGER battles after DoW!
Antaria-Nova Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
Right. Same for me. I was likewise disappointed with the reduction in scale. The increased pop-cap costs and such. It would be so awesome if you could have, say, 4 predator tanks backed up by 3 space marine squads and a pair of devastators, a scout squad for detection, perhaps a plasma devastator as artillery support and a pair of dreadnoughts to wade into the fray and smash enemy infantry. I can imagine those 2 dreadnoughts busting trough a wall, followed by the tanks and the infantry, then spreading out into a looser formation and advancing towards an enemy base.
That's something I'd want.

I loved the feel of some bigger battles you could do in DoW 1, especially with orks and IG where you could field an obscene amount of infantry.
MeLucky Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
I'm going to assume that crisis suit behind her will save her life as Shrike is a friggin badass and is literally about to tear her up.
Also realise that Tau have slower reflexes than NORMAL, yeah.
Alejandro-Mirabal Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Oh man, so pretty. I love the light!
Zelphis Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014
White Scars and Raven Guard working in Tandem? You Tau are so purged.

But on a more serious note: The artwork is gorgeous and I love that I can let my eyes roam across the entirety of the image enjoying all the great detail work you've put into it.
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
My nose is 3 inches off the monitor trying to soak up all the glorious details.  ;)
Especially armour textures; glossy RG, matte WS/Tau.
Enjoying the flare of the local star, also the Raven Guard devestator @ left.
Sebastian-Stuart Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I've been waiting for some visceral, lived in art for Warhammer 40k to arrive and not only have I found it in your work - but finally I have been able to track you down be able to say thank you, superb work and some very much original within the bounds GW often requires.It was the 'Sentinels of Terra' Imperial Fist cover that got my attention, great work and really encapsulated what I envisage the hell storm a Marine can fight through.

Right up there with THQ's rendition of Marines - top stuff.
SirRinge Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Damocles was a joint strike, right?
bnka Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Looks great !
Galishai Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014
This piece of art is full of win.  Everything I love about WH40k.
10119060 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014
Really nice!!!
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Submitted on
March 15, 2014
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