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Black Library: Trials of Azrael by ukitakumuki Black Library: Trials of Azrael by ukitakumuki
Check out the audiobook here! : www.games-workshop.com/gws/cat…
Illustration © Games Workshop
Art director/producer: Karen Miksza
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This is probably the first time I've heard of a writer wanting to edit his script to include details inspired by the cover artwork! Truly honoured... now I have to get the audiobook by C Z Dunn to hear for myself if it did happen :p

The brief was pretty epic in a sense, with two titans of the 40K universe facing off- Khârn the Betrayer versus Commander Azrael of the Dark Angels aboard a navy vessel, a trail of bodies and carnage left in their wake.

The first thing that came to mind compositionally was a hangar or bridge of sorts, something to frame the action and provide some context. The idea of pillars came to mind, I suppose in way of visual metaphor for the 'trials' or general hardship that Azrael would endure in this story. The action would come to an end, literally at the stargazing port on the bridge, the reflected light of a nearby moon cascading through the, well, not-so stained glass (I wasn't emotionally prepared to paint a nightclub scene). To top off the drama with a bit of ridiculousness, a short firefight that happened moments before has caused a large breach in the hull, which is another excuse for the floating robes and flying debris :) Finally.. I get to imagine space marine thruster packs put to good use!

Here's a interesting side story of mine to go with this image and why Azrael in particular was particularly... challenging.. for me to illustrate: www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi…
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:iconaudy4o:
audy4o Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015
Whoa so you're the man behind this wondrous Artwork??? Being A DArk Angel player, I love how you made Azrael real :) good job man!
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:iconjohjames:
johjames Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Your work looks more incredible than ever, Uki!
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:icongalvorbak99:
galvorbak99 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014
I like the bullpup combi-plasma.
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:iconthepoweroflogic:
thepoweroflogic Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
Hold up! Azrael held his ground against Kharn? KHARN!? The guy who singlehandedly fractured the world eaters in a blood rage? The guy who's killed so many things he had a device installed in his helm to count them? The greatest of the blood God's mortal champions?! That Kharn?!
At Any rate, this piece is fantastic, it feels like they like both the betrayer and the death angel slayer everything in their path and are ending this combat one on one, the greatest of the lion's angels against the strongest son of the red angel. Awesome.  
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:iconaudy4o:
audy4o Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015
Yeah, THAT Kharn :D Azrael is way much more powerful than we could  imagine, I just wonder what archaic devices his armor holds... ;)
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Stunning!  Truly a moment frozen in time.
I don't have the words...  :D
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:iconkuipe165:
kuipe165 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014
Very inspiring !
Reply
:iconvosszero:
VossZero Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014
I was slightly disappointed by the audiobook because this scene doesn't happen! Kharn kicks Azrael's ass something fierce and Azrael runs away. 
No seriously, he throws chairs and tables at Kharn and runs away. Their duel was all of 2 mins long and Kharn spent the rest of the book chasing Azrael, basically telling him the book can't continue unless the dark angel comes back...but he never does and the book kinda' just ends. 
Reply
:icontheyuantwins:
TheYuanTwins Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome!  And we mean that in the "this is a truly awe-inspiring piece of work" and not "Hang ten, dude!"
Reply
:iconthealdor64:
thealdor64 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014
KHÂRN!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconsolidsanchez:
SolidSanchez Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
This is one of the most epic pieces  of Warhammer 40k artwork there is at the time. Even with only two characters alive and in action, it still breaths "Epic". Spectacular work!

P.S. On the subject of influencing the script - Graham McNeil stated in his introduction to the first Ultramarines Omnibus that he created one of the main characters (namely, sargeant Pasanius) after he saw the cover art.
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:iconmemoryus:
memoryus Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
ouuuuuch VERY NICE!
Reply
:iconricharddoble:
richarddoble Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
note to self: got to get better...
Reply
:iconguterrez:
guterrez Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
wow you have some of the best WH40k stuff in your gallery I have ever seen!
as a fellow Warhammer 40k illustrator I would love to see some progress shots ;)
cheers
Reply
:icondatore:
Datore Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
this is by far one of my favorite azrael pics ever!!!!!
Reply
:iconlemontea:
lemontea Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013
Amazing as always. Reminds me some of your older stuff.
Reply
:icondoodlebugrp:
doodlebugRP Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Student
I must thank you for painting a bullpup bolter. I have another scifi weapon to covet now.
Reply
:iconnacerius:
Nacerius Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013
AAAARRGH WTF man!? this is beyond top-tier pro level skill!! Holy Emperor your art is startlingly awesome! Why aren't you anywhere in GW's artbooks? The world's definitely not fair!?
Reply
:iconevohunter7:
Evohunter7 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013
Just Epic!
Reply
:icon40kwarlord:
40kwarlord Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
Absolutely amazing! Simply awesome! Totally badass! Emperor bless you, ukitakumuki
Reply
:iconradavik:
Radavik Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013
Is that an officer of the fleet, with a sword through his head?
Reply
:iconactionfigureart:
Actionfigureart Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Who will win? 'Cos I'm voting on the red guy.
Reply
:iconbigjim77:
bigjim77 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013
Amazing!
Reply
:iconjefzwang:
Jefzwang Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very interesting bolter pattern.  Probably more than slightly heretical, but who cares?  
Reply
:iconname-changer:
Name-Changer Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
Considering the audio dramas protagonist is Azrael, it's obvious he needs to have the upper hand. Would you have prefered creating artwork with Kharne having the upper hand?
On the critique side, all i have to say is that artwork like this is what sticks with the universe and helps create the atmosphere of the lore itself.
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:iconminidarkcalibur89:
Minidarkcalibur89 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
Epic ! 
Reply
:iconjetrunner:
Jetrunner Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
haha cut the gun in pieces
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:iconthealdor64:
thealdor64 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
EPIC!!!!
Reply
:icontheoggster:
theoggster Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Loving the Bulpup Plasma-Bolter combi Rifle.
Reply
:iconiotshi:
Iotshi Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
AWESOME dude !!!
Reply
:iconknoxymcknox:
KnoxyMcKnox Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing. I am very impressed!
Reply
:iconaaronquinn:
AaronQuinn Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Awesome but a painting? :S those pillars look very 3d rendered xD
Reply
:iconnemodoom:
NemoDoom Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
That plasma pistol don't really look like plasma pistol for me. Looks more like a bolt-pistol or even a bolter.
Reply
:iconknoxymcknox:
KnoxyMcKnox Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It looks fine to me. Bear in mind its being cut in half
Reply
:iconnemodoom:
NemoDoom Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Yeah, but second half is on picture too and it still don't look like "plasma part")
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:iconknoxymcknox:
KnoxyMcKnox Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I dunno man, looks like it could be plasma pistol to me.
Reply
:iconilqar:
Ilqar Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Very impresive work.Did u use some 3D elemets here?
Reply
:iconsirringe:
SirRinge Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Looks like the Berserkers face is getting squished xD Great work :D
Reply
:icongrandartifice:
GrandArtifice Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The favorite button cannot be hit enough on this incredible work of art
Reply
:iconcarlostheraz:
Carlostheraz Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
Wooow bastante inspirador. 
Reply
:iconslashinthecdsp:
SlashInTheCDSP Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A bullpup bolter... That's new.
Reply
:iconkaze09:
kaze09 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
awesome Clap 
Reply
:icontheasorlinsstrike:
TheAsorlinsStrike Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

I think my heart stopped for a few seconds when I saw this.

 

I must see this fight go down.

Reply
:icongideon020:
Gideon020 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
I like that bolter design.
Reply
:iconiumazark:
iumazark Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
ukitakumuki, you handsome
Reply
:iconbackfirejr:
Backfirejr Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The only possible critique I might direct at this is that it looks like you made the cooling part of the plasma gun look like an ammo counter.

Other than that, it looks absolutely fantastic. This is probably one of the best WH40K pieces I've ever seen.
Reply
:iconbackfirejr:
Backfirejr Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hmm... woops, that's the magnetic accelerator coils, but my point still stands xD unless the weapon is damaged somehow, of course.
Reply
:iconmisaki1982:
misaki1982 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
his precious helmet Q_Q
Reply
:iconexogencorp:
ExogenCorp Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013
Is that a bullpup bolter? Are those a thing in the lore?
Reply
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