A long way from idea to realization.

A few years ago, I had the idea to bring to life my most favourite Aspect - Ysera the Dreamer. I am playing druid in WoW and more specifically, the leader of the green dragons family have a special place in my heart. Back then, I didn't have enough experience and courage to tackle such a large and complex project.  But six months ago, I was approached by my regular customer with an offer to repeat the success of the Sindragosa sculpture and perhaps even surpass it.

I already had an idea of what the future sculpture should look like. Originally, the sculpture was supposed to have two dragons - Ysera the Corrupted, lying on the mosaic floor of the Temple of Elune, and the second - the soul of Ysera, soaring into the sky to the moon. But during the discussion of this idea, we encountered some technical problems. The material that I work with is not transparent. Many elements of Ysera the Corrupted are pellucid (especially the wing membranes), and the dragon's soul should be half-transparent like the night sky with stars and blue haze. Unfortunately, we had to give up on this wonderful idea and search for an alternative.

The death of the Aspect in Legion was a heavy blow for many. My beloved Ysera the Awakened has left the lands of Azeroth. That is why we decided to capture the last moment of her life - the image of a still-living Aspect in Val'sharah, a reflection of the Emerald Dream. 

That’s when the work started. First of all, I worked on the sculpture of the dragon itself. The work was slow because there were a lot of small details that couldn't be done on the first try. There were also various difficulties in the process - the neck was short, and I had to cut the head off. My heart bled for it! And then I saw that some of the wings parts were too small, and they had to be "built-up".

A few months later, the modelling of Ysera was completed! It was time to start colouring.

The idea of making Ysera the Corrupted didn't leave me.  So we returned to the discussion of the idea with the customer. I asked him, "What if we combine both images?" And then it hit us! I started to quickly draw a sketch, and after a few edits, we came up with this:

We decided that one part of the dragon will be untouched by the corruption, and the other part since it was already irretrievably lost, will consume the living. But I didn't want to split the dragon into two parts, especially the head elements that were too small. If we divided the head into two colours, the sculpture would lose its integrity. The main idea was to show how the desecration  "crawls" and "absorbs" the living entity. Therefore, the division into two extremes had to be uneven, chaotic. We followed the same idea creating Shaladrassil and the Tear of Elune. The roots of the tree were defiled, which is why the base of the trunks are full of thorns and covered with a black-and-red blight - the Nightmare. Thus, the composition combined two sides - Life and Corruption, the Emerald Dream and the Nightmare. 

After everything was approved, I started colouring the dragon. At first, I was afraid that because of the green base it would be difficult to apply a layer of red paint, but everything turned out just fine. I managed to combine two entities in one!  I was fully satisfied with how I managed to colour Ysera. Then I started working on the pedestal.

The pedestal was very large, even bigger than I expected. But this scope only encouraged me, and I accepted the challenge. At first, I started making the tree. It turned out well. It took only patience and time to work out all the details - the tree bark, branches and thorns, leaves and vines. When the modelling of the tree was completed, we started making other parts of the sculpture - mosaic floor with a pattern, a herbal stand for the Tear of Elune, the ruins of the temple and other things.

Almost at the end of the work, I had the idea to hide a "secret" under the arch of tree trunks. Something inconspicuous, but significant, that you won't see at first glance. And we returned to discussing and searching. And almost simultaneously we came up with an idea - the Remnant of the Void. The same secret flower that was hidden in the cave at the end of the Emerald Nightmare raid. In the cave where the spirit of Ysera went after wandering on the surface of the pond. So we left it at that.

It took several months to fully complete the modelling of the pedestal, and the composition was ready for colouring. After days of colouring and edits, I was finally able to complete the project that we had been working on together for almost six months.

In the end, I want to say that this was the most difficult and largest project in my entire life. It is so unique that I will never be able to do anything like this again. Of course, there will be other projects, but they will never be like this one. This project is special. For two years I nursed this idea in my mind and embodied in this sculpture all my love for the beautiful Ysera the Dreamer, all my regret for her death, all the pain of losing the mother of all druids. When I look at this composition, the thought that now Ysera will live forever in this sculpture warms my heart!

Many thanks to Alexander for the opportunity to implement the idea that has warmed my soul for so long, for the emotions that I have experienced throughout the work - excitement, anger, fear, self-confidence, disappointment in moments of failure, inspiration and satisfaction from the work done. I will remember this project for the rest of my life and will miss you very much, Ysera!

Text: Julie Colibri
Translator: Alex Frolov

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