Mortal Instrument Pins

Hey folks! Topatoco just revealed some pins I designed last October. They are for the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Claire. I thought I’d walk you all through how I made them.

If you aren’t familiar with the series there are 3 magical items used by a group of people who are part called Shadowhunters. Those items are a cup, a sword, and a mirror that is revealed to actually be a lake. I was supposed to make a pin based off each item.

Here’s my first sketches.

Firstly, I asked Topatoco how big they wanted the pins to be and was told about an inch. So I made a one inch by an inch and a half grid and sketch at size. This way I could see if the designs were clear at the actual size of the pin.

The Mortal Cup can make humans into Shadowhunters so I thought a figure with angel wings would be a good representation of that. It would also make the pin more interesting than just a cup.

The Soul Sword was a little tricker because it was easy for it to end up super tall and thin. You can see I did a regular sword design and shorter version of the sword that ended up looking more like a dagger. The Soul Sword is also held by these guys the Silent Brothers who judge crimes and take testimony from Shadowhunters who have commited crimes. I did a few designs of one of them holding the sword to give the pin more width. Eventually giving is a tarot card background seemed to also be worth trying out.

The last was Lake Lyn. I did a design to follow the tarot card shape I made for the sword. The other designs where me trying to make the lake look like an old fashion mirror with the forest being the frame. This is a case where drawing at size helped. This is a good idea in theory but at an inch by an inch and a half all those details were hard to convey.

Cassandra Clair’s assistant told me which design of each pin was like bested. I also got told they liked the tarot card idea across the board. So I added a tarot background to the Mortal Cup design. Then I cleaned them up and then need some color varients.

I also used grey for the line art so I would have a better Idea which colors would contrast with the metal best. Cassandra Clair’s assistant told me the colors that were liked best. High res versions of that went off to Topatoco.

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