2020 Grad Show

Dirk Van Parys

AUArts Grad Show 20200517_000229

VCD – Character Design & Illustration

Dirk's the name, and drawing fantasy's my game. My work generally lies in character design, but I also dabble in weapon design, environment design, and illustration. While a character's visual design is important, their personality and who they are as individuals are what truly bring a character to life, and creating a believable, cohesive person behind the drawing is something I strive to achieve with my designs.


My character Grey, a teacher-turned-werewolf hunter who, with the help of a secret order of werewolf hunters, became a werewolf himself to better hunt the beasts that separated him from his family. The initial werewolf attack that left him destitute and the subsequent hunting left him riddled with scars, which increase in number with every passing full moon. Entrenched in fighting the werewolf scourge, he makes an effort to be kind and gentle, but sometimes instincts take hold, and his feral nature shows.

Included in this post are his human and werewolf designs, a character portrait, design process of his outfit and battleaxe, character design exploration, and minor illustrations conveying personality.

Papa Emeritus IV

An illustration of Papa Emeritus IV, the most current iteration of the lead singer of Ghost. The artwork was completed a few days after his announcement and acted as an exercise in interpreting a character freshly introduced to the public conscious and as an exercise in illustrative design (regarding the halo).

Brookfield Residential Mural

A triptych of illustrations for the community of Seton. These posters were created with the intention of being viewed from Deerfoot at a large scale format.

The triptych is comprised of one continuous image that can also be interpreted as stand alone illustrations. Seton is a burgeoning community that, as a new community, places importance on moving forward into the future and characterizes itself through the use of lights as decoration. Combining the two concepts, I created a quasi-futuristic cityscape blurring with motion that can be read from both directions of the highway, which signifies one of Seton's many values.

Untitled Landscape

A landscape concept derived from an attempt to enact the force of a foreign object on the natural landscape, which culminated in a glowing diamond shaping the mountains from its point of impact. The initial concept came five years ago from one of my old sketchbooks and was an exercise in revisiting old ideas with a fresh perspective, improving on old ways of composition, and finishing a painting in as little time as possible.


My character Vega, a reclusive, deadpan librarian with celestial blood that manifests itself as a halo and grants her some minor magical powers. Wishing to learn more of her heritage and how better to harness her magic, she studied tirelessly until she could cast magic far greater than the minor boons granted by her blood. Having achieved that, she continues to study all sorts of information and runs a library in the mean time to assist others in their own quests for knowledge (albeit very sleepily due to her own late nights of research).

Included in this post are a character portrait and some personality sketches.

Viva the Hunter #2 - No Safe Place

Illustrative work of a cover for Viva the Hunter, a dark fantasy web comic by Forrest DePoy. Work for the cover involved using pre-existing designs and elements from the issue's story line to create a cohesive summary of events that described what transpires in the issue while leaving enough mystery for the reader to want to learn more.

Included in the post are the final cover, character drawings, thumbnail concepts, and discussion roughs.


Character exploration of my character Ire, a paladin of light born of fiendish blood. He is scarred by a pointless war fought at too young of an age and has made it his duty to ensure the same does not happen for those in similar situations to his past; however, the war left permanent trauma on his mind. He believes he is surrounded by enemies at all times, which leads him to mistrust everyone he encounters and also conflicts with his innate desire to help others, addling his mind and stressing him out more than before with the conflicting instincts to help and to mistrust.

Post contents include line art of a full illustration (with close-up), a character portrait, and exploratory sketches of his personality and mannerisms.