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The Harlequin by Niki-UK The Harlequin by Niki-UK
my character "The Harlequin", which was entered into the IMAF [link] competition for the Open/Character design for adults section.
I was under the impression that the adult character design category attracted a lot of helium-chested, scantily-clad female character designs. I could have gone with the crowd and opt to do that but in the end I decided to try something a little different. A scantily-clad male! :XD: Well, slightly more than that. What I really wanted to achieve with this design was something along the lines of Ayami Kojima's Castlevania character designs, at least in flavour. I think Kojima's art has a mature appeal and is appreciated by both male and female audiences, so that influenced my thinking to an extent. Plus I've just wanted to produce a piece of art in that kind of style for a while now! :D
Anyway, this is the result of my labours. Ideally I would have liked to have spent more time on it, but by the time the concept popped into my head the competition deadline was looming a bit close. Still, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and there's nothing to stop me doing more with this character if I want to!
Oh yes, and it is the same character as featured in the stark black/white/red graphic image I posted not so long ago. ;)

Development sketches of this character are in my Scraps section. [link]

Character concept blurb:
The Harlequin is a type of incubus who wanders between the realms of reality and dreams. He grants the desires of mortal sleepers in exchange for a 'taste' of their souls. This incubus chose the moniker of Harlequin for a couple of reasons, one being that other incubi and succubi of his realm joked about his horns resembling a harlequin's hat. Also, he stores the soul 'memories' of sleepers within diamond-shaped crystals. The Harlequin has an impressive library of dreams within his crystal collection and it is the envy of all his supernatural peers.
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:iconhitsuji--chan:
Hitsuji--chan Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ouw, he's so freaking hot! *0*
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:icondrmadison:
DrMadison Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I LOVE hot male clowns... I used to be one... in more fit days. LOL
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:iconjester-of-the-clown:
Jester-of-the-Clown Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Could we have a version that's a bit more...old fashioned?
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012  Professional General Artist
It's unlikely that I'd get around to making something more conventional... that's more of a job for other people as far as I'm concerned! :D However, if I were being commissioned/paid to do it, that would be another story. ;)
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:iconjester-of-the-clown:
Jester-of-the-Clown Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Being old school doesn't always mean being conventional

I mean, damn, look at the Marquis de Sade.
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Professional General Artist
I've got other pieces that could be considered much more old school, this just doesn't happen to be one of them. :XD: I find it pays to be diverse but it's nigh on impossible to please everyone! The nature of art is that it's subjective, after all... ^^;
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:iconcwnannan:
CwnAnnan Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Student
he is just GREAT! :o
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:iconrosnovski:
Rosnovski Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011
Very nice. Love the character concept too. Incubi are such fun characters XD
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:iconamasov:
Amasov Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010
I absolutely love this design. The concept is also a brilliant idea too. :aww:
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:iconsephirayne:
Sephirayne Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
Love this piece. Its great to see scantiy gald males from time to time (even if I prefer females XD).

Love the colours of this and the style. Great job.
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
Teehee! :giggle: Thanks, sweetie! ^_~
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:iconsephirayne:
Sephirayne Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
Your welcome hun ;)
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:iconmemedecircus:
MemeDeCircus Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010
Hmmm looks like your concept and name is similar to the ones several people and I have used in our writing group for the last 6 years down to the soul crystal- except ours are shards of a ruby. Check out our website:
[link]
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
By the way I don't know if you're aware of this but when I clicked on your site my security software detected an attempted trojan attack. Looks like you've got some malware in there... :-O
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
Oh...? *Checks out the website* This is new to me, are you suggesting I copied the concept from the website or that someone there might have built on my idea? Either way it is a striking coincidence... :O_o: I never really frequent any writing groups, I had my Harlequin idea when I was looking to create a character for the IMAF competition in 2005 and from what you say your writing group must have been active with similar ideas at the same time. It is rather curious.
I'm guessing that from your neutral rating you're suspicious that I stole the idea. For what it's worth I can assure you that I didn't; I am used to my own ideas and artwork being plagiarised by others however (ironically some copies have even been entered into competitions), and as a professional artist I would never want to endanger my reputation and career by plagiarising others' work and passing it off as my own. I just don't and won't do it, as it upsets me to see other creatives having their work ripped off, let alone my own.
I'd previously created an incubus character similar to this one back in around 2001 which became the basis for my old webcomic project Honou To Hyoushou; [link] He (Kotaro) wasn't a harlequin, but you might be able to see from that old work how the spin-off idea for my Harlequin came about.

Is :iconpu-sama: among your group writers? I'm just curious because during my quick browse I've spotted her DA icon is used by one of the members: [link] I love ~pu-sama's work.
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:iconmemedecircus:
MemeDeCircus Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010
'lo again

Sorry I'm never usually moved to bother contacting people who have similar ideas- there have been a few over the years. I was struck by the close similarities of your dream gem and our soul ruby. That and our group has had its "imitators" in the past who try to pass themselves off as writers of our group in some of the roleplaying areas.

Art is in ways wonderful and maddening. There are so many people out here these days that the ideas stew and meld together with little conscious thought. You've done alot of work with the art which conceptually none of us even touched since we're writers- good for you. I just was googling and there it popped up and if if wasn't something good I would have never been curious enough to go to all the effort of joining DA just to talk to you.

i've had people ask where I've gotten the idea before- strangely A friend asked if I could be the "ringleader" for a darkly inspired Circus. This had lead to alot of confusion a few years back as i guess there was some sort of roleplaying game from the 90's that had some characters with a similar concept. Between that and this creepy Clown band that was popular abut 5 years ago, we we're in the same spot- making it new.

I just liked the dark clown idea and wanted something that was sexier with a subtle hint of menace in it. So instead of just a circus I turned them into a troubadour type of group (which fits nicely as the medieval era is our preferred character period) of Harlequins who do alot of independent travel. The name adds to the essence of romance(Harlequin is a Boons and Mills type romance novel publisher in the States) about them without the complete comic presence of a "clown". Still there is diversity- the comics to the serious demi-tragics.

I'll pass on about the Mal-ware to the website creator. Angel lives in Malaysia so I'll have to get on at a different time. Not sure about the avatar artist- Ninnette has good taste though. I like the artist's macabre sense of style too.

Cheers and all for the convo. I put in neutral as I was curious- a waiting type of response instead of all emo- it seemed safe until I heard what you had to say. Anywho! Enjoyed the mannequin you've just put up.

~Meme
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010  Professional General Artist
'Lo! :)
Thanks for your reply, it's cool to learn of the background for your concepts as well. Well, I guess we can both put these similarities down to coincidence then... stranger things have happened! ^^; I've seen some spookily similar ideas come innocently from completely different sources that are not at all likely to even be aware of each other's existence. It's crazy how some things can almost be duplicated down to tiny details like our crystal/ruby things but I guess it's not out of the realms of possibility for that to happen when creative minds work in similar ways or have similar influences. It's hard for anyone to come up with an idea that hasn't already been thought of by somebody somewhere, but we all do our best to put an original slant on things anyway.
Dark Harlequins are just epically cool in general, aren't they? :D

Wow, I'm flattered that you were so struck by my art as to join deviantART! Hope you enjoy your stay at here, you could put some of your writing up if you haven't already! :aww:

Hope there isn't too much of a malware problem on the website. It may just be because it's been around for a few years... I used to get so many spambots and stuff sneaking in on my old messageboard at my webcomic site. That site hasn't been updated for donkey's years now (plus my hubby and I totally forgot our login details on it for a while), d'oh. ^^;
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:iconmemedecircus:
MemeDeCircus Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2010
Love the idea of menacing harlequins- My group play them well- enough so we had a little following for a while including a different group who formed to try to 'kill' us. Guess we annoyed people. hehehe

Can relate completely on the coincidence thing.. Some things just happen. There are too many people in the world to not have some of the things be independently discovered! My whole life has had many. Like meeting a friend from Tucson, Arizona in the transit lounge in London's Heathrow Airport.

Well take care and enjoy.
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010  Professional General Artist
"Hope you enjoy your stay at here," :roll: I'm a berk, LOL. Strike the "at", you know what I meant. :XD:
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:iconartemisfowl14:
ArtemisFowl14 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
NICE LOOK
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:iconamasov:
Amasov Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009
He's awesome :aww:
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:iconjimmychonga:
jimmychonga Featured By Owner May 27, 2009
this character is amazing, the outfit design, the palette you use everything
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much! :aww:
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:iconpetiteharlequin:
PetiteHarlequin Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I just love harlequins. This one is amazing. And kinda scary...
Added to favourites.
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:icondreadpersephone:
DreadPersephone Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2008
It's just beautiful. Really. There's no other word for it. Bravi!
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:iconlemonkc:
lemonkc Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2008
this one is too cool!!
Reply
:iconjester-of-the-clown:
Jester-of-the-Clown Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Hmm... A bit too effeminate... Too kinky for my tastes... Still, it's a good drawing...
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:iconcrazywryter:
Crazywryter Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2007
I really like this character. Seems really awesome. I love the costume.
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:icontayhound:
Tayhound Featured By Owner May 3, 2007
Omg! Harlequin is also called "Arlecchino" in Italy, where the original one came from.

Stunning work!
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:iconalucardtepes:
AlucardTepes Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2007
uuuuhhhooohhh!!! *0* I like Harlequin!!!! ^^ fave ^^ well done!
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:iconniki-uk:
Niki-UK Featured By Owner May 1, 2007  Professional General Artist
Thank you~~ -^____^-
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:icondeadlynucleardeath:
deadlyNUCLEARdeath Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2009
This is truly awe inspiring. I love it




"I would have told you about the sniper but i doubt your head could outrun the bullet."
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:iconveggy101:
VeGgY101 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2007
beautiful
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:iconvalkaex:
Valkaex Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I love it :D amazing piece!
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:icondaisy-sabretooth:
Daisy-Sabretooth Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2006
whoa... hotty!!!!!!!!!!!! he can visit me anytime..lol..i love the colours and the design of his..hemhem..very burlesque style outfit..still very gd!!!!
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:iconmissundescriptive:
missundescriptive Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2006   Digital Artist
wow this is amazing artwork. I love the pose and form to the figure.
The colours go realy well together and the ways the shadows and flame like image has been done is excellent.
:headbang:
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:iconorathty:
Orathty Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2006
Holly Monkeys...what a hot harlequin...i always get so jeaulous of people that can create such awseome caracthers
Amazing work
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:iconludi-price:
Ludi-Price Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
Jeanne showed me this pic and I have to say it rocks. I love the design, especially on the costume, and the colours work really well. In fact that's what I like about this picture as a whole - the colours. I don't know how you get such rich tones on the skin but it looks gorgeous. And the warmth of the background really compliments the Harlequin himself. Heh... He looks kinda crazy but flamboyant and cunning at the same time. I guess it's just his hair makes him look a little bipolar. :giggle:
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:iconballiehead:
balliehead Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2005  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:o Holy cow!! :drool: :faint: I can tell you, I wouldn't mind getting a nightly visit from this gent! He's absolutely beautiful! Great work!! :wow:
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:iconvalkyrienz:
ValkyrieNZ Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoooooo how gorgeous! :D Very yummy for a succubi! ;)
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:iconspoolaroo:
Spoolaroo Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Great colouring!
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