I actually started these for a small contest by Blizzard Entertainment for Diablo 3 but I wasn`t able to finish them and only entered two. Then I realized the potential in doing high quality D3 fanart for publicity. Not only was it for good press but would also serve as a good practice for me. Then, eventually, it turned into this 3 month beast of a personal project. I actually started mid-April and finished just two days ago working on these on and off after my day-job.
My art direction was like this because I wanted a glamour/fashion/action type of full body portraits. I wanted to stay close to the original designs while giving it a little twist. Also, since Diablo 3 is a top-down type of game, seeing action and skills up close would be very interesting for the target audience. Although it was very fun to do, I actually got burnt out just because it took soo long to finish. (blame my busy day-job haha) Still, I got what I wanted and learned a ton about composition, posing, anatomy, lighting, armor designs, and most importantly, about being PATIENT and STICKING to your plan to the end.