Exploring Fablewood- February 6, 2017

With one of my goals for this year is to create more colored illustrations, I finally jumped into the Parade of Wisps illustration. It was intimidating to start since it has a lot to juggle color, value, and saturation wise. But I thought back to how I worked with Corey to get the coloring process started. So I pulled up photoshop and made a rough color comp.

Though this color comp won't be how the piece looks in the end, it was a place to start and gave me a sense of direction to work towards. Here's how far I've gotten working on the piece after work. The whole piece has its base down with some of the shadows in and now starts the stage of values and color washes.

Alien Explorer

One of my goals this year is to work on drawing Scifi and aliens to add range to my portfolio. Though aliens are sort of monsters, drawing technology has been more of a challenge. I tend to draw the tech very chunky and large like its from the 90's. I guess my Scifi world, the technology of today has been lost so its not slick and slim. It's functional and bulky. Here is an alien crossing over the dunes on a desert planet. 

As I continue to grow in this area, overall I hope to not just work on my drawing and character design, but push to have more story in my artwork. So hold me to it! 

Exploring Fablewood- January 30, 2017

Over the past few days I've been thinking a lot about history. How our current events will be recorded for future generations to read and how it will be interpreted. Will 2017 be a blip on the radar or how tomes dedicated to it's events. And all that thinking led it's way back to my sketchbook and into Fablewood. 

Here a gnome (currently named) records the magics of Fablewood onto parchment for future peoples to learn from. Not everyone might see the importance of spending the time to illustrate all the spells but this gnome knows that it could eventually be the only fountain to learn from. All the symbols in the image are pulled from alchemy symbols,mixed and matched to create something new. I wanted it to feel familiar but still weird. Over the next week I plan to take this drawing to a finished state along with adding a little more to the image as well. 

Goblin Week

This year I slacked on Goblin Week, I was busy drawing aliens instead and a bunch of not very original goblins. But I did finish a goblin just in time for the end of Goblin Week! 

Based on the classic Dungeons and Dragons Goblin, I sketched this little gob solider as a spot illustration that could be in an RPG manual next to some stats. Now back to sketching!

Exploring Fablewood- January 23, 2017

The new year means new idea for what Fablewood's theme is going to be. So its a lot of drawing and sketching and thinking and throwing anything I can think of down on paper. Most of the pages I fill never find its way to the internet, mostly because they are unintelligent scribbles with arrows pointing and random words. But this week I am sharing some of those random thoughts.

Exploring Fablewood- January 9, 2017

The past week has been lots of sketching of what could be next for Fablewood. So far its lots of scribbles of compositions and story ideas. Though one sketch I happened to like is of a gnome with a hatched egg. The gnome is related to the gnome witch (Hazel) from Parade of Wisps. He prefers to study the other creatures of Fablewood, including this little phoenix that just hatched.

Dwarf Rogue Enforcer

I sketch a lot and most of what lives in my sketchbook never becomes anything. Recently as a warm up before working on drawings, I've been rolling (an 8 sided die) to create random character concepts so I don't just draw gnomes and goblins. So far the project has gotten me to do more research into heavy armor, which I am not skilled at drawing. Along with cross bows which require a good amount of time to get the perspective and mechanics correct. 

Here is the first drawing I've created using the random dice created character, a dwarf rogue enforcer for the Night Maggots Igor Warren.

Classic Creatures: The Beholder

A Beholder is a strange monster created in the early history of Dungeons and Dragons. Each eye stalk shoots a different ray of death, not instant death, but enough to put fear into facing a Beholder deep in a dungeon.

I designed this Beholder a few months back and its been sitting on my desk waiting to be finished. Spent a few hours rendering the piece over the weekend as one of the last things I made last year and added to my stack of 2016 drawings. 

If you are interested in owning this drawing. Make sure to check out my shop along with copies of my sketchbooks.

NOTE: I thought it would be interesting to have the Beholder's large eye be a door. And the group of adventures would find a huge key, not knowing what it opens. Turns out at the final battle that the key is the only way to get some relic from the Beholder guarding it literally in its hard.

Bog Crawler Warlord

Back in November I posted the original Bog Crawler. Since then have added the leader to the Bog Crawlers of the marshy swamps. This Bog Crawler has been through battle with scars, jagged fins, even missing an eye. This isn't the standard minion in a level 1 dungeon. Mechanic wise, I see the Warlord as a low level spell caster that is able to boost the stats of near by allies. 

I plan on creating a mock up of the bog crawlers with stats to show how my artwork can be used for RPGs and other books.

Exploring Fablewood- December 26, 2016

It's been a full year of Exploring Fablewood, every Monday this year I have shared a piece of Fablewood from sketches to designs to finished art. Next year I plan on pushing more into Fablewood, really making concrete world building decisions. And start to write (kind of a scary thought) and illustrate a new Fablewood story that will be part of next years sketch. Theme of next year, I have no idea, but thats the fun part to brain storm.

For the last post of this year I share a drawing from Parade of Wisps. Hazel and Azrug stand on the balcony of Azug's house in Fog Hollow. A little wisp stops by as they study the stars.

Explring Fablewood-December 19, 2016

Last week I posted the sketch of the Drummer Gnome and this week is the finished drawing. After creating all the pieces for Parade of Wisps, I still get ideas around the theme and continue to throw them down on paper. January I start to think of what the next branch of Fablewood's story will be and am looking forward to seeing what happens next. But for now, enjoy the gnome drumming for two stray wisps.

Exploring Fablewood- December 12, 2016

Fresh out of the sketch book from over the weekend, We have a gnome bard drumming for the Wisps of Fablewood. The sketches started out as mindless drawings during a lunch break then evolved into a realized idea. Though the drawing isn't 100 percent how I want it. It's a great base for the final drawing I plan to use on my first promo postcard for the new year. Next week will be the finished drawing.

Classic Creatures: The Roper

Over the past few months as a break from Fablewood, I've been drawing monsters/creatures pulled out of RPG books. From an Ice giant to an Effreet, classic Orcs, and now a Roper. I've been pulling versions of creatures from a variety of games and decades of art to put my own spin on beasts that have been drawn numerous times.

Found in deep caves and the Under Dark, Ropers disguise themselves as rocks then snatch foes with its tentacle arms, dragging it's prey into it's massive maw. Though a Roper isn't nearly as deadly as the other denizens of the Under Dark.

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Exploring Fablewood- December 5, 2016

Finally finished coloring the tree imp. Sitting at the computer with my pen in hand and tablet in front of me is easy, its the process that is difficult. But I have worked towards refining my process this with piece. It's much easier to refine the process on many smaller pieces then sitting on one large illustration. Though I have started to color the larger drawing I made for Parade of Wisps. Until next week, enjoy a fully colored image for a change.

Ice Giant Portrait

Right after returning from Illuxcon, I wrote down a few goals that I wanted to work on. The list included more textures in my graphite drawings along with continuing to work developing digital coloring techniques. In a test of new textures, I created this portrait of a ice giant. While drawing I referenced Ram horns for a different take on how I normally draw. Along with adding hatching to create a rougher texture for the skin.I definitely learned some new techniques on the Ice Giant.

Efreet of the City of Brass

The past few episodes of Critical Role Vox Mochina has been exploring the Fire Plane for a vestige (to help defeat the Chroma Conclave of dragons.) Matt Mercer (the DM) described the awesome efreeti guards of the city and I knew I had to draw one. So while watching episodes I worked on the design and rendered the final drawing. I didn't want to use the cliche genie (djinn) seen in pop culture, so I pulled from a variety of cultures to create it's own style. That if I decide to draw more beings from the Fire Plane will draw from the same pool of cultural inspirations. The Efreet also joins my growing collection of reimagining classic RPG monsters.

Bog Crawler Drawing

Lately for inspiration I have been flipping through monster manuals and creature codexes looking for interesting beings to draw. Inspired by all the art, I created a Bog Crawler. Able to move quietly in the muddy waters, it attacks with its hooked swords dragging it's prey into the swamp to drown. Bog Crawlers fight in small hunting groups to ambush trespassers venturing into their grounds.

I see bog Crawlers as a low level creature with a much stronger Bog Crawler war chief as the leader. I might have to make some stats for 5th edition to use these creatures against my friends.

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Exploring Fablewood- November 21, 2016

Currently on the drawing table, or rather the computer is the Tree Imp from 2 weeks back. Since returning from Illuxcon, I have really wanted to improve my photoshop skills before setting off to color larger illustrations from Parade of Wisps. This next week I will be spending more time at the computer then the desk in an attempt to get as much practice as possible. Here's a sneak peak at how the tree imp is turning out. Still has a long way to go!