Sticks the thief

A weird little dragony, lizard guy, Sticks steals to for survival and for fun. He can't help but take, but only from the well off. Stealing from the weak is stealing from oneself in his mind. He hangs to the shadows, waits in the ally ways, and slits your purse before you feel the wait leave your person. 

As always Sticks is a character I would love to play in an RPG and really explore. I could add him to one of my campaigns but I think his concept is too much fun to just be a passer by for my friends to meet 

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Nora TrollBleeder

Sorry for not posting in a while! It's been a little crazy, I left my old job and started a new one and I'm juggling multiple Dungeons and Dragons games, and the general chaos of life.

But that doesn't mean I don't have new art share. Here is Nora Trollbleeder, dwarf cleric of the forge. She is definitely a character I would like to play in D&D, I just don't get to be a player as much as I would like to. Any way. quick insight into her character. She works as a smith with divine gift from the dwarven god of craft, where she forges some of the best weapons in the empire. But left her forge to help in the front lines when her brother is slain by a troll and vows to kill it herself. 

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Dragon Hatchling

The last time I drew a dragon, I was in college working on an independent study of book illustration. I was illustrating the Hobbit and was tasked to draw Smaug over lake town. I haven't drawn a dragon since. Well not really, the awesome Art Order is creating a collection of tiny dragons and not so tiny dragons for a book. I was recently published in the Art Order Invitational Gallery and knew I wanted to create a piece for their next project. 

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As a person who doesn't draw dragons, I had to figure out what my dragons look it. It was a mixture of using reference images for lizards and chickens. Chickens? Well for the wings, my idea was that since baby birds don't fly, maybe baby dragons have the same learning curve and anatomy. 

One of the unusual parts of my normal process for this piece was doing a rough digital sketch in photoshop. Normally, that process is on paper, but this time I pulled all of my references together on one file and was able to look between the two files to create the rough drawing. It's something I want to continue to do for larger, complex pieces moving forward. 

So I learned two things with this piece: digital mock ups and play with texture!

We'll see if it gets into the book!

Ice Giant

Over the past few months, I've been drawing lots of huge creatures compared to the normal bunch of goblins and halflings. So why not add an Ice Giant to the bunch. When I get stomped I like to look back at old work to inspire myself on how much I've improved. 

Let's start with the new Ice Giant:

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and here's the original piece from a few years back:

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I hope it shows improvement! Especially going from ink and digital to graphite and digital. Which both were a huge step for me. And the growth will continue as I start to color the new Ice Giant,

Spector in full color

Digitally coloring my drawings is my preferred method, but that does not mean it isn't a wrestle match to get color theory to be on my side. But when color theory and I get along, we get colored monsters. Behold the Spector that lives in the Dwarfish ruins in the Dragon Spire mountains (yes my friends have already faced this creature in Dungeons and Dragons)

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For me, digital colors lets me experiment with out the constant worry of ruining the drawing like it does when I watercolor. In college I watercolored as my main method, but between working with Chris Gash and Cory Godbey (post college), digital grew on me. Now its mostly a balance of cool and warm, darks and lights, and not loosing the drawing under layers and layers of photoshop. But hey, feel like I'm getting some where now!

Cyclops StormCaller

Recently Green Ronin published the first Critical Role campaign guide and it was a great read with some cool art work. One of the creatures that caught my eye in the book was a cyclops that Matt Mercer designed. A cyclops with the power to control the storm due to his birthright was something I couldn't pass up drawing and wanting to include in my own D&D campaign. I think this guy might end up being an antagonist to the party.

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Classic RPG Monster: Spectator

Another creature completed and ready to share, a Spectator. Seen as a minor beholder and not as threatening but still has the capability to obliterate adventurers. One of the first threatening beasts my D&D group fought while we were low level characters trying to save the city from a hoard of undead, kobolds, evil twins then a beholder. It was a wild ride. I wanted to draw my version of what that beast looked like before the party killed it or more like paladin Adira causing damage as my character was probably knocked out. 

Hill Giant

Another of the classic RPG characters I've been working on is the Hill Giant. Huge, strong, swinger of bats, but not that smart, the hill giant wanders the rolling grasses in search of sheep to steal from the near by farms. Watch out that he doesn't smash your house with his bat or foot.. or he might sit on it. Who knows?! 

I drew this character with out a background to use as a paper miniature for a future Dungeons and Dragons adventure for my friends. In the future I will probably release a download pack of paper miniatures through the DMs Guild.

Zorn, reimagined

In college, I starting playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends of mine. We would take turns dungeon mastering and playing characters. During one campaign based on the dark soul series (if I recall correctly) I played a warforge (a magical robot) knight. I liked the idea of the character still and decided to reinvent the character to be a non-player character that the players have the potential to meet in the City of the Iron Conclave; a mysterious city run by these magical automatons in a weird Disney world like recreation of what a city should be. But Zorn is a little different from the other automatons. 

Here is her updated design:

Just for full, I searched my tumblr for the first drawing I made of Zorn while we were playing through the adventure. Then I redrew her again a few years later thinking I might play the character again. And added the new drawing as well.

I like to think I got better at drawing.

Exploring Fablewood- June 13, 2017

Here it is, the finished Lantern Troll and wisp. More texture work was done along with cleaning up the drawing in photoshop. Lots of randomly smudged graphite over the bristol that is best to be cleaned up digitally. I like to start with the cleanest image possible before starting to color a drawing. That way at the end, its minor fixes and not major cleaning. Since I hurt my right hand (my drawing hand) the other day, I haven't been able to sketch comfortably so I've been pushing towards getting all of the flat color done on this drawing for my next postcard. So far about half way done and will share at a later date.

Otherwise enjoy the final product!

Exploring Fablewood- June 6, 2017

Work continues on the lantern troll. While I was working I scanned the drawing half way through to share what the drawing looks like as I am building up the values and adding textures. It doesn't always look pretty or clean. Graphite gets over everything with a tiny easer to pull the high lights out. This was drawn with a No. 2 pencil and a HB mechanical pencil for tight details. A lot of people us a paper towel or tissue to smudge graphic. But a wash cloth works best for me, its soft but durable and never hurts the paper. Just a suggestion if your looking for a longer lasting cloth then a paper product for drawing. 

Here's the half way point and next week I'll share the finished piece with you all. Soon to be on the backside of the new postcards I will be sending out to Art Directors!

Exploring Fablewood- May 30, 2017

Sorry for posting a day late. I usually have Tuesdays off from my day job and am thinking of switching Fablewood postings to Tuesdays from now on. Any way, this week I took a sketch I posted a few weeks back with the troll and wisp. With a little bit of reference for the lanterns and some finishing off of the over design, I took the sketch to the next step. I used a light box to transfer over the drawing to bristol to render the drawing. It starts out with the basic lines, then I smudge the entire drawing i spent hours on to create a base gray value for the rendering stag. This is where the texture starts from then is slowly built up. 

This is the stage of finished line work, right before the smudge, and rendering.

 

 

Exploring Fablewood- May 22, 2017

Lots of sketches and gestures as the magic market is being populated by vendors of all sorts with a variety of enchanted bobbles. In the past I've drawn a few satyrs of Fablewood that are akin to classic depictions of satyrs rather then ones that would 100 percent fit into Fablewood. This week I've been exploring how satyrs of Fablewood would look like, experimenting with horns and clothing. The satyr below mixes classic depictions, my personal task, and influence of traditional Japanese clothing into a sitting satyr with his scrolls. In the finial I plan to add more the Japanese influence into the clothing as well as the pottery and calligraphy props. 

Here's the first go at a structured drawing.

K'Varn Revealed

I don't create fan art often because I like to draw my own worlds. But Critical Role will be the only show that constantly inspires me. A D&D game played by a group of voice actors that is honestly better then most TV shows. I'm in!

Here is a drawing of their first major villain for their online stream. K'Varn the evil scientist beholder of the under dark. He controls a vast army of mind controlled denizens of the darkness. Through many battles of war camps, castles, and strange lands Vox Machina barreled into K'Varn's layer and a difficult battle Vox Machina killed the beholder. Returning to the land above with their rescued friend Kima of Vord

Here's the progress towards the color version:

Exploring Fablewood- May 8, 2017

I think I have narrowed down a theme for this years sketch book! It's a mixture of a few different ideas I've had combining into one. It's going to be a magic market, with trolls, goblins, and gnomes selling enchanted trinkets to the residents of Fablewood. Starting off with some of the primary sketches for a sly goblin vendor.

It started with some figure gestures to get the personality of the character down. Some are more approachable while one is more sinister. Once I get the figure down, I'll start to add details to the costume and explore who this character might be.

Exploring Fablewood- May 1, 2017

Sorry for the two week break. It's been a little crazy with packing, moving, and a adopting a young dog. So it's been a little crazy setting up supplies and creating a new 'thinking and productive' space for drawing and digital and having a dog jumping around.

Last week I wanted to post the drawing below. It some how remained at my parents place and didn't make its way to my apartment. But now it's here! The great gnome druid Otto Galvin, guardian of the Cinder Thicket, a northern part of Fablewood. He created many arcane stones as beacon for the wisps to follow. 

Exploring Fablewood- March 27, 2017

Been spending a good amount of time thinking of what theme this years Fablewood book will be. It's mostly quick sketches, random words, and rough ideas of what I am interested in creating this year. Nothing is finalized but I am narrowing in so I can have as much time to create a new body of work before Illuxcon in October. 

For this week I am sharing a drawing from Parade of Wisps of the satyr guide. Last year I shared the sketches and drawing. Now here's the finished piece. 

Gnome Barbarian

Another creation of the random dice rolls on my RPG Character Concept chart. All I do in Roll a 12 sided dice to create a random concept. Sometimes its easier to let fate choose then think. It's a create little exercise to try when I'm stumped. It has led to a bunch of finished drawings and characters for my Dungeons and Dragons game.

Here's the chart I created if you are interested in trying it out yourself. Would love to see your results if you use it

Exploring Fablewood- March 6, 2017

Every so often while working on a drawing. I stop to see how I feel about it. This week builds on the gnome scholar of last week with establishing the finished drawing. I spent a good amount of time adding elements to flesh out the gnomes environment. After spending a few hours working on the piece I began to feel disconnected from the piece, so its back to the drawing board. But here's the drawing I started, just to share.