Its that time of the year again, were lots of people all over the internet contribute to Goblin Week created by Evan Dahm. This year I will be creating more goblins for the Goblin Guild that will be added to the project I am working on that will include a brief history of the guild, the classes of members, and 2 short stories. So for the first day of goblin week I give you a line up of the goblin races.
One of the first drawings I made after returning from Illuxcon that for some reason never made it up on the blog. My take on a gnome spell caster for a table top RPG game. Played around with textures created by line to create a cohesive ink drawing. Currently in the Work in Progress folder to be colored in photoshop.
Over the past few months, I've been creating and coloring many of the monsters of Orbis for a person project. Here's one of the finished character illustrations. By spending more time in photoshop, my digital skills have grown since September. Learning more color theory, harmonIous color palettes and experimenting has a major part of this project. It's one thing to read about color theory and another to put it in action. I hope by the end of January/ early February to have 50 inked and colored monsters to share as a cohesive work. Time to pull out the paper, grab a pencil, and get drawing.
Lately I've been working in photoshop more then usual to improve my digital skills as well as color theory. Over the past 2 weeks, I've colored a large amount of character drawings and about half way done with my new full illustration. The other night while sketching, I drew an interesting Dwarf character that I knew I had to bring to life as a colored design. I created a step by step process tutorial of each major step that went into creating the final illustration.
Here's the final image on it's own.
Overall I'm pleased with how the paladin looks in the end and I learned new ways of approaching color with this piece. Now to take a similar approach into my next illustration.
Haven't done a process post in a while, and don't think I've ever shown how I digitally color. Starting a design or illustration always starts in a sketchbook or on random straps of paper. The Fungus Behemoth started a while back in my last sketchbook.
I like to sketch in ball point pen, the one thing that always bothered me about pencil is that it smudged everywhere and made a huge mess and I always forgot a pencil sharpener when I needed it. Ball point pens are usually easy to find, even if I forget to bring a pen with me. I start out sketching in red pen then add details and clean up the shapes with black. There's a small sketch of the Fungus Behemoth on the left of a pose and design. Then I experimented with what the face should look like. And in the corner of the page is a little Brownie randomly crashing the party.
Then I'll take the ideas I like, sketch the design and ink it. I always ink with a brush, sometimes I'll use a pen for some details but not often. Like I've said in other posts, FW ink is what I use and will always use. Watery Ink is not my thing.
Next, I scan the ink drawing. I have a Scan Express Pro scanner, it can scan up to an 11 by 17 drawing, which is nice so I don't have to stitch multiple scans together saving time. I'll clean up any random ink and pencil that is scanned before I start coloring. Using multiple layers in folders, I create the base for the piece.
Most of the time, I have an idea of the kind of color palette. But I like to experiment before I settle on the base colors for a piece. Since the Fungus Behemoth lives in swampy forests, it helped flesh out the colors. I try not to use to many colors so it doesn't look like a box of crayons threw up on my drawing, limited colors are better (for me).
After settling on base colors, I start to render the monster. Most people say render as in adding layers of value to create a more realistic look. For me, I am doing the same but not in an ultra rendered way of smooth gradients, more graphically for my work.
Laying in the shadows can be easy sometimes and challenging most times. Adding black to the base color does not create interesting shadows, shadows are color, light is a spectrum, and just because I don't render photo realistic does not mean I don't take the physics of light into account. On the top layer, I'll draw lines that show where the light is coming. After laying in the shadows and experimenting with colors for the shadows, I place color on the base that the creature stands on and add a cast shadow.
Currently I am juggling a few monsters in photoshop at various stages for a personal project in the works. The Fungus Behemoth is a part of it as well. But more on the personal project another day.
Another Bugbear for Monster Monday. I continued with experimenting with adding texture to my ink drawings and have been getting positive results. The Bugbear is a part of a small book that I am creating for promotions to send to Art directors. It's a small accordion book of black and white drawings of monster. On instagram I post a dummy version of the book that helped me decide what changes to add to the final version of the book. The dummy is a little to big for the envelopes I purchased and stronger glue to hold it all together. With the next few days off, I'll be formatting and being the production of my book.
A new 11x14 tone paper drawing of Goblin Rocketeer. This was recently completed after sitting on my desk for a while. The first drawing became to busy and dark, needing more contrast and less confusion. I took time before starting the image to study the first drawing to see what worked and what didn't. Which led to the finished drawing. The idea of the Goblin Rocketeer started in my sketchbook, pretty much like everything else I create. I'll have to do another sketchbook post again soon since I am nearly done with my current book.
The Goblin Rocketeer drawing will be traveling with me to the Illuxcon Showcase Friday and Saturday night were I will be displaying my work along with other illustrators.
A while back I posted the ink drawing of tihs Forest elemental. I began to digitally color the piece a few months ago and it sat in my work in progress folder. I decided to finish the character as a way to practice digital coloring since I want to continue to improve. Having a Work in Progress folder is helpful, when I feel stumped on a project; I'll search the folder and work on the piece while thinking of how to solve a problem on the other piece. And this helped me finish a new illustration I created for the Art Order challenge that I'll be posting this week.
Get your character drawn and colored digitally. You get the original drawing as well as an 8.5x11 print. Head over to my store to purchase your commission (only 5 currently available) then send me an email at email@example.com with the character description. The art is for personal use only and not for commercial use.
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Yesterday after I got home from work, I was checking out twitter to see that Sketch Dailies topic was Hobgoblin. I haven't drawn a Hobgoblin since the ink drawing that was published in Dungeons and Dragons: Against the Slave Lords book. This piece became a nice break from working on larger pieces. Tony DiTerlizzi's D&D work are some of my favorite illustrations and I was inspired by his ink drawings to work on adding more texture to my own work. So far I liked the results of playing with adding texture and pattern to my work.
Another goblin, sometimes I feel like I draw them too often. This goblin is a shield striker. It can block with the shields on it's arms as well as hit opponents with the spikes or sides of the shield. Shield Strikers are heavily armored since they move slow due to the weight on their arms. Later this week, I'll post the digitally colored piece that I am currently working on.
A new ink drawing for this weeks monster. It started out as an idea of what a Shambling Mound from Dungeon and Dragons Monster Manual 4.0. But it became more of a Fungus Behemoth. Originally the head was a different design it was similar to a log but after drawing the creature out, it made more sense that the character's head be a mushroom.
This weekend I'll be at the Comic Book Shop of DE, for free comic book day. Stop by for free comics, star wars characters, comic artist and writers as well as illustrators.
Another green paper orc, the black, white and green is a combo that works well. The piece started out as a break between working digitally and turned out well. So I inked and added whites in my usual method. The orc isn't involved in Orbis, just a typical fantasy orc.
It's the last day of Goblin Week and I've finished this drawing in the last hour. Goblin Week is a great challenge in world building a goblin society. I didn't let myself to create concepts until Goblin Week started, making each a day a new problem to solve in drawing and writing. It really helped me just throw down any ideas I had in my sketchbook and weed out the best. There are many pages of sketches (maybe I'll do a post of Goblin Week Concepts).
For the last image of The Goblin Mining Company is a sad, beat up Goblin taking a break. Working in the mines is not always an enjoyable time, its hard labor and it doesn't always pay off in finding crystals. Goblins can get defeated when weeks or months go by with out physically finding anything. And this Goblin is wishing to be at home with a bowl of rat stew in his favorite arm chair.
The Goblin Mining Company owns many caves in a wide area of Orbis. Not all caves are active at the same time. To protect the cave from being mined before the company has a chance to, goblin guards are set up at the locations to protect the property. A watch tower is constructed at the mouth of the cave as well as a wooden gate; Two guards at the gate and three in the watch tower. The goblins that work at the sites are sword for hires, meaning they are trained in combat but don't owe allegiance to a person of power. The company pays the hires as well as provides them with food and a place to live with in the watch tower. Most of the time, there isn't anyone trying to enter the cave with out permission from the company. But there have been times of slaying thieves and competitor companies spies.
I was busy today starting a new job and cooked dinner poorly. But drawing goblins is a way to improve a negative mood.
Being alone is the caves can be a scary place. Goblins carry a brass lamp with a stand to light the tunnels in travel then be stuck into the ground to light their work area. Some goblins get superstitious about leaving their lamps behind, telling that the cave will seek its revenge with out the protection of the candle (which are supposedly enchanted by wizards). Believing in the superstition makes sense due to many goblins hurting themselves by hurting themselves and being found dead later on. So having the lantern keeps 'protect' by lighting their way out at the end of a work day. And no goblin wants to be left behind at the end of the day.
With great wealth being carted out of the caves, some goblins want to get the riches with out having to do the labor. Thieves are fairly common sneaking around in the darkness of the caves. Though many of them don't have the knowledge or skill to navigate the system of tunnels. Many fall into trenches far away from where the miners are working and never make it out. A few have actually been able to steal a few crystals to pawn to jewelers. Other thieves have tried to force a cart worker to hand over the goods, but then they suffer the burden of pushing the heavy weight to the mouth of the cave. Most of the time, each goblin takes a few and runs, and get caught by the BugBear guards to hand over the stollen crystals.
Goblin Week continues with a Goblin Climber to add to the Goblin Mining Company.
Some times mining crystals takes Goblins' to scale down water eroded holes to collect crystals. Often a Goblin will use rope and a harness to get down to the bottom with out breaking their necks. Though ropes have snapped in the past and goblins end up stuck at the bottom of the trench with no way out. Another rope line is scaled down to the goblin with a bucket to place the crystals in and raised continuously raised and lowered. A standard axe is used to remove the crystals in large junks and separated at the surface or brought out of the cave to be removed by a jeweler.
Next Goblin for the Goblin Mining Company is a crystal collector. Crystal collectors wander around the caves recently minded to pick up crystals to be transported to the carts to be brought out of the caves. These Goblins carry small pick axes to gently remove the crystals from the rocks and try to keep the crystals in the quality state. They place the crystals in their packs and walk back to the rails, where the carts are ready to transport the crystals out of the cave to the jewelers.
I started to flat the piece out in photoshop and have to make some adjustments to some of the colors, then render it. I plan on coloring all the pieces for Goblin Week, it just may not be possible with the other work I need to get done.