The Minotaurs of Orbis live in the grass lands spending most of their time slowly traveling across the plains during the day and resting in a group at night.Their groups can be huge, causing stampedes destroy the land and anyone that stands in their way. They track deer herds to feed the group and will steal cows from near by farms. With a burst of speed, they attack their prey dragging it back to the group for meals. When desperate for food they have been known to kill with in the group for food, but that hasn't been recorded since the First Age when a drought dried up the wet lands and farmers to lose their crops. When faced against a minotaur, it's often recommended to not engage in battle, other minotaurs will be nearby unseen resting in the grass and will kill a deemed threat.
Rus Dread-gouger returns, renowned assassin of the goblin guild. When a job needs to get done they call on Rus. He's so skilled that even outside of the guild he is hired for hits, but won't go after his own. He spends most of his time in the capital city, hiding in the shadows and knife on his hip, ready to strike in the night when your back is turned.
Over at the Art Order, they were holding a challenge to create an illustration, concept, etc. based on 4 cards randomly assigned. I got chain mail, crossbow, tattoos, and half mask. I sketched out a bunch of ideas and decided to create a halfling spy crawling up a building. Then figured I could create an illustration for Oribs.
The assassin guild The Night Maggots, is a very secretive organization living in the darkest corners and deep in the sewers of Muruspatria (capital city of Orbis). Getting in contact with the Maggots is a difficult task, when some one wants a contract done, they either have to find a Maggot in the sewer or go through a chain of people to get to the group. It costs a large amount of gold to have an expert assassin kill a target since they won't stop till the target is down. Joining the guild is even more difficult then finding them. They secretly hide among the crowds watching the best thieves, magic users, and fighters to recruit, even the process to join is top secret and is unknown to people outside the Maggots. But it is easy to know when a Maggot has killed, one bolt to the chest.
Rock Elementals live in the craggy, rocky lowlands and mountains. They sleep for long periods of time, usually weeks, months and sometimes even years or decades. They start life out as a small rock, adding other rocks to themselves to add better mobility and grow in size. There are rumors that some of the mountains and volcanoes of Orbis are actually Elementals who are in a deep slumber. This hypothesis has not be proven but there is evidence that elementals are difficult to detect and often go unseen to untrained eyes.
The Ettin are 2 headed giants that live deep in the woods of Orbis. Rarely seen near cities or towns. They prefer the isolation of the forest then civilization. When Ettins are seen they are usually arguing between themselves. Each head wanting there way over the other. They don't complete much of anything since each step is a quarrel. But if they get mad, both will go into an uncontrollable rage ripping the forest apart like a tornado, leaving little standing. Legend tells of an Ettin that cleared the land that Orbis' capital sits on.
Sorry for posting Monster Monday a day late. Yesterday was a little exhausting and it slipped my mind.
Mimics are creatures that are able to replicate objects in texture and design to disguise themselves to trick others. There true form is unknown but they are thought to be an ooze that was infused with changeling DNA, that allowed the ooze to morph. Most likely created in a wizards lab and escaped disguised to multiply into Orbis' cities. It's unknown how many mimics exist or that an object is a mimic till it reveals it's face to fight back. Usually a mimic is harmless unless it feels threatened where it can change into a weapon and fight back.
Imps are small, mischievous, creatures seen as pests to others. They live in small, tight areas ranging from attics to hallow trees. Imps enjoy stealing metal objects from human homes, most notably silverware and coins. Inside their burrows, they use the metal to sharpen their teeth or carve crude weapons. To keep Imps from stealing, hang cut up onions in doorways and window sills. Imps' sense of smell is very sensitive to the distinct odor and won't enter the house. This technique can also be used to rid an area of unwanted imps.
Sorry for the silence lately, was dealing with some food allergies that left me out of commission for a while, but i'm better now. So later on this week I'll post some monsters that I finished up coloring in photoshop
Born of the elemental energy of the earth, Carig was brought to life through natural powers along with all of the craglins. Due to Carig's large size he is able to manipulate the abnormal amount of magic that flows through his body. After many years of training with all kinds of magicians and wizards, he was able to harness his magic to protect craglins from their natural enemy in the cave systems called crawlers, bat like beasts of great speed and a venomous bite. Carig guards the graglin tunnel systems with enchantments and hexes to keep the mines safe from thieves and crawlers as well as the crystals magic that brought their kind to life.
The Art Order is holding a challenge to create a piece of personal art. Some of the prompts were mythology and folklore which got me thinking about mythology that isn't as popular. That led me back to mythology and stories I was researching early in my first 2 years of college. I was interested in learning more about Asian mythology since I have a martial arts background. Soon into my research Monkey King came up. After reading numerous academic articles and stories, I knew I had to create an illustration of the character.
Now a few years later, I was stumped on what to create for my next illustration. I draw European fantasy often and wanted to do something different. While looking through an old folder of drawings I found my first drawing of Monkey King and was immediately inspired to create a new piece based on the character. I got to work and created the new personal piece that I am happy with.
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.
Ice Giants are scattered all over my sketch book recently. I have done drawings on toned paper in the past few months and only one digital piece. I felt like I was neglecting photoshop lately and needed to get back into digital coloring. Last week I drew a toned paper version of the Ice Giant that did not turn out as well as I hoped. Redrawing the piece on bristol turned out favorable results. Then the photoshop magic begins. Though I do not consider myself a photoshop wizard like my friends.
The original drawing will be traveling with me in September to Illuxcon, where I will be displaying my work in the showcase on Friday and Saturday night.
Bonus line drawing
A new illustration for The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien of one of my favorite scenes in The Hobbit, riddles in the dark.
It has been a while since I made a Middle-Earth illustration. I decided to take one of the watercolors I made for an independent study and finish it to a level I was unable to do with the original piece. The composition is similar to the watercolor, but the rendering is much different. The light source of Sting is much brighter and better color theory overall. In the book Gollum is said to have dark skin. Since blue plays an important role in the piece, I gave Gollum blue skin as well along with rim lighting the color of Sting. Bilbo's design remains the same but with a coat and cloak. For the cave, I found some good reference images on the internet and combined parts I liked from the photos to create the atmosphere. Overall, the piece turned out the way I originally hoped for and learned more techniques to add to my photoshop skills.
This week is all about getting ready for MoCCA Fest in NYC. Here is a Jackalope I created as one of the designs for stickers I sell. I didn't want it to be a fluffy happy rabbit, so I added scruffier fur, sharp teeth, and dark brown hair elements.
If you are interested in getting a copy of my book, Conjured Thoughts: Volume 1, attend a con or shop visit that I'm attending. During May or June, I might open a store to make prints and books available.
This week's monster is based on drawing I created last year for Illustration Friday of the Goblin on War pig (can be seen in my portfolio). I wanted to draw a companion piece for the brown paper drawing for my sketch book I'm printing for convention season. The weekend provided time to design, draw, and ink the piece and I added color in the early afternoon today. This character spot isn't for a project but an exploration to a fantasy setting in the African savanna.
During Goblin Week I drew a mining goblin repelling in a crystal cavern. It was my favorite drawing I created that week and decided to take it to a finished piece and documented the creation of the illustration while working.
The theme I added to Goblin Week was to create a mining company. In the beginning it's all little drawings of poses and ideas. It helps to layout the shapes before deciding details. Sketchbooks aren't meant to be pretty so I scribble down any idea that comes to mind even if it doesn't end up working because it might be useful later on. After sketching the repelling idea on the left page, I took the idea and scaled it up to a larger sketch. Then I took that sketch and cleaned up the idea on a piece of bristol to prepare to ink.
Having a solid drawing makes inking much easier. I don't leave anything blank to 'fix later'. It always ends with taking more time to fix later then just doing it right the first time. I get out my lining brush and ink bottle and get to work. After doing the first ink pass, I let it dry then tackle detailing. When the piece is completely dry, I scan it and clean up any mistakes or random ink blobs to prepare it for digital flats.
The cleaned up ink drawing becomes the lines for the digital piece. In photoshop the base colors are laid down on multiple layers, this is the time I experiment with different palettes. I want to nail down the palette before I end up adding shadows and highlights. But that doesn't always happen so I adjust some colors. For this piece, the character came together easily but the rocks and crystals had a lot of experimenting.
The final step in to add the highlights and shadows. Those are also done on their own layers in a new folder. Labeling layers and folders makes it much easier to keep track of things for me. After adding shadows, the highlights come next. Since the back of the crystals are black, I added a strong purplish white highlight to add punch.
I'm still learning how to use photoshop more efficiently and am enjoying learning to use photoshop as a medium. Though I am experimenting with new ways to apply watercolor in a flat manner similar to my digital work. More pieces are in the work.
Because of the holidays, I've been spending less time at the drawing table creating full pieces and spending much more time in the sketchbook planning pieces for the new year. Since my final semester of college wrapped up a couple of weeks back, I wanted to start off strong and get into the habit of creating more pieces as well as continuing to be self motivated.
Since winter is now upon us, I figured it was a good time to take my old Ice Giant watercolor and bring it to the level I originally intended.
I also want to continue to improve on my digital coloring techniques since that is the direction I want to take my work in. I see my pieces as 75% traditional (piece planned on paper, sketched on bristol, and inked with a brush) and 25% digital (coloring the piece, changing lines colors, and cleaning unwanted ink up). For a while I didn't want to go digital because I liked the fact that I had a one of a kind piece, but my new method gives me an original ink drawing and a digital piece that brings my work to the next level. I get the best of both traditional and digital.
Since the convention season is looming in the spring time, I'll also be creating more little zines like Goblin Guild (soon to be a full color version) as well as putting together a book of many of the toned paper drawings I've created over the past year. The book will be professionally printed and will only be available at cons and comic shops I attend events at (if by popular demand maybe available online... kickstarter?). I will be attending Illuxcon again next year and even got a table at the showcase on Friday and Saturday nights, where I'll be selling prints, books and originals. It's not even the new year and I'm already planning 5 months ahead of time. But I think that's normal....
The first piece of the new year will be my final illustration I created for my independent study. It's pretty awesome.
Recently I have finished my second full page digital illustration. Each piece I create I get more comfortable using Photoshop as a means to render my work in color. For my second piece, I choose to go back and revamp a watercolor I made last fall for my independent study of book illustration. Here's the original watercolor.
This was one of my first watercolors I did in 2 years last fall. Though I am happy with completing an illustration with multiple characters and the warm feeling of the hobbit hole. I knew with the great improvement I've made over the past year, that this piece could become even stronger for my portfolio.
For the new illustration, I used the strong elements of the original and added more narrative. I pulled back the scene a little bit to have a little bit more breathing room and make it possible for Gandalf to be in the illustration. The Dwarves were redesigned with more color to create a broader color palette. Bilbo's design remained the same, I always imagine Bilbo with a red vest. And Gandalf joined with his signature blue pointed hat.
The original drawing was done on two pieces of bristol, one with all the characters and props, the other with the background elements. Having 2 layers made it easier to edit the original black wood grain lines to color. Prof. Gash helped me nail the color as well as experimenting with different techniques to create the warm feeling of the hobbit hole. Over all I am pleased to add another digital piece to my portfolio.
For this Monday, I'll share the small illustrations I created for a book I just finished called 'Goblin Guild'.
First off, the lowest rank goblin in the guild, a basic soldier. Most Goblins enter the Guild as a soldier since they don't have skills writing or at magic. But many soldiers are need to pillage for treasures in human towns and villages.
Next up is the Goblin Guild scribe. Not to many goblins know how to write but the ones that do keep a diligent log of the relics and treasures collected on the village raids.
There are some goblins trained in the art of stealth. Some treasures are locked away in vaults, but with a small unit of thieves it might not be there so long. These goblins are the few in the guild that are trained from masters in their art.
Just like any other being in the world, goblins are capable in magic. The Goblin Guild has a small collection of spell books that wizards use to learn protective spells (to save soldiers from slaughter) and curses (to hurt the humans). There are few wizards in the Guild so they are highly respected.
Goblin Pyromancers are used during and after a raid. They light fields of wheat on fire and human houses to the ground. There main goal is to cause so much destruction that no one would return, adding valuable land to the Guild's property.
Every Guild needs a hero, even the Goblin ones. The best soldiers, pyromancers, scribes, wizards, and thieves can be a hero to the Guild. Most of the heros lead their branch of the Guild or are lucky to live long enough to cash in on the Guild's retirement program.