Dwarf Paladin Process

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. dwarf_process_internet

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.

Thunder Beard Watercolor



For a while now I've wanted to create a watercolor piece from 'The Iron Halls' a fictional world of a dwarf kingdom in the high mountains with glaciers and snow. A while back I posted the drawing of Lord Thunder Beard and did some digital work on it. This time around is all traditionally done with ink, watercolor, and gouache. There was experimentation done creating texture for the background as well as switching inked lines out for lines created with saturated watercolors.

In the past I haven't written to much about the characters and worlds I've created. So I decided that I should share those thoughts too.


The Thunder Beards are one of three clans that rule the Iron Halls. Thunder Beards are known for their strength in battle with mighty war hammers. There culture centers around the warrior figure in architecture, clothing, and thought. The Thunder Beard clan is always the first line of defense with the Ice Giants attempt to break into the mountain and exterminate the dwarves. They also tend to be the ones who hastily  makes decisions in council meetings. 

The current leader of the Thunder Beards is Olaf 'Giant's bane' of the Thunder Beard Clan. The middle name is a feat name that a dwarf can receive after doing a feat that helps the Iron Halls.


Creating Lord Thunder Beard

Lord Thunder Beard started out as a drawing I did at work to pass the time. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to finish it.

ImageHere is the drawing I started at work. It was based off a sketch created in my sketchbook that I posted a while back. I spent a while on the drawing because I didn't know I was going to end up finishing it.

ImageHere is the inked sketch that I scanned and cleaned up in photoshop. After I decided that I wanted to add some textures to the image to make it look more like a page from an old book. I used a textured filed and used color burn to change the color of the line art. 


Then the image is finished. I added a little text on the top of the characters name, Lord Thunder Beard. 



Lord Thunder Beard

Lord Thunder Beard

I created this for myself as a spare time piece. I sketched it at work on Wednesday, inked yesterday, and edited in photoshop today. This character is from a fictional history I've been thinking about called the Iron Halls. A dwarven kingdom located in a cluster of mountains, each owned by a separate lord involve in a war with a Troll king who is interested in taking over the mountains due to its large amount of valuable crystals.

Lord Thunder Beard will be available as a mini print at MoCCA fest this weekend. I'll be at the Montclair State University table E149. Hope to see you there.

Sketch Book

I am a illustrator who has always drawn. I've been keeping a sketchbook since I was about 10 years old and can't imagine the thousands of pages I have filled. Lately I have been working in a new sketch book book, a brown toned hardcover book produced by Strathmore. I've been searching for months for a hard cover sketch book that is not white paper, I need something with a binding so I am not tempted to rip out a drawing and forget a failure. It's important to keep all the drawings to show the progression to a liked drawing. The nice thing about sketchbooks is its an exploration and doesn't have to be 'finished' like an illustration. It's about problem solving and not creating perfect images. So I've decided to share some pages of my sketchbook in hope to get others to fill some sketchbooks of there own.



Incase anyone was wondering I draw with a simple pen and use a white gel pen for the white ink. 


The Unexpected Party

The Unexpected Party

First of 4 paintings I created last semester for my independent study. Finally got the illustration scanned and learned of a new tool in photoshop that combines 2 files seamlessly into 1.

The Hobbit is written by professor JRR Tolkien and has been a favorite book of mine since childhood. The project was created from a book report I did in 7th grade where I drew images to include with the report. I've always had strong images set in my head for Tolkien's creations and I used the independent study to create large rendered watercolor illustrations.

This is 'The Unexpected Party' of the dwarves arriving at Bilbo's hobbit hole in order to plan the journey to reclaim their treasure.

Toned Paper Dwarf Drawing

The next month is going to be extremely busy. It is the final month of my thesis. I have to finish the paintings, writing, and put the book together to send to the printer. And then I have to get ready for 2 Conventions, Asbury Park Comic Con and MoCCA. My calendar is so full I almost want to vomit. 

Anyway, over the past few days I decided to work on a new drawing as a break from painting. I haven't drawn a dwarf in a while so I decided to fool around in my sketch book.

by Paige Connelly

This is one page from my sketchbook, I tend to draw details that I will use in an illustration or drawing before hand. It helps to have reference on what the character is going to look like. I also draw little gestures of the pose (seen in right top corner), it's a great way to figure out poses.

After I do a few pages of sketches, I draw the figure with a 2H pencil for the lose gestures and details. Then I'll darken some lines that are hard to see clearly. I pull out my FW black ink and use a brush to ink my drawing. I've been experimenting with multiple ways to add white to my toned paper drawings. White pencil is good for sketchbooks but tends to rub off onto the other page. And I finally found a solution, gouache.

by Paige Connelly

There's the finished Dwarf. Make sure to check out my tumblr, thinkillustrationpaige.tumblr.com for more illustrations. Now to get drawing for Monster Monday.