Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hearthstone: Gadgetzan Robot

This artwork for the latest Hearthstone expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, was recently revealed so now I can share it with you. The illustration is for card named Wind-up Burglebot in the game. I'm grateful that art director Jeremy Cranford (one of the best in the biz) gave me the opportunity to paint this card. I love designing robots!

I thought I'd provide some insight into my process on this one. Drawing in Adobe Photoshop, I began with some loose doodles, just simple ideas for the robot character.  Once I had one I liked (see below), I refined the drawing, working out the shapes and details of the robot, the stolen items it's peddling and it's surroundings.

At that point, I created a new RGB file in Photoshop, placed the drawing into an alpha channel and set the opacity of that channel to 50% so I could see the drawing as I applied color but it wouldn't be overpowering. I use a channel for this rather than a layer because that way I don't risk accidentally painting on the layer that contains the drawing.

Using several custom brushes, I began blocking in colors, working loosely to establish the color scheme and basic lighting. I worked with a complimentary color scheme, juxtaposing the orange robot against a blue background to boost contrast between the two. Once the basics of lighting and color had been established, I started working out details, refining and separating shapes, building textures, pushing contrast, etc. After that, the piece was essentially complete. However, upon seeing how it would look when cropped into the Hearthstone card format, Jeremy and I agreed that the wall on the left side of the picture was an unnecessary distraction so I painted it out.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

More Inktober drawings

Here are a few more little drawings I've created during this "Inktober". Most are small, just  2-3" inches at their tallest or widest point. the first represents "The Innsmouth Look" as described in H. P. Lovecraft's story, The Shadow Over Innsmouth. After that, there's a family of mushroom folk, a little bearded character, a fellow who likes to pretend he's a gargoyle, an autumn girl with a dan of color and finally, a little character sketch I titled "Ivan and his bag of skulls".



Sunday, October 9, 2016

Inktober drawings

Here are some drawings from the first week of "Inktober". The first two were drawn with micron pens. The third is a brush drawing and the fourth was drawn using a crowquill pen.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hearthstone: Orc Warrior and The Horde

Here are two more images I painted for the latest Hearthstone expansion, One Night in Karazhan. The close-up has a red swirl design around it in print.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hearthstone: Broom

This is my favorite of the pictures I painted for the new Hearthstone expansion One Night in Karazhan. It was a chance to get a bit silly and I love it when I can really embrace a humorous approach to a painting or a character design. In this case, I was able to paint a mean-spirited, magically-animated broom! It was a good time from start to finish.

I've included my initial concept sketches for the broom at left.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hearthstone: Protect the King!

Here's another illustration for the new Hearthstone release One Night in Karazhan. This one was a real challenge. I needed to depict chess pieces with no legs in motion. Eventually, I needed to work magical energy into the picture without creating chaos. Both the composition and the color scheme went through some big changes.

As you can see below, the original composition was more expansive, showing more of the pieces on the board. A decision was made to zoom in on a section of the composition so it would read better at the size of a Hearthstone card. From there, I did a complete value study in black and white to clarify the picture before adding color. I rather like the image this way, with black and white pieces actually painted in black and white. I wanted to preserve some of that feel so my initial approach to the color scheme was to use analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel—in this case, blues and purples).

Ultimately, the final art had to be much more colorful than that and I needed to work in magical energy so the pieces became a warm purple and ochre and I introduced red and blue energy. I think it works and in the end, I have a nice example of just how much color can change a piece even after most of the values have been established.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Hearthstone: Avian Watcher

I painted this illustration of for the new Hearthstone release, One Night in Karazhan

I've included a preliminary study in gray. I was initially leaning toward something dark and moody but Hearthstone is a very colorful game so in the end, the color scheme ended up being rather electric, with a highly saturated palette, right down to the glowing green eyes.