Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Tharkule


















Here's the fourth and final illustration in the series I recently did for Red Aegis. It's more or less self-explanatory. 

Like the other pieces in this series, this one was a serious challenge and I chose to work as much of it out in black and white as possible before adding color. In this case, I kept the colors pretty muted (for me anyway). I thought too much color would just hurt the picture.

The title of this post (and the piece) refers to the name of the city below the aerial battle between choppers and dragons.

I've included my initial sketch, a grayscale value study and the final color art above.

You can learn more about Red Aegis at the links below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vorpalgames/red-aegis-roleplaying-game
https://www.facebook.com/VorpalGames

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Jumpgate

















Here's the third of four illustrations for Red Aegis. It illustrates a fleet of ships entering a jumpgate in orbit above a ringed world. the planet has a dense network of satellites around it, which I tried to suggest without rendering it too much.

This was the first time I can recall painting a picture quite like this and it was a learning experience. In the end, I felt like I got a little too focused on sharp edges, details and the idea that there's no atmosphere in space. If I were to do it again, I think I'd soften more edges, bleed the color around a bit more and take a looser, more atmospheric approach. Nevertheless, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out!


I've included my initial sketch, a grayscale value study and the final color art above.

You can learn more about Red Aegis at the links below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vorpalgames/red-aegis-roleplaying-game
https://www.facebook.com/VorpalGames

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wimachanca

















Here's another illustration for Vorpal Games' Red Aegis. This one involved showing a day-to-night, orange-to-blue transition of a city (Wimachanca) high in the Andes, built around a huge pyramid. It was difficult to work out the color transition in this one. I don't paint cities much and I find that when I do work on a  picture like this, it can be a bit of a rabbit hole. I could have continued adding details and tweaking this one for days.

As in the previous post, I've included the preliminary sketch and the grayscale study.


You can learn more about Red Aegis at the links below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vorpalgames/red-aegis-roleplaying-game
https://www.facebook.com/VorpalGames

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ascendant

















I work under a lot of non-disclosure agreements so I haven't been able to post anything new in a while but here's one of 4 illustrations I recently did for Vorpal Games. It's for their science fiction game, Red Aegis. I will post the other 3 illustrations in the near future.

This project was challenging in a number of ways and it pushed me into some unfamiliar areas. For example, this piece involved illustrating a meditating character whose chakras are visible (represented by the vertical line of glowing, colored lights in the middle of the picture) and who is "tethered" to alien worlds both in space and cyberspace. That was a lot to pack into one picture!

I 've included my initial sketch, a grayscale value study and the final color art above.

You can learn more about Red Aegis at the links below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vorpalgames/red-aegis-roleplaying-game
https://www.facebook.com/VorpalGames

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Forest Elephant
























I wasn't quite sure what to title this post but the image above was created years ago for Magic the Gathering. If I'm not mistaken, it was only released digitally, as part of an online version of the game. It depicts an elephant being formed out of the moss, soil and vegetation of the forest. I painted it in Adobe Photoshop and had a great time doing it! It's a personal favorite.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Firefly Archetypes



 

A crazy work schedule has kept me away from posting for a while but once all the things I've been working on for the past few months are actually published, I'll have a lot of cool new work to share. Meanwhile, I wanted to share some more Firefly character archetypes with you. I've been holding them back for a bit because the hardcover for the game hasn't been released (up to this point, it has only been available in digital form) but it's coming out soon!

I've attached the artwork for the Triad Gangster archetype and the Minor League Hustler archetype, as well as the preliminary drawings for each. I hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

More Firefly Characters



 


The PDF version of the Firefly RPG has been released so I can post more of the character archetypes I painted for the game. I'm posting two of my favorites, along with the preliminary drawings for each piece. The first is an Alliance Engineer. I was able to incorporate more elements than just the figure into this one so I'm pleased with it in part because I like the overall design those extra elements allowed me to create.

The second character is a Derelict Salvager. As I mentioned in my previous post on these archetypes, I really tried to portray an ethnically diverse group of characters and these two pieces are certainly representative of that effort. The second piece also illustrates an effort to use colors that would work well with, and against, a blue background. In this case, I even went so far as to work quite a bit of that blue into the character. I did this because the planned layout for the book involved putting the characters on blue. Knowing the artwork would have no painted background but would be placed against a medium blue rather than a light color or white impacted the choices I made. For example, it takes darker colors and stronger edges to stand out against a medium value than against white, cream, etc. Each piece was painted with that in mind but, unfortunately, in the final PDF book (and presumably in the print edition, to be released soon) the artwork is all placed on a white background. Changes like that aren't uncommon and I'm sure there was a good reason for that decision so I'm not complaining but the decision did result in some of the artwork looking darker than intended. When painting something intended to go against a light or white background, I normally try to make choices that soften the contrast between art and page a little.

That's a little insight into how color choices are made and how layout choices can impact the final presentation of an illustration. I've included a sample image below to illustrate what I'm talking about. The figure is unchanged. Only the background color is different and as you can see, the difference is somewhat dramatic.

Thanks for reading! You can learn more about the Firefly RPG at http://www.margaretweis.com/