Saturday, March 31, 2012

Goblins! Part 1

A while back I did some goblin concept drawings for The Workshop, a California-based game company. They were looking for designs that would be somewhat unique and would straddle the line between whimsical and formidable while still keeping the creatures recognizable as goblins. There were to be two basic types, wiry little goblins and big, burly goblins. I worked up some ideas and you can see the design for the small goblin above. I will post the big fellow tomorrow.

We tried a few different skin colors, including orange-hued skin and a mustard green but ultimately, decided the green you can see in the artwork was best.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dreamblade Designs

I did these miniature designs for Dreamblade years ago. If I remember correctly, at least two of them weren't produced, so this is the first time at least some of these drawings have seen the light of day. As always with miniature designs, I created a front and back view for the sculptors to work from.

The first image is an "electric sheep". He's actually more of a steampunk sheep because the idea was to create something with a clockwork or industrial revolution feel rather than a more contemporary robot sheep. I've always been very fond of this drawing.

The second entry is the truly disgusting Pus Cannon and this one may have been produced (I honestly can't recall). My assignment was to design a creature that literally had an organic cannon on it's back. It was to be covered in lumps and sores, some of them oozing. Yes, it's gross and yes, it was a blast to draw and yes, you're probably relieved that this piece isn't in color!

The third design was a great idea and I wish it had been produced. The concept was to have an invisible, gelatinous blob creature (not unlike the green, blobby aliens in some episodes of Futurama) that used a fake, friendly grandmother as a lure, like an anglerfish uses a dangling light to lure prey. If the miniature had been produced, the grandmother would have been made of opaque, painted plastic and encased in the blob, which would have been made of clear plastic. It would have been awesome! Ah, what could have been... unfortunately, they decided it was going to be too difficult to pull off.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Temperatures have been as high as 80 degrees here in Chicago lately, which is extremely unusual at this time of year. It's been nice to work with the windows open and get out of my "art cave"into the sunlight a little. In that spirit, here's a sunlit picture I painted for the recently released Dungeons and Dragons board game Lords of Waterdeep. It depicts a deal being made between a merchant and an adventurer. I managed to keep it a little more loose and painterly than usual and I was pleased with the results.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nautilus Ring

I'm busy working on several new projects so I just have a quick entry this week. It's an item painting I did for the Warcraft TCG Throne of the Tides set: a nautilus ring. I was able to determine the appearance of the ring and chose to use two different-colored metals in the design to carry through the patterns seen on an actual nautilus. I've always found sea creatures fascinating and the nautilus is one of the oldest and most visually interesting of them all so it wasn't exactly a chore to create this image!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Void Yai

This fellow was painted for Paizo Publishing's Dragon Empires Gazetteer. I've posted Yai on this blog before (back in August and September of 2011). They are a type of Oni, a creature from Japanese myth and folklore.

I'm posting some preliminary sketches for this piece, although there was nothing terribly mysterious about the process. I began with a few loose roughs, eventually settling on the rough sketch above. From there, I simplified and refined my initial idea a little, shifting the position of the club and defining the shape of the character. I then added detail and refined the drawing until I had a nice, clean character design on which to base the painting.

I wanted this character to feel large but I didn't want to "hulk" him out and with no background, I couldn't use a surrounding environment to reinforce his size. Consequently, I added a bit of extra slope to his shoulders and made him bottom heavy to give him a strong sense of mass, almost as if gravity has gradually shifted the bulk of his body downward. If I'd made his head smaller, he'd practically be a triangle, which is just what I wanted!