Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pathfinder Kaiju

Last summer, I was asked to design 3 kaiju for the game Pathfinder. Kaiju is a Japanese word for "strange creature" but has come to be known in english as "monster", usually of the gigantic variety. Godzilla is probably the best-known example of a kaiju, but he's far from the only one.

I was asked to illustrate 3 fairly archetypal kaiju for the Pathfinder Bestiary 4 book: a large, reptilian kaiju, a flying, dinosaur-like kaiju and an "insect" monster. The well-known Japanese film equivalents to these archetypes will probably be familiar to just about anyone reading this blog. Because these kaiju were somewhat archetypal, I couldn't go crazy and create really wild, exotic monsters. Nevertheless, I had some freedom to play and I had a good time with these illustrations, especially the insect/crustacean kaiju, which ended up being my favorite.

The illustrations were to be text-wrapped so they don't have backgrounds. At some point, I'd love to revisit this subject and paint a full-fledged scene of a kaiju wreaking havoc and causing destruction!

I've included both the final art and the preliminary drawings. In some ways, I prefer the clean simplicity of the latter.

The Kaiju images are copyright © Paizo Publishing. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Establish a Temple

I painted this scene for a card in the D&D game expansion Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport. It's a subterranean temple. If you look closely, you'll see a few workers who are still building it, hence the title "Establish a Temple".

This piece presented some lighting challenges since it's a subterranean scene. It needed to read well but still look like it was underground. I ended up backlighting the temple and using a muted ambient light from an unclear source, punctuated by some torchlights. 

I had a good time designing the temple and overall, I was very pleased with the final painting.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Eye of Thkaalujin

I did these 3 illustrations for Dragon magazine #428 last Fall. The first is titled Eye of Thkaalujin and, as an experiment, was painted almost entirely using square-shaped brushes. I wanted to loosen up a little and that helped me do it. The composition was a bit of a challenge too as I needed to show the titular eye in both the book the wizard character is holding and also on his forehead. The eye is actually a curse. Once the wizard opened the book, the curse/spell was activated and the eye manifested on his forehead!

The two spot illustrations were great fun. The Krylanthian Cloak is a cloak made of exotic frog skins and the Bone Scepter of Zceryll is a magical item that, as you can see, appears to be made of a vast, cosmic realms of space.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Keepers of Grimoire logo

Last summer, I had the opportunity to do some illustration and design work for Keepers of Grimoire, a new fantasy game currently being created by Orca Bear Studios. Perhaps the most important aspect of the assignment was to create the logo for the game. It was a challenge I relished since I did that sort of design work all the time earlier in my career.

I was very pleased with the results (as were the folks at Orca Bear, which is what really counts) and I may put together a "process" post about the logo in the near future. Meanwhile, here it is and I hope you like it!

You can learn more about Keepers of Grimoire at: