Sunday, November 25, 2012

Character Illustrations

Here are a pair of bards, a dwarf and an elf created for Paizo Publishing's recently released NPC Codex (for those unfamiliar with roleplaying game lingo, an NPC is a "non-player character"). I painted two dwarves and two elves for this project. I'll post them in pairs, along with the drawings.

I actually prefer the preliminary line drawings for these characters to the painted finals. Looking back, it would have been nice to do these in pen and ink and watercolor as opposed to the all-digital I approach I took to the drawings and paintings. Nevertheless, I like the final artwork and I hope readers and players of Paizo's Pathfinder game will like it too. The NPC Codex book itself is simply loaded with artwork and is well worth checking out.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mind Flayers

This Photoshop painting of a pair of Mind-Flayers leading a hypnotized drow (basically a dark-skinned elf for those who don't know) down a hallway was a real challenge so I thought I'd share the process. I won't go into too much detail describing it since I think the images speak for themselves. I began with a line drawing (not included here but typical of the preliminary line drawings I've posted with other paintings). I then painted the figures and the basics of the surroundings in gray, using basic Photoshop brushes. I began adding color, texture and detail, making changes as the picture progressed. The textures were created by pasting texture images over the painting, adjusting the transparency and distorting the texture image to match the perspective. Further texture was added using custom brushes. As you can see, my initial instinct to use an intense gold backlighting gave way to a much more muted choice. The wall relief was loaded into the painting from the preliminary drawing and If I remember correctly, I simply made a Levels adjustment to to darken the colors where the line drawing was loaded. I then painted back into the walls, to finish the piece off.

I've included a detail of the characters. I hope you enjoy the piece and I hope all of this is enlightening!