Just a Roll of the Eight-sided Die.
I currently have a piece posted on the Art Order; a blog for and about the fantasy and sci-fi illustration community created by Jon Schindehette, Senior Creative Director for Dungeons & Dragons. I follow the blog and refer my students to it often as it’s a great source of information for any market.
They ran a challenge about Segmentation; discussing the different age groups that were a part of AND outside of the norm for both D&D and the fantasy/sci-fi genre. It was opportunity to create a piece (with specific art direction) in a new market and I always love a challenge.
My work is generally geared towards teens/young adults and it was a blast to create a fantasy image focused on the tween market.
This was so much fun and the response has been great. If you get a chance please go on over to their site and check out the entries, I am in some really great company.
Above is a screen capture from the site.
Below is a bit of the process I used to create the image.
(Click on the images for a larger view.)
First off, I like to start with some character design. The warrior-woman was loosely based on my warrior-woman/girlfriend Melissa. When designing the creature (a Beholder for the uninitiated) I wanted to create a character that was foreboding but not really scary. Using an under-bite adds a bit of humor.
Next I will thumbnail out the composition. Many times I will cut and paste the thumbnail with a few of the character designs in order to flesh out the idea.
The rough-comp is then printed out to a comfortable size, in this case approximately 8 inches by 10 inches. Then I use a light table to trace off the rough and create a more finished sketch using a bit of photo reference.
I scanned the finished sketch, upped the contrast and colored it using Photoshop. Lately, I have been using scanned textures to add another layer to the coloring process. Below is a detail of the piece. You can see the piece in it’s entirety and the other awesome entries at the Art Order, here.