Sunday, 31 May 2009

Monster Manual II

Wizards of the Coast have just recently published the 4e Monster Manual II. I was fortunate enough to be commissioned to work on a number of pictures for the book.
In particular I enjoyed working on the Remorhaz (ice centipede/thing) which features as a chapter start, and thus runs across two pages; though this presented it's own problems with the guttering falling across the image, about a third of the way in from the left.
I was also gratified to see that the Frost giants have been used as part of the banner logo for the D&D web site, and also featured in Jon Schindehette's (lead D&D art director) blog
All images ©Wizards of the Coast


  1. Wow...can't believe there are no comments yet..? Well, more honor for me!

    Throttling-engendering-awesome as always, Ralph. If you don't mind, could you elaborate a bit more on the challenges you faced with the Winter Centipede, especially on how you dealt with the composition v. physical layout issues?


  2. Brilliant! I particularly like the charging dwarf. But hey I have a soft spot for the dawi.

  3. MuYoung Kim; I think I need to get out there and promote the blog more, after all it has only been running a week or so ;) Still, great to get your comment, and the honour is suitably bestowed :D

    Very pleased you like the pieces.

    The challenge for the Remorhaz is that you want the composition to work overall, but there is effectively going to be a 'lost area' of the image where the paper is bound into the guttering. This area can actually be quite large. As a consequence it becomes part of the picture where nothing important can be happening, yet at the same time yo uwant the picture to read well overall. Oh, and there si also atitle bar overlapping the image at top left.

    As a result of the above I mentally split the picture into left third and right two thirds, then try to have both parts work seperately and together.

    it is all part of the challenge of commercial illustration :)

    Forjador; Thanks. I had fun with the ghostly Dwarfs. Yet at the same time it is a challenge to give the detail along with the ethereal transparent quality. As a result I tried to keep the lead Dwarfs head in focus, with a hint of other colours, then faded him out towards his feet.

  4. Thanks Ralph for entertaining my question!

    Admittedly, you've already got more readers than me, but for what it's worth, I think I can sneak in a littel feature/link to your site into my next blog post. As long as you don't mind sharing some post space with my, um, still "developing" art.

    I've been meaing to write something up on self-taught art anyway, and quite frankly seeing your stuff, and hearing you on Ninja Mountain comment that you taught yourself, I think you're a rather ideal example of such (I need to up my perspicacity).

    That, and we would all be so lucky to look so daper in steel britches!

  5. Hi MuYoung Kim,

    Thanks very much for the offer of the link - much appreciated.

    Glad that you think I am some sort of positive example of being self-taught. Though any educational background is really only a jumping off point for every artist.

    Oh, and glad you like the armour - just had a new helmet arrive - an open faced sallet, very shiny :)


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