Tuesday 28 June 2011

Talisman the Dragon

Talisman the Dragon

© Fantasy Flight Games/ Games Workshop
Acrylic, 22.5" x 22.5"
Original artwork for sale

I have been enjoying the continuity of working on the Talisman board game line, and I am happy to reveal my cover artwork for Talisman the Dragon, the latest expansion.

As usual we have a very mixed bag of adventurers attempting to battle their way to the top of the Dragon's tower and gain the treasure inside. Creating a narrative with the different archetypes is an enjoyable challenge, and better still was devising a new Dragon. I wanted to echo aspects of the Talisman boardgame's cover Dragon, whilst making him distinctively his own beastie. I feel he is suitably fierce and threatening, something helped by the dramatic perspective.

Below is the initial sketch, in the background of which you can see the Dragon Rider character. Whilst she features in the game it just seemed too confusing to have an additional Dragon on the scene - and she got dropped.

Talisman the Dragon - Sketch

Thursday 9 June 2011

Ambush! - A Walkthrough

©Wizards of the Coast.
Original acrylic painting approx 22" x 22".
For Sale.

Around Christmas I was commissioned to work on a large interior illustration for Dragon magazine. The publication date was due April/May, however unfortunately the article was pulled at the last moment and this accompanying illustration with it. Happily the Art Director, Jon Schindehette, helped secure the necessary permission for me to share my work publically anyway.

The topic for this piece was full of drama; a pair of Thri-Kreen stop at a waterhole to refill their canteens, and ease their parched throats, when a Water Drake leaps from it's hiding place to satiate it's own hunger.

The sinuous Water Drake leant itself very nicely as a strong compositional tool. It's length encircles it's victim, whilst all the lines of force, including head and tail, point to the targetted Thri-Kreen.*

Whilst painting the picture I took  a large number of photos and I have whittled these down to a selection that reveal my process. In this case a very methodical front to back, element by element approach. This is my norm, but sometimes I can lay down broader areas of colour in order to aid the colour/value balance. This time I had a very clear image in my head, and it unfolded as I anticipated -  which I wish it always did.

*It was fun to revisit the Thri-Kreen , of whom I had previously created a Chesley nominated illustration. A printout of which can be seen on the top right of the drwaing board.

1.The background colour is laid down.

2. The shading and values are refined.

3. Hard at it.

4. Leading the background values through onto the rear figure.

5. The skin tones completion defines the rear figures value range.

6. Bringing in the blue and starting on the foreground Thri-Kreen.

7. Liking the red/blue juxtaposition.

8. Skin and values defined.

9. Figure about complete.

10. The workspace - with notation of clutter reference materials.

11. Developing the water, cast shadow, and foliage.

12. Nailing the Drake's palette and head.

13. Brought that over the whole body.

14. Drake's highlights added and the base for the dripping water started.

15. Lots of droplets!

16. The apprentice gives his input - yum, snacks.