Monday, September 29, 2014

Orc Zulu Shield

This quick pen and ink sketch will be submitted to & Magazine issue 11 to go along with the theme "Humanoids" and will probably be used as filler artwork along with others. 

It struck me that orc's can not only be subterranean in nature, but also a force to be reckoned with on the rugged  savannas and prairies of an African like world setting. I thought it would be cool to draw up this Zulu like shield and decorate it with orc symbolism and feel. 

I think the brutes would be down right proud to display this spear/shield on the fringes of their borders!

What do you think?

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This took me about an hour and a half to sketch and ink in. I used India ink and brush for the black area that denotes the sky beyond the trees and shrubs. 

Thanks for looking and comments always welcome. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gnoll Illustration

Before I get to the art post for the day, I just wanted to give a big thank you to +Vincent Florio and the RFI Podcast crew +RollForInitiative for the quick show/issue where they had +Bryan Fazekas editor for & Magazine on to talk about magic items. The show was quick, but they mentioned me by name and my collaborative work Three Shops. Great job guys and thanks for having a great show. 

On to the artwork. 

I have been wanting to draw a gnoll for some time now, the fact that this thing is a feral creature humanoid with the head of a hyena always stirred something primitive within. Every time I came across them in a dungeon I didn't so much as want to fight them, but join them, for the sheer joy of it. 

I know what many of you are thinking (probably) "Gnolls are less than intelligent", right, but does that mean that they are not still willy, animalistic, carnal, and downright mean? I think not. A lack of societal intelligence, in my mind, doesn't mean these things are not wise to the setting in which they are inhabiting, nor does it mean that that can't still rip you limb from limb. 

This guy should grace the pages of & Magazine issue 11 when it hits the interwebs in November. 

Here is the sketch with initial inks. 
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I chose to have him equipped with javelin/spears because I wanted him to be a scout type, and I think it adds to the overall flow of the drawing. It centers the face and body of the beast and draws the viewer's eye to the character itself. His armor is piece-mail simply out of necessity, (using armor from someone he ripped limb from limb leaves not to many whole options after all.)

I also really am trying to work on my background work, and for this one I decided he would be up high on a precipice looking for some unsuspecting adventurer to pounce upon. I think the tree line in the background gives him weight as well, and sets him firmly in an environment. 

I am not quite satisfied with the rendering of the stones, grass and cliff face but I shall endeavor to get better. 

And the final version, ink, Prismacolor marker and black colored pencil.

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Hope  you enjoy this guy as much as I did drawing him. 

Thanks for looking and comments always welcome. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


Thank you for all the comments everyone, I really do appreciate them all. 

Ok, I have pretty much spent all day at the drawing board today, so I was able to finish off the Ettin as well. I decided to give him a more ferral look too. Instead of leaving him bare chested I threw an old cow pelt over his shoulder, and a marmot skull around his neck. I like the way he turned out.

I wish I would have not drawn him so big to begin with however, as I wanted to illustrate a full body pose. Oh well, I guess I will have to save that thought for another time. 

I know this is my second post today, so lets see which one gets viewed the most, and gets the most +'s and comments. 

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Thanks for looking, and comments are always welcome. 

Undead Troll

This one has come a long way from a sketch design on a cross country airplane ride. I posted the original sketch here. 

This undead troll will be submitted to & Magazine for issue 11 due to be released in November. My original concept through the final piece pretty much stayed the same, and while I do not think that my backgrounds are totally up to par yet, I suppose I am being harsh on myself. 

I wanted him down in a hole, clawing out from under heavy vegetation over some rocky outcroppings. Mostly I wanted to get the vines that he was parting to make sense, and I really wanted to show foreground vines and background vines going in separate directions indicating that he was actually holding them out of the way in order to climb up and through in order to devour the flesh of some unsuspecting adventurer. 

Again I started with black ink Pigma Micro pens and finished up with the Prismacolor grey markers for shadows. I then put a few highlight in his eyes, teeth and gum line with white gauche. 

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Next on my agenda is to finish the Ettin sketch, start a Gnoll illustration and finish up on an idea I have for a group of Goblinoids. Should be fun.

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Witches Stew Final

In as much as I had wanted to get this illustration done a while ago, it didn't happen. I previewed it here, in sketch form and I finally got around to inking it in. I used Pigma Micron pens, and Prismacolor neutral grey markers to finish her off. 

I scanned it in via several different modes, as both grey-scale, and color, this one happens to be the color version, and I think it showed alot more detail and gave the illustration a better overall feel. 

She is creeping me out, so now I have to put her away in the art folder. 

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The process started with me inking in all the lines, and then erasing all of the pencil marks. I thought I might rip through several times (as the original sketch was done on copier paper at work), but I managed to get her cleaned up and spotless. 

I then got to work adding in the extreme black areas, her right shoulder, and under the bowl, as well as around her neck/back areas. 

I then moved to the Prismacolor markers. Working from 216 (10%) grey all the way through 221 (60%) grey, each one progressively getting darker on the left side of the drawing, as the light was coming from the right. I blended them in each layer and kept working in the grey tones until I got to a point that I liked the effect. 

Finally I used a 05 Pigma Pen and darkened in the right side lines, and other points where the lines needed freshening after applying the markers. 

The final bit I did was the texture of the bowl itself. I worked with a 005 Pigma and made the wormy marks that signified the pottery feel to the bowl.

Anyway, now that she is done, I can concentrate on the Ettin and the Troll that I put up in sketch form. 

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ettin and Troll Sketches

I recently went to Colorado for my sister's wedding, and figuring I would have some down time during the flights, I took out the sketchbook and sketched in some drawings. & Magazine will be publishing issue 11 in November and I wanted to get going on several of the items that may be seen there. 

The first sketch is an Ettin, those two headed giants that are not known for their smarts. I did this one on the plane out, and it drew tons of comments from the others who rode along with me, and the stewardesses who kept passing me by. My wife was getting tired of having people stop by and go "ooh"...I just chuckled. 

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I will work on inking this one in, fixing the ettin's right arm (ran out of room on the page), and making it more realistic. I like the idea of the large club over it's shoulder, but I have to rework it a bit. The head that is turned away will get a make over as well. Should be a fun illio when done.

This next airplane sketch was done on the travel back to Michigan. Again this one will probably be picked up in an upcoming issue of & Magazine. 

I hadn't really drawn a troll before, and having no reference material close by, I just kind of winged it. I wanted to create this feel of the troll clambering up out of a dingy hole, or from under something. I added in the rocks, will be adding in some moss curtains. 

I have to fix the troll's right hand for sure, that thing is way off. I like the nose, but the mouth may get an overhaul when I apply the final inks. He is going to get a ton more warts, scars, and general skin textures before he is complete, not to mention his beard and hair will be given a treatment. Troll conditioner on the way. :)

I took some pictures of rock formations when I was out in Colorado, and I will probably use some of those as reference for the ones to the left and right. Good use of photographic reference.  

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I will try and get these inked up this week and get the finals out for everyone to see. 

One final word before I log off. I wanted to say thanks to everyone who took the time to look at my stuff lately. I know that in the grand scheme of life a few random scribbles from someone like me doesn't mean much, but the fact that I had over 90 page views and over 30+'s for the Goblin Warrior Final in two weeks, means I must be doing something right. 

For that I wanted to say thanks for your support, time and +'s it really does mean a lot. As long as you guys want to see more, I will keep posting. Much appreciated. 

Thanks for looking, and as always comments welcome.