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. 
(Click to Enlarge)

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.

(Click to Enlarge)

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

Thanks for looking and comments always welcome.