Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Justice, Chaos, Law (The Process)

When +Batro Noban asked me to draw up a surreal scene encompassing ancient Greek architecture, symbols of Law, Chaos, Justice, and statuary of blind justice, along with other strangeness, I thought it an impossible task. 

If you get a chance, go check out his French Kickstarter here

I will take you through the process. 

Here is the intial sketch. 
Greek Justice Sketch by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright 2015 Del Teigeler

I was going for realism, little did I know that the client didn't want realism at all. This was sent off, and he replied that he wanted it crazier. 

Okay I can do crazy I thought. 

And, this is what came out. 

Greek Justice sketch 3 by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright 2015 Del Teigeler

Now, I had pushed myself, here I had buildings atop of buildings, multiple statues of the blind justice from Metallica's album cover (at the commissioners request). and had gone, what I thought, pretty wild. 

Well, I was wrong. At this point the commissioner wanted it crazier, he pushed me to my weirdness limit. I do not want to come off as complaining, not in the least. Every now and again it is good to be pushed to an artistic limit, to see how you deal with it. 

The timeline was tightening, and I had to do some soul searching here. Was this something that I could even do. He wanted surreal, I had never done that before, in fact, I wasn't even sure I knew what that meant. 

I even told him that I didnt know if I was the right illustrator for the job. To his credit he persisted that I was, and that he wanted me to do the work. For this I am grateful. 

I pulled off my old head, and tried to channel some other artist within, and this is want I came up with. 

Greek Justice Sketch 3 by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright 2015 Del Teigeler

Now, to anyone else this might have looked like a jumble of junk on paper with no rhyme or reason behind it. 

We have executioners, mad judges, Greek architecture, scales, monuments, everything jumbled up and at all angles. 

The commissioner loved it. 

I had started off by drawing a giant rectangle with a heavy emphasis on forced perspective, something I have to admit is not my strong suit, but I learned a lot. (Thanks again +Batro Noban).

Off of the rectangle I sketched in all of the objects that fit, the Greek temples, the blind justice lady, the executioner, judge, rolls of parchment, stairways to no where. You name it I added it, as long as it fit the theme. 

I was grateful that at least the concept art was done, now on to inks. 

Sidebar: Inking is unforgiving. Let me just get that off the top. Though there are some great commercial "white-out" inks (Deleter White 2 is the best on the market, but hard to find.) that you can use if a mistake is made, they are not the end all. So once inking begins it is almost impossible (via traditional means) to fix screw-ups. 

Now sure after you scan something, you can use any friendly photo or art editor and fix things up, but part of my traditional media spirit doesn't like that so much. Usually all I do is crop and format via Gimp 2.8, at the most via digital. Though I have to admit, depending on the scan, I do like to adjust contrasts (darken things up). 

Where was I, oh, yea, you probably want to see the final image. 

Well, here you go. 

Copyright 2015 Del Teigeler. Licensed 2015 Remi Teuliere.
All the elements in place, forced perspective, Greek lettering, wording, judges, executioners, blind justice, etc. Add in the border work, and all of the other interesting details like broken chains, statuary of fists, robed figures, automatons. wheeewww!

This was a big project, full 9x12 page traditional media, (without Deleter White 2, might I add)

I want to thank once again +Batro Noban for pushing me on this project. It was fun to do, very rewarding, and I think my artistic vision has improved with this project. There are so many elements to this illustration that I am proud of. And while the artists eye can pick out some of the elements that didnt turn out quite right to my eye, my hope is that you can overlook those flaws, and see this as a pretty might illo. 

May law and chaos continue to battle it out in this realm.

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Orcus: The Process (Parental Guidance Suggested)

+Jason Chapman asked me to illustrate my version of Orcus, the God of the Underworld.

The vile creature whose fat bloated body sits atop the legs of a goat and whose bat like wings can barely carry his stinking carcass around. The Defiler, the horn headed devil himself.

This is where it all started.
Orcus sketch by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright Del Teigeler 2015
I started with his belly, as this is basically a circle and worked from there to fill in the details. His boobs/chest I wanted to have look like they were just waiting to fall off over the giant belly.

His legs I wanted that thick curly goat fleece type look, and I sketched it in as curls for now. 

Orcus goes nowhere without his trusty skull mace. However, I wanted my version to be huge, and while the skull mace is traditionally drawn with just one skull, I envisioned his mace to be made of multiple. 

His head was next, and after checking out some big horned sheep photos on google, I was set with the way the horns come off of their head. Sketched in the face and gave him a huge set of trapezious muscles to support his horned head, I moved onto the wings. 

His wings are like those of a bat, and I have drawn them many times, but his are supposed to be smallish for his form, so I sketched them in next. 

I shipped the rough off to +Jason Chapman asking him if he wanted to keep the balls or not and he gave me the green light. 

Here is the fully black and white version.

Orcus B&W by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright Del Teigeler 2015.

For the final version I detailed in the goat fur legs, and fixed the proportion of both feet to fix that up. Jason wanted a cigar thrown in his mouth and the "Metal" horns being formed by his right hand, so I raised his arm, and rocked him out. 

The wings I changed dramatically from the sketch, gave them a bit more fullness, and detailed in the boney horns at the tips and bends of them. I also added the curly goat fur where they attach to his back. 

I reworked the mace as well, making it larger than the sketch, and showing multiple rows of skulls that form the head of it. Holding it the way he is, I fixed the fat folds around where it is resting against his belly, and added some details to the shaft as well. 

I added in some definition to his abdomen, and chest, as well as his muscled arms, and goat legs. 

A quick rocky ground and he was ready to be presented. 

I worked next on the greyscale version. 

Orcus Greyscale by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright Del Teigeler 2015.

Putting my trusty Prismacolor Neutral Grey Art Markers to good use, I shaded him in working up from 10%-40% as usual, paying particular attention to where the light was coming from, in this case generally from the front-right, casting shadows to the rear-left (as the viewer sees this).

I really darkened in his wings, as those would be covered with a dark leathery like hide. 

Overall I am pleased with this one. It was fun to do. 

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pimping Hyperborea

+Jeff Talanian just launched his Kickstarter for three adventure modules that I have artwork in. Please help Jeff reach his goals, you can check out his kickstarter here.

As an added feature of this kickstarter, at certain levels, you can be the proud owner of original artwork for the first time by yours truly. 

Yes, this Kickstarter is the first place that you can own original finished drawings by me. (I think I felt the earth shake just a little bit.) 

I am excited, and a bit anxious to let go of these or any originals, but I will include a certificate of authenticity, and a personal greeting with each illustration I send to Jeff to send off to those lucky supporters.
I appreciate the support of those who check in here regularly, and give their comments, and Plus's.

Thanks for looking. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures: Review (long overdue)

I have known Casey Sorrow a big chunk of my life. He and I attended high school together since 1989ish, and were a part of the same click of miscreants. We even made a small movie together during a mass media class (what a hoot!). We were in High School art classes where we pretty much just screwed off, and doodled, where I am pretty sure the teacher didn't like either of us much, nor thought what came out of our ink pens and crayons was talent. 

But as things go with life, graduation happened and people drift apart. I had not heard from nor seen Casey for many years, only knowing him from a few popular social media sites.

As it turns out, both Casey and I returned to the games of childhood and at nearly the same time got involved in some way with this movement called the OSR. You all know my story, and Casey's is not much different. 

Unlike me though Casey went the self publishing route with his artwork. He as produced a Bestiary, and he sent it to me earlier in the year (maybe even last year...yikes) and asked that I give a review of it. Time flies when you're having fun and thus it slipped through the cracks. 

I apologize Casey for the tardiness of this review. 

Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures by Casey Sorrow
Copyright Casey Sorrow (Bull Cock Press)

From Casey's Website for the Bestiary: 

The Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures is a small collection of uniquely illustrated creatures produced to be compatible with the format of traditional table-top role-playing games playable with paper and pencil. Volume 1: Bizarre Monsters, features 15 unusual creatures complete with illustrations, statistics, descriptions, and campaign integrations. A Rusty Dagger supplement, illustrated and written by Casey Sorrow.

This is a digest sized supplement, of 15 creatures for use with OSR type games. Bizarre is the key word here, but what isn't bizarre in a game that deals with Dragons and Thouls in a fantasy setting with magic and mysticism. 

The artwork is of the black and white variety, with hatching techniques, and use of broad stroke dark line work. The use of his illustrations along with the text of the book are genuinely OSR in nature. There are a few images that have some grey-scale coloration, but by and large the illos are black and white. 

Here are a few examples, taken from Casey's website. I wont show all of the images, as I want you to check Casey's work out for your self, but following, I will give you my opinions of the work with in the book itself.
This first is posted on his website, and I will use as an overall example of what is in the inside. 

Copyright Casey Sorrow (Bull Cock Press)

Generally the images are within the body of the text and easily defines the creature that is being described. This particular drawing is awesome in my opinion, I love the 3/4 view of the "Mock Dragon" and feel for the poor bastard who fell prey to him. Thick rich lines make the image pop from the page, and his detailing work for the hide, eyes and gore are very well done. 

I love the sort of pulpy feel to Casey's artwork, something akin to what an artist might draw on a coffee shop napkin and discard it as a well done doodle, only to find it later posted to the coffee shop board with "Who drew this? Its spectacular!". We never know the impact we have on others, until we know the impact we have on others. Casey takes that style and perfects it throughout this book. It is well done. 

Copyright Casey Sorrow (Bull Cock Press)

This bird image is very good. I particularly like the shading of the eye and mouth, and love the contrasting darkness of the feathers/fur. The saliva is random, eye catching and disgusting...which is great. The pen thickness changes are well done, and I almost think (without knowing) that Casey uses brushes or calligraphy pens. 

Copyright Casey Sorrow (Bull Cock Press)

I don't know what it is about this illustration that I love so much, but I do. This thing looks as though it could tear me a new hole, but somehow I still want a stuffed animal of it so I can hug it. Crazy how it makes me feel, its not whimsical, but that fish keeps calling me to come closer, just so it can wrap its tentacles around me and then salivate over my frontal cortex. Awesome!

Overall the artwork is really good in my opinion, and the text detailing the creatures is both useful to an OSR gamer, and interesting. 

Good work Casey!

Also, check out his website, there are a ton of other interesting things posted there; including some illustrations he did for a small press publisher, some comic strips and other oddly cool things.

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Random Gamer's Guild: Korga

Scanning more of the artwork I did for Matt Hargenrader and the Random Gamer's Guild for his "Dwellers in the Dark Places" RPG Supplement I have found one more that I have not posted to the blog. Being that I am working on a ton of projects right now that I cannot release to the general public for a while, I figured I would go to the vaults and post some stuff you havent seen before. 

So here is the Korga. 

Korga by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright Del Teigeler 2015. Licensed to Matt Hargenrader 2015.

These furred critters move through the treetops looking for prey at the ground level, super agile with a strong powerful birdlike beak. 

Super fun to draw with his body and tail intertwining the branches of the tree. This was one of the earlier drawings for Matt, and I was still learning a lot about textures and shadows. I especially liked the longish fur along his underside and how that turned out. 

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Random Gamer's Guild: Hesaki Rat

This morning I got up and put the finishing touches on the Hesaki Rat that I posted a WIP on a few days ago. It was quiet at the house today even though the family are all here today, and I will probably be able to get some more work done. 

Anyway here is the final version that will be seen in Matt Hargenrader's "Dwellers in the Dark Places" supplement.

Hesaki Rat by Del Teigeler, Mavfire
Copyright Del Teigeler 2015. Licensed to Matt Hargenrader 2015.

These four eyed bone headed critters are pretty nasty, with their barbed tails and sharp claws, 

I started with a simple sketch of his head, and worked my way through the forelimbs and body. I am rather pleased with the way that the fur on him turned out! The tail was a ton of work but it finished up nicely, all those barbs and shadowing. Fun to do. 

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome.