Nov 28, 2012

Elf token

I've started playing a bit of Magic the Gathering again lately, after many years of simply collecting cards by my favourite artists, namely Greg Staples, Kev Walker, Jim Murray, Larry MacDougall, Wayne Reynolds and a couple of others.
Back in 2002, I had a rocking little Elf Deck based around Elvish Vanguard, Heedless One and Wellwisher, which got me all the way to a massive Friday Night Magic final with old friend John Delaney. I can't quite recall what his deck was, but it involved lots and lots of creatures. In the last match, we were in a stalemate of epic proportions, neither of us willing to actually attack, but instead building up our defences and our life gaining capabilities, becoming a race to see who was on the most life at the end of the required time deadline. I ended up in the hundreds, John not far behind.
Anyway, with fond memories of that game, and that deck, I've started a new Elf Deck. It revolves around some of the old cards, as well as newer Elf cards such as Drove of Elves, Jagged-Scar Archers, Elvish Promenade and Gaea's Herald.
One thing that is different about Magic now than when I was regularly playing it is the prominence of Tokens. Several of the cards in my new deck have abilities including the creation of Elf Tokens. Now, there are proper Elf Tokens printed by Magic, but I got the thought that maybe I could make my own. I've been wanting to get some painting done recently, and I think this gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that.
So I'm going to paint an Elf, make up an Elf Token in Illustrator, then print it out.
I also thought that this would be a good one to show in various stages of progress. So here's the first sketch I made a few weeks ago at the Galway Pub Scrawl...

Rough #1
Okay, I've been back at it since this morning when I posted the above image. I've now got the figure 99% locked in. I threw a pen around the page just so that I can get a better idea of where the lines should be...
Figure final rough

As I said, it's 99% locked in. I'm not happy with a few bits here and there, such as the belt clasp and the wrist bands, so I'll probably change them on the actual page.
Next up is to put it in place on an A3 sheet in Photoshop and then print it out to be transferred to the board I'll be painting on. I use just a simple mounting board to paint on. It doesn't absorb the paint, it's silky smooth and cheap as chips. As far as transferring the printed out copy of the rough figure to the mounting board... I've tried a few things over the years. Carbon paper is a bloody nightmare! The marks don't erase and you'll invariably manage to get marks you don't want transferred. Nope, what I do now is just turn the printed copy over, get a really soft pencil and just start laying on the pencil where you need it using the side of the tip of the pencil. Then turn the paper over to its printed side, lay it on the board then draw over the rough. The pencil rubbings on the other side will transfer to the board only where you draw over it, i.e. on the lines you want. Simple!

So I'm going to do a really light transfer of the figure onto the board, then I'll start working on the background right on the board. See you for that soon.

Update: I've been a bit busy with other various projects over the last few days, so all I've managed to do with the Elf Token is a quick design of the actual card for the artwork to be inserted into. It took all of 10 minutes to do thanks to the wizardry of Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator.

The next couple of days look pretty busy with a gargoyle and a greek god, but hopefully a bit later in the week I'll find some time to lay some paint down.

Update 17.12.12  I've been rather busy with a bunch of other jobs of late, so I haven't been able to get back to the Elf Token other than transferring the image onto the board. I'm off on holiday tomorrow, and won't be back until the second week of January. A few new jobs are going to be starting up as soon as I get back, but I fully intend to dive right in with the Elf painting somehow as well. and I'll be sure to update this post as it progresses. Merry Christmas everyone, here's hoping it's spent with the ones you love and that 2013 brings much joy to all.

Nov 20, 2012

Kickstarter Goodness: Adventures Dark & Deep

As a freelance artist, I apply for a lot of art gigs that sound like fun things to be attached to. Not all of them go ahead, and some just seem to disappear. That's fine though, that's the nature of the beast.
But then, every now and then, a job comes along that really looks fantastic and the person at the center of it is commited to it all the way.
I got an email regarding just such a project this very morning. The concept is cool, the person is dead keen, and the payout will be to see my artwork in a nifty RPG sourcebook.
The project is called 'Adventures Dark and Deep' and is trademarked to Joseph Bloch, the guy behind it all. The fact that he's trademarked the name of the thing says a lot to me about his drive to see this succeed.
And the great news is, he's set it up as a Kickstarter campaign, with a very resonable target amount to be reached to see it published. I've seen plenty of similar campaigns that ask for ten times the amount Joseph is asking for, and it's no big shock that many of them fail to reach the target. But I would actually BE shocked if Adventures Dark and Deep does NOT reach its target.
But that does not mean you shouldn't contribute a few bucks to the project, because this project really does sound like a great idea to me. I'll be throwing some money its way, for sure.

So here's the link to the Kickstarter Campaign!
If the project does go ahead, I have been selected as one of the artists to provide pieces for the sourcebook. Joseph mentioned in his email that artists will be given 6-8 individual black & white pieces to do for it, which I really can't wait to sink my teeth into.

So, go donate some money to the project, it really is a worthy cause for all gamers alike.

Nov 3, 2012

Hansel & Gretel

Gotta love Galway Pub Scrawl! Our fearless leader, one Donal Fallon, had us take part in a little thing called Sketchtoberfest. Each participant had to go back to some piece or idea or concept from their past work that never got very far along and get some other participant to have a go at it.
As fate would have it, I got Donal's old idea, which was something to do with Hansel & Gretel. I thought about it for a while... I had ideas to make a modern twist on it, or a more horror twist to it, but in the end, I went back and read the story and did a traditional piece based on one of the scenes.

Here she is...

In other news, I've been creating some art for a new gaming company, which has kept me pretty busy of late. As soon as I'm allowed to post the artwork here, I will.