Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Creature Incarnations: They Creep - Drawings

I have for you today some of the work that went into my recent pieces from the Dungeon Magazine article, They Creep. Not only did I need to create a pleasing composition of nasty insect monsters for the illustration, but I had to also design the insect monsters. Since I was given some general guidelines and a few pieces of reference I had a general idea of the look for each monster. In the early thumbnails I was working on arranging their masses. The design of the monsters in these thumbnails has a lot to be desired...

Scarabs thumbnails - 'B' was the winner, though the monsters still need a lot of work. You can see some of my early horrible musings in the borders. You have to get the bad ideas out so that you can make the good designs.
© 2011 Wizards of the Coast

Bugs thumbnails - Again, 'B' was the winner and I still have a bit to do on the design end of these monsters. More design horror in the borders.
© 2011 Wizards of the Coast

After a bit of feedback from my art director (thanks Jon!), a bit of thinking and a lot of looking at and gathering insect reference I moved forward on a new loose digital sketches. I was trying to get the over all design of the monsters formed while keeping myself from getting to fixated on the details - there will be plenty of time for that later.

Scarabs draft - coming together now. Did a lot of research and planning to get the two larger monsters to this point. Again, I can not express upon you how important looking at reference is. I did not copy from nature to design these, but I saw how nature works and tried to use that as a starting point to make something new.
© 2011 Wizards of the Coast

Bugs draft - These monsters came together a lot easier. With the scarab they had to feel similar since they were all the same type of insect, with these bugs they could be very different.
© 2011 Wizards of the Coast

I nailed them all with the drafts and was given the go ahead to create the final drawing. Now to sit back and enjoy my favorite part of the whole project... the drawing on paper with a pencil. I can now start to worry about details now that the over all form has been determined.

Scarab drawing
© 2011 Wizards of the Coast

Bugs drawing
© 2011 Wizards of the Coast

For the opening illustration it was a slightly different situation. I did this one a good while after doing the first two monster pieces, so the designs were all locked in. I had to come up with a cool image of a human fighter that is in WAY over head and most likely soon to need a cleric. I got my thoughts together and jumped into some reference photos to work out my thoughts and to see what happy accidents developed. After looking at all the photos I moved onto some thumbnails to work out the compositions...

They Creep Opener thumbnails - I tried to come up with some very different angles and feels for each one.
© 2011 Wizards of the Coast

I think I still feel really strongly about 'B', but 'D' was the winner and with only a few notes to take into account I given the go ahead for the final drawing. This is one of those pieces that I am always wondering if I am putting too much into. When does it reach the breaking point with monsters... can you even have too many monsters?

They Creep Opener drawing
© 2011 Wizards of the Coast

You can see how all these pieced turned out, HERE. I have mentioned this in the past and I will mention it again, the more work you do in the planning and preparation stage of your illustrations the greater chance you will succeed with your painting. You get out of your work what you put into it.

That is all for another exciting day on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

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