Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mumoku no Oni - Process

Earlier this month I shared my new Legends of the Five Rings CCG monster, the mighty Mumoku no Oni, today I have for you the steps that went into making this creature. Here is the how the Mumoku no Oni turned out...

Mumoku no Oni
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

When tasked with designing a monster fit to destroy an entire province you gotta go big or go home. Admittedly, I immediately started thinking about dinosaurs and the big man himself, Godzilla. L5R is set in a fictions place similar to medieval Japan... how can I NOT think of Godzilla? The key is then to not make a Godzilla, but to think about the idea of Godzilla and dinosaurs and make something bases on those ideas and feelings. With this in mind I got to work on some thumbnails...
 
Mumoku no Oni - Thumbnails
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

To be honest I felt like I was all over the place on these. (A) was a little too much dinosaur and the angle was a little too straight on. (B) was getting weird but the angle was better. (C) ...well, it did get my 'RAWR!' of approval in the thumbnail... so I guess I was liking where it was headed at the time. Sometimes I will nail the idea on the very first thumbnail and the the rest are just spinning my wheels. Then there are the times I have a couple bad ideas in me that I have to get out of the way to get to the winning thumbnail. It turned out to be a case of the latter this time around. Production picked (C) and gave me the thumbs up to move onto the drawing...

Mumoku no Oni - Drawing
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

When working on the drawing I looked mostly at the dinosaur Ankylosaurus for general mass and anatomy but for the spirit of the beast I thought about my memories of Godzilla's monster pal, Anguirus. I did NOT look at any images of Anguirus while working on the drawing to prevent too much influence and bleed over. I wanted to harness my feelings about Kaiju and create something new for L5R without pulling too much from actual Kaiju. This is why I looked mostly at Ankylosaurus to influence the major forms in the drawing. 

The drawing was quickly approved and I was able to move forward onto the actual painting. Here is how the painting progressed...
 
Mumoku no Oni - Process progression
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

When preparing to paint I looked at a lot of skinks and lizards to base the coloration of Mumoku no Oni. I wanted to do something bold with the head and I knew the tongue needed to be unique. There are some great lizards out there with blue tongues and there are awesome red headed skinks. The world around us is an amazing and complex thing and all the problems we are looking to solve have been worked out several times already by mother nature. While there are many unbelievable things in nature with a wide spectrum of unexpected shapes, sizes, and colors of things, looking at reference insures we choose a BETTER red for the head and not a random one from the color wheel or paint tube. Look twice, paint once!

As you can see above, in just six easy steps I finished the painting... Okay, not really, but it should give you a feel for the progression. It did come together very quickly and except for the removal of the long vertical spike directly behind the beast's head the piece is unchanged from start to finish.  Again, here is how the final piece turned out...
 
Mumoku no Oni
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

I also was able to get a better image of the card so you can see how it looks in handheld version...
 
Mumoku no Oni in handy card form
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

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

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

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