Friday, November 18, 2016

Looking Back: Unproduced "Janus Scout" - Dreamblade

Today on the blog I am looking back at another Dreamblade miniature design that I have never shared before. This particular design never made it into production and was never a miniature, but the design was approved (somehow). Here is the design for the "Janus Scout" which was slated to be a part of the original set of Dreamblade back in 2006...

Unproduced "Janus Scout"
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Unfortunately, I was never happy with this one, not with where it started and not with where it ended. This one felt like a slow motion car crash the entire time I was working on it. Almost all of this had to do with my lack of experience, both with drawing and using reference. Again, like the Genteel Husk, if I had this assignment to do now, it would be a none issue. I would shoot some reference, work out poses, do thumbnails, get feedback/approvals, do the work, and see it done - straight forward and easy enough. Back in 2005 when I was originally working on this piece I was adrift on the seas of inexperience and my ship was taking on water. In the end I survived, I got the work done, and it was approved. It was all just a lot harder than it needed to be. Here is a view of the entire turnaround...

Unproduced "Janus Scout" Turnaround
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

If you are wondering why there are two faces it is because all of the pieces associated with the Janus Corporation in the game had two faces. Pretty neat detail in the game and an interesting aspect of all the Janus miniatures. As far as the miniature never getting made, who knows, these things happen. It could have been that production never liked the design, the miniature sculpt could have not made the cut, aspects of the game could have changed negating this piece, or any number of reasons. We will probably never know and at this point it kind of doesn't matter... except if it was because of my crappy design then I hope I never find out.

This piece went though many variations and had a lot of edits done to it before it was approved. I think these all speak for themselves and why there needed to be additional attempts at the design. Some didn't meet the requirements need to be a common miniature, some were because it was a crappy drawing, and some were because I had no idea what I was doing and was smashing my pencil to paper without any cohesive plan or direction. Enough self deprecating, here are various early versions of the "Janus Scout"...

"Janus Scout" Version 1
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

"Janus Scout" Version 2
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

"Janus Scout" Back Version 1 - 5
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper with digital alterations
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

It might sound like I am being overly negative about some of these designs, please understand it is all directed at myself and the holes in my skill sets back in 2005. None of this should feel directed at WotC and the production staff. I have had permission to share this unproduced work since 2009 and I have never made an attempt to do so. I still cringe at the piece, but it is part of my story and part of the work that I did to eventually be the artist I am today. Everybody has these skeletons in their art closets, it is part of journey. Hopefully this is all taken with a light heart and feels like a good amount of self deprecation - which it is. I still have more art skeletons in my closet to share...

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

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