Today I have for you a monster that was released just over two years ago, the Eidolon. This iconic animated statue was part of my work on Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. I am sure there are few within the D&D community that is unfamiliar with the cover of the original Player's Handbook that featured the aftermath of a battle involving Lizardmen. The backdrop of this cover is a giant statue with gem eyes, and a pair of adventures are removing the gems. For this assignment, I was asked to depict that statue, having decided it was tired of losing its eyes and stood up. What a perfect D&D assignment! Before I get too far ahead of myself, here is the final painting for the Eidolon.
Starting things off, I did a photo shoot where I made my best impression of an animated statue in my underwear. You will have to use your imagination on this one. Most of my reference photos will never see the light of day. Maybe in the far future, I will put out a retrospective, and I will include all my super silly selfies. Who knows. Anyway, I did the photo shoot, and I got to work on some thumbnails. Here are the thumbnails that I submitted for the Eidolon.
Sometimes with thumbnails, I see more there than the client sees. They are roughs that will lead to a more fleshed out drawing. It is only natural that production needs to know what they are getting into and request updated thumbnails. In this case, they needed to make sure they were getting a big rocky animated statue and not a Mexican wrestler. Totally understandable, and now that I look back at the thumbnails, I can totally see it. They liked where 'B' was going and asked that I made it a bit squatter and less human and make sure I bulk it up and make it more rock-like. I updated the thumbnail and resubmitted it.
This new version was accepted and approved. There was one final note as I moved into the drawing. Production asked that I smash up the brazier a bit as if it was dropped as the statue stood up. Simple enough and adds so much to the narrative of the piece. Here is the final drawing that I submitted.
Before I share the process that went into making this piece, I wanted to share the first version of this painting that I submitted. It is directly based on the drawing and depicts the statue having a long flowing loincloth. Once the final painting was submitted, there was some concern that a link between the crotch and the fire would be drawn by people looking at the image. Specifically, they wanted to avoid anyone using the phrase "fire crotch" in regards to this illustration. Fair enough, and as a professional, I made the change. It required minimal editing on my part since I am working digitally. Sadly, in the end, there have people still making the "fire crotch" comment to me and about the painting believing they are funny. Here is the original version of the Eidolon.
The painting of this piece was very straight forward, even including the change to the loincloth. Due to the way I structure my Photoshop file, the final silhouette of the figure will be present throughout the animated process. It would actually take a bit of work to revert it to the original version then show the full extent of the edits. Just note that most of the final steps of the painting only involve the loincloth, fire, and leg area. This was when I was editing the image. Here is the animated process of the Eidolon painting.
For those interested, I recently shared the miniature that was based on this painting. Lastly, I will leave you once again with my final painting for the Eidolon. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes was a great project to work on, and I was able to make so many fun monsters.
That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...