Today, I have for you the process and steps that went into my Trex painting from the Dungeons & Dragon's release of Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden. While my process posts are nothing new, in recent years, it usually takes me months, if not years, for a piece to finally get its process post. Well, I am switching it up a little today by sharing the steps that went into a recent painting. Mainly because I have been clearing out my backlog alphabetically, and this one ended up at the top of the list. Anyway, onto the process and steps.
For Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden, I could only take on one piece because I was working on the final elements of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia, and while I love working on D&D, I had a lot on my plate that was a higher priority. Thankfully, the assigned piece was super fun and right up my alley. I love working on some reptile monsters, and for me, the Kobold is at the top of the list along with the Lizardmen in the D&D universe. For Trex, they wanted a Kobold with some attitude and confidence. I get a lot of enjoyment from giving personality to my monsters that are beyond 'GRRRR SNARL! I'M A MONSTER!'. While that is fine and fun a lot of the time, working on a monster that is scared, proud, sad, confused, frustrated, etc. is SUPER FUN. To my delight, Trex needed some sass, and I was more than happy to give it to him. Here is how the final painting of Trex turned out.
As with all of my work, I started with a reference shoot to get into the physicality of the character and to work out some posses that I had brainstormed. With Dear Wife behind the camera, we worked out the posses, angle, composition, and embraced any happy accidents. When it was all said and done, I had a lot of reference to work from and got to work on thumbnails.
I had three main directions I envisioned Trex taking, and I worked those up. The one thing I was a little concerned with was the fake wings he was sporting. I forgot or didn't realize before starting, to ask how big the wings should be. They were described as being handmade and rather poorly constructed. I was a bit unsure if that meant they went all in, and it was a big mess, or if they did the best they could with what they had and it was a small mess. To cover my bases, I did a second pass on the thumbnail options with tiny wings, which is good since the tiny wings are what was chosen. While I still love option 'A,' 'B' was chosen ,and it is a great one too. 'A' was just a bit too confident and strong for the end product, and production felt 'B' hit it on the head. I was given the go-ahead to work on the final drawing as long as I made sure the nose was not pointed as it appears to be in the thumbnails. Here is how the final drawing turned out.
Notice anything dramatically different from the final drawing compared to the thumbnail? That's right, the tail. Not only did I forget to give Trex his tale in the thumbnails, but production also didn't notice that it was missing either. When I sat down to work on the final drawing, I had all my reference laid out, including images of other D&D Kobolds. Granted, I was looking at the same reference when I was working on the thumbnails, but when it was all laid out on my drawing table, I finally noticed. Boy, did I feel silly, but production hadn't seen it either, so I figured it was better I caught it now than when I had finished the painting. I added the tale as I worked on the drawing and addressed the other notes regarding the thumbnails. I submitted the drawing, and it was accepted, and we all had a laugh about the missing tale. The drawing was approved, and it was time to get started on the painting. Here is the painting taking shape.
This painting was a fun and straightforward to work on. I love painting reptile monsters and the forms, patterns, and colors associated with them. I painted this one very quickly too. Some take a bit of work to get into, and some take a while to get to the finish line, but this one came together in about two evening sessions. In the end, there were some things I needed to address after I submitted the final painting. One being that Trex was too good looking, his gear and dress were too clean, to well made. I made him more heroic than he was supposed to be. I didn't see an issue with Trex being a hero, but I did go back in and rough him and his gear up a bit. You can see this in the final steps of the painting. The other issue I needed to address was that the wings needed to be white. I was aware of this going into the painting, and I thought I made them white enough. Apparently, they were still reading very, very red. I liked how they looked, to be honest and hoped they would hit the mark. Unfortunately, they did not. You can see in the process when I went in a made them white. After I made these adjustments, the painting was approved, and I had another assignment wrapped up.
Here again, is the final painting for Trex as it appears in Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden.
That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...