Today, I am happy to share the process and steps that went into the second of my two illustrations in the recently released Dungeons & Dragons supplement, Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. For this installment, I am sharing the Unspeakable Horror. The Unspeakable Horror was described as a, well, as an unspeakable horror, and that is something I can definitely handle. Here is the final painting for the Unspeakable Horror.
As with the Carrion Stalker, I went into this piece with no planning or personal reference. Not how I usually do things, but these monsters are the kinds of things I can do with my eyes closed. I was provided with one piece of reference for this monster, and it was to be a springboard from which I would design something new and horrifying. The Unspeakable Horror was described as having skin akin to rotten wood, possibly a crown of parasitic larva, and a deformed grotesque body. There was also a note about lots of eyes, but that could have just been what I wanted to do. I know it needed to be a mess, a glorious, wonderful mess, and I was itching to get started on it. Here are the thumbnails I supplied for the Unspeakable Horror.
While they liked these, especially option 'B' (note yet again my subtle queue to production about the one I liked), they wanted more; they wanted me to push it even further. Sometimes I am not sure how far I should take a monster, and it can be a pain to reel a design back in if I start too extreme. When I need to push it further, it can be a lot of fun. I got back to work and added more of everything, more deformity, more grotesque masses, and, of course, more eyes. Here is the revised updated thumbnail that I supplied for the Unspeakable Horror.
This time it was a success. I was approved to move forward with the drawing of the Unspeakable Horror. As I mentioned on the process post for the Carrion Stalker, I typically complete the line art for the monster, scan it for use in the painting, and then finish rendering the drawing. With the Carrion Stalker I forgot to scan that first stage, and that led to some hiccups as I began panting. Luckily, I remembered to scan the Unspeakable Horror at each stage of the drawing. Here are the two stages of the Unspeakable Horror drawing, the mid-stage line art and the final rendered drawing.
The drawing was approved without comment, and I was ready to begin the painting. I knew I wanted to do something different with my approach to the image. Instead of going dark and wet with a rotten wood look, I thought approaching it light and dry for the rot look. Greens, greys, and warmer tones would make this monster stand out a little more rather than making it another dark, obscured form. Sometimes clearing seeing something is as worse than wondering what is lurking in the shadows. But that is just my take on this monster. Here is the painting for the Unspeakable Horror taking shape.
In some of my paintings, I feel as if the underpainting completely vanishes with the process of painting. With the Unspeakable Horror, I feel like the underpainting is still peeking out, and I think it suits the monster and the image. I am not sure if anyone but me can see it, but I know it is there, and it pleases me. Much like the face on its left forearm, the paint handling was done for me, and I am not sure if they were noticed by anyone else. This was a quick paint, but I think it is an effective end product. Here again, is the final painting for the Unspeakable Horror.
Post a Comment