Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fire, Ice, and Magma Mephits - Prcoess

Back in March I shared with you the nine Mephits that I designed and illustrated for Dragon magazine issue #421. Since there are nine of them I am going to slit them up and share the process that went into making them through out this week. Today I have for you the second set of three of Mephits, the Fire, Ice, and Magma Mephits. As a reminder, here is how the final illustrations turned out...

Fire, Ice, and Magma Mephits
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

These three Mephits are running hot and cold... But seriously, these Mephits were a great exercise in creating different materials and effects. I have a ton of great magma and lava reference now. That stuff is really fun to paint. As before, I got started on some thumbnails to get things rolling...

Fire Mephit - Thumbnails
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

Ice Mephit - Thumbnails
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

Magma Mephit - Thumbnails
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

I will say I had high hopes for Fire option "C". There was just something about it that I really liked... something about the feet just being fire and the body reforming from the tops of the 'ankle' flames. Also, who doesn't just love a tongue made out of fire? The idea of Magma option "C" seemed like a really cool design before I began working it out on paper. I imagined a lower torso made out of rock with a bowl like waist. The lava upper body would be coming out of the container that the lower body like a fountain of magma... but I am not sure I really hit the mark with this thumbnail. I should have spent some more time working it out... but by the time I was finished with it I was liking "B" a lot more.

When it was all said and done, Fire "B", Ice "A", and Magma "B" were the winners. I moved onto creating the final drawings...
Fire Mephit - Drawing
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

  IceMephit - Drawing
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast
Magma Mephit - Drawing
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

The drawings were all approved and I was given the go ahead to work on the final illustrations. As before, I am posting one of the three as a process progression. I was really happy with how the Magma Mephit turned out so here it is from start to finish...

Magma Mephit - Process progression
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

Again, in just eight easy steps... not really. This one took a little longer then the rest do to all the smaller forms and textures in the whole. I was worried that in the end it would become a jumbled mess and not read well. Hopefully I succeeded in not making it a mess...

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

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  1. I really love the magma mephit, I can imagine it being fun to paint!

  2. Great illustrations. The fire effects/layering of the flames on the fire Mephit look especially nice and seeing your process posts is always illuminating. The texturing is really well done on all these.What were you working on in the last three steps of your process? Adjusting the light intensity? Its hard to see.

    1. Thanks, Lance! As far as the last three steps of the process... Step 6 is the main bulk of the painting and detail work - the step that takes the longest and is the meat of the painting. Step 7 is adding details, texture, and correcting things that may have gone wrong along the way - not always as obvious in every piece. Step 8 is the last adjustment and tweaks - usually involves brightness and contrast adjustment and a final layer of texture to the entire piece... again, not always as obvious. Hope this helps! If you look at my other process post you should see similar advancements in the paintings.