Wednesday, August 7, 2013

P'an Ku's Madness - Process

With Gen Con next week I am busy getting all my art ducks in art duck rows... which can be hard with all the waddling and quacking. But more on all this soon, in the meantime, I have for you the process that went into a recent dragon piece that is getting a lot of attention... P'an Ku and his MADNESS. I produced this piece for the Legend of the Five Ring expansion, Coils of Madness. So that we are all on the same page, here is how the final P'an Ku turned out...

P’an Ku's Madness
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

When I was assigned this piece I was told that this character is kind of a big deal and that this expansion revolves around him... and that the art I produce just may be used in marketing and packaging... NO PRESSURE though. Good thing I knew all I really needed to worry about was making a kick butt dragon and since Eastern dragons have the proper number of limbs and no wings I knew I was golden. As with all my work the thumbnails started things off...

P’an Ku's Madness - Thumbnails
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

I really knew what I wanted to do with this piece and I worked it all out in my first thumbnail. For better of worse. I have talked about this elsewhere here on the blog, and I don't really encourage it, but sometime you get the best idea right away and you need to run with it. I think in reality that the BEST idea comes from effort and work to distill and work through the bad ideas to get at the heart of the piece. ...or you just really know what a big crazy coiling dragon needs to look like and you work it all out on the first pass. I didn't just want to submit a single thumbnail so I worked up a second that I thought would be just as interesting, one where the dragon is coiling around crazy rock formation. For the life of me as I look back at my own thumbnail I can not really tell what is going on in it. His head is kinda just floating off... Glad option "A" was picked! Next stop, Drawing Town, population 1...

P’an Ku's Madness - Drawing
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

This is one of those drawings that is a treat to work on. The only real concern is getting all the scales right. Which I more or less kind of managed to do. Hard to go wrong with a big twisty dragon drawing. It just drips with 'RAWR'. Now that I have a drawing and it is approved it is time to get started on the painting...

P’an Ku's Madness - Process
© 2013 Alderac Entertainment Group

Again, this piece kind of created itself, I just had to put the time into it to make sure it reached the finish line. I knew what I wanted to do with it and what it would time to get there. From the thumbnails I am often thinking about color and focal point for the piece. I was told this dragon is more associated with the color green in the art order, so I looked to actual representations of green Eastern dragons when preparing to start on this piece. So in eight easy steps the piece came together... or not really. It takes a lot of time and work... but it does get easier over time and the hard parts are easier to work through. Fun fact, once I got started in the actual painting layer (image step 6 above) I got it into my head that I had drawn the scales on the arm coming at the view backwards. That I drew then pointing in the wrong direction and proceeded to paint over my under painting correcting this error... which of course was WRONG. I was busy painting the scales in the wrong direction. Luckily I came to my senses before things got too crazy and I get my head back in the game and remembered I had draw everything correctly the first time.

I was really happy with how the piece turned out on the final production card. It looks really good in person. I am also looking forward to seeing it in person elsewhere at Gen Con next week. I have on good authority there may be a sharp looking poster with a certain dragon on it... more on this soon hopefully! For your viewing pleasure, here is the final card for P'an Ku's Madness...

P’an Ku's Madness in handy card form!

Those of you familiar with the blog will remember this from last week but it is relevant here too. I revisited the drawing of P'an Ku and worked it up on toned paper to take with me to Gen Con. I will have the P'an Ku black and white drawing, prints, and some other surprises with me at Gen Con, but I thought this finished drawing would be a real nice piece to make and have there with me.

Dragon Madness (P'an Ku revisited)
  12 x 16 - pencil on paper
P'an Ku © 2013 AEG

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

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

1 comment:

  1. Hey Have fun at Gencon. I just ordered my Illuxcon tickets this week, looking forward to that. I love the colors in this one, and the Tonal comp. I have been doing more tonals drawings over this past year, IDK I guess
    I like the fact that they are quicker and easier than a full painting, and yet they look more finished/polished than a regular drawing, does that make sense? oh well whatever have fun.