Friday, September 12, 2014

Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual - Fire Snake

Baby monster!

The Fire Snake is an infant Salamander (coming next week!). Much like most of the monsters I have been sharing I both designed and illustrated it. Fire Snakes are cute little totally harmless ...neutral evil snappy super heated bodied baby monsters determined to kill your hero. Here is my Fire Snake created for the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons...

Fire Snake - Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

As I have repeated and repeated... we were asked to create an additional series of detail sketches that would be used in the design of the book. Not all of the drawing got used for all the monsters, but they were part of the process. Here are the details sketches that I created for the Fire Snake...

Fire Snake - Detail Sketches
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The Fire Snake did not receive any cropping and ended up a solid quarter page monster, but none of the detail sketches made it into the book. Here is a bad photo of the Fire Snake page I managed to take at Gen Con...

 Handy dandy book version of the Fire Snake for all your RPG needs!

I designed the Fire Snake and the Salamander (like I said, next week!) at the same time and for a time they were designed in tandem. I was asked to separate them during the design process and they went off to live their own monstrous lives. I have edited out the Salamander in these to not give out any secrets just yet. I of course started things off with some thumbnail concepts...

Fire Snake - Thumbnails / Concepts
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

There was not a lot of reinventing the wheel with the Fire Snake... it is a crazy snake monster that grows up to be a Salamander. A lot of its character came from what I was doing with the Salamander. Option 'B' was looking good and I worked up a small but more fleshed out version of the Fire Snake. Sadly the Salamander was not working and the two needed to part ways. Here is the first version of the Fire Snake...

Fire Snake and Salamander - Version 01
12 x 9
Pencil on paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Now that is was off on its own the Fire Snake can live large and be in charge. Not much changed from the first version except for getting rid of the sneer and getting more detail and attention. Here is the final drawing of the Fire Snake concept...

Fire Snake - Version 02
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Now that the Fire Snake is all approved it is time to get some color on it. If you compare the color versions of the final concept and the illustration you will see I enhanced the details and patterns a lot. Next week you will see more of that with the Salamander. The illustration just allowed me to flesh it out so much more... if I had not illustrated the Fire Snake any artist sticking to this final concept would have produced a totally fine result. It was really nice to have the opportunity to flesh this monster out myself. Here is the final concept for the Fire Snake...

Fire Snake - Final Concept
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

A HUGE THANKS to Jon Schindehette for all the monsters and direction during the design phase of 5th Edition (and for including me in the process to begin with!) and to Daniel Gelon for the art direction on the illustration!

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday for MORE monsters! Until then...

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

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