Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dungeon & Dragons Monster Manual - Gauth (Spectator) - Redesign

The monsters keep coming, RAWR! Today's monster redesign that I created for the 5th Edition Monster Manual is a wily Beholder-Kin, the Gauth (now Spectator). Here is how the final concept turned out...

Gauth (Spectator) - Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual - Redesign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The Gauth has always been more or less portrayed as a four eye stocked Beholder like creature. Production wanted me to continue this, but give it an update and reworking. I was so excited about this one and the finished piece remains one of my favorite redesigns. Once I started to thumbnail concepts I had to stop myself because I think I could have continued on and on and on working up little floating balls of teeth and tentacles. Here are how the thumbnail concepts that I submitted turned out...

Gauth (Spectator) - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

If I remember correctly, "C" and "D" were favorites for production. "C" they really liked but there was a concern it would read as a Beholder that had lost its stalks in a fight rather then being a completely different creature. "D" offered up a unique silhouette and read instantly as a Beholder like creature that is not a Beholder. In the end, it is obvious "D" won because it was more unique... and I think it looks better then some of the more snaky wavy stalked Gauth concepts. Now that I had an approved concept it was time to get started on the drawing...

Gauth (Spectator) - Drawing
9 x 12
Pencil on Paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast
Original Drawing - SOLD

I fleshed out the concept and added my usual level of detail that makes me feel that the drawing is finished. I think I could have drawn Beholder-kin for days or weeks. Perpetual production of teeth, tentacles, eye stalks, tongues all on horrid floating balls... sounds like fun to me. The drawing was approved without comment and I moved onto the final color comp...

Gauth (Spectator) - Final Redsign
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The final was approved immediately and as I have said, remains one of my favorites produced for 5E. They all can not be Beholders, but when they are, I really try to savor the moments working on them. The final illustration for this monster was expertly handled by Kieran Yanner! RAWR!

A HUGE THANKS to Jon Schindehette for all the monsters and direction during the design phase of 5th Edition!

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

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


  1. Gauths are different from specators, though... Gauths have six eyestalks, spectators have only four.

    1. As mentioned above, when I was hired to redesign this for 5th Edition they were calling it a Gauth and it was a Gauth until they released the books when they changed it to a Spectator.