Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lowdown in Highport - Process

Clearing the books and settling accounts. I am in one of those gaps where I am doing tons of work but nothing is really getting released. I am super busy with client work so I don't have much time for any personal work. This all means that there is a weird lull for new blog content... SO, I am clearing out stuff that has been sitting in the blog queue for just these kind of moments!

Today I have for you  the process that went into the very last piece that I produced for the 4th Edition volume of Dungeon Magazine. Issue 221. While this piece was released at the end of 2013 it is still fresh in my mind... it had a lot of giant insects in it and a SHRIEKER! So that we are all familiar with the piece, here is how it turned out...

Lowdown in Highport - Dungeon Magazine Issue 221
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

This piece needed to have a lot going on in it, giant centipede, giant ants, a big mechanical fire beetle, and a shrieker. In the game the players most likely will have disturbed the shrieker that would then have riled up the insect monsters. Straight forward, but lots to arrange and deal with. I started with some thumbnails to get things rolling...

Lowdown in Highport - Thumbnails
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

For me the thumbnails were fine, not great, but fine. Definitely was going to need to work out a lot in the drawing phase of the process. Thankfully, Kate Irwin, my most excellent Art Director on most of my Dungeon (and Dragon) Magazine assignments came back with a great suggestion to make the composition WAY better!

Lowdown in Highport -Thumbnail feedback
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

She took what I have already going on in thumbnail "C" and gave it a nice S curve and gave the piece a lot more movement and flow. Hands on ADs are great to help push a piece that extra bit. She sent back an updated image with the handy dandy green line and I was good to move onto the next step, DRAWING...

Lowdown in Highport
Dungeon Magazine Issue 221
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

With a much better thumbnail I was able to work up a much better drawing. There was a lot to deal with, but I was able to incorporate it all into one image. For me the piece was about the shrieker, fire beetle, and centipede... the ants could take a kike for all I cared, but they were in the art order.

The drawing was approved without any notes and I was ready to start painting. Here is a look at the painting coming together in twelve handy steps...

Lowdown in Highport - Process progression
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

There was some tweaks near the end to adjust the form of the fire beetle's head and mandibles, but other then that the piece came together as expected. I was a little concerned that the color and lighting structure might be a little too much... but I think it all worked out in the end. Giant purple fungi in a dark cave lite by a giant mechanical beetle full of fire, just another average day making art. So that you can get a better look at the piece coming together here is another animated progression things I like to make...

Lowdown in Highport - Animated progression thing

Like some weird magic another monster painting comes into being. Here is the final painting again for you viewing pleasure, well over a year from its original release...

Lowdown in Highport - Dungeon Magazine Issue 221
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

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:

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