Friday, December 2, 2016

Looking Back: Unproduced "The Gambler" - Dreamblade

Today on the blog I am looking back at another Dreamblade miniature design that I have never shared before. This particular design never made it into production and was never a miniature, but the design was approved (somehow). Here is the design for the "The Gambler" which was slated to be a part of the first expansion (Baxar's War) to Dreamblade released back in 2006...

Unproduced "The Gambler"
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Unlike the Genteel Husk and the "Janus Scout" by the time this piece was approved I was not unhappy with the work that I had done. While there were some rocky spots while designing it, in the end I thought it was a descent enough design. Not one of my best at the time, but descent enough. I of course could do better now and there are plenty of things I would have liked to have done differently, but that is to be expected with anything you look back on. Here is a look at how the full turnaround turned out...

Unproduced "The Gambler" Turnaround
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper (multiple sheets)
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

While I was not unhappy with the final design, the work I did leading up to it did leave some to be desired. So that I am not beating a dead horse, you can review my post on the Genteel Husk and the "Janus Scout" to get all the details. This was kind of a weird mini. The art called for a guy with a gun and a hand full of dice who needed to have 20 sided dice for eyes and clothes featuring a motif based on the playing card suites. My first design was really flat and stiff...

"The Gambler" Version 1
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Working with the art director I was able to take what I have done with the first version and rework the pose, some of the details, and breath a little more life into it. I had some things right in the first one, I just needed to be smarter about it. I think that is the lessen to be learned by all these old Dreamblade designs I am sharing - you learn and you get better over time. My second attempt at the deign was met with a lot more approval...

"The Gambler" Version 2
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Unfortunately, like several of my designs that I did for Dreamblade, I had an approved design except for one element and then I would end up doing a bunch of variations and alternate versions to get that one aspect nailed down. For "The Gambler" it was the head/face. Just could not seem to get it right. It was as if I was not very good at drawing humans at the time and I was not using reference. Here are some of the alternate versions of the head that I did as I got closer and closer to the goal of an approved design...

"The Gambler" Version 3 - 8
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper with digital alterations
© 2005 Wizards of the Coast LLC

When I finally enlarged the head and made it more of a crazy monstery human guy thing we were in business. I made one last edit to get the approved design at the top of the post. This mini would not have won awards, but I think it is interesting enough and would have been neat if it had received a decent paint job. Who knows why it was never used, but I am sure there were good reason. Another gaming mystery for the ages...

That's all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

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