Today, I am happy to share the process and steps for one of my contributions to the Dungeons & Dragons supplement, Spelljammer Adventures in Space. This is the second of two contributions to the book, depicting Aartuks. The
This is a Medium creature, about 6 feet in diameter. This aartuk should have an aggressive posture. For example, one of its branches (arms) could be raised threateningly. Its head-stalk should be extended. Aartuk Description. Aartuks are intelligent vegetables. An aartuk’s body has the general shape of a five-pointed star and is covered with thick, flexible bark that can be white, tan, brown, or green. The aartuk needs three or more of its branches to walk, while the tips of its branches end in suction cups that allow the aartuk to climb vertical surfaces and along ceilings. Each suction cup houses a cluster of three retractable pseudopods that can be used to handle and manipulate small objects. The head of an aartuk surmounts a six-foot-tall stalk that can extrude from the center of the star. This head contains the aartuk’s sensory organs.
As I mentioned before, since I was creating two Aartuk images for the book, I needed them to be visually different. This meant that the pose, and later the coloring, needed to be very distinctive and unique. As this is the warrior, and it was requested, I was able to make it look much more aggressive and animated. Here are the thumbnails that I submitted.
While the Aartuk Elder was one and done - the first thumbnail I created was the one selected - the Aartuk Warrior had its third thumbnail selected. Looking back at them, I feel that the third option was clearly the correct choice and the one that works best. Looking at them now, the first two read more confused to me rather than aggressive. The third option was selected without notes, and I was given the go-ahead to move forward in this direction.
As with the thumbnail, the drawing was approved without comment, and it was time to start on the final painting. Here is the painting of the Aartuk Warrior taking shape.
This assignment was straightforward, and there were no edits or changes along the way. Not that edits or changes are an issue, save they don't spiral and become endless, but it is a pleasure to nail it at every step of the process. As I mentioned in my post for the Aartuk Elder, I have been trying to do a better job of noting how long it takes me to paint monsters. If I recall correctly, this one was in line with the elder and was completed with around five hours in the chair painting. This is an informal account, but it has been the standard lately with this level of work. Here again, is the final painting
That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog. See you back here on Friday! Until then...