The final week! I feel like I probably should have done a little more, and something more exciting. But what I decided to study this time were cloaks, folds, and boots. I know I should have focused on one singular thing throughout the duration of this project, but I constantly found myself altering what I wanted to do. This wasn’t necessarily a focus on one thing, but a focus on many things that I don’t normally do in the genre I work in. I love the fantasy genre, but I find myself doing monsters almost exclusively. So I focused my attention other things such as landscapes, outfits, armory, and faces.

I actually found a lot of fun sketching boots, finding different shapes, folds, buckles, etc. It’s not something I necessarily think of as an afterthought, but something I don’t really think too hard about. Now I feel more inspired to add what I learned from these sketches.

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I need to work on folds so I did some cloak and hood studies to get the feel of them. Most of the things I make don’t have a ton of dramatic folds or fabrics/ drapery. This will be helpful for future illustrations.

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As an extra, I painted the elf from last week in Photoshop. It’s nothing I would consider fantastic, but just a simple practice/ study.

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Overall, I thought this project was a good way to get us to try something new. To be honest I thought I could have done a bit more myself, but I did learn some new things that inspired me for future works.

My favorite pieces I made throughout this project had to have been the metal/ predator studies I did on canson paper and the inked portraits I did last week. I’m definitely going to do more pieces on canson now that I experimented with it. Even though I didn’t really do as much as I should have, it really did wake me up to have fun with things outside of what I would normally fall back on.

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Continuing from what I did last week, I started off with a simple woodland-like environment in just pencil for day 1. I decided I would do more refined drawings that my style could shine through a bit more while still not completely rendering or finishing it. This was definitely more satisfying than the roughs I did last week.

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Afterwords, I decided to let go and play with a bit of style. I doodled two goblins in different styles. This first one leaning on the scarier side, not really diving too deep into super-exaggerated proportions, but just enough slight characterizations that I thought would be interesting. I decided that I would render this in my original inking style to see how well it would translate to different style.

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Next, I attempted a goblin that was quite goofy looking. Different for me to approach something that I would normally do in a more realistic tone and transforming it into something less threatening. I also let myself go with my inking style on this one too, knowing that I am pleasantly surprised at how well my detailed inking brings even cartoons, something I can, but don’t do very often, to life.

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Day 4 I did more portraits. This time I decided it would be interesting to draw from references of celebrities, as if I was casting these characters for a movie. I figured this expand on the movie still studies I mentioned, and give me more freedom to put my own artistic flare on them while maintaining the likeness of the celebrity. This is an elf I made based off of a reference of Keri Russel. It quickly became my favorite sketch of the week.

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Lastly, I drew an elder man based off of Jeff Bridges. Like last week, I mentioned my lack of drawing elderly people, so I gave Jeff a shot. I drew his face a bit too large to add any real artistic modifications, but the exercise in drawing older people was still there.

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This week I went back to rough pen sketches, just starting simple with some studies of Bilbo, then went attempted a study of Gandalf and Saruman. Though I would like to make my own creations in the near future, these studies are just baby steps to familiarizing myself with the subject matter of what I don’t normally do with the genre I work in. bilbos014 wizards015

Next I did were some landscape/ city studies. I didn’t use any reference material with these, I just drew what came to mind.

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Over the weekend I’m going to generate more ideas of landscapes and possibly dive into short comic strips based off of them as an experimentation.

For inspiration, I had always admired John Howe’s sketches. He is a fantasy/ fairy tale illustrator much like I am, and his sketches while quite rendered have a loose simplistic quality that I had always admired. He did concept sketches and finished paintings for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films.

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I decided on some changes and expansions for the daily habit project, first being that I’m not going to totally focus on just different angles and perspectives. While that is still something in my plans for the project, I decided I would experiment more with what I normally wouldn’t do, though keeping myself interested in the process. In addition to that, I thought watching movies and doing studies on certain scenes (screenshots) would be beneficial too. Obviously, I’m going to use movies that I like, but study certain things I haven’t done before. I haven’t gotten to the sketching part of this, but it’s something I’ve been thinking may help with my observational studies.

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I need to do more observational studies, so I started with two studies of a predator action figure I have in my room. My goal in this was to practice metal/ armor and how light shines off of it, not drawing the predator as a whole. Something I don’t normally work with.

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This is what I based off of the reference. These might be a bit rendered for what was required, and not quite sketchy enough, but for the sake of practice and technique, it’s what I felt could be beneficial. Since I do most of my work in ink, I tried a looser technique with colored pencil on canson paper that make these go a bit quicker than my standard technique. Only about 30 – 40 minutes were put into these, so I try to make sure I’m not noodling too much with fine details. In fact I simplified some areas of the gauntlet for the sake of saving time.

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Part of the goal for me isn’t always about making a completely accurate representation of the reference I’m using, but sometimes just getting the general form and lighting down.

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Daily Habit

For my daily habit I’m focusing on on sketching in ways that are a bit different from what I normally do. Ways in which involve different perspectives or styles.

This is an example of a sketch I did a while ago of a compositional structure I’m not very used to, but simply out of bordem. I’m used to more straight on comps, that try to show as much of the characters/ creatures as possible, so I thought doing a crowded, more dramatic scene would give me something new to work with.

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Other perspectives I aim to work towards are animal’s/ creature’s faces from a front view, since I usually struggle keeping symmetry consistent with faces. I would usually draw them with more random, asymmetrical features where one side does not mirror the other so identically.

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Another area I hope to work towards improving are distorted/ foreshortened POV’s. I’ve tried doing this in the past, but didn’t necessarily get as pushed as it could have been. I really want to get into the habit of blowing up the focal point on a part of a particular object and pushing anything behind it in the way distance, as I used on this kaiju figure and cave troll.

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Another thing I’m aiming to work towards is a bit of stylization. Since most of my work has a realistic, dark tone to it I decided I could use this chance to distort features a bit and play with style. I’ve done a few pin-up styles in the past when I was bored in class last semester, so I thought I could build on where I started with that.

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Something of stylistic inspiration I’m using are Funko Pop figures. I thought this Pop Smaug figure could offer some potential reference and inspiration for finding a more stylized approach, knowing it’s not as threatening as the other critters I have in my room.

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The card game is finalized. Most of the cards I have with me are ones that belong to the volcanic region, as the desert and grass land critters I designed were given to Tyler and Niko for coloring. Here are my cards:

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Fire Hound – My personal favorite. I was always fascinated with the Warg creatures in the Hobbit and LOTR films and I knew a firey hound would’ve been fun to design.

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FIre Wyrm – This was pretty inspired by the kaiju Destroyah in the Godzilla series. A red and black serpent/ reptile outfit with an axe-like head shape, I thought would make an interesting fire breathing reptile.

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Fire Dragon – I made this dragon a throwback to the old school, traditional fantasy/ fairy-tale style that dragons are known for; fire spitting, gold hoarding, village burning dragons, which have always been my favorite ones. And making the scaled armor would be the potentially the most resilient armor in the game, considering looking back and dragon mythology, dragon scales are nearly inpenetrable.

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Rock Gollum – I instantly knew one of these had to be in the game, but what was harder was deciding what weapon/ item to give it in return. I thought maybe these guys throw big chunks of volcanic rocks at each other, or disintegrate into one when they perish. That way, a character could push it off of a cliff and crush enemies with it. More of a narrative…but that’s just how I think.

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Fire Demon – This was sort of a homage to the Balrog from the Rings films, but I wanted to avoid directly copying it. I used a flame whip for the hound instead, and gave a mace to this beast to compliment it’s bulkiness.

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Ceratops – Moving into grasslands, I wanted to explore more dinosaurs. This one is more or less a basic Triceratops, but sometimes those very basic creatures have a characteristic that inspires an item, such as the shield I came up with to play off of the Triceratops’ crest and horns.

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Sabre Raptor – I couldn’t decide if I wanted a huge sabre tooth cat, or a raptor, so I merged the two. The item has more of the raptor in it, but likewise it offers an interesting characteristic even on a plain dinosaur just like the Ceratops, which in turn gave an interesting idea for raptor claw boots.

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Picking up from last time and moving forward with more cards. I organized them so the creature was on top, and the potential rewarded item was on bottom, so when they’re finished, all I have left to do is insert them into the card template. The process for me has not been picking and designing as many neat creatures as possible, but rather what creatures I can design that can give an interesting item in return for the sake of interesting gameplay. It’s mostly a matter of matching the element and what would be appropriate given the type of creature that’s presented.

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Some of the art I drew on board ran short on room for the required items under them, so they’ll have to be drawn separately. They’ll still be present in the final card, nonetheless. Here’s an example with some grassland creatures I had. An item for the Orc grunt and the Cyclops at the bottom is in the making.

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This is an example of the first wave of card illustrations I painted. They were all drawn and inked on one board, but I separated them into groups in Photoshop, for easier access. Then I just crop down the desired illustration, and use the JPEG for the card template. I utilized it a lot like a painterly palette (even though I’m not a painterly artist), where I could easily access a separate illustration, or pull colors that worked with one creature and unify them all with different and similar colors. Doing this in my opinion makes things easier, rather than just painting them all on individual files.

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Here are some screenshots of near-finalized renditions of the art on the cards. Text is still being adjusted but for the most part, we have a solidified way of putting all the elements together. Since the cards are meant to be kept simple, I used mostly simplistic base color, supported by basic highlights and some textures held together by thick line weight. But again, nothing too fanciful. Since I normally do very detailed artwork, I needed to challenge myself to find a middle ground between what would satisfy my, for lack of better wording, “artistic ego” and what would realistically achievable for the project’s deadline.

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I went ahead and started to get some finalized line art for our game, and ready to be colored as we have a pretty big chunk of cards to bust out before the deadline. We agreed to keep things simple and not get too caught up in over-rendering over-detailing everything to the bone. Although my idea of simple may be different from someone else’s, I managed to find an in-between style that didn’t take me more than maybe a half hour at most. The desired art dimensions for the cards was 2 x 1.5′, so I took the liberty of drawing the illustrations at twice that size (4 x 3) so I could work in a tad larger scale then scale it down for the final card so I’m not drawing in such a crammed space.

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When I was drawing, I starting thinking about the artistic style of World of Warcraft. Not the rendering and detail, but the shaping, proportions, and the sharp “boxy” stylization. Not necessarily straying from my original style of drawing, I managed to let go of trying to make things look realistic and organic, and tried to throw in that “chunky” style that WOW is known for.

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For our group meeting, we developed our game idea deeper into a more general fantasy RPG, abandoning the drinking aspect. We answered a lot of the questions that were left floating before and laid down the mechanics of the gameplay. Now we moved onto artistic design. Though much less stylization and more so idea creating. Since our fantasy game revolves so much around several mythologies, we implemented creatures as the main obstacle of the game, so I took the responsibility of quick creature sketches for potential designs. Next to that I’ll also tackle environment concepts in possibly the next design stage.

For starters, I handled some basic mythical creatures such as giant bats, wargs, cockatrice, and cyclops. Each creature corresponds with a specific environmental element, as seen below. This first set is intended to be a mountain/ cave creature set, with more to come.

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I then moved into more obscure swamp creatures that perhaps aren’t so universally used in the fantasy genre, and are rather a craft of the imagination rather than something that is typically utilized within games like these. The swamp raider species were inspired by the Marro hive warriors from the Heroscape game.

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The inspiration for the swamp warriors, seen as an army on my desk. My Swamp Gorilla concept was something I had in my head since 8th grade, I thought of something between a mammoth and a gorilla but with flesh and scales rather than fur. I thought it would provide a nice change from the norm.

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And of course, what is a fantasy RPG without dragons? Contrary to what was just said, dragons are a very popular creature in the fantasy genre. Given dragons have been done to death in this genre, regardless are still fascinating to look at. But hopefully some designs we throw together will keep the integrity of the traditional fantasy dragon while throwing in elements that keep them from being boring, or otherwise too “fluffy”. They will still be tied into the environmental elements alongside the other creatures we have planned for the game.

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Lastly, I sketched up some weapon ideas as we’ll need for our characters to obtain from the creatures they slay or the merchant they decide to upgrade from. Keeping it traditional with battleaxes, swords, maces, daggers, necromantic staffs, etc. More are to come in the future.

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