Exalted: Muscle Mary and the Infinite Sadness

The next in the series of ‘Exalted’ Third Edition role-playing game (“EX3” to the cool kids who’ve been waiting for it to be released) from The Onyx Path publishing. (Even cooler kids might know them by their old household name of ‘White Wolf’.)
Here, we learn it’s not all explosions and cheesy grins in the land of ‘Creation’ in ‘The Age of Sorrows’, some people are having problems too:

Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse illustration

So yer big man here is an ‘Exalt’ character – an individual who has special powers – the only problem is that with great exalted power comes crap responsibility: you have to suffer ‘The Great Curse’. This curse comes from the enemies of your godly Exalted ancestors, the ‘Primordials’. As the PrimordialĀ old-school-rulers of the world were overthrown and destroyed by the Exalted forces, the Primordials cursed the usurpers to feel miserable sometimes and occasionally lose control of their emotions. (Yeah, I have days like that too.) Tiny here is suffering and is no help to his friends who’re fighting off a Realm legion attack.

Anyway, here’s me at square one doodling out some ideas in my sketchbook.Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

Oh the anguish:
Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

The quick linework for a rough to send to the editor:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

The same linework quickly coloured up:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

That was all good so I took the rough linework, blew it up and lightboxed this final piece lineart from it:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

The colour flats. The idea is that you use these to grab selections of figures and elements to have in your toolkit for later on when it’s all gone wibbly and is hard to get back into:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

The quick colours from the rough used as a bit of underpainting and then worked into, to start the ball rolling:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

Giving the folks in the background a bit of attention for a change. And should say the blue lines are to mark the edge of the image:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

Getting there. And yes, our linework’s pretty much disappeared so I guess this is officially a painting now:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

Working in further, getting everything differentiated and trying to pull the background and other elements out of the gloom. It goes against type that the main character in the foreground is the one disappearing in the murk, not everybody else stuck at the back. (Pro Tip: The gloom represents GLOOMY EMOTIONS.)Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

A quick work-in-progress screengrab:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

Here comes the sun: getting it nice and cheerful in the background so the foreground can look more depressing:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

Putting in grass textures, details and some tweaks:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art workings

A bit of colour wrangling and we’re finished:Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse illustration

Some grabs of details; our Realm legionnaires, heavily-armoured heavies that seem to be one of the many recurring visual motifs of the setting:
Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art detailAnd some super-friends getting a bit of screen-time:
Exalted Third Edition 'EX3' Great Curse art detail

Next time: exploding vehicles!

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