Happy Holidays 2016

Happy Holidays 2016 with Highly Questionable Santa!

Hello poppets, thanks for reading this year. (And any other year too.) Hope you had a good 2016 and even if you didn’t, that 2017 will be better. Becky and I’s year was basically the best ever yet (ignoring world events for a sec) because our first child, Sebastian was born. He’s like, really cool!

Check out my previous Bad Santas right here. He’s now turned ten years old. Ten flippin’ years! And yes, I really do need to get these printed up into a range of Christmas cards. Maybe next year…

Now for the yearly apology for releasing this image into an already-suffering world: sorry.
Looking at it you might think it’s some kind of Donald Trump swipe. While there’s a crossover of an ageing, unsavoury character and something to do with military hardware, it’s ‘Brexit’ that’s really got my gears grinding and this image simmering away behind my knitted brow. Grr. Sigh. Grr.

As with all fading attention-seekers, our Christmas card anti-hero has made a lurch into the world of politics. But with the spectre of nuclear war’s ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ looming large, the question is:
could this be the end for Highly Questionable Santa..?

The Chronicles of Deva: Revel

The years racing to an end and I haven’t even shown you all of The Chronicles of Deva characters I drew for Susan Ruth‘s series of prose novels, so let’s get right down to it.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: Revel

This is Revel. He’s a wayfarer. A wanderer. He lives outside and avoids people for the most part. Let’s not call him a tramp because that wouldn’t have any romance in it. An anyway, he’s ever so pretty. In a damp hedgerow kind of way.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: Revel

I had loads of fun with this, making him look a bit appealing, but still functional. (I enjoy solving problems about costume and possessions in character design, they’re problems I’m interested in that can easily be solved…) He also had to look a bit battered and run-down from all the sunlight. cold nights and dewy mornings.
Note the little drawing in the bottom left where I own up to this guy basically being my take on Snuffkin from the Moomins. Because I’d love to be Snuffkin from the Moomins. Who wouldn’t?

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: RevelCertain things set down or being refined; how he wears his gear and in what order and layers.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: RevelAnother stage of refining. I think the feedback was to not make him quite so weathered. (artists love drawing weathered and worn things, get them to draw something fresh or pristine and we struggle…) It might not be so obvious from the roughs but the cape is made of piece-meal bits of sackcloth.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: Revel

First rough for final image. Standing stones close in.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: Revel

Second rough for the final image composition, bit more space and the viewpoint slightly higher up.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: Revel

A scan of the lineart drawn with a dip-pen (Tachikawa G nib like those ‘mangaka’, nib fans) and ink over pencil lines. You can see the carvings on the standing stones a bit better here than on the final image.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: Revel

Watercolour greyscale texture painted on. Still imperfections in that and the linework at this stage before they got tweaked out in Photoshop. Not that any of them were huge and glaring at all, I just knew they were there, was all.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: Revel

Quick grab of the colours going behind the art in Photoshop. I’ve had to make these darker to show, as the way they’re done translucently (I’m surprised the dictionary on my web browser has that as a word, I’m possibly even more impressed that it’s a word at all) in Photoshop means it hard to show them without them looking odd.

Chronicles of Deva character roughs: Revel

The final again, just in case you’d forgotten what it looked like. The colour approach was – as with all the other images in this series – ‘limited palette’, which might make them look like a little bit of a non-event in the world of computer colouring where amazing levels of saturation abound, but the idea was to go for a more vintage look, with more restrained use of colour.

Next: the healer!

The Chronicles of Deva: Fafnir

So here’s some milestones. The first is that my partner Becky and I now have a beautiful baby son – called Sebastian – who’s about a month old and he’s amazing. He’s everything we could have wished for and more. We’re so happy.

The second milestone is nowhere quite so monumental. Case in point, it actually passed me by for a while until I twigged recently: I’ve been keeping a blog for ten years now.

Ten flipping years!

Sporadically occassionally for sure (hello, deadlines!), but the averages work out to fairly regular updates, which ain’t so bad. Blogging wasn’t exactly a brand new thing when I started back in 2006, these days it seems a little bit too… Static, in these days of multiple feeds on mobile devices. But oh well.
Everything is content and we’re all content providers now compared to a decade ago. Most of all; all content can be Shared and linked to.

So let me show you something: here’s another character portrait from Susan Ruth‘s ‘The Chronicles of Deva‘ prose novel series. This is Lukas Fafnir, debonair young gent about town. (The town in question being Chester in Chestershire, in an alternate 1920s…)

Chronicles of Deva character: Fafnir

Fafnir might be a bit of a peacock but he’s quite the bird of prey underneath all those fancy feathers too, he was a soldier in the civil war that ripped apart the setting of The Chronicles of Deva. He’s done some horrible things and sometimes no amount of preening can hide it.

Chronicles of Deva character: Fafnir

He’s got dependencies. Drink, drugs. Excess. And he even has an eye for one of the main characters of Deva, Felix Skryker.

Chronicles of Deva character: Fafnir

It’s one of those things that appeals to us as human beings for some reason; that the very beautiful is also somehow very broken. (Wether this is because we’re simply jealous or because we know that to project such beauty takes its toll is another matter entirely.)

Chronicles of Deva character: Fafnir

Here’s “morning after Fafnir”, hung over and coming down, groping about his suite wrapped in a gown.

Chronicles of Deva character: Fafnir

The rough for the finished portrait, in which we needed to see him looking a bit mean. He’s just arrived at some gathering of the rich and powerful (by post-war standards) and might even be looking slightly rough around the very edges… But he could still casually put down his drink and wring someone’s neck.

Chronicles of Deva character: Fafnir

The linework, drawn with a dip pen and ink and then grey-toned with watercolour paints.

Chronicles of Deva character: Fafnir

And the finished thing again.

I wonder if I’ll still be blogging in another ten years. Maybe… Blogs might have gone the way of newspapers or magazines by then. What I do know for sure is that our son Sebastian is going to be ten years old by then, so we’ll see what he thinks.

Next: The great outdoors!

The Chronicles of Deva: Xanthe

Running through more of the characters from Susan Ruth‘s ‘The Chronicles of Deva‘ prose novel series and the visualisation and portraits I did of them.

Here’s our keystone character; she holds everything else together and all the other characters revolve around her: Miss Xanthe Chance.

Deva character: Xanthe Chance

She’s grown up in imposed exile, in hiding, so she has a very developed mind thanks to being cooped up all the time.

Deva character: Xanthe Chance

The rest of her family seem to have been wiped out thanks to their position in the civil war that the United Kingdom went through (the ‘Deva stories are set in an alternate 1920s) they were all far too brilliant for their own good.

Deva character: Xanthe Chance

Figuring out some costumes for Xanthe, her almost-prisoner scavenged garb and then the highfaluting frocks she gets put in when she’s introduced into high society.

Deva character: Xanthe Chance

Copious note-taker. Polymath Xanthe’s many pursuits include astronomy and star-gazing. A good starting point for a portrait:

Deva character: Xanthe Chance

Here’s Xanthe still in the cell of the tower she’s practically imprisoned in, looking out of the high window with eyes on the stars and a heart fulla yearning.

Deva character: Xanthe Chance

…Worked up into a pen and ink drawing with black watercolour paint wash.

Deva character: Xanthe Chance

…And scanned in and colour-tinted with Photoshop. Officially this is ‘limited palate’ colour (though I might have gone overboard with the dark grey-blues) to give these pieces an old-timey, vintage (1920s) feel and I think it works.
You might have noticed her face has changed a bit in the last picture, the worry was that our girl genius – while she is supposed to be stunningly beautiful – was looking like a little bit of a bimbo with all that moony face-pulling when she should instead be set with steely intellectual resolve.

Next: More of that High Society! (A little bit too much, in fact…)

The Chronicles of Deva: Skryker

It’s high time to talk about ‘The Chronicles of Deva’ series of prose novels by author Susan Ruth. Susan brought me in to do some covers and other arty bits (more on those later) for her series of books and I drew and painted some portraits of the characters too. The series has the fantastic setting of an 1920’s North-West England in the aftermath of a civil war between the North and South of the country (how very North American, or erm, Korean. Or Irish, even. Ahh, the list goes on) and focuses on the fragile group of characters who make up the ranks of the fragile acting government, beset from dangers without and within.

First up, let’s start on the safe ground of the main male protagonist: Stryker… Felix Stryker.

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

Stryker is a minister (the civil kind, not the religious kind) and maintains a security force and espionage network…

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

He has a touch of a young Abraham Lincoln or slightly-older Mr Darcy about him. Very well-dressed, maybe even on purpose to avoid suspicion and always seems to be about to receive a phone call or be called away to some kind of derring-do(!)

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

Messing around with exact facial features. Getting everything down the same in every expression or quick drawing and then repeating it at-will is something that takes lots of work.
Oh and just in case you were wondering; yes, it’s possible that ‘Skryker’ could be a pseudonym. You’ll have to keep reading the books to find out though.

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

So here’s a rough for the portrait; Skryker at night, shadowed, tucked away in a cobbled side-street near his ministry, partially lit by ornate lamps while the fog and mist of ‘Deva’ (the city of Chester no less, going by its Roman name) rolls in and around, concealing things and then offering fleeting reveals in the faltering light… This is what he’s all about. Oh and he also looks like Cary Grant a bit for some reason. That guy!

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

I decided to retire the lamplight halos, they were clobbering the whole ‘some things are hidden’ thread too strongly straight into the reader’s eyes. This is our clean-cut hero, after all.

Unfortunately I don’t have any in-progress images of the pencilling or inking of this character portrait image, so we go straight to finished linework with grey tone wash. Susan wanted these pieces of artwork to have a classic feel, like, say, book illustration around about the 20’s, when the books are set. Drawing linework with a dip-pen and ink and then putting in tone with watercolour paints on a real piece of paper definitely helped get this.

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

The analogue bit finished and ready to be scanned:

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

And then here’s the scan tidied up.

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

For all of my talk about classic feel, it now now time to, arm, unleash Photoshop. Just for limited colour values though! We had all of our informative parts off the piece down by hand, this was the last boot into legibility and the finish line:

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

And here’s your finished thing. The tower in the background actually had its angle straightened up thanks to the magic of Photoshop.

Chronicles of Deva: Felix Skryker character roughs

Sauve fella.

Next: Skryker’s weakness!

Exalted: All Along the Watchtower

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

The last in the series of illustrations I did for the interior of the forthcoming Exalted third edition ‘EX3’ role-playing game book from The Onyx Path publishing. Here, it’s sunset over the mountain city of Medo and it’s time for the changing of the guard. The living guards are joined by the ghosts of their ancestors who take the night shift of watch duty over the ramparts of the city when the sun sets.

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

This is something of a world-building piece with one main character in it helping to communicate the setup of the place too. The brief was to show a valley and a mountain range with wooded lower slopes, great city walls with crenelations, our main guardswoman, the friendly ghost appearing, others appearing in the background, and that the guardswoman had a small bone on a necklace around her neck that she was playing with.

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

After lots of playing around with angles and compositions to try and get as much as I could into one image, I decided to clobber the composition with a sledgehammer of simplicity… Get things fairly straight and layer them up. Keep it simple.

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

I coloured up my linework to make this colour rough to show to the art editor and creative director. The feedback that fed back said, ‘can we darken it up a bit and make it look like it’s definitely night-time drawing in?’ So I got out the pot of darkness paint.
Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

My Onyx Path pals definitely had a point. Anyway, next up was printing out a blown-up rough and light-boxing some pencils from it onto another piece of paper.

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

The friendly ghosts that would be dropped on top of proceedings – in proper translucent, ghostly style – were drawn on another bit of paper.

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

Colour flats! Hey, this didn’t take long! I wasn’t going to flat every single tree trunk and canopy on the hill-side since I could do that much later in the process with a few flicks of a brush and produce much better results. Is it clear how much fun I was having drawing her protective sou’wester? I was.

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workingsRage, rage against the dying of the light.
Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workingsRage, rage against the shoddy artistic workmanship of just dropping in the brush strokes from colour rough from earlier on to build up a bit of texture, to get the painting going.
Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workingsWorking in the darker tones, shades and shadows. It’s funny how just the linework visible over this makes everything look a bit like it’s in relief or something. Anyway, no time to reflect, it’s time to put the highlights on:
Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

The sun’s dipping behind the mountains, so there’s only so much light being thrown around. You could argue that there’s a mountain behind the viewer which could bounce the light back onto the scene, but we’ll leave that alone for now. And in general.

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

Some more feedback on making the main character a bit more rosy so we could pick her out a as living, breathing pink thing in the gloom as opposed to a statue. I love doing limited palette work, so every once in a while I need a nudge like this. Anyway, the friendly ghosts in lamellar armour had appeared and we were done!

Exalted third edition EX3 RPG art workings

And here’s a close-up of some of the detail. The character’s face was a little bit out of my usual style, and it was only after the fact that discovered that there was no such thing as an ‘Exalted look’ in this edition of the game. Ah well.

Even though this is the last piece from this series I’m showing off, it was – paradoxically – the first one I finished. I’m kinda funny like that. I learned a lot on these illustrations. The book was finally on general release a few days ago, so sidle along and pick yourself up a copy if you’re a roleplayer. The book design is really incredible, so fresh-looking for an RPG. ‘Medo’ – the region the piece of artwork above is set in – gets a mention in the blurb for the book, so that’s cool. Oh and If you’re one of the fancy types on Kickstarter who’s getting a metallic slipcase version or similar, then I salute you.

Exalted: Crash Test Funny

Want to get your mate round and go for a nice drive down the road in the Exalted role-playing game universe? Too bad, because Volka The Exalt here’s seen your chariot coming a mile off AND IS GOING SMASH IT TO BITS WITH ONE PUNCH:

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

So this is going to be printed on one half of a page of the Exalted Third Edition book from The Onyx Path Publishing with a column of text going down the other half. I’m guessing the text will be about how Volka here (who is definitely female, believe it or not, I was going with the brief here) is able to do this kind of thing without breaking a sweat because of her special Exalt powers.

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

Starting off in my sketchbook, I was trying to find a way of communicating everything that was going on while still making it dynamic. A really simple side-on view of Volka at one end and the chariot at the other with the punch in the middle. We didn’t have a landscape format to fit all of this in though… And anyway, it would be boring, like the side elevation of a plan. Some foreshortening was required! It ended up being quite a lot…

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

So here’s the rough I came up with. The chariot and its contents had to be flying apart – which was handily in the brief – to separate them in three dimensional space because it stopped them overlapping each other when it came to the foreshortening…

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

Volka’s a great character (androgynous and she’s got a great skintone, all of this came from the brief) so it looks like I got to define her look. Whoop!

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

The final linework that went into the finished piece, drawn with an automatic pencil on bristol board on top a lightbox (I think).I didn’t get Volka’s mouth quite right, but that got fixed later.
I’m now gonna introduce a double-up wall of work-in-progress screengrabs; the long, thin images I’ve put up so far prompted a bit too much scrolling on your part, so this should be easier. You can thank me later.

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

First up – on the left – are the colour flats, taking the fairly precise linework and knocking it down into shapes – the individual colour choices aren’t too important at all at this stage. Ignore the darker blue blob in the sky for now. Next – on the right – I dropped the hastily-daubed colour info from the colour rough straight on to the final to serve as a kind of under-painting.

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

A couple of quick progress grabs of Volka’s face coming together.

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

Next, I worked in some dark shades to get the modelling of the forms now present in this final piece down. Then I worked on over the top with highlights, to model further. There was some proper painting with ‘local’ colours going on a little bit too.

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

Working over with different colours and getting towards a kind of ‘detail’ level here. Volka’s leaf-mail armour took a while, but it was probably worth it.

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

The pink glow is Volka’s ‘Anima Banner‘ – a light show shroud that she emanates when she’s using her special powers. I was starting to work into the environment more here and soften the elements further away from the viewer in the composition to give a greater illusion of depth. And how much chariot’s just been broken up. The guys in the chariot are supposed to have a kind of Mesotopamian feel to them, which was fun. In fact, the whole flipping’ piece was loads of fun!

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

Final textures and tweaks. It was decided that Volka’s right leg should be moved further into the composition to make her look a bit more rooted in the scene and increase the depth, so I duly did that. Initially I thought the bonkers figure work suited Exalted, but the edit probably makes the image work a bit better…

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

You can see here how my working ratio didn’t quite match the printed image ratio. Anyway, we’re done. Here’s some detail grabs, in case you’re keen:

Exalted Third Edition illustration progress

G’wan, Volka.

Next time: Ramparts ‘n’ Revenants!

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 Primordial 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!

Happy Holidays 2015

Happy Holidays for 2015 with Highly Questionabe Santa

Wishing you and yours the very happiest of holidays, hope you’ve had a great year and here’s to an even better 2016! Sorry to drone on (oho), but could this be the end for Highly Questionable Santa..?
And, as is tradition, the apology: Sorry. (For those not so familiar with early-eighties animated features for all the family, see: This here YouTube video )

– All the very best from Lee & Becky.

(And if this is your first ‘Questionable Santa’ing, you can familiarise yourself with the previous times he didn’t stay away here.)

Exalted: Ursa Massacre

The next in the series of Exalted RPG interior illustrations isn’t all quiet, unassuming and expecting you to take a seat, settle down and take in all the detail, instead it SUDDENLY THROWS LOADS OF HOT BEAR VISCERA RIGHT IN YOUR STUPID FACE:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Hoo boy! Apologies, bear fans, nature-lovers, and er, just about everybody. The creative director and the art editor made me do it! Okay, crap excuse. Anyway, this is an image of a ‘Lunar‘(feral, tribal) ‘Exalted‘(person with rare, special powers) having to defend herself from some wildlife while she’s on a nice hike in the mountains.

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

These are the first series of rough thumbnail scribbles I scribbled in ma travellin’ sketchbok. The image is of a woman ripping a rampaging bear in half with her mad powers. I knew the bear would be suspended in the air, so I was wondering wether to show it hanging above or being looked down on.

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Here was what I came up with for a rough to show the creative director and art editor. In amongst the bears with the unfortunate bear in the air (hey that rhymes) towering over the viewer. Next, I coloured it:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

The scene is set in the mountains in the snow, but I didn’t want to just rely on a white and light-blue colour scheme like so many wintery images seem to have by default… It’s far too clean and plastic-looking. Instead I deliberately went for saturated purple and red colours. The thing that looks like a ghost crocodile is the woman’s ‘Anima Banner‘, a lightshow aura that surrounds her while she’s activating her special powers. (And providing a bit of comment on the situation too, by the looks.)
Here’s the very restrained linework I drew for the final piece with a mechanical pencil. (The pencil gives a fine line with just enough variation and weight to keep it a little bit interesting:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

…but talking about line qaulity is a bit academic because the eventual goal is to cover it up with digital paint! Here are ‘the flats’ for the image:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

…placeholders for putting particular colours in particular parts of the image. Once I got the shapes I down, I then straight away changed the colours to these:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

You can see some of the stone and rock textures I dropped in too. Next I worked into the lowlights and shades:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

I threw some blood on it too… Next up, the highlights went on and the background were worked into:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Here’s a quick screencap of me working into the lady’s face. It was much more squished at this point and I had to fix that. Also, the eyes being at different levels. Oy:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

While we’re doing cutways, here’s on of some of the textures and whatnot without anything else in the way:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Then working into it all some more…

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

More importantly the crocodile anima banner went in. The title for this image in the art notes is ‘Grusome Triumph’. Yup. There was some head-scratching about how transparent(?), translucent(?) or semi-opaque(???) it should be overall and in particular bits, but we got there in the end:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Then a bunch of fixes and overpaints, working into it all the while, doing the odd lighting trick:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Then we were getting more into details and plugging away at all the brushstrokes needed to make the furry bits look furry:

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Fozzy bears duly fozzied, I was pulling the dark bits forward and making the light bits stand out, trying to get as much depth as I could out of the piece. (Which is a challenge because there’s only so much depth in the composition before we hit the sky…

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

And we were done! I even signed it and everything. The piece was cropped, the idea being it’s a tall, thin illustration to take up one half of a page of the book running from top to bottom, leaving the other half free for text. (Apologies if these are a bit hard to view in the blog and need lots of scrolling, I’m sure they’ll look good in the book thanks to the lovely Oynx Path folks!

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Here are some close-ups of interesting bits of the piece, in case you were tired of squinting…

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

Because I took the time to put all of these brushstrokes into the bear’s fur, you’re getting a close-up of it…

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

This bear is concerned. I’m sure you would be too. (Also, check out the textures and whatnot on the mountains in the background!)

Exalted Third Edition RPG illustration workings

 Next time: Super-powered people struggle with everyday things too, you know!