The waterhole was less idyllic than it first appeared!
I had great fun creating this image of two Thri-Kreen stopping by an oasis to refill their canteens, when they are pounced upon by a Water Drake.
The curving sinuousness of the Drake made for a great framing device, with it's head and tail both pointing to the victim. I reinforced this as the focal point by using other lines of force (primarily in the background) and through the lighting effect.
A full walkthrough of my process - including over a dozen images - can be found on my blog. [link]
Original Artwork for sale; SOLD Was the bravery foolhardiness, or would this hero triumph where others had failed...?
The 'Red Box' holds a legendary place in Dungeons & Dragons lore. It was one of the original introductory starter packs, featuring iconic artwork by Larry Elmore, and was a portal through which many gamers entered the hobby.
You can imagine how thrilled I was to hear that Wizards of the Coast were going to revisit that product, and that they would like me to do likewise with the artwork. The look of the D&D red dragon has changed in the intervening period, as has the appearance of the heroes, but I wanted to capture the feel of the original, and pay homage in my own way.
Larry's original image, and details of the product, can be found on my blog: [link]
'The first wingbeat signals the start of life’s journey.'
Dragons are invariably shown as solitary and frequently engaged in combat, which is why I chose to paint a more intimate scne, but still one wrought with it's own drama and narratives.
The compositional structure is a strong triangular form, drawing the viewer to the parents head, accentuated by the positioning of the sun and rim light. Overlaid this is a sinuous 'S' which helps with creating energy and movement.
Acrylics, Approx 14.5" x 20.5" Original artwork for sale.
'The Kobold chieftain happily offered up tribute to the tribe's mighty King'
I liked the idea of compartmentalising this image more than many I create. The upper half is delineated by the shelf of soil and rock, isolating the Chieftain and Dragon from the treasure horde, and basic grunts below. This is then bisected by the strong verticals formed by the waterfall and tree, which lends more elegance and sinuousness to the s-shape of the Dragon.
It made a nice change to work with a green/brown palette with which I wanted to evoke the sense of late afternoon light. Additionally this was one the first paintings where I used a lot of gel medium. I found it really enabled me to soften the edges, especially in the shadows.
I also enjoyed putting in all the little details, and thinking of where all that treasure came from; is the gold statue a religious icon, a legendary hero, or an award?
Reduced to ruins by supernatural cataclysms, the city of Neverwinter rises from the ashes to reclaim its title as the Jewel of the North. Yet even as its citizens return and rebuild, dark forces pursue their own goals and vendettas, any one of which could tear the city apart.
This image gave me lots of fun elements to play with - crumbling epic architecture, crashing waves, and an Undead Dragon.
The arched road way provided a great device with which to draw the eye towards the focal point of the Dragon's head, whilst also giving us depth and scale. The spotlight on the distant towers helps frame the Dragon's head even as the saturated colours of it's eyes/mouth and drool pull the eye.
Original artwork SOLD Games Workshop have decided to revamp and relaunch the perenially popular boardgame Talisman. I was very fortunate to be commissioned to work on the cover and board artwork.
The object of the game is to be the first to reach, and secure, the Crown of Command, which is guarded by a Dragon in a valley of fire. The Talisman, of the game's title, acts as a ward against the fearsome Dragon.
The players play different characters, Knight, Priest, Thief, etc, and I needed to show several of these interacting and racing to the prize whilst being attacked by the Dragon.
I came up with the idea of a spiral staircase. It allowed me to show lots of characters trying to get to the prize without all overlapping, whilst it would also lead the viewer's eye into the image. I tried to compliment this by employing different light sources, with the strongest of all falling on the central figures of the Knight and Dragon
I hope you like my interpretation of a fierce red Dragon.
Breaking through the cover into the clearing suddenly seemed like less of a good idea...
I adopted a viewpoint that places us in the same position as the adventurers. Hopefully this helps aid the sense of coming upon the jungle lair of the Orium Dragon, with his Gnoll bodyguards.
It also allowed the darker, shadowed, elements to frame the image, placing the Dragon and serpent at the centre of the action. This is important as they are the key features of this piece. The Orium Dragon's breath attack (which is a mist that can adopt the illusory form of a giant serpent) and the Dragon were further emphasised by the use of strong contrasting colours.
The Ice Queen twisted the howling icy gales into a raw elemental force to be flung against the adventurers.
This painting was created as the cover for the latest Talisman baord game expansion. I was working with existing designs for the adventurers but had more freedom with the Ice Queen.
Fortunately the yellow skin of the Ogre allowed for a lovely colour contrast with the Ice Queen, helping the foreground figures pop, whilst the strong highlight helped bring the collaged elements of the adventurers and Queen together.
I also tried to make looser and more expressionistic marks in the background, whislt the foreground elements were more tightly rendered. Again to help create contrast and strong readability.
Follow this link to see the picture with the trade dress on and to find out the product details: