Thursday, July 28, 2011
This one's called Brel Blazebeard. Its oils on paper mounted to MDF, 11" x 14". The image was just released on Tuesday with the Twilight of the Dragons set for the World of Warcraft trading card game. Illustrating for Warcraft is a lot of fun, but is also a challenge, at least for me, in that they are very specific about the physical proportions of the different types of inhabitants of the game. Bodies are thicker, with large barrel chests and powerful hands. I've found that in many of the illustrations I've done for them so far it serves me well to do a anatomy study beforehand. Then it is easier to add on the fantastic armor and other costuming on top. This way, I know that the proportions are correct, and I still have the movement and gesture of the pose. These studies aren't pretty, but they help me out a great deal.
From this I do another pencil sketch. I could just refine the digital sketch, but I still feel more comfortable with a pencil than a stylus. So this study is printed out and used as a guide for the more refined sketch by means of a light box. The paper I do most of my drawings with is just Staples all purpose copy paper. It's acid free, and thin enough to use with a light box, but not too translucent like tracing paper. I love the surface of it as well. Very smooth with just enough tooth for me. I starting using this paper after I heard from Tom Kidd that he uses it for all his great sketches.
This pencil sketch is then scanned in and further refinements can be made in Photoshop. I'd probably save time if I did everything digitally, but I still haven't made the total leap yet.