Friday, June 29, 2012

Duel Masters: Onigunso, Hammer of Anger

Earlier this year I got an email from art director Dawn Murin over at Wizards of the Coast. She was looking for artists to create work for the japanese card game Duel Masters. I had heard of the game before but never really knew much about it. Especially since it was a game played mostly by japanese boys between the ages of 10-14, and the art was completely different from my typical style. But for this project, she was trying something new, and that was to try and incorporate a more "western" realistic art style into the Duel Masters brand. In hopes to make it stand out a bit more from the other Japanese card games. So I said "sure!" and thus began my journey.

For this guy the description was as follows:
He's an alien humanoid that is about 14 feet tall, chubby rather than muscular like he never lost his baby fat, and dimwitted. Instead of hands, he has giant steampunk-esque mechanical ball maces, and he's covered in glowing tribal/alien tattoos.

Now having researched some previous art for Duel Masters, I realized that everything was pretty over the top and crazy. Most things just didn't make sense. I needed to make him pretty big and weird and aggressive, while maintaining my usual painting style. 
Here's a few of my thumbnails, as I did a lot...They're pretty much just the the big dude flailing about in different directions since the game is about in-your-face monsters fighting each other:
©Wizards of the Coast

©Wizards of the Coast
©Wizards of the Coast

©Wizards of the Coast

©Wizards of the Coast

©Wizards of the Coast

©Wizards of the Coast
So we decided to go with thumbnail #6, and off I went to take various akward photos of myself and build little ball maces out of sculpey to help with lighting on them. Also, as a last minute addition, the publisher decided that this character is controlled by a summoner. Luckily there was a good empty space on the left where I could sneak him in:
©Wizards of the Coast
I've been doing most of my final drawings in charcoal for a while now, but lately I'm also doing quite a bit in photoshop to help set up the lighting and add some extra details. It saves me time in the long run.
Gladly, the sketch only required a couple tiny changes and It was off to the finish. Being designated as a "fire" card type helped me to determine the red colors for his skin in this one, but a bit of tweaking in my photoshop color study helped me to settle on the blues for the secondary color.
©Wizards of the Coast
13"x15.25" Oil on board
And here's how the final card turned out:

A big thanks to Dawn for this one because I had a lot of fun pushing my own boundaries with this guy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Image for Dragon 411

Here's another new one I did for Dragon magazine not too long ago. The gnoll guy was pretty fun to paint. These tall narrow layouts can be a bit tricky, but I also find them a fun challenge to play with composition and cropping.
10"x22" Oil on illustration board

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dungeon 202: True Defiler

Well, the dust has finally settled and I'm back into somewhat normal mode after a wonderful time at Spectrum Live!

Here's a fairly new one that I did for a recent Dungeon Magazine article. A True defiler pulling life-force from the ground.
10x22" Oil on board