About a year ago I did a 20 page comic based on the Lovecraft story, “Dagon” but never managed to place it in any publication. This year I’m bringing a box of original art for sale to GenCon (in Indianapolis Aug 17-20), so I made a few improvements to the comic, added a cover and I printed up about 100 digest-sized copies of the book which will be for sale at the Goodman Games booth in the vendor hall. Currently they need folding and stapling… I need to get that done along with a few more commission works before I can go to Indianapolis. No rest for the wicked.
I wanted to offer something a little less expensive other than the original drawings that will also be for sale there (original art is probably out of a lot of people’s budget (including my own — no one is as cash poor as an artist — most of the original artworks I own have been gifts or exchanges from other artists)). I’m still figuring out the cost — but if it works and people like it, I’ll try to get together with a better printer for future editions and up my game a little as a ‘zine’ style comics publisher. The book is 20 pages, digest sized, black and white art.
‘Dagon’ is a story that Lovecraft wrote in 1916 and first published in 1919. I felt it necessary to make a few small changes in order to make it work as a story in visual rather than prose form… Lovecraft purists should consider themselves forewarned!
Above we have a 2 page spread from “Operation Unfathomable” by Jason Sholtis and Hydra Collective. Jason just sent out a ‘backers only’ preview — those of you who backed the Kickstarter are probably nodding and chuckling to yourselves as you look over the PDF of first few chapters. The book looks great — can’t wait to hold it in my hands.
Above we see a group of luckless adventurers getting whacked by worm soldiers while the stone monuments of the beetle civilization bear silent witness.
Last night we flew in from Ireland — one of the best trips I have had in years. Now it is time to press my nose to the grindstone and finish up a backlog of projects before I depart for Gencon 2017. Hope to see you there! I will be at the Goodman Booth from 1-2pm on Saturday and Sunday for artist signings as well as various other times.
After the peace and quiet of Moveen, the tourist bustle of towns like Kilkenny, we landed in Dublin last night…. the place had the feel of New Orleans last night (well, there was no public nudity, but plenty of music and drinking) but today it seems to have sobered up. The revelers are all probably sleeping it off and the Irish themselves have to go to work to keep the place running.
Dublin is a delight.
Below is a recently completed painting I did for an adventure book cover for Goodman Games – I thought it might be interesting for people to see the steps I go through to make a painting like this — I know I always find that interesting and useful when other illustrators do the same.
The subject matter and set-up was pre-determined. The title and other text goes in the upper LH corner, so I determined that would be a shadow area. The art direction called for an image of three post-apocalyptic adventurers climbing down a rope into a darkened chamber where they confront a dinosaur, a knight, a western gunman and a large robot. The ‘characters’ are consistent from cover to cover within the series… we see a purple insect man, a red mutant with a tentacle sprouting from his head and a human mutant wearing buckskins with a pink mohawk. All three are armed with neolithic weapons.
We started out with the graphite on a piece of paper stapled to a wooden board. I staple the paper down to keep it from curling too much when I use wet media (paint) later in the process. I don’t normally use this much graphite on my under drawing, but I’m trying to improve my technique by experiment a bit with every painting.
Next I go in with thin, watery washes. I’m trying to give things a base color and shape. plus trying to push the background back — suggest to the viewer that the action takes place in a big, dark room where the far end is in shadow.
Next I use a little blending paint with the airbrush and lay in some acrylics.
I sometimes struggle to be patient enough to lay in the colors carefully at this point… when I mess up a painting, this is when I usually do so. I want the colors not only to show what color a given object or creature might be, but also show their 3 dimensional shape and how the light hits them. So, even though the bug man is purple in color, I want the top of his body to be lighter purple than his belly since the top is facing towards the light above and the belly is facing away from it. This is the part that takes me the longest and remains the part I struggle most with.
Eventually, as I get more and more refined in painting in the details and highlights and shadows, I decide the painting is finished. For this one, I think the last step was to use some translucent white paint in the airbrush to give the hole in the ceiling more of a sense of light and atmosphere. This painting took me about 20 hours total:
Attention Dungeon Crawl Classics enthusiasts! Goodman Games has a kickstarter for scratch-off DCC character sheets with art on the borders by me. Backers will get a bale of these scratch-off sheets to have fun with when it funds. There is also a Dave Trampier tribute version and you can see the original painting in process here. Thanks to Jim Wampler for the tip!