Part of a work-in-progress for a diagram describing the layout of a lanteen rigged caravel that sails the seas of a fantasy world. I’ve always loved cut-away views of buildings, ships and similar things as a means of visually understanding historical things like ships, fortresses, etc. The hull of this ship is expanded vertically, making the distance from the keel to the main deck appear greater than it might be in a blueprint of a similar ship. This distortion was necessary in order to show all of the rooms and passages in relationship to one another. One of the purposes of this diagram is to show the reader how one gets around the ship… for instance, in order to get from the galley(13) to the captain’s stateroom(5), one needs to take the stairs up to 10, pass through the door to the hallway leading to 8, take another stair up to 4, then pass through the door between 6 and 7 to get to the stateroom (5).
Sailing enthusiasts will probably take issue with the liberties I have taken in portraying the rigging. In my defense, a) I’m not being paid enough to research a 100% accurate ship, b) If I drew every rope and pulley accurately, I would miss my deadline by about a year, c) it’s a fantasy ship, so of course there are differences between this and historical ships, and d) I wanted to give the critics an opportunity to show off their knowledge of the rigging of 15th century Portuguese historical ships by giving them something to criticize.
Goodman Games just shipped me my copy of the 4th printing of ‘Dungeon Alphabet’ by Michael Curtis. The 4th printing includes more pages and entries for your reading pleasure with illustrations by Brad McDevitt, Jeff Easley, Jim Holloway, Doug Kovacs, William McAusland, Jesse Mohn, Peter Mullen, Russ Nicholson, Erol Otus, Jim Roslof, Chad Sergesketter, Chuck Whelon, Mike Wilson and myself. One of the new pages includes this 11×17 inch fold out map by me (above). Hoping one day Goodman will let me turn it into some kind of “Where’s Waldo” type poster.
Trey Causey tells us that issue #1 of ‘Underground Comics’ is almost here. My 8 page comic, “The Stone God,” makes it’s first appearance anywhere in its pages. 36-pages and 6 black and white features of dungeon-related stuff. Artists/authors include Jeff Call, James V. West, Karl Stjernberg, Jason Sholtis, Luka Rejec, and myself. Watch Trey’s blog (“From the Sorcerer’s Skull”) for more info.
Recently I was asked to do a painting for Goodman’s ‘Lankhmar’ series of adventures that involved a ‘Land of the Giants’ theme. (Anyone else remember ‘Land of the Giants’?) I wanted to share how I ended up with this image:
I’d been given suggestions as to subject and started with rough sketches. The one I liked most looked like this:
Admittedly, pretty rough, but I’m trying to figure out how to tell the story (the people are small and the room is giant-sized). The window in the upper RH corner provides the light to the scene and the darkened LH corner provides a place for test to go. The middle figure is holding a dinner fork. The client suggested the ‘fork’ should look more like a real dinner fork (I actually based its design on a medieval fork I saw once, but I take his point — to most people, this version just looks like a very impractical pole-arm and since I wanted to suggest that the character had picked up a fork to fight with like characters from ‘Land of the Giants’ defended themselves with giant sized pencils, cutlery or scissors, I needed to make that clear). I thought the cat looked to small and the adventurers looked too big. Goodman also asked that I think of a way to inject the idea that this adventure was taking place in an urban environment…
I did more sketches and some color studies (which I am not showing here). Then I began to commit to paint. You can see that I made the cat bigger and scarier looking and the character figures much smaller. I opened the window to show the city outside and added some furnishings in the background to make it clear they are inside a giant house. This was good but it wasn’t quite there yet… I put the painting away for a day and came back to it:
Which gets us to where the painting is at present. I deepened the shadows and added more blue/cool colors to indicate that Lankhmar is a dirty, damp and wet city… just as Fritz Lieber intended. I deepened the shadows and added more contrast to the figures.