Cat Attack

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:

no small crimes paint v2 72 dpi

I’d been given suggestions as to subject and started with rough sketches. The one I liked most looked like this:

no small crimes pencil 72 dpi BW

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…

no small crimes paint v1 72 dpi

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:

no small crimes paint v2 72 dpi

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.

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