The above is a drawing of “Warduke,” one of the TSR/Hasbro characters. I’m too old to have fond memories of seeing Warduke on Saturday Morning cartoons — in fact, I didn’t know who he was until a couple years ago. But I’ve been grinding away on some pretty intense mapping projects and when someone wrote me to ask how much it would cost to draw Warduke, I welcomed the opportunity to do something different. I just sat down and drew it — maybe he’ll buy it, maybe he won’t. Seriously, I enjoyed drawing this so much I think I ought to pay him.
It’s a lot of fun to draw something in a lot looser/expressive manner and I’ve really been getting into using colored inks for my washes/shading in my ink drawings. The colored inks seem to dilute a little better than the black ink on my paper of choice (Bristol – which is shit for ink washes IMO but I like it for its other properties…), and, even if everything converts to shades of gray in reproduction, it gives the original an extra bit of dimension you can’t get in reproduction.
Here’s Warduke in Grayscale:
Another new illustration for Gabor Lux/Melan’s upcoming ‘zine, “Beyond Fomalhaut 04.”
The scene illustrates a public stair in which the walls are decorated with mysterious stone faces. Gabor sent a sketch and a description which led, eventually, to this drawing. A bravo in ring mail climbs the steps, glancing warily over his shoulder… what has he got in that sack? A cultist wearing a bird mask and striped uniform stands watch under a street light, spiky pole arm of questionable efficiency in hand. A member of the “world’s oldest profession” prepares to set a small lamp on her doorstep — perhaps to indicate she is open for business? Another adventurer in Oriental dress swaggers down the stairs, his left hand holding up the curved sword that hangs from his sash (ostensibly to keep it from knocking on the steps… perhaps also to steady it for quick drawing from the scabbard?). An old man in ragged clothes, an empty bottle and begging bowl with a few coins in it at his side, smokes his pipe and surveys the scene. Is he a spy for the local thieve’s guild? A wizard in disguise? Or just a down-on-his luck beggar hoping for better days? Best to tread carefully…
I really enjoy drawing scenes like this with a lot of elements and stories coming together. Melan’s “Fomalhaut” commissions are always a lot of fun because he always requests an interesting cast of characters, usually with specific attributes (bird mask, spired helmet, sack and ring mail, etc.). The illustrations end up with a sense of place I really enjoy.
I sent out Krampus cards last Holiday season and did so again this year (got them in the mail pretty late so most will probably arrive after the 24th — better late than never I guess).
Krampus is a character from the folklore of the Tyrolean region of Europe — a long tongued devil who assists Saint Nicholas — where the Saint rewards the good kids, Krampus carries off the bad ones. Krampus also enjoys shaking chains, beating kids with switches and doing God knows what with that unspeakable tongue. In the past, some people sent “Krampus cards” to friends and family around Saint Nicholas’ feast day (December 6th). Today people are bringing the Krampus card tradition back — there are dozens of different designs of Krampus cards for sale on sites like Etsy. And I’ve started making my own (this year’s design, in which Krampus looks a little cross-eyed, is reproduced above. Last years design can be seen here.).
Some places even hold an event called a “Krampuslauf” (Krampus run) where some dress up as devils, parade around and shake chains and whip other people with birch branches. I suspect consumption of alcohol may also be involved.
Work in progress – beast men defend their dark and dirty lair.
Wizard laboratories seem to be a thing in my illustrations recently. I drew one a while ago and I just finished this one as well. This is drawn on a “grey tone” paper (it really looks more tan than grey, but all tones are grey in greyscale reproduction) and then I went in with a thin green/blue wash for the darker areas and china white for the lighter areas. Even though it will be printed in greyscale, I like the way it looks in color:
The black area in the upper left corner is for text. Here’s how it looks in grey:
Above is a new DCC “Level Zero Hero” character sheet for Goodman Games’ “Dungeon Crawl Classics.” It is available as a free pdf (4 to a page) for your funneling needs. Print ’em up and go to town.
Permission granted to photocopy or print for personal use. (EDIT: Added saving throws).
Sometimes you get these long and skinny spaces to work with and you have to do the best you can with them. Here we have religious fanatics lamenting something or another.
WIP for a new project — this is my version of “The Battle of Alghieri” by Leonardo DaVinci. I suppose copping DaVinci seems presumptuous… but I was really into DaVinci’s drawing of this scene when I was growing up and then I discovered there are dozens of different versions by many different artists of this same painting. Haven’t quite figured out some of the things… and I took some liberties. Horses are really hard to draw.