Pelgrane Press offered a tantalizing preview of the layout from 13 True Ways today. Check it out HERE. (Don’t strain your eyes too hard…I’ll post larger images of those illustrations to my blog soon;-)
13 True Ways
Great Bear Druid
Today I’m peeling back the process of creating the illustration of the Great Bear Druid found in the upcoming 13 True Ways book. This piece almost got the cut because I think both Rob Heinsoo and myself may be a little overeager when it comes to the druid class. There may have been a concern that the druids were overtaking the book, but evidently enough balance was restored to keep this piece. This drawing came together rather quickly. Below is my sketchbook page of the druid summoning his Spirit Bear and then a smattering of ungainly goblins. The next stage was done in Photoshop. I arranged the various sketch elements into a composition and added some digital paint. Lee Moyer swung his sorcerer’s wand around and brought contrast and clarity to the image. One thing I’ve learned from working with Lee is the importance of creating a composition that can still read when reduced to the size of a postage stamp, a valuable “big picture” skill that he has keenly developed.
Rob wrote about the druid class at his blog. Here’s an excerpt: “As you’ll see, the druid class is a beast. The challenge of embracing elements of traditional druidic roles (wild healer, animal shifter, elemental magician, summoner, warrior of the wild) became huge fun as I took new approaches (talents defining spell lists and abilities, carefully calibrated summoning mechanics, spell lists tied to specific terrain). It’s definitely the biggest of all the class design jobs. I hope it turns out to be as much fun to play as it was to design.”
13 True Ways Commander
Behold, a dwarven commander whose troops carry the flag of the Emperor! Read Rob Heinsoo’s notes on the commander at this post.
I’ll work backward on the process this time around, for some variety. Below is the original image that I sent Lee Moyer. Lee added the Emperor’s flag to the final illustration, as you can see above, not to mention greater contrast and golden light illuminating the scene. (Could that light be reflecting from a guarded treasure trove, perhaps? Or perchance they have encountered the fleeting essence of The Gold Wyrm?!)
And a preliminary sketchbook drawing of the Commander in repose:
13 True Ways Necromancer
It’s a process post for 13 True Ways! I had fun doing these posts for some of the 13th Age core book art about 2 years ago that I called “Behind-the-Illustration”. The first image below is a preliminary pencil sketch in blue and red col-erase pencils. You can see a little thumbnail scribble in blue, top left: I added some color and Lich King symbols fused with Archmage emerging from the volcanic rock below her feet before turning it over to Lee Moyer: And Lee gave the image an ethereal quality as if the adventurers witnessing the scene can’t be sure if their eyes are playing tricks on them or not: Rob Heinsoo wrote a fun mechanic for the necromancer that you can read here.
Also, I’d like to invite anyone interested in 13th Age to consider contributing something to the first issue of a 13th Age Fanzine called ICON that is currently accepting submissions (deadline for the May issue is April 24th). Click the banner below for details:
13 True Ways Reanimated
So, the panel teasers that I was milking in my most recent posts will have to remain a mystery for the time being. That book is still my top priority right now, but the pub date has been pushed back significantly altering the marketing for the book in ways that I’m not fully aware of at the moment. This gives me the opportunity to shift the focus of my blog toward a project from last year that I’ve been sitting on while the pieces fall into place. Namely, 13 True Ways, the expansion book to 13th Age! I’ve developed many new illustrations for the project with the artful direction of Rob Heinsoo and Lee Moyer, and Lee stepped in to give life to many of my rough sketches when the deadline crept up on me and collided with what I thought was the deadline for the graphic novel I was also drawing.
Point being, I’ve watched the stats of this blog slant toward my fantasy illustration as the popularity of 13th Age has grown since its release last year. I appreciate the interest and I’m overdue in rewarding the readers who visit my site in search of inspiration for their 13th Age campaigns. For now I’ll be posting things that have been released online here or there, but slightly reformatted to accentuate crunchy details. Ever the process junkie, please bear with me as I revive some material you may have encountered elsewhere.
Pixies No 13 Baby
Rob Heinsoo keeps releasing thumbnails for drawings I have yet to finish for 13 True Ways. Makes me nervous, but since it’s already adrift on the internet waves I’m owning it here. Read more about the Murder Pixies at Rob’s blog.
I’m in a state… Pixies No 13 Baby on Youtube
Process: 13 True Ways
I met with Rob Heinsoo and Lee Moyer the other night. After enjoying a bowl of Lee’s chicken hominy soup we went through the “Art Order’ for 13 True Ways to see where we stand in the process. There’s a lot of artwork in this book, but a good amount of progress has been made and I will continue illustrating finished pieces this upcoming month. This weekend at Stumptown Comic Fest I’ll bring prints from the first book including many of the Icons and some interior illustrations of gnomes, elves and other high fantasy adventurers. Here’s an illustration that will be included in 13 True Ways:
First Image Reveal of 13 True Ways
Earlier today Rob Heinsoo leaked the first image from the yet-to-be-released supplement book 13 True Ways. You can read some details about the image at Rob’s Blog. This is a piece I drew only a couple weeks ago and even more recently Lee Moyer applied his masterful paints to finalize the image. I’m expecting to have a banner of this image near my table at Emerald City Comicon in one short week, so please take a moment and let it sink into your visual memory;-)
The 13th Hour
Yes, this is a page marker for the time being. I just wanted to take note of the last exciting 13 hours of the Kickstarter for 13 True Ways. It really took off yesterday and I think it has exceeded anyone’s expectations at this point. Below is a sketch that I penciled and Lee Moyer inked at PAX. This was based on a fan’s suggestion for a 13th Age adventurer, and I’ll add some additional info and more sketches to this post a little later. For now I need to get back to staring at the thrill-a-minute kickstarter page. Kidding! That kind of vanity would be akin to the Lich King…well, a few icons could be guilty of that I suppose…but not me, I’m just a lowly scrivener;-)