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?!)
The charcoal sketch:
And a preliminary sketchbook drawing of the Commander in repose:
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.
The 13th Age Core Book is finally available from Pelgrane Press! Buy It Here! The book has been long anticipated by some patient folks (it was originally slated for release in December 2012), but all new to others. The game has been available as a PDF for months, but the official book release was at Gen Con this past weekend. It has been rewarding to see numerous snapshots of the cover pop up on the web posted by people who pre-ordered and received the book by mail. I’ve seen very few pictures of the book’s interior, though, so I thought I’d make use of my blog and post a few shots of what you see inside when you crack that cover. Much of the polish and beauty of the interior can be attributed to Lee Moyer who meticulously art directed the overall design, created the icon symbols and various tiles, and painted many of my illustrations. In addition, Chris Huth is responsible for the stunning page layouts. It’s a $45 dollar book, but at 320 pages and over 60 illustrations, this is a book that even the Archmage would add to his library of mystical tomes.
Here’s a Preview…
Those pictures with my hand may just seem like an opportunity to fulfill my dream to be a hand model, but I’m trying to showcase the Icon Ring that came with my comp. An outer piece rotates and allows the bearer of the ring to randomly select an icon during key moments of game play. A few of the illustrations showcase characters who in some way are representing a relationship that they have with one of the Icons. Buy the book and try to find all the connections…then it’s time to start making up your own! Game On!
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:
And the thumbnail sketch:
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;-)
Starting today, Friday August 31, I am attending PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington to assist the Fire Opal Media folks promote 13th Age and the expansion book 13 True Ways currently kickstarting. What is PAX Prime? Your Answer.
I’ve brought 40 prints with me for sale at the Gamma Ray Games booth. There are ten 11″ x 14″ prints each of the 4 images I’ve shown here, and Lee Moyer and I will be available to sign them from 2-4pm on Friday and Saturday.
And there’s a rumor that I’ll be Icon Sketching as time allows. We’ll see how it goes. I hope to see you there!
The Prince of Shadows is part thief, part trickster, and part assassin. To some he is a hero; to others a villain. He has squandered the riches of the dwarves, murdered the hopes of a dragon, and plundered the dreams of a god. His exploits have changed the world, but none can tell you his ultimate goals or motives.–From the 13th Age icon teaser description.
The Prince of Shadows, our final icon. Who doesn’t love an international man of mystery? I do, and I certainly love how Lee Moyer painted this piece. I’m hesitant to post my pencils, because it makes me look like a slacker, but there’s a lot to be said for the less-is-more philosophy when it comes to evocative illustration. As I see it, RPG art is meant to stimulate the imaginations of those playing the game, and shadows can be useful in that endeavor. Speaking of RPG art, I’m delighted to announce that select pieces of interior art from 13th Age will be included in a show at Krab Jab Studio in Seattle. I plan to attend the reception on August 30th as it coincides with the weekend of PAX, but the show goes up August 11th. Here are the details. And here’s the promotional flyer:
Here are my comparatively uneventful pencils for the Prince of Shadows. (I’m glad Lee used his imagination!)
Here are some early thumbnails before we decided the Prince should go play outside.
And now a little teaser of things to come! Amidst this sea of thumbnails for the interior art of 13th Age (reduced to maddeningly illegible sizes) you’ll find the thumbnail for an illustration that relates to the Prince of Shadows. Check back for more excitement in the coming weeks as we rev up for the official release of 13th Age.
The Elf Queen rules the Court of Stars, the one place where wood elves, dark elves, and high elves come together as peers and allies instead of as rivals or enemies. Honed by centuries of experience, the Queen’s innate magic at least equals the Archmage’s spells.–From the 13th Age icon teaser description.
I am left with the final two Icons for my behind-the-illustration posts, and evidently I’ve been reluctant to finish them off (astute readers may have noticed that postings were delayed for over two weeks). But there are so many 13th Age illustrations yet to be revealed that I need not hesitate. The show is just beginning, in fact! The Elf Queen is Lee Moyer’s favorite icon, and I think that passion is easily recognized in his digital painting. She’s a wonder to behold, and if Lee hadn’t already claimed her she would probably be my favorite illustration, but I’m going to be a tease and say that next week’s icon is my favorite. The Elf Queen was another icon that took some “ratcheting up” on my end. The progression of thumbnail to final pencils ends up looking like a narrative of the elf queen from adolescence to queen. Lee and I had a chuckle over the thumbnail of the “schoolgirl” elf queen that I knew wasn’t going to work, but submitted because she was just so darn cute! Take a look at the thumbnail and try to tell me she’s not about to burst into song. She’s the Snow White of elfdom in that stage, but as you can see her true form is much closer to The Queen, minus several degrees of vanity, one would hope.