The following is a repost from Pelgrane Press Announcements as described by my art director Rob Heinsoo:
A funny thing happened on the way to the Crown of Axis arena. Wade’s request for a cover image featuring two powerful female gladiators had been executed in style by Aaron McConnell:original sketch
For a change, Aaron decided to hand-paint the piece, old school instead of digital. That turned out to create a delivery problem. At first, the paints wouldn’t dry. Well, they dried a bit, but the yellow was taking a loooooong time. Then Aaron’s scanner tech couldn’t pick up the colors he’d painted with properly. Neither could Aaron’s photos.
drying on the easel
So Aaron went over to Lee Moyer’s house, since they were working together on a different project and Lee has a Serious Scanner. And if you know Lee, you know Lee’s super-power—he had suggestions. They got the piece scanned and then worked together on the paints, turning a high-noon situation into an evening showdown. Aaron held onto the piece for another couple weeks, but he has overcome separation anxiety and is calling it done!
Crown of Axis cover by Aaron McConnell, with paints assist by Lee Moyer
Lee Moyer reworked one of my drawings from 13 True Ways and turned it into something entirely unique for the cover of the first issue of 13th Age Monthly. Click on the image to be redirected to Pelgrane Press for subscription information. Also, for your consideration, a kickstarter for a novel set in the 13th Age universe written by Greg Stolze. Find out how to contribute to The Forgotten Monk.
13 True Ways has arrived. The first expansion book for 13th Age is now available to pre-order from the Pelgrane Store. Kickstarter backers will get the PDF before Monday, and pre-order customers will get it June 30. http://www.pelgranepress.com/shop/
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!