Saturday 25 April 2020

Bestiary Illustrations

Just a short note to say that I'm still here, scratching away at bestiary illustrations!

This block, above, shows:

  • Dream Eater
  • The God Unmnoving
  • Leádstæf Werewolf
  • Shrine Babies
  • Heilian Gorgon
  • Sand Sprites
  • Whip Scorpion
  • Ghost Selk

I have one last one to complete before I can finalize the PDF and order my test print from DriveThruRPG.

For whatever reason, I found some of these so intimidating to even start that I found myself occasionally blocked. I did find something to help: adding a column to my tracking spreadsheet to represent how much effort I thought each piece would be.

Size is one factor, because of all those little shading lines (particularly if there's a lot of darkness, or light gradients on a stone wall), but humanoid figures (and especially faces) are tricky. This helped me keep going, as I could pick off an "easy" one from my list at times when I didn't feel so on the ball.

What makes me laugh in retrospect is that I was way off on many of them. Once I get going, I sometimes turn a simple concept into something tricky (for me) to execute. The chart-topping "Ghost Selk" was so hard because I wanted both a compelling concept, and I had originally planned to do a close-in portrait.

In hindsight, the toughest one was probably the Sand Sprites, because it does have a portrait, required some perspective fiddling to get the well looking right, and is a full-page illustration with lots of shadow.

I'm about to do that with the Hungry Spirit picture, the last one remaining—I had thought it would be some hazy ghostly outlines, but I have something a bit more ambitious in mind now that I'm right at the finish line!