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!


  1. These look awesome! I look forward to your PDF when you release it into the wild.

    You are blessed with a powerful intersection of talent and great taste.

  2. These look very nice. When do you anticipate publishing it? What game system will it be for?

    1. I hope to do the last drawing today, then order a test copy. As soon as that's checked, I'll launch. That is likely a few weeks away, plus postal uncertainties.

  3. Just discovered you from one of your isometric tutorial videos. I’ve sucked at drawing my whole life, any chance you will record yourself drawing a figure or portrait?

    1. I wish I had something useful to teach, but figures and portraits are freaking hard. My favourite resources have been:
      * Andrew Loomis' figure drawing books
      * 'Classic Human Anatomy' by Winslow, which really helps understand musculature
      * Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery by Burne Hogarth, which is an incredible resource for the principles involved in how fabric looks.