Sample Art for Paizo

I finally finished my sample portfolio piece of Lini and Droogami today. She was put to the wayside for a bit in need of working on some commissions for clients, but I have finally managed to get her all done with time to spare for adding her to my portfolio. She's already on my main website, but I want to have her in my portfolio book come review time at Gen Con with AD's from Paizo. 

Let me share with you a little peek into what it took to create this piece. 

r&rsketch_kgb15

It really started out with a doodle in a sketchbook of her head. I have been wanting to court Paizo as a client for a while now and after much pushing and prodding by my artistic friends I decided it was time to start on a piece. It was recommended to have at least one of their iconic characters in a portfolio so they could see how their IP translates in my style rather than having to guess. 

So I sat down and did a couple small sketches, decided which I liked, and did a drawing based on that. Then I browsed for some reference material to help me out with some things. 

Wayne Reynolds is a beat when it comes to detail

Wayne Reynolds is a beat when it comes to detail

On Pathfinder's website I was able to look at images of Lini and Droogami for reference to the characters. I was also able to read a bio about the character that was helpful in coming up with an idea for the illustration. The image above was produced by Wayne Reynolds. 

I gathered a few more images to help me with details for the drawing, including a reference photo lent to my by my buddy Lucas. Once the drawing was finished I traced over it on my light table and taped the board down. 

Sketch for transfer on the lightbox

Sketch for transfer on the lightbox

Started paining this on vacation

Started paining this on vacation

about 75% of the way there...

about 75% of the way there...

I like to work on Arches 140lb hotpress paper. It has a smooth surface which I find ideal for drawing on, though I have been told by others that it is harder to blend on without leaving streaks. I guess I'm just used to the surface. I buy mine in blocks, tape them to a piece of Masonite board (I like to use black artist tape because I don't tend to paint dark enough, so it helps me to have something to gauge my tones from).

I use a blend of watercolors. My pallet is always looking like a total mess. 

My pallet has only ever been cleaned twice....I like it dirty

My pallet has only ever been cleaned twice....I like it dirty

I start out with dropping in my shadow areas and placing in colors. I tend to paint intuitively so I don't employ color studies much at all unless I run into a problem in determining what colors I want to try beforehand. Then I simply enjoy the process of painting. 

Watercolors can be a tricky a medium to use. There are a number of things that come up in painting with them from inconsistent paint pigment, to weird sizing issues with the paper, ect. I did learn a lot of techniques in college and I do paint in watercolors all the time so I have gotten used to developing a relationship with the media. It just takes patience and a lot of practice.

"Rest and Relaxation". 

"Rest and Relaxation". 

The final piece was done on 12 x 16 inch Arches hotpress paper, but the actual size of the live art is closer to 10 3/4 x 13 inches. The above piece was scanned into Photoshop and altered to better fit into the framed section. 

This piece will be featured in the portfolio of work I take for a review in the hopes to someday get commissions from Paizo on their Pathfinder property. Aside from playing the game, I am and have always been a huge fan of the artwork done by the artists of the IP.