Saturday 24 August 2013

Artwork for Gygax Magazine #2

A month or so ago, a chance note on the Old School Gamers Facebook group put me in touch with Jayson Elliot, editor-in-chief for Gygax Magazine. After a very interesting 90-minute chat with him on Skype, I volunteered to create a full-page illustration for an adventure that appears in issue #2. This is for The One Ring RPG, entitled 'The Hare and the Hill Giant', and is written by Shane Ivey

The plot for this interested me and a couple of ideas for a composition immediately sprang to my mind, primarily because trolls feature strongly in the plot. Here's a scribble of an initial idea:

However, I was cutting things a little fine. I had around 3 days to create the image and get it signed off, as the deadline was fast approaching. That's a rather quick turnaround time. Not only that, but the weather here in London decided to take a turn for the worse - at least, as far as creating artwork is concerned. Temperatures were around the 33 degrees C mark (that's just over 90 degrees F), which isn't at all good if you're working with gouache and ink in a room that has no air conditioning. I wanted to get back into working with pen and wash, although the conditions weren't ideal, but your brave author indomitably slaved away regardless...

Anyway, once I'd had a few tries at the overall composition, things started to fall into place. I'd also managed to work up two other sketches more fully with the goache/ink treatment. So here is the final full-page piece:

And here are the two spot illustrations:

Everything came out okay in the end, I'm happy to say. It was an interesting challenge, to say the least. I wanted to keep the main image fairly neutral. Rather than depict a combat scene - as it's not a given in the adventure - I chose instead to have a troll surveying his new-found residence as dusk closes in. I had a variety of options for my depictions of the creatures, and this came out in the smaller drawings.

Hopefully the weather will be better when I work on my next piece! Oh, and for the record, everything was done on Bristol Board using Pilot DR and Unipin pens, Windsor & Newton inks and gouache, and a Faber Castell water-soluable pencil.