Saturday, October 8, 2011

Down on the Farm

I recently was asked to draw a series of farm animals for the latest Harn release. I have to admit, I was not chomping at the bit to illustrate them. It's a fantasy game and I like drawing monsters and guys with swords trying to kill other guys with swords.
I had to think of a way to make this interesting for myself as well as the viewer. I wanted it to be more than just a picture of a cow. Of course my first idea was to have the animals wearing full armor, breathing fire or to figure out a way to add a hot amazon babe in a chain mail bikini.
I thought it best to remain a bit more realistic.
As this is a fantasy world, I figured I had a bit of wiggle room.

Copyright © 2011, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
Nothing fancy here. Pretty much just a picture of a cow, but I did add a cute milk maid.
Next was the goat. Researching a bit, I found some good photos of goats as reference and used them to build the scene. I put both breeds mentioned in the illo. In the background the long horned goat is in action as a full silhouette, the other is a crazy 4 horned goat featured in the foreground. I drew the top two horns fuse into one bony mass above the forehead. I imagine that horn would cause some damage if it did what goats like to do, which is knock you on your ass.
Copyright © 2011, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I drew a bison but changed it up by turning the horn down to make a different looking creature. I also added a horn on it's nose. Interestingly, when I was kid I grew up on a farm. We raised sheep- which are about the dumbest animals I have ever been around. Anyway, we had a buck that had a weird, gnarly horn growing out of his shout. It was not very big horn, but it still hurt when he rammed you. I think this Wisent (European Bison) would do some damage in a stampede.
Copyright © 2011, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

I later referenced the Wisent in some Harnic heraldry in an article I did for a fan.  Notice the patch on his surcoat.
Copyright © 2011, Kerry Mould and Richard Luschek

One of my favorites from the group was an illustration where I created my own character and story. While the article did not discuss this I decided to illustrate a Peoni priest. I took the reference from an article released earlier this year on the Irreproachable Order. "On H├órn, a group calling themselves Maermalites, or “Bullmen,” travel the countryside healing the sick, feeding the hungry, blessing crops, and carrying the message of Peoni’s love to those villages without a priest."

I imagined a devout priest traveling in dangerous areas with his Oxen, all decorated up with religious objects and various objects to help with his mission. I covered the ox with pots, barrels and herbs. I even added a little bird cage hanging under the ox.
Copyright © 2011, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek


  1. As always, I love your work. You manage to slip in fine details and give even the most mundane subjects enough of a twist to make them a joy to look at. Keep it up, I have more work for you.
    - Kerry

  2. As the writer of the Irreproachable Order article, I really loved this illustration. In the area the Bullmen are active, their religion is illegal, so they travel around incognito. Just looking at this illustration, you can't tell the guy is a priest. He simply looks like a peddler. And that was exactly the point.