Thursday, September 27, 2012

Harnic Gypsies

I just finished the art for the article on Harnic Gypsies called the Night People. A great fanon project by Rob Barnes- with the help of many from the Harn Writers group. You can download the entire PDF by clicking here.

Night Parade, Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc., Richard Luschek, and Rob Barnes.
The above image riffed off one I did for the CGI release of Rethem. Of course that one was before the details of the Night People were worked out, so I went a bit crazy with the wagon which had a mule pulling the wagon. I made some adjustments to the wagon, added a Vardyr and all the dancing revelers and musicians.  After I finished the Silhouette part, I added the late evening sky with a big moon. To do the stars I dipped a tooth brush in ink and splattered in on paper (if you want to try this technique I suggest you use an old tooth brush or just use your spouse's toothbrush). The splatters are scanned into photoshop, selected and inverted from black to white spots and then laid on top of the sky.

The above image was my 4th attempt. I had tried a few other options that I thought I would show. The first one is obviously painfully boring, and does not feature the figures enough. The others are kind of interesting, but I think the forth attempt was the obvious winner.
Night Parade- Boring attempt #1
Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc., Richard Luschek, and Rob Barnes
Night Parade- Boring attempt #2
Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc., Richard Luschek, and Rob Barnes
Night Parade- Pukey Sky  attempt #3
Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc., Richard Luschek, and Rob Barnes

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Staying in the Lines.

Recently I was asked to update some art for the Harn classics- Old articles, some over 20 years old. We are getting them back in print with updated layout, maps and some new art.
One of the recent classic on a wilderness settlement called Kustan had a great image by Eric Hotz. His art was one of the things that first attracted me to Harn. The work by Hotz had a wonderfully gritty look, was realistic, not just in execution, but in believability. His warriors were not typical fantasy game fair, they looked like real people. The beasts had a quirky simplicity that felt more medieval than sci fi. When I started illustrating I did my best to emulate the work of Hotz and he is still a big influence on how I illustrate Harn.
Kustan, By Eric Hotz, 1984, Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Eric Hotz

CGI is trying to update the Harn line with more color, so we thought it would be a great idea to use the old Hotz image, but it would need to be colored.
Using a high res scan of the image I opened it into photoshop and colored the image digitally. I am starting to get a handle on working digitally. Part of it has to do with settling on a few digital brushes that I like and doing my best to work in a similar fashion to how I work traditionally. I do enjoy working with layers, but most of my mistakes involved me not saving enough and in the proper fashion, or mismanaging my layers.I usually am painting pretty directly with as few layers as I can manage.

So here is my colored version. The lines in the sky were to much with the color, so I erased them and tried to replicate the design in color. Select areas of the line layer were erased if it hide too much of the color.
I did my best to keep it simple as the budget did not allow me a lot of time to work on this. Also after I was done we realized the image did not fit the new layout as well and had to be cropped at the top. It affected the design so I just selected the clouds and squashed them down a bit. I was pretty happy with the final image. Though unlike B&W one never knows for sure how it will look printed.
Hope the fans like the updated image. I also hope Hotz is happy with my work on his fine image.

Kustan, by Eric Hotz, Colored by Richard Luschek
Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
Now that I think of it, this type of tastefully done skull arrangement would look great at the end of our driveway. Would probably work great at keeping the solicitors away.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Harnic Gypsies, "Night People"

I am in the process of illustrating the next Harnic Kingdom release- Melderyn. It is all written and edited and just waiting for me to fill in the spaces with art. I hope to have it done by early October.
I also just started a fun fanon article on the Harnic Gypsies- know as the Night People.
I am about half way done with this 12 page article which has a lot of great information. I have had a great time illustrating these characters- borrowing from the gypsy research, but adding Harnic symbols and icons to make them unique.
I thought I would post a few just to wet your appetite. The article was written by Rob Barnes.

"Night People are known by many, understood by few, and widely hated or feared. They are wandering folk, traveling the countryside in family groups of up to several dozen people in black wagons festooned with brightly colored flags and painted images. They camp in fallow fields, trading with the villagers and hosting mad revels to the wild beat of their drums and the insane screeching of their violins until the lord’s men send them away.
The Night People are known for their strange powers. There is almost always a seer among them and they are great gamblers, dancers, and tellers of tales."
Asura, Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

Soren and Mircia, Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek