Sunday, May 26, 2013


I have always enjoyed doing work for Luke Crane's Burning Wheel game books. He recently contacted me to do 3 spot illustrations for his newest project Torchbearer with game designer Thor Olavsrud. It is a throw back game to old fashion dungeon crawl, Dungeons and Dragons type games.
They are funding the project on Kickstarter which still has 4 days left as I type this blog post. It is doing very well, so far attracting enough supporters to take it to $40,000 over the initial funding goal. Serious KickStart! I probably should have charged about $10,000 more than I did, but I suppose that is not really fair.
Varg Submerged
Copyright © 2013, Burning Wheel and Richard Luschek

The format for each of these illustrations was a challenge, at 2" X 7". Most of the illustration requests were tough as well- the description for that shown above being:
 "Varg submerged, holding breath and swimming into a secret tunnel at the bottom of a natural cistern while insectile legs probe the water behind".  

I was not sure if I could do vertical or horizontal, so I tried both at first and sent Luke the following quick sketches.

Studies for Varg Submerged
Copyright © 2013, Burning Wheel and Richard Luschek 

I was initially more excited about the vertical image, as I thought it showed the depth and space I needed. But the format of the books required horizontal so I had to push that one to finish. In the end I think it made for a much better image, I has better lines and is a simple design.
I sketched the final design out in pencil, inked it, and scanned it into Photoshop to paint in the the values. This project was unlike my typical work, but the challenge was quite fun.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

View from the Docks

The recent Cherafir publication by Columbia Games offered me the opportunity to draw a misty afternoon scene. As has been my recent way of working, I take the maps into Google Sketchup and do a quick model (not really, but lets pretend I do this fast)- especially with some of these complicated views.Actually, luckily for me a few fans had modeled some of these areas already, so I just had to tweak and adjust.
Cherafir Alienage, foggy morning
Copyright © 2013, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I thought it would be interesting to paint a view with the docks veiled in thick fog. I knew I wanted the Palace of the Golden Dome in the background- a corner of the docks with traders and fishermen unloading their wares.
Here is the model I used as reference. The great thing about sketchup is the warehouse of models already made. So I can search for a medieval barn and find a few to load into the model. While it may not be exactly what I want, it is probably close enough.
 Below is the basic view-point used for the image. The one thing I was worried about was that from this view the space of water between the dock and the Seaman's guild disappears, making it almost look as though the building is right off the docks- but of course it just looks that way, especially if the water is a few feet below the dock.
I also got to draw a little Sarajin Shrine set up outside The Bronze Anchor. I tried a few sketches do decide on a look.
I thought it would make the most sense to have it be a wooden totem, with a shelter. I liked the idea of it having a roof over head. I really liked the idea of it being a boat part, so I settled on a totem with a piece of a damaged ship overhead. The writer suggested the female Elkyri called Alaryr, to whom the drunken sailors would pray to before their journey.
Here is the final image. There is a small prayer and even some graffiti carved near the altar. Translate it if you you are interested. Could even be a clue for your players to find.
Prayers to Alaryr
Copyright © 2013, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek