Friday, November 28, 2014

Totally Green HârnQuest

Everyone has certain moments in their career that stand out as special: the first paying job, your first cover, and the chance to illustrate a gangrenous leg.
Peoni amputation, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I recently got to cross that dream off my list. To top it all off I got to draw that leg being sawn off. The research I did for this was not something I did whilst snacking. Some nasty stuff. In this image are some medicines used, bandages, Hârnic healing herbs and a pot for cauterizing the stump. As much as I love this time period, I am so glad I was not born in the medieval times.
The last HârnQuest had a lot of fun images. I got to come up some cool new images and revisit a few old images for updating.
Sometimes my ideas get rejected and I have to rework or even redo. Not very often, but this one was a definite redo. A religious symbol for the Balm of Joy order which specializes in birthing babies suggested some sort of fertility symbol. My first attempt maybe was a bit "too literal". Enough said.
I thought I could do the same think in a more rustic and natural way with a simple twig bound into a fertility symbol. It gets the point across, is subtle and has a nice handmade look. So the one on the right made it into the article.

Daughters of St. Eaclid, Silver necklace
Daughters of St. Eaclid, Twig
Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

For the Misyn article I got to illustrate some of Hârns more freaky landscapes, specifically karst landscapes, or areas where the soluble stone are eroded and washed away.
There were some cool real-world places to use for inspiration.

Misyn, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
This images show the beauty and the dangers of the area. Misyn is frequented by pilgrims on their way to visit holy sites. I added the arrow to point out a third and possibly unseen pilgrim who was not so lucky. His deadness is subtly illustrated by me via use of a skeleton.
I did a pen and ink, scanned the drawing in to Photoshop, I added some photo textures to get the thing started. I then selected the spires of stone, filled that with a fade of tones that I could then paint across to give a misty look. I erased the pen lines on the distant areas to help the front stand out (though I wish I had done a better job as some lines still show and flatten the image out too much).
The nice thing about working in photoshop is I can leave all the various objects on separate layers that can be reworked, colored, resized and moved around. I can select the individual layers and paint without affecting the other areas.

Misyn Landscape. Copyright © 1987, Columbia Games, Inc. and Eric Hotz
One of the original images from the old article was illustrated close to 30 years ago. The article was much smaller so the image was pretty generic. I always loved this image as it gave a realistic portrayal of the areas geology. I basically redrew the same shape and mood, but made it more specific and left room for color. I also did a lot of research into this type of landscape. Some very cool stuff.

Misyn Landscape, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

I decided to introduce specific sites from the article, like the needles of Nyr, the pilgrims rock, and Hoag's Gullet.
Next I drew a pilgrims map. I decided it would be something sold at town to pilgrims for the trip. Medieval knowledge of geography, throw in less than trustworthy individuals looking to profit off the eager travelers. I figure these maps are going to be close to useless. It does seem useful, with indications of religious sites and possible dangers, even representing gargun attack areas.Nice looking map, though you may likely end up looking like the dead pilgrim in the image above.

Again, I do a pen and ink of the image, color the line work and lay it over a scan of real parchment. With a bit of push and pull, it looks like the lines were drawn right on the old leather sheet. I left off any text as I figure most are illiterate anyway. Kind of wished I had put this map in the hand of the skeleton, but I ran out of time.
Pilgrim's Map, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I also illustrated the updated Jarin article.

Again, thoughts or questions on the art in the recent articles are welcome. If you don't yet own these articles, well, you should be ashamed of yourself!