Tuesday, May 20, 2014

You'll Put Your Eye Out Kid!

So I almost had a very bad day yesterday when I took a tree branch to the eye. I hard at work in the yard distributing 25 bags of mulch we had delivered to our driveway. I was walking towards a wooded area on our property, about to execute a manly toss of the heavy bag of mulch, when the attack happened.
I was stunned for a bit, as I was not 100% sure the branch did not go into my eye. Honestly I am not sure how it didn't come out the back of my head, but the eyeball was unscathed.
While it was merely a flesh wound, this greatly affected the rest of the day. I think I would have been less freaked out if had almost cut off my left arm. As an painter, I pretty much only need my right arm and both eyeballs. The other parts I consider bonus.
So this was a close call.

To add some detail and make you realize the severity of this, I was attacked by the dreaded Red Bud Tree. Below is a photo of one of these horrible trees- not the one that attacked me, but I am sure it is an equally deadly tree of the same species. Seriously, if you have one of these trees, I suggest you protect yourself and your family by chopping it down immediately. While this tree is frightening, it would have been even scarier with my eyeball hanging off the end of a branch.

Now it does hurt a bit every time I close my eye, but the fact that I am doing so over a working eyeball- I am not going to complain. I have to admit, the resulting scratches look pretty bad ass. It really accentuates my overall manliness, but I suppose it will heal.

One of the writers for Harn reminded me of an illustration I had done long ago. While I am a bit reluctant to post this illustration for Dunir from 2001, as it has some issues, but I did pose for the photo reference. This battle hardened knight, not only looks like me, his scar is a bit prophetic.
Sir Kaleb Vandor, Dunir, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
Now we are not sure how he lost his eye, but maybe Sir Kaleb lost his eye to a Red Bud Tree.
I should double check to see what other illustrations I posed for and if they have any nasty injuries so I can be extra careful.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Birds Eye Views

I don't really like illustrating stuff with the bird's eye view in medieval period work. For one thing, I like the view to be more of  view that would be seen by those living in that world. I think it is more believable.
But, often this is a pretty cool view. Now that I am doing the Sketchup models, I can at least post a few of them on my blog for people to enjoy.

Minilaous Keep, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

The first is Minilaous, a keep in Kanday on the cliffs overlooking the bay. The models are of course very roughly knocked out so I can get the drawing accurate to the maps.  I decided on a view on the cliffs looking east.

Another castle I had to render was Moleryn in the Thardic Republic. This one had a very old illustration from way back in 1987. I considered updating it, but decided I needed to redraw it as it had a few things that did not jive with the maps.
I rendered what I needed in a bit more detail, but spent about 10 minutes to trace out the rest of the castle.

This last view is pretty close to what I used as the model for the final illustration.
This HarnQuest should be shipping by the end of the week or so.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hârnic Centaur

The next HârnQuest is about ready to ship. The Centaur article, which has been bouncing around for a few years finally is going to see the light. I don't know about you, but when I think Centaur, the first thing that comes to mind for me is the SNL skit in which Christopher Walken interviews a Centaur for a job. The Centaur does not get the job.
So, all ideas for the concept of the Hârnic Centaur started there.
 One of my first thoughts was to really go beastial with this creature. Not the typical Greek Mythology, fashion model torso stuck on horse look. So, the early sketches were an attempt to move away from that.
I knew the horns were pushing it, but we realized that Centaurs had been mentioned enough elsewhere and even illustrated previously, so this was probably too much of a change. I did some other sketches, but this pose was my favorite. I just needed to tame it back. I initially wanted more goat-like hooves, and hands that even mimicked hooves.

Here is the final image I came up with. I did a late evening background that unfortunately got cropped out of the final article due to space issues, so I thought I would post the full rendering here.
Dirty Centaur, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek
I went with  a more human look with beastie features. I thought of adding more clothing or equipment, but it sort of mucked up the simple natural look of the creature. They occasionally interact with the Gargun, so I thought a gargun-like weapon would be a nice touch, but fashioned to take advantage charge. I figure some simple hook weapons on the hind legs would make a kick even more nasty.
I just realized that the image in the article is a bit different- I made the head a bit smaller and adjusted the weapon into a more pleasing position.

For the end piece of the article I drew a hillside scene.
 Centaur Herd, Copyright © 2014, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

I may eventually ink up one of the other sketches for FFF style release.