Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Art of Hârn

I am excited about the Kingdoms of Hârn being published as hardbacks in Columbia Games new Kickstarter. While I do think the loose-leaf format really lends itself to the publishing style for Hârn, the world constantly growing each year with published locations all over the island, it is nice to see the main kingdoms bound into slick hardbound books for our game shelves. The loose-leaf format will continue, so your binders of this fantasy world can continue to grow, in addition to CGI offering PDFs for all of the catalog.

The publishing schedule for Hârn has been steady and strong for years. Most of the kingdoms are finished and ready to go. In the coming Kickstarter Series for the Kingdom Hardbacks, we will be fleshing out and expanding the few that remain like Tharda and Azadmere- which is almost finished. I will be doing new art as needed and coloring some of the older publications.
Kaldor for example has been colored recently but I never got a chance to work on the page one illustration. It is a piece I did quite a while ago. I do like the theme, I would like to bring it up to the current standards. My work as improved since I did that image twenty years ago. I will be starting that image this week as the Kickstarter successfuly winds down.
Columbia Games asked me to discuss some of my favorite images Ive drawn for Hârn over the years. My answer to that question is usually "the project I just finished". So currently I am pretty proud of the work I did for the Dwarves in the Azadmere publications. There were not a lot of images for this Kingdom so I had free reign.

Enter Azadmere, pen and ink, digital,
Copyright © 2021, Richard Luschek and Columbia Games, Inc.

While I was a bit intimidated to do the cover images for the Hârnic Kingdoms, I am really happy with how they have come out. Kaldor was basically my interpretation of the scene that Eric Hotz had done for Kaldor almost 40 years ago. It has been an honor to work on this stuff as the work of Hotz was one of things that originally drew me Hârn in the first place.
One of the covers I am most proud of is the Chybisa Kingdom cover, which features the Royal Guard charging in to save a caravan on the Genin Trail from some troublesome barbarians.

Chybisan Charge, pen and ink, digital,
Copyright © 2021, Richard Luschek and Columbia Games, Inc.

Another favorite was the cover for Lokis. Of course this site is off Hârn, to the east in Ivinia. It was nice to feature powerful and important women in fantasy art who are not wearing chainmail bikinis.This image was fun to plan and design.

Path to the Oracle, pen and ink, digital,
Copyright © 2021, Richard Luschek and Columbia Games, Inc.

I do particularly enjoy drawing the pageantry and symbolism of the Hârnic religions. It's fun to expand on the parameters set by the original works to grow this world with new visual details in the architecture, items and clothing that is important and representative to each of its followers.
Often for the buildings I spend a lot of time turning the floor plans into 3D models using sketchup. I have a tendency to go overboard, as it is so fun to build these structures, but I usually turn the models into videos that I share on my YouTube channel.

Cundras, assembly of the troops, pen and ink, digital,
Copyright © 2021, Richard Luschek and Columbia Games, Inc.

This is Cundras, the primary keep for the religious order of The Lady of Paladins in the Kingdom of Melderyn. I often say I do not like drawing bird's eye view images as they are not typically what the players would see (unless they get a magic helicopter), I tend to like to draw the locations as they would appear to a player walking up the road, but I do like this image. More typical is what you see below.

Caleme, pen and ink, digital,
Copyright © 2021, Richard Luschek and Columbia Games, Inc.

Caleme is another religious site I very much enjoyed working on. I love the design and feel of grand medieval churches. To get to work out the art and details of these places is always a joy. The stain glass windows are strongly influenced by real world saint, that I changed to reflect specific saints in the Larnai Church. If you take the time to translate the Harnic text it will tell which ones are featured. 

In every major article I try to do primarily realistic images that will help set the stage for that location. I also like to draw at least one piece of art that looks like it was made on Hârn. So I will draw a medieval manuscript page or stained glass window that show how folks of this world see themselves and their myths. It is a great way to illustrate things that happened in the past or may not have actually happened. I like to sneak in inaccuracies. A monk may be illustrating a scene or creature that he has not seen but only heard about. So every manuscript image is often exaggerated or just plain wrong, which I think is fun for a Gm to show players, who's plan could be completely based on bad information: Hârnic fake news.
Finally, in each article I try to have a silhouette image. I really enjoy trying to tell a story with just B&W silhouettes. It is also a way to show violence without it being too gory. Adding color behind can really bring them to life- giving a moody feel as they are usually the extreme lighting of a sunrise or sunset.
This is one of my favorites. A scene in the orchards of Esenor in the Kingdome of Kaldor showing the peasantry collecting apples in the orchard and a beekeeper working on the hives of the aviary.

Esenor, morning in the Orchard, pen and ink, digital,
Copyright © 2021, Richard Luschek and Columbia Games, Inc.
Now I suppose I should get to work on the page one illustration for the Kaldor Hardbound book.
If you enjoy the work Im doing I suggest you follow my YouTube Channel
If you want some cool swag, check out my Redbubble account for t shirts and lots of other products.
You can also support me through my Patreon where I post 3 full color game character and creature images for your games.

No comments:

Post a Comment