Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ravaged Earth: Revised Second Edition

I have uploaded a swag of interior artwork I completed for Ravaged Earth: Revised Second Edition. These were all done quite awhile ago but I have held of posting them until now. The pulp adventure setting was a lot of fun to work on and meant I could create a few more light hearted pieces.

I've posted a few of my favourites here, but you can look here for the entire gallery: http://leesmith.deviantart.com/gallery/51961957/Reality-Blurs




Thursday, June 26, 2014

Aethercon III

If all goes to plan I'll be participating in Aethercon III later this year. Aethercon is an online convention taking place on the weekend of November 14th-16th, 2014.
AetherCon is a free to attend and throughout the weekend there will be artists partaking in speedpainting duels and available online to talk to dans and show a little insight into how we work. Each artist participating will be contributing an original piece of artwork, which will be made available as a free wallpaper for download.
The piece I illustrated, featuring a troublesome halfling named Walumburly Burwullyam has been released this week. Please hop over to aethercon.com and download if you would like a copy. Hopefully I'll see you at Aethercon!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Numenera - The Ninth World Bestiary

I'm running a bit behind on blog posts, so I thought I'd just share some of the artwork I contributed to 'The Ninth World Bestiary' for Numenera from Monte Cook Games.

Some of the creatures in this book are amazing, and all of the descriptions I got to work from were extremely interesting and a lot of fun. Monte Cook specialising in delivering the unusual, and this book is no exception!

Dedimaskis

Disassembler

Falling Maw

Magmid

Mlox

Reaper

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fall of Man

If you're looking for something worthwhile to invest in, please take a minute to check out Fall of Man from Samurai Sheepdog.

It looks like it will be a great project and with the experience and reputation of the guys at Samurai Sheepdog (Richard Lee Byers, Ed Greenwood, Doug Herring, Ken Shannon & Jim Butler) you know it will be done right. Also if the project gets the green light I've been asked to contribute some artwork to the game! I really want to get in on this book, so please help the guys at Samurai Sheepdog and myself by taking a look (and backing!) Fall of Man.

"When the world was to end, inexplicably, it did not.
The year is 2061, 30 years since the meteor known as Satan’s Maul slammed into the Atlantic Ocean, causing what scientists predicted should have been an extinction level event.
However, Earth had ties beyond those known to man. When all our technology had failed us and our world was being torn asunder, it was magic which stitched and scabbed the world whole again. Today technology and magic fight a silent war for domination; the One God of Earth battles the many gods of Gothos; the magic world merged with earth to sustain it and humans fight for survival in a world now infested with orcs, dragons, elves and even more nightmarish creations.
Welcome to the Fall of Man."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hitomi's Devotion

Another of my cards for the Legend of the Five Rings card game has just been released, this time for the upcoming 'Aftermath' expansion. This is one of 3 cards I did for the set, and the first to be previewed.

I really enjoyed working on this piece and it was my favourite card from the 3 pieces I was assigned. I really wanted to do some nice atmospheric lighting and some interesting colour choices to really give it a magical feeling.

First up, here's how the finished image looks:

Hitomi's Devotion
So, starting at the beginning, I was assigned this description for the card "Tamori Yayu blessing Mirumoto Mitoshi in front of a granite statue of Hitomi in a candle lit temple setting". I was also provided some reference images of the 3 named characters in the scene. I did a bit of research on my own, gathering some more reference and getting ideas. I was lucky in the fact that I had previously illustrated Mirumoto Mitoshi in another card (http://fav.me/d530yab) so I was pretty comfortable with that character.

Here is the rough sketch I turned in for approval:

Hitomi's Devotion - Rough Sketch
The sketch was approved without any need for revisions, so the next step in my process is to do a more refined version of the drawing trying to get all of the details right and make sure I know where I'm headed when it comes to painting.

Here's how that turned out:

Hitomi's Devotion - Drawing
From here, I painted the image in stages, starting with a general background roughed in, then working from the focus parts such as the foreground characters and moving to the less important elements. I'll go itno my painting process more in depth in a different post when I have an image that I remembered to save progress shots for!

I also want to mention that I felt quite honoured to receive this assignment as the card was a result of a 2012 'Name the Spell' competition won by David Rodriguez Sanfiorenzo, a huge Hitomi fan. His naming of the card set the basic premise for the card description, so hopefully he's happy with the result :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Numenera: Partially Out of Phase & The Scarred Monoliths


These were the first 2 illustrations I was commissioned to produce for Numenera. These were created very early in the process and while I was still trying to come to grips with the styling that Kieran Yanner had developed and how my own style would fit into that vision.

I started off with some black and white ink work, which I am lead to believe is what attracted Monte Cook to my work in the first place, but I did also get to experiment with some shaded and sketchy looking work also.

First up is a character using an ability to step 'out of phase' and pass through solid objects such as walls. My initial thinking was that this ability would best suit a stealthy Jack of sorts, so I came up with a thief looking character emerging from a stone wall. I produced a couple of thumbnail sketches to work out the angle I wanted and then a rough sketch to send in for approval...

Sketches for 'Partially Out of Phase'
The idea and sketch got the tick of approval, so I went to work on the (digital) ink...

'Partially Out of Phase'

The other piece I worked on during the same time was an illustration of 'The Scarred Monoliths'. The art description read like this...

"A single character looks up at a number (at least 3) of massive, floating statues in the sky. The statues are vaguely humanoid, but strangely stylized (maybe vaguely Aztec in style?) These gigantic “statues” were actually once enormous war machines—like huge giant robots, almost. Now they are dormant, but still float. Each is probably 600 feet long/tall, and they float at different heights, starting at 800 feet in the air."
This was quite a compositional challenge to show the massive floating monoliths and get a sense of their scale. I came up with a few sketches to try and work out how it was going to look...

Sketches for 'The Scarred Monoliths'
I settled on the third composition, and got to work. The monoliths themselves went through a couple of revisions to work out their unique 'Numenera' style, and the finished piece looked like this...

'The Scarred Monoliths'

 I'll be back with more soon :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Numenera Equipment

Designing equipment for the world of Numenera is an interesting experience. As almost all of the technology in the game is left over from previous advanced civilisations, often the initial use and understanding behind the technology has been lost along with its creators. This leaves many items that have been modified to perform new functions or have abilities and functions that are not obvious from their appearance. This made for some fun drawing the items, where I could think about interesting and unusual shapes, textures or colours without necessarily having to work out exactly what each button or widget on the device does or even how it works.

Here are a couple of pieces which have been released as Thunderstone: Numenera cards from AEG, and also appear in the Numenera Core book from Monte Cook Games.

First up is the Chemical Injector, originally called a Virtuous Admixture (I think that was a much cooler name!) in the art description, here is how it was described:

"This is a high-tech injector, full of a frothy yellow liquid—like a Red Bull in injectible form. The hand holding it is kind of grimy, with bad nails. A low-tech person is using this high-tech device."
Chemical Injector
Next is the Bio-energy Cutter, or as the original description described it, the Soul Cutter! This one went through a bit of a change in the sketch phase. The Description asked for:

"This broad sword has a glowing blade. The cutting edge has a blue sheen to it, like there's a line of monofilament or something that lets you cut so sharply, you can cut SOULS as well as bodies. Whoa!"

My initial design was a bit too 'generic fantasy sword' in style and didn't have the unusual-tech influence we were going for in Numenera. As you can see the revised sketch (below) captured a more unique design...
Bio-energy Cutter Sketches

And I think the final illustration is much better for it (and I think one of my favourite equipment pieces I worked on!

Bio-energy Cutter
Heaps more to show, but you'll have to come back next time for more ;)