Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stormfront: More Lessons to Learn

Another one of the books I worked on is available for purchase! I was asked to produce four(!) paintings for Shadowrun: Stormfront. You can see all the details here.

Each painting was a special sort of learning experience. So, over the next week, I'll take you on a journey fraught with ignorance and adventure, if adventure is defined as sitting at your computer.

Shadowrunners find sanctuary in Bogota. Oddly enough, this piece was one of the ones with the least amount of changes made to the thumbnail, but it still had a long way to go.

First, mentioned my AD, I was showing all of their backs. Second, the priest was supposed to be a badass, but not an aggressive one. Here, it looks like he just busted up a birthday party with his lack of remorse and a semi-automatic weapon. Finally, when this illustration goes to print, it will be 5.5x8. By giving so much space to the background, I have limited the focus on the characters, especially the priest, who is the real star of the painting.

So I pulled in the focus and redesigned the priest:

With the go-ahead, I got busy on the final. This is, in my opinion, the weakest of the bunch. That really comes down to being lazy with the thumbnail and not redesigning it when I had the chance. It still got the message across, and there are plenty of things I like about it: the shadow of the stained glass on the pillar, the textures of their various suits in the darkness, and the feeling of dimension in the architecture of the church.

The most important lesson (that I probably knew from college and promptly threw away) was that these illustrations are like a stage play: the audience needs to see the characters and be the center of the action, even if you have to fudge it. But, no time to reflect! I have three more paintings to do!

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