Thursday, September 6, 2007

Revenge of the Nerds: The Dungeon Master's Pleasure Prison

Hey, guys. Just want to make a special note to anyone that isn't already involved: The Shelton Diagram Factory Correspondence School has a blog up about the work everybody involved is doing for that little project. So go check it out, 'kay? If not for you, for my fragile, over-inflated ego.

These are really polished thumbnail sketches for an article my friend Adam Daigle is having published in a free online Dungeons and Dragons periodical called the Oerth Journal. He asked me to illustrate it for him and I agreed, even though there isn't monetary compensation involved. I'm a gem like that. The premise was that it's an article about the guys that go into dungeons and stuff after the adventurers are done clearing it out of monsters and obvious treasure. These guys (The "Gleaners") literally take everything valuable that was bolted down when the first people came through and then sell it.

I like this wagon one for some reason. I wanted to give myself the challenge of making something as boring as a freaking wagon into something exciting and interesting. It was inspired by the initial flavor paragraph in the article. I like it the best, but the art director went with the other two. What are you gonna do?

This is a sketch of the gleaner expedition getting ready to head in and start picking the historic ancient ruins clean of gold-plated doors, temple facades and things like that. I have to get models together for a shoot for this one: way too many figures to just use a mirror.

I had almost no ideas for the long, thin vertical composition they wanted. So I found the only mention of something scary or weird happening. A black pudding is oozing out of a little pool to menace the expedition. Hooray for amorphous, semi-sentient blobs!

There you go.


Marguerite Dabaie said...

Man, I have to say, the cart is my favorite. It's just a really, really good composition and you're right, you wouldn't normally thing "aw shid that's some exciting cart," but it somehow really works. I'm sad the director didn't choose it.

I'm not feeling the second thumbnail too much. It seems like such a tease, because it's clear that the people in it are pretty detailed but they're also so small that I can't make much out. It also feels quite stationary... and it's true it's a stationary scene, but it doesn't seem sporadic enough, or something. Maybe there are too many verticals.

And the third one is a smart use of the space. The pudding thing curving around and "pointing" at the guy is a nice touch. If these are going to be in color, I keep seeing superdark blue when I look at that thing.

James Keegan said...

I like the cart one and the pudding the best, too. Even though the pudding one has the most difficult and likely incorrect perspective out of all of them.

They're due in a week, color or black and white, my preference (that's the upside of doing pro-bono stuff, I suppose). I'm hoping to shoot reference tomorrow and then work large and shrink them for publication.

The middle one is probably my least favorite, but it's also the most iconic "this is a dungeons and dragons thing" one because it incorporates character more than the cart one. Maybe I'll tilt some of those pillars to make more diagonals.