tirsdag den 19. maj 2009

Monstermanual 2

This here is my very first cover for Dungeons and Dragons. The book is: Monster Manual 2.
I still remember christmas 1984 when a friend of mine invited me to play this game he just got for christmas, and I killed my first Rust-monster. Back then, the illustrations inside the book and on the cover, was the only visual reprecentation of the world and the stories that emerged from our minds...and they were magical. I decided that, when I got grown up I would do illustrations like these. I would be Larry Elmore, Keith Parkinson and jeff Easly. 
Well I guess I just grew up right now then.



This cover was quite a challenge. it is one thing to make a monster look cool, but it is a great deal more difficult when the anatomy is weird like with the Demogorgon. He has 2 baboon-heads, feet and legs of a lizard and split tentacles from the elbow and down. And a reptile tail. 
When doing the thumb I constantly entangled the tentacles. There is a lot going on there. So I focused on getting the shapes of the arms look tight and interesting and the rest followed from there.  In the thumb I submitted I did not even concentrate on the background or much else but the figure. As long as I had that in place the rest would just have to not cover him up to much or even draw much attention. 
I got one correction...one that I had not seen coming. The art-director was afraid that it looked like one of the tentacles was caressing his crouch! Jesus! I am from Denmark, Land of Naughty; I should have seen that. I shifted the arms a little and we where back on track. 

Then I roughly transfered the thumb to the board. I do this by increasing the size of the thumb from 5 cm to 50cm on a copy-machine. Then smear the back of the copy with grafhite and transfer it by drawing on top of the line on the side that has the lines. Then I draw the final version directly on the board. This way I still keep the drawing proces fresh and spontainously, instead of transfering a neat and fully detailed drawing. I find that it looses a lot of life if I transfer to much. I ink the the whole thing with a pen and add greytones in acrylic. this here version is the final pencil sketch.



After the greytones I take another copy and do a color rough. This is very important to me. The color rough does 2 things. It lets me be bold and testy. When I am satisfied with a color rough I cheat myself not to be nervous when laying colors on the final painting. I have the color rough to prove that everything works. The second thing is that when doing the color rough I already mixed the colors that I am going to use.
The final painting is 50x40 cm on watercolor board. The orange from the color rough has been toned down a little in Photoshop. I kind of like the rough, and wished I had followed it more accurate.

7 kommentarer:

ADRO sagde ...

Very nice first cover! keep up the good work!

By Scott Flanders sagde ...

Thanks for sharing your process, the cover is great.

Andy Smith sagde ...

Love how you have created a sense of scale by the size of the skulls on its necklace - he's one big boy!
Thanks for sharing!

mclean sagde ...

Hey man, it was great to meet you in NYCC, and I'm glad I finally stumbled upon your blog. This piece is great man, actually i just went through this blog and saved a ton of jpegs, ha!

carnalizer sagde ...

Splendid job considering the subject! When I grow up I'm gonna be drawing stuff like what Ejsing does! :)

stanko sagde ...

Excellent painting and thanks so much for sharing your process!

Thomas Denmark sagde ...

One of my favorites!