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Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:33 am
by burgerbabylon
That second row, long nose evil devious goblins is how I've always pictured them since I was a kid. They all look great though. Goblins come in many forms.

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:50 pm
by Zoltors Inkwell
I have a few questions about the art direction of Basic Fantasy. Before I ask, let me say I haven’t really played any RPG’s since the 80’s. I started playing D&D in 1980 and stopped playing in 87. I remember pouring over the books, absorbing the content of each page. I worked harder at creating characters then I did in school. But as an artist, it was the pictures that fascinated me. It opened a door to a new world, and suddenly these creatures came to life. Today, the art in those books are considered simple, especially when compared to the digital renderings of the art today. You might even say they are like cave paintings, simple black ink drawings contrasting against a stark white background.

Artistically, Basic Fantasy is old school D&D, with the black and white renderings of characters and creatures. Should the art in Basic Fantasy reflect this old school art style?

My last three entries in the Field Guide really had me thinking if I am doing this the right way. The Wind Wolf was drawn in pencil scanned, then drawn in ballpoint pen and marker. Scanned again. I blurred the pencil drawing in photoshop and place the ink drawing over it. The Dracomander and Crystalline Egret were drawn in ballpoint pen, and the shading was done in photoshop. Compared to my first few submissions, the Waterleaper and Imperial Griffon, these are a little simpler, but I’m using photoshop to shade them. As an artist, I’m more comfortable using pencil than I am ink. My art outside of Basic Fantasy has me using charcoal and oil paint. I have tried using charcoal for BF art, it doesn’t work and oil painting takes too long. My only drawing for BF that may come close to old school art style is the Hell Steed.

So which medium should I be using? Which style do you like more? Should I be drawing in an old school art style? Should the art be more realistic or cartoon-like? I haven’t really tried a few of these styles yet. (I ordered a first edition Fiend Folio as an art reference and inspiration piece.) Have any other artists that have contributed to BF asked these questions, because I couldn’t find it?

With winter approaching, I will find some time to devote to my art. I have a project planned for BF, but before I move forward, I would like to know what you think. I want to be moving in a direction that works for BF. I’m sure Solomoriah had a vision for BF, and maybe I should be asking him.

Or maybe I’m overthinking all of this and I should just shut up and make art in whatever style works for the piece. I counted just the rough pencil drawings I have done and I’m currently working on over a dozen illustrations.

Let me know your thoughts.

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:49 pm
by teaman
Zoltor, I think your work is right on track. I love your pencil and ballpoint stuff especially. Keep experimenting with your media as well. I can't wait to see where you go. Because it's already outstanding

(Cue Tina Turner singing "Simply the Best")

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:35 am
by Bumblepig
Zoltors Inkwell wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:50 pm So which medium should I be using? Which style do you like more? Should I be drawing in an old school art style? Should the art be more realistic or cartoon-like? I haven’t really tried a few of these styles yet. (I ordered a first edition Fiend Folio as an art reference and inspiration piece.)
I really like the original Fiend Folio art, so I'm glad you're looking at that for inspiration. 1st edition AD&D art is burned in my subconscious as what RPG art "should" look like. But even within first edition the individual artists had distinct styles (e.g. Otus vs Trampier).
My 2 cents... the one thing I would not want to see is highly polished stuff that looks too "pure" (photoshopped?). I know it's irrational, but that style is a major factor in turning me off to later edition D&D and other RPGs.
I'm sorry if this is a non-answer, but my opinion is you should keep doing what you're doing, because I can't think of a case where I thought "oh man, Zoltor really messed that up." It's always the opposite.

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:03 pm
by teaman
Bumblepig wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:35 am
Zoltors Inkwell wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:50 pm So which medium should I be using? Which style do you like more? Should I be drawing in an old school art style? Should the art be more realistic or cartoon-like? I haven’t really tried a few of these styles yet. (I ordered a first edition Fiend Folio as an art reference and inspiration piece.)
I'm sorry if this is a non-answer, but my opinion is you should keep doing what you're doing, because I can't think of a case where I thought "oh man, Zoltor really messed that up." It's always the opposite.
Second and third-ed.

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:30 pm
by Zoltors Inkwell
Thank you for the replies. I'm trying to figure out what works best with BF. I'm not much of a pen and ink artist, so I'm struggling with that on top of finding a style. I guess I was over thinking it.

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:39 am
by Seven
I'm no artist, but I think it's best if you keep experimenting rather than zero in on a particular style.
Everything has been great so far.

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:37 pm
by Zoltors Inkwell
Seven wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:39 am I'm no artist, but I think it's best if you keep experimenting rather than zero in on a particular style.
Everything has been great so far.
Thanks Seven. I usually use a style that reflects the subject. Most of the time I redraw the illustration a few times and sometimes I redraw it as many as eight. That's why I sometimes say I'm working on something and I post other pictures ahead of it. I redrew the picture of Grimfall three times not including the rough sketches. I have redrawn the Fell Manticore four times. I sometimes think it would be easier to have a style that works so I'm not redrawing so much. I appreciate that you think everything has been great. The kindness keeps me drawing.

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:39 pm
by Zoltors Inkwell
I received the Fiend Folio and does it bring back memories. I had forgotten that in addition to monster illustrations, they also included some scenes of monsters in action. I had the Fell Manticore finished but decided to redraw it (again) trying to capture the style. I also decided to purchase some more older D&D books and now have a Deities and Demigods cyclopedia on the way.

Re: Zoltor's Tome of Mystery - Art Edition

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:00 pm
by Zoltors Inkwell
So I have been studying the art in the Fiend Folio and think I might try to capture the style of Russ Nicholson. I am amazed at the amount of work he was able to produce for the book. I think
his style will look good and be easier for me since I am using ballpoint pens. Does anyone have a favorite old school artist?