Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kingdom Death Promotional Illustration

Kingdom Death is a lavishly designed board game with fantasy and horror elements, and plays out in the style of classic tabletop role playing games. Special edition game pieces are being sold leading up to the full release of the game this year. The pieces are truly remarkable and you really should check them out–( they sell out fast! Since last spring I've had the privilege of being a part the project, the following highlights the creation of a piece of promo art for the game, focusing on the main characters.

I haven't been inking my work in the last couple years. Usually I do the blue line drawing, then do another pass at it in a clean graphite line (HB or 2B). With that done, I use the dodge tool in PS (highlight setting selected) to get rid of the blue line. Here is the end result:

The next step is to take this as a high-res TIFF to Kinkos and have it printed off on watercolor paper. The benefit to printing at these places is that it's done on a laser printer (as opposed to ink jet), so the blacks won't run and muddy your colors no matter how much water you apply to them. It's also no more than 10 cents for a black and white print on your own stock. Of course you can't use too heavy of a stock, but for most comic book art I use relatively low weight papers.

Color comps are pretty essential and time saving in the long run. I actually did 2 before starting this piece. Here's the first:

With the comps as a reference tool, I'm able to move on to the final art. I had them lighten the line art quite a bit at Kinkos so the it wouldn't be so heavy. You'll notice in the final I ended up putting it back full strength in PS anyway–I was worried it was too hard to read the details.

The frame was done separately and has some digital coloring effects applied to distinguish it from the characters. I was going for a late 80's early 90's cartoon show title card with this piece. I'm pretty nostalgic for that era and I'm banking that many of the target audience for Kingdom-Death are as well!


This blog is going to serve as a companion to my (forever in progress) portfolio website. I'd like to share and discuss working methods and tools of the trade. Thanks for stopping by, enjoy!