Today marks the end of a long journey, the end of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
My time with Mythic Entertainment began back in 2007 when I was hired as a concept artist to work on the game Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. During my three years at Mythic I worked with a lot of talented artists to bring Warhammer Online to life. Much of the work I did there has never been seen before by the public. Even the concepts I show today are only a fraction of the work I did while employed by Mythic Entertainment.
I probably created hundreds of concepts during my time there. I also worked on a lot of textures and in-game assets, but they aren’t really worth showing. Please remember, these paintings are now 5-6 years old. It is interesting to see where my art has gone over the years.
Some of these concepts aren’t something I would normally show, but I figured it might be nice (and embarrassing) to show where I came from. My paintings were so much looser back then, and they were incredibly dark. I think I was Daaarken back then, I’m not as bad now. Most of these paintings I had to take into Photoshop and turn the levels up in order to see what was going on. I blame my computer.
I’ve never really been known for my environment work, and even less known for any architectural work. The funny thing is, half of the things I worked on at Mythic were environments and interiors/exteriors. It is good to finally be able to show some of my environment and architectural work, even though they are incredibly old now.
As a concept artist you usually need to be able to paint anything and everything. It is very rare that an in-house concept artist will specialize in only one thing. During my time at Mythic I had to paint characters, creatures, weapons, props, interiors, exteriors, environments, icons, textures, skydomes, marketing illustrations, loading screens, and probably some other things that I can’t think of right now. It isn’t always glamorous. Sometimes you have to paint a bottle or a ribbon or a rotting cake. It is all part of the job. Some of the concepts I have included in this post are from some of those not-so-exciting moments.
I also worked on several other projects while I was at Mythic. I probably won’t be able to ever show any of those either, but that is the life of a concept artist.
I’ll try to group these by race, but sometimes we moved things around or sometimes they were grouped by the expansion they were created for or we would create a concept for one thing and then decide to use it for another thing. Some of my other Warhammer Online concepts can be found on my website, although I’m sure many of you have already seen them. I think a few of these might already be on my site and some may have been posted in other places, so sorry for the repeats.
I’m probably best known for my Dark Elf Sorceress, for better or worse. Boy oh boy did I catch a lot of flak for my Dark Elf Sorceress concepts. For some reason her headdress sparked the inner fanboy hatred in a large population of the fans. Some people hated it so much that they went so far as to say I should be killed, all because they didn’t like the hat on an a video game character. Sometimes you have to stick to the IP and listen to your boss.
Of course people also complained about her attire, but once again, you gotta stick to the IP. If you stray too far from the IP, people get mad because it doesn’t look like Warhammer. On the other hand, if you make it look too much like existing Warhammer designs, people get mad because you are unoriginal.
When the male sorcerer came out, people once again threw up their hands and ran around screaming. It is actually pretty funny because most of them said I shouldn’t have put him in robes and that I should have made him show more skin like his female counterpart. Some of them even drew their own concepts of what he should have looked like. The thing is, my original concept was very close to what the fans said I should have done. They didn’t realize that my original idea was shot down and that I was told to put him in robes. The concept artist always gets the blame.
I think all of the character concepts I did for Chaos were released many years ago, so the only things I never posted were my interior and exterior work. I believe the Maw concept (the 4th one in the gallery) was the very first Chaos concept I did. I had a tough time working on the Inevitable City concepts. I wasn’t much of an architecture guy, so I think that was my biggest challenge. How do you make something look like Chaos? Use the chain brush, oooooooh yeah.
Not too much here that hasn’t been seen before. I think I probably even posted that Dwarf Slayer a long time ago, but I can’t remember. Usually people know the other Dwarf Slayer painting I did, not this one. That Rune Priest turnaround is absolutely ridiculous. I wonder how long that took me…
I didn’t do very many Empire concepts while I was at Mythic. I think Empire was pretty much nailed down by the time I was hired.
Same for the Greenskins, most of them had already been concepted by the time I was hired. I really enjoyed working on the Greenskins, I wish I had been able to do more character concepts. The Choppa and Squig Herder were probably two of my favorites during my time at Mythic. Greenskins are just so cool.
These docks were the first thing I painted when I was hired at Mythic back in 2007. Talking about throwing me in to see if I could swim, no pun intended. Before this, I had never really painted architecture from my imagination before. I had done some studies from photos a couple of years before I started working at Mythic, but I was still pretty unprepared. I remember constantly glancing behind me so that I could make sure no one was watching me fail at my first assignment. Curse you High Elf dock!
I think by now everyone has seen my Temple Guard. Heck, I think at least 8 different people have stolen my painting and claimed it as their own. This is the turnaround I did for the Temple Guard.
I’ve always loved Skaven. I used to paint the miniatures when I was a kid. Back then I remember thinking “man, I’m really good at painting these.” I found them the last time I went home a few years ago and they looked horrible!
Remember when I said I hadn’t really painted buildings from my imagination before when I painted those High Elf docks? That all changed when I had to concept the Vampire Count expansion. Not only did I have to paint a ton of buildings, but they needed to have a gothic feel to them. Gothic castles are probably the most complicated castles to paint. It was definitely good practice, but I’m not sure I ever want to do that again, haha.
Yup, I used some 3D on the Crypt. I didn’t know any 3D, so I learned how to use SketchUp while I was at Mythic. It made it much faster and easier for me to knock out some of these concepts.
Other than my Liche Priest and a few other Tomb Kings concepts, I didn’t do very many paintings that I would consider showing to the public. Many of them weren’t very pretty. They got the idea across to the modelers and environment artists, but they definitely weren’t “pretty pieces of art.”
I used SketchUp again for a few of the concepts.
Exploring different mounts was fun, but I don’t think any of these ideas ever came to fruition. I think that tends to happen with a large chunk of concepts, they are just ideas that never go any further than that.
Well, that about does it. I think those are the only concepts worth showing. It was a fun ride while it lasted and working at Mythic opened up so many opportunities for me. I probably wouldn’t have done any of the Warhammer covers for Fantasy Flight Games if I hadn’t worked at Mythic.
Working around so many talented artists pushed me harder than I ever thought possible. Some days I wondered how I was going to make it through the day because I felt like I was on the bottom of the totem pole in terms of ability, but somehow I survived.
Thank you Mythic for teaching me a thing or two and trusting me to help bring the vision of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning to life.
Blood for the Blood God!