Is it Throwback Thursday yet? Eh, close enough.
I was searching through my hard drive today while I was uploading some files and I came across this Dark Umber Hulk I painted for D&D back in 2006 for the book Tome of Magic.
The good old D&D days, when my paintings were loose and fairly horrible. I’m really not sure how I got away with most of these paintings. At the time I thought they were incredibly detailed and refined. I was young, what did I know? Well, I guess I wasn’t that young.
Is that the sharpen filter I see? Yes, yes it is. How do you make a painting look cool? Add a sharpen filter; at least that was what I thought eight years ago. For some reason the year 2006 doesn’t sound that long ago, but when you say eight years you suddenly realize you are old.
This one actually isn’t as bad as some of the other old D&D paintings I found. I think I’ll keep those locked away in a dark well guarded by a green shark swimming in green acid with green acid coming out of his mouth.
I also painted a Drow for the Races of Eberron book. I think I needed that sharpen filter on this one. Everything is pretty soft and squishy. Now you know why I’m called Daarken, most of that painting is solid black.
One might think she is sitting on an invisible chair, but oh no, she is actually assuming her battle pose! Or I guess I should say post-battle pose since she just sliced that dude up. The lesson you should learn from this painting is that you should never linger in your awesome post-battle pose for too long, lest another tentacled beak monster sneak up behind you.
Little did I know, five years later I would paint another Umber Hulk and Drow for the game Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth. It’s always interesting to revisit and old idea or an old character.
The layout of the box cover went through several different iterations while I was working on the painting, so my first sketch was very different from the final.
I think I actually liked the pose of the Umber Hulk better in this original sketch, but I had to change it to fit the new layout. I had to use a more upright pose in order to make him fit the tall triangle of the new composition. I still needed some parts to break the frame of the picture, which was why I raised his hands.
I believe in the original sketch I still had to have a character on each end because the illustration was going to wrap around the box and there would be a character on each side of the box.
The cover layout was changed to this square format and they wanted it in the shape of a triangle with various elements of the illustration breaking the picture frame. They still wanted the right side of the illustration to wrap around the box, so I had to make sure there was a character on that side that could be seen on the side of the box.
Looking back, there are a few things that really bug me about this painting, but I won’t mention them. As soon as you point something out, that is all anyone ever sees. You can’t unsee it!
The character designs aren’t mine. I was given various illustrations and pictures of the miniatures so that I could make my painting look like the figures included in the box.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little Throwback Thursday tribute, even though it isn’t Thursday yet.