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Forbidden Stars

Forbidden Stars © Games Workshop
Forbidden Stars © Games Workshop

[pix_dropcap]T[/pix_dropcap]wo years ago I started a painting for the game Forbidden Stars by Fantasy Flight Games. Of course at the time I had no idea it would take two years before it was announced. I had actually given up on this, thinking that the project probably died and my painting would never be seen by the public.

Similar to my other Warhammer paintings for Fantasy Flight Games, this one has part of the background that is cut out to allow the box design to show through. Doing this looks weird when there is no context, but it looks cool when it is on the box.

I don’t paint very many vehicles and I wanted to paint some views that you normally don’t see. The problem with that is that you can’t really find any good reference shots online of uncommon angles. The good thing about working on Warhammer Online is that I know a lot of people with 40k minis. Luckily my friend was able to shoot some reference for me.

Original approved sketch
Revised sketch
Original final

Originally there were fewer elements in the sketch, but they decided they wanted me to add more. I submitted the revised sketch, which was approved. After making the changes and taking the painting to final, they decided to go back and take them out.  Even after I gave them the revised final, they still decided to make more changes.

You might notice some differences between my version and the one on the box. A few of the ships have been moved, the Ultramarine’s backpack is a bit different, and they removed my name from my painting. These changes were made by another artist. This is actually fairly common when you work for a client. When you create a work for hire, they have the right to change whatever they want without letting you know.

During the process of this painting I had to make a ton of revisions. Other than the revisions I had to make during the sketch phase, I think I ended up making around 22 separate changes to the final illustration. I think the changes made for a better painting, but it was a long and hard road.