Table Titans is a webcomic by Scott Kurtz & Bryan Hurtt (colors by Steve Hammaker). It's about a group of friends playing D&D, and while that may sound like a very narrow story, it's a really fun and accessable comic more about adventure and friendships and personality-types than anything game-specific. It also drives home a point I think is important with RPGs...that the rules are only there as structure so the players and GM can have fun telling a memorable story together. Because I enjoyed the strip so much, I did this piece of fanart for Scott. Today's blogpost I share the process of painting the piece.
The first step was to sketch out all the characters and come up with a composition that looked good. I decided to have each character appear as their in-game persona because the costumes are more fun. Each character was drawn separately in my sketchbook (each taking up a page). The scanned sketches were then tinted in photoshop and shuffled around until a usable layout appeared. At this stage I was also able to do some digital fixing of my drawings by mirroring the images and making sure the eyes were at the same height on the face, while also making subtle tweaks to get expressions the way I wanted.
The plan for this piece was to watercolor the characters rather than do my normal inks & digital colors. I printed out the layout and then on a liughtbox traced the lines in pencil onto a sheet of 300 series bristol board. I then start with the light and subtle areas of facial tones in watercolor. I use a travel kit of Sakura Koi Watercolors, and the orange cake is a really good stand alone base for light-skinned color tones (though tinting each with a bit of other tones to mute and offset that orange makes for more realistic colors)
For the rest of the piece I work around usually going from light areas to dark areas, and moving over to dry areas while wet areas dry. Here's a shot of each character in-progress:
Here is the group after I had done all the watercolor work. And as much as I like painting, and subtlety, I rarely feel like one of my watercolors looks 'finished' without line added. I am a line guy...and fighting it would be silly. So the next step was to go back over the pencils an ink in the line work adding some minor details and textures.
So here again is the finished piece with inkwork. If you enjoyed it and/or like Roleplaying, consider reading Table Titans from the beginning, it's really fun and well made.
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