Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lorwyn Concepts 4

Here is another small batch from my Lorwyn concept drawings circa 2006. Not seeing this above "coal hound" since, well, pretty much since I drew it, it was cool to rediscover it some 6 years later. Not sure what exactly the angle for the coal hound was - probably some sort of "red" creature - maybe even a replacement for wolves. Whatever though, it didn't make it into the style guide nor, as far as I have seen, any of the cards in the Lorwyn black. I do really like the drawing though - would have been a cool addition to my Aggregate book!
Not sure what the hell this leafy fellow was intended for. A lot of the concept designing phase was just throwing up ideas and seeing what the design crew thought. This leaf dude might have been some sort of elemental or possibly some sort of freaky elf/plant hybrid.

The little fire-dudes below are silly, yes - but part of a interesting development during the design push. Originally, there was no specified race for "red" (other than goblins, to an extent). But at one point during the weeks I was out there, it was decided that us artists needed to come up with some fire elemental folk. At first, we thought this was to fill a creature or elemental spot and so we drew up some very simple little fire/rock weirdos. Turns out, they actually wanted a race that can have a culture and weapons and ornamentation, etc. I recall being frustrated and stumped for the better part of a day and a half with these fire folk - because nothing we were coming up with seemed to fit the fairy tale Lorwyn world even remotely. Then Jeremy Jarvis Finally broke through with a cool design (that look almost nothing like these little brazier critters!). His design would go on to become the excellent flamekin you see in all the Lorwyn and Morningtide artwork. Thank goodness, because these dudes are a bit dingbatty.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lorwyn Concepts 3

Shame on me. Back in the Spring of 2006, I was (and still am 6 years later!) totally enamored with Tony DiTerlizzi's newly released "Spiderwick Field Guide" and his phenomenal take on sprites. Amidst all the great artwork of Tony's in that book, I just loved the sprite fold-out the most. So when I went out to Wizards of the Coast to concept design Lorwyn, and one of the races that needed to be visually established were faeries, I knew EXACTLY the kind of look that would fit the slightly skewed semi-playful world. I didn't have Tony's book with me, but from pouring over those pictures so much, I had the gist of what they looked like and how I could kinda skew them slightly to fit into Lorwyn.

Well, I wish I DID have the book with me then - so I could have seen how close I was to totally copying my friend's excellent designs!!!! Ugh. Alright, I didn't rip-off any one of his little sprite folk specifically - but the sensibilities involved with insect physiology mixed with slightly human characteristics to make playful and cool-looking creatures is all Tony.

In the end, Lorwyn faeries were more waspy (like that one malevolent-looking wasp faerie at the top) and less all over the insect spectrum like my other drawings. So my territory invasion on DiTerlizzi sprites didn't go all the way to print. But still, I feel a bit bad for being so blatant without knowing it. It's not my style to borrow so liberally - only to channel whatever it is that is inspiring me. I should blame Tony, actually. His sprites were too fun to draw and I suppose I just couldn't help myself. Yes, I think I'll go with that. The defense rests, your honor.

If you haven't seen or purchased "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You" by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, I can't recommend it enough.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lorwyn Concepts 2

Here is an attempt at a black-leaning treefolk - a sinister deciduous bastard that awoke in the "Shadowmoor" set. It's just fun to draw gnarly branches!

And secondly, a couple very very early versions of what would become the much more human-looking Kithkin. I think the vaguest early description was that Kithkin (or whatever we were calling them at the time) were simply the replacements for humans in Lorwyn. And we went from there.

These early Kithkin concepts were probably done in the first day or two of concepting. In that stage, at least for me, I'm just throwing down anything that seems like it might capture the flavor of the setting to see what the art director is looking for. It's the buckshot approach - fire off a large spray of smaller drawings to see what hits the mark and go from there.