Monday, September 15, 2014


And hello again. Today I write to you with the documentation of a piece that flew around in my head for quite some time now. A Conan/He-man like barbarian fighting a giant kraken.

The story:
A friend of mine, with whom I play Dungeons and Dragons, has a love for exactly this type of muscle mountain characters. One of his characters was called Bortas, a barbarian of course.
Together with his group he travelled the lands until one day they came across a small pond, maybe 20ft wide. Expecting nothing bad from such a puddle he went closer. That was when the Dungeon Master decided to go bonkers and all of a sudden a giant kraken appeared from sayd pond. (It barely fit in)

The monster attacks Bortas with his tentacles, knowing all too well, that he has the far superior strength and grapple skills, from which there is close to no escape. And so the Barbarian engages the beast from the 20ft pond and makes his grapple check - A natural 20!
For those who are not familiar with Tabletop games: Rolling a 20 on a 20 sided dice is considered a massive success. Back when we played it you could basically swim up a waterfall with a 20.

And so the impossible happened and the kraken was grappled and pulled out of the water.
On land it was rather easy prey for the angry mob and the event went down in role playing history.

Illustrating that event, was the thought behind this painting.

Starting with the usual: Thumbnails. It differs a lot how much time this process takes and this piece took me quite some time before I came up with something.

Next the colour sketches. I liked all of them, but after some feedback I went with D as it had the vibrant colours from Vallejo or Frazetta paintings.

Note ! I dont know what it is but for some reason my browser seems to literally butcher my JPGs. 
The piece below is a better representation of the picture, its a lot darker and not so flashy. I will try some things to see what I can do about it.

And a close up for the juicy details. 

Later added: I wasnt quite happy with the way his body looked, but at the time I wasnt exactly sure how to render it to make it look better. So I took a day of distance and started working at it again. This time it was painfully clear to me that the body was way to high in value and had too much yellow, more red was neaded and some soft grey for a 2nd light.

The problem with how Firefox shows the picture is still there. Imagine the piece a bit darker and less saturated. Hopefully a future FF update solves this problem.

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