Friday, July 9, 2010

Sea Serpent Sketch

Here's a monster I'm working on for the newsletter. If you guys haven't seen the map I did for TAG, go here: Apparently, somebody emailed my boss and asked which monster that was (on the far right), specifically :P It doesn't exist in the bestiary, so for my monster this month I'm making the thing an "offical" monster of Hellfrost. This will be rendered in my usual bestiary style, graphite. However, I plan on using some new techniques I picked up since working on the aforementioned book. Any criticisms are welcome. It's not due till the end of the month. If you haven't seen any of my bestiary drawings, I've sampled a few here on the blog and on my website. Just click the next buttons left or right to navigate to them on my website. You shouldn't have to go far.

This image is (c) Triple Ace Games, 2010.


  1. Great sketch, Justin! I like the map too!

  2. Thanks, Chuck! I was going to do something a bit more original than a typical sea serpent, but I figured that I could make the guy who wanted to see stats and an image for this monster feel "special." :P Maybe it'll make the fan base feel more connected to the games they play?

  3. This is nice! He's really sticking that tongue out like he means it! :~P

    Do you have any examples of the finished products with your art? Do they send you samples?

  4. This has a nice icon feel to it. Do you playtest this game too?

  5. Paula - I do, but I sold my copy of the Bestiary. I have a copy of the Gazetteer, with my map. They still need to send me a new Bestiary. This next run of illustrations and text is going to be sent as a pdf, so I have more freedom if I want to add colour, which I will when I do the map.

    Christina - Thanks, Christina. That's kinda what I was hoping for. I may still tinker with it to make it a bit more menacing. But I would like this creature to appear less like an evil monster than like an animal. I want the people who use it in their games to be faced with a dilemma: "Do we kill it?" If it's not evil they may be more morally conflicted about what to do. Which is good. I think the gaming trend needs to shift from the video game mindset of: "Oooh, an enemy! Let's kill EVERYHTING!" Chuck Jones got me thinking. I usually tend toward more thoughtful approaches to gaming, but Mr. Jones reminded me of that conviction. I actually don't playtest it. I would like to, but Savage Worlds caters more to the violent gamer than I would like. It's the reason I hardly game anymore unless I find a GM/DM willing to allow me a character with a bit more complexity. And, unfortunately, this new trend makes it hard for me to run my own gamesbecause I don't want to run something that is a bunch of hack and slash adventure.

  6. I really like the sketch, Justin, but you're right - one look and the viewer thinks "danger"! For me it's not as much in the design but in the body language and the shading.

    A sea serpent rising itself above the water makes me look for a logical reason why it's going through the effort. Attack? Curiosity? Guarding its young? Playing, like a dolphin?

    I well remember the time I was walking through a Florida campground at night, lighting the path with a flashlight, and coming to a dead end - with an armadillo standing eight feet away from me, frozen in the beam.

    I'm a beach boy from California where this is not normal, and I wondered, "What will he do?" Magic moment.