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  1. #1
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    DnD first commission work

    Hiya every one,
    This is my first post here. Have been searching high and low for a platform to post and get feedback and critiques on my works and the internet brought me here!

    I've been commissioned to design and illustrate some DnD characters for me extended family members. they live on the other side of the world and don't use the internet much. So getting feedback and updates from them is pretty inconsistent. I thought that tapping into the wealth of knowledge on these forums will help guide me and my art in the best possible direction.

    I've managed thus-far to get most of the designs to an agreeable state. so here is my progress:

    Character #1 (The Mother)
    Mei Shou
    Human Warrior class, Wears Chain Mail with leather padding, caries a massive huge big sword, but prefers to use her long bow.

    I started with sketching some ideas on paper, Scanned and refined digitally, #1 was chosen as preferred design.
    So I moved onto sketching various poses and angles along with some thumbnail sketches trying to figure out the overall composition of the final piece.
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    Character #2 (The Father)
    Erich Cobbletoss
    Halfling (Dwarf / "Hobbit") Rogue class, A serious face with a mischievous Grin. Wears mythril Chain Mail with loose fitting leather pant, Tucked into Boots. Since he's half Dwarf He's able to grow facial hair, which is trained into bushy sideburns meeting at a handlebar mustachio.

    Once again starting on Paper, I used a template to sketch out some ideas, I never got any feedback from the first list, so either they didn't like any of them? or they just didn't see them.. so I re-designed the second picture, which I showed them and they loved it.
    Next I moved on to composition sketches, unable to decide between a "Hobbity" Pub scene, or an Idylic Shire-esk outdoor scene, (he's a huge LOTR fan, so I've used that as an influence).

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    Character #3 (The Brother from another mother)
    Kendal.
    Goliath Barbarian, under the spirit path of the Bear. Huge, standing at around 7-8 Feet tall and covered in muscles and the markings that all Goliath have. He wears the bones and teeth of his defeated foes, the largest Human sized pants, all worn and tattered just below the knee, He carries a huge crude two handed stone Maul.
    Since he's taken the spirit path of Bear, he has developed bear like traits, such as the thick mass of fur growing from his head down his back, also his hands and feet are developing large claws. Sometimes he'll wear large fur trimmed boots or just go ..Bear foot!

    After some sketches first the weapon was chosen, then the first character design I submitted was agreed on.
    bringing me to the composition stage of the design. was either thinking something showing his bearish nature, dwelling in a cave, surveying his domain or adventuring through unknown forests. choices choices..
    Name:  weapon of choice.jpg
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    Character #4 (The Sister from another Mister)
    Crystal
    Elf sorceress class, She is fierce, elegant and very enchanting. That is really the extent of a description I have for her. (she will have long graceful hair)

    Beginning with 3 basic variations, Number 3 was the favorite, so I moved on to exploring that idea and refining some more. and once again at the composition stage, I am open to suggestions, since the pose is tied to the design sketch it is subject to change and is just a place holder in the compo-sketches for now.
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    Character #5 (The Brother)
    Nardok
    The Dwarf Illusionist / Caster. He wears steampunk styled attire and carries a large 2 handed battle Axe of Dwarven make. He uses illusion and confusion spells to confound his enemies, and is a bit of a nerd, but exceptionally buff, so as a result he is often tasked with carrying the rest of the parties gear and luggage.

    I started without much clear direction and came up with the first 3 sketches in img 1), going forward with the 3rd sketch. but after the first iteration img 2), he changed his mind so I made a re-design of the short figure in number img 4). he liked that design, but thought the proportions were too comical, So I re-drew in more realistic style and he was happy! now I'm at the Composition stage again, and would love to hear what direction you like best and how to improve?
    1)Name:  Nardok early failed sketches.jpg
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    Overall it's a fun experience but the lack of feedback makes me feel "stuck" at certain stages of the process. so any feedback, Suggestions and Critiques anyone has I would be very grateful for!
    Thanks!

    -Samuel. W.
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  3. #2
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    Woah boy that's a mess of information. Was there something specific you were looking for?
    My commentary is a gift to you.

  4. #3
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    May have accidently deleted my reply while trying to edit it lol.

    Sorry about the huge mess of info. Was eager to get it out there.

    So what I'm having most trouble with is making interesting and dynamic compositions. If you can see me repeating bad habits or any imbalances to fix. Or even just help narrow down my current selection to the best of each batch? That would be greatly appreciated.

    I feel a bit torn between doing close up shots and losing half the character due to cropping. Or having wide angle views and losing the character due to them appearing too small in the scene.

  5. #4
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    At a glance the face of the elf seems large for her head, or that the top her skull is too small in compared to the rest proportionately.
    She and caster-dwarf have similar poses in their compositions, with one arm outstretched/holding something glowy.

    For your first shire-dwarf personally I like the composition with him sitting on the fence with the sword resting against it, but I'm not your client.
    The archer woman anchoring herself to the mountain so she can lean out with her bow is different than most archer-related comps I've seen.

    Since illustrations are storytelling, and D&D is gamified storytelling, other than character briefs did they provide any excerpts from the campaign to draw inspiration from? Them stealing stuff from a dungeon, combat encounters with creatures, etc? Something where you could put yourself in the character position, act out a scene to get ideas for comps.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfernoKing View Post
    At a glance the face of the elf seems large for her head, or that the top her skull is too small in compared to the rest proportionately.
    She and caster-dwarf have similar poses in their compositions, with one arm outstretched/holding something glowy.

    For your first shire-dwarf personally I like the composition with him sitting on the fence with the sword resting against it, but I'm not your client.
    The archer woman anchoring herself to the mountain so she can lean out with her bow is different than most archer-related comps I've seen.

    Since illustrations are storytelling, and D&D is gamified storytelling, other than character briefs did they provide any excerpts from the campaign to draw inspiration from? Them stealing stuff from a dungeon, combat encounters with creatures, etc? Something where you could put yourself in the character position, act out a scene to get ideas for comps.
    Thank you for pointing that out, I will adjust the head size accordingly! Hmm as for the pose, lol that must be how I imagine magic type characters pose I will see what other interesting poses I can come up with in that regard too.

    so far those two you mention (fence sitter and archer) have the highest interest, so I'm feeling pretty good about them at this point, thanks!

    that is a good question, They have not given me much if any details of their actual campaign, I should perhaps ask each of them what their favorite and most memorable adventures have been.
    thank you for the thought provocation!

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