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Thread: Tom Cardin's Sketchbook
July 20th, 2009 #121
Another contribution to the game design thread.
A glimpse into the life of a dwarven adventurer:
Brakke was a warrior and it galled him to be fleeing almost naked through this labyrinth of water carved passages. Some time ago the Vilespawn had fallen on him in huge numbers, weighing him down and disarming him even as his hands crushed skulls and twisted the necks of as many of them as he could get hold of. Eventually they wrestled the heavy steel helmet off his head and knocked his skull with an iron banded club, sending him into the void of unconsciousness. Later he awoke to the hissing and spitting sounds of several score Vilespawns arguing amongst themselves in their unholy language. It seemed there were some more interested in killing him for the destruction he had laid upon them instead of carting him alive and well back to their foul master. Dazed at first but quickly gaining equilibrium, Brakke looked around and saw he was in a cavern lit by a central fire where they had made their camp. He could see no sign of his armor or his axe, but his life was what was most valuable to him now. Edging away from the firelight and the black forms of the heatedly arguing Vilespawn he silently crawled to one of several dark openings in the cavern wall. He had run just over a hundred paces down the passage before they realized he was missing and began to shout and cry in dismay.
That was nearly a full day ago and now sounds of pursuit were growing fainter and fainter. Brakke smiled to himself knowing that his pursuers had just entered a large cavern of loose shale and sinkholes that he had skirted several hundred heartbeats earlier. He took a moment to get his bearings again in the maze of natural tunnels. All was in darkness but he could feel and hear and smell the song of the stone all about him. Brakke stretched out his hand to touch the tunnel wall, feeling the grain of the granite and limestone amalgam. The makeup of the stone was not unlike that found throughout Draevenholm far to the north in the mountains of the Aether Wall. He made a small sound with his lips and tongue, listening to the delicate bounce of echoes. There was a void ahead, a big one. Brakke ripped off a small piece of fabric from the filthy linen shift that was the only possession his captors had left him and dropped it on the ground, leaving spore which would hopefully lead his trackers to their doom. Silently, he retraced his steps backwards, each foot falling exactly into the same step that had brought him forward until he reached a narrow opening in the stone directly overhead that he had passed earlier. He reached up and leaped, slapping a hand to each side of the narrow opening and began wriggling up using his fingers and forearms. His wide shoulders barely cleared the hole but he continued on, trusting to the song of the stone to lead him to freedom.
Hide this ad by registering as a memberJuly 20th, 2009 #122
I have a general plot idea that fits within the bounds of traditional fantasy genre to throw out here.
this is just written dry, I am not trying for flavor, just an outline of a plot device.
When a demon is slain on "our world", he is banished to "hell" where he must wait for 1000 years before he may return. One of the most ruthless and powerful demons ever seen was slain nearly 1000 years ago and soon the time will come when he can return through the "black gate". The man who slayed this demon was a brilliant leader who eventually took the throne of the "kingdom". He passed the secret of the means of this demons' destruction to his heir, and it has been passed from heir to heir over the last 1000 years, keeping his line securely on the throne all this time. The heirs have ruled well and justly and the land has prospered. Now, only weeks or days before the 1000 year ban is up the current king and holder of this secret is missing. Now the kingdom is being turned inside out to find the king. The lands bravest heroes are marching to the "black gate", prepared to do what they can to stop this demon as soon as it appears. The players' role would be to follow clues to the kings whereabouts, and ultimately discover the secret and be ready to face the demon when it appears.
There is a lot of room to expand on this concept and give flavor and history to the kingdom, the demons, the line of heirs, etc. The bredth and scope is adjustable as well, this could be a demon that would cause limited destruction personally or it could be one which will unite the current evil creatures of the land into an apocolyptic army. The king could be a coward who fled because even with the secret he was not prepared to face the beast. He could have been kidnapped by forces of a rival kingdom knowing that the demon would do so much destruction that hey could come in and conquer the first kingdom easily. Lots of possibilities.
August 5th, 2009 #123
All right...she's not nude and she's not all dragon either.
This is a character sketch I have been working on for a bit for my Dragonborn warlord. The character I am playing in my friends 4th edition D&D game. Her name is Sherakk.
August 5th, 2009 #124
quick coloring and fixed a few perspective issues with the sketch
August 14th, 2009 #125
I am much further along on my Sherakk portrait. I went back to greyscale and refined shapes and lighting and did some rework of anatomy and pose. Also did a quick sketch of a background.
August 28th, 2009 #126
wow, one of my best friends I have went through his garage and found boxes of my old D&D stuff. Things I haven't seen for 20 years or more. I love finding artwork I forgot making. One of them was an inked campaign map which I ran down to kinkos had had scanned in. Here is a quick pass at coloring it in photoshop. I really want to do this up good, with lettered titles, textures and colors...so, lots more to do with it.
August 28th, 2009 #127
Here is a character I am drawing for a friend.
September 1st, 2009 #128
I came across this doodle I had done last year in a note pad.. Scanned it in and played with it some in photoshop. Made it my new desktop wallpaper.
Last edited by TomCardin; September 2nd, 2009 at 07:39 PM.
September 8th, 2009 #129
Another doodle from my work note pad that I scanned in. I ran it through several filters in photoshop to give the ink lines a slightly painted look.
September 10th, 2009 #130
Some more sketches outta my note book. I did find a nice way to get rid of the blue lines in photoshop! Of course it doesn't work when I use a blue pen hehe.
September 11th, 2009 #131
September 11th, 2009 #132
hey dude, thank you very much for your suggestion. i´ll try that out, i promise
i can see a good progress, but i think you can improve much much faster, draw more regulary draw draw draw. do more studies, seems like you´re only drawing from head.
use references, taht will help you.
anyway i really like you´re last updates. your lines look solid.
i think you have an amazing potential, so go and draw all day long
hope for an new update soon
September 11th, 2009 #133
jatherip Thanks for the recommendation, I agree. I know that some of my best drawings are photo studies and location art and I do need to do more of that.
Herrleerzeichens Thank you! Yes I hope you do. I had a great teacher waaaay back in high school that turned me on to a book called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". I need to draw more as well. If you go back to post #118 you will see the image I was working on when I got struck with tendonitis in the thumb of my drawing hand...that was two years ago and I am still mending, retraining, from that injury. Unfortunately I still can't draw for more than a few minutes at a time before my hand starts to ache. All that you see on this page 5 of my sketchbook are drawings I have done since that injury and its taking a lot of time to even get back into things. Initially I could not even hold a pen for a month.
My work calls on me to draw and sketch a lot so by the time my day is done my hand is usually shot.
Anyhow I am quite happy to be drawing again even if it is very limited.
Thanks guys for your feedback
September 14th, 2009 #134
Yeah I have finally finished something!
My map to the Wilderlands of Lords. This is about 1/4 of the final resolution...its still fairly legible and shouldn't be too big for viewing.
October 7th, 2009 #135
That is one serious pice of map you have there. You have some really naughty critters in here. One I like is the "living trap". I like the concept and the light/atmosphere.
Keep em comming
My path of learning (sb)
October 9th, 2009 #136
Lander - Hey thanks for visiting and sharing some kind words!
Here is a map I recently finished. I posted this up on wizards of the coasts D&D forum for free use.
October 27th, 2009 #137
Strange. Don't think my other reply made it. Apologies in advance if I double post.
Followed the link in your sig from Cartographer's Guild. Some nice stuff in here. I've been a fan of your mapping style and it turns out your other artwork is just as impressive. It was great to watch your progress from the beginning of the sketchbook. Nice work.
November 14th, 2009 #138
December 11th, 2009 #139Registered User
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All your dragons always look tough as hell, and the Dragonborn is no exception.
December 11th, 2009 #140Registered User
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January 13th, 2010 #141
Very nice sketchbook. Your figures are looking great.
August 30th, 2010 #142
Sorry it has been quite a while since my last update. It looks like my hand has healed as much as it is going to which is not too great, I still get pain if I overdo my drawing. That aside I have still been developing my digital painting skills though not in the directions I was initially going.
Here is a dump of the mapping projects I have been working on:
August 30th, 2010 #143
This is a departure from my typical production path. Here I used illustrator a great deal. Photoshop was just for the initial sketch and some final touches.
It was a fun exercise. I use illustrator a lot in my work but this is the first purely figurative piece I have done with it.
August 31st, 2010 #144
October 26th, 2012 #145
The Final Warden
I painted this for the cover of my upcomming book. Photoshop with some elements done in 3DS Max. I am quite happy with it, considering how long I have been avoiding digital painting in this manner. I have learned how to work around the pain of my tendonitis, how I hold my pen being the biggest issue.
I shudder a bit, thinking how long its been since I posted here regularly and the length of time it has taken me to recover from the tendonitis...it still isn't gone, but I can work with it.
October 26th, 2012 #146
City of Thunder
This is the WIP for the cover of my second book, book two of the trilogy. This sorceress is largely done, but I will adjust lighting when I get the background done....the dark stone is just a drop in for now. The actual background will pull from the scene in the book this depicts, a battlefield before the City of Thunder.
October 26th, 2012 #147
Pardon the glitches in this image, she's still a rough WIP. Still need to do her hair, neck and clothing. I am not happy yet with the helm or the dragon crest, especially the lighting. I dig the ram's horns though.
closeup of her face
Last edited by TomCardin; October 26th, 2012 at 02:23 PM.
October 26th, 2012 #148
The Following User Says Thank You to Kungfoowiz For This Useful Post:
February 25th, 2013 #149
Final City of Thunder cover
I just released my second book, City of Thunder on 2/24 - Here is the final cover art:
To celebrate the release of the second book of the Gifts of Vorallon trilogy, the Kindle version of The Final Warden will be FREE for a limited time, 2/24/13 thru 2/28/13
I encourage all the fantasy readers lurking about to give it a try for free!
April 3rd, 2013 #150
Working on some stills for a video promo:
close up of Lorace/godstone washed up on shore
and a view up the beach