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Wayne Reynolds

Wayne Reynolds's page

Contributor. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 131 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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Seannoss wrote:
Hi, I asked about the style behind Kyra and Sarenrae earlier and am wondering if you have a good reference for a 'Persian' style other than just the internet.

(Kinda off - topic)

I have an extensive reference library of books, photographs and clippings relating to Persia and Persian objects throughout history. It has taken many years and a great deal of effort and research to collect this material. Much of it has some personal resonance and has been selected because of it's inspirational value to myself and my art.
Please understand that it is inappropriate for you to ask an artist to share their personal resources in this manner.

Visual information regarding Persian history can be found in a wide selection of books, museums and periodicals. It's all out there waiting for you to discover it for yourself.


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chad hale 637 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
The art is ordered well before the rules are finalised, and if Wayne Reynolds draws your iconic with something that ultimately isn't 100% rules as written, you just roll with it. Why? Because he's gorramn Wayne Reynolds, that's why. ;)

For good or ill; this may be the only answer. yeah, we know he aims to misbehave.

Still, it would be nice to emulate somehow. the book cover mock up appears to have several tomes orbiting Rivani as well; Heck, one book is in position and open for her to read and her lamp is floating in a perfect spot to illuminate her reading. If I were to try to pull this off with my PFS D.M. ugh. nope.

Everyone; this question isn't about when she learns what spell; it is about how does she do what she is doing in the artwork...

A levitating character with multiple items floating around her head were specifically mentioned in the art description for this Iconic. Your statement that I aim to misbehave is incorrect.

I follow my art briefs and give the client the artwork that they've asked for.


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As an artist and designer, I really like seeing real - life interpretations of my character designs. I'm very often in awe of the time, effort and attention to detail that goes into these creations.

This year I'm happy to be exhibiting at the Paizo booth at GenCon. I look forward to seeing my characters brought to life.


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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Nice pic Wayne!

Thanks very much Oceanshieldwolf (& Morgandefay). Glad you like the artwork. :)

Nice backstory Brandon.


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baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Happy 4th Wayne.

All this time Lamashtu had a Chakra? I kid.

In your mind's ear, do any of the Iconics have a theme song or set music?

No, my mind's usually too focused on visuals to contemplate any aural aspects.

Thanks for the wishes. Hope you have a good weekend too. Though the 4th of July is just like any other day to us Brits. :)


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Set wrote:

On the topic of Rivani, does that symbol on her brow stand for anything in particular, or just look cool?

It's a "Third Eye" Chakra. Usually associated with psychic abilities in the real - world Sanatana/Hindu tradition. It was part of the art description.

It kinda looks cool too. ;)


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the xiao wrote:
WAR, is the sign that the spiritualist is doing in the main pic the Golarion equivalent of the horns of heavy metal? \m/


It's actually an old European hand sign to dispel bad luck. I figured it's inclusion would add a level of bygone superstition to the old lady.


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Great back story Brandon. I like how you noticed the missing gem in the sword.


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Dragon78 wrote:
I noticed the kineticist has what looks like a hockey stick, so what is it? and is there story behind why it looks like a hockey stick?

I designed it as a cross between a hockey and a hurling stick. Maybe it's for a Golarion game called "Hocking"? ;)


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Seannoss wrote:

I've always loved your artwork and your attention to detail.

Your illustrations of Sarenrae have made her my favorite deity.

Can you explain more of the creative process behind her? Probably more than a 'super Kyra'?

Thanks Seannoss.

I'm really pleased that you like the design of Sarenrae.

I take a different approach when designing mythical creatures and massively powerful entities than when I'm creating characters. It's easier to add aspects that don't require any explanation such as floating items or magical effects. Because these items are the way they are due to powerful or divine magic beyond mortal understanding - No other explanation needed.
I kinda had to retro - design Sarenrae because I'd already illustrated Kyra when I received the art description for Gods & Magic. My design parameters were to create a winged fire - haired goddess with a flaming sword. I also had to make an obvious connection that Kyra is a priestess of this deity. In essence, Sarenrae is a "Super Kyra". I combined elements of Kyra's costume with elements from the holy symbol that she holds in her hand. (Just illustrating an entity that looked exactly like the sculpture wasn't an option. I had to add more visual aspects to convey the divine power of this being)Because of the magical nature of the subject I could add voluminous flowing robes and more Persian - style decorative objects which floated as if suspended by divine will or blown by some ethereal breeze. I was hoping to create a being that was both elegant and powerful.


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Distant Scholar wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
I think of all the Iconics, Shardra would be the one I'd go back and change the most.
Maybe you'll get commissioned to design a mythic Shardra.

Maybe? Though I've only designed Mythic versions of Alain and Balthazar so far.


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Rosgakori wrote:

I love your work, the amount of detail on your work is astounding, but pain in the ass when painting miniatures :D

My question concerns my third favorite iconic, Shardra. Did you come up with her weird chainmail-cloak, or was that part of the character description? If it was your idea, is there any real-life basis to it?

Thanks Rosgakori.

Shardra was a pretty tricky character to illustrate. The difficulties were with conveying that shamanistic quality but at the same time giving her combat abilities. If I made her too armoured she'd look like a fighter. If I didn't put enough armour on she'd look too much like a spellcaster.
The cloak was my idea. To my knowledge, there isn't a real - life counterpart. The shape of the cloak was always part of my concept idea for Shardra. Combined with her head piece it gave her a conical silhouette - A bit like a mountain. I thought the shape fit with a dwarven character. I'd tried incorporating sections of maille under the cloak but it wasn't working. She was looking too combat orientated. After a few frustrating tries, I came up with the idea with making the cloak her armour. On hindsight, I'd have like to have put some buckles on the sides so she could tie it up.
My initial concept had Shardra barefoot, wearing a simple breechcloth and halter underneath the maille cloak. I wanted to show more tattoos on her skin which I felt would be very in - keeping with the Shamanic concept. However, I figured this rendition would probably offend too many people so I covered her up a bit more.
I think of all the Iconics, Shardra would be the one I'd go back and change the most.


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Awesome Cosplay


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nighttree wrote:

Not specifically regarding an Iconic...but I had to ask...

One thing I have noticed on your version of the pointed ears.
What inspired you to go that direction ?
And please don't stop....I really like it ;)

In my imagination, Duergar have pointed ears.

I find that pointed ears in conjunction with the grey skin and dark eyes, just makes them seem a bit more sinister.
It's also another anatomical variation that distinguishes a duergar from normal dwarves.


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Abyssian wrote:
Now that official images of at least two psychic Iconics have been released, what can you say about choosing color schemes for characters?
Abyssinian wrote:
One thing that caught me off guard, though, was the Psychic Iconic’s overall color scheme. I altogether expected, for whatever reason, a saffron and gold color scheme. Is there anything in particular that inspires you as to a given commision’s overall color-scheme?

I thought a combination of blue, gold and red looked better.

I stayed away from predominantly yellow and red because they kinda have cultural meanings and I didn't want people to misinterpret any implications by my use of them.
Sometimes I'll choose a colour scheme that distinguishes one character from another. For example, I'd already used a lot of sandy yellow colours in the depiction of the Occultist and didn't want to repeat a similar palette for the psychic.

I think those are the only two characters from Occult Adventures that have been previewed so far? I'm sure there's more to come soon. Very exciting!


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Zavas wrote:

I've been trying to do some character design and I simply have to say first off, you are a master at what you do.

When you design a spellbook-based iconic like Ezren or Seltyiel, do you design a spellbook to go with them? (I don't think I've ever seen one from your artwork, but I may be mistaken...)

Thanks Zavas.

I didn't design spell books for Ezren or Seltyiel.
Shortly before I illustrated Ezren I'd painted the image for Karzoug from the Rise of the Runelords adventure path. Karzoug is holding a (now very recognisable) spellbook so I wanted to stay clear of the "Mage - holding - spellbook" image for Ezren for fear of duplicating visual elements from Karzoug. I gave Ezren a bunch of scrolls instead. The map case seemed to fit with my concept of Ezren better than a book.

Seltyiel was initially described to me as a Fighter/Mage so a book didn't seem to fit with his image.

Maybe it's time for me to add a spellbook into the equipment of the next spellcaster I illustrate?


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Kajehase wrote:
Do you think that the chainsaw Amiri picked up in Wrath of the Righteous should be a permanent addition to her equipment?


I think the changes you see being made to Iconic characters in Adventure Paths or supplements are meant to be temporary illustrations of events that could take place in that instance or scenario. Making permanent changes to the Iconic characters in that way kinda defeats the whole concept of having "Iconic" characters?


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Fillasawfickle wrote:

I love Imrijka!!! I'm going to cosplay her for competition at a convention next year.

Can you do a little blurb about her costume design next? Also, on the iconic art, there is a corner of a linen coloured cloth with what looks like writing coming from her back, seen behind her bow. What is that and how is it attached to her?

Thanks a bunch!

Thanks for your request. I'll bear it in mind.

The corner of linen is a kind of stole or length of vellum "scroll". There's one attached to the back of each shoulder underneath her caplet. (you can only see one in that image)

Look forward to seeing your finished costume.


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Ross Byers wrote:
What's up with Damiel's weird dagger?

Damiel's dagger is also a syringe.


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Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Clearly a LOT of research there, many thanks for the explanation.

Dorsum; nice word. Anatomy lessons or Bill Bailey?

Thanks Darrell.

Anatomy. :-)


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Zhangar wrote:

Wow. Thank you for those details.

Which iconic do you consider to have the most complicated design? Though there's probably multiple serious contenders for that spot...

Thanks Zhangar. I hope you found the design concepts interesting?

The most complicated Iconic designs are usually the ones with repetitive patterns or textures. Kyra's fairly complex with all that maille. There's a lot going on with the multiple material content of Valeros's design too. But I think the most complex I conic character has to be Alain the Cavalier. Or the many jars, bottles, boxes, phials, flasks and barrels that belong to Damiel the Alchemist.


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The art description for Kyra specified that she was a Cleric of Sarenrae. She wielded a scimitar and her vestments should look Middle Eastern.
Clerics can be quite difficult to design because their costume elements fall somewhere between fighter and spell user. With Krya, the impression of multiple layers was the important theme I wanted to convey. Her armour and clothes are put together from separate elements to create a whole.

Underneath she’s wearing a short sleeved gambeson. This is a padded coat made from layers of wool and material. It probably comes down to lower thigh/mid leg. She might be wearing a simple vest and pantaloons underneath (But we can’t see those). Over the top of the gambeson is a wide sleeved chemise sometimes known as a Farasia. We can see she’s wearing simple vambraces over her forearms with a few decorative bracelets. On her right wrist is a small spherical phylactery (Possibly containing ashes, powder or incense?)
I decided to make her maille made from brass instead of iron for aesthetic effect. The yellow – metal colour fit better with Kyra’s colour scheme. (Historically - most maille was made from iron and although it was sometimes included links made of brass, these were for decorative effect as brass may be more expensive than iron in those times but is softer than iron.) Her haubergeon is in the “Persian” style. Split at the front and tied with hook and eye over a wide leather hem. The sleeves have a wide opening and a narrow second layer sewn in to accommodate the voluminous sleeves of her linen chemise. She’s wearing a separate maille girdle and a single (asymmetrical) skirt of maille that wraps around her legs, overlapping at the front. All of her maille has a linen backing typically found in the medieval Middle East. The circular discs around the hems are decoration (Reminiscent of shatweh headdress )
Over the top of her maille she wears a wide short sleeved robe known as a “Binish”. This looked both Middle Eastern and could be adapted to resemble clerical vestments too. I added the circle of triangle - pattern to reinforce that sun symbology.

Around her waist she wears a cotton hijam (Kinda like a cummerbund) combined with a wide sash and leather belt. Tucked into her belt she has her scabbard and scroll case. Attached to her belt is a small pouch and a larger shaped pouch. The larger pouch has a stylised silhouette of sarenrae implying that it carries clerical equipment.
On her legs she’s wearing studded boots known as Rak. These have reinforced metal plates over the dorsum of her foot.
She’s wearing a conical helmet with “petal” style reinforcement strips. The forehead crest is removable. Her turban and head scarf are separate pieces of headwear.
On her back is a stole which bear written prayers. There are actually two panels but we can only see one in the illustration in the core rulebook. The tattoos on her cheeks are vaguely Arabic – looking symbols designed to be holy words or prayers.
Kyra’s scimitar is based more upon a stylised Yatagan. But I’ve used my imagination to alter the blade shape and fittings
With Sarenrae being a deity connected with the sun I was able to incorporate lots of different sun symbols into her costume. I’d kept a lot of her jewellery circular in shape to resonate with the shape of the sun. (The exception being the inverted heart shaped brooch attached to her turban) I’d considered a red and gold colour scheme but that suggested fire and flames to me. Instead I used blues and golden yellows in an attempt to suggest the “sun in the sky”. Blue and gold is also a colour scheme that might be more associated with “Good” aligned characters.

I had to base my design of Sarenrae on the cover of Gods & Magic. upon Kyra’s outfit and holy symbol.


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Ross Byers wrote:

How does it feel to know that your iconic character portraits will be used as reference art for those characters for years to come?

What is the best/most surprising detail that other artists have picked up on when re-illustrating the iconics?

What's the worst/weirdest?

It's actually quite daunting considering some of the fantastically talented artists that are using my work as character reference. I feel that it really puts pressure on me to try to create artwork that's an acceptable standard to the skilled artists working on Pathfinder who create utterly amazing renditions of the characters that I designed.

The weirdest renditions of my Iconic characters I've seen is fan art depicting them doing things to each other probably best not mentioned on a public forum.


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Ross Byers wrote:

On the cover of Mythic Adventures, Valeros is using the sword last seen being picked out of a treasure hoard by Alain on the cover of Ultimate Equipment.

Can you tell us more about this sword, and why Mythic Valeros has it instead of Mythic Alain?

The sword wasn't part of the art description for Mythic Adventures. I deliberately put the sword in as an "Easter Egg" to raise those type of questions. :)

Why does Mythic Valeros have the sword that we see Alain reaching for in another illustration?
Do the events on the cover of Mythic Adventures precede the scene depicted on the cover of Ultimate Equipment?

I don't have the answer to these questions. I included the sword into the illustration without an answer in mind in the hope of stimulating the imagination of the viewer. Not only to ask the questions about the reasons why a potentially powerful sword is in two illustrations, but to begin creating possible answers too..... Perhaps even to begin creating their own adventures around this mystery?
That's the fun of RPGs. :)

Any official answers concerning the mysterious sword lie within the capable imaginations of the Paizo design team. I just do the visuals.


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Nargemn wrote:

I heard that Crowe is based on a character that you ran in the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path.

How much fun did you have nailing his iconic look down? Is his style much different than the character you ran in that AP, or does he look mostly like you always imagined him?

Is his presented backstory similar or based on whatever you came up with for him? Or did the powers-at-be spin up an entirely new sort of tale for him?

Obviously Bloodragers weren't around back in the time you ran the path, so what class was he? A pure barbarian with some magical-ish rage powers? (Maybe the elemental ones?). A barbarian/air bloodline sorcerer? Would love to hear!

You're correct that Crowe was based upon my barbarian character when I played Curse of the Crimson Throne AP (Which is a great campaign. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't played it yet!)

There is an unreleased illustration of "Crow Henge" wielding a 2 - handed axe which I painted for my own enjoyment. I sent the image as an aside to Sarah Robinson along with some commissioned Pathfinder artwork. It was just a "Hey, here's my character. Let me know if you ever need an illo of a Shoanti barbarian?". I never realised that the design team were working on the Bloodrager concept.

The Bloodrager description specified;
"Male, Human (shoanti), scale mail armor, armed with an earthbreaker. This class is a blend of sorcerer and barbarian. This character has an affinity with elemental air, and can conjure lightning about his weapon when he is in a rage."

The description seemed to almost fit my depiction of Crow the Barbarian. Sarah was happy for me to adapt the barbarian illustration to the Bloodrager Illustration. I had to replace the 2 handed axe with an earth breaker. I also added more robes and changed equipment to better reflect the Sorcerous aspect of the character class.

Wes contacted me and asked about the background for my barbarian character. My writing skills aren't as developed as my art aptitude. I was more than happy for Wes to use his much superior writing abilities to create a back story for Crowe based upon the background of my barbarian character. I was really happy with the detailed back story that Wes created. Especially considering that I didn't really give Wes much to go on;
"My GM and I never really explored the reason why Crow was exiled from his tribe. But it had something to do with dead horses - They were already like that when I got here - was an often used excuse by that character".


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Xelnagahunter wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Xelnagahunter wrote:

Hi. I want to state that I've admired your work, like many of the others here, since I first saw it in the 3.5 manuals. I'm very glad to see the works, exaggerated or not, in Pathfinder. The fantastical nature of the art helps bring to mind the fantasy world those characters inhabit. Your details are amazing and I love them.

My friend point out to me, just today, that it seems like the feet of many of the characters are positioned similarly. Very few have much detail in the shaping other than angles unless they are barefoot. His thought was that each artist has an Achilles's Heel and that yours might be feet. I was curious to hear what you have to say about it.

Thanks for the kind words Xelangahunter.

Tell your friend that I've CHOSEN to depict feet in those positions because I think it looks good. This is an informed choice that is a result of years of practice, observation and study. I'm very conversant with foot anatomy and how a medieval shoe looks on a foot. I feel that I put subtleties in the shapes that your friend might be missing?
This style is a very personalised form of rendition which may not conform to traditional ways of depiction, nor appeal to everyone.
Your friend is free to decide whether they like this style of rendition or not.

Thanks for the response. I'm staggeringly interested in this thread and will continue to pop in and read up on this.

Ezren is very easily one of my favorite iconics and I'm not prone to seeing many little details (Low perception on my player's part I think). I was curious if he had any hidden treasures or secrets in his art that I might not have seen. I'm sure there are a great many things I've missed.

I hope to be able to write about the design concepts behind each of the Iconic characters over time. Some have more going on than others.

There's probably some details in Ezren's equipment that have been missed - Like the wooden toggles on his gaiters that I mentioned earlier on in this thread. But I think there is one detail that most people don't seem to have picked up upon. This may be because it's small and partially obscured. But it's an interesting detail that I may keep under wraps for now. I might decide to use in a future piece and illustrate it in full, then refer back to Ezren.


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Bear in mind that I depicted The Barbarian character before Amiri and her backstory was created by the ingenious James Jacobs

I wanted Amiri the Barbarian to be a total badass warrior. In order to achieve this I had to start thinking about basing her on historical barbarian cultures. Her armour and equipment is based upon the concept of her fighting style. I based this upon the use of a great wielded by Viking and Saxon Huscarls axe (Incorrectly referred to as a “Dane Axe”). They would charge forwards swinging the long hafted in a figure of “8”. In theory, this would create a constantly moving area of protection around the front of the body provided by the constantly moving weapon. An opponent would conceivably have to time their attack just right in order to stab someone fighting in this style.
I’ve practiced using a Great Axe in this way and a considerable degree of speed and power that can be achieved. The historical warriors that trained with this weapon must have been able to move the weapon in this way at a frightening speed and force. An account at the Battle of Hastings – 1066 describe a great axe cutting through a maille leg, saddle and horse in one blow!

Sorry, got distracted there by history.

Applying this concept to Amiri I thought that she’d mainly want heavier armour on her arms and legs. (In hindsight I wonder if I might have been better making her arm and leg armour out of maille of lamellar plates? Such as Crowe’s ) Her arms and legs would be the places where she’d mostly be getting hit if she was swinging that 2 handed sword in a figure “8”. This concept also coincided with some of the battle practices and superstitions of the celts where warriors would go into battle naked, believing that fighting in this way would give the magical protection from death. It also showed the enemy just how utterly fearless these people were in battle. There are also tales of Celtic warriors refusing to wear helmets to show that they weren’t afraid of being hit on the head. It’s also a statement of just how confident they were in their combat abilities. These concepts may be utterly alien to a modern Western way of thinking and combat but these practices beautifully summarise a barbarian culture with their own set of beliefs and reckless nature.
I felt this concept worked really well with Amiri. It looked cool and it fit with the concept. By just wearing armour on her arms and legs she’s making herself lighter and more manoeuvrable. At the same time her appearance is saying that she’s not afraid of getting hit and that she’s such a good warrior, that she won’t get hit.
You can see that she’s got a couple of scars on her abdomen where her skills may have let her down in past fight. But despite the wounds, she’s alive – Her opponent is most likely dead.

Her sword got to that size purely by accident. I’d been roughly sketching the position of a much smaller blade and some of the lines were overlapping. It gave the illusion of a much larger weapon. It made me think that this was just another way of making Amiri even more badass if she’s wielding a clumsy weapon that’s bigger and probably weighs more than she does. This kind of exaggerated weapon might not fit in an authentic historical setting, but might work just fine in a fictional high fantasy world. I’m not making any claims that this would work IRL , just giving an insight into my ideas.

On her back she wears a couple of javelins along with an atlatl, which is a furrowed stick used for throwing darts, javelins and spears further.
I decided on a simple hand axe and curved knife at her waist as secondary weapons. Then went about putting claws, horns and animal teeth as decoration and potential weaponry. I went for jagged shape warpaint / tattoos to contrast with those curved shapes created by the armour and decoration.

Those are the ingredients that make Amiri.


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Dragon78 wrote:

I love your art style and even though we may never see non-core race iconics, I would love to see your version of Catfolk(female), Lashunta(male and female), Ghoran, Kitsune, and Grippli. I would also like to see your art style for Pixies, Nixies, Crystal Dragons, Cloud Dragons, Jungle Giants, etc.

Do you have any favorite Pathfinder iconics?

Are there any places, characters, or creatures you would love to draw for Pathfinder?

What is your favorite type of monster(s) you like to draw?

Thanks Dragon 78. There sure are a lot of things in Golorion that would be fun to illustrate.

I don't think I have a single favourite Iconic. But if I HAD to choose then I think it'd be Valeros, because he was the first Pathfinder Iconic I illustrated. I guess there's a degree of sentimentality with that choice.

I don't think I have a particular favourite monster either. Though I do like to illustrate creatures that you wouldn't want to put your finger in their mouths.


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Dustin Ashe wrote:

Hello Wayne. Thanks very much for answering these questions.

I'm wondering about how you started working for Paizo and how the idea of iconic characters came about. Can you talk about how you and Paizo developed a working relationship? When did that begin and what were your first commissioned pieces?

And then could you explain how the idea of iconics was first pitched to you? Did you and Paizo have an inkling of how they would be used and how popular they would become? Can you walk us through that process? And then what was your reaction to the fans' reception of the iconics?

Thank you!

Thanks Dustin & Auke.

I began working with Paizo when they took over publication of Dragon and Dungeon magazines. I’d already been doing artwork for both editions previously.
I seem to recall I did the cover artwork for Paizo’s first Dungeon Magazine? #94. “Underdark Prison Riot” (It was an illustration of an ultra – Illithid. )

I can’t remember which issue the original Dungeon Magazine Iconic characters first appeared in but I know the first cover to show them was #114.. It showed the Paladin, Ranger, Rogue & Wizard.

They were designed to be stand – ins to represent a particular character class that could be used and identified with the adventures published in Dungeon magazine.
At that stage in my career most of my commissions were cover images, which made it increasingly difficult for me to undertake interior art commissions. However, I really liked designing characters, I had a really good working relationship with the art director and really liked working with Paizo. So I accepted the commission. Due to time restraints caused by my cover commissions I created the first Iconics over an extended period of time. I also had to illustrate them as coloured sketches rather than painted versions. The later versions were inked.
As mentioned in a previous post “Those Dungeon characters were kind of a precursor to the Pathfinder Iconics. I felt that some worked better than others. Many were probably more "Throwaway" ideas but there were others that I'd started to put a little bit more thought into their equipment and background.”

The creation of Pathfinder provided me with an opportunity to design all new characters as part of cover commissions. On recollection, I think my artistic evolution had been moving me in this direction as I’d began to really start putting a lot of thought into the creation of new characters. Getting an opportunity to work with a company that I’d had a good creative relationship with meant that I was very excited to work on the Pathfinder project.

I never really realised or thought about whether the characters I’d illustrated were going to become popular. I had no idea what people’s reactions to them were. For me, it’s a really fulfilling way of playing around and visualising concepts and idea. I’m just very pleased that some people like the aspect of my artwork and process of creativity that I really enjoy doing. I hope my future work will meet with your approvals too.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Was wondering if it would be okay to ask about some of your other artworks on this thread or would you rather it kept specificly to the pathfinder Iconics?

I'd prefer to keep this thread about Pathfinder art. I don't feel quite right talking about my work on other IPs on a Paizo messageboard.

Pathfinder art can include Adventure Path, Rulebook & card game cover images as well as Iconic character artwork. :)

Was thinking of a character art cover you did for a Paizo published issue of dungeon?


Those Dungeon characters were kind of a precursor to the Pathfinder Iconics.
I felt that some worked better than others. Many were probably more "Throwaway" ideas but there were others that I'd started to put a little bit more thought into their equipment and background. I'd carried that method forwards when I began designing the Pathfinder Iconics. I suppose you could call the Dungeon Iconics my practise run ;) But that's all part of the process of artistic progression and evolution.

You can always PM me via the message boards or write to me via my website or Facebook page if you have an off-thread question.


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Stacey Buxton wrote:


Sheila Heidmarch, what is in the viles that she wares, and are they suspended from her pouch? Also is her belt woven fabric or leather same as the green chest pieces are they padded leather armor or are they just rigid cloth? I have a lot of questions about her but I will stay with these for now. Are there and full around pictures of Sheila Heidmarch out there in high def? My wife is looking at doing this as cos-play. She is a historical costumer and she wants to make sure that it is as accurate as possible.

If needed I will ask outside the forum.

Thank you for bringing the Iconics form and life. I love your work and look forward to more in the future.

Thanks Stacey.

The vials are potion bottles.

Her belt is made from dark brown leather with a 4 - square pattern etched into it along it's length. It's long enough to wrap 2 times around her waist and has a silver buckle and strap end.

Her chest panel is made from thick material which holds the shape such as felt.

The only rendition of Sheila Heidmarch I've created is the cover to PF AP #61 - Shards of Sin.

There may be other illustrations by different artists that show her from different angles?


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Dustin Ashe wrote:
What did you draw on in designing Alahazra's headdress? Is Shardra's headdress the dwarven version of it?

Alhazra the Oracle’s costume was based on the Ancient Greek and Persian cultures to evoke visual connotations with the famous Oracle at Delphi. I based her gold jewelry and equipment on early Mycean and Mesopotamian culture to infer another ancient tradition. The headdress came about through just playing with shapes and seeing what worked within that cultural context.(A lot of people criticize my depiction of her headdress – saying it’d be too heavy. Although there is a degree of artistic exaggeration here, I based the headdress on actual artefacts made with a light wooden core with incredibly thin sheet of gold over the top. The item isn’t solid metal – It’s mostly soft wood.)

Shardra the Shaman was based more on shapes and designs that could be identified with a fictional Dwarven culture. Although these motifs are slightly reminiscent of Northern European Viking cultures. I wanted to contrast the angular shapes with curved ones to create a visual intertwining of ethnic themes.
Both Shandra and Alhazra's headdresses are ceremonial. I deliberately created a visual similarity between the two concepts. Although I think they may have different functions.
Shandra's headdress is made from shaped and carved horn. The idea behind it was that it would help Shandra focus on ancestor spirits - Hence the face designs in it.


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Yetaxa wrote:
Really enjoying this thread especially the design notes. Any plans to collect the original iconics descriptions, design sketches and final artwork into a hardcover art book ?


You can find original sketches and final artwork in my collected artbook here; -Hardcover


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Set wrote:

1) Happy Easter!

2) What is that item in Sajan's *other* hand. 'Cause it *looks* like a big fat joint, and I'm pretty sure it's not. :)

(Although that would certainly be one way to get all zen...)

Handle to brass knucks? Potion of bull's strength in smokable form? Inquiring minds want to know!

They are knuckle dusters made from horn known as "Hora". Commonly used by the Indian Jettis.


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Nick Pruitt 769 wrote:
Was the inquisitor's red hat a reference to Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition skit? Either wayit is aamazing. Love your work.

Thanks Nick.

The wide - brimmed hat was part of the art description. Not sure if it was a reference to the Monty Python sketch or not?
I based the rendition on a cross between a cowboy hat and a cardinal's hat.


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baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Gentleman Reynolds,

Which of the Iconics harbors a secret(s) that you may have placed hints using your art.

Bonus Question.

Have you ever created any Star Wars artwork.

Errmm. Seltyiel wears his trousers inside out so the studs point inwards.


Artwork I've created for other products is little off-thread. I'd kinda like to keep this thread about Pathfinder art and characters. Apologies for not answering the question on this thread but I'm happy to send you a list of other works if you PM me.


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Garrett Guillotte wrote:

Ha... was worth a shot!

One last question: my favorite covers of yours are Ultimate Campaign, the NPC Codex, and the Monster Codex. I really like how much personality and detail everyone gets, not just the iconics, and I always crack up at the duergar's stick figures on the Monster Codex cover. Were there specific inspirations for those covers?

Thanks Garrett.

There weren't any one particular source of inspiration for these covers. Compositions like these are usually a result of visualising elements from a written description. If the descriptions have a lot of elements to fit in then it's a case of creating compositions that best show all of the elements.

The NPC Codex in particular was a lot of fun to illustrate and has been to date, the longest I've ever spent on a single piece of artwork. (About 16 (12 hour) days)
I wanted to create lots of small stories within the image to illustrate the interaction between the people in the tavern. These cameos aren't actually part of the product itself. They're just the sort of thing that goes through my mind when I'm depicting something. Whenever I'm creating a character I always think about what their story is and what motivates them.
Thinking of small scenarios helped me to focus the composition for this piece.
There's something simple like the City watchmen pointing at a potential felon.

Or a drow sat in the shadows.

Then there's an assassin disguised as a prostitute talking to a dwarvern sea captain. His half-orc barabarian body guard is looking suspicious with good reason because she's got a dagger hidden behind her back. Is she about to strike?

The dwarven waitress has a hammer - shaped birthmark on her right shoulder. Is she the last heir of drawrvern royaly? Maybe that's why the smoke from Ezren's pipe is forming into the shape of a crown!

Ezren and Merisiel are looking at the floorplans of a building with a Halfling Ranger. The Owl belongs to the Halfling Ranger. It's just spotted the Weasel who's just stolen the key for the chest under the table. (Ezren's protection circle doesn't work against weasels)

The blacksmith is appraising to see if he can repair the broken crest on Kyra's helmet.

Valeros is buying poison antidote from the Gnomish Apothecary.

One of my aims with this illo was to get players and GMs thinking about the events happening in the tavern and use the ideas in their own games. So your version of events works just as well as mine.


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Garrett Guillotte wrote:

Awesome thread, Wayne, thanks for it!

I noticed Zadim has what looks like a claw pendant on his chest in his portrait. Any clues about where it came from?

Thanks Garret.

It's a claw from some sort of large (And dangerous)animal.

I believe Erik Mona wrote the background for Zadim? Maybe he knows the exact origin of The Claw?

I don't have any input into the background stories for the characters. I just provide the visuals and leave the background writing to the experts. :)


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Zhangar wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Triphoppenskip wrote:
Have you ever illustrated Reiko without her mask? Or does one not see her without her mask and live to tell the tale?
When I designed Reiko for Ultimate Combat I was asked to provide a portrait sketch of her without her mask and hood on. I guess it's never been released?

*goes looking* - her portrait sketch is on p. 191 of Visions of War.

Here's a question - do you recall any details from the art order for the cover of the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting?

I believe that's the first rendition of the Whispering Tyrant. I'm curious if the helmet (which one of his signature artifacts) was part of the art order or something you came up with.

Thanks for the pointer towards the sketch portrait of Reiko.

The art description for the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign setting contained visual reference of the Whispering Tyrant. He was an already established character from a Game Mastery minis set; hispering-Tyrant


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Triphoppenskip wrote:
Have you ever illustrated Reiko without her mask? Or does one not see her without her mask and live to tell the tale?

When I designed Reiko for Ultimate Combat I was asked to provide a portrait sketch of her without her mask and hood on. I guess it's never been released?


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Vhayjen wrote:

I have to say Imrijka has always looked the best to me as far as all Iconics are concerned. Now, Quinn is especially cool; but in the end, Imrijka still wins as my favorite piece of art.

Great job on her, Wayne!

So my question is . . . how do I go about asking her out on a date? You know, dinner and a movie. Maybe bring her to meet the parents and such like family and friends.

I suppose you would have to give your blessing on such a matter, correct?

Just refer to me as Curious in Charlotte . . . :)

Dear Curious in Charlotte,

I'm very pleased that you like my artwork of Imrijika.

I was assured by a good friend of mine that best way impress a lady was by dressing as a hedgehog and hanging around leafy borders and shrubbery.
I must admit that this hasn't worked for me yet and I may have chosen the wrong animal to emulate when it comes to initiating any kind of social interaction when someone approaches due to a tendency to curl up into a tight ball until they lose interest and go away.
Now I think of it, my good friend is actually a hedgehog.
However, I am confident that should this strategy ever meet with success, then she's a keeper.

Let me know how it turns out.


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Askren wrote:

Don't really have much in the way of questions. I've always wanted to find Wayne at a convention and bother him in person about just how much his art has been a really big influence on my own illustration for years now, but this'll do I guess.

So, thanks Wayne.

My question would probably be whether you still paint traditionally or have moved completely digital. If the former, I have no idea how you work so fast.

Also where can I get poster-sized versions of your covers?

Thanks for your interest in my artwork.

All of my artwork is created using traditional methods - Acrylic on 3mm artboard. I don't use any digital technology to touch -up or enhance the image. I'm just more comfortable using paint & brush.

I'm contractually unable to make prints of my artwork over a certain size. However, I think Paizo occasionally release promotional poster sized versions of the core book covers.


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Set wrote:
tuypo1 wrote:

that is an odd request indeed

im guessing they wanted to make them seem androgynous or something

I'll admit that I can't really tell boy crows from girl crows, so unless you go the 'let's give girl dragonborn huge jumblies!' route, it's kind of a toss up.

The clothing choices on the Tengu-in-question led me to think male.

'Beaky' as a wizard or sorcerer is an interesting tweak. I probably based my cleric assumption at least partially on tengu statistics (bonus to Wisdom), 'cause I'm a dirty powergamer. :)

New question!

Seoni and Ezren have sorta-similar staves, and when you draw them, they are distinctive (his looks more cobra-head-ish, hers more like a dreamcatcher), but other artists seem to draw them so similarly I sometimes have to go look at the originals to see if they 'got them wrong.' Was the staff-similarity something in the original art order, or did they just sort of both randomly end up with staves that curved at the end like that?


Form and clothing are ways an artist can denote gender on non-mammalian zoomorphic creatures.
Your observation that "Beaky" the Tengu (Yep, that's his name now)is male due to his clothing is an accurate conclusion.
I'd have probably given a female Tengu more jewellery and a kimono rather than a hakama. I'd make her form more slender than the male counterpart too.
I like the idea that Tengu use paint to make distinguishing marks a fascinating concept also. It would be a fun visual to play around with.

I love creating creature and culture building art. I'd relish the opportunity to work on some of the Golorion - specific races.

Ezren's stave is a kinda dragon - headed handled walking stick. (Rather like a question mark "?") It's shape is coincidental to Seoni's natural - shaped staff, which has a top shaped a bit like the letter "G".


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RhinoKneel wrote:

Is there more "action" artwork containing some of the iconics in the upcoming Wrath of the Righteous PACG adventure path? My friend makes custom character sheets for my group and he likes putting art on the deck spot.

Transparent .pngs of characters seems to be a fairly hit-or-miss find as well.

I can say that I've done a piece of artwork for the Wrath of the Righteous PACG. But I can't really divulge any other information regarding future Pathfinder artwork until they've been officially previewed by Paizo.


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Ms. Pleiades wrote:

Hello Mr. Reynolds, your work always helps give a little spur in visualizing Golarion.

What's your favorite non-core race to illustrate? Including bestiary monsters.

Thanks very much.

So many good races to choose from!
I enjoy illustrating anything in the Pathfinder setting.
I had a lot of fun painting the cover to the Monster Codex with all the different creatures on it.
I think I can narrow it down to Ogres or Mites. :)


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Romaq wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Seoni's attire is, in my mind, more typical of a Varisian outfit than Thassilonian. That said, Varisian history is intermingled with Thassilon, so I'm also sure there's echoes of that in her outfit as well.

When Darsadi (Half-elf Varisian Sorc) wants to dress fancy, it is more like Seoni's attire and having reference to things like Mongolia/ East Asian attire is VERY useful for me as references. Darsadi has no problem being "cheese-cakey". If you've got it, flaunt it. I love the tagline for a sorcerer, "Work is for ugly people."

When Darsadi goes to the field, she wears something much more like the Iconic hunter Adowyn: dress for function, and she has her hair up to not get caught on anything or used against her in a grapple. And Darsadi loves hats!

I must say if Seoni were dressed to look more like Adowyn, I couldn't tell she's a Sorceress. Regardless of how practical or "realistic" I would personally consider Seoni's attire, I KNOW for a fact you can lay out each Iconic: Wizard, Sorcerer, Summoner, Monk, Fighter... each and every one WAR has done to date. Ask someone who never heard of Pathfinder what "this" image is, and I'm pretty sure they'll guess it. And if they are interested at all in playing Fantasy Tabletop RPG, they'll know what they want to play off a WAR pregen image before they even know what the class & stats are.

One look at Seoni... just one... and I knew, "Ok, that's mine. Let's roll!"

Thank you, WAR! The only regret I have in buying my 2015 PaizoCon tickets is that I know you won't be there as the Guest of Honor. But I look forward to the day when you'll be available to make it. :) And if I had the funds, I'd pay the tickets and pay you to go. You are expensive, but you are very worth it. :)

Thanks very much for the kind words Romaq. I sincerely appreciate it.

PaizoCon is a great event and I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time at this year's show. The PaizoCon 2015 artist GoH is the talented Jason Engle. Please do chat with him, he's a really nice guy.

Maybe I'll see you at PaizoCon 2016? :)


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Apologies if this has been answered: Oracles can wear armor - so why doesn't the Iconic Oracle?

I seem to recall that armour wasn't mentioned in the art description for the Oracle.


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Triphoppenskip wrote:
It's been stated that there will never be any non core race iconics, but if they were to change there mind is there any one particular non core race you have an itch to draw?

Good question!

And a difficult one to answer because there are so many interesting races within Golarion.
I guess I'd have to go with one of the races I haven't illustrated before.... And probably one of the less humanoid races such as the Oreads.... or Gripplis.


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Shawn Oliver wrote:
Hello, Wayne. I've often wondered about the large bracelet-things that Sajan wears. They appear to be made of rope or wicker, maybe. Possibly for extra padding/weight for wrist strikes/deflections?

Correct. :)


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Krail Stromquism wrote:

Thanks for taking time out to answer questions and an even bigger thanks for sharing your talent with all of us. Your evocative work has given a sense of style to Pathfinder and breathed a real sense of life into the people and creatures you illustrate.

I haven't scoured the thread but do you do any of the online media for your reference/morgue files? Like pinterest? Do you livestream any of your work? if so what are those channels?

I know you are a busy guy, but is there any chance of you doing a run on the Pathfinder Comic? You mentioned wanting to work more with the ACG iconics and it'd be cool to feature them in their own six issue series, kind of like the Origins series now maybe?

thanks again!

Thanks for your interest in my artwork.

I'll occasionally check Google Images or Pinterest for visuals if I'm stuck on a particular subject, But I don't use it enough to keep a permanent account open.

I haven't done a livestream or posted video clips of my work process. I find that feeling of someone looking over my shoulder a bit too intrusive.
I have a Facebook page; Wayne Reynolds Artworks. And there's a Facebook fan page in my name as well.

I haven't done any comic work in a long time. I enjoyed doing sequential artwork but my career seemed to lead me more towards fantasy illustration. I'd happily do more comic work, although my work schedule is busy enough that I don't have any plans to do anything like that in the foreseeable future.
But who knows what the future might bring?

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