Questions about Iconic Character Art?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Where'd you get the idea for Balthazar's eidolon?

Contributor

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Aoann wrote:

I want to say this is the best thread ever.

Does Pathfinder tell you what to put on the Iconic Characters or do you design them and they add the stuff to them? I would hope they give you lots of creative freedom by now :)

on the hunter, listed here, what are the green and bone looking fish hook thing supposed to be hanging off her armor? what is the symbol on the wolf's head?

Thanks Aoann. I'm very pleased you like the thread.

Most of the descriptions that I receive regarding the Iconic characters are fairly brief. Occasionally, they'll specify an element or item that they'd like to see in the illustration. Otherwise I consider myself fortunate that they allow me a degree of artistic freedom in the depiction.

I based a lot of the Hunter's items on Mid - European stone age artefacts. The hook is made from bone. I designed it as something like a good luck talisman for hunting. The jade ring has a carving of a ram on it. It's a belt loop of some sort for hanging items from. The symbol on the wolf's head is also echoed on Adowyn's Vambraces and Pauldrons. It's my attempt at a runic version of the infinity loop symbol considering Adowyn and Leyrn are bonded together.

Contributor

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Kryzbyn wrote:
Where'd you get the idea for Balthazar's eidolon?

My original sketch showed Balazar's Eidolon as a bear (I'm not sure if I have a copy of that?) However, the Eidolon needed to be an unearthly creature. I was considering some sort of snake creature because I liked the curved shape it created around the main figure. After putting on some feathers and playing around with different animal shapes, I eventually changed it to a deranged cockerel - like a Cockatrice.

Dark Archive

Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Aoann wrote:

I want to say this is the best thread ever.

Does Pathfinder tell you what to put on the Iconic Characters or do you design them and they add the stuff to them? I would hope they give you lots of creative freedom by now :)

on the hunter, listed here, what are the green and bone looking fish hook thing supposed to be hanging off her armor? what is the symbol on the wolf's head?

Thanks Aoann. I'm very pleased you like the thread.

Most of the descriptions that I receive regarding the Iconic characters are fairly brief. Occasionally, they'll specify an element or item that they'd like to see in the illustration. Otherwise I consider myself fortunate that they allow me a degree of artistic freedom in the depiction.

I based a lot of the Hunter's items on Mid - European stone age artefacts. The hook is made from bone. I designed it as something like a good luck talisman for hunting. The jade ring has a carving of a ram on it. It's a belt loop of some sort for hanging items from. The symbol on the wolf's head is also echoed on Adowyn's Vambraces and Pauldrons. It's my attempt at a runic version of the infinity loop symbol considering Adowyn and Leyrn are bonded together.

:) very nice. I like it, she is my favorite Iconic. I just wish she looked a little bit more surly! it works very well though. What is the weapon behind her back?


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Thank you very much for starting (and in theory maintaining) this thread -- I suspect you will never run out of having people ask questions about your incredible Iconics and their images <and some day it may rival JJ's "Ask JJ ALL Your Questions Here" thread - 53,762 posts as of this posting>

I do have a general catchall about your artwork on Iconics in aggregate:
As original artwork, is there ever anything about the image you don't put in with purpose?

To clarify my question: (spoiler'd to save space):
A lot of people are wording their questions, "Is there any significance to X, or was it just an artistic flair?" and as your answers seem to go, I'm assuming that YOU always add such things on purpose, but you leave it to JJ or others "decide" if it really means something to the character in-world, etc.

Or do you, instead, get a list of "this is exactly what we, the Gods-the-be-at-Paizo, wish to see in your image, and nothing else will do! I highly doubt that that is the case, as you are conscioncious of your clothing and design decisions down to "hook and eye" and "wooden toggle" levels of distinction <which I want you to know is greatly appreciated by myself, and is/was a factor in choosing Pathfinder over other game systems>. I almost wonder if you "know" the type of wood you'd say they were likely made of, or where the coins specifically are (but that might all be left to the people in charge of Iconics and their stories).


There's one aspect of your artwork that I've always found odd - and that is that you always draw boot "coverings" for your characters. Sometimes it looks good, but on other characters it looks very out of place. I'm guessing that is some personal style preference of yours?


At what point in their adventuring career do you consider the iconics you create being when you imagine them? 1st level? 5th? Is it something you consider at all?

Contributor

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Aoann wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Aoann wrote:

I want to say this is the best thread ever.

Does Pathfinder tell you what to put on the Iconic Characters or do you design them and they add the stuff to them? I would hope they give you lots of creative freedom by now :)

on the hunter, listed here, what are the green and bone looking fish hook thing supposed to be hanging off her armor? what is the symbol on the wolf's head?

Thanks Aoann. I'm very pleased you like the thread.

Most of the descriptions that I receive regarding the Iconic characters are fairly brief. Occasionally, they'll specify an element or item that they'd like to see in the illustration. Otherwise I consider myself fortunate that they allow me a degree of artistic freedom in the depiction.

I based a lot of the Hunter's items on Mid - European stone age artefacts. The hook is made from bone. I designed it as something like a good luck talisman for hunting. The jade ring has a carving of a ram on it. It's a belt loop of some sort for hanging items from. The symbol on the wolf's head is also echoed on Adowyn's Vambraces and Pauldrons. It's my attempt at a runic version of the infinity loop symbol considering Adowyn and Leyrn are bonded together.

:) very nice. I like it, she is my favorite Iconic. I just wish she looked a little bit more surly! it works very well though. What is the weapon behind her back?

Her weapon is a Shashqa with an antler horn handle. In game terms it'd be classed as a scimitar.


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LazarX wrote:
Complete "boob plate" is a liability, a potentially fatal one.

And yet, muscled breastplates were popular in Greece for quite some time, and their primary weapon was a piercing one.

This evidence suggests to me that the liability of "sculpted" body armor has been overestimated by modern sensibilities.


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Let's not turn this thread into a "depiction of female armor" thread, eh?
There's other threads for that.

Dark Archive

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I respect the clothed females. (I agree, let us not digress into that female clothing thing!)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
hdan wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Complete "boob plate" is a liability, a potentially fatal one.

And yet, muscled breastplates were popular in Greece for quite some time, and their primary weapon was a piercing one.

This evidence suggests to me that the liability of "sculpted" body armor has been overestimated by modern sensibilities.

The Greeks didn't let their women fight... Not even the Spartans. In fact, the punishment for a woman sneaking into the Olympic Games was to be thrown off a cliff. One woman escaped that punishment because her son got the equivalent of a gold metal and she had revealed herself when she ran out into the field to congratulate him. Afterwards however, all athletes were required to compete naked.

Contributor

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Lucus Palosaari wrote:

Thank you very much for starting (and in theory maintaining) this thread -- I suspect you will never run out of having people ask questions about your incredible Iconics and their images <and some day it may rival JJ's "Ask JJ ALL Your Questions Here" thread - 53,762 posts as of this posting>

I do have a general catchall about your artwork on Iconics in aggregate:
As original artwork, is there ever anything about the image you don't put in with purpose?

** spoiler omitted **

I doubt I could ever match the mighty James Jacobs. :)

Good question Lucas.
Occasionally, the designers will specify a particular item or aspect to the character. In these cases I try to make the specified aspect visually fit with the concept that I have in mind also. (That fit within the parameters of any character descriptive specifications)

I have very little to do with the character's background story.
A great deal of the items I put into my character art has some sort of purpose, even if it's just purely decorative. I carefully consider each element and judge if it fits with the visual concept I have of the character. I usually have a pretty good idea of the substance it's made from. I'm very pleased that the designers have the option to pick up on an element that they feel is interesting or pertinent and add it to the background concept.

Contributor

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Ryan Pfefferle wrote:
There's one aspect of your artwork that I've always found odd - and that is that you always draw boot "coverings" for your characters. Sometimes it looks good, but on other characters it looks very out of place. I'm guessing that is some personal style preference of yours?

Personal preference.

Contributor

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Kryzbyn wrote:
At what point in their adventuring career do you consider the iconics you create being when you imagine them? 1st level? 5th? Is it something you consider at all?

The character level is never mentioned in the descriptions that I receive for the Iconics. I figure that it's not something that the designers want to specify so I don't take level into consideration when designing a character.


I am a huge fan of your art and you have been a huge influence on my own art since your BW pieces in the 3rd edition Class books!

Not sure this is exactly on topic, but knowing what you know now about golarion and pathfinder, and having grown as an artist over the years is there any iconic in particular you would like to take another stab at? Either an update or complete redesign?

Silver Crusade

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Why does Crowe (I think it's Crowe. The Bloodrager, at any rate), not have a shirt on? He's got lovely muscles, but it seems like he'd get cold.

The Heroes:
Or get stuck through with a spear from behind like Whirrun of Bligh.

Paizo Employee Designer

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lucky7 wrote:
Why does Crowe (I think it's Crowe. The Bloodrager, at any rate), not have a shirt on? He's got lovely muscles, but it seems like he'd get cold.

Maybe the cold never bothered him anyway?

Silver Crusade

Nice try, but Crowe would be resistant to ELECTRICITY! So it can't have anything to do with easy defibrilation, either. Hmm. Maybe it chafes his nipples.

Paizo Employee Designer

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lucky7 wrote:
Nice try, but Crowe would be resistant to ELECTRICITY! So it can't have anything to do with easy defibrilation, either. Hmm. Maybe it chafes his nipples.

To be fair, the linked "I Am Crowe" song does switch out all references of cold to electricity, and it doesn't actually have the line "the cold never bothered me anyway." But it was still too good of a setup to pass up. :)


Is race something that is discussed for particular iconics? Even with the hybrid classes that are newer I notice that the Core races are the ones represented. I am wondering if concepts for other Iconics might include other races: Changeling, Drow, Tiefling, etc.?

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ChrisLKimball wrote:

I am a huge fan of your art and you have been a huge influence on my own art since your BW pieces in the 3rd edition Class books!

Not sure this is exactly on topic, but knowing what you know now about golarion and pathfinder, and having grown as an artist over the years is there any iconic in particular you would like to take another stab at? Either an update or complete redesign?

Thanks for your continued interest in my artwork.

The self-critic that lives inside my head ensures that I'd redesign a many of the Pathfinder Iconics to some degree or another. In most cases it'd be small costume tweaks here and there but it's just one of those things that comes with hindsight.

Contributor

What's in the box? wrote:

Is race something that is discussed for particular iconics? Even with the hybrid classes that are newer I notice that the Core races are the ones represented. I am wondering if concepts for other Iconics might include other races: Changeling, Drow, Tiefling, etc.?

Race is usually specified within the character description. Sorry I can't comment on future illustrations of characters until they've been officially previewed.

Liberty's Edge

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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
El Ronza wrote:
Speaking of Seelah, what's the significance of the key that hangs around her right thigh? It's such a captivating little detail, and I've always wanted to know - is there a story behind your choice to include it, or is it just a little visual touch?
I always intended it to be the key to her chastity belt.

Oh, that's brilliant!

Grand Lodge

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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Where'd you get the idea for Balthazar's eidolon?
My original sketch showed Balazar's Eidolon as a bear (I'm not sure if I have a copy of that?) However, the Eidolon needed to be an unearthly creature. I was considering some sort of snake creature because I liked the curved shape it created around the main figure. After putting on some feathers and playing around with different animal shapes, I eventually changed it to a deranged cockerel - like a Cockatrice.

Balazar's Eidolon as a bear

Contributor

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Auke Teeninga wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Where'd you get the idea for Balthazar's eidolon?
My original sketch showed Balazar's Eidolon as a bear (I'm not sure if I have a copy of that?) However, the Eidolon needed to be an unearthly creature. I was considering some sort of snake creature because I liked the curved shape it created around the main figure. After putting on some feathers and playing around with different animal shapes, I eventually changed it to a deranged cockerel - like a Cockatrice.
Balazar's Eidolon as a bear

Thanks for digging out the image Auke.

It only occurred to me after I'd painted the Summoner that I could've easily made it into an Owl-Bear type of creature.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Great thread, Wayne! Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Contributor

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Adam Daigle wrote:
Great thread, Wayne! Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Thanks Adam. :)

We'll see how the allocation of time goes. ;)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Wayne, thanks so much for your artwork and also for taking the time to make this thread!

How much of your inspiration comes from existing characters in the zeitgeist?

For example, I've seen some crosstalk on these boards that your inspiration for Valeros was Val Kilmer's portrayal of the character Mad Martigan from the 1988 film Willow. Was that an intentional homage?

I was also wondering if you took inspiration for your design of the iconic hunter Adowyn from Rose Leslie's portrayal of Ygritte in the HBO version of Game of Thrones?

Paizo Employee Managing Art Director

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James Jacobs wrote:
This thread is awesome.

This helps me too!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Auke Teeninga wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Where'd you get the idea for Balthazar's eidolon?
My original sketch showed Balazar's Eidolon as a bear (I'm not sure if I have a copy of that?) However, the Eidolon needed to be an unearthly creature. I was considering some sort of snake creature because I liked the curved shape it created around the main figure. After putting on some feathers and playing around with different animal shapes, I eventually changed it to a deranged cockerel - like a Cockatrice.
Balazar's Eidolon as a bear

Thanks for digging out the image Auke.

It only occurred to me after I'd painted the Summoner that I could've easily made it into an Owl-Bear type of creature.

Kind of amusing that part of the notation reads "Player's Handbook".

Contributor

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Sarah Robinson wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
This thread is awesome.
This helps me too!

Yayyy!

Contributor

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Haladir wrote:

Wayne, thanks so much for your artwork and also for taking the time to make this thread!

How much of your inspiration comes from existing characters in the zeitgeist?

For example, I've seen some crosstalk on these boards that your inspiration for Valeros was Val Kilmer's portrayal of the character Mad Martigan from the 1988 film Willow. Was that an intentional homage?

I was also wondering if you took inspiration for your design of the iconic hunter Adowyn from Rose Leslie's portrayal of Ygritte in the HBO version of Game of Thrones?

Val Kilmer as Mad Martigan was mentioned in the original character description for Valeros. However, it's the only iconic character that has ever had reference to an existing character in it's description.

I prefer to stay away from established characters in other fictional settings. Any resemblance to Ygritte or anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. Though as I've mentioned before, sometimes I subconsciously paint characters as people I've met before.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

More Lem, and not jokes about him having hat-envy this time. ;-)

What do you see his flute being made of? Depending on who draws him, it looks either like bone or like wood to me.


Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Lucus Palosaari wrote:
I doubt I could ever match the mighty James Jacobs. :)

That thread has years on it, I don't doubt that the players have at least 50,000 questions to ask you. If you're still answering will be the bigger question ;-)

Wayne Reynolds wrote:

Good question Lucas.

Occasionally, the designers will specify a particular item or aspect to the character. In these cases I try to make the specified aspect visually fit with the concept that I have in mind also. (That fit within the parameters of any character descriptive specifications)

I have very little to do with the character's background story.
A great deal of the items I put into my character art has some sort of purpose, even if it's just purely decorative. I carefully consider each element and judge if it fits with the visual concept I have of the character. I usually have a pretty good idea of the substance it's made from. I'm very pleased that the designers have the option to pick up on an element that they feel is interesting or pertinent and add it to the background concept.

So its roughly as I had figured. Regardless, the level of detail you put into the Iconic's first image and into all of your images is greatly appreciated by me (and I'm guessing others). It feels rarer to find overly detailed work vs. the alternative in this field, which is sad, as those little things sometimes make all the difference in my mind and "sell" the world to me in a way that even perfect prose or game mechanics couldn't alone.


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Hello Wayne, first off I love your character designs, you really get a sense of the character's personality, history, and culture, from your drawings. Just by looking at your designs you get a sense of the life the character leads. Also I really appreciate how all the little items like teapots, bedrolls, lanterns, and trinkets reflect all the different bits of adventuring gear a typical RPG character carries around with them. Your designs are almost like visual character sheets and truly epitomize the hobby.

Anyways I'm a big fan. ;) So, here's my question:

Your costume designs have so many layers and details to them, how do you generally begin your design process? Do you start with a figure drawing and build it up layer by layer "dressing" the character, draw a few rough sketches first, begin by drawing a key element and work out from there, or are you so practiced at this point that you can just go for it free form?

Thanks!


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OK here is a question, what is your least favorite Iconic? I mean the one you had to really push to connect to visually?

Dark Archive

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Thanks for doing this Wayne!

Which Iconic would be the best at illustrating their creator the artist Wayne Reynolds?

Which Iconic could portray Wayne Reynolds in the "Paizo Goes to GenCon the Movie"?

Given that there are four Iconics in each Adventure Path, which combination of four would you love to see team up and illustrate that you have not been given the chance to yet?


My favorite Iconic is Seoni, and my favorite character is Darsadi Callinova, loosely based on Seoni. What resources did you draw upon for Seoni's look?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi want to say ver big fan of your art have some questions about my favorite Iconic Lini

What insperations did you use for her design?
Does she wear actual boots or is it more bits of green leather tied on with twine?
Are the markings on her face tatooes or some other sort of marking (And do they have any significance?)
We know the significance of her twigs but what about her other items (Belt buckle, little twine dolls, Jewlery etc?)

Anywho thank you for your time


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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
LazarX wrote:
How does the Arcanist keep her cloak on?
Enora's cloak is held on with "Hook and eye". (Extinct_Fizz 's breakdown of the costume in another thread is correct.) The "shoulder flaps" of Enora's cloak has hooks on the inside. The eyelets run down the sides of that white "V". Enora's hair covers any visible signs or stitching of the hooks on the outside of the cloak.

I am so excited that you read, remembered and referenced my thread. This is a huge honor. I appreciate the time you're taking to answer questions!

On the subject of Enora, is that "white 'V'" metal or cloth (or stiffened cloth?)?

Contributor

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Kajehase wrote:

More Lem, and not jokes about him having hat-envy this time. ;-)

What do you see his flute being made of? Depending on who draws him, it looks either like bone or like wood to me.

Lem's flute is actually made out of Silver.

Contributor

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Lucus Palosaari wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Lucus Palosaari wrote:
I doubt I could ever match the mighty James Jacobs. :)

That thread has years on it, I don't doubt that the players have at least 50,000 questions to ask you. If you're still answering will be the bigger question ;-)

Wayne Reynolds wrote:

Good question Lucas.

Occasionally, the designers will specify a particular item or aspect to the character. In these cases I try to make the specified aspect visually fit with the concept that I have in mind also. (That fit within the parameters of any character descriptive specifications)

I have very little to do with the character's background story.
A great deal of the items I put into my character art has some sort of purpose, even if it's just purely decorative. I carefully consider each element and judge if it fits with the visual concept I have of the character. I usually have a pretty good idea of the substance it's made from. I'm very pleased that the designers have the option to pick up on an element that they feel is interesting or pertinent and add it to the background concept.

So its roughly as I had figured. Regardless, the level of detail you put into the Iconic's first image and into all of your images is greatly appreciated by me (and I'm guessing others). It feels rarer to find overly detailed work vs. the alternative in this field, which is sad, as those little things sometimes make all the difference in my mind and "sell" the world to me in a way that even perfect prose or game mechanics couldn't alone.

Thanks Lucas.

This thread will be either really cathartic for me to be able to explain some of my ideas and concepts behind my art and dispel some myths.... Or it'll make me really angry. Only time will tell. ;)

Contributor

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Canada Guy wrote:

Hello Wayne, first off I love your character designs, you really get a sense of the character's personality, history, and culture, from your drawings. Just by looking at your designs you get a sense of the life the character leads. Also I really appreciate how all the little items like teapots, bedrolls, lanterns, and trinkets reflect all the different bits of adventuring gear a typical RPG character carries around with them. Your designs are almost like visual character sheets and truly epitomize the hobby.

Anyways I'm a big fan. ;) So, here's my question:

Your costume designs have so many layers and details to them, how do you generally begin your design process? Do you start with a figure drawing and build it up layer by layer "dressing" the character, draw a few rough sketches first, begin by drawing a key element and work out from there, or are you so practiced at this point that you can just go for it free form?

Thanks!

Thanks for your interest in my artwork. I sincerely appreciate your kind words.

Upon reading a character description I usually formulate a concept in my head of how they're generally going to look. I then make dozens of small thumbnail sketches which roughly work out the character's form and silhouette. Essentially, the characters come pre-dressed. Once I've decided on a shape I then start to tighten things up with detail. (Which probably consist of a dozen different thumbnail sketches of pouch, weapon and jewellery designs)

Contributor

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LMPjr007 wrote:
OK here is a question, what is your least favorite Iconic? I mean the one you had to really push to connect to visually?

I've been happy illustrating all of the Iconics. Though there have been some that I've struggled with to get the design I was looking for. I seem to recall Oloch the Warpriest was a tricky one to design. It was hard to strike that fine balance between priest and warrior. Each iteration was going too far one way or the other.


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I'm also a huge fan of your work. Paizo couldn't have picked a better artist to help visually represent their product.

No questions here, just wanted to say that. ^_^

Contributor

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baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Thanks for doing this Wayne!

Which Iconic would be the best at illustrating their creator the artist Wayne Reynolds?

Which Iconic could portray Wayne Reynolds in the "Paizo Goes to GenCon the Movie"?

Given that there are four Iconics in each Adventure Path, which combination of four would you love to see team up and illustrate that you have not been given the chance to yet?

Ezren

Alain.
Any of the new Iconics from Advanced Class Guide because I've not had chance to illustrate them much doing their thing.

Contributor

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Romaq wrote:
My favorite Iconic is Seoni, and my favorite character is Darsadi Callinova, loosely based on Seoni. What resources did you draw upon for Seoni's look?

Glad you like Seoni. :) I drew on slightly East Asian / Mongolian influences for her dress. Then created tattoos that looked maybe ancient Egyptian or Mesopotatamium in appearance but were obviously arcane.

Contributor

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extinct_fizz wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
LazarX wrote:
How does the Arcanist keep her cloak on?
Enora's cloak is held on with "Hook and eye". (Extinct_Fizz 's breakdown of the costume in another thread is correct.) The "shoulder flaps" of Enora's cloak has hooks on the inside. The eyelets run down the sides of that white "V". Enora's hair covers any visible signs or stitching of the hooks on the outside of the cloak.

I am so excited that you read, remembered and referenced my thread. This is a huge honor. I appreciate the time you're taking to answer questions!

On the subject of Enora, is that "white 'V'" metal or cloth (or stiffened cloth?)?

No problem :) Thanks for your interest in my artwork.

The "V" would be stiff cloth such as felt or reinforced with a few layers to keep it's shape.

Contributor

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Kevin Mack wrote:

Hi want to say ver big fan of your art have some questions about my favorite Iconic Lini

What insperations did you use for her design?
Does she wear actual boots or is it more bits of green leather tied on with twine?
Are the markings on her face tatooes or some other sort of marking (And do they have any significance?)
We know the significance of her twigs but what about her other items (Belt buckle, little twine dolls, Jewlery etc?)

Anywho thank you for your time

Whilst Lini's clothes may look like random shapes of leather stitched and tied together. They are actually a carefully considered design. I wanted to create an aesthetic that went beyond conventional human constraints but reflected non-symmetrical shapes found in nature. I avoided straight lines wherever I could. Swirl patterns and spirals from the Bronze – Age European Celtic culture seemed to lend themselves to this character concept. It seemed appropriate as these patterns are evocative of the druidic tradition and it’s connection to nature. Here jewellery and items are all made from objects occurring in nature such as stones, twine and flower petals. (With the exception of her sickle)Constructed items such as her corn dollies and bone hair slide are made fro naturally occurring objects also.

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