Questions about Iconic Character Art?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thank you for your response Mr Reynolds.

I assure you that I meant disrespect what-so-ever to you as an artist, as I am a HUGE fan of your work.

The sum of my actual experience in dealing with an artist to commission a specific piece, was a meeting with a local artist who specializes in pointillism. And while I have talked to many, many artists over the years, I have not even considered commissioning any.

I must say however, that I do consider that your artwork is the definitive look of Pathfinder. And I mean no disrespect to all the truely great artists that have illustrated Pathfinder throughout all the various products. But owning just a character sketch of one of my characters, or of our table of PCs, done by you would be just fantastic!

And I thank you for answering my question in this public forum, with what I assume is the correct answer.

Please contact the artist directly concerning commissions and art fees.

Contributor

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Queen Moragan wrote:

Thank you for your response Mr Reynolds.

I assure you that I meant disrespect what-so-ever to you as an artist, as I am a HUGE fan of your work.

The sum of my actual experience in dealing with an artist to commission a specific piece, was a meeting with a local artist who specializes in pointillism. And while I have talked to many, many artists over the years, I have not even considered commissioning any.

I must say however, that I do consider that your artwork is the definitive look of Pathfinder. And I mean no disrespect to all the truely great artists that have illustrated Pathfinder throughout all the various products. But owning just a character sketch of one of my characters, or of our table of PCs, done by you would be just fantastic!

And I thank you for answering my question in this public forum, with what I assume is the correct answer.

Please contact the artist directly concerning commissions and art fees.

Thanks Queen Moragan. No offense was taken. Most people never experience business dealings with freelance illustrators so never get familiarised with any professional etiquettes that may be involved.

I figured that you were a nice person, asking innocent questions in the wrong place. No offence was intended towards you. :)
I'm a wholly commercial illustrator. My work on commercial products doesn't allow me additional time to accept personal commissions. Sorry.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
I'm a wholly commercial illustrator. My work on commercial products doesn't allow me additional time to accept personal commissions. Sorry.

The dream of gamers everywhere. ;(

I guess I'll start with the CRB and work my way through the artist credits then.

Have a Joyous Christmas and a Merry New Year Mr Reynolds!


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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Queen Moragan wrote:

Thank you for your response Mr Reynolds.

I assure you that I meant disrespect what-so-ever to you as an artist, as I am a HUGE fan of your work.

The sum of my actual experience in dealing with an artist to commission a specific piece, was a meeting with a local artist who specializes in pointillism. And while I have talked to many, many artists over the years, I have not even considered commissioning any.

I must say however, that I do consider that your artwork is the definitive look of Pathfinder. And I mean no disrespect to all the truely great artists that have illustrated Pathfinder throughout all the various products. But owning just a character sketch of one of my characters, or of our table of PCs, done by you would be just fantastic!

And I thank you for answering my question in this public forum, with what I assume is the correct answer.

Please contact the artist directly concerning commissions and art fees.

Thanks Queen Moragan. No offense was taken. Most people never experience business dealings with freelance illustrators so never get familiarised with any professional etiquettes that may be involved.

I figured that you were a nice person, asking innocent questions in the wrong place. No offence was intended towards you. :)
I'm a wholly commercial illustrator. My work on commercial products doesn't allow me additional time to accept personal commissions. Sorry.

:(

Anyway, topic related to that subject.


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Happy holidays Wayne! I've been trawling the books for any representation of what Damiel's mutagenic form might look like since his appearance in the comics. I even picked up the Alchemy Manual only to have my hopes dashed (although Kerem Beyit's cover art is phenomenal). Does such a thing exist?

If not, do you have any preliminary thoughts on what a "changed" Damiel might look like? If so, are you able to share one or two of them with us? (If not, I can hold out in hope that we'll see "The Change" somewhere in the Hollow Mountain arc...)


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Moreover could you tell us a little about his personal effects? I spy some kind of crucible, several sets of tongs and a keg. What is that hooked crowbar-like thing hanging from his waist? It looks to be made out of wood or bone rather than iron.

Contributor

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Twigs wrote:

Happy holidays Wayne! I've been trawling the books for any representation of what Damiel's mutagenic form might look like since his appearance in the comics. I even picked up the Alchemy Manual only to have my hopes dashed (although Kerem Beyit's cover art is phenomenal). Does such a thing exist?

If not, do you have any preliminary thoughts on what a "changed" Damiel might look like? If so, are you able to share one or two of them with us? (If not, I can hold out in hope that we'll see "The Change" somewhere in the Hollow Mountain arc...)

Festive greetings to you too Twigs.

It's difficult to speculate on imagery that I've not been commissioned to illustrate.
In most cases, I'd have to depict what I'm instructed to by Sarah or Sonya - the art directors.
The description would likely come from the design team.
If there's an existing image in circulation already, then I'd design something along those lines in the interest of continuity.

I'll add your request to write a visual explanation of Damiel to my list of things to do. The write - ups take me a while to create (I draw quick but write slowly) My work on Hell's Vengeance has taken up a considerable amount of time to allow much writing recently.

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

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Just saw the new picture for the Hellknight iconic in the paizo blog. It is VERY good, one of my favorites. It actually reminded me of one old character art that was in Finnish RPG magazine years ago.

My question is about the collar she has. Is it supposed to be like reverse halo? And again, is there a real life equivalent for it? I really liked it, nice splash of bright color to her :)

Contributor

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Rosgakori wrote:

Just saw the new picture for the Hellknight iconic in the paizo blog. It is VERY good, one of my favorites. It actually reminded me of one old character art that was in Finnish RPG magazine years ago.

My question is about the collar she has. Is it supposed to be like reverse halo? And again, is there a real life equivalent for it? I really liked it, nice splash of bright color to her :)

Thanks, I’m glad you like the art.

The collar is a representation of the spiked wheel motif associated with the Order of the Rack. (As far as I'm aware there's no real-life equivalent)
Order of the Rack plate armour is supposed to resemble exposed musculature (As if the skin has been flayed off) I introduced the spiked wheel motif around the elbows, knees and neck. I kept the designs inside the collar to an angular /triangular shape to contrast with the organic shapes contained in the armour and cloak.
The cloak was particularly tricky. I wanted to convey the different texture of flayed skin to fabric. However, there aren’t many visual references to flayed skin available on the web. I started my search at St Bartholomew. There’s a particularly fine - but gruesome classical statue of the saint which shows him wrapped in his own flayed skin – like a toga. It was a good starting point for visualisation of the exposed musculature and what flayed skin might look like. There’s also a modern sculpture of the saint by Damian Hirst. Eventually my searches lead to examples of flayed skin found in an unnamed museum. The examples were in tatters but it lead me to create the distinctive tattered effect on the cloak. I felt the effect was evidently not fabric but also helped convey that gruesomely creepy vibe of the character.


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You have outdone yourself again Wayne, she is outstanding.
I do have one question, regarding the wheel "collar" I can't really tell how it's attached ? It almost seem to be floating above her shoulders...also begs the question how does her helmet get in place (as it looks to ride rather low)...does it slide under the collar ? or is it actually attached at the breastbone, and the helmet fits over it ?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When I looked at the image, it appeared that the pupil of her right eye was missing. Is this a something caused by the web site/my software, or is that how you drew her?

Contributor

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Darrell Impey UK wrote:
When I looked at the image, it appeared that the pupil of her right eye was missing. Is this a something caused by the web site/my software, or is that how you drew her?

Yeah, not sure what happened there. I deliberately made her right pupil higher than her left to convey a degree of crazy (Bearing in mind that I don't get to see any background story before I create a character illustration)There's an alternative view of the artwork on my FB page where you can see her right pupil.

Contributor

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nighttree wrote:

You have outdone yourself again Wayne, she is outstanding.

I do have one question, regarding the wheel "collar" I can't really tell how it's attached ? It almost seem to be floating above her shoulders...also begs the question how does her helmet get in place (as it looks to ride rather low)...does it slide under the collar ? or is it actually attached at the breastbone, and the helmet fits over it ?

Thanks Nighttree,

I imagine that the collar would be attached to the breastplate with a slot and groove section which would affix to the breastplate via a sliding rivet.
Her helmet doesn't go over her head as low as you think it does. When the art description mentioned a sleek helmet a decided to create something extremely elongated like African wood carvings. The eye slots are exaggerated and actually go further up above her face so that the helmet sits higher on her head.

Contributor

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nighttree wrote:

You have outdone yourself again Wayne, she is outstanding.

I do have one question, regarding the wheel "collar" I can't really tell how it's attached ? It almost seem to be floating above her shoulders...also begs the question how does her helmet get in place (as it looks to ride rather low)...does it slide under the collar ? or is it actually attached at the breastbone, and the helmet fits over it ?

You can see the full background illustration for Wrath of Thrune. Linxia is wearing her helmet.


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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
nighttree wrote:

You have outdone yourself again Wayne, she is outstanding.

I do have one question, regarding the wheel "collar" I can't really tell how it's attached ? It almost seem to be floating above her shoulders...also begs the question how does her helmet get in place (as it looks to ride rather low)...does it slide under the collar ? or is it actually attached at the breastbone, and the helmet fits over it ?
You can see the full background illustration for Wrath of Thrune. Linxia is wearing her helmet.

Beautiful...thanks for that.

It may sound silly...but your artwork is so often what get's me excited about a book or AP. It always sparks my imagination.

Keep up the good work ;)

Paizo Employee Developer

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nighttree wrote:
It may sound silly...but your artwork is so often what get's me excited about a book or AP. It always sparks my imagination.

If Wayne may pardon my intrusion... That's called "working as planned." :)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

As the iconics move through the art of an adventure path, has there ever been discussion about "leveling" them up?

Contributor

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BobTheCoward wrote:
As the iconics move through the art of an adventure path, has there ever been discussion about "leveling" them up?

The nearest thing that has approached linear progression in Adventure Path art is for Iron Gods

In which Lirianne replaces one of her pistols with a laser pistol in part one.
Amiri replaces her greatsword with a chainsword in Part 3.
Damiel also gets grenades in part 4 but they're hard to distinguish in that particular image due to size.


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Just had a weird one: The Iconic Vigilante vs Mutated Damiel.

DC verse spoiler:
totally not ripping of Batman vs Bane, Superman vs Doomsday, and other like that.

Dark Archive

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Dear Wayne,

Regarding the new Iconic, the Red Raven, can you tell me your thoughts on the broach which was placed near the center of his chest as well as the garter belt on his left arm? I would love to know any information you are willing to divulge. Thank you for your time.

Contributor

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the Haunted Jester wrote:

Dear Wayne,

Regarding the new Iconic, the Red Raven, can you tell me your thoughts on the broach which was placed near the center of his chest as well as the garter belt on his left arm? I would love to know any information you are willing to divulge. Thank you for your time.

Here's the full write -up on the character design for the Red Raven;

The Vigilante Iconic character was one of the more tricky ones to design.
The art description specified the character had two distinctive daggers and a whip.

My initial sketches had the character looking too much like the thugs from the cover of Guide to Absalom. I didn’t feel that a visual connection with a criminal gang was appropriate for a vigilante.

At this point I required further clarification of the character archetype with regards which direction to go. This character had to be a little bit more than just a swashbuckler wearing a mask but could neither be a spandex – wearing superhero. A hybrid of the two was necessary but the Iconic also had to fit in with Golorion world setting visual aesthetic too.

Creating a theme for the leather armour was an essential step in conceiving the overall look and feel to the character. Creating a theme would assist in distinguishing the character from the swashbuckler archetype. I’d also depicted many other Pathfinder characters wearing themed armour so it was essential to create something on par with established visuals.
Eventually, I’d decided to go for vandyked (Jagged) edges to his clothes and equipment. His mask was an extended hood. His armour had a lot of triangular and ‘V’shapes with lattice work to add texture. I’d created the daggers to resemble bird talons. The costume had a decidedly avian feel to it. The unexpected effect of the themed armour and mask now pushed the concept closer to the “Superhero” visual. I felt that it was necessary to bulk the armour up slightly to move the visuals away from something that would associate too closely to spandex.

Upon seeing the sketch, Erik suggested that the Vigilante should be the Red Raven.

This idea fit very well and focused the visual direction to move the design forward.
The vandyked hems and ‘V’ shapes were pretty close to feather shapes so that it was easy to incorporate those aspects into the design.
The lattice work was replaced with feathers and the shape of the cloak was created to resemble two bird wings.
The mask was given a more beak – like nose.
I’d not yet decided upon a colour scheme. Fortunately, the Red Raven concept suggested a combination of scarlet and black.
I was able to refine the clasps on the shoulder doublings into bird designs.
The belt buckle and whip bulb was made into a 3 - talon shape to coincide with the shape of the daggers.

The mask was always a problem. It went from looking like a hangman’s hood to looking close to Batman’s cowled mask.
Upon reflection I felt the superhero mask shape better helped the viewer to immediately associate the visuals with that of the Vigilante concept.

In terms of equipment, the Red Raven is fairly equipment – light for a Pathfinder concept.
He’s armed with a whip and two daggers.
I deliberately stayed away from adding a utility belt because it would be yet another visual connotation to a recognisable superhero. I wanted to keep those connections down to a minimum. Instead the Red Raven only has a single pouch to place any items that he may carry.

Red Raven is wearing two items that associate him to his secret identity. - The necklace around his neck and the silk scarf on his left arm.
At least one of these items may have a significant relevance to the Red Raven’s origin story. However, that is yet to be revealed.

The concept sketches and design process will be uploaded to my Facebook page within the next few days.

Contributor

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Red Raven concept sketches here.


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Thank you for sharing these with us, Mr. Reynolds! Love your art!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Reminds me of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman a bit.

Contributor

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Kryzbyn wrote:

Reminds me of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman a bit.

I can assure you that Science Ninja Team didn't play any part of the character design process. :)

But artwork has different visual connections and meanings for the individual viewer regardless of it's creation process.

Sovereign Court

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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Red Raven concept sketches here.

Hi Wayne - my Search Fu is pretty low... all I see when I click this is an earliest post in this thread. Thx!

Grand Lodge

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Red Raven concept sketches here.
Hi Wayne - my Search Fu is pretty low... all I see when I click this is an earliest post in this thread. Thx!

Correct link

Contributor

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Auke Teeninga wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Red Raven concept sketches here.
Hi Wayne - my Search Fu is pretty low... all I see when I click this is an earliest post in this thread. Thx!
Correct link

Thanks Auke. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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[Fixed link in Wayne's post.]


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I'm finding it hard to pay the Red Raven reveal any mind in the mad frothing excitement that the Hell's Vengeance player's guide's sneak peak of the Duergar iconic has instilled in me. I love how squirrely and shrunken and otherworldly he looks and can't wait to see more.

The talon motif has really sold this particular design to me. The devil's in the details! Thanks for sharing so much of your design process with us, Mr. Reynolds. As somebody whose very earliest character concepts had their beginning in a sketchbook, it's awe-inspiring to see just how many niggly little details you can squeeze in.

Contributor

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Twigs wrote:

I'm finding it hard to pay the Red Raven reveal any mind in the mad frothing excitement that the Hell's Vengeance player's guide's sneak peak of the Duergar iconic has instilled in me. I love how squirrely and shrunken and otherworldly he looks and can't wait to see more.

The talon motif has really sold this particular design to me. The devil's in the details! Thanks for sharing so much of your design process with us, Mr. Reynolds. As somebody whose very earliest character concepts had their beginning in a sketchbook, it's awe-inspiring to see just how many niggly little details you can squeeze in.

Thanks Twigs. Glad you like the artwork.

I'll resist saying anything about the new Evil Iconics until their official release. However, I do have the design process written - up along with some alternative sketches for the next one. I hope these will meet with approval also.

There's certainly lots of exciting things happening in Pathfinder at the moment. I'm happy and honoured to be able to contribute artwork to a subject matter that I'm passionate about.

Contributor

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Zelhara.

I wanted to stay clear of the obvious clichés for this character. There’s plenty of “Bondage babe” art in fantasy out there already and I always try to create something new when designing a character. It helps that character stand out from the rest.

The art description mentioned pale skin, shaved head and black lipstick.
I immediately decided to give her a very slim body shape. I also wanted to convey a degree of insanity with this character so elected a rather angular stance. The pose suggests a certain amount of reticence, awkwardness and innocence. The angle of the head and direct eye contact helped to convey an unnerving aspect to this seemingly graceless character. The sharp and cruel - looking elements to her costume and equipment create a juxtaposition to contradict the vulnerability implied by the stance. Hopefully it creates an uncertainty in the viewer whether or not it would be safe to approach her.
The art description had mentioned piercings and scars. I decided that any exposed skin had to be covered with scars. I’d decided that some of the scars were deliberate cuts or scarification patterns or as a result of her equipment. You can see that I left in the corresponding marks from the facemask on her head. (Discarded earlier design)

The usual amount of research went into this one.

She’s covered in various medieval torture implements. Many of these are sourced from real life instruments. The ingenuity that someone has applied to creating tools that inflicting pain and suffering is quite harrowing. However, it’s that twisted intelligence that really fit with this character so I chose some of the more imaginative devices;

A Heretic’s Fork is attached to her right forearm. “The device was placed between the breast bone and throat just under the chin and secured with a leather strap around the neck. The punishment made it nearly impossible for them to talk. Also, a person wearing it couldn't fall asleep. The moment their head dropped with fatigue, the prongs pierced their throat or chest, causing great pain.”

On her left arm is an Iron Halo. This was used to secure people in chairs –either around the wrists, ankles or head. The inward pointing spikes could be moved closer by use of a screw thread to ensure the captive had to sit immobile.

She wears a thumbscrew to her waist. A small vice designed to slowly crush digits.

At her thigh is a nasty little device called a “Pear of Anguish” or “Choke Pear”– “Historically reserved to punish adulterers (Female) and homosexuals.” The device was placed into an orifice (normally inserted into the “lower openings” or the mouth) and the sections could be expanded by turning a screw key. The sections and spindle were often spiked.
She’s wearing a smaller version on her chest (With two sections).

At her waist she wears various serrated knives, cutting implements and a corkscrew (I don’t think she’s using it to uncork bottles) The small shaped “razor” ring has sharp edges on the inside and placed on fingers or toes. A chord was tied to the ring which could be pulled to cause severe lacerations. The semi-circular blade was initially a leather – workers tool but it was also used to slice sections of digits away.
She holds a combat razor in her hand. Its design based upon a folding cut-throat razor.

Even her costume details incorporate torture devices. Her bag strap includes serrated clamps. The metal work is reminiscent of the pattern inside a razor blade and her buckles and the links in her spiked chain are angular and pointed. These triangular design - shapes help to convey a “sharp” aspect to the character.
She even has a handy scroll for when her victims confess. (The nib is in her pouch. But no ink bottle. She doesn’t need ink)

I did various versions because there were so many different aspects that I could include. At times I wasn’t sure if it was too much – or not enough.
The face mask came from a notion to include a Scold’s Bridle. Historically, a Scold’s Bridle is a bit more substantial and covers a fair amount of the face. I wanted something that you could still see a good deal of her features. I played around with the number of vertical bars and their placement. 3 seemed the optimal number to register as a mask but still show enough features.
The other option (See earlier link) was to include a portable rack/ giant thumbscrew on her back, complete with manacles.

She’s pretty messed up.

Scarab Sages

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Sooo, Kess the Brawler...I suppose her resemblance to Tasha Yar is strictly coincidental, right?

Dark Archive

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Sooo, Kess the Brawler...I suppose her resemblance to Tasha Yar is strictly coincidental, right?

Tasha Yar? Try "stuntwoman turned occasional actress" and always total badass Zöe Bell.

Contributor

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Sooo, Kess the Brawler...I suppose her resemblance to Tasha Yar is strictly coincidental, right?

Yep. Purely coincidental.

"Everything looks like something to someone else".


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Obviously you are provided an art description for the characters you illustrate, and you do a great deal of research into real world sources to find inspiration. How much do you research into Golarion itself? With Zelhara as an example, were you familiar with Nidal and Zon-Kuthon? Did you do a read over of Nidal's entry in the Inner Sea Guide and Zon-Kuthon's entry in Inner Sea Gods (seeing as she's an inquisitor of his faith)?

Contributor

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Nargemn wrote:
Obviously you are provided an art description for the characters you illustrate, and you do a great deal of research into real world sources to find inspiration. How much do you research into Golarion itself? With Zelhara as an example, were you familiar with Nidal and Zon-Kuthon? Did you do a read over of Nidal's entry in the Inner Sea Guide and Zon-Kuthon's entry in Inner Sea Gods (seeing as she's an inquisitor of his faith)?

It helps that I play Pathfinder and own a substantial Pathfinder library. Being a PF gamer means that I get to familiarise myself with the Golarion world setting to a point where I recognise most fictional aspects and terminology when it is mentioned in an art description.

Occasionally I might have to look things up in a sourcebook or rulebook if I need more information. Books like Inner Sea Gods, Inner Sea World Guide and all the Bestiaries are essential reference material.

Nidal didn't get a mention in Zelhara's art description but Zon-Kuthon did. I was already aware of Zon - Kuthon So I had a fairly good idea what sort of character she was, based upon her patron deity.

Paizo Employee Developer

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And to add to what Wayne said above... While we have a glimmer of an idea of an iconic when we plan them and send the art description to Wayne, we almost never write the backstory until we get the art in. Seeing the final piece always gives a wealth of inspiration for the character write up. For example, I started to make notes for what I wanted to do with Zelhara when the first sketches of her came in, but I didn't even get close to finalizing her until I saw her (wonderfully creepy) final painting.


Adam Daigle wrote:
And to add to what Wayne said above... While we have a glimmer of an idea of an iconic when we plan them and send the art description to Wayne, we almost never write the backstory until we get the art in. Seeing the final piece always gives a wealth of inspiration for the character write up. For example, I started to make notes for what I wanted to do with Zelhara when the first sketches of her came in, but I didn't even get close to finalizing her until I saw her (wonderfully creepy) final painting.

True, but adding some (optional) backstory elements in the art description could help with a few things.

Silver Crusade

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Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
And to add to what Wayne said above... While we have a glimmer of an idea of an iconic when we plan them and send the art description to Wayne, we almost never write the backstory until we get the art in. Seeing the final piece always gives a wealth of inspiration for the character write up. For example, I started to make notes for what I wanted to do with Zelhara when the first sketches of her came in, but I didn't even get close to finalizing her until I saw her (wonderfully creepy) final painting.
True, but adding some (optional) backstory elements in the art description could help with a few things.

Not really, no. What do you think it could help with?

They give Wayne a bare bones commission, he gives them an awesome piece, which then inspires the story in them. It's worked great so far.

Contributor

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Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
And to add to what Wayne said above... While we have a glimmer of an idea of an iconic when we plan them and send the art description to Wayne, we almost never write the backstory until we get the art in. Seeing the final piece always gives a wealth of inspiration for the character write up. For example, I started to make notes for what I wanted to do with Zelhara when the first sketches of her came in, but I didn't even get close to finalizing her until I saw her (wonderfully creepy) final painting.
True, but adding some (optional) backstory elements in the art description could help with a few things.

There are occasions where art descriptions contain more information. Especially if specific elements are required to be illustrated. It's a fine balance to get right. There can be a danger of overloading the artist with too much information which can confuse or restrict creativity.

It's never a good idea to add optional elements into an art description. Just in case those optional elements never get used, or get dropped during the creative writing process. You run the risk of ending up with a piece of artwork that doesn't quite fit the brief.
Better to stick with key elements of the character. Sometimes details such as nationality and culture isn't an issue within the context of the design. That sort of thing can often be decided upon later or influenced by the illustration itself.

I'm always appreciative that the design team will often allow me a degree of visual freedom with the designs I create. It helps that I'm extremely familiar with the world setting to allow me that degree of freedom but stay within the parameters of the subject matter. However, I'm just as able to accommodate additional or specific aspects should the illustration require it.
It's a good creative collaboration that catalyses the creativity and imagination of everyone involved.

Reading the backstories for the Iconic characters is interesting and enjoyable. It's always rewarding when a writer will notice an element I included in the illustration and make it part of the character's backstory. It's that shared imaginative part of the whole creation process that appeals to me. I feel that the writers add another exciting aspect to the design which really brings the character to life.
Hopefully it encourages GMs and players to do the same with their characters and NPCs


Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
And to add to what Wayne said above... While we have a glimmer of an idea of an iconic when we plan them and send the art description to Wayne, we almost never write the backstory until we get the art in. Seeing the final piece always gives a wealth of inspiration for the character write up. For example, I started to make notes for what I wanted to do with Zelhara when the first sketches of her came in, but I didn't even get close to finalizing her until I saw her (wonderfully creepy) final painting.
True, but adding some (optional) backstory elements in the art description could help with a few things.

There are occasions where art descriptions contain more information. Especially if specific elements are required to be illustrated. It's a fine balance to get right. There can be a danger of overloading the artist with too much information which can confuse or restrict creativity.

It's never a good idea to add optional elements into an art description. Just in case those optional elements never get used, or get dropped during the creative writing process. You run the risk of ending up with a piece of artwork that doesn't quite fit the brief.
Better to stick with key elements of the character. Sometimes details such as nationality and culture isn't an issue within the context of the design. That sort of thing can often be decided upon later or influenced by the illustration itself.

What I had in mind was things like "raised in the streets", "farmhand", "grew in/near...", etc, something that could come with a souvenir or two: trinket, jewelry, scar, awesome looking gears, etc...

Contributor

Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Nutcase Entertainment wrote:


There are occasions where art descriptions contain more information. Especially if specific elements are required to be illustrated. It's a fine balance to get right. There can be a danger of overloading the artist with too much information which can confuse or restrict creativity.

It's never a good idea to add optional elements into an art description. Just in case those optional elements never get used, or get dropped during the creative writing process. You run the risk of ending up with a piece of artwork that doesn't quite fit the brief.
Better to stick with key elements of the character. Sometimes details such as nationality and culture isn't an issue within the context of the design. That sort of thing can often be decided upon later or influenced by the illustration itself.

What I had in mind was things like "raised in the streets", "farmhand", "grew in/near...", etc, something that could come with a souvenir or two: trinket, jewelry, scar, awesome looking gears, etc...

Same answer as before ^. :)

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Urgraz; Deurgar Anti-Paladin.
The art description for this character specified; male Deurgar, wearing stone plate armour made from dark basalt. Armed with warhammer, steel shield and heavy crossbow.
I felt that it was essential to familiarise myself with the Pathfinder versions of the Deurgar for this character. Reading about their background enabled me to get a feel of their culture and how it would reflect in the design of his armour, weapons and equipment. From the source material, I figured that the Deurgar culture is would mostly comprise of hard working slaves with absolutely no time for frivolity. I surmised that this would give them an extremely dour demeanour to reflect their joyless existence. Additionally, if they were pathologically practical then things like art, music, poetry or gourmet cuisine wouldn’t really exist within Deurgar culture unless it had a practical use like the drum on a slave galley.
I envisaged that all of their stuff would be serviceable rather than flashy – with minimal decoration. Any marks or patterns on their clothes and equipment would be a way maybe to distinguish rank, possessions or profession.

The stone plate armour was a challenge. I was aware of only one real – life historical suit of stone armour which looks more like lamellar consisting of small rectangular slabs. However, that concept wouldn’t quite fit with the character description. Instead of looking at medieval plate armour I took inspiration from plate armour from much earlier periods of history. In this instance the Mycenean ‘Dendra’ (12c BC Greece) seemed like a good starting point.
I decided to shape stone slabs in a similar fashion but with a fantasy element to reflect the Deurgar culture.
As the Deurgar would be fighting mostly underground I imagined the armour to be almost insect – like with most of the protection focused towards the front of the wearer. There’s almost a kind of ball shape with the arm and shoulder pieces creating encompassing curved shape. I also figured that with the Deurgar being small that most of the attacks would come from above so I put most of the protection on the shoulders. (There is a helmet to go with the armour but I just couldn’t cover up that mean little face for the purposes of this illustration). The arms plates are overlapped ascendantly like a Japanese Sode. The uneven edges give the impression that the armour has taken a beating in the past. Around his neck is a collar to be reminiscent that the Deurgar are a slave race. I placed markings around the collar. Perhaps to denote who the wearer belongs to, what crimes they’re guilty of or how they should be executed if caught?
The brass plate on his right shoulder bears the emblem of Droskar – The evil Dwarven deity.
The plates on his left shoulder show an unknown rune and a stag beetle. Perhaps his mount?
At his belt he wears a waterbottle, a curved knife, a couple of coins and some mushrooms. All very useful. His belt buckle is a simple ‘M’ shape.
His crossbow quarrels are stored behind his shield.
I went through a high number of potential hammer designs before the final choice. (I now have a number of interesting hammer designs which I could use in future)
His hammer is designed to have a number of uses. Afterall, the Warhammer is like the Swiss – Army Knife of medieval weapons. Clawed hammerhead at the front for percussive damage, curved spike (Raven’s beak) at the back for hooking and piercing damage. Straight spike at the head. There’s also be a spike at the other end too. There’s a hooded eye motif on the hammer. (Make of that what you will) You may notice that the most sophisticated aspects of Urgraz’s equipment are his weapons.

Bear in mind that the character illustration was created before the backstory. Owen has done a great job in bringing this character to life.


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Awesome! :D


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Mr. Reynolds,

I was looking through your art book (one of my prized three, the other two being Louis Van Barle's and Mike Mignola's) and, while taking a closer look at Imrijka's design, I noticed that, despite being an inquisitor of Pharasma, she doesn't appear to have Pharasma's holy symbol anywhere on her person.

Was her specific faith decided after the artwork was made, or is there something I am missing?

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Big Lemon wrote:

Mr. Reynolds,

I was looking through your art book (one of my prized three, the other two being Louis Van Barle's and Mike Mignola's) and, while taking a closer look at Imrijka's design, I noticed that, despite being an inquisitor of Pharasma, she doesn't appear to have Pharasma's holy symbol anywhere on her person.

Was her specific faith decided after the artwork was made, or is there something I am missing?

Thanks for buying the artbook and your interest in my artwork.

A deity was never mentioned in Imrijka's art description.
Her dedication to Pharasma was decided after the artwork was created.

Though the idol hanging from her belt was intended to be a nod to an unspecified female deity.

Dark Archive

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Hi Wayne,

I saw this mini and thought of your own Iconic Villain Zelhara.

This mini will make a great stand in until Paizo releases your torturer in all her gory infamy.

Which of the Iconic Villains would you think you would enjoy playing?

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baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Hi Wayne,

I saw this mini and thought of your own Iconic Villain Zelhara.

This mini will make a great stand in until Paizo releases your torturer in all her gory infamy.

Which of the Iconic Villains would you think you would enjoy playing?

Urgraz the Anti-Paladin or Lazzero the Cleric. >:)

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