• Jacob E S Gamm

Great Bagpipes of Fire

As this was a personal project a stole from it seamlessly as a another opportunity to improve my drawing skills and create the most badass #bard for #dungeonsanddragons I could. As per my norm I chose the unexpected background as a soldier and race of a Half-Orc. Stealing once again the name Cacofonix from Asterix and Obelisk we have a bard who plays flaming bagpipe music for an orc army who loves nothing more than playing loud music while people fight, and smoking some heads when people try to interrupt him.

Unlike my previous image I didn’t want the background to be an afterthought so I tried to plan something out from the beginning that would capture my aged Half-Orcs character right from the beginning. Unlike the previous character which was for someone home game Cacofonix was set to be used for D&D’s organised play group called Adventure league. As each character selects a faction to be a member of I thought it would be important to include the faction logo on his person. Likewise as a soldier what army would he be a part of? Researching into the Forgotten Realms setting I found an army of orcs called Brocken Arrow and as such used their symbol as part of his sporran.

For the first time I also tried using the light blue tones that I have seen other artists use, especially animators, to rough out the basic shape for the lifework. This was never something I was taught at university or college but I have been pleased with how it helps to lay things out without cluttering up the image with layers and layers of black lines.

Starting to add colour I realised something that I had long forgotten. During a reinstall of Photoshop I had forgotten to save all my default brushes. Like most photoshop artists I had developed a selection of brushes I used regularly and knew how to do so. Now that I had lost them, and with a folder of several hundred saved from many past issues of ImagineFX I didn’t have much chance of finding the same ones again.

I’ve never been much of a photoshop brush expert and this is something I need to work on. With no understanding of even what settings it was that I liked of the old brushes I struggled to paint this image.

A change of scenery

Feeling that the background was still unrealistic, though it did give the right feeling I tried out some different backgrounds. This will hopefully teach me not to start on the final image before drawing my thumbnails first.

I left the Facebook 5e D&D group to decide its fate and at this point ran out of steam as I was busy with my next British Sign Language exam.