A writer friend of mine, Matt Skipper, approached me about a writing project he’s been working on, and asked me to do some illustrations for it. I was excited about getting to work with my friend, but even more so when he told me the topic of the project would be battle magic. After a few weeks of talking back and forth I got to read some of his writing which conjured some very cool images of battle hardened warriors invoking magic to help them in battle through a connection to a totem animal.
The first image I wanted to do was one centered on a fully armored knight, with the totem animal of a raven, blessing his armor to offer greater protection. I did a few Google searches on ravens and saved several different images as reference. I also gathered around my numerous books on armor and started sketching. I finally settled on a little doodle that captured what I was looking for. The original sketch is no bigger than 2 inches tall.
I scanned in the doodle and enlarged it using Photoshop. I then printed it out on Strathmore Bristol paper. I then used my references to ad detail to the drawing, working out a more complete idea of the illustration. After some more scribbling I finally reached a point where the sketch was looking like I wanted.
Once again I scanned the sketch into my computer and used Photoshop to clean up the edges. I then printed it out on another piece Strathmore Bristol paper. From there I used my 2H pencil to work up the drawing. This phase took the longest, spending several hours shading and cleaning up my work.
Having completed the final drawing I scanned it in and added texture to the illustration in Photoshop.
Finally I added the special effect of magic using Photoshop and Illustrator.
All in all I am pleased with the results. Here are a few detail shots of the final illustration.