Gotta Have a Hook Illustration Challenge on Art Order

As the title of this post suggests I have decided to enter the Gotta Have a Hook challenge on the Art Order Blog.

The first step was to do thumbnails and present your three best. Here are the thumbnails I submitted:

After reading through Jon’s post on the Gotta Have a Hook Thumbnails I must admit I was a little disappointed to not be one of the ones selected. First off congratulations to all who were! My ramblings are only to explain my own point of view not detract from others. After about an hour of disappointment I opened Art Order back up again, and actually read through Jon’s comments. I began to realize that many of them resonated with the problems in my own thumbnails. I decided that I needed to get back to work. So I did about 20 more thumbnails and finally did something that captured what I wanted.

I talked them over with my wife (she’s an artist too!) and when she told me “that’s good” I knew I was onto something. So I set to doing a final drawing based on this new idea.

The issues with the image:

•I wanted to make sure the Dwarf Hero looked “bad ass.” If he’s fighting a Hook Horror he is at least level 13 and probably 15 if he is fighting it solo. That makes him a Paragon Tier Character, so as a fighter he should have magical armor, shield, and warhammer at a minimum. His gear should look cool!

• I also wanted to show the close up on the action. I love dynamic poses that look nearly impossible for a normal person to achieve. I decided to make the dwarf airborne. After delivering the powerful smack through a stalactite he is jumping down on the Horror to make sure to stay close range where the fighter is best. To reinforce the jumping motion of the dwarf I placed the background stalactites and stalagmites on a diagonal. Essentially these things become “speed lines,” like in comics, but they also help define the setting for the battle.

•I also struggled with the light source. I mean it’s underground so no lights. But I doubt that a big black square is what Jon had in mind when requesting the image. That leaves the following classic underground light sources: Glowing Crystals, Glowing Fungus, Spot Light from a Hole in the Ceiling, and a Torch or Fire. I remembered reading that in 4E all magical weapons can cast light like a torch. So I decided that the Magical Warhammer would be my light source.

•Reading Jon’s comments made me realize that I was struggling with the scale of the Hook Horror. So I did some quick sketches of the Horror to get a better feel for the creature, and some size comparison doodles.

In the end I feel like I’ve come to a much stronger image. Here’s hoping that this time I’m selected for Jon’s feedback! 🙂

Here is a close up of the Dwarf Hero:


One thought on “Gotta Have a Hook Illustration Challenge on Art Order

  1. Sam! How’s it going man?

    Totally dig what you’ve got happening for the GHAH challenge, love where that tight drawing is heading. Definitely feels like a righteous smack by a high level dwarf. I will say that I like the pencil drawing more than what you did with the digital though, even though it’s just a study. I always dig the inconsistency that pencil gives when you’re working up really dark areas, I find it lends a bit more depth. Also, don’t be afraid of really pushing some serious darks in the hook horror to play up its form.

    Awesome stuff man, take care.

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