Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Vinelings Concept Art Revamp

Reap what you sow when you tangle with the Vinelings, a clan of humanoid-vegetation creatures that can control plant life to ensnare their foes, tangle the mobility of unwelcome travelers, and open the soils to rust and compost any war machines attempting to harvest them.

The plant species can vary from Vineling to Vineling, but they always have multiple vine or root-like arms and never show their faces. Wherever they wander, they cast off pollen and drop the seeds that cause them to stand for generations.

Or––that was the idea. In fact, they are a re-design of an old drawing I 'unearthed' when scanning pencil drawings for my Patreon.

A few months ago I shared a revamp of the Skullduggers from the same unmade gaming project.

Back in the earliest of the 2000's, I was toying with the idea of creating a table-top game (like Warhammer) with simpler rules for movement, army creation, etc. While struggling to design those elegant game mechanics (which never materialized) I only ever drew a few of the types of creatures to populate the game with.

To the right is that old drawing of a single Vineling (I envisioned these were the soldiers that could respawn.)

As a just-for-fun exercise, I thought it would be fun to redraw and redesign an older concept piece of mine like this (Plotmasters style).

I started the new version digitally keeping the basic forms and ideas, but making them as well as the pose more interesting. I did end up penciling the vine arms, legs and seed-pod staff traditionally on a lightpad overtop of a printout of the digital sketch. 

I wanted the arms to be more vine-like and to loose the grill/scarf (I think the original was inspired by the Black Wizard in Final Fantasy Tactics––a game I never played, but always liked the look of that character.)

I printed out the above layout with the pencil's also scanned in and added. That prinout was taped to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series Bristol. Using my Huion lightpad I was able to see through the surface of the bristol to the printout below and use it as a guide to ink from. I used Copic Multiliner SP pens.

This piece was a texture mess––and no good way to make it all make sense in black and white without adding shadows I didn't want in the final color...so I just did my best to control the density.

The original inked artwork is avilable for sale in my online store: https://mouseguard.bigcartel.com/product/vineling-original-art

When the inks were done I scanned them and started the coloring process. That first step is called 'flatting' where the different color areas are all painted in with flat colors..it's a professional version of coloring-inside-the-lines.

The color choices seemed obvious to me looking at the original and so I used similar colors when doing the digital sketch.

I also added a color hold (where I want the black lineart to be a color other than black) to the overall linework and a special glow around the eyes.

Here again are the final colors. They were rendered using the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop and a stock textured brush. 

I have no immediate plans for what to do with these guys, but between my Draw The Extinct creatures, Discovering Dragons, and a few more like this––I seem to have a nice bestiary for fantasy gaming...

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