Tuesday, 31 July 2012

There Be Dragons

Every 3 months this year my New York agent has been sending out promotional sheets in a catalogue for each illustrator she represents. Each one is themed and this one is simply called 'Movement'. As I'm up to my armpits in lizardmen for the Lords of War cards I thought it might be nice to keep things reptillian but go for a more classic children's book dragon with this. My rough sketch below the finished illustration shows the movement dynamic I was trying to get into the piece. The shape and size I had to work in was dictated to me so I had to fit everything into that shape. You can be the judge as to how successful I was! Always hard to know when to stop with this kind of thing but other jobs beckon so I guess I'm done on this one.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


© Steve Cox 2011

Here's a few Lizardmen character sketches I've been designing for the Lords of War game cards. I'm getting closer to finishing all of the characters for the game now. The whole thing has got to go to print in a couple of months time for the game launch in late Autumn.

Monday, 9 July 2012


Here's a preview of some of the Elves I've been amassing for the soon to be released Lords of War trading card game. Lizardmen next...

Friday, 8 June 2012


I'm not sure who this fellow is but sketching is a good way of getting things going on this damp and windy June morning.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Greyscaling an Elf

Second attempt with this...

Well, this is not for the faint-hearted. Having just invested in a new iMac workstation, I thought I'd try the QuickTime screen recording feature. So...not entirely successful and without boring you with details this is a bit of a fudge to get it speeded up. I could tell you that I work this fast on a good day but then I would be lying.

Ideally there would have been proper editing to make more flash with some suitably ambient elfish music, opening title sequence, fancy annotations, popcorn, B movie slot etc etc etc. Ho hum, never mind.  Just make yourself a coffee, put your own elf music on and sit back to be numbed senseless.

Bear in mind this is just a base painting for a figure that will be printed pretty small (playing card size).  All tidying up etc will be done at the next colouring stage.  Hopefully by then I will have worked out how to use Apple's new iMovie to edit it into a more viewer-friendly package.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Orcs and Dwarves are mostly completed so it's time for a few Elves.

I'm enjoying the opportunity to do a lot of figure sketching and also trying out a few new painting techniques with these.

No Elf puns today but I might not be able to contain myself next time around.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Rock On

One of the joys of working on a project like this is the input from a creative client. It feels much more like a collaboration when you know the person who is commissioning you has spent time thinking about how things might look. It can make the process a lot more interesting when I can take someone's concept and develop it visually, rather than having a vague idea to work with. I also know that with this particular project I can do pretty much what I want around the description. This is just a great way to work and I wish all projects could be like this.

Here's the client's brief/description...

Rock Hounds: These are massive dogs that the Dwarves use underground, in their dark, twisting mines, to smell out minerals. They should be slightly calcified, and on their backs some small stalactites should be forming. They need quite large, round eyes for seeing in the dark, probably yellow, and generally need to look tough, scarred and growling.

More like this please.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Still amassing the dwarf army in the studio allowing me an opportunity to try out a few different painting techniques I'm currently experimenting with...and which explains a few inconsistencies here and there. I'll sort those out later. I feel like I've learned so much recently whilst working on these but I'm also having to remind myself that these characters are only going to be about 6cm high when printed on the game cards so I'm probably already putting in too much detail. I'll probably have to beef the outlines a bit up to kick them off the background as well but we'll see when I assemble the final artwork.

The intention originally was to just colour my rough sketches with a bit of tidying up here and there but it's hard not to get carried away. In any case, it will be good to work some them up to a higher standard at some point so they can be used in a larger format elsewhere. I'm enjoying creating these a lot.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Dwarf Sharpshooter

Started colouring Dwarves today. How many shades of brown can be achieved I am wondering...

Thursday, 22 March 2012


click on pic for less dwarf-like sized image

Hot on the ironclad-orc-heels come the Dwarves...
These are my first few Dwarf sketches for a set of 20 gaming cards. This whole series is going to be fun to work on.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Goblin Before Breakfast

click image for bigger goblin

Up early again and drawing goblins before I even have a mug of tea as I am having to assemble an Orc army in a short space of time. Goblins are small, annoying and just plain nasty. Don't invite one into your home for breakfast.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Keeping It Green and Mean

click image for bigger Orc

From a green skinned frog to a green skinned thing. Another project I'm working on at the moment involves a bunch of Orcs who will form one quarter of a games concept I am not at liberty to go into detail about just yet. This is a very exciting venture and a lot of fun to work on. I'll post the odd piece now and again but the whole project should be in production later this year.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Boris The Boastful Frog

Click on images for a closer look

Ok, things have been a little slack on the old blog front recently. Not because I've been idle, far from it in fact. Several fun projects have come my way recently and I've been busy beavering away on those, some of which are starting to take shape nicely. Boris the Boastful Frog is one of them and I'm hopefully just about to sign off on the artwork bar a few tweaks here and there. Hot on the flippers of the sketches I posted back in November, here a few more finished images which made it into the book. I'm not sure about publication dates yet but will put those up when I know. Hoppy Mondays.