Sunday, June 24, 2012

Morels: Hen of the Woods

Hen of the Woods, if I recall correctly, was the second card I worked on for the Morels game from Two Lanterns Games. It was one of the cards game designer Brent Povis described to me during our first meeting. He was pretty enthusiastic about it, outlining the idea in detail, so it made sense to work on it right after I finished the Honey Fungus.

Quick note on the sketch: Originally, the Hen of the Woods was beside a tree. But Brent, having done exhaustive research on the mushrooms in the game, sent a photo showing that the Hen of the Woods grows more in the crook of the root system. So I extended the roots around the mushroom and got it approved. Now let's break down the actual illustration...

Ok, so it starts out with a sketch, pencil on paper. Once I get approval on that, I move to color. I sketch more than I need to give myself some composition/cropping options. But that method doesn't translate to color. I was on a fairly strict deadline so any extraneous work (like coloring objects that would  be obscured by the card border) would've been a waste of time. Hence, the odd naked areas on the front tree.

The colors were just about finished for the Hen of the Woods when I remembered scribbling something in my notes about Autumn. Maybe the brown and yellow leaves in the foreground should've tipped me off sooner. Nevertheless, the bright, spring-green trees in the background had to be given golden-orange fall leaves for everything to work.  Once that was done, I could slap the card border around the image and Hen of the Woods (day) is done. Now, onto night...

Evening falls over the farm. The pigs are sleeping, the barn's closed up for the night. But the sun is clearly still shining so the next step is making a dark, star-filled sky. That's not enough, though, because everything in the landscape is still lit like it's noon. To complete the night-time effect, I adjust the brightness of the grass, trees, barn, etc.  I also shift the colors to a cooler blue. Now it's a night card. If you found this post even mildly interesting, I'll be posting more of these Morels cards in the next few months. So stop back. -v

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