Monday, August 13, 2012

Morels: Destroying Angel (the card everyone loves to hate)

This card. This terrible, awful, wonderful card. Nobody likes drawing the poisonous Destroying Angel card during a game of Morels. But I absolutely loved drawing the card (see what I did there? wordplay.) and I'm going to break down some of the steps below.

Coincidentally, I sent in this sketch for approval on October 31st. A perfect image to work with on a chilly Halloween afternoon. The brief was very specific: Just darkness inside the robe. No face, no skeletal hands. As Brent put it, "Something freaks me out about bones in robes." Which is funny because in high school I was in a band called Bones In Robes. We rocked. 

As with all the other cards, it begins with a pencil sketch. After it's scanned into Photoshop, I choose a deep blue for my base color and a deeper purple for the forest shadows. The forest floor is a warm color for contrast, and it's all painted in with soft, low-opacity brushes. As I recall, while I worked to get this piece done, I ingested roughly 30 fun-sized snickers intended for trick-or-treaters. 

I'll focus on just the wraith for this step. First, I lay in a dead-blue base color. Then, using the sketch for placement, brush in the deeper shadows. I also painted a soft, dark glow around the wraith, as if he's emitting dread and darkness. Finally, with a textured brush and a light cyan, I paint in the highlights. 

The composition is set up so that the pale, white and otherwise plain-looking mushroom takes on an ominous blue glow in its dark environment. It already looks dangerous but, with the addition of the sickly-green mist, now it looks like it's coursing with deadly poison. Which it is. So don't eat one. And avoid getting the card in the game too because it will royally screw up your hand. About the game…

Don't forget that Brent Povis, designer of Morels, will be at Gen-Con in a few days (August 16 through 19th) promoting and selling the game. So if you want to meet the man in person, pack a bag. 

If you can't make the trip, however, you can still find out more about the game and order your own copy at the Two Lanterns Games website. And, of course, read all kinds of reviews and session reports at Board Game Geek, the premiere board and card game site. -v

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