Monday, August 6, 2012

Morels: Fairy Ring

This was one of my favorite cards to illustrate for the Morels game. Mystical forests and glowing wood sprites are right up my alley. This card later helped me find inspiration for an unrelated piece (that I will eventually post here to the process blog) but for now let's see how the card came together.

These are the approval sketches I sent to Brent [Povis, the game's designer]. I was so confident about the background that I brought the trees and mushrooms darn near to completion before getting approval (luckily, Brent approved). But I submitted only rough sketches of the fairies to get Brent's feedback. Aside from some positioning tweaks, he suggested the fairies should be slightly more risqué than what Disney might offer, but nothing so salacious that they'd get 7-year olds in trouble if their Mom sees the cards.

So now we're off and running. The sketch is simple, not too many elements, so it'll depend mostly on color. I lay down a nice, deep blue-green with some golden blades of grass. The perfect setting for a meeting of fairies. Then, with many soft layers of color I paint in the bark on the trees.

After painting in a rich, green canopy of leaves and some warm browns on the mushrooms, I decide the tone's a little dark for a daytime scene. So I blast the whole forest with some bright yellows to simulate late afternoon sunlight and the day card is finished. On to the night…

Aside from the four albino fairies that have suddenly appeared in the first image, I also bathed most of the scene in a dim purple to suggest nightfall. Then it's just a matter of painting in the fairies' colors (I could spend a whole process post on that alone). And, finally, with a soft brush, I add a glow around the fairies and dot the landscape with fairy dust. 

Next card in the series: The Destroying Angel!

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

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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