Sunday, September 16, 2012

Morels: Tree Ear

The Tree Ear has to be, without a doubt, the creepiest weirdo mushroom I had to draw for Morels. It really does look like a human ear and it grows in the eeriest of swamps on the creepies of dying trees and if I ever came across them in the wild I'd run as far from them as possible. Yeeugh. Let's break down the process quickly so I can stop thinking about it.

The first image on the left is the approval sketch for the Tree Ear. Then, after Brent yelled at me about the leaves on the Mangrove tree, I pored through more reference and sent him the second drawing. It was approved, thank goodness. Finally, you see the ultra-rare, never-before-seen, designer-edition chase card. If you find this card in your game, Brent will come to your house and cook you a mushroom feast.

Here's a quick breakdown of the illustration process. Everything looks fine at the pencil sketch stage. Then, as soon as I start laying in color, it becomes and ugly mess. All part of the plan. 

Once the tree trunks are painted in, things start to take shape. The shafts of light were specifically called for in the brief (for a detailed tutorial on how to create shafts of light, just search "shafts light Photoshop" and the internet will give you more methods than you can count).

Finally, moving to the night card, it's all about shadows and recoloring. In some areas, a simple color overlay is needed. In others, I had to paint in bluish shadows. As a finishing touch, I use a soft brush to dot the surface of the swamp with glistening points of light. Now it's the perfect spot to dump the bodies. 

As always, if you'd like to find out more about Morels, you can read reviews and gameplay reports at Board Game Geek. And you can order your own copy directly from game designer Brent Povis at the Two Lanterns Games website. -v


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