Saturday, 27 June 2015

RPG Art 3: The influence of Kong

Having wrapped production of Feast of the Preserver and taking some time to prepare myself for another couple of products, I thought I'd make a 3rd art post.

I have enjoyed my art since before I can remember. I remember writing my own illustrated books before I started school. For some reason they all focused on the 1933 film King Kong. Yes, I loved King Kong and not long into the start of school, Dino De Laurentiis' version of the movie was released. In hindsight, the movie doesn't hold up very well, but back then I had the bubblegum cards, the Viewmaster slides and a board game all photos and concept paintings of Kong. 1970s Kong Painting I learned to draw a gorilla face before I ever started working on human faces. In fact, in staff meetings (where I am the chairperson) I often find my agenda page filled with ape faces at the end of the meeting as my repressed artist passes the time subconsciously.

When Peter Jackson's version of Kong was released in 2005, I was lucky enough to get some volunteer work at Weta right before the film's release. The sculptures and concept art for Kong was mind blowing and if you get the chance you should try to pick up the book: The World of Kong. It contains many concept pieces and more if you find the location of Skull Island appealing as I do. Inspired by the work of Gustave Dore, the original 1933 movie created the most amazing location for a fantastical, imaginary playground for my young mind and of course, for Kong and his dinosaur buddies. Peter Jackson has tried his best to recapture that.

So, how does this relate to my RPG art? Well, it doesn't, yet it does entirely. My father waking me at 4 in the morning as a young boy to watch the 1933 King Kong awoke the artist inside. I had never dreamed of spending countless hours drawing and dreaming until I watched this masterpiece.

Now for some work.

Inspired by the book World of Kong, I decided I would design my own neo-dinosaur, and so was created the Aquasaurus. This reptilian/amphibian/fish creature loves lamb. I was doing my best to pull off a dinosaur with reflective, fish-like scales. I didn't quite succeed but I learnt a lot from trying. This piece was from 2008 or 2009. I had just started to learn how to paint digitally.

The following pieces are from Daniel Bishop's Revelation of Mulmo. I loved working on this adventure as there was some weird sh_t happening throughout the adventure. I especially enjoy giving new creatures the concept workout.

This Lunar Centaur, for example, sounds on paper to be the weirdest thing ever - trying to understand how a centaur with humanoid limbs and hands for feet looked like was trippy at best. In the end, I think this was my favourite piece for that adventure.

Below, also from Revelation of Mulmo, is the Whispering Shades. new creature that was difficult to visualise but in the end I think this piece worked but not as well as the centaur.

The last piece I'll share is a painting I did of my Mutants and Masterminds character, The Cricket. I really enjoyed playing M&M, as I was an avid comic fan as a kid and early adult. My friend and I came up with the look for this character back in 2004 and had him as a regular character on the message boards on Green Ronin. I can't help but feel his look was lifted by the film makers who made the comedy, Superhero Movie. What do you think?

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