Wednesday, February 5, 2014
About three years ago, particularly with the online campaign, I decided to begin drawing creatures from a top-down view for the combat sequences I was running in my online and offline games. Up until then I had mostly used abstract figures ... but I felt it would add more feel if I actually improved my ability to draw. I am, unfortunately, no artist; I can't render perspective at all, and I have trouble conceiving the shape of something as it would look from the top-down from a front-picture. For example, the fly above was meant to be an ankhkeg. Frankly, I can't make my mind image an ankhkeg from the top by virtue of images I've seen - and really, I have no idea where the wings come from. Look good though, ya?
My only point is that with practice, things get better. There aren't a lot of top down images on the web, nor do they look any better than the above image. Role-gamers do not use computers. I wish there was a top-down image for every creature ... but one of the benefits to making them myself on the Publisher program I use is that I can make them transparent. That has game benefits.
Anyway, if you're out there, and you have nothing better to do than paint miniatures, try a top down image of something on the computer imaging program of your choice. See how good you are at it.
I just wanted to add in this bit, as I'm reading this description of an artist working. One thing I have found about drawing my own images ... the curving line tool is easier to use, more forgiving and much more adjustable, but if I use the freehand, squiggly tool to make something, the resulting image is scarier. Compare the wings of the fly above (drawn with the curve tool) to the line of its body or its legs (drawn with the freehand tool).
The useful images Ozzie linked to in the comments field are very nice, but those with lines that are smooth lack a certain ... distinctiveness.