Just out is the second volume of Transitions, RA Salvatore’s latest Drizzt series. Here is a quick walk-through of the creative process, just in time for Christmas. Happy holidays, everyone!
Every project begins with a series of sketches. The theme for this series began with The Orc King, which featured a dramatic viewpoint looking up at Drizzt and Guen. In each cover, I wanted just Drizzt and his friend and the environment they were in, but loaded with story. With the Pirate King, I knew that I wanted to continue the theme by looking down at Drizzt from above:
The thumbnails evolved as I decided which story elements and architectural features would best enhance the concept, in the end finding what I hoped would be a vertigo-inducing vantage out over the lip of the parapet:
The last sketch was enough for me to gather reference and start the final drawing.
My son Tyler, currently enrolled in Evergreen college, has been Drizzt on every cover except The Thousand Orcs:
Reference for a black panther from the top was a little harder to come by. Google images is a godsend, but in this case it wasn’t up to the task. I tried many things, including photographing toy felines and following my cat, Pai, around the yard with a camera!
But I was able to construct the bones of the drawing:
The art director placed this into his layout to test the fit. Once that was approved, I was ready to start painting:
Image © Wizards of the Coast. Text © Todd Lockwood
Next up: The Painting
Posted by Todd in Art!