One challenge with these cards was making sure the element cards and tile cards look different enough that they would not be easily confused with each other. To that end, the card borders are ‘made’ of different materials – paper for the element cards and stones for the tile cards. The backs have very distinct patterns.
Another challenge was creating icons that are clear and distinguishable for people with low vision. When designing them, I would frequently step away from my computer to check if they were clear from a distance. I also used an adjustment layer in photoshop to check if the cards remained clear in grayscale, for people with colorblindness.
In the magical game of Dragon Dodge, two teams of wizards put their spellcasting to the test where dragons move at your command and the last team standing wins…
A simple yet strategic card-driven, grid movement team game with a modular board.
I met Hidden Creek Games at the Evergreen Tabletop Expo in Tacoma. I was selling my dice bags and displaying my webcomic, Nwain. They liked the art in the comic, particularly that it is about a lady knight. They said they were working on a board game and looking for an artist. They had been having difficulty locating an artist who could draw a female wizard without making her “too sexy.” They wanted the game to be family-friendly, and with two young girls, they wanted female wizard characters that inspired traits like intelligence and activity–not standing around looking like a sexy halloween costume. We exchanged business cards, old school style.
Months later, we met at a cafe and got down to details. I illustrated the box art first, and we slowly branched out to character portraits, tiles, and cards.
I created an illustration for the 1001 Knights Anthology! This is a collection of art, comics, and stories about knights, and thus perfect for my interests. Here I will go into some of my process for creating my illustration.
I started with a thumbnail. This is the basic idea, Nwain traveling from a sunny clearing into a darker place. A vague sense of the picture had been bouncing in my head for months. It was nice to have an opportunity to pull it out.
I knew I wanted to include a short poem with the illustration. The text had to be incorporated into the composition at the beginning. I wasn’t absolutely certain how long the poem would be, so I made a guess.
Before going further, I checked the “safe zone” for the eventual printed page, and adjusted accordingly. Then I changed the scene to include the cave as a framing element. I kept the trees, reflection, and pose, as they’re the essence of the original idea. The addition of the cave helps to emphasize this transitional space between light and dark.
Generally, I like to draw lines before diving into painting. It helps me plan the compositional structure. In the second picture, the red lines show what I’m thinking. The cave helps lead the eye to Nwain with a golden spiral, which is continued by Shade’s horns and Nwain’s arm. The cave opening has a slightly rectangular shape, which meets the smaller rectangle formed by the cave, the cave’s reflection, and the poem. The vertical lines of the trees contrast with the roundness of the cave opening. One tree aligns with the poem, again helping to anchor it in the composition. Nwain looks at the poem, too, connecting it with her thoughts.
Now it’s time to start painting. This is a rough stage where I’m primarily checking out the values (or the play of light and dark). It’s a mostly dark picture, using white and light gray to show Nwain and Shade in near silhouette. There are essentially two “places” in this picture, outside and inside, light and dark, with a small realm of medium light levels at the cusp of the cave.
Many hours and photoshop layers later, and here’s the final painting, complete with poem! Hooray!