Town Square--cover illustration (sketch phase)



  • Hi guys,

    Not really sure what I'm looking for but maybe if you have any comments, suggestions, or notice anything way off in the sketch. Landscapes really aren't my specialty.

    It's for an board game for 2 - 5 players where people take the role of one of the shop keepers (blacksmith, trader, inn keeper, alchemist, farmer) and they try to create goods and then sell them to the wandering adventurers that roam through the town. Think of every adventure game ever but instead of the adventurer you are playing the NPC shop character.
    The game has a bunch of really unique features (for example: each player board operates in a completely different way; the blacksmith is all about using a card deck to craft weapons/armor, the farmer has a worker placement mechanism, the alchemist uses dice to build potions that have various effects on the game, etc.). It's being designed by Carl Van Ostrand (it's still in the development phase but I was able to play a prototype).

    I'm going for a very Hearthstone (World of Warcraft) feel. I plan on doing a version that has the different shop keepers standing in front of their respective shops.

    This could possibly end up fitting the "Draw 50 things" challenge (or come close). I don't have a lot of the detailed elements in yet. NOTE: That "thing" in the foreground on the right side is supposed to be the Trader's caravan.

    0_1494442827129_Cover2sm.jpg

    One of the problems I have is that I actually don't know the final size of the box so I might end up re-painting parts of this (or cropping, which would be easier). Another problem is that I'm not 100% sure where the title "Town Square" will go but I THINK it will go over the "empty" cobblestone space. The other option would be to increase the sky and put it up there.



  • @mattramsey Cool project! That game sounds right up my husbands (and sons) ally. I like the cool perspective here and the town is really nicely done. It is very hard to tell that the caravan is a caravan. So that could use some work. Perhaps reference if you have not done so already? I like the idea of the words being on the cobblestone rather than the sky. This way the town (the focus of the game) is surround the text. Kind of bringing home what the game is all about. I don't know what the final text would look like, but that may mean more space needed on cobblestones.

    I can't wait to see where you go with this. Good luck!



  • Here is some progress. Everything is still in the "flat color" phase (that is: I haven't added in lighting/shadows beyond some really simple stuff).

    The main box cover image will be, roughly, a square--so the sides of the town/caravan will be folded over and become the sides of the game box. I'm going to do a version with just the town (game logo will probably be somewhere in that ground area) and then a version with the characters populating the town.

    Maybe I should try and push this for the 50-things challenge.

    The main thing I am struggling with at this point is that I'm not really a "landscape guy." I don't know if my town looks OK or not. It's supposed to be a little cartoony/wonky but I don't know if the perspectives are too off or if the overall scene is boring to look at or what.

    On the one hand, if I put in the characters that will add the interest and then the town will just be background at that point. However, I kinda wanted the town image to stand on its own if it ends up being that the characters are not going to be shown on the box.

    The minor thing I'm dealing with is the lighting/time of day. In some ways an early morning scene or a dusk scene would be easier because of the distinctive color palette that it would "force" me to use--I can then put a lot of things in shadow and then the piece would largely rest on how well I depicted that interplay of color/light/shadow. However, there is nothing in the game that would suggest it should be at those times so it would probably be better to show it at like 2pm with bright sunlight.

    That particular lighting scene doesn't give me a lot of opportunity to "hide" any mistakes if that makes sense.

    Maybe I just need more references....

    0_1496930363166_matt-ramsey-cover-early.jpg

    Rough idea of the "Trader" character.
    0_1496930460570_matt-ramsey-trader.jpg



  • @mattramsey Hi Matt, I saw a few things in your painting - I don't know if you want to go back in since you're already in color... Anyway - I love the feel of the town - here are a few changes I would make. I hope you don't mind and keep rocking!0_1496939142768_35467654.jpg



  • @will-terry-art Thank you will--I am definitely willing to make the changes needed. I'm thinking I'm at the 30-40% stage right now, perhaps a bit more. So there is time to rework things. And really, if I need to I can scrap it and start over.

    Great points--I'll do those fixes.

    The only thing I'm not sure on is the cart and that is simply because my idea is to have that in the foreground with the trader standing in front of it. So maybe I could tweak the cart so that it is the element that breaks the skyline (where you have the sketch of the house?). I say "cart" but is more of a...I don't know...wagon? The trader's head will be just above those shutters on the side--to give you an idea on the size of it. This is the thing that would house all of the trader's wares and probably double as a temporary shelter/sleeping chamber.



  • Great start. Will's draw-over was spot on. The thing that jumps out at me is that the anvil and water bucket feel very lonely. Doesn't look very "lived in", I would add more props. Something like this:

    0_1496943195576_Untitled-7.png

    As for the lighting. . . not sure! I would google "fantasy village painting". The search results come up with a ton of different lighting situations. See which one strikes your fancy with how you want the piece to feel.



  • @TessW said in Town Square--cover illustration (sketch phase):

    fantasy village painting

    Agreed that it doesn't feel very lived in yet. I'll be adding things as I go, birds, equipment, maybe some vines on some buildings etc.

    Thank you!



  • Cool set up, and sounds like an awesome game! I would also say think about where your text is going to go, and how much text there is going to be. Once you have that info you can plan how much sky at the top and cobblestone at the bottom you are looking to have.

    Also, I would say having a character lineup and description on the back of the box might keep you from having too much on the front. Even if they were just little icons with cool boarders that crop the full image, I think that would be great.



  • @Tyler-Hallstrom said in Town Square--cover illustration (sketch phase):

    Cool set up, and sounds like an awesome game! I would also say think about where your text is going to go, and how much text there is going to be. Once you have that info you can plan how much sky at the top and cobblestone at the bottom you are looking to have.

    Also, I would say having a character lineup and description on the back of the box might keep you from having too much on the front. Even if they were just little icons with cool boarders that crop the full image, I think that would be great.

    That's not a bad point. I tend to be biased toward character art so, for me, the main interest comes from the cool characters and they should be on the front cover. However, not everyone feels that way so it will be up to the designer/publisher. Plus, I suppose, if I can make the town cool enough---give it enough personality so to speak--it will take the place of characters.



  • Here is the updated (pretty much finished) picture:

    alt text

    Might be a weird tangent on the upper left (tree branch/building) so I'll probably adjust it. The other thing is that the edges of the image will be wrapped around the box top. Probably 1-2" of it.



  • This looks great! I am a sucker for purple. But I am wondering what the focal point is? It is hard to look at one thing for long since there are so many vibrant colors.



  • @mattramsey wow! I love that.



  • @holleywilliamson That's not a bad question. The bad answer is: I am not sure.

    I will have 5 characters to put into the town so I'm guess that the main focal point will be the Trader (she will be standing in front of that cart). Then the eye will swirl around to the blacksmith, farmer, inn keeper and alchemist. Maybe.

    And of course, the title of the game will be on the box (lower left) as well.


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