Dwarven Alchemist

  • Hi guys! This is scary for two reasons:

    • First proper post on the forum, hoping it's in the right place and "the done thing"
    • First time posting artwork outside the social media bubble of lovely existing fans or design-focussed communities... and in a space populated by illustrative storytelling professionals.

    So hey. With that out the way, here's an illustration I did a little while ago for a big fan of Dungeons & Dragons. He needed something to represent his character - a dwarven alchemist who leaves his dusty books behind to travel the world in search of new creatures to study and dissect! He has a particular fascination with Mimics, and keeps the baby one on his belt as a pet (the little treasure chest creature). He's less about the lab and all about living life in the field, defending himself when he needs to and taking advantage of learning opportunities only found in the wild.

    I'd love to know what you guys think. Did I capture the gist of the story? Are there any glaring issues with the concept or execution? I also have a process video on YouTube if anyone's interested in that kind of thing.


  • Looks great! I feel like he could be casting a stronger shadow on the ground. Feels a bit pasted into the world right now.

  • It looks great! Every time I look at it I notice another cool detail about the character. I think you really did a great job portraying the feel and personality of the character. I would also vouch that some more work on the characters shadow on the environment would be a nice improvement. Otherwise, the guy you made it for now have a great character drawing to show off at his D&D groups.

  • I agree with RJWoodworth. This picture is awesome.

  • Thanks guys! You’ve confirmed something I suspected about the shadow. Some more work making the character’s feet really rooted to the ground needed for the next one.

    Also meant to add, part of the job was to make him look like the client:


  • SVS OG

    I think you captured his smile really well.

  • This is really cool! I have a friend who is a huge D&D fan and he'd love his character illustrated like this too 🙂
    I agree with what others have already said, he doesn't look like he's part of the scene at the moment, just pasted on, so maybe work on your shadows and putting some more tufts of grass in front of his feet so he looks like he's actually stood on the path, or something like that anyway 🙂
    Also i've just looked on your Art Station, you've got soooo much great work!!! 😃

  • Great work! I really like the colour palate here and the image itself is awesome. I might expect a true alchemist to be a little less ‘jacked’ but who’s to say he wasn’t doing push ups and pull ups between concocting potions? Haha.

    I’m assuming he’s rendered more than the background to make him pop a little more but I feel a bit of a disconnect there for some reason, almost as if he was pasted on a background after the fact.

    I think you definitely captured the request of the client though. This is a fantastic drawing.

  • @hannahmccaffery thanks very much!

    @Gorillo the client trains in martial arts so the dwarf needed to look powerful as well. And yeah the contrast in detail was intended to make the character stand out, but if it’s gone so far as to be jarring perhaps there’s a better balance to be found.

    Thanks for the awesome feedback so far everyone, this is great!

  • The character rendering has a distinctive style. One thing I’m noticing is he seems to be looking to his left and not at the bottle in his hand. If he’s holding the bottle up to the light, I’d adjust his eyes so you’ve got him actually looking at it. Right now it feels like he’s posed to show the viewer the bottle and he’s looking elsewhere.

  • That's a great spot, thanks @RobinCampbellArt. He was intended to be shown looking through the bottle at some new marvel he'd collected or created, but I see now his eyes need to move a smidge to the left to be lined up convincingly. Thanks.

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