Recently in the "Sketchbook" Category

Designing a Book

page_layout.jpgInspired equally by reading "The Form of the Book" by Jan Tschichold, learning the typesetting language LaTeX and flipping through some beautifully designed children's books from the '70s, I'm moving forward with my long-standing goal of designing a monster book of the actual printed variety.


I had put together a layout for the book a few months back and mothballed it. After reading Tschichold's book, I was inspired and ditched my original, cramped layout in favor of a design inspired by the canons of page construction.

Since a monster book contains a lot of disparate information (text, tables and images), I decided to limit each monster entry to two-page spreads, with text and tables on the left page and the image on the right. Once this template is finalized, I'll have a consistent (though flexible) grid structure to hang content on. For example, I now know that each monster entry should be 200 - 250 words long to fit within the allotted space. The above image is a half size mock up that I printed out to see how the pages would work in an actual spread. The template is still a work in progress.

Inking a Fallen Angel



Here's what's on my drawing table right now. A sinister, fallen angel that is probably the result of too much Baskin, Barker and Black Metal. I inked the image with my favorite brush; a Windsor & Newton Sceptre Gold II No. 2 brush purchased last year at Guild Art in Northampton, Massachusetts. I use an open-mouthed, screw top container from my local beauty supply store as an inkwell. I've found that such a container makes it easy to load the brush without getting ink all over the ferrule and ruining the brush.

Rakas Torén, Weaponmaster



Meet Rakas Torén, a weaponmaster and mercenary from the snowy reaches of the Veiled Peaks. I've played this character for the better part of the last four years in an ongoing Iron Heroes campaign. I drew this image of the character so I could have an accurate paper miniature on the table, complete with zweihänder and obstinate scowl.

Concept: Skittering Skewerer

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This creature is tentatively called the skittering skewerer. I haven't quite worked out the details of this crustacean's place in the dungeon ecosystem, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a smaller, nuisance creature. In the final illustration, I'll have to add something to provide a sense of scale. Part Alien facehugger, part Half-Life headcrab and part blue land crab, I have yet to figure out what it does besides attack adventurers with its scythe-like front claws and make creepy clicking sounds. It should probably be able to jump long distances like a giant tick and appear in swarms.

Vote for Vermin

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I've done a couple of thumbnail sketches on note paper that I think have potential. Which one would you like to see made into a finished illustration and monster entry? I'm putting it to a vote.

A. Giant Fungus Beetle

B. Chitinous Cave Crawler

Sketchbook Archive - Kobold


Here's another sketch.

I'm going to be revisiting some classic monsters in the coming months, and what's more classic than the kobold?

This is an excerpt from Kinkaid's Kobold Compendium, the famed reference work notable for it's in depth observations on kobold culture and cuisine. Note the architectural detail. It's a good example of Classical Kobold, which differs significantly from Contemporary Kobold.

Sketchbook Archive, Vol. 1

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Concept1.jpg Concept2.jpg

A couple of sketches from the archives. The top sketch is recent, the lower one is six, maybe seven years old, though I still like it. These may be developed into monster entries in the future.

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