Insider 1-5-2017

In this concept art Insider, I’ll give you a glimpse into the visual development of Lord Tyrant Zaadesh. Our brief design notes were as follows:

– This is a second incarnation of Tyrant Zaadesh. He is now older and higher rank in the Skorne army.
– Zaadesh’s armor and back banner should evolve with his rank. His armor should be slightly heavier and his banner more grand.
– Zaadesh should still have his mouth and nose covered with either a mask or a new helmet design.
– Zaadesh is still armed with the same sword as he was in his previous version.

Andrea then got to work and sent me the following sketches.

The first reaction from Matt Wilson was that he looks a bit too much like Hexeris, and I agreed. After a bit of discussion, I made some quick revisions and came up with version 1b.

At this point we made the following notes for Andrea to proceed:

- Changing the banner shape might help separate him from Hexeris a lot. The single banner of 2a is different and kind of cool. Making sure he stays lean and doesn't have a similar mass to Hexeris will also help separate him.
- As much as I like the helmet design of #1, let’s remove the helmet and leave his half-mask.
- I liked #1’s armor quite a bit, but I'd swap out his legs with #2.

These notes were good enough to head into a final design, so Andrea knocked out some pose sketches.

One of the tough parts about poses is that we have to take into account production challenges, painting, and the model’s presence on the table. Two-handed weapon poses aren’t reliable over time, as there may be shifting in the mold that makes fit difficult. It also makes painting a bit more challenging, and casting a two-handed pose is always harder. So, after a bit of discussion with Matt Wilson and Ed Bourelle, I quickly sketched the following revision based on #1 but with a little more flair for the dramatic and having him casting a spell with his sword at the ready. We were also able to reach a compromise, choosing pose #3 wholesale from the lot and my sketch chosen as an alternate.

After taking another look at the last round, we also decided to have him stretched out a bit more vertically to bring back in the lankier Skorne anatomy. At this point, I received our final art.

As with all our concepts, this is the point in the process where I color the concept art to be used as miniature painting and illustration reference. Zaadesh’s color palette is very straightforward and went very quickly. And just like that, we had our final concept art!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this small peek behind the curtain on Lord Tyrant Zaadesh’s concept art creation!