Three is Company Picture

the last of a series of sixty-odd illustrations for a Fantasy RPG guidebook, due to come out later this year. The book called for three full-page, stand alone images, and a full page "chapter page" [link] along with a few dozen half-page and quarter-page pieces scattered throughout. The book will be printed in black and white, but I decided to do the three full page pieces as color paintings (see this one in b&w here [link]

The description called for "a man, dwarf and centaur walking through the forest." the commissioner also requested that the centaur be wearing a shirt (which went against my usual first instinct concerning centaurs) though not too armored up. while doing preliminary sketches, the idea developed in my head of this swashbuckling Victorian adventure narrative, ala Haggard's "King Soloman's Mines" or Kipling's "the Man who would be King," centering around the hunt for a hidden kingdom, fabled to be phenomenally rich. So you've got this typical Allan Quartermain-type guy, and his centaur traveling companion; a pair of freelance soldier-of-fortune types, who've teamed up with this old, rather devious dwarf who's agreed to guide them to their El Dorado-like destination, for a share of the spoils in return.

I wanted the whole piece to have a vaguely 16th century feel to it; it seems stylistically fitting for a piece that goes with basically a treasure hunt adventure narrative, being the time of the conquistadors' explorations in the new world, it's also a time where you can get away with having a dwarf and centaur in the same picture (centaurs, like a lot of creatures from classical, southern european mythology kind of went underground for a thousand years or so, only to come roaring back up with the renaissance and a renewed popular interest in antiquity) the armor and weapons were mostly drawn from 16th century "landschneckt" mercenaries, the centaur's tattoos from the Maori "ta moko," and the ivy-covered-oak and bramble from John Howe (ofcourse)

See also:
prelim sketches [link] [link]
Continue Reading: Centaur