Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Death by Header

Apologies for the scruffy mess at the top of the blog. Ideally, I would have started this blog with a perfectly conceptualized header already in place, but given my high levels of procrastination, particularly involving the creation of my own artwork, this was never going to be the case. As a result we have the pencil rough/nightmare above, as a place-holder, until I find the time to develop something rather more polished. In a bid to hasten the pace of development, I'm turning my progress with the header into a series of occasional blog posts, of which this is the first.

Figure 1. "What were those header dimensions again?"

Figure 1 shows my original sketch that I've cannibalized to create the header through some Photoshop manipulation and the addition of the title using New Land Contour font. The font appears freely available across the net, and though I liked it initially, it's looking a little cramped now, so I may go for something different by the time the header is finalized.

Figure 2. "Ape shall not kill snake..."

The original idea, riffing on the theme of "Fantasy Game Book", was to go for an old grimoire or tome, from which were crawling a hideous host of small but horrific beasts. Figure 2 shows some sketches on the development of this concept. Figure 3 also presents further details on the precise types of creatures:
  • Goblinoid, armoured, with weapon.
  • Ape-beast with claws.
  • Fanged scaly serpent with horns.
  • Fire-breathing bat-bird with tattered wings.
  • Slimey mollusc/frog hybrid.
  • Insect/arachnid combination with pincers and stings.
Definitely trying to cover all the bases there!

Figure 3. "All things foul and furious..."

Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that the header dimensions were not conducive to displaying a horde of capering beasts, plus an ancient grimoire, plus my blog title. So, I appropriated the ones I liked the best - the  armoured goblin and the flaming bat-bird - and then from nowhere came the image of the 'frog-ranger' complete with bow, arrows, and jaunty feathered cap, squatting amidst out-sized fungi. Figure 4 shows another sketch of this amphibian archer...

Figure 4. I'm sure he'll give Aragorn a run for his money!

Anyway, as and when time allows, the plan now is to sketch these fellows out in more detail, ink them up with black markers, and colour via Photoshop. It remains a work in progress, but at least now you know why. Rest assured, you can read about it in future updates right here (and nowhere else!).


  1. Maybe I'm crazy, but I like the "scruffy mess." It reminds me of the doodles we've all done or seen in the whitespace of character sheets across the years (only with a nice, dynamic color palette). In fact, the first time I saw your blog I remarked to myself how much I liked your header graphic. :)

  2. I think it looks great too!

  3. Hey, thanks guys! To me it still screams "unfinished work in progress", so I'll be tightening it up a bit and losing the 'thumbnail sketch' aspect, but the actual elements should remain the same. As and when this happens, well, who can tell?