Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mouse Guard RPG Promo Process

My Italian publishers for the Mouse Guard RPG asked me to create an image to help promote the game being available there. And since the 2nd Edition recently was released here in the US (and the Boxed Set going up for sale soon), I decided to make a promotional image that would work here as well.

The Mouse Guard RPG is one of those most-asked about items from fans. I'm very proud of what Luke Crane created as a way for friends to get together, and share the duties of storyteller as they create their own adventures of mouse daring-do.

So, for today's blogpost, I'll go over how I created the artwork on the left, as well as a version with different text in English.

I knew I wanted the image to feature dice as a landscape. And since Mouse Guard has it's own special dice, I opted to use those. This pile of three gave me enough to have some surfaces for characters to be, but also feature all three unique sides and symbols. I positioned these a few different ways before coming up with this arrangement and taking a photo with my iPhone.

For the characters, I drew three. I'd planned to draw the three from the 2nd Edition cover of the RPG. But I decided to only draw two. Now I can't recall if I was thinking that drawing the grasshopper would give the piece some visual variety and improve it....or if I was just lazy and didn't feel like drawing the mouse with the sword.

These were all drawn on a sheet of copy paper.

Using the help of Photoshop, I put the drawn and photographed elements together. I also did a Google image search to find a decorative banner piece I could lay in (I manipulated the tails of it to fit my format). Doing this composite step allows me to make proportion and size changes to the drawings. I can quickly see if the mice should be bigger or smaller, or fix anything I drew out of proportion (It also allows me to only draw half of the bow and then mirror a duplicate on so it's symmetrical).

The Photoshopped composite is then printed out on copy paper and taped to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. On my lightbox I can see through the  to the printout and ink on the bristol surface like the printed lines are my pencils. I used Copic Multiliners to ink with. And as you can see, I didn't ink the text in the banner, but separately, once in Italian and again in English.

Below you can see the final colored versions again. Please feel free to use them online to promote the Mouse Guard RPG (at your shop, for a local game you are running, or to show your local store how much you want the game)

2015 Appearances:
Art-Bubble Comics Festival: Copenhagen: Nov. 14-15
2016 Dates coming soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Signed & Überdoodled Books

 I know not everyone can make it out to a convention or an appearance, and so it's not always easy to get a signed copy of Mouse Guard books.

Well, starting today, I'm selling off my remaining 2015 convention  stock of Mouse Guard books I have on my studio shelves!


For the Fall, Winter, Legends, and Baldwin hardcovers, I've signed and doodled my traditional mouse head in each copy. These books are all being sold at cover price because, just like at conventions, I DO NOT CHARGE FOR MY SIGNATURE!

To the right you can see the Baldwin the Brave books getting signed. For this year-end book sale, I signed and doodled about 150 copies of the various books so-far and will be playing catch-up with the rest as orders start to ship out.

For the larger 12" x 12" Art of Mouse Guard and Winter B&W editions, I've Überdoodled each one with a unique mouse drawing. No specific drawing can be requested, these books will be picked at random when an order is placed.

Below you can see many examples of the Überdoodles. (excuse the blurriness, I took these with my phone as I completed each one)

*Orders with multiple books will be charged separate shipping, but IF we can combine shipping into a single affordable package (depending on quantity, weight, and sizes of books ordered) we will refund the excess shipping charges after the order is placed.

2015 Appearances:
Art-Bubble Comics Festival: Copenhagen: Nov. 14-15
2016 Dates coming soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Monty Python Holy Grail with Mice...again

This week's post is in honor of the 40th anniversary of Monty Python & The Holy Grail. I was asked to do a commission back in July for Boston Comic Con of a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but with mice. I'd done a Mouse-parody of that film before (with all the knights fleeing the killer bunny), but since then I've changed my commission policies to not do "mice-as" pieces. However, I bent my rule, because A) The final image does look like something out of the pages of Mouse Guard and B) I love Monty Python and that movie and couldn't turn down the chance to revisit the characters...as mice.

The scene: Arthur knights Bedevere and invites him to join him at Camelot as a Knight of the Round Table. This is just after Bedevere conducts a medieval-logic-chain on how to prove someone is a witch (the result being they must weight the same as a duck).  I started with the components on copy paper: Arthur and Bedevere (paying careful attention to the costume details from the movie), the woman who was dressed as a witch, a duck (I figured the duck bit would still be funny since this time the duck is obviously much heavier than the mouse) and the Terry Gilliam draped Medieval scales).

With those components scanned in and assembled into a 7" x 7" composition (with the duck's head breaking the border) I printed out the assembled composition and taped it to the back of a sheet of 12" x 12" Strathmore Bristol and inked it on a portable LED Light Pad at a friend's house with Copic Multiliners (the 0.7 and 0.3 nibs mainly). These inks were the final commission piece delivered at Boston Comic Con for the customer. But I got a good scan of it before I handed it off.
And then, partly for fun, and partly because I think this piece will find it's way in to the 2016 Sketchbook, I colored it in Photoshop. I colored it live for an audience on both Periscope and Ustream. Sorry if you missed it, I didn't record it. But follow me on Twitter for updates of when/if I do more live art brodcasts online.

2015 Appearances:
Art-Bubble Comics Festival: Copenhagen: Nov. 14-15
2016 dates coming soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bastian, Fosgitt, Pride & Cook ink Petersen's Mouse Guard

When I was in Italy last year, I started drawing some Mouse Guard portraits on 6" x 6" bristol. Those were the pieces I have used for my speed-up coloring videos. But a few of them never got past the pencil stage. While hanging out with Bodie Troll creator Jay Fosgitt, Jay said he'd like to try inking something of mine. I happened to have a few of those unfinished penciled mouse portraits in my bag. I handed one to the other artists at the table thinking it would be fun to see how they handled inking in their style on my very loose pencils. Below are the results.

(who also wanted to color hers)

I also did one of my own (pencils and inks)
Partly as a compare and contrast, but also because all five of these pieces
 are going to be donated to the charity auction at the New York Comic Con this weekend!

2015 Appearances:
New York Comic Con Oct. 8-11
Art-Bubble Comics Festival: Copenhagen: Nov. 14-15
2016 Dates coming soon.

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