What happens when art is commissioned?

I’m still recovering from spending the weekend at Con*cept in Montreal. I was in the art show and I was giving a presentation, Saturday at 11PM! I think it went great, and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of con goers who turned up at that time. I started by explaining what happens when art is commissioned and then went into a small digital painting in Photoshop demo.

I thought it might interest you guys as well. My example is a piece I did recently for Chris Griesinger of Architect Games  who graciously let me use it. It’s for a post-apocalyptic game called Reclamation and the kickstarter page is here.

So Chris sent me an e-mail with his description for the image, basically a horizontal half page to illustrate visibility penalties. A woman in the dark holding out a lighter, we can see that there is some kind of monster with her, but she can’t see it. The woman is an adult and she has fairly regular survivor clothing.

Armed with this description, I did a bunch of thumbnails, vaguely to scale. I took my two favorite ones and sent them to Chris.

Chris picked Thumb A and he asked me to make the foot print a human one and the monster into a ragged human with a knife. He felt A was more dreadful than B which has more monsters but less suspense.

The next step was to take reference pictures to match reference A. This was on a short deadline but didn’t require too much acrobatics, so I asked my boyfriend to take pics of me for the woman, and I took pics of him for the monster.

Me kneeling in the lobby with a lightbulb.

Me kneeling in the lobby with a lightbulb.

Sylvain with a knife and my hand, holding a lighter rather than a lightbulb.

Armed with my references I started working, on a charcoal background and using the right proportions at 300 dpi. At some point I sent the image to Chris and he asked me to spread the foot prints wider apart and to add a 3rd one. I agree that it looks better.

Progress shots

And the finished image that I delivered. Note the proper hand placement on this one. Sometimes the art director might have corrections after that, but in this case Chris was happy with it and approved it right away.



  1. Pingback: Vanessa « Qitsune: Chantal's rants and musings

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