Tag Archives: Art

Art – Cast of Arise

Hey there folks!

We have just a quick one for you this week, as I’m settling back into things after a loss in the family.

I love working things out with new artists, and Rigrena has been one of the ones I happily put into the win column in the last year.  She did some emergency work for us for the Kickstarter in September, and we’ve decided to use her again.

We utilized Rigrena’s skills for promotional work on our last book that’s releasing this year, Arise.  The sequel to Awake, we wanted to see her interpretation on Venathryn and Maravek, and we expanded it to our other two heroes, Vandelas and Faradorn.

The finished version is very impressive.  I’m a big fan of the beautiful background she put together for us, too.

So what do you think?  Do you like Rigrena’s artwork for Tellest? Should we get her to do more stuff fairly soon??  Sound off in the comments and let us know your feelings!

Character Art – Kaos Kreegan

Hi there everyone!  We’re knee deep in Kickstarter right now, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you.  We still have a ton of content to talk about, and we’re not going to let our campaign get in the way of that.

And what better way to celebrate where we’re going than to look at where we’ve been?  Today, we’re happy to show off the original Tellest hero; the guy that started it all: Kaos Kreegan.

Kaos Desaturated

I clearly have a soft spot in my heart for Kaos.  In our interview, I admitted that he’s kind of a straw man—he’s a morally white character who has values and a personality that I would personally aspire to.  Which is why I have to break him.

In this first draft picture, you can see that Hozure did us a solid and gave us the awesome flaming sword, Wildfire.  Maybe this is at the hind end of the trilogy where he made his debut.

Kaos Transparent

We follow up with a beautiful color version of the piece.  Kaos means business here, and he’s ready to tackle whatever odds are before him.  One of the things that Hozure is excelling at is different textures.  You can see that by looking at the various components of Kaos’ outfit.

Kaos Background

Finally, we get the piece with a background and a little under-piece that gives everything a little more presence.

We’re looking forward to showing off more of the heroes of the original trilogy throughout the year, but we’ve got a new hero that we’re showing off next week!  Stay tuned!

Alicia vs Undead

Hey there folks!  As you’ll notice, Hozure’s awesome rendition of Venathryn and Narallyndra versus the goblins has fallen off the front page.  That means it’s time for another new piece of art from him!

This time, we’re focusing on his interpretation of one of our other heroines, Alicia Mane, fighting against the beings that would surely fall to her fastest, a horde of undead.

Alicia 1

Here, you can see the preparatory steps we took to plan the scene. We knew very well what we were aiming for, and even from the next draft, Hozure crushed it.

Alicia 2

Believe it or not, this is still a work-in-progress.  At this point, it’s like… what!?  There were some more things to keep working on. Alicia has twin powers: fiery magic, and a more clerical set of powers (if this was Final Fantasy, she’d be a red mage).  But we’ve never been able to demonstrate her clerical powers in art form yet.  This is as close as we ever went, but the structure of the scene disguises her left hand, and we don’t quite see that beam of light as one of her spells.

Alicia 3

We experimented, then, with pushing the main skeleton back…

Alicia 4

…but even with that extra room, it didn’t quite give us what we were looking for.

Alicia 5

So we changed the beam of holy light into a fire blast instead. Hozure also added another skeleton to the top of the crypt for good measure!

This was the last scene in the set of three that we ended up with. We still have more collaborative work to show off with this fantastic artist, but for now, this is the last “scene” that we’ve done.  We’re hoping to make up for that soon though.  Stay tuned for more from our artists next week!

Art – Narallyndra Figurine

Hello there everyone.  It’s time for another bit of art from the world of Tellest, and we have another treat from Skence (who now goes by Hozure).  His latest and greatest is the elf mage-in-training, Narallyndra.  We haven’t really had a lot of material to show for her, but she’s destined for great things, don’t you doubt that.

We start off with a nice greyscale version of the character.

7_Tellest Nal_75Clear_Desaturated

Hozure gave her the nice little skirt that she first encountered Kaos in.  She had playful sandals and an unassuming look that could cause real trouble for anyone who didn’t know just how powerful she was becoming.  She also has a half staff, which you don’t see too often.  In the book, she was written with a wand, but I think this actually takes the cake—I prefer Hozure’s interpretation.

7_Tellest Nal_75Clear

After that, a dash of color clearly gives the character a warmth that she might not otherwise have.  She’s clearly one with nature—maybe a druid at first glance.

7_Tellest Nal_75

And here we are with our final cut.  Narallyndra definitely carries herself as a bit of a badass.  Again, it’s easy to dismiss her as just a pretty face, but she’s got powers that would really change your day for the worse if she wanted.  That’s the benefit of learning from a sorcerer like Wispus.

Character Art – Zoe Hart

We’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of different artists of different styles over the past two years.  Luck also had a lot to do with getting some of our later story characters some time in the spotlight.

One of those characters is Zoe Hart, a second generation hero who features in As Darkness Falls along with her brother (an awesome character, who as of yet has still not graced us with his presence) and her niece.  Zoe is such an integral character because, despite being someone for David Garus to ogle, she’s strong and dependable in her own right.

Of course, John Becaro’s distinctive style mostly focuses on the ogling.

ZOE Sketch Visibility

John started us off with a rough sketch so that we could see the idea of where he was going with the character.  Clearly he used June Jenssen’s artwork as his starting point.  Zoe’s outfit is very much in line with what it was in June’s work.  Of course, John’s piece utilizes more curves and provocative posing.

ZOE color flats

Some flat colors after that gave the second generation hero a little more character and presence.  She uses twin sais, but thus far we’ve only seen her wielding one.  Of course, this might have a lot to do with her chipper attitude!

ZOE byjohnbecaro

After that, John finished up with the detail, and put Zoe in a nice lush background.  She’s definitely a little more top-heavy than we would have expected, but it’s still a very well done piece.

We’ve got one more piece due from John Becaro.  Stay tuned for that!

Art – Lyla Brenna Figurine

Hello everyone!

It’s getting to be that time.  I think we’ve seen a lot of Tales of Tellest and Bindings of Fate characters, and it’s time to continue along to characters who have made a big splash in some of our other works.

We’ve seen Lyla Brenna a few times, but it’s Skence’s turn to really shine a light to her.  His distinct style is sure to make her appealing, and we can’t wait to show the warrior huntress to you in all her glory!

Lyla Brenna Desaturated

Lyla is a warrior from Saveon who was recruited by Tarson when her country was invaded.  She’s been used primarily as a spy, because her beauty can be somewhat disarming.

Lyla Brenna Transparent

Every single one of our artists have done an awesome job and making her armor look incredibly attractive.  And Lyla herself is captured gorgeously in this colorized version of the piece.

Lyla Brenna

In this piece, you get the full effect, and understand just how good Skence is at his job.  He did an awesome job with Alicia, and now he’s done a wonderful job with Lyla as well.

Which of his pieces do you like best so far?

Art – Jadie Rivers by June Jenssen Part Two

Two weeks ago, we were lucky enough to show you the beginning stages of another of June Jenssen’s pieces of art.  We commissioned her to work on Aaron Canton’s character, Jadie Rivers.  It’s been a very interesting thing, having two people who I’ve never met (beyond speaking to on the internet) come together to make a character and a visual element that’s so evocative.  I’m proud of the relationships we’ve forged, and I think the product of that relationship is magnificent to behold.

Picking right up where we left off, this is June’s follow-up to the third sketch she made.

Jadie 4

As you can see, there are more highlights on the picture, and you can see the textures a little better.  If it was even possible, it’s beginning to look like an even more complete piece.

Jadie 5

Even more highlights help to make Jadie’s top and hair pop a little bit more.  At this point, June told me she had to let it “simmer” while she figured out what came next for the piece.  If she had told me it was done, I wouldn’t have had any problems with it.

Jadie Finished

This was the final version of the piece that June had worked on.  She managed to put together a beautiful portrait of a character that I hope to see a lot more of in the Tellest universe.  Jadie Rivers is an awesome addition to our literary world, and I hope Aaron Canton is proud of her inclusion!

Art: Leah Tremaine Sprite

Well… now things are getting weird.

There would seem like there would be no reason for Leah, the littlest kobold, to get her own sprite for anything.  After all, she seemed almost too tiny to be able to even defend herself in the titular story that she was known for.

Time has been good to the minuscule kobold, though, and she’s a hero in her own right when she’s older.  She joins the ranks of Benton Kearst in this mystery project that we’re speaking in such hushed tones.

Leah 1

Not much to speak of there, is she?  Still, as with every project, I’m always really interested in seeing the beginnings of an art piece.

Leah 2

Leah quickly gained more form, and you can see that she’s wearing her outfit from the unofficial cover of the story that we released.

Leah 3

A little bit of shading and detailing helped her out quite a bit.  She was holding onto some flowers in this update… another clear reference to that cover that Kimirra did.

Leah 4

With even more detail, you could see the textures of her clothing, and the more accurate shape of her head and face.

Leah 5

Let there be color!  As the background fades to white, our little kobold received a fresh coat of paint.  Still had those flowers.  What could they be for?

Leah 6

Just maybe they were hiding a deadly blade instead!  Alright, that’s not exactly what happened.  There was a little bit of miscommunication with the artist early on, but he nailed it with the modifications.

Leah 7

Leah had a tiny pig nose in the version before, so we managed to put things together more neatly in this final version.  Leah grows up to be quite the rogue, drawing on her experiences in the Cirque du Malorum to help her in her new profession.  Rumor is that she still keeps in touch with the Destrites.

And just like with Benton, here’s a more pleasantly sized version of the character so that you can see her in all her glory:

Leah 7 Sized

We’ll be back in a few weeks with another member of this mystery project.  Intriguing!

Art – Groomsmen Art

This is the final bit of the wedding related artworks that you’ll see from us!  I know, it’s very sad, but everything about our wedding was glorious.  There was only the tiniest bit of drama, and it doesn’t stand up at all to how amazing the whole experience was.  So don’t fret… just enjoy this latest piece of artwork.

One of the things that I wanted to do was make sure my groomsmen felt very appreciated.  They took me on an awesome bachelor party (white water rafting, could not be happier), and they all did a great job helping out the day of the wedding.

One of the things that I got them was a personalized flight paddle and beer glasses so that they had something practical (and a little nod to the rafting trip).  But I also wanted to show these guys how I see them.  They’re all heroes in their own way, and they’ve inspired me in ways that the don’t even know.  With that in mind, we ended up going to work trying to get a cool portrait done with the Tellest characters that they helped me to create over the years.

My initial aim was to try and get RedPear, who has always done an awesome job with the characters, to do this ensemble piece. Unfortunately, because of school related work, we were unable to collaborate.  She sent me to her friend Yanisaran though, who I’m happy to say took me up on the offer.

The first thing to make sure we had down was the way Eclipse looked.  He was a character who was only briefly seen in The Bindings of Fate, but began to play a big part in the second book an onward. Yanisaran took the references shot that I gave her and put together a decent sketch of the character:




After that, it was time to put together the sketches of the full piece.


Groomsmen Rough 1


Groomsmen Rough 2


As it grew, we were able to determine more of what it was going to end up looking like.  One of the problems with some of these initial sketches is that you don’t necessarily know what’s open to interpretation sometimes, and what is aiming at going toward the final piece.




The outfits and everything ended up looking really, really cool, but you’ll notice that the characters didn’t quite end up looking like their counterparts in the other art that we had commissioned.  Yanisaran did an awesome job, but the characters looked a bit too young for the roles they were trying to fulfill.  Knowing that she didn’t have the time for any sweeping changes, I made an 11th hour, Hail Mary pass to Leo.




After a substantial amount of begging, I was able to convince Leo to take on one last wedding related task before the wedding… he managed to get all this done within a two week period.  He really saved the day.  While the original picture didn’t really need any triage—it’s a great piece of work—it just didn’t look too much like the people I was giving it to as a gift.  Leo had already worked with every one of the characters before, so I knew he had the capability to really put a decent finishing touch on the piece.




We realized early on that updating the faces meant that the bodies didn’t look quite right, so Leo went the extra mile and really pushed himself to get everything looking spectacular.  He really knocked this one out of the park.


Bolt, Eclipse, Kaos, David, Steel Tip, Christopher (L to R).


I’m also very happy to say that these ended up being a big hit.  I threw them in some decent picture frames and delivered them to the guys, and they opened them up the day before the wedding.




I want to thank all the artists for helping to make that such an awesome memory.  This was really an ensemble effort that goes beyond just what you see here.  It’s possible only because of all the work that people have been doing over the past two years with these characters, and I could not be more appreciative of all those labors.

I know one of the guys already has it hanging up in their house.

Let me send you off with one more picture.  This is all of the guys in real life (plus the happy bride, of course!):

Groomsmen in Real Life
Dave (David), Matt (Bolt), Rhianna, Mike (Kaos), Kevin (Steel Tip) and Kiran (Eclipse), from left to right. Oh, and that’s Chris (Christopher) in the back.

Art: Maximus Figurine by Skence

Well now, we’re about to wrap up a segment!  It’s always a little bittersweet when our time with an artist runs out.  On one hand, we managed to get a lot of impressive work out of them.  On the other one, sometimes we don’t know when we’ll have the opportunity to work with them again.  In this case, we already have some cool ideas to run with as it pertains to Skence, but we’ll have to save that for later in the year.

As for now, we’ll finish up this segment with his (in my opinion) most impressive piece for us: Maximus and Equinicus.

Maximus Sketches


Skence started off with some sketches, (including that really funny one right above #5).

Maximus Black and White


After that, we moved on to a black and white sketch of the duo. Rhianna’s painting served as an inspiration for the clockwork steed, and he did a pretty cool job of capturing it.

Maximus Complete


Finally, Skence added some color to it.  Obviously, this Maximus is older, but he preserved a lot of the color from the cover from The Tinker’s Tale that Leo so lovingly crafted.  I was very happy with this final piece.  Skence did an awesome job.  Cross your fingers for more collaborations with him in the future!