Hey there folks. We’ve got some cool new art to throw your way. Our collaboration with Horace, AKA Skence, AKA Hozure has grown to include more than just characters. Today, we’re showing that off firsthand with the first of three scenes we commissioned from him.
Each of these pieces of art is a “VS” scene. We decided to start with Bolt, the hero of Son of the Storm and the upcoming Lord of Thunder. His first big challenge was against the beautiful yet vicious harpy arcanist Keilana. What we decided to capture here was the feel of that encounter, but with a kind of quantum twist. What we’re about to show you didn’t happen in the canon of the books, but it very well could have.
Horace started us off with a test, so that we could see what the battle could have ended up looking like.
From there, we had almost a storyboard situation, where he gave us a couple different options for the way the scene could have progressed.
What we ultimately decided was to use basically the test version that he came up with, and expand upon that from there.
In the full version, with feathers flying around and dwarves in the background, the scene truly does look as chaotic as the encounter in the mountains were. Bolt and Keilana meet here a little more on even ground, but it’s gorgeous nonetheless.
Stay tuned for more from this series in the next couple of months!
We’re back again with the last bit of artwork for May – another piece on Bolt Thunderfury. A couple weeks ago I told you that we commissioned two pieces of art from RedPear. This would be the first time you’d actually see the character with his weapon (though we did give Skence the opportunity to see this piece, which informed his work).
Bolt’s weapon of choice is a chakram. He can use it to channel his electric energy, but I haven’t really had much course to demonstrate it over the course of his current stories. In Son of the Storm, he was just coming to terms with being a human, and in The Enemy Within, he was just trying to survive. In the stories that will be coming out that feature him going forward, we will bring a little more focus onto that weapon choice.
So, this first sketch shows what we would have when we put a weapon in Bolt’s hand.
This particular one is a little vague, and with that in mind, we had to really determine what we were going to do about giving him a chakram that he really enjoyed using. Pear was decent enough to give us some choices.
We went with the one at the top there. It may seem a little Xena-esque, but it made the most sense for someone who was good at throwing a disc, but was also brutally efficient enough to use it in hand to hand combat.
Once we had our chakram all picked out, Pear went ahead with the second sketch.
You can see here that the chakrams we went along with were integrated into the sketch. He’s got a stern look about him, too. Maybe the need to work with his weapons means he’s encountering an enemy that requires his utmost attention.
With the enhancement of the final polish, the clothing is more layered, the chakram has some more sinister blades, and there are some special effects in regards to the lightning. As as we’ve come to expect from the excellent RedPear, we’ve also got the version completed in color.
After Bolt, we’re now completely caught up with Red Pear. It’s a woefully depressing notion, but we hope to work with her again very soon. Keep your fingers crossed!
I always jump at the opportunity to work with a new artist, and as it turned out, the stars aligned recently, and I was afforded the chance to work with Skence, a fellow I met on DeviantArt. He has a line of League of Legends art pieces that he’s been working on that I thought was incredible. Naturally, I reached out to him about the possibility of working a collaboration between his style and my characters.
We’re happy to show you the first product of that collaboration, just in time for Bolt month. Here were Skence’s initial sketches of the lightning powered hero:
As you can see, it’s a slightly different take on the character than we’ve seen before. He’s more angular and skinny. Not an altogether bad look, though, and I certainly don’t mind “different.” Skence’s take on the final piece was equally new in approaching Bolt.
In a lot of ways, it doesn’t even look like what you’d think of Bolt. Still, I’m in love with the style, and as I mentioned above, I’m 100% for a different take on an established character if it gets people thinking. That said, it has got you wondering if that’s actually the Bolt that we know. Hmm…
It’s been a while since we’ve had any love for Bolt gracing the pages of Tellest.com, but that’s all about to change. May is Bolt month,as far as I’m concerned. Today, and the next two Thursday to follow, we’ll have some Bolt flavored artwork for you, including one piece from a brand new artist.
Today, we’re looking at a piece from an established collaborator of ours. RedPear has always done a wonderful job for us, and the work that she’s done on Bolt is no different.
We started, as always, with some sketches.
This one seemed a little too “kung-fu” for what we were looking for, but we did approve one other one, which we’ll show you later this month.
Instead, we went with a third option:
This one, I thought, more accurately depicted the kind of arrogance that Bolt had, while simultaneously demonstrating his cool powers. We gave RedPear the go ahead to move forward with this particular sketch.
A rough pencil sketch later had us even closer to a finished product. Bolt looks more like himself here than we’d ever seen, and we were really impressed by what Pear did.
With an extra coat of paint, our artist made Bolt look even more impressive. If you knew who the character Bolt was inspired by, you’d nod in agreement when we said this is the spitting image of him. Finally, as she’s ought to do, RedPear gave us a full color version of the character.
Three cheers to RedPear for doing an amazing job with this character. And happy birthday to my brother Matthew who inspired this awesome character!
Alright, so it’s time to draw the curtain back a little bit. The person who commissioned Otto was the same person who commissioned Tatiana and Bolt: my brother. It felt great getting him involved, and he obviously helped me out a bunch by adding to the numbers on my Kickstarter campaign.
You see, Matt saw the work that I was getting done with my own characters, and knowing that he had his own inspired somewhere in the mix, he threw in to see Bolt envisioned even sooner. And he had big plans for getting his own family represented in Joman’s unique style.
First, let’s take a look at Otto:
That doesn’t look exactly like Matt’s dog Otto in real life, but the markings are correct, and it demonstrates the part of him that we think is a bit of a German Shepherd.
Of course, Joman also did the background magic that he always does:
I always love the extra detail that you can gleam from those bigger zooms.
But that’s not all for this week. As I said, we wanted to see what we could do about getting the characters together. So we’re showing you a super special collection of the characters in an awesome action scene. Behold:
Just as before, we worked on it in pieces. We knew that we wanted to get the characters positioned properly, and this sketch phase really helped us to determine which poses made sense for Bolt, Otto and Tatiana.
After that, Leo put them together against a foe that would clearly represent what they were fighting against. We went for the lineart presentation here, and you can definitely see it coming together.
Finally, we were able to see the final picture, in all of its glory. Bolt is touting his awesome electrical power, and you can the telekinetic energy that Tatiana is conveying to Otto.
I think Joman did a fantastic job here, to the point where I think he had to go into hibernation for a few months afterward. But what do you think?
Hello everyone! We’re happy to announce that The Tinker’s Tale is now out on Amazon. If you have a computer, smart phone or tablet, you’ll be able to purchase the story for the low price of $2.99, and be able to read it all in one convenient place.
In other news, we’re also going to be making Son of the Storm free for the next five days, so if you’re just jumping into the Tellest universe, now is a great time!
We’re more than halfway through our novella release schedule. For those of you that have been along with us all the way, we hope you’ll agree that we’ve been delivering a great experience for you. And for those just joining us, we hope to entertain you for months and years to come!
One of the things that I think sets Tellest aside from a lot of other fantasy outlets is the inclusion that we have. It’s not about restricting people from being part of the world, and offering them only a sliver of a glimpse inside. It’s not meant to be just words on a page. The world is in your hands, after all.
To that extent, one of the things that I was happy to offer through the Kickstarter campaign was the opportunity to have a hero created for Tellest. Joman Mercado worked at a price point that could not be beat, so when my brother asked if we could make a character for his girlfriend, I knew we were onto something.
Enter Tatiana. She’s interesting in that I had very little to do with her conception, and she had no prior engagement in the Tellest world. Still, we wanted to give her an awesome introduction, and that included making a character like no other. Here was our process:
Of course, these pictures barely scratch the surface for how awesome the final piece looked. I hope you come back next week to see how Tatiana turned out. You won’t be disappointed!
When Mageborn was being flaunted in front of people, it was during some very tense moments for me. The Tellest Kickstarter at the beginning of this year was the first big push I’ve made for the series and the brand for quite some time. I knew that I wanted to take the next step – I could always be a writer, and even one that faded into obscurity, but there was a need to try and do more. More for Tellest, and more for the fantasy community. That Kickstarter was a roaring success, and we had to race to put something together for the second book.
Mageborn was a very tame book, and so it had a very tame cover. It was whimsical and colorful, beautiful for sure, but since the story doesn’t highlight a lot of action, we didn’t want to focus a lot of it in the cover. Son of the Storm, the second book in the Tales of Tellest series, has a much grittier theme, and culminates in a lot of darker, colder tones. On top of that, it focuses more on the alien races of Tellest rather than the magical veil that surrounds the world.
We knew that we wanted to focus on the human protagonist, Bolt Thunderfury. It’s a tale that is ultimately about him, even though its told from the perspective of his adoptive father. But we also couldn’t set the dwarven people by the wayside. So, too, we wanted to focus on their ancient foes, the harpies.
As with Mageborn, we had a terrific amount of options and wiggle room. Here is a selection of sketches that we loved but set aside.
As you can see, they were all pretty fantastic. There were a lot of choices to be made, but we finally came to a decision.
There was something about that selection that spoke to me more than anything else. It had a brilliant focus, and we could bring more of the novella into the cover. After some further sketches, we knew we were onto something great.
Finally, we arrived with our finished product, which is just breathtaking. Check out the final piece below.
Warning: if you click on the picture, it will take you an uncensored version.
Bolt was a character that was very near and dear to me. Toward the end of The Enemy Within, I knew there weren’t going to be too many new characters that I was going to introduce. The trilogy was coming to an end, after all. But at the same time, Tellest exists as a kind of grand narrative. Bolt fits into the world a lot better than you’d think upon first read, and even if you read the Son of the Storm novella first, you’d get the first hints of this.
Therefore Bolt was brought to the front line for new art.
I should also mention to you that as much as Kaos Kreegan was loosely based off of me, Bolt was based off of my younger brother – my initial audience. Had I not had a younger brother, Tellest might have grown in a completely different way. When he found out that I had developed a character on him, it really made his day, and he went the extra mile, commissioning this character’s artwork, as well as two others that you will see in the future.
Here’s to Bolt, who we certainly haven’t seen the last of yet.