Character Art – Degrad “Dirk” Camdy

Travelers, we have a very special piece of art to share with you today, as it served as the passing of the torch from one of our great artists to the next.  While we worked with Dennis Van Kessel across many great pieces of art, his schedule no longer allowed him to continue his collaborations with us.  But Dennis was always looking out for Tellest, and he introduced us to Wern Szuen Lee, who you will soon learn has been one of our most prolific artists in some time.  In part because of Wern, we have been able to extend our planned art pieces out through 2025, and as you’ll see in today’s post, that means fantastic things for the future of Tellest.

Today we’re going to be look at the last piece that Dennis worked on, that of our werewolf, Dirk.  Before Dennis moved on, he worked with us on a few poses for the fan favorite character.  You’ll see here that we began with a look that was a little more rugged and savage than that which we were planning for.  Dirk is quiet, calm and collected, and we wanted to capture that.

Dennis’s next set of poses were more akin to what we anticipated when we began working on this piece.  We took a few elements of these poses and put them together, creating something that made Dirk’s art eventually look like one of the best pieces we were able to acquire.

It was around this point that Dennis handed the work off to Wern.  With Dennis’s guidance, Wern was able to pick up what we were looking for, and develop a line art for Dirk that was incredibly catching, and we knew at this point that we remained in good hands.  Dirk has the look of a medieval warrior, almost appearing like a Viking in some ways.

The next steps were subtle, but they added to the overall feel of the piece.  We changed the boss on the shield to a more fanciful one that’s reflective of who Dirk is, and we also added a cape that gave him a more adventurous feel.

With the first bits of color, you could see just how fantastic this piece was going to be.  Dennis was known for taking a lot of steps in order to make sure that the art he was working on was rendered properly, and Wern did just the same, doing his homework and taking his time to ensure we got something fantastic.

In this phase, you could see a bit more details fall into place.  Some darker lines made their way onto the fur around Dirk’s face, as well as the material of his outfit.  You’ll also see that we stepped back from the tattered cape to a more put-together piece.  Though Dirk is essentially a ranger in some ways, and it wouldn’t be totally out of character for him to have weatherworn clothes, we wanted to show that he was well-respected and well-equipped.

A bit more detail brings us close to the end of the piece.  We still needed to do a bit more work on the legs and the tail, but nearly everything else was accounted for here.  You could see that shading and reflections had been put in place, and these things helped to make him pop a bit more, giving him substance.

And then here we go.  We’ve finally arrived at the final version of our illustrious werewolf.  This was honestly probably the best character work we ever received, and it is thanks to the work of two incredible artists who put tremendous care and thought into their work.

As I mentioned earlier, the introduction to Wern has been quite fruitful.  We’ve been working together for some time now, and he’s consistently bringing great quality, as well as new ideas to the table, and he’s helping to add richness to the world of Tellest.  Dirk was just the start of Wern’s journey with us, and I can’t wait to show off the fantastic things we’ve accomplished together.

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Michael DeAngelo

Michael is the creator of the Tellest brand of fantasy novels and stories. He is actively seeking to expand the world of Tellest to be accessible to everyone.