A Sundered World: Cthon Work-in-Progress

I originally started doing my own art as a way to add something to my products, without having to resort to Creative Commons art (which I fucking loathe). Initially I planned on building up something of an art budget so that I could pay a fancy-schmancy artist, but the more I actually put in time and effort, surprise surprise the better and faster I got.

People seem to really like my art. Whenever I post a new product the covers always get praised. For The Playbooks of the Dead I even whipped up two new pieces of art for the equipment and director's cut chapters, and I've been going back through If These Stones Could Scream to create more original art for that (including a new cover).

Now that the holidays are over and there're less projects on my plate (and others nearly off), I've started doing buckling down and just doing art for A Sundered World. Not concept art, but actual completed works to be included in the book. All told it needs around 40 pieces (minimum), and as of today there are nearly two done.


The first I want to show you is where I am at with the cthon:

I wanted to showcase the diverse shapes and sizes that they can have, though these aren't by any means comprehensive. The starting racial move for the cthon is an elemental essence: you choose one that "powers" you, each of which has a different effect. Left to right their essences are water (which is why it's got an octopus face and plants growing on it), fire, and wind (which isn't completely connected, with small stones orbiting it).

Now Melissa thinks I can "do better", by which she means another, non-Mignola style entirely. So I'm going to work more on this one, then do another using the "other style" she has in mind, and see which people prefer.

EDIT: Here's the 99% finished piece! Coloring by Melissa.


  1. I think you should definitely do your own art. I do like your Mignola-esque style.

    1. @Charlie: Everyone seems to really dig it (and in a few cases actually ask if I somehow had Mignola did it himself). I'm going to do this same pic in the style that Melissa is pushing for, and then have everyone vote on the style they want the most, because who knows? Maybe everyone will like this other style better!

  2. Isn't Mignola's style his own? Maybe try to find your own direction, I think it's more rewarding if people can't exactly pinpoint your influences.

    1. @Meric: Well this is well over a year too late: A Sundered World has already been published, and a followup supplement should be out this week.

      I'm curious as to why you think it's more rewarding? People REALLY like the art Melissa and I make: I've done a bunch of commissions in between publishing RPG stuff, and I even did most of the art in someone's Labyrinth Lord module.

      If most didn't like it we'd do something different, but they do so I don't see any reason to change. That said, our kid-oriented RPG has a more anime/chibi style.


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