Awful Good Art Retrospective

One of the first things I published was Something Stirs in the Blackscale Brakes, an adventure for Dungeon World. Looking over other Dungeon World adventures (and other content), I saw little to nothing in the way of production quality, but I figured I'd at least do something for a cover and call it good.

I'd owned a big-ass Intuos Wacom tablet for years but barely touched it (thought it'd get used for my Multimedia course but nope). I wasn't used to drawing while looking somewhere else completely, and despite trying to go with what I'd considered to be a simple Mignola-ish-look this was the result:

The next thing we did was The Vancomancer. I tried getting a bit more ambitious, but, well...

This was followed by The Skeleton, 10+ Treasures, and The Ghoul:

While I was working on 10+ Treasures, Melissa worked on The Mummy because hey we did a skeleton of all things so why not? She got a taste for class creation, releasing The Pirate and The Witch a few months later.

Looking back I still like the cover for The Witch, and I think The Pirate is fine, but the first cover for The Mummy was utter shit. At the time I was still learning the style and how to use the Wacom tablet, once way later I'd eventually replace it with a newer version...

...which was something we'd also do for The Vancomancer and 10+ Treasures (but in color since Melissa was coloring things by this point):

Melissa coloring my covers was a big, awesome change for us. It ramped up our production quality without adding to my workload (though we only had one tablet at the time).

I think the first thing she colored was The Cultist: compare the following cover to the the newer 10+ Treasures and Vancomancer covers above, and you can really see how she's improved.

For a more gradual transition, let's take a look at The Oni...

...The Golem...

...10+ Treasures: Sunken Treasures...

...The Cleric...

...The Rogue...

...and 10+ Treasures: Dwarven Vault.

Not Dungeon World related, but I'm really pleased with how the covers for Dungeons & Delvers and FrankenFourth turned out:

Ultimately I'm glad that Melissa and I toughed it out, and kept drawing our own shit. It's resulted in a consistent style that people recognize and love. We've gotten a lot better and faster: which is why instead of sticking with the usual amount of art we just started adding more to further improve production quality (also I reaaally hate blank spaces and blank pages).

We've bundled up most of our art into art packs, to help other indie creators give their work a consistent feel without spending a shitload of money. Of course we also do commissions if you want us to draw something specific. Here's some art we did for Tranzar's Redoubt (I think this was before Melissa was coloring stuff):

A cover I did for Tenet's Tales (there is a color version of this but I couldn't find it):

Another Tenet's Tales cover:

And a cover for Mort Tanis, something for A Sundered World that someone else is doing:

If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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