I wanted to post this up yesterday, but obviously yesterday's plans were severely buggered, so I'll post up today.
Since almost all of the Zork artwork is still under wraps, I figured I'd put up a step-by-step on the main illo that's been making the rounds...
The Art Director wanted an illo of the main character (well, one of the possible main character designs, really) exploring a cave in the Underground Empire, carrying a light source and a map/scroll. He wanted the character to look a bit adventure-worthy, but not super-experienced. Okay, cool.
Here was the quick sketch and toned rough I sent:
They liked the composition, but felt that he was too confident and should be walking in looking a bit more unsure of himself.
I gestured out a new pose:
You can see some erased options for arm/foot placement as I tried to find a balanced pose that worked. You can also see that I draw the body form first and then add elements on top of it like the clothes, armour and belt pouches.
That pose was quickly approved (yay) and so I did up the finished line art on some thicker comic art board, using a 1B pencil, with mechanical pencil for fine detail. Once I scanned it in and adjusted the levels, it comes out pretty sharp and dark:
Before I started digitally painting, I reprinted out a small version of the line art so I could make a quick tonal study. Doing tonal studies like this are a great way to plot light and shadow, making a plan before I jump in to the colouring:
The blue is for areas of darkness and the quick orange scribbles are for "hot spots" of intense light or reflection of light. It's just a quick way to visualize light and shadow, not any kind of finished work.
From there, it's much easier to paint up the final:
I left some extra artwork on the edges as "bleed" in case they needed to crop it closer or farther back. That's why you can see the paint extending past the line art.
Anyways, hopefully I'll be able to post more artwork soon. In the meantime, feel free to check out Indigo's post about creating the new Zork logo right here.