Drums of War

January 5, 2014

12, Drums of War

It’s day twelve, and my Epic Fantasy Twelve Days of Christmas has at last come to its end. And what better way to finish off my series of epic fantasy art, than with the most epic of all fantasy beings, the noble dwarf? For the “Twelve Drummers Drumming” we have a battle-worn drummer, preparing to rally his fellow soldiers for one final charge against their enemy.

If you have looked over my site at all, you probably know that I rather enjoy drawing my little dwarfish pals. It’s something about their gnarly, crunched up faces, stout and sturdy figures, and gargantuan, braided beards that just puts a smile on my face. So, naturally, I had to include at least one in my twelve days of fantasy art.

I hope everyone enjoyed seeing what the fantasy equivalent to each gift would turn out to be each day, and that they weren’t too abstract a parallel to the originals. I’ll be honest here, I really didn’t give them too much thought, and tried to go with my instincts on what they should all be, as I drew them all in a bit of a rush.

Though I hit the drawing board rather hard each day, to reach my deadline on time, I actually had quite a bit of fun seeing what I came up with for each of the twelve gifts. Some turned out surprisingly close, while others only just matched up, but all in all, it was a fun exercise in hasty creativity and imagination, and I’m rather pleased with how they all turned out in the end.

For those of you who stumbled on this late, here is a list of my eleven other pieces of art in reverse order. Enjoy!

A Piper’s Song of Healing

The Lords do Battle

Dance of the Little Ladies

Maiden and the Minotaur

Swan Lady on the Waters

The Griffin’s Nest

Golden Rings of Power

Calling Forth the Birds

Facing the Cockatrice

Turtle Drakes Collide

Phoenix of the Ash

And, if you enjoyed this, you’ll probably want to take a quick look at last year’s Christmas post.


11, A Piper’s Song of Healing

For the penultimate entry in the Epic Fantasy Twelve Days of Christmas, I could think of nothing better for “Eleven Pipers Piping” than a musician acting as a magician and using her song to heal the wounds of a fallen soldier on a dark and dingy battlefield. We can only see one piper here, but I imagine there are several more (say, maybe ten more?) scattered across the field, healing the wounded with their songs. I’m also particularly pleased with the wear and tear evident on the soldier’s clothes and face.

The Lords do Battle

January 3, 2014

10, The Lords do Battle

My Epic Fantasy Twelve Days of Christmas is speedily coming to its close, with only two more days to go, I’ve reached day ten, and “Ten Lords-a-Leaping” at last. This picture was actually one of my first ideas when I envisioned this whole series of pictures, but obviously, ended up being one of the last ones I completed.

Here I have two kingly fellows from opposing kingdoms, who are at each other’s throats, no doubt, after meeting in an uneasy truce, to attempt to find a diplomatic resolution to their war-torn history. After one too many insolent remarks on both sides, however, they inevitably came to blows. So much for diplomacy.

I almost pictured it taking place in a banquet hall, with the two men standing on the table, but rather like the unclear and sketchy nature of their surroundings, leaving it to the viewer to decide where this scuffle is actually taking place. A thick forest, a damp cave, or even an abandoned cathedral, might all be fitting settings, I would think.

Dance of the Little Ladies

January 2, 2014

For my Epic Fantasy Twelve Days of Christmas, I’ve been posting at noon every day. But today, due to circumstances beyond my control, I’m a teensy bit tardy.

Last night I attended a paper lantern launching to welcome in the New Year, but as everyone’s paper lanterns soared slowly into the air, my lantern’s candle burned up and dropped into the snow before my lantern ever took to the air. Then, upon returning home, my internet promptly died and wasn’t fixed until recently this afternoon. I’m not superstitious in the least, but I do hope this isn’t some sort of sign that I’m in for a rough year.

9, Dance of the Little Ladies

Looking a little like drifting paper lanterns themselves, from a distance, for “Nine Ladies Dancing” I’ve done nine little fairies enjoying some festivities with a dance procession. And yes, there are nine visible little poses, each with her own individual style of dress and hair, though you can’t quite see them all from this size. I thought fairies seemed like the obvious choice for this particular picture, and had a lot of fun coming up with the poses.

Maiden and the Minotaur

January 1, 2014

8, Maiden and the Minotaur

Happy New Year!

As I’ve been creating these pieces of art, I’ve mostly been going with my first instincts for what each fantasy equivalents could be for each of the twelve gifts. Some concepts came easier than others, but with “Eight Maids-a-Milking” I don’t think I had any other ideas except this one. I mean, of course it should be a blood-stained warrior maiden with a pair of bearded axes battling a towering Minotaur. What else is there? If I had had a little more time to get all these ready, I probably would have done a full-on army battle, but as it is, I think it turned out rather nicely with just the one-on-one conflict.

I hope everyone had a great year, and is looking forward to new opportunities for the year ahead.

Swan Lady on the Waters

December 31, 2013

7, Swan Lady on the Waters

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. Its day seven of my Twelve Days of Christmas Epic Fantasy Art, which means I’ve passed the halfway point and am on to “Seven Swans-a-Swimming” being represented here by this graceful winged lady, as she touches down to take a refreshing dip in in a crisp, shining lake.

The Griffin’s Nest

December 30, 2013

6, The Griffin’s Nest

Well, I swore I wasn’t going to do so much detail on these things from now on, and I think I might have just failed. This graceful griffin is taking the place of the “Six Geese-a-Laying” and simply refused to be uncomplicated. I honestly intended to do a rough, sketchy style for this one, but in the end the griffin won out, and insisted that I give her plenty of fluffy feathers, as well as dynamic lighting so that, in the end, only the backdrop remained roughed in.

Even the male of the pair, who can be seen in the distance taking his turn soaring out to hunt for food, just had to have visible feathers on his wings as he flew across the sunset miles away. Maybe I can control myself better on the next one… maybe.

Golden Rings of Power

December 29, 2013

5, Golden Rings of Power

It’s day five, and “Five Golden Rings” seemed suitable for only one thing; being infused with magic and fitted to a gauntlet of immense power. This skilled caster’s already impressive powers are significantly amplified by the use of the five rings, and one can only hope that he will use his new-found capabilities for good alone. Though, by the looks of things, it seems a little like the power is starting to go to his head already, but maybe he only looks evil.

Calling Forth the Birds

December 28, 2013

4, Calling Forth the Birds

Well, it’s day four, and I needed “Four Calling Birds” so I thought the simplest solution was to have a lady spell-caster summon them. I’m not sure why I thought to have her summoning the birds from her dress, but it somehow seems to work. That little green glow by her face is the gem of her necklace, which, like everything else, seems to be losing a little of its hold on gravity during the casting of the spell.

The image is actually much larger, and has a lot of little details that aren’t really clear at this size, so I’ll have to post a close up of it later on. This one has honestly got to be my favorite of what I’ve posted so far, and I have to admit, I got a little carried away with adding all the little details. I’ll have to rein myself in better from now on if I’m to keep up with my deadline.

Facing the Cockatrice

December 27, 2013

3, Facing the Cockatrice

For the “Three French Hens” on the third day of my Epic Fantasy Twelve Days of Christmas, I’ve done a lone warrior facing off with a cockatrice. You know, those dragon/bird type things that turn you to stone if you look at them. A cockatrice seemed like the closest fantasy equivalent to a hen that I could come up with, and seemed like the best option for my fantasy picture.

I know, there aren’t three of them like there should be, but I’m just going to make it clear right now that I have no intention of always incorporating the numbers of each day in my pictures. Do you know how cluttered it would get if I did? And besides, based on his visible battle wound, and the blood on his sword, I’m going to say that this skilled warrior has already killed two of the three cockatrices, and is about to face off with his final foe.