A selection of the small black & white spot illustrations recently created for my Tales of Quahnarren gamebook. These small pieces are known as ‘spacers’ as they are used to fill or create space when formatting the pages of a gamebook. They are frequently utilised to prevent widows and orphans from appearing in the text layout, and also to help with the placement of written sections that are accompanied by a full-page illustration and therefore must fall at a particular point in the document.
These expansive grassed plains could not speak – however, they had their own violent tale of misery to tell any who would care to listen. Scattered across this recent battlefield lay the butchered remains of many men, their bodies destroyed by weapons fashioned for savage destruction, brutally wielded by murderous men possessing souls touched by an unfathomable darkness.
Reason, respect and any sense of justification departed in this theatre of war, by the hands of a callous and disreputable horde. Flesh ripped, bones were broken and crushed, and copious blood splattered and pooled over these plains. The air and earth had thundered with the tumultuous immensity of human slaughter and malicious intent, and billowing dust clouds, formed by the struggles of man and beast, had rapidly filtered the light from the bright midday sun.
An overwhelming and uneasy presence of death lingered and haunted this land, a location forever marked by a terrible and significant event, and the final quiet resting place for many souls.
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This is a newly created piece from my ongoing Tales of Quahnarren series of illustrated fantasy stories.
The written concept came firstly to me some time ago, and I had originally intended to show a much wider view featuring many visible human remains amongst the grass. But a chance viewing of an image showing a crow sitting on a soldiers helmet made me realize that a tighter focus would portray the scene in a more impactful way. This illustration came together relatively easily and completion time was somewhere around 15 hours. All the original painting for the vulture-like bird, skull and grasslands was completed in Corel Painter 12 using oil brushes, with final grass detailing and overall editing finalized in Adobe Photoshop CS5.