Let’s try something new!

Somewhere over the last year or two, I decided that I’m not only a game designer and graphic designer but also an illustrator… Too many hats?! Yes – but what’s a boy to do? I just want to do everything! It started something like this:

“I need an artistic outlet for my creative mind. I liked drawing and painting when I was younger, maybe I’ll give that a try.”

It transformed into a question:

“Can I create art good enough to publish in my own board games?”

Into a challenge:

“I want to create art good enough to publish.”

Long story short, I think I’ve developed enough skill that I can create at least passable cart art (and maybe even good? You be the judge…) Card art is very small and focused and doesn’t have to have a lot of detail so it’s been a safe place for me to practice. I can hide some of my flaws while developing skills and creating usable pieces at the same time. At this point I’ve created (or co-created – Luke Green had a lot of leftover pieces he graciously allowed me to flesh out and use for this game) over 50 pieces of new original illustrative art for Helionox: Chronicles! Whoa – this is actually this is the first time I’ve added it all up and that’s not a bad body of work, if I do say so myself.

At some point I’ll get into the nitty gritty on my techniques but somewhere along the way, I started using a 3D rendering program. This changed everything for me. I was already quite proficient in Photoshop. Both painting and blending techniques have come naturally for me and I’ve got 25 years of photoshopping experience. Add in a basic knowledge of building and rendering 3D models and suddenly, I didn’t have to spend near as much energy on proportions, perspective, or other aspects of painting that are difficult to master.

More recently I’ve decided to try my hand at some cover ideas. I’ve got 3 contenders at the moment. Which one do you like best?

Thanks for looking! What should I focus on for my next Design Diary? Want to know more about the art and lore or more about the mechanics?

6 Thoughts to “Design Diary 004 – Helionox Art”

  1. Chris Spiesz

    My order is 1)Grav Shaper 2)Aegis Chamer 3)The Chronicler

    Game looks great by the way!

    1. taran kratz

      Thanks, Chris! It’s been a close race (I’ve been collecting votes for several different places). Grav Shaper and Aegis Chamber are definitely in the lead though. I may end up making some sort of play off series for cover art possibilities as I have a couple more I might throw into contention. We’ll see how a few of these next pieces shape up 🙂

  2. Derek O.

    Love The Chronicler, but the Grav Shaper might be more broadly appeasing and eye-catching for a box cover.

    Next diary entry? Art and lore is my vote!!

    1. taran kratz

      Awesome, thanks! I’ve got some good art and lore posts in the works focused on the Architects of the Helionox universe.

  3. MajikJack

    All of these are good, but Aegis Chamber seems to to have more of a sci-fi wonder aspect for me.

    1. taran kratz

      Thanks for checking these out! I’ve updated them quite a bit since posting this and I actually have a new candidate that I have yet to reveal that actually might be the one!

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