Poor Sad Goblin

Fantasy Illustration Step-by-Step

I love watching other artists work and seeing how they work out an illustration from original sketch to finished process. Thought I’d share this step-by-step of an unfortunate goblin, completed quite a while back. I found this series of images while cleaning out my portfolio, and was reminded that – years ago – I had originally set out to illustrate fantasy. I got my first job illustrating wildlife and, well, now here I am. I’m thinking I need to go back and reconsider my love of fantasy…

While a lot of my work is done digitally (although…that seems to be changing lately – much more watercolor) my original sketches usually start in a notebook. In this case, a poor, unfortunate little goblin.

black and white fantasy illustration of goblin carrying orb down stairs

Next, I do a bit of shading in monochrome to add drama and get a sense of how I want the light to work.

black and white shaded fantasy illustration of goblin carrying orb down stairs

I start to lay in some colors. I use a multiply layer so the original shading can come through.

lightly colored fantasy illustration of goblin carrying orb down stairs

The final layer of color, with some opaque added over the top to enhance drama. Et voila! A sad little goblin.

lightly colored fantasy illustration of goblin carrying orb down stairs

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