Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Goblin Sapper

-By Jesper Ejsing

This is one of my card illustration for the new Hearthstone expansion called "Goblins vs Gnomes"
I am a very passionate Hearthstone player so I was both honoured and excited to do some new illustrations for the game.
Copyright Blizzard Entertainment
The assignment asked for a goblin charging us whit bags and hands full of lighted dynamite sticks. He should look something between crazy and joyful, like he was oblivious to the danger and excited to see how much everything would blow up.

When I started sketching I quickly realized that I was aiming to much at the dynamics. I was drawing goblins running straight at us angry looking, head down and charging; crazy, but not fun-crazy ( I am pretty sure this is not a term used by psychologists )

The 2 first sketches I think is so much "right on". The distorted anatomy doesn't really work in the first sketch. I like the flapping ears, making him look like a dog with the head out the car window. I tried to get that idea into the second sketch also, but I changed the angle to be a lower viewpoint for more dynamics. Looking back I am sure the second one could have been a fine illustration but for some reason I was just sick and tired of all the foreshortenings. Especially since the face seen right from that angle would make a big goblin nose seem small and with too much nostrils. So when I made the third sketch I knew that this was the one I would like to proceed with. ( Mostly because of the goblin-nose )

This was at a time where I was trying to find a comfortable way if painting digitally. So I just started sketching on top of the thumb with grey tones until I could no longer keep myself away from colours. about en minutes or so. I used the digital colours as I would acrylics in the way that I work very transparent in the beginning. If you look at the goblins face you can see that there is still a lot of pencil lines not covered up by the transparent layers. This is not at all meant as a recommendation but simply an observation. These days I try to eliminate the pencil altogether and just paint straight on with colours.

On the bottom of the illustration I tried using a photo of some gravel to add texture, but it looked all wrong and out of place so I ended up painting it all over again.

I think this image show very well how close the final is from the Thumb. What I really like about painting digitally is that you do not have to change paper. I can continue on the thumb and refine it until it is ready for colours. if I keep myself reined in and avoid to much of the tempting effects and possibilities that Photoshop allow, I can keep the life and dynamics of a sketch right up to final. That is what it is all about for me.


  1. Hi jesper, when you refer to the transparent layers is why lower the opacity of the layer or paint brush with low opacity and flow?

  2. I always have the brush on 100%. I just pres lightly. Never adjust layers under 100%. guess it is a thing left over from painting.

  3. Awesome painting, Jesper! The card is not stellar, unfortunately. Do you play?

  4. Great face just can't leave that "rim-light" alone - can you!

  5. Awesome painting, the close up is really nice, its great to see how you translate acrylic painting to digital, the washes of digital paint looks so awesome, definitely unique from alot of the thick painting in photoshop most people gravitate towards

  6. Hey, I added that card to a deck yesterday. Fun to see where it started! Nice work.

    - Jameson Gardner Art

  7. Hi Jesper, this is my favourite art from the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion. Nice to know it was you that created it. Keep up the good work.

    On a side note, Deviant Art have been running a Goblins vs Gnomes competition for Hearthstone, there are some great submissions.


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