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Art of Midgard: Clockwork Knight

Art of Midgard: Clockwork Knight

Clockwork KnightThe Midgard Campaign Setting is available for pre-order in softcover and hardcover, and when it comes out in October you’re going to see some gorgeous art that brings this dark world of deep magic to life. In the Art of Midgard blog series, the Midgard illustrators share a behind-the-scenes preview of their favorite pieces from the book. Here’s Pat Loboyko on the Clockwork Knight.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books to take out of the library was a tome that detailed the history of robotics throughout the ages. I especially loved the section on 18th century clockworks and automatons, intricate creations of gears and cogs that worked in delicate concert to present the illusion of life to their delighted viewers. This pleasant memory is what I had in mind when creating the image of the clockwork knight galloping forward on her mechanical steed.

Wolfgang provided me with great reference for the knight; I loved the design and spent most of the initial sketching phase nailing down a horse that complemented the technology present in that initial image. It was important to me that both knight and rider looked like they were born from the same creator and existed in the same world. Shiny metal plates protecting gears and pistons, and circular, grated vents tie the two designs together.

After completing the design of the clockwork horse, I focused on creating a sketch that would be dynamic and powerful, one that would make these inorganic creatures of gears and pistons appear to gallop across the page. I decided on a diagonal, slanted composition to add drama to the image, and tilted the knight forward in the saddle to give her the illusion of life and purpose. Elements such as her fluttering cape and standard, the mane of her steed, and the out of focus background further reinforce this sense of motion. Finally, I added some kicked-up dust and soaring birds to add life to the environment and echo the forward movement of the horse and rider.

Clockwork Knight sketchFor you process wonks out there, I started with a rough pencil sketch, scanned and refined it in Painter, and sent it off to Wolfgang. Once it was approved, I toned the entire canvas in a medium gray in Photoshop and worked out the basic lighting. After the basics were there, I brought it into Painter and rendered the image with a variety of brushes, mostly a variant of the round camelhair brush, some chalk brushes, and several oil pastels. Finally, I brought it into Photoshop for some last-minute adjustments to contrast, saved it, and sent it off for final approval.

I hope this gives you some insight into my work process for creating an image for the Midgard Campaign Setting. It was a great project to work on, and I thoroughly enjoyed contributing artwork to it. Hopefully you will have just as much fun adventuring in this fascinating world of twisting alleyways, haughty kobold kings, and valiant clockwork knights!

Artist Bio: Pat Loboyko began his artistic career at the tender age of four, when his parents gave him crayons and scrap paper to help combat his restlessness during weekly Sunday mass. Since then his medium of choice has evolved from crayon to watercolor to Wacom tablet, and he has left the pews of St. Nicholas to create artwork in the more appropriate confines of his lovely little hovel in Logan Square. A professional illustrator since 2003, he has worked for a myriad of gaming companies and publishers, including Games Workshop, Green Ronin, Fantasy Flight, White Wolf, J!NX, Cubicle 7, and Kobold Press. He has contributed artwork to the Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game and was the lead artist on Witch Hunter: The Invisible World and the newest edition of Arcanis, both published by Paradigm Concepts. Pat refuses to take part in edition wars, crusades for the return of ROM to Marvel Comics, and sincerely hopes you enjoy his artistic contributions to the fantastic Midgard setting.

Follow Pat’s blog at http://patloboyko.blogspot.com/

6 thoughts on “Art of Midgard: Clockwork Knight”

  1. Great stuff Pat!

    Any chance you remember the name of the robotics history book you referred to in the opening paragraph of your post? I’d like to look for a copy for my own daughter [and, myself too, I suppose] to read.

  2. Morgan Boehringer

    Hmm. That reminds me. When *I* was a kid, I had a largish book called, simply enough, ROBOT with a black cover, a silver robot’s head and cutout eyes where the “o” appeared in rObOt.

    It detailed the popular culture history of robots and associated tropes including the early clockwork dolls, Golem, R.U.R, the famed false clockwork magician trick and other famous “clockwork” oddities, frauds and ideas (I seem to remember a clockwork fencer bloodying a human opponent); an old cover from the seminal SF magazine Metal Hurlant (Heavy Metal anyone?) depicting two sultry fembots attacking one another (ooh, those continentals!); and lots of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s comic and film images – Buck Rogers, Star Wars (of course) and a bazillion other robot-related things. A very in depth book on how popular culture has perceiced and embraced all things “robotic” – and although i was a kid, it was kinda somehow not a kids book per se.

    Sigh. I haven’t thought about that book for a *long* time. Thanks guys. An inspiring trip down memory lane was just had.

  3. Hey guys, glad you liked the image! Bradley, try as I might, I could not remember the name of the book…until Morgan shows up in the next post. The book he describes, with the cutout robot eyes, is definitely the book I was referring to! Thanks for the save, Morgan; now I gotta go check Amazon and see if it’s still in print!

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