4/3/24 Blog Part 2: Historic Sale FOW art – 3 official FOW Commissions – Origin Story My Altered MTG cards

TLC Workshop Assignment and Materials List


It's just a little over a week away, and I'm so excited to get to meet and work with all of you attending the workshop. It's going to be an awesome 3 days! If anyone is still interested, I think there is just one more space available. It's Fri-Sun, August 24-26. Pop on over to the TLC Workshops to register. 

If you're curious about some of the materials. The first day we'll be spending some time drawing with sepia and white charcoal pencils on toned paper. It's an especially effective way to focus ones attention on light and shadow, and how to handle the edges between the two. This creates the illusion of three-dimensional form and ultimately the models likeness. For examples and a short tutorial I created on that technique, visit the Muddy Colors blog.





Idealized Realism and the Human Figure

 The assignment for this weekend is to portray an iconic, idealized image of the essence or attitude of a chosen character. (This would be similar to what is assigned to an illustrator for an interior book illustration, character driven card art, or spot illustrations for a magazine or D&D manual.)


Your Task

Bring a’ bio’ to class of a character that you will depict from mid thigh or waist up. We're focusing on beauty/idealism so choose one (male/female) that you have an affinity for, and will provide the opportunity to portray attitude and charisma. (Think angels, gods/goddesses or characters from mythology). Bring a half page write-up about your character: no need to put your writers-hat on here, just notes and details about the character.



Character’s name

Character description: Bullet points about the essence of the character as if you're describing him/her to someone

Mood: What is the character’s attitude or feeling that you want to portray?


(Below is a sample art description given to me for the Magic: the Gathering illustration depicted above.


            TITLE: [Basandra, Battle Seraph]

            SIZE: 2 1/16" (52mm) wide X 1 1/2" (38mm) tall  

            Color: White and red legendary creature 

            Location: Sky

            Action: Show Basandra, a legendary angel whose presence heralds war. Like all Magic angels, she's a sexy badass, but she has fire-engine-red hair and carries a long cat-o'-nine-tails with steel cable whips. It's up to you to design her costuming and style; she should feel like one of a kind.

            Focus: Basandra, the archangel of war

            Mood: "The blood spilled today shall be sanctified in my name.")


We will only be working on the drawing aspect of the illustration, which will include selecting appropriate, powerful reference, as well as shooting supplemental photos for costuming or hand and arm positions. The final drawing can be drawn entirely by hand or partially composed in Photoshop and printed if you wish to speed up the process of achieving a tight final tracing paper sketch. Keep your design iconic, without complicated backgrounds or surroundings. Select design elements and symbolism that are relevant and supportive to what the character is about.

The final drawing can be done entirely by hand or partially composed in Photoshop if you wish to speed up the process.



Tracing paper pad 11×14"

Kneaded eraser

Pencils (B, 2B, 4B) or a Staedtler Mars Technico lead holder with leads and sharpener

Scotch Blue Painters tape 1" (style: delicate surfaces)

2-Charcoal White pencils – General’s #558

2-Prismacolor Sepia Drawing pencil

2 sheets- Strathmore Gotham Gray paper.

Sandpaper block

X-Acto knife for sharpening the pencils

Reference photos related to the character you have chosen. They can be printed out or on your laptop. Hi res is best.

(Part of the class is dedicated to selecting good reference to paint from. We will analyze the pros and cons of your selections in class.)

Items that would be helpful but not crucial: 

Digital camera (doesn't have to be fancy)

Laptop (Photoshop and drawing tablet if you have it)

Flash drive

If you would like a portfolio review please bring your version of that


Items we plan to have available:


Wifi will be available for culling additional internet sourced reference

A couple digital cameras will be on hand

A photo lamp for taking onsite photo reference

One laptop with printer and drawing tablet