Mar 17, 2014

How I Illustrate

I enjoy making my own illustrations for my games.  It's not an ego trip, but a pleasurable activity.  The illustrations have a distinct look; they're dark and highly contrasted.  I've had a few Constant Readers ask how I create my style, so I thought I'd walk you through my process.
I start by sketching the basic skull or body.  In this case,
I want to create a close perspective of a male elf face.

I doodle and erase a lot at this stage as the features
slowly come into focus.

Then I save the sketch as a picture and layer
underneath my pen.  I also make the sketch lighter
in color, so that I can trace the contours.

Using a highlight pen set to gray with a
wide diamter, I fill in by hand.  To create
a layered shadow look, I'll go over the shading
several times.

I then simply delete the underlying sketch and add
any small details that tickle my fancy.  Another nice aspect
at this point is that I can layer in other pictures if I so desire.
I can also change the background and play around with different
shading techniques.


  1. This is fun to see the different stages. Well done, you.

  2. Always enjoy your art Dylan. Keep up the great creepy work.


Thanks for posting to the Digital Orc! Be sure to pick up a copy of one of my old-school modules available at!