Before I get startet I think I need to introduce myself and apologize. The apology is for my bad mouth and poor English skills. I am from Denmark and English is only my second language. I was taught English in school, but mostly I learned it from from hip hop lyrics and old Clint Eastwood movies. So cut me a little slack if I sometimes sound like an aggressive, ignorant fool or an extremely impolite asshole. I assure you I am not an asshole.
I am Jesper Ejsing. I am a fantasy nerd. Ever since I played DnD for the first time I made the genre my own. When I read Lord of the Rings a whole new world opened up to me and I jumped right in.
Today I am glad I never listened or cared for the voices that told me to start drawing something else. ”When are you going to paint something serious, Jesper? And not just those big-boobed fantasy babes of yours?” Haven´t stopped yet and the practise, or stubbornness, has paid off.
I never wanted anything else but to draw and paint these scenes from a world that exists only in the minds those who play these games. I have been playing roleplaying games for so long that I almost feel like a resident of a medieval-like fantasy town. Or at least a regular visitor. When I illustrate things taking place there, I draw from memory or experience. Not artistic experience, but game experience, and I feel that is one of my strongest assets. I portray fantasy with an honesty, if nothing else. That is my humble mission. I think I succeed in one out of ten paintings.
Today i want to share with you a World of Warcraft card I did for Blizzard a year ago. Even if the illustration is somewhat classic and even naive, it represents a new beginning for me. I am perfectly aware how extremely stupid this sounds. Looking at the babe illustration you can only wonder what kind of a sad, simple mind Jesper has when he says it represents a new beginning, but let me explain…:
I have been doing these kinds of illustrations for so long that I finally became bored of them. Mean-looking dudes and babes with lots of weapons, ready to go; in every way, violently or sexually. I needed a new angle to make it interesting to myself again. But I didn´t want to change styles or anything. I decided that I wanted my characters to look more believable. Not naturalistic, that is certainly not for me. But more like a type, a real person, instead of just the ordinary Class A Barbarian. I began looking at H&M catalogs for small details like light under eyes, strands of hair or shapes of noses. Elements that would pull me out of my comfort zone. I also wanted the expressions to be more than just pornstar lips for women and clenched jaws for men.
This WOW character is the first one I did where I felt the face and the expression has something more than just looking cool. She has a small twist to the lips and a danger in the eyes. This may sound like something you learn the in the first semester of art school: Well I never went, and I only discovered this or realized that you could even do this, a years or so ago. Happy me… and why didn´t anyone tell me this from the start?
Anyway, I will show you the sketch and the final art work. The sketch has values added in Photoshop. I do this mostly for the art director – so that he can see the light and the shapes more clearly. Also it helps me figure out the values before I start painting. Having made you read all my sentimental ramblings about growing as a person, I would just ask you to be patient with me for a couple of moments longer. Notice the difference between the face from the sketch (clearly comical) and the final (more naturalistic; no that is not it… more believable; nah…well… better! Alright?)
It is acrylic on watercolor paper.