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.
I had never heard of you before so i am really glad to have discovered your work through this blog. Really looking forward to see more from you!
Always a big fan of your work Jesper, I do like the change in the expression it's easy to notice and it does make the character more appealing.
This is quickly becoming my favorite blog to read. Thanks for sharing, Jesper. It turned out fantastic!
faces are always hard to do well, but they're the most important thing to get right. and I enjoy sentimental ramblings..
The shape of the mouth and brows between the two does make a big difference.
Just a small nitpick (Ya I know everyones a critic), but her arm holding the bow is facing the wrong direction for her to be able to use it. Her palm needs to be facing out.
I remember having the same epiphany myself before. A little bit of character/emotion makes a big difference in one's figures doesn't it?
God, wow. I love it!
Your paintings always blow me away, so I'm delighted to see you on the blog! I look forward to more of your work and thoughts. 🙂