This magic card illustration, called Goblin Diplomats, features a bunch of goblins taunting the enemy, teasing him to attack.
The assignment was: a bunch of goblins making rude gestures, provoking the spectator. BUT the gestures could not be our-worldly and no genitals. That sort of left me in the total dark. 97% of what I could come up with was indeed in the forbidden category. So I started posing myself getting into the mood, Some of the photos I used for reference in sketching this heap of rude faces.
As soons as I thought of the winking hands with the thumb in the ear, it just did not feel very much like something a Goblin would do. “But what if he used somebody else’s hands? arhhhh; bIngo” Human cut-off hands in another skintone. That is a nasty little twist.
I seldom do close ups, so this was a great opportunity for me to try some texture in skin tones that would add interest.
Last thing I tried was a dark background. I often use a light background to firmly silhouette the figure, but in this case I thought it would be perfect for the illusion of mass and multitude, if the faces emerged out of darkness