This is one of my card illustration for the new Hearthstone expansion called “Goblins vs Gnomes”
I am a very passionate Hearthstone player so I was both honoured and excited to do some new illustrations for the game.
Copyright Blizzard Entertainment
The assignment asked for a goblin charging us whit bags and hands full of lighted dynamite sticks. He should look something between crazy and joyful, like he was oblivious to the danger and excited to see how much everything would blow up.
When I started sketching I quickly realized that I was aiming to much at the dynamics. I was drawing goblins running straight at us angry looking, head down and charging; crazy, but not fun-crazy ( I am pretty sure this is not a term used by psychologists )
The 2 first sketches I think is so much “right on”. The distorted anatomy doesn’t really work in the first sketch. I like the flapping ears, making him look like a dog with the head out the car window. I tried to get that idea into the second sketch also, but I changed the angle to be a lower viewpoint for more dynamics. Looking back I am sure the second one could have been a fine illustration but for some reason I was just sick and tired of all the foreshortenings. Especially since the face seen right from that angle would make a big goblin nose seem small and with too much nostrils. So when I made the third sketch I knew that this was the one I would like to proceed with. ( Mostly because of the goblin-nose )
This was at a time where I was trying to find a comfortable way if painting digitally. So I just started sketching on top of the thumb with grey tones until I could no longer keep myself away from colours. about en minutes or so. I used the digital colours as I would acrylics in the way that I work very transparent in the beginning. If you look at the goblins face you can see that there is still a lot of pencil lines not covered up by the transparent layers. This is not at all meant as a recommendation but simply an observation. These days I try to eliminate the pencil altogether and just paint straight on with colours.
On the bottom of the illustration I tried using a photo of some gravel to add texture, but it looked all wrong and out of place so I ended up painting it all over again.
I think this image show very well how close the final is from the Thumb. What I really like about painting digitally is that you do not have to change paper. I can continue on the thumb and refine it until it is ready for colours. if I keep myself reined in and avoid to much of the tempting effects and possibilities that Photoshop allow, I can keep the life and dynamics of a sketch right up to final. That is what it is all about for me.
Jesper Ejsing was born in Denmark in1973. He first discovered fantasy through the works of Tolkien and got introduced to D&D on Christmas Day, 1986. Skipping through the pages of the rulebooks, he set a goal for the rest of his life: He would become a fantasy artist. He would make a living illustrating things that live only in imagination... one way or the other.
He studied Danish literature and Art History before quitting University for a freelance artist life. The early years as a fulltime illustrator meant drawing anything for money. Soon he weeded out the assignments that weren't historical, and after a while all he did was fantasy art.
When he finally got his first assignment for Dungeons and Dragons it was 20 years since that Christmas when the goal was set. He struck out on a journey, stubbornly, and at times ignorant to the realities of life, and 2 decades of traveling has finally brought him home.
Jesper Ejsing still lives in Copenhagen Denmark, with his 2 sons and wife, Lea. Along with paintings, he has written numerous books. "Jarvis – the Sorcerer's Apprentice" is the only one translated into English.