Art and adjacent by Perplexing Ruins

Holder of Stellar Reminiscing

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Hello everyone. Here is another felt painting. Based this around my idea of European portraits, Medieval/Renaissance (stiff, posed, narrative background) and the16th century Kometenbuch.

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An attempt at more traditional rpg illustration using pens.

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Your exploration in new styles as of late along with your art contributions to the zine, are very evocative. You have a great sense of depth and it shows with the pen!

I will say though, something about your last round of felt paintings was especially gripping to me.

I would be very curious what a combination of your recent pen style with your felt work would look like… :thinking:

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Thanks @LF_OSR! I think the pen drawings will be easier to market/find a home as a contribution. I haven’t had a place to work on felt paintings for about 7 months, they were all from the previous year. I think they are pretty awesome and unique, but also hard for people to include as illustrations. Perhaps we can arrange the purchase of one in the future. I’ve decided to try my hand at making more widely marketable work, hence the more graphic work. Cheers again and many thanks!

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I’m not saying you should give your (awesome) art away, but if you really want to contribute the indie, DIY, OSR scene, maybe you can throw one piece or two over at Basic Fantasy RPG forums. I say this with good reason.

Chris Gonnerman made Basic Fantasy out of love and he gives the game for free, with artwork contributed by the audience. And not only the core rules book, but also modules, bestiaries and supplements, many of them. The print books are sold at cost, very cheaply, but they have good quality and the game is solid. Chris is always looking for new artwork. Of course, it’s best if a piece is done with some monster or adventure in mind.

I can’t draw or paint, but I can write, and I have contributed some monsters write-ups and their stats, which of course is much easier done than a piece of artwork, and at no cost, so don’t feel obliged.

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@Vagabundork thanks for this message! Basic Fantasy was the first system and book I played. It’s what I am using in my solo game to teach myself, so I have much admiration for Gonnerman and the community. Couldn’t believe such a product would be freely/ so affordably available.
Never occurred to me they would take donated art, so I will definitely look into it. Thanks again

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I know nothing about drawing, but I’m a sucker for that black and white sketch look. And I love those details!

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Hello group! Another color piece here. Wanted to know from those in the know, are color portraits like this not viable for illustration purposes. The sheer amount of black and white, mostly line work that I see appears to be the prevailing style. I largely understand this from a historical and perhaps practical approach. My question being, should I place my efforts in practicing the black and white, if the goal would be to hopefully include work in a publication? My gratitude for any insights.

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Something about your helmets is so damn cool!

In terms of adjusting your style to what is currently prominent used in products - I would encourage you to avoid letting outside sources like that really effect your art. You’re operating in the day and age where unique artstyles are really celebrated in our sphere - look the success of artists such as Dirk Detweiler, Luka Rejec, Scrap Princess, or any of the other more abstract artists out there. Their style is very much “theirs”, and I consider that the same case with the color portraits and landscapes you do. I instantly regonize it as your artwork and that’s a powerful thing.

In terms of survivability as an artist, it’s good to be well versed in more traditional styles as well as your more unique style. This gives you some options to offer your services at different price points and allows you to work around what your client or publisher might be requesting. I think, if I had to guess, you’ll get more work with your black and white line work at this stage, but it will not take long for people to desire your color portrait styles as you progress in your skill (which has been shockingly fast!). I would encourage you to continue to balance the two, while progressing both styles, while you grow your audience and list of clients.

Double edged sword, I know, but I think you’re more than capable of wielding this sword skillfully with some practice!

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@LF_OSR, what an incredibly thoughtful and generous response to my query! You have my gratitude.
Really, the helmets are something I truly enjoy. Always loved knights helmets and armor, but trying to remove from the more traditional is the fun part (*side note: the Mothership illustrator has some of the best head gear I have ever seen!)
I agree about staying true to one’s particular vision, but in terms of commercial/collaborative, this is trickier. The artists you mention are excellent, and I really appreciate that their work willingly departs into their own, perhaps occasionally misunderstood realms. Onward ho!

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nice nice nice
love the style

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Thanks a lot! I appreciate that

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I want to stat your stuff up so badly, @perplexingruins - when I get around to it, Alan, it’ll probably be for DCC.

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@PapaJoe that’s really cool! I’m glad to hear something I make can inspire creativity in someone else. Good luck with it and cheers!

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Other than tradition, black and white line art is used because it’s cheaper. A full color book becomes much more expensive, but there are examples, like LotFP, which includes pieces like these in their books:


It’s great but also considerably more expensive than most. Other books with color illustrations are Silent Titans and the revised Neoclassical Geek Revival.

But you should not abandon your colored artwork, you might find interested publishers, but it’s not a bad idea to practice line art as well, of course.

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Some great points. Thanks for taking the time! That bottom piece is wild!

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I am releasing this pamphlet today. It is traditional tri-fold with two inserts. Print 1-2 double sided short side Print 3-4 double sided long sidePrint 5-6 double sided long side. The inserts have guide lines for accurate cutting so they may rest inside pamphlet.
I would greatly appreciate any feedback, but otherwise I hope some folks enjoy it. Please let me know if the shared file works incorrectly. I have many things to learn, but after being able to educate myself from and access so much free and affordable content, this is my humble attempt to give back. Found on the blog here: https://perplexingruins.blogspot.com/

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Neato, can you provide some context about what the pamphlet is about?

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@maderschramm the pamphlet context is a tent. This carnival tent, revival tent, traveling show tent, etc. Consider its mysterious appearance over night outside a town or village. Not a normal tent though! the cost of admission is high, and once entered, becomes a series of 8 randomly generated spheres. There is a portal timer, bestiary, and numerous events. The main event is the 8th sphere, in which a dimensional horror resides. There are some tags and tables to create variety and reason for this creature. My hope is that between the Keeper of the tent and the Monster, this can create spin off narrative for a party.

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