Painter’s Progress: The Dredmor Title Screen

It’s been a fairly brutal crunch of art-making for the Dredmor beta, so pardon me if I part with the greatest part of my usual verbosity [edit: Who am I kidding, I’m going to ramble on and on for the fun of it].

I knew it was serious when I started being able to walk into the Tim Horton’s down the block and they knew my order — extra large coffee, black — without me having to say anything.

Part of the polish I’ve been wrapping up to make Dredmor presentable is the Very Important title screen art. First impressions are important; the opening screen has to be /totally cool/ and show off the spirit of the game.

I present to you the evolution of the title screen painting and, in turn, my growth as an artist over the last year and a half.

Here’s the first title painting I did, in the vein of the Doom title art . The date was October 13, 2008, a month or two after we first began the epic re-working of Dredmor from Nicholas’ oft-abandoned side-project into the flagship release (if you will) from Gaslamp Games.

(click to view at full size)

Looking back, my god was was this ever an awkward image — the hesitant painting, the gradient background. The digital canvas was a frightening expanse whose threshold frightened me to step over. And yet the core composition, based on the Doom artwork, was set, as well as the first tentative interpretations of our cast of sprite monsters drawn by previous artists.

Next, a major revision from sometime in 2009. Though the character is essentially the same, the shading is more confident, the color-dodge and airbrush tools are well-abused (both artistic crutches, I think), and we see the hint of a background.

Then we have a strange re-interpretation of the character in a more painterly style, with stronger shading, done with the best of intentions. The eyebrows are starting to take off, as is only Good and Right.

[If you can’t be bothered to draw every bloody brick, you aren’t worthy of drawing a wall! And see how the sword and wand switched hands? And how the blue of the Blobby offsets the blue of the sky? I enjoy this!]

Finally, from just last night on May 16 2010, over a year and a half from my beginning work on Dredmor (having laughed, having cried, having been weened on the wretched wonderful black fluid vomited from the infernal machine in the corner of Gaslamp’s old wood-paneled basement-office), … finally we have something more presentable for the Dredmor beta, which is due any day now.

(And who am I kidding, I’m going to touch this thing up further for the actual release of Dredmor.)

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