Author Archives: bpalas

Curse of Strahd D&D Commission

Another Curse of Strahd party commission! I think this is the fourth one I’ve done now? It’s evidently quite a popular module — I can probably draw that Castle Ravenloft in the background from memory by now!  I actually played briefly in a Curse of Strahd campaign recently, until I had to drop out because of lack of time. Maybe one of these days…  Anyway, this was a really fun piece to do! I love these posed “group photo” pieces — they’re always a lot of fun to compose. I also started to find a nice coloring process on this one that’s sort of a hybrid between cel-shaded, and fully-painted, which looks great, but is still efficient to do.


Drawing the Monster Manual #15: Stirge

I got thrown off course for a while, but I’m back! This is #15 in my quest to draw the entire D&D 5th Edition Monster Manual.

I guess I was feeling burned out on doing the same style for so many years, and I was starting to feel hemmed in by the limitations of my coloring process, especially. So I took some time away to really delve into digital painting. I learned a lot, but after a while, I found myself itching to ink again. So now I’m bringing some of what I learned studying digital painting into my coloring, and I like the results! But there’s still a lot to figure out, so I decided to bring this series back and have some fun.

As for the Stirge itself — a two-foot, multi-winged, fleshy mosquito monster. Gross.

Mighty Ground Pounders End-of-Campaign Poster

Here’s a huge illustration I had the opportunity to do recently for a D&D group to celebrate the ending of their two-year-long campaign. It features the whole party, their airship, the main villains, and a bunch of their favorite NPCs.

I got to try out a new coloring process on this one, using my newly-developed digital painting skills to bring more depth and variety to the rendering. I’m really pleased with how it came out.

My favorite detail about this piece is the Mindflayer head in a jar on the back of the evil wizard in the foreground. They sent me an update of their final sessions showing how that turned out, since I when I finished the piece, they still had a couple of sessions left. That Mindflayer head became a Mindflayer giant for the final battle, with a mini on the table that must’ve been a foot tall!

Vampire Lord Damon LeDarq

I was playing an old Castlevania game, and I got it in my head that it would be run to run an RPG scenario inspired by Castlevania. Got to thinking about the characters that would be involved, and came up with this guy, and his dysfunctional family. Don’t know if I’ll ever run that scenario, but I had a great time painting these characters!

Resourceful Half-Orc Fighter From a Secluded Village Who Was Kidnapped By Cultists

Here’s another character from the D&D character concept generator  Finding ways to put the character concept into the art has been a fun challenge with these. Having been captured by cultists, this guy apparently got a hold of some of their weapons and robes, plus some bells and a bit of tree to aid in his escape!

Peaceful Dwarf Rogue From The Sealed City Who Was Petrified For Over Two Hundred Years

A character inspired by the D&D character concept generator, A Peaceful Dwarf Rogue From The Sealed City Who Was Petrified For Over Two Hundred Years. In the interest of getting more of that concept  into the art, I went ahead and made him look like he’s still a bit petrified. Maybe when you’re petrified for over 200 years, you never quite go back to normal –how would I know?

Yet one more in my angels & demons series, figuring out this whole digital painting thing! A more brutish counterpart to the elegant devil from before. This guy came out the best yet, in my opinion. Some things about painting really started to click into place. Those chains were a lot of fun to do — I have a little trick for drawing chains that works with inking, so I wanted to see how it would work with a painted style — pretty well, it turns out! Still got a few more of these guys in the hopper.

Grouchy Gnome Bard From The Local Tavern Who Hates The Monarchy

I decided to paint some characters suggested by the delightful D&D character idea generator,  Here we’ve got a Grouchy Gnome Bard From The Local Tavern Who Hates The Monarchy. She’s a bit of a one-gnome-band. She came out looking a bit more sly than grouchy, but if you check out the lute, she clearly hates the monarchy! Going forward, I think it’s going to be interesting trying to show all of the suggested elements in the image.