So I've started to work on my card assignment for SOE. Heres the assignment description:
Location: A clearing in a swamp.
Action: A mighty troll leader rushes forward with his large war axe. Several other trolls are advancing behind him.
Focus: They are filled with anger.
Mood: It's an ambush!
My first rendition of the picture was pretty plain and ugly in my opinion so I scrapped it and started working anew. I guess I didn't really have anything in mind when I did the first one so I decided to refocus myself and go through the assignment again. I wanted to really hit up the brutality of the piece. Also, looking at the first one, they looked more like squat goblins than lanky trolls. So I went out of my way to really stretch the pose of the main character, stretching out his neck so he could give a big warcry. I also added a very scribbly figure in the lower left hand whose face is being grabbed by the troll. It looks more like a ball of scribbles but its tough to draw a guy whose face is being grabbed. Anyway, hes meant to lend some sense of scale to the trolls.
Anyway, these are very very rough drawings, but I'm concentrating on the drawing composition so I'm not going very far into making these very clear necessarily.
Also, I was given a very spiffy PSD as a card template so I could see how the image looks with the border colors and the fade off at the bottom. Extremely useful, I wish I had this when I was assigned a test image.
Right now, the biggest issue that keeps coming up is that this card isn't showing an ambush! To me, it just looks like a nice warband of trolls lead by another troll. Apart from trying a totally separate idea, I think I have two ways to go about this. I could scale back the image and expand it to show some troupe of soldiers who can show surprise at the ambush. The other way is just reworking the diagonal movement in the picture so it looks like they are either bursting from the ground or rushing down a hill; maybe show them at the moment where they are coming from behind some trees or something so lots of explosive shattering of terrain.
I'd actually prefer the second method, because I'm worried that by shrinking down the action and including more figures I'd be losing the main idea behind the card, which is to showcase the main troll. If the card was showcasing the act of ambush, this card would totally fail, but I'm trying to balance between showing some kind of ambush while making sure the card is clearly about that troll.