The PDF version of the Firefly RPG has been released so I can post more of the character archetypes I painted for the game. I'm posting two of my favorites, along with the preliminary drawings for each piece. The first is an Alliance Engineer. I was able to incorporate more elements than just the figure into this one so I'm pleased with it in part because I like the overall design those extra elements allowed me to create.
The second character is a Derelict Salvager. As I mentioned in my previous post on these archetypes, I really tried to portray an ethnically diverse group of characters and these two pieces are certainly representative of that effort. The second piece also illustrates an effort to use colors that would work well with, and against, a blue background. In this case, I even went so far as to work quite a bit of that blue into the character. I did this because the planned layout for the book involved putting the characters on blue. Knowing the artwork would have no painted background but would be placed against a medium blue rather than a light color or white impacted the choices I made. For example, it takes darker colors and stronger edges to stand out against a medium value than against white, cream, etc. Each piece was painted with that in mind but, unfortunately, in the final PDF book (and presumably in the print edition, to be released soon) the artwork is all placed on a white background. Changes like that aren't uncommon and I'm sure there was a good reason for that decision so I'm not complaining but the decision did result in some of the artwork looking darker than intended. When painting something intended to go against a light or white background, I normally try to make choices that soften the contrast between art and page a little.
That's a little insight into how color choices are made and how layout choices can impact the final presentation of an illustration. I've included a sample image below to illustrate what I'm talking about. The figure is unchanged. Only the background color is different and as you can see, the difference is somewhat dramatic.
Thanks for reading! You can learn more about the Firefly RPG at http://www.margaretweis.com/