Coloring in the Lines of the Classics

Recently I was asked to update some art for the Harn classics- Old articles, some over 20 years old. We are getting them back in print with updated layout, maps and some new art.

One of the recent classic on a wilderness settlement called Kustan had a great image by Eric Hotz. His art was one of the things that first attracted me to Harn. The work by Hotz had a wonderfully gritty look, was realistic, not just in execution, but in believability. His warriors were not typical fantasy game fair, they looked like real people. The beasts had a quirky simplicity that felt more medieval than sci fi. When I started illustrating I did my best to emulate the work of Hotz and he is still a big influence on how I illustrate Harn.

Kustan, By Eric Hotz, 1984, Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Eric Hotz


CGI is trying to update the Harn line with more color, so we thought it would be a great idea to use the old Hotz image, but it would need to be colored.

Using a high res scan of the image I opened it into photoshop and colored the image digitally. I am starting to get a handle on working digitally. Part of it has to do with settling on a few digital brushes that I like and doing my best to work in a similar fashion to how I work traditionally. I do enjoy working with layers, but most of my mistakes involved me not saving enough and in the proper fashion, or mismanaging my layers.I usually am painting pretty directly with as few layers as I can manage.


So here is my colored version. The lines in the sky were to much with the color, so I erased them and tried to replicate the design in color. Select areas of the line layer were erased if it hide too much of the color.

I did my best to keep it simple as the budget did not allow me a lot of time to work on this. Also after I was done we realized the image did not fit the new layout as well and had to be cropped at the top. It affected the design so I just selected the clouds and squashed them down a bit. I was pretty happy with the final image. Though unlike B&W one never knows for sure how it will look printed.

Hope the fans like the updated image. I also hope Hotz is happy with my work on his fine image.


Kustan, by Eric Hotz, Colored by Richard Luschek

Copyright © 2012, Columbia Games, Inc. and Richard Luschek

Now that I think of it, this type of tastefully done skull arrangement would look great at the end of our driveway. Would probably work great at keeping the solicitors away.

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