Joseph Erwin – Freelance Dungeon Master

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Art to Inspire 4

More Inspiration! There’s always more art, and always more ideas.

The art style is a little too much 70’s and 80’s comic-book, but I’m here more for the look. The tattoos, the armor, and the style of the weapons creates an incredible impression of “Badass Infiltrator.”

NPC or PC, this character is cool. Add a few little personality details like a family member she has to take care of between jobs, or struggling with confronting her romantic feelings for someone, and you have a memorable character.

Hilariously, she is 16 years old at time of writing because of what year it says she was born.

The use of light and implied movement in this one is what draws the eye. Everything appears to be moving, except perhaps for the cat and the buildings.

While this may not inspire precisely a moment or character (the setting is a little generic), it is another case where the moment is so well encapsulated that I will use this image for details when describing similar actions. The plunge to the streets below, the blowing wind and swirling curtains, all work as things to highlight a particular moment.

Eldritch dimensions are always tricky. The purple prose in the works of old man Lovecraft are often chaotic and disarmingly vibrant, but to capture it in the multitudes of angles, colors, lights, shapes, not to mention the soundscape and psychic feelings.

But this one comes close! The writhing shapes and glowing highlights work very well. Great for glimpses into other planes, or spirit world corners which are rife with danger!

Not everything has to be realism! Sometimes light detail can be just as effective. A good posture and environment details can imply a whole narrative outside the frame of the image.

Character-wise this is a nice simple design (of which I am a fan), but this also works for describing a hidden assassin about to strike, or a cut-purse looking for marks, or someone pausing at the last moment before leaping to safety from enemies in the darkness behind…

High detail again! I have said before that I love genres which are far-flung anachronistic sci-fi fantasy mashups. This image perfectly demonstrates it. The mount, the four-armed rider, and the gear and weapons all speak of the subtle elements of this world.

I would love to use this as a setting-starter, or at least a spark for a culture or group.

And as a book-end, Sci-Fi again! Whenever artists highlight noticeable differences between species, it gives me a thrill of joy. Especially when humans are implied to be diminutive and less technologically advanced! It creates the impression of a wider universe which existed before we did, and would get along without us as well.

I would use these aliens as species inspiration, but additionally this would influence the diplomatic dynamics which could come into play in the game.

Published by Joe Erwin

I am an independent creator and GM with a deep love of storytelling and adventure! I desire most to share these things with others, and I hope to do that through my work and my writing.

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