Last month, we sponsored Blizzard’s 2016 Hearthstone World Championship Tour. Our goal with these eSports events is to find artists who can create art to represent the characters doing battle, either live at the event or in a more studied manner on their own. It’s a unique way to capture the spirit of these events and make immortal moments out of epic online battles. But most of all — it’s just a whole lot of fun.
For Hearthstone, we commissioned a master of the form, Trent Kaniuga, to make art and record a video, which is now live on his YouTube channel:
Trent has direct experience drawing Hearthstone cards, which you can tell even from a quick glance at his ArtStation profile. He’s done work for such notable properties as League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. We weren’t surprised when he turned in an amazing work of art.
In the video, Trent has a few tips for drawing game characters like this:
- Get your references together: Grab all the photos, drawings, official art from the developer, screenshots — whatever — of the characters you want to draw ahead of time and have them handy as references. As you can see in this video, he simply adds images to SketchBook on a separate layer to sit on his canvas for reference. That’s got to be the easiest and most convenient way if your inspiration is already made up of digital image files.
- Line art, then color: Do your line art first. Then, set your line drawing to Multiply mode when you’re ready to add shading and color. You’ll find that blending modes are really handy for things like this.
- Enjoy the details! We love his attitude — that once he has the basics sketched out he is ready to “enjoy the thrill and the pleasure, the sweet mindlessness of just adding fun detail.” He loves the Zen state that comes with adding hidden details in his art. And it’s clear that’s where he shines the most. Of course, he notes that if your sketch is jacked and isn’t working before you start adding detail, it’s probably best to go back and start over.
Trent is fired up on his YouTube channel and ready to draw, so consider subscribing. He always has interesting commentary, and we got some great takeaways from him that might inspire you to record and share your own drawing process.