Ria - Tiefling Palading from Dungeons and Dragons

I love Dungeons and Dragons commissions. The world is so rich, there are so many playbooks, and unlike many visual RPGs such as Guild Wars or World of Warcraft, I'm designing a character from the ground up.

Recently I worked on a commission for a client I've worked with several times in the past. This time, he wanted a representation of his Tiefling Paladin, Ria (there's a long back story, but it's not mine to tell :) ) Being a tiefling, they have horns and a tail, and often times coloured skin that's not quite of this world. The skin and hair colour was very fixed in the client's mind and he provided some artwork as a reference, as with the symbol of Lathander, her God/ religion.

I always start with a couple of thumbnail sketches. In this case it was 4, but because I plan on reusing the poses I'll only show the one that we settled on. At this point they are really rough, the armour was combined from some different thumbnails, and the background was from a different sketch. You may be able to see some of my redlines from the pencil sketch this started from.

Unless the client says to go full fantasy, I try and keep the armour relatively realistic - that being said it is fantasy! I mix and match things from European 15th-16th century 

 Thumbnail sketch

Thumbnail sketch

This is the original sketch. Her horns were more pronounced and her tail longer. I hadn't designed the sword or fully worked out the background. This was a relatively simple background. We worked through a couple of different horn concepts and changed the tail length 

In this instance I decided to keep the armour standard steel, and focus on the background as defining the armour light. Lighting can really change the mood of a piece. Most clients tend to want portraits to be fairly well lit and not so gloomy but I always like to provide a few options

This is the final painting. Because it is not a detailed background (and the client wasn't charged for a detailed background) it is fairly painterly and more suggestive of a forest. It also helps push the character into focus. A lot of time was spent rendering metal!

 And here's a closeup of the face. This full painting is painted at 8.5 x 11.5" @ 300 dpi. 

And here's a closeup of the face. This full painting is painted at 8.5 x 11.5" @ 300 dpi. 

If you want your own character commissioned, go to my commission page to see my pricing and some previous examples