September 24, 2012

Kaijudo Art

Right, so I have been quite occupied recently and it has been a bit quiet around me here at the Shadowcore blog. Not only have I been working furiously on my new website, I am also currently doing a lot of art for the new Kaijudo Trading Card game by Wizards of the Coast, it's a bit of a different style than what I'm usually drawing and painting so I wasn't so sure if I should post it here on the gloomy Shadowcore :P but Craig convinced me, it doesn't matter. So, here we go:

... oh, and if you wanna check out my new website:

Thanks! :)

September 19, 2012

Lucas Graciano

Thanks Craig for the invite into a crew of amazingly talented artists.  I feel extremely honored to be a part of it.  Some of you I've gotten to know pretty well and the others I will look forward to getting to know better.

I live in southern California with my unbelievably supportive wife and our beautiful 1yr old daughter.   I attended the Watts Atelier of the Arts where I got all of my formal training.  I now teach a couple of classes there and am proud to be a part of such a special school.  I was a self-taught digital artist until I started training traditionally.  I fell in love with oils and now paint strictly traditional.

My client list includes Wizards, Pyr, Sony, Paizo, and Blizzard among others.  For the last year I've been trying to figure out how to balance being a stay-at-home dad and a freelance illustrator - not sure if I've figured it out yet, but it is getting a little easier.  I hope I will be a worthy addition to an already overwhelming group of great talent.

To kick off here is a panorama shot of my studio and few new and not so new pieces.  

Up until about a year ago, I was sharing my studio in a 10x10 dining room with my cat's litter box.  That wasn't pleasant.

"Guardianship" - 30x40 Oil on Masonite - Private Commission

"Forest Elf" - 20x16 Oil on Masonite - SOE

"Grave Betrayal" - 12x16 Oil on Masonite - Wizards

"Dragon Swarm" - 24x18 Oil on Masonite - Paizo

"Grave Titan" - 18x24 Oil on Masonite - Wizards

I update my blog pretty regularly, you can see more of my updated work there- The Art of Lucas

September 16, 2012

The Sundering

A few months back Jon Schindehette asked me to do a large character lineup for a new series of novels coming out from D&D.  The project was titled "The Sundering" and was debuted at GenCon a few weeks back.  The character lineup had a double purpose, requiring the six main characters up front to also exist, vignetted, on their own backgrounds for each novel.  It was a heck of a lot of fun building many of these character who had never been seen before in this format.

Figuring out where to start on this project was a challenge, not to mention the entire project took quite some time to complete.  I came to a realization that I had to fit all the character into the lineup at the very beginning before trying to solve the six main characters' individual covers.  I decided to do a sort of rough pen and ink style sketch of the whole lineup and use that as my starting point. It worked out great in the end because Jon decided to use that very drawing as promotional material in previewing "The Sundering".

Drizzt and Guen were my starting points because they are right in the center of the lineup as well as being the most iconic of the characters.  I am sure many are familiar with Todd Lockwood's amazing work with the duo. Once I had developed all the characters in the lineup and had them working together in the scene I could move onto designing background for the 6 main figures. These would be the jackets for each respective character's novel.

While the project took a long time to complete, I certainly had a blast working on it.  Many thanks to Jon Schindehette and all the writers (R.A Salvatore, Paul Kemp, Erin Evans, Richard Lee Byers, Troy Denning, and Ed Greenwood)  for their awesome ideas along the way.  Here are some closeups on a few of my favorite characters in the lineup, and a zoomed in set of them all together. 

Vasen Cale


September 15, 2012

New Piece!

Wow, its been a while!

Sadly, I currently don't have a ton of game work I can share. However, I did finally finish two new personal pieces.

 I also put together a little walk-through for the most recent piece, which I hope some might find helpful!

There is a bit of background information about the piece up on my blog. (

September 12, 2012

New Work!

 Hey everyone! Sorry for the long absence, I've been working like crazy and I just realized how long it's been since I opened up blogger and took a look around. The work on here has been incredible and it was a lot of fun catching up. Anyway, here's a bunch of new images for the World of Warcraft card game, some of the last I did for them before the game was handed off to a Cryptozoic.

September 10, 2012

August Dungeons & Dragons pieces

I produced a couple of illustrations for the August issue of Dragon magazine. Both centered around new monsters that I got to design for the illustrations. Happy with how both turned out and I think production was too. Here is how they turned out...

The Inner Sun
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

Slaves of the Oba
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

Here is a look at the image progression for the Slaves of the Oba piece. Still feeling out my new method of building up the image, but so far it is producing results that I am really happy with. I would have shared the progression for The Inner Sun, but there is this issue with all the magenta I would have to explain about... and I plan on telling that story only once. 

Slaves of the Oba - Process
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

I have talked a lot about reference on my blog and elsewhere. I can't repeat it enough... no matter what you are doing you need to be looking at the world around you for guidance and influence. This also means grabbing your friends and making them do impromptu photo shots when you realize the lighting is right and that they will make a great victim.  

REFERENCE! Does not need to be perfect to be incredibly helpful!

September 6, 2012

LoTR Battle of Lake-Town

A while back I was tasked with designing and illustrating the great old red dragon Smaug for Fantasy Flight's Lord of the Rings card game. This was something I was very excited about and knew there was a long line of artist before me that have depicted this most iconic dragon. After creating the first couple illustrations I thought I was done... turns out FFG had bigger things in mind for Smaug and for me. FFG was putting together a Gen Con 2012 LotR adventure deck and they wanted me back to make with some more Smaugs. I was really happy to have a chance to flesh out my original designs and to have a chance to work on something unique like the con deck. Here are how the pieces for the Gen Con 2012 deck turned out...

The Burning of Lake-Town #1 (Smaug the Terrible)
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games

 The Burning of Lake-Town #2 (Smaug the Magnificent)
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games 
 The Burning of Lake-Town #3 (Smaug the Mighty)
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games 
These were actually the first pieces that I tried out a new method of building up my paintings. I have been using this method ever since and I am really happy with the affect it is having on the finished pieces. I plan to go into more detail over on my personal blog at a later date, but I am sharing a step by step progression image here first! If you are familiar with similar images I have posted before you will see some marked differences in the first 5 steps...
 The Burning of Lake-Town #1 - Process
© 2012 Fantasy Flight Games 
Since this is a card game there is a tangible end product. Going into this project and several other similar projects I have been designing the art to serve two purposes... One: provide art the client needs, Two: provide art that I want to make and have. You will notice that the final cards crop a lot off of the originals, but they were designed for that. I like a much wider rectangular compositions that a square just won't provide. Also, by creating an image that I am much happier with I am more likely to give it that extra effort to make both the client and myself something really nice. Enough blathering... here are those cards...


September 5, 2012

Blood of the City

The studio I work for has kept me extremely busy with work on the video game Forge, for Dark Vale Games.  Eric has been kicking ass on the game as well (Thanks, Eric!).  I'm hoping I get clearance so we can show some of that work off here soon.

Recently, however, I was made aware that Piazo released my cover for "Blood of the City."  Seeing that I could post it was a nice surprise when I woke up this morning.  :)  Big kudos to Sarah Robinson for being fun to work with.

September 4, 2012

Just a handful of character illos I've done working with Paizo, two different sets, just a select few of the bunch. Finally get to show some things.

All images © Paizo Publishing