View Full Version : Cover Design for a Free Kaidan Adventure

10-07-2011, 07:16 PM
So I decided to use one of our Con adventure one-shots as a free download for a Halloween promotion.

I created the cover art using Xara Xtreme using a painterly style, though this is vector art. I used 3 photos for reference: a snowy mountain valley, a temple, and a samurai view from the back. I thought it turned out well. Since it's a give-away product, I didn't want to have to pay a real artist for a cover illustration. I'll be using reusing lots of existing Kaidan art, some public domain stuff, and perhaps one or two other pieces of mine. It already has a map.

Probably in the next week or so I will release this free product - hopefully sooner for the Halloween season. I'll post in the News forum when it is ready.

Oh and there is an error on the titling - its supposed to be for a 5th level adventure, not 3rd.

This is only a low res file, will export hi res when the product is ready.



10-07-2011, 10:04 PM
Slight improvement - darkened image, and added the eyes of the Yuki-onna (snow woman) ... the primary villain of the story.


10-07-2011, 11:32 PM
I think they eyes look a bit too realistic compared to the rest.. But, really nice just GP!

10-08-2011, 04:06 AM
Still needs work. Something was wrong and I couldn't place it - when it hit me. There's no wind in the scene. The samurai needs to be hunched over with legs hidden in deep snow, holding onto his hat or helmet, cloth strips blowing violently toward the temple. A spiral of snow blowing towards the valley.

I used an actual photo touched for the eyes, I think I will vector paint them for consistency - still a work in progress.


10-08-2011, 05:32 AM
OK, next step. I decided to put in some snow blowing, as well as snow falling - with some transparency applied and different scaled flakes. I also redid the eyes to purely vector style so it blends in better. I have yet to do the samurai, but I'll get to him tomorrow. That's a more complex fix, but I will definitely do it.



Hugo Solis
10-08-2011, 10:56 AM
looking real good! The snows adds a great dramatic touch

Steel General
10-09-2011, 08:10 AM
Coming along nicely GP...

10-09-2011, 08:26 PM
Thanks, guys!

I think this is my final version before I place it in the cover design!




10-10-2011, 01:19 AM
Looking good...I'm thinking the eyes could be less visible...you are in danger of making them look a little crazy, especially with the one being brighter than the other. I'm thinking you are looking to create fear more than giggles but this is just my initial impression and it looks like I'm late to give any input.

Steel General
10-10-2011, 07:41 AM
I like it as is, but would you necessarily see the moon if it was snowing like that? Maybe some cloud cover?

10-10-2011, 10:32 AM
@Jax - the eyes belong to a yuki-onna, or snow woman spirit and she is indeed surprised at the arrival of the PC party, as tonight she intends to collect on her bargain with the abbot of the monastery - the party is interrupting her goals. She is menacing, but surprised nevertheless.

@SG - the moon is indeed behind a thin layer of clouds, which explains the hazy edge of it.


10-10-2011, 11:45 AM
Ah, in that case I think you are good. I am relieved for you because I was thinking you were going for malevolent anger and that wasn't quite it, hehe.

10-11-2011, 05:30 AM
I like it a lot. It conveys lots of feeling in the image. Kinda draws you in and makes you wonder about what the eyes are for and where the guys heading / what the building is. I like the low point of view looking slightly upwards too. Kinda cinematic.

10-12-2011, 12:16 AM
I repurposed the background of the cover illustration for a portrait of the Yuki-Onna (snow woman) the primary villain of the Frozen Wind adventure. She is described as a beautiful, fair skinned woman with white hair and a white kimono with an inviting smile and a 'heavenly' glow. Of course she is really a foul spirit of Jigoku (hell) with her entourage of ice demons and the frozen corpses of the yamabushi monks of the monastery make things interesting for the party of adventurers.



10-12-2011, 06:00 AM
I like that image a lot, GP, very nicely done.

I'd remove that odd bit of shadowing on her chin though as it makes little sense compared to the form of the face. Other than that, looks great.

10-12-2011, 10:35 PM
The module is complete, editted, corrected, illustrated and sent for release and marketing.

I created one more illustration in the style of the others in this thread. I had a hand-drawn frozen corpse monk called the Mukurokoori, but in some of the reviews of my products I get "art is meh to good" fairly regularly, and I wanted to stop seeing that, so I replaced my meh piece with this better one. I used a transparent photo to simulate the carven stone wall of the wings of the monastery cut from the cliffs of the crevice on either side of the main temple as per first illustration.

One dead guy walkin' and ready to strike you with his katana...


Steel General
10-13-2011, 07:37 AM
Cool stuff here GP!

...No pun intended

10-13-2011, 10:52 AM
Love his head. Not so hot on the hands though.

10-13-2011, 04:53 PM
Ramah, I fixed the hands - its trying to do so much in so very little time. I want good art, as long as it only takes me 20 minutes to do per piece. Any more than that is too much - especially since this is for a free product. I won't be paid for my work, unless someone sees the ads and actually orders one of the paid for products in back...