Friday, 9 March 2018

Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half Elf, Halfing and Half Orc

After the success of the Character Class T-shirts, Games Sesh commissioned a series of drawings of archetypal player character races based on classic and modern Dungeons & Dragons and other old school roleplaying game and fantasy imagery.

Dwarf | fineliners ink on board
Dwarven wizard, with wide-brimmed pointed hat, casting fireball a horned-helmeted hammer wielding fellow in mail, and a bezerker 'punk' in black plate mail and a large axe.

Elf | fineliners ink on board
A elven archer with slender sword in an ornate scabbard, an Elven fighter in leaf-patterend scale-mail with cloak and ornate elven helmet, and an Elven magic user with a pointy hat and robes covered in arcane writing, preparing to cast an offensive spell.

Gnome | fineliners, ink on board
A gnome fighter, with studded leather armour, helmet and short-sword. A very lightly steampunk flavoured (tinker) gnome thief, with apron and rock hammer, examining a jewel (gnomes are good at that) along side a gnome illusionist in the process of casting a cantrip.

Half Elf | fineliners on bristol board
A Half-Elven bard with a greek lyre and renaicance hat, a half elven ranger with leather armour, cloak, drawing a bow, and and elven druid.

Halfing | fineliners on bristol board
A Halfling magic-user thief, with an unusual caterpult staff and snood, a Halfling thief smoking a goblin-faced pipe in a fancy waistcoat and a Halfing fighter with mail and helmet.

Half Orc | Fineliners on Brisol Bboard.

A Half Orc cleric with warhammer and heavy armour, a Half Orc barbarian with manica, top-knot, dual-weilding axes and a Half Orc assassin dripping poison onto a dagger.


As usual, thumbnail sketches were produced in a Seawhite A5 Portrait Black Cloth Hardback Sketchbook using a Rotring 600 mechanical drafting pencil. I find the small size convenient for sketching anywhere, and useful for not fussing over too much detail or being precious. The initial sketches are really to get ideas down - such as the hexagonal composition and general characters and poses. All were worked up simultaneously. 

After the initial rough concepts were complete and agreed, the drawings were pencilled at full size.

The initial pencils were drawn with a Rotring 600 drafting mechanical pencil holding 0.5mm H grade Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon lead and Stanley 12" steel ruler on A3 Windsor & Newton 250gsm extra smooth Bristol Board, erased using Staedtler Mars plastic eraser and inked using 0.05-0.08 Unipin fineliners, with a bias towards the 0.3 as the main workhorse, and Uni Posca 8mm / 2.5 mm, black for large areas and 0.7mm Uni Posca white for picking out highlights.

The artwork was then scanned using a Epson V370 A4 flatbed scanner at a resolution of 1200dpi, saved as a greyscale 16-bit TIFF then brought into Adobe Photoshop on a MacBook Pro, cleaned up using the threshold tool (usually set to 175) to remove greys and converted to a 1-bit TIFF, with minor tweaks and adjustments made using custom brushes based on scans of the previously mentioned pens.



Games Sesh have produced a series of T-shirts.

These are currently availaible to purchase as screen-printed on Black Gildan Ultra 100% cotton T-Shirts from Games Sesh and there is 10% off throughout March 2018 with code PALADIN10


  1. If I didn't already have something else on the real estate, I'd like to think I'd get that Half Orc design tattooed on my back.

    There are so many absorbing details on all these, Zhu. For instance, I love the incline of the elven archer's head. It makes her seem very dangerous.

    1. The Half Orc one does seem to be quite popular - honoured that you'd consider it as a tattoo.

      Glad you like them.