Category Archives: Dark fantasy

Horror and dark fantasy pictures from my sketchbook.

Demonic diversion

Here’s a diversion from my current commissions, from my sketchbook of last year; on the left is my working out of a Fish-man mask I made for Hallowe’en (it ended up OK, not quite how I’d planned) and on the right page is my idea for a Demon Captain serving the Demon Lord of Pestilence.
Rather than having Demon’s represent the embodiment of a human emotion or fear (as Games Workshop has its Chaos Gods; Khorne is violence and slaughter, Slaanesh is unfettered decadence and perversion and so on) I imagined my Demon Lord’s (or Lady’s) as having a particular fetish or obsession that reflected their attitude to warfare and conquest. So my previous two Demon Lords have been a melee-fighting Warlord and a multi-armed magic using Mage Lord. These are some ideas I’ve been sketching for a Demon Lord whose interests are in biological warfare, diseases and poisons. More of these when I get time!

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Dead-world Ghoul ideas

A link from my Facebook site (do have a look and like it, if indeed you do like it!). Click on the Facebook image to the right or here:
Will Beck Illustration

Here are my ‘Deadworld Ghouls’ from 2009, inspired by my fighting (as Raziel) the cowardly Slaughs in the videogames Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2, (Sluagh image and description) I liked their gleeful expression in the game and imagined mine lurking in the dark on ruined world attacking adventurers or travellers (only when they outnumbered them!). I wasn’t quite sure about their design at the time so I put these on the back-burner.

Bas-Lag and fantasy Wild West sketches

Well it’s been a few months since I posted anything on my website/blog; I’ve loads of mini-projects on the go that become huge undertakings without a deadline! Here are some examples of several of these from a few years back.

On the left are some characters I was having difficulty placing in a world so I was trying them out in a fantasy Wild West setting. On the right hand side is a Cactus Man from China Miéville’s Bas-Lag world. I’m a fan of China Miéville’s novels, (though I haven’t read them all) and I thought it would be fun to try and depict a Cactus Man from Perdido St. Station. I always liked the Symbolist movement and Odilon Redon’s work Cactus Man http://www.wikiart.org/en/odilon-redon/cactus-man-1882 is a classic example of his slightly creepy and surreal drawings so I tried to incorporate a sense of that into my sketch.

The next pages follow on, more experiments with a fantasy Wild West theme, a Wyrman. See here for a list of China Miéville’s Bas-Lag creations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bas-Lag and some high-fantasy characters I was working on.

I returned to the ideas again in my next sketchbook, I might have been reading The Scar at the time – this time I was considering a New Crobuzon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Crobuzon scene with various lowlifes (a fat criminal boss, his bouncer and hired thaumaturge, that sort of thing). On the opposite page are more doodles of Vodyanoi (frog-men from Russian folklore) who are another race in Bas-Lag. There’s also an idea for a Gundam/Starcraft type exo-suit in the middle.

China Miéville’s ideas are all copyright him, this is just fan art and in no way intended to breach copyright.

Demon Mage-Lord

A brief diversion back to my Demon designs. Here is the Mage-Lord demon himself (leader of the army featured in my Ghaan-og the Berserker one-page comic) with his centaur-demon bodyguards in the background. The Mage-Lord has multiple arms for casting multiple spells on the battlefield.

The demon spirits he’s summoning from the globe on top of staff came from a combination of ideas (they were blue originally but my brother said they didn’t stand out enough):
Firstly these critters on the right page:

The demon witches on the left are servants of the Demon Prophetess, from my earlier post:
http://www.willbeck.com/artblog?p=635

And also the colours came from the invisible monster in an old weekly ImagineFX challenge on the theme of ‘invisibility’:

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Demon Captains

These are three of my ideas for the lower ranks of demons but higher up than the rank-and-file demon soldiers. http://www.willbeck.com/artblog?p=262

They’re essentially bulkier soldier demons with exaggerated proportions. The female demon on the right serves a different demon lord; hence the symbol on her armour and colour of its metal (the demon in the centre also serves another lord).

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Flying demon ideas

More of my designs for demons. As I had doodled a flying demon (carrying a warlock) I wanted to see if I could create a more detailed version.

I scribbled a few ideas but it was while watching a dinosaur program on the BBC website I thought the way the Hatzegopteryx had been animated gave me an idea for how to draw my flying demon that wasn’t obviously a like dragon or a wyvern. I later had the idea that if endangered it could vomit acidic bile on an opponent.

Flying Demon designs

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Demon Designs 3

Here’s my idea for the Demon cavalry; rather than having demonic knights(I may design some later, reading that does sound cool!) I thought they should use centaur-like Demons.
I had to keep the image away from Games Workshop Dragon-Ogres and Zoats, and Blizzard’s Pit Lords or Diablo 3’s Siegebreaker Assault Beasts. So I had a look at the Terror Dogs from Ghostbusters, crossed them with alligators/crocodiles and with an image in my head of a huge monstrous beast charging into the lines of shiny-armoured, spear-wielding humans I think I got there!

This was done straight onto the computer again in Painter X.
Centaur demon

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Demon designs 1

This is a page of demons for a comic strip (perhaps a web-comic?). First we have a variety of warped demon Warlocks with long fingernails to weave their magic and weird cowls that remind me of rickshaws. Then we have a nasty looking Overseer who uses his whip to send the demon berserkers into a frenzy.

demon warlocks and overseers

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