Here is a piece I finished a while back for a Dragon Age RPG published by
The illo should show an Orlesian Chevalier mounted on a charging steed lancing a darkspawn. Ideally, the Chevalier will be charging towards the viewer with the darkspawn in the foreground and the lance bursting out of its back. We want this hero to have a face, so either give him a helm with the face mask up or no helm at all. He should look grim and determined as he rides this horror down. His horse should be a mean looking warhorse with barding. For the darkspawn let's make it a Shriek. You can find out about them here: http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Shriek Perhaps his head is thrown back in an ironic death scream. You can suggest a larger battle of Chevaliers vs. darkspawn but the focus should be on the main figures just described.
With this description in mind I executed these thumbnails
They client liked number 3 so I progressed to a more refined sketch.
The client liked the sketch but informed me that the shreiks had been redesigned, so I reworked the sketch accordingly.
Comments: If you can figure out a way to get a little more force into that lance arm, awesome. But the creatures are all good to go. can't wait to see the next stage!
So I took another shot at it.
Comments: I think that what seems off about this composition is the lancer's relatively back-leaning posture. It looks incongruous to me given how far that lance is impaled in the darkspawn. Ditto the horse's rearing. Those two factors say, "Get this thing off the end of my lance!" instead of "DIE, FOUL CREATURE!" to me.
No more half measures, I decided to completely rework the horse and rider.
With final sketch approval I began painting
Comments: Not sure how you would actually work more gore in there – maybe some blood on the stairs from the Shreiks previous victims or some ribs shooting out of the one getting stabbed?
The guy on the right looks odd – maybe because he’s a floating head and shoulders with no body? Lol, Where are his legs? As is he looks like he might be some ornamental pilaster or something as there are no other footmen in the picture there is no additional angle.
A few last revisions and...