Friday, 20 December 2013

Map of Reekleith

Map of Reekleith
Digital Painting

A map of the city of Reekleith, from my d&d setting of Crom Carran.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Sea Lord Taubin

Sea Lord Taubin
Digital Painting

Character drawing for my D&D campaign.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Starfleet Cetacean Officer

Starfleet Cetacean Officer
Digital Painting

Inspired by an internet conversation about mentions of cetaceans working for Starfleet in Star Trek: The Next Generation. I wondered what a dolphin dressed in a Starfleet uniform might look like, and this is the result.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Glimmercage Urists

The inspiration for this work came when someone posted Edward Gorey's classic morbid alphabet The Gashlycrumb Tinies to reddit's /r/dwarffortress under the title, 'a dwarf child's alphabet'. I thought that the idea could stand some dwarfifying, and, after a few versions, limited by the fact that the game's options for Dwarf names indicate the Dwarven alphabet to be of twenty letters (With no H, J, P, Q, W, X or Y, but including a Th)  came up with the following rhyme:

A is for Alath who buried themselves
B is for Bomrek who got shot by elves
C is for Cerol who drowned at the coast
D is for Dastot who angered a ghost
E is for Edzul who ran out of drink
F is for Famthut who failed to think
G is for Goden who fell in to magma
I is for Iton who choked on miasma
K is for Kubuk attacked by a carp
L is for Logem who sold the wrong harp
M is for Momuz found crushed to the floor
N is for Nish who went through the wrong door
O is for Olin done in by a thief
R is for Rimtar made mad by their grief
S is for Sigun burned up by a dragon
T is for Tirist run down by a wagon
Th is for Tholtig found drained of all blood
U is for Urist washed out in the flood
V is for Vabok who fell down the well
Z is for Zulban who tunnelled to hell 

After coming up with this, it was, of course, necessary to illustrate it, and I set to work. As I completed more and more images, I became more convinced of the appropriateness of the treatment, rendering it as something more than parody. After all, Gorey's original work subverts the normally carefree world of childhood represented by the abecedarium (ABC book) by introducing parental paranoias about the dangers that face their offspring. The Dwarf Fortress version casts the Dwarves as children and the player as the parents, a relationship which I, at least relate to, though which might discomfort some of the more Machiavellian players of the great game. Anyway, without further ado...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Map of Crom Carran

Crom Carran
Digital Painting

A map for my new D&D campaign setting.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Monday, 1 April 2013

The Golden Dawn (Redux)

Golden Dawn II
Digital painting

A re-working of a previous, more sketchy work, posted here.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Moon Musick

Moon Musick
Digital painting

"A moon-piece to fetch up the golden cup
A snow-piece to avoid the great heat of the sun
Is kept in the night and by the light of the moon"

- 'Batwings (A Limnal Hymn)' by Coil

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sketch: Cecil

Digital painting

I play quite a lot of pen and paper RPG games, as befits a good nerd. I often sketch whilst I'm playing, when I'm feeling productive. In the future, I will post these sketches here, if they are any good. Here we have a character from my current (rather off-kilter) Cthulhu by Gaslight game, Cecil the Monkey, the safari-hunting medium Contessa Boccioni's tiny alcoholic sex-maniac sidekick.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Golden Dawn

Golden Dawn
Digital painting

More play with shadow, colour and rays.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Dwarf Fortress Sketchbook

The first major project I undertook as DS Blake (though I didn't exactly know it at the time), was a collection of work inspired by the computer game Dwarf Fortress. I had just completed the first phase of my MA, and wanted to cleanse my artistic palate by doing something very different to the work I was doing at the time, that was more in keeping with the kind of work that lead me in to the world of art. I decided to give myself a fantasy illustration brief, to try and visualise a setting from scratch, using traditional media. When casting round for a subject, I wanted to choose something that did not already have a dominant visualistion; Dwarf Fortress, my favourite game, seemed a natural choice.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


My name is DS Blake. This blog is to post the fantasy and science-fiction art that I make when the mood takes me.