Hearthstone: Protect the King!
Here's another illustration for the new Hearthstone release One Night in Karazhan. This one was a real challenge. I needed to depict chess pieces with no legs in motion. Eventually, I needed to work magical energy into the picture without creating chaos. Both the composition and the color scheme went through some big changes.
As you can see below, the original composition was more expansive, showing more of the pieces on the board. A decision was made to zoom in on a section of the composition so it would read better at the size of a Hearthstone card. From there, I did a complete value study in black and white to clarify the picture before adding color. I rather like the image this way, with black and white pieces actually painted in black and white. I wanted to preserve some of that feel so my initial approach to the color scheme was to use analogous colors (colors next to each other on the color wheel—in this case, blues and purples).
Ultimately, the final art had to be much more colorful than that and I needed to work in magical energy so the pieces became a warm purple and ochre and I introduced red and blue energy. I think it works and in the end, I have a nice example of just how much color can change a piece even after most of the values have been established.