A Jerry’s Online Street Team Art Project with Mark A. Nelson

Artist Mark Nelson – Fantasy Drawing Walk-Through


Materials Mark Nelson used:

“Toned Paper Drawing” by Mark A. Nelson

Step 1:

For me, I start to develop the forms of the figures with just line/contour. I try to get a feel for the lights and darks by the line weight. In other words, I apply more pressure to the pencils and create a heavier, darker line and then lighten that pressure to give it less weight. I try not to to create a constant line around the figures, but one that with thick and thin can start to develop the light direction also. 

Step 2:

I am going to use the three steps of creating space. The Foreground which is closest to the viewer, the Middle ground is the mid-level of the stage and finally the Background which is the last layer. So if you think of the picture plane in these three levels, it does not matter how deep your space is, it can easily be broken down into these elements. The second step in this process is light. I am going to have a dark object in the foreground, my major lights and focal point will be in the middle ground and the back ground will be the second darkest area. So now I’m rendering this as a darker form.

Step 3: 


The background is started, and here I try to keep the values closer. To create a softer background I will restrict the values and keep them close in range. 

Step 4:


I’m starting to bring in detail to the middle ground. This is the area I will want the viewer to look at first. It will be the focal point of the whole panel. So it will have the strongest lights, darks and the most visible detail in the drawing (also having the biggest value range). 

Step 5:

Working still from the background forward, I try to keep the first two figures softer and darker, and then, adding more detail and surface decoration tot he second and third figure. The figure closest is still the darkest.

Step 6: 


Balanced out all the value and line work and next the whites, highlights, and touch ups to make the Foreground, Middleground and Background work together.

Step 7:


The whites are now added and adjustments made to make the space work. I’ve tried to make you look at the two mid-ground figures. They have the brightest lights, darkest darks and most visible details. Foreground and background have closer value and some small highlights, but not as bold as the middle ground.

Mark A. Nelson is known world-wide for his body of work done in a style which has been described as “carefully articulated”. Mr. Nelson’s artworks have graced the pages of many Dungeons & Dragons books as well as Dragon Magazine. He has provided illustrations for Magic: The Gathering. He has worked extensively in the comics’ industry as well. Mark A. Nelson’s work on the very first ALIENS series from Dark Horse is still an iconic fan favorite. Mr. Nelson will be teaching one 90 min. Master Class per day on “Creature Creation” at the Jerry’s Artrama Art Classroom (Location WSCC Level 2, Rm 211) at the Emerald City Comic Con (See Jerry’s Artarama at the Emerald City Comiccon in Seattle for more details). Mark is honored to be this year’s “Emerald City Gaming Guest Artist”. He will be appearing daily in the Sheraton’s Metropolitan Ballroom at Booth B7 in the Gamer’s Area at the Sheraton during the Convention.



You may also like...