Illustration: The Forest of a Thousand Legs 🕷

Little Lucy Lockhart ran
From her daddy’s frying pan
The Forest of a Thousand Legs
Killed her and then laid their eggs
— Rex Lovezinski

This eerie children's rhyme starts off the very aptly named story “The Forest of a Thousand Legs” by author Rex Lovezinski, the story I chose to illustrate for this week's episode of the NoSleep podcast.

The “thousand legs” part refers — of course — to our animal friends of the small and eight-legged variety, so if you're creeped out by spiders or other crawling creates, I'm sorry.1

What to draw, what to draw…

After NoSleep's executive assistant, the ever-lovely Violet, shared this story with me, I was at a loss, at first.

There were a lot of elements that feature prominently in the tale, but I wasn't sure they would lend themselves to an illustration that has to work as a podcast cover.

My first idea was to draw the forest itself, because Rex' description of the creepy place really sent shivers up my spine. I saw, before my minds eye, tall, ancient trees, almost monumental, casting a shade that was hardly ever pierced by the day's light, all covered by a thick, sticky membrane of old spider webs.

The problem with that? Drawing trees is not really my forte, and I would have to really draw a lot of details to aptly communicate the image I had in my head.

Okay, back to the (literal) drawing board

I hope I'm being vague enough in telling you the story features a certain monster creature, as many NoSleep stories are wont to do.

I always enjoy painting those monsters and thus bringing them to life, as I did — for example — with the wonderful Skinny Rogue episode.

The problem with that, of course, is that revealing the monster in art form before the listener even started the story, is that it takes away from the storie's suspense, so in my recent works for NoSleep, I tried to stay away from that.

So, no monsters, no forest…

Then I had the idea of illustrating different insects and spiders that feature in the story, since it mentioned one of the characters owning a collection of rare insects.

As soon as I grabbed my stylus and started working, I knew I was in for a treat. Painting those little guys, especially the shiny jewel beetle, was time-consuming, but a lot of fun.

I decided to add the graphic effect to really draw the listener into the story and make the illustration more enthralling, graphically speaking.

I hope you like the illustration, and I'll see you soon with the next one!

Take care!

1 I'm not really. :P

Design: Congeria — Lineup

Are you guys looking for a new podcast to listen to?

Because Congeria is nearing the final stages of production, and if I'm not mistaken, it's gonna be a wild ride (trust me, I read the script).

Congeria is a noir-esque crime drama with a supernatural twist centering around the central protagonist of Jenny, a hard-boiled, no-bullshit PI who's on a fast track to becoming my favorite female lead of all time.

My friend Atticus Jackson was kind enough to commission me for this graphic, which will be featured on Congeria's iTunes page upon launch.

We quickly settled on the idea of a police lineup, but agreed that painting full-body illustrations of each cast member would put too hard a strain on the budget, so we came with the solution of representing them as silhouettes.

This way, I was able to hint at the character's appearance, while still being vague enough to not stifle the listener's imagination.

If you want to make sure you don't miss the launch of Congeria's first episode — and I highly recommend you make sure — follow them over on Twitter!

Illustration: Catamancer — Catsplosion

Hi peeps, guess what I got?

New client, that's what. The lovely folks over at commissioned me to paint one of their cards called Catsplosion (and yes, before you ask, it's exactly what you think it is).

Catamancer is a mobile game centering around the theme of — you guessed it — cats.

Exploding Kittens  has nothing on this.

Exploding Kittens has nothing on this.

Getting started

It was really fun to explore the cartoon look of it while still paying attention to texture.

Because I really wanted to get the form of the mushroom cloud right, I started out with a reference photo of a nuclear explosion and drew my initial sketch right on top of it.

Color inspiration came from a picture of cotton candy, and I achieved the texture by using the watercolor brushes from Kyle T Webster.

Hope you have as much fun looking at the Catsplosion as I had painting it.

Illustration: Wolf — Custom MtG Token

Oh boy, howdy!

This weekend contained a pretty nifty bank holiday in Germany, so I was able to kick back, go outside and relax a bit in the warm summer sun.

Kidding. I spent it painting instead!

“That's a pretty neat wolf,” I hear you saying. “What are you gonna use it for?”

Glad you asked! I assume you guys are familiar with the vastly successful trading card game Magic: The Gathering. If you're not a massive nerd like me and spent the better part of your youth playing it, I'm pretty sure you at least heard of it here and there.


Some Magic cards have a special effect that creates so-called "Tokens", game elements that are not directly represented by a particular card.

In order to keep track of those tokens, many players carry extra cards with nifty illustrations on them to act as a placeholder. Those may look like this!

Nifty, huh?

I'm currently thinking selling those token illustrations at a fair price...but, sadly, not yet. Shipping the cards all over the world would be an absolute hassle from Germany, so I'm not sure how I will tackle that, yet.

But fear not! I already have some ideas, and you guys will be the first to always.

Take care, my lovelies!

- Jörn