This piece had a very interesting journey, compared to a lot of my other work. I was approached by a friend, the same one who commissioned the Ghoul of the Waste piece from a few months ago. He was putting together a Castlevania-inspired Pathfinder 2e game to stream on twitch, and he needed a big splash piece for the offline periods. He wanted it to evoke the feeling of the original Castlevania NES box art. However, the character art was being done by a colleague, and I wanted to wait until they had finished their art so I didn't step on their toes creatively. That said, knowing it was a big piece on a tight deadline, I decided to start with the background first.
I made some sketches based on the NES Castlevania Box art, mashed up with Castle Ravenloft (The campaign started as a PF2e conversion of Curse of Strahd but has since evolved considerably.) I then did a considerable amount of photobashing to try to establish the scene exactly as I want it. From there I proceeded to paint the background, keeping in mind that eventually the character art would be covering most of it. As such, I kept the details pretty light, with the exception of the rocky cliffside our heroes would be looking down on.
By that point, the other artist was having scheduling conflicts, and in order to meet deadline, both of us would have to be working on character art simultaneously. Thankfully, we got very through descriptions from the players, as well as digital models via HeroForge. The HeroForge minis made certain we would be able to get the crucial details and accurate colors just right. From there, I followed my normal painting process. Regrettably, I have fewer in-process shots of the character work because I cleaned up my layers for the client. Cest la vie.