Book of Tyrael Artist Reflects on His Struggle

Thanks to Fmulder for pointing us to artist Petar Meseldzija, who posted a couple of interesting blog entries about his illustration work in the DiabloWikiBook of Cain and the DiabloWikiBook of Tyrael. Petar shares preliminary and final versions of the artwork he created, plus some details about the struggle along the way. Interestingly, the Diablo universe isn’t really his style; it’s darker than he usually works, so he had to struggle to create pieces of the correct style for the new book.

Here’s a excerpt from his post, plus the three stages of his drawing of a young Deckard Cain.

My biggest challenge this time was not a tight deadline, as I already mentioned, but the fact that the Diablo universe is not very appealing to me. It’s just not my cup of tea, it’s too dark for me. Never the less, being a professional commercial artist, I put aside my own taste and preferences and did my best to deliver the work I was hired to do. But while working on this commission, I noticed how the absence of the emotional involvement with the subject matter greatly decreased the amount of pleasure I was having, and caused me to lose too much energy. Therefore I felt quite exhausted at the end of the process. It became obvious to me (not for the first time though) that being emotionally involved with the subject matter of the piece I am working on is not only an imperative for creating a great piece, but also important for maintaining the level of energy and excitement throughout the commission, as well as having a feeling of fulfillment and purpose after the job is done.

He also posted a series of illustrations for his artwork of the mortal Tyrael, and another post about the creation of the Leoric family tree. Click through for more.

Petar’s mortal Tyrael sketches and final, from the Book of Tyrael.

See also Petar’s post on the Leoric family tree illustration, which includes great closeup views of all the creepy headshot illustrations.

Leoric family tree.

Leoric family tree.

Tagged As: | Categories: Artwork, Merchandise


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  1. I imagine the artist channeling his exhaustion into Deckard’s facial expression. It looks like if he received any feedback from his preliminary sketches, it was “more demons”, “more brooding”.

  2. In before D3 isn’t dark trollolol.

  3. I understand that him realizing he needed to be emotionally connected to the artwork in order to really enjoy it was something that came to him later, but wouldn’t it have been in the books’ producer’s (I’m almost positive I didn’t use those apostrophes correctly) best interest to look for someone like that in the first place? I know that if I were creating what would essentially be a graphic novella I would want to find someone to illustrate it who had an intimate knowledge, or at least interest, in the subject matter.

    He sounds like he’s a pretty professional guy, and no doubt he has all the talent they needed, but did they look at all for someone who also would have the fire for those particular projects?

    • Its the same with d3 in general , bunch of guys who are pros yet they did not put their soul in it. The game is without soul…

    • For a concept artist on the game, yes. But this guy was an outsider artist, contracted to produce some artwork for the Book of Cain/Tyrael. Not all the artwork in those books is meant to be gothic and dark and bat-filled, etc. Lots of it shows Heaven and other races of humans in Sanctuary, etc.

      Ironically, that Leoric family tree is one of the darker and more brooding pieces of art in the entire BoT, so however the guy worried about finding his motivation, I think he got the job done.

  4. QUOTE

    I have a question regarding Leoric family tree who is the 2 men in the upper left,I recognize the rest but not those 2
    From left:
    Old guy with beard = Deckard Cain
    Child with long hair = Prince Albrecht
    Guy with high collar = Archbishop Lazarus
  5. Good grief.. What must that job interview have been like?

    “So…what do you like about Diablo?”
    “I don’t..”
    “You’re hired!”

  6. I’d like to see Wayne Barlowe (of Barlowe’s Inferno fame) do some Diablo stuff. Would be sick.

    This was some refreshing real talk though. The rent doesn’t pay itself!

  7. By comparison John Howe and Alan Lee had a great time with Lord of the Rings. The long attachment they had with the series propelled them to new heights during the series production and beyond. That attachment is so important.

  8. topless cain?

    So so so bad

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