Recruiting for Dragon Heresy art team

I am looking for artists. Probably two dozen or so of them. The Dragon Heresy RPG is going to be laid out in roughly the same style as Dungeon Grappling, and I wound up with about one piece of art, on the average, every two pages. That puts DH clocking in at 390 pieces of art. If I say “one piece of art per monster,” That’s 164 monsters and would push the art budget to 425 pieces.

So I’m recruiting.

I want images like these, in terms of style.

If this fits what you do, please email me at

Here’s my pitch:

What is Dragon Heresy

It’s a full RPG with embedded setting that is based off of SRD5.1, the engine that powers the latest edition of D&D.

What’s Cool About it?

It takes a few leaps with some of the rules: better differentiation and narrative/mechanical matching for the rules, differentiating between actual injury vs defenses and skill, armor as damage reduction, and a more active and powerful use of shields. Plus it incorporates the rules from Dungeon Grappling.

The setting features an ancient dragon empire (of course), creepy and chaotic fae, and a human kingdom that is pressed from many directions, and seeks to venture into the ancient ruins of the dragon empire for reasons both practical and political.

The setting features strong elements of Norse mythology, and takes some standard tropes in different directions.

What are you asking me to do?

The estimates for book length run to 775-800 pages, depending on layout. I suspect I’m going to need 390-425 pieces of art, and that means expanding my art team. A lot. 

For Dungeon Grappling, my team was Gennifer Bone, Michael Clarke, Juan Ochoa, Rick Troula, and Christian Villacis.

Gennifer and Juan have already (or are in the proceess of) creating some preliminary images for use in a future Kickstarter. Michael has signed on for layout, graphic design, and the book covers. I anticipate that Christian and Rick will on board as well. That’s five . . . out of probably two or three dozen that will be needed to finish this project in a timely manner (I’m hoping for 80-100 days post Kickstarter).

I’m happy to provide you with their contact information if you want to know what they think of working with me.

I’m looking for artists who:

  • Use painting rather than line art
  • Will work in fairly realistic, full color images with a gritty/heroic feel
  • Are willing to collaborate and adjust concepts based on nifty ideas and pre-work from the group (and that includes your ideas)
  • Are willing to accept my payment schedule and methods (I pay by milestones, per piece)
  • Can provide me with a good estimate of price of a full-color, 8.5×11 painted image and an achievable number of days per piece for full, half, and quarter-page type art (if it’s different)

The way that I work is if you provide me with a price for an 8.5×11″ image at 350+ dpi, I scale each contracted image based on that rate. The effective rate “per square inch” tends to go up as the art gets smaller on the page (to as much as 2x the cost per square inch of a full-page image) because my art direction tends to be fairly busy. I’m happy to provide you with some examples and a scaled rate sheet. The short version here is I’ve learned more than a bit from the Dungeon Grappling project and am increasing my fees for small images relative to large ones to make them more worthwhile to the artist.

If you want to know more about Dragon Heresy or Dungeon Grappling, I’d encourage you to check out my website.

There are action scenes, character scenes, monsters, and locations that will feature in the book. And dragons, haughty otherwordly fae, mighty Norse gods, and heroes with thews and courage of both male and female persuasions, with the usual mix of races from D&D (though with some notable differences, particularly in dwarves, dragonborn). I have a thing about realistic looking armor and weapons in my art, so there will be no swords that must weigh 45 lbs, or “armor” that conveniently bares vital but aesthetic locations (not saying there is no room for beefcake or cheesecake – but it has to have a good story behind it as to why).


In the next six to eight weeks, I expect to have a fully edited manuscript (the writing is done) and preliminary layouts based on that manuscript. From there (or before) I will draw up Art Direction and launch a Kickstarter to fund the art and hopefully reimburse myself for investments I’ve already made.

Once I hit “go,” I’m hoping to get all my art in 70-90 days, and will size the commissions to maximize how much I can get from each artist in that time.

Am I finished yet?!

Sorry. I’m excited about the project and like to talk about it.

Short version: if you are interested in a fairly large project, and are willing to discuss this further, please let me know by emailing me at, and give me an idea as to your full-page rates, as well as how quickly you can work through a piece – the size of your commission will be based on how many pieces we can agree you can complete in the term, provided the rates are in line with the art budget.

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