Chapter 3 Illustration Concept to Completion

Below pictured are the images detailing the creation of the illustration of Chapter 3.

This was by far the longest time we spent on a single picture to date, and numerous revisions can be seen here. Given that the character of Zhyx is so detailed, Joseph wanted to make sure he got every detail correct. Since the scene also takes place in a pretty dim environment, it was challenging to make sure the shadows and light were exactly correct. But now it is done, and we hope you enjoy it, as well as this step by step walk through its creation.

The first group of images here were done entirely by Joseph Buehrer.

Zhyx Meets River 1

Zhyx meets River 2


The first group of illustrations here didn’t turn out quite as well as we hoped, so we decided to take David Spada’s image and ad the details overtop of it. We made a rough trace, seen here, to start from.

Chapter 3 Illustration New

Zhyx Meets River 7

We imported the image, re-sized it, and began adding details.

Zhyx Meets River 9

Zhyx Meets River 10

Once the shading was added, the illustration really started to come to life.

Zhyx Meets River 12

What followed was the tedious process of adding shading to each scale, one at a time.

Zhyx Meets River 14

River was completed next. His right foot gave us some trouble at this stage, so we decided to re-pose it.

Zhyx Meets River 15

With full colors added for Zhyx and River, we next worked on the background.

Zhyx Meets River 17

This second to last illustration served to help us practice on the reflecting lighting that the picture required. Once it was done, we added in the final details. We added a glow coming out between Zhyx’s teeth, did a full detail on the eye, and added color to his horns, neck and cheek fan. The glow was also made much more subtle in this draft.

Zhyx Meets River 18

The end result is this, a highly detailed illustration for one of the most significant events in the book. Stunning work from a talented artist.


8 thoughts on “Chapter 3 Illustration Concept to Completion

  1. Hi!
    I know Jennifer Calvert. Your drawings are absolutely amazing and totally engaging.
    I met you on Danny Ray’s site. Congratulations on being his featured blogger! I was his featured blogger too! Perhaps you’ll check out my blog especially if you could use a blogging tip or two; that what I blog about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words. These pictures are not drawn by me, but I did commission them from a few close friends. They will be happy to hear your compliments and I will be sure to check out your blog.


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