Crafting Elemental Magic: Illustrating Water Blast for Dungeon Crawl Classics

Crafting Elemental Magic: Illustrating Water Blast for Dungeon Crawl Classics

In the realm of tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs), few things captivate the imagination quite like Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) and Old School Renaissance (OSR) art. These genres are a treasure trove of creativity and magic, and for those who revel in their immersive worlds, there's something special in the art that brings it all to life.

Recently, I had the privilege of collaborating with my friend Nick Baran from Breaker Press Games on a project that combined two of my passions: illustration and old school badassery. Nick had a vision for Sorcerous Rites of the Elements, a collection of elementally based spells, and he entrusted me with the task of creating an illustration for one of these spells—Water Blast. What follows is a behind-the-scenes look at the artistic journey that brought this spell to life.

Sketching the Vision

The creative process began with a quick sketch, and for this, I turned to my trusty iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, using the versatile Procreate app. Nick was kind enough to give the initial sketch a thumbs up with no changes, and that's when I knew I was on the right track.

From Digital to Analog

With the sketch approved, it was time to bring it to life in a more tangible form. I transferred the digital lines to blue ink and printed them onto sturdy bristol board. However, something didn't quite click when I viewed it at 100%. The danged thing was so small that it didn't leave any room for awesome cross-hatchy goodness. Besides, it's always best to draw big so you can shrink any errors. ;)

Bringing the Magic to Life

Once I had the blue line printed out at a better size, it was time for the real magic to happen. Armed with ink pots, pens, brushes, and my trusty camera, I ventured outdoors to capture the essence of a grimdark wizard casting Water Blast. The goal was to create an illustration that would span a full spread in Nick's zine, immersing readers in the spell's elemental power.

And soaking some sorry clod of a book nerd cleric in the process.

The Finished Masterpiece

After maybe an hour of blissfully inking away in the pleasant afternoon sun, the artwork was complete. I carefully scanned the illustration and sent it off to Nick. He loved it!

Explore the World of DCC-Compatible Content

If you're as entertained by the world of Dungeon Crawl Classics and OSR as I am, you'll want to delve deeper into Nick's creative offerings. His website,, is a treasure trove of DCC-compatible modules, settings, and supplements that can take your tabletop adventures to new heights. Whether you're a player or a game master, there's something for everyone in Nick's collection.

And while you're on the hunt for DCC-related content, don't forget to check out his YouTube channel. There, you can find even more insights, inspiration, and glimpses into the world of tabletop role-playing games.


Related posts