Talisman: The City (Turning Lemons into Lemonade)

Fantasy Flight games has just released the newest expansion to the Talisman board game, called "The City". As with the "Dragon" expansion, I was tasked with creating the artwork for the actual board - and what a task it was! Not only was there tons of medieval architecture, characters, and interiors to paint, but it all had to be connected by a rubbery web of perspective that almost made my head explode.

The initial prompt for the board called for a more-or-less bird's eye top-down view of the city with inset portraits of key characters on certain spaces. Okay, that doesn't sound too bad. The hardest part was trying to differentiate the shops and points of interest when what we're mostly seeing is roof tops. But after spending a couple of weeks working out a drawing that I was fairly happy with and getting it through approvals, I was ready to start painting.


Details of the original sketch for the board showing a top-down viewpoint.


And that's when I received a dreaded and most apologetic phone call from my art director. Unfortunately, we had to start over - from scratch.

Apparently, the current iteration of the board didn't quite link up with the look and perspective of the other expansion boards that it would be placed next to. It's not news that any artist enjoys hearing, but these things happen and after taking a few DEEP breaths, I was ready to start over.

The new design called for a few space changes, shop interiors, and a more street-level view of the city. Now THAT was the real challenge. Making sure each space had all the details required and felt somehow different from every other space on the board (while at the same time connected by a perspective grid that's ridiculous at best) would have been a complete nightmare if it weren't for the fact that it actually looked pretty darn cool. Way cooler than the previous version anyway.

Now six or seven (or eight?) months later, it's that much cooler version that I am excited to show off here! Unfortunately, the image of the complete board is just too big to reasonably display in a web browser, so I've split it in half. You can get a small glimpse of how they connect in this promotional image from FFG's site.

Lower Section
Upper Section

 All above images are ¬©Fantasy Flight Games.

Oh. And here's a real lemon for everyone.  I couldn't help but do a quick doodle of Lemongrab from Adventure Time the other day. Love that show. Have a good weekend everyone!