Game Illustration

How to commission an artist for a board game or RPG product

So you need an artist for your RPG or board game?. There are a few things that you are going to need to know before you start talking to artists about how much they charge. I often get 

"How much does custom art cost? " 

As an artist, I need more information than that. It's like asking how much does a car cost? You ask that question to 100 people you will get 100 different answers. but if you narrow it down a bit it will help you get a better price. Here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself before you start to commission your art. 

  • Who will have the rights to the images after the work is done? 
  • What is my timeline? When do I need to have it done? 
  • What style of painting or drawing do I need? 
  • Is the art to be done on canvas or only digital? 
  • Can this artist do the style of painting I need? 
  • What format of image do I need? 
  • How large does the image need to be?
  • Do I get to make revisions? 
  • Will there be an artist contact? 
  • Do I need to make a deposit for the artwork? 
  • Does the artist have samples of the work I need? 
  • Does the artist have the rights to use the images they are selling me (Avoiding copyright issues with Fan art) 

Having an idea of this sort of thing will help out a lot.  

The list of Don'ts 

  • Ask the artist to work for Exposure. Real art takes money. Exposure will get you stick figures. it's also insulting
  • Expect the word done overnight. Some artists can take weeks if not months to do a painting. Many times the longer the better
  • Expect a ton of revisions. like building a house you can't add a basement after they start working on the third floor
  • Remove the credits of the artist work after it is done. 
  • Ask the artist to do paintings of copyrighted material. No, I'm not going to do art of Superman for you unless you are DC Comics. 

Care and feeding of the artist

Here is a list of things that you can do to make sure that the artist is happy. A Happy artist makes for better artwork.

  • Tell the artist upfront that you need the artwork in ______ Weeks. 
  • Have a list of images of styles that you like. This will help convey your ideas. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words 
  • Be clear what your expectations are ad how much you are willing to pay 
  • Understand that some art starts off DOG UGLY and gets better as the piece progresses. (check out speed painting videos.. they all start ugly) 
  • Pay the artist. 
  • Give credit to the artist for the work even a post on your blog about the art will help the artist. (and help with Search Engine Ranking for you as well) 
  • Say Thank you. 
  • Treat them like they are a professional 
  • Ask for a contract. Make sure that everyone is on the same page. 

Truth be told most artists are not difficult to work with. I myself am very professional and often surprise my clients because I'm early to meetings. With the understanding that art is a business to people like me. 

If you need Custom artwork for your RPG or boardgame contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will be more than happy to send you a quote. 



Zombie Clip art This one is missing an Eye

Zombies. I need to paint more of them. Have you ever spent anytime one Kickstarter games and did not see at least one Zombie Game? Yes, I had the same result. There always seems to be one game that has something to do with Zombies. Some of them look amazing and a few of them looks like they have just taken another game and slapped a Zombie on the cover. Personally, I prefer to haver better gameplay than a catchy theme. However, there is a need for Zombies in the games so I 'm just going to make more. 

One of the things about working with Zombies is that you have to take a second look at human anatomy. Not only do you have to think about where the nose is but where it used to be. This does make some very interesting drawing. This one I'm going to only charge $5 for the license to use in your games because it only took me 15 min to paint. 

Zombie Clip art for Kickstarter games.

$5.00 each Zombie with missing Eye

More Zombies!!! WE need more Zombies I'm told. So that Is what I'm going to give you.  This was a quick sketch of a Zombie I did today. This one was a test to see how well I could work with layers. I'm really starting to get the hang of it. I'm setting the price of this one to $5 because It only took me 30 min of work. 



Murden painting


So as you know this last weekend was Running Numenera for the first time. One of the things that happened in the game was the Players encountered a Murden ( A Crow like Abhuman or Humanoid straight out of the Numenera Main book) Who was trying to sell stolen and (Non-functional or spent) Cyphers. 

During the sales pitch, I asked for the players If I could do a GM Intrusion. The Player agreed almost instantly.  The intrusion was that the Murden had stolen the characters Hook Knife. The play did not notice till after the murden was attempting to leave. This did result in the death of the Murden. As a GM  have taken notes to make sure that the Murden will not be kind to that character at all in the future. 

As for the drawing above. I wanted to test myself to see if I could do this within an hour. YES, I CAN :). I may just illustrate our campaign as it goes. 

Unlike my other images, this image is not for sale. but I'm putting it into my Game Illustration portfolio 

If you are interested in Numenera go to 

Dragon Attacks at night clip art.

Dragon Attacks Village at midnight
Dragon attacks Village by Kevin C Mason

Dragon attacks at night
This painting came to me in a dream. So I got to work on it right away after dropping the family off at the train. The idea was to play with light and shadow at the same time have a fantasy theme. I also do a lot of thinking while I am painting. Like would dragons have good night vision and if so do they only attack during the day to give the poor knights a sporting chance? After all, these beasts are supposed to be smarter than humans. So why would they attack during the day? Why even consider giving the villagers a chance?
These are the things that I think about while I am painting. As always if you are interested in using these images in your check out our shopping cart. also please take a look at our Clipart terms and conditions MUST READ
$5.00 each Dragon Attacks At night
$5.00 each Dragon attacks at Midnight Close up

More landscapes coming soon

Landscapes for RPG games

I have been painting landscapes for a very long time, Being that my mother was also an artist who only painted landscapes I remember sitting on her lap and watching her paint for hours.  This is something that still has a warm spot in my heart. 

What is an RPG book without some landscapes? After all the whole thing is about adventures in strange places. The GM and spend a lot of time describing with detail the Images he/she has in his head or them can just show and image. This becomes even more important if you are writing the book and will not be present when the story is being told. Not that I don't mind a wondrous description of rolling mountains with strange and exotic carnivorous trees. Rocks that move when you are not looking. 

So I'm going to try to do a new landscape painting every week.Some will be very normal. some will be strange and out of the mind of a mad man. Others will have more of a Science fiction feel. I'm going to mix things up with some free art and a few that will have a cost for the license. 


Free Landscape1

I am the fourth generation of artists in my family and most of them have worked mostly on landscapes. This is something that I'm going to be spending a lot more time on. Now that I have started digital painting I have noticed some differences in the styles that you use when using Speed painting vs Acrylic.  

Free Log Bridge Landscape

A landscape of a Log bridge. Sunset in the background. 

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