EverQuest - box art by megaflow

EverQuest - box art

Artwork Stats

Artwork Stats
Added: Jan 16, 2003
Views: 37717
Likes: 0
Fav'd: 0 times
Comments: 56

Artwork Description

Well, this was an interesting project. This was to be the box art for the next in the popular EverQuest series. In terms of important clients, this was pretty big for me - Sony Online. In terms of pressure, pretty big too - as I had to try to live up to the legacy of Keith Parkinson on the previous EverQuest covers (a style and main character he created).

Unfortunately, just as I finished, I learned some sad news. The project was cancelled and never to be released! They will use some of my characters from the painting, but this will be your only chance to see the never-to-be-printed cover in its entirety. (I still got paid so don't feel too bad for me!)

The left 1/3 of the cover was to be the front cover, and the rest would be a fold out. Of course, there had to be room for the Logo and various text areas, too. The characters vary in origin... Firiona, the beautiful elf wizard on the left was created by Keith Parkinson, and appears on all the EverQuest covers. The knight and two dwarves in the middle are in the most powerful battle armor available to them in the game. The large Orc on the right is an amalgam of various Orc costumes and my own ideas. The smaller evil characters are Goblins, which hadn't really been rendered in real drawings before (that I had seen) so these are my interpretations. The Drow coming down the stairs is loosely based on a Parkinson idea. The Archer is in the flavor of the elven archers in the game, though not any one precisely. The musician is my design.

Well, I hope you enjoy this rare chance to see a work that won't see the light of day elsewhere. I should also mention that S.O.E. Art Director Mike Myers was great to work with!

Login or register to post comments


megaflow's picture

Thanks. I can't really go into the details of the contract, but in general... I estimate the number of hours a piece will take, then multiply by how much hourly salary I would need. So, just for comparison, if you think you should be making $40/hour and you think a picture will take 40 hours, you would charge $1600. In general, this works pretty well. (Of course, everybodies hours and salary will vary!)

Guest's picture

Just out of curiosity, what do you get for painting a piece like this one?


megaflow's picture

Oh, I don't want to get greedy, Chris! One pick is more than enough for me on one picture... -- Thanks for the support!

christar's picture

I can't help it, I have returned to view this again, and I must reiterate how much I like it.
I think this is one of the best Epilogue paintings of the new year, if not the best yet.
I can't believe it didn't get Eidtor's pick. Socar!!!

megaflow's picture

Very flattering, Danny - thank you. And your work is coming along great, by the way. -- We must all remain our own harshest critics. I have never done a piece that I'm completely happy with (there are dozens of things I'd do differently on this one already!) but that's what keeps us going.

megaflow's picture

Yeah, "stone drag" sums it up! But I did have a lot of fun doing it... (hard work and sleepless nights, but fun... artists are weird.) Thanks!

aragorn's picture

Great piece. It is easier for me to admit that my work needs work when it comes from you as an editor because your work is fabulous.

griffingirl's picture

Yay for you, bud!! Stone drag your awesome work won't be conspicuous in every EB from here to...well...everywhere! And the amount of work you put into it...*whistles*

megaflow's picture

Any time, Chris! Wink It certainly helped take my rendering to another level, just by having so much intense practice all at once, on something so big. Quite an experience, for sure.

christar's picture

Wow, this is your most monumental work to date, I'm jealous!
I think every fantasy artist needs to have a theatrical widescreen super battle like this!
I want to do a "Warhammeresque" battle with my own characters.
Thanks for the inspiration!

megaflow's picture

Thanks for writing! Glad you enjoyed it.

Guest's picture

Simply great job !!!

megaflow's picture

Thanks a lot, John... I don't know if it's "genius", but I appreciate the praise! Oh - and I'm not a schmuck - I'm a Shlimazel! He's the one with perpetual bad luck (they say that the shlemiel spills the soup on the shlimazel!)

megaflow's picture

Thanks for the props, David! I'm keeping it - but they did originally want the painting, so I'm not going to sell it or anything in case they decide to pull the project out of mothballs later on. I can only hope - I'd gladly trade the original for the chance to have it used as intended!

johnahays's picture

Oh Patrick, you poor schmuck, even though you were duly compensated for this beautiful piece of genius, I know that half of the reward is actually seeing one's hard work in print, so my heart goes out to you. At any rate, I must echo the praises of everyone else, fore it is truly a visual delight! Thanks for letting us take a peek.

davidh's picture

Awesome work. That is one DETAILED piece.

One question: Since the project was cancelled, do you get to keep the original art?


megaflow's picture

Many thanks, Stan. "Holding together" with the three separate sections and room for text was a challenge, to say the least! Glad you think it works. And thanks for the sympathy... Sad -- Oh well, maybe next time!

megaflow's picture

Well, first off - thanks! -- Well, this was a painting that needed to follow lots of precise art direction, and needed to be done in such a way that the final outcome would not surprise the client at all. So I started with a lot of sketching and refining. I actually started with JUST sketches for the background, with cool places for them to stand but not drawing them in. Just a "set". Then the "plot" and eye-flow, then the placement of figures.

-- Next, I used the method that Todd Lockwood and Donato have kindly spelled out on their respective web sites - I enlarged the picture onto 90lb hot-press paper (at the copy shop) and laminated it to my board with acrylic matte medium. This was a little difficult because it took TWO pieces of paper, which I had to align exactly against each other in the middle! But all in all, it was the best way of transferring such a detailed sketch.

-- OK, next, I just started painting! I found that the picture was too big for my easel (did I mention it's 48" wide by 21" high?) so I set it up on my drawing board and did the work there.

-- I know a LOT more about oil painting than I do acrylic, so it was a bit of a learning process for me. I worked on the left side (front cover) first, because the client needed it done early for some publicity stuff. I blocked in all the main areas of color for the entire painting (a little rougher than a traditional "under painting" but not much), then went to work on that side only.

-- I worked more or less back to front, and built up lots of layers as I went. I have found that acrylics work best for me when using layers of glazing and scumbling, first putting in big areas of flat colors and gradients then adding texture and details. Lots and lots of soft dry-brushing (like for the waterfall and the faces) was involved, too - and that really destroys the brushes!

-- Later in the process, I did a lot of glazing in the background with water and Golden's 'acrylic glazing liquid', to bring the colors all together a bit, and add some darker atmosphere. I did all the "special effects" last, too, like the power areas on Firiona (bottom left character).

-- Last thing I did was all the TINY details, for which I used some #000 brushes and a big magnifying glass - I kid you not! Things like the Goblin teeth, Firiona's eyes and mouth, etc. I found much easier to paint under magnification. This was a much more tight and detailed style than I usually use, so it was kind of fun getting into all the little stuff.

-- Well, those are my random thoughts. I'd be happy to answer any other questions if I missed something!

leowinstead's picture


This work is truly amazing. The level of detail is insane. I know you were directed to use acrylics for this piece. Could you provide some insight into the process of making such a huge painting?

megaflow's picture

Yeah - the fun alone was worth the ride! Thanks, Steve. And, the client was really wonderful - they paid the whole contract, no problem or discussion at all. Great folks to work with.

megaflow's picture

Yes - a journey, and a whole story in one painting. Thats what we (me and the Art Director) were going for. glad you liked it!

megaflow's picture

It took a while to post it all (especially with my proclivity for unbridled verbosity...) but I'm glad it was worth it. Thanks!!

swisnie's picture

Patrick, this is wonderful. It all holds together. Sorry it won't be published.

sferris's picture

So happy for you to get to show this finally! Sorry about the cancellation news but that happens more than most think it does. Hope the "Kill-Fee" was sufficient.
Wonderfull design and execution of characters. C'mon Pat you had a bit of fun here with this too.
Great job!

Guest's picture

Wow - this painting is quite a journey in my opinion. There is so much to see, so much to look at. Thanks for posting some more detailed shots, they are really interesting.

portalrun's picture

Im glad you posted 3 sections ,I started in the middle and came here last,congradulations on a outstanding piece of work....

Art at its best.