FanArt Brawls are a fan held competition by Anton Zemskov, an artists who makes official Hearthstone art.
We bring you the showcase of Legendary Winners and Epic Contributions for the 16th FanArt Brawl - Citizens of Stormwind. As well as a short interview with each winner.
The theme was to "Draw any citizen of Stormwind (janitor, cheese maker, guard, e.t.c.) or Hero who came to rest (or so) to the city". Let's see how the artists fared, shall we?
You can check all the submissions on the Brawl's social media where you can also find works from previous competitions!
Interview with the Winners
We got in touch with the five Legendary Winners and asked them a little bit about the competition, why they picked the characters they did and their design process in general. Read what each had to say below.
Ramzy Kamen - The Secret Ingredient to Stormwind Pizza is Lasers!
Sinti: I saw your Artstation portfolio, very impressive. You seem to have the Hearthstone style figured out, dare I say even spilling it a bit into non-Hearthstone pieces. Which isn't a bad thing. How long have you been making Hearthstone art?
Ramzy: Thanks! I try to push the Hearthstone art style a bit more in every new piece I do. Figuring out the ways they treat composition, color schemes and stylization took me some time. I've transitioned into doing mainly Hearthstone-style art since discovering and playing Hearthstone in late 2018-early 2019 with Rastakhan's Rumble expansion. I fell in love with the game, the art style was a big reason for it. It's like all the fundamentals of art (anatomy, color theory etc) are present and pushed to the extreme.
Sinti: That is very true and it is nice to hear that the game was such an inspiration to you. Did you have a different design idea beside the flamboyant pizza master?:) You definitely put a lot of sass into your piece and it shows, in a great way!
Ramzy: The initial core idea was always there from the beginning which was "a reckless apprentice" coming to Stormwind in pursuit of learning opportunities. I've toyed with different scenarios like cake baking and scientific experiences in a lab but ultimately went with Pizza baking. In order to demonstrate recklessness of the apprentice I needed them to look like the type that's not used to work in delicate professions like cooking and because they're chaotic, they often resort to their basic instincts like using their laser beam when they're told to "cook" a pizza.
I've also thought about an Orc apprentice struggling with his enormous physical power to navigate through a delicate and precise task such as cooking but ultimately went with a Demon Hunter because it's easier to demonstrate that with the laser beam and the act of burning something.
I tried to make the master look Italian (in a caricatural manner like Mario) to reinforce the fact that he's probably the professor/master of Pizza-making here. Initially he had a more "scared" like expression but I thought it wasn't conveying my idea very much so I tried to make him look like he's insisting or begging the apprentice to follow his instructions instead of effectively burning the Pizza to ashes.
Anton Shakov - Me Sell Candle! You Take!
Sinti: Hi Anton, congratulations to another victory in the ArtBrawls! Kobold selling candles, how did that come to mind? You were, I believe, first or among the first to finish your submission, seems like you had a clear goal in mind this time around and didn't need to think too much about what you wanted to do?
Anton: Hi Sinti, thanks. I wanted to choose a non-standard race that was located in Stormwind and remembered my playing days :D Kobolds lived near the castle, whose most valuable thing was candles. I started to build on this idea, and then thoughts came about traders, candles, dynamite and other things. In general it became easier to develop the idea further. Regarding speed, I was not in a hurry, but I didn’t want to delay either, life is not predictable and things and all kinds of work can always come unexpectedly.
Sinti: Cool to hear that your playing days inspired you here :) What did you think about this Brawl in particular? To me, it looked like a lot of newcomers came forward and the quality level was especially high. Not to belittle the previous seasons, but it felt that now everyone was trying even harder than before and the final results clearly show that.
Anton: Yes, the level with each new brawl is more and more serious, there are many new people with their own level and it seems to me that it becomes more difficult to choose the winners. Everyone strives to become better and it's cool, looking at new artworks, the spirit of rivalry flares up in you and you want to be even better!
Sinti: Very true! I get that feeling as well just seeing the awesome pieces you guys do, alas from a spectator role only, but enjoying the ride along the way nonetheless. Thanks for making the time. Hope to see you in the next Brawl!
Anton: Maybe the time has come for you to try yourself in fan art brawl, the main thing here is to start and then you don’t stop :) If in time everything goes well, I’ll take a part, thanks for the interview.
Sinti: I can't, my skills with MS Paint would put you all tho shame xaxaxa! Cya :)
Jared Nickerl - No One Has as Many Friends as the Man with Many Cheeses!
Sinti: Hi Jared, was this your first ArtBrawl or have you participated before?
Jared: This was indeed my first ArtBrawl!
Sinti: How did you like the competition? Will you join the next one?
Jared: I had such a blast, and I’m already planning out my character for the next one.
Sinti: Where did the idea about cheese thief come from? Tell us little bit about your process.
Jared: The cheese thief idea came after a lot of iterating. I was trying to find things that really stood out about Stormwind and made it special, and my brain kept coming back to the cheese–so I ran with it. I made a character whose elaborate backstory revolves around being a high class cheese thief which he fences to make a fortune! I’ll link one of my planning pages where I started gathering reference.
Ramon Wadry - Making a Mess is Fun!
Sinti: Hi Ramon, was this your first time participating in ArtBrawl competition?
Ramon: I've been following fanart brawl for a long time and I've always wanted to participate, this time I decided to participate and managed to finish my project at the last minute. Yes, it is my first time and it was a really cool experience.
Sinti: I'm happy you did because the piece is great! The gnome is looking quite dashing while in the fray of things. What made you choose this character?
Ramon: I decided to make a gnome because I never made one. I've made a paladin, a Scholomance teacher, and a satyr, and I'd like to try something new. I loved making a gnome and I decided to make a bully straight away making a mess, it was really fun.
Sinti: I think you accomplished exactly what you set out to do :) I saw the other characters on your Artstation profile you mentioned, you seem to keep the Hearthstone minion frame in mind in your designs, I assume that is on purpose? Do you like creating Hearthstone art?
Ramon: I'm glad you liked it, thank you. Yes, I have that preference, I love creating these characters. I think Hearthstone's style is really cool, I love how the characters are stylized, that touch of humor and fantasy together, the big universe of classes, locations, spells. It's all very exciting. I'm very tempted to do more and more!
Sinti: That sounds awesome! Wouldn't mind seeing more of your work :) I also noticed that you tend to actually make those characters into cards in the end. Do you dabble in custom card design as well? Or is that just something you do to finalize your process?
Ramon: I like to make the cards at the end because it's great to see what art would actually look like on a card in the game, it's like the icing on the cake where you can really get a taste of what it would be like to have an official Hearthstone card with your art. I love to see how it looks.
Sinti: I totally get where you're coming from. Here's to you one day getting your card in game! Good luck in next brawl, I hope you are going to participate again ;-)
Ramon: Thank you very much Sinti. One day I hope to make official artwork for the game, it's a big professional goal of mine. Thanks for the interview, Sinti, it was a pleasure!
Pedro Miranda - Odds and Ends ... and Dragons!
Sinti: Hi, Pedro, I remember you were deciding between a few different compositions, what made you pick the one you did? It clearly was a winner :)
Pedro: Yes, at the beginning of the creation of the piece I made 4 compositions (thumbnails) to try to find a scene that better told the story I wanted. I wanted to convey the character's good relationship with dragons and also his profession, which is a merchant. The one I chose manages to read the characters well and also brings the feeling I wanted. Also, I think the chosen composition fits more into the frame of Hearthstone's card. Finally, aspects such as pose, facial expression and perspective (camera positioning) were essential for choosing the composition.
Sinti: I feel like you did a good job with that. What is that substance in the hourglass?
Pedro: Wow, that's a good question. The hourglass was one of the props I made for this character, the idea was to make a magic hourglass, which would work differently, being anti-gravity. However, being honest, I haven't really decided what exactly is inside the hourglass. The main concept of this item is that the substance inside rises instead of falling. This and other items of the character have different concepts as the idea was that he was a merchant who sold very rare and magical items.
Sinti: Sands of Times, I'm sure :) And how did you enjoy the contest? Lots of amazing art around. Was this your first time participating?
Pedro: Yes, this was my first entry in the contest. I loved participating, it was very fun and rewarding to be among great arts and artists.
Sinti: Glad to hear you had a good time. Can we expect you to enter the next one?
Pedro: There are great chances that I will participate in the next one, I took a look at the theme and found it very interesting. Contests are also very good for producing portfolio artworks.
Sinti: Alright, Good luck!
There you have it! Which one is your favorite piece? Tell us in the comments below :)