Sabacc Cards of SWAG

02 April 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars

Back in 2002, the first iteration of the Star Wars Artsts' Guild made an exclusive deck of unofficial Star Wars sabacc cards. It was unofficial in that it wasn't a Lucasfilm-sanctioned project. However, the cards and how it was played used the play description as detailed in L. Neil Smith's The Lando Calrissian Adventures novel trilogy and West End Games' Crisis on Cloud City role-playing game supplement. A bunch of SWAG artists contributed artwork for the face cards, including myself.

Recently, Bob Rodgers the former Baron Administrator of SWAG reminded me that I have a copy of the SWAG sabacc deck. So I dug around for it and found it. Here are some photos I took of the deck.

How to play!

The fold-out rules, with cover art by the esteemed Reverend Strone.

Suit cards

The suit cards; clockwise from top left: Coins, Staves, Sabres and Flasks.

A single suit

Clockwise from bottom right: 1 of Sabres, Master of Sabres, Commander of Sabres and Mistress of Sabres. 


I Should Be Looking Like This All The Time

28 March 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork

I thought I'd whip up a new avatar for my DeviantArt profile.





Eclipse Phase: Boom Goes The Octopus

18 March 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Eclipse Phase, Role Playing Games
Ink sac, I will miss you...

And that is the story of how Hokusai Tarnungshaut, my Eclipse Phase neo-octopus character, got himself resleeved in a used worker pod morph.

At least he didn't go insane during the resleeving proces.


Eclipse Phase: Sheldon-class Drone

15 March 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Eclipse Phase, Role Playing Games

Here's a type of drone which we use in Eclipse Phase: the Sheldon-class drone, named after the chick Sheldon of Garfield and Friends. It's small, it's egg-sized and it has a puppetsock. It can get through enclosed spaces and scout secure rooms. However, it has problems opening doors thanks to its lack of any sort of manipulator waldos: It has no arms.

If you have an entire fleet of Sheldons, you could use them to carry a load like a crate or an unconscious sleeve back to safety.

From Garfield and Friends

It uses the Gnat robot stats from page 346 of the Eclipse Phase core rule book, "except we use legs and cyberbrain with puppetsock," says Ivan Tam the GM.


RIP Ralph McQuarrie

04 March 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars

Once upon a time, Ralph McQuarrie illustrated a coffee table art book written by Kevin J. Anderson called The Illustrated Star Wars Universe. McQuarrie, if you didn't know, was one of the first conceptual artists for Star Wars. It was with his paintings that George Lucas was able to convince funders to invest in his movie. He passed away on Saturday.

He painted a chapter for Coruscant in The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, which hitherto had not been seen before anywhere else in Star Wars literature (except for renamed early concept art in some books for a planet called Had Abbadon for the then-titled Revenge of the Jedi). The planet's name "Coruscant" had only been officially named by Timothy Zahn in his novel Heir To The Empire a couple of years earlier.

Entertainment District, Coruscant

One of his artwork in The Illustrated Star Wars Universe was a night scene of "Monument Plaza", on top of the Mount Manarai where the only geological feature of Coruscant is exposed to the sky.

If you were paying attention 2 years ago, this entire painting was more or less converted and animated as a CGI environment in a Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode entitled "Duchess of Mandalore" where Obi-Wan met up with the fugutive Duchess Satine.

The original McQuarrie painting can be seen as a reference art at the bottom of this concept artwork, linked from the Star Wars official site.

More building set elevation and plans for the virtual environment here, part of which can be viewed in the following image

Building a CGI environment

A lighting concept from an alternate view of the plaza can be seen here.

Ralph McQuarrie would have been in a postion to see this episode. And if he did, I wonder what he thought of it.

RIP Ralph McQuarrie, you gifted artist. You've been a real inspiration to me.

Originally posted on Google+.


Cover for Azamar: The Paradise Fragment

18 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Apart from some interior art I did for Wicked North Games' Azamar RPG supplement The Paradise Fragment - as seen in a previous post - I was also tasked with the painting of the cover for the book.

It took me three different tries to get it right. The floating city of Adrya Orth proved adifficult factor in painting it because I tried putting the city and a couple of characters before it in an action pose. This caused characters to partially block the city. Finally I just put more characters in the picture but positioned them further away, and voila:

I wonder what the real estate value of a house there would be

For a closer look of the cover art, check out its entry at my DeviantArt gallery here.


Cover for The Adepts Book 2: Empath

16 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Books

The sequel to The Adepts Book 1: Furato will soon be released and here's the cover I painted for it. The blog entry about the cover for the first novel can be found here. Without further ado, here's the red-tinged cover painting for The Adepts Book 2: Empath, continuing the star spanning adventures of the powerful Adepts and their guardian Payan warriors. The novel will be on sale at the Amazon Kindle Store very soon.

Red cover is red

For a larger view, please check out the cover at DeviantArt.


Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places: Barlax

07 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

A new commission for Ben Gerber's Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Kickstarter project is a book. Well, I draw a book. You can't find this book at Barnes and Nobles because of its unearthly, eldritch and trickster nature. So you can probably search for it at

This should be in a library


From the Kickstarter update page descibes this sapient book:

A magical tome that assists in translating just about any language in existence. It also has its own wicked sense of humor and considers practical jokes to be wonderful things!


The Queen of Air and Darkness

06 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games, Star Wars

The Queen of Air and Darkness is the title of T.H. White's second novel of his Once and Future King series. In the Star Wars universe, the Queen of Air and Darkness is a sabacc face card that possesses a value of negative two. There was a request on the Star Wars Artists' Guild by one "Lord Cygnus" of a starship in his Star Wars RPG campaign named The Queen of Air and Darkness which I picked up.

The ship is a heavily modified Corellian Engineering Corps YV-545 light freighter and this is how it turned out after about 90 minutes of work:

That's a lot of guns, maaaan.

Here's the original request thread and here's the final image on SWAG.


Azamar: Paradise Fragment 2

05 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Here is the final interior artwork for the scenes in Azamar: The Paradise Fragment RPG supplement. Instead of including it with the group of artwork in the previous post, I shall describe how the illustration came into being using work-in-progress photos.

First, pencils are made for the half-page sized illustration. Something stalks the characters as one of them pushes open the strange stone door from a previous picture, then a dragon swoops down. Is it attacking? Is it warning the characters of something?


A close up on the partially inked artwork. Pencil lines are still visible with the inks - but you can't really see it thanks to the blurred photo.

Left side partial inks

A close up on the other half of the artwork. The details on the dragons are added using brushed ink.

Right side partial inks

The image is scanned, then GIMP is used to add ziptone / newsprint shade effects to the final black and white illustration.

Final artwork! Includes ziptoned dragon!

Voila! Add garnishing and serves four!


Azamar: Paradise Fragment 1

04 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Here are some interior artwork for the Azamar role-playing game's upcoming supplement The Paradise Fragment. Player Characters (PCs) are sent to the deserted and floating city of Adrya Orth on a mission and uncover a deadly secret. What is the secret? Don't look at me I'm just the illustrator, not the writer. However, the publisher's art order requested that a series of sequential artwork was created as if it was a comic and I had the discretion to direct the visual flow of the story if not the actual story.

Let's see how the game story ends up!

Watch this space for the upcoming release of the publication soon!

The party... striking a pose of some kind.
First snag of the adventure? Or is it?
Ludosaurs take the adventurers up to Adrya Orth

Two Covers, One Customer

13 January 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Books

Two cover artwork were commissioned by Ebb & Folks for their Iqliptiq Books science fiction imprint. The first is for a prequel and the other a sequel.

Two Blades, One Customer

Rhittach: The Beginning

This short story tells the rise of Rhittach, the Payan warrior featured in the novel The Adepts Book 1: Furato, which was previously shown in this blog post.

Two Characters, One Pile of Gold

Four Of A Kind

This is a sequel to Iqliptiq Books' short story Three's Company, also featured here previously in this blog post.

Both books were written by science fiction author David Leyman.


D6 Magazine: Two Monsters

27 December 2011 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Two final images commissioned for the latest D6 Magazine issue featured two entries below are the Redcap and the Springheeled Jack and lots of spilled blood.

He wears a red cap


He wears a top hat

Springheeled Jack

Download the zine from DrivethruRPG to read about them, complete with OpenD6 stats!


A Squad of Clones Plus Change

17 November 2011 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games, Star Wars

These are illustrations for pregen characters for a Star Wars Saga game to be run by Gary Astleford at Totalcon 2012.

The one in Massachussets, not the one on Commenor. Register quick if you want to get in on the clone action.

I wonder if his first name is "Gear"

Lieutenant Krieg

Demolitions and computer specialist

Sergeant Aren

Circumcisions at 50% price


Just a regular infantryman


He shoulders the burdens of heavy weapons

Senth Herf

Obviously this guy's a Jedi

Voris Xilef


Some Encounters ~ Some Plots ~ Some Places

16 November 2011 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Ben Gerber's latest RPG Kickstarter project is Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places, where you'll be given a whole slew of role-playing game NPCs, creatures, weapons, gear and locations you can easily adapt to your own campiagn! Lots of awesome stuff about, such as the ones I was commissioned to draw below:

Floating Cavern

Iron Mace of Law

Faris the Awakened Wolf

Sword of Vegetation


D6 Magazine: Hellhound

11 November 2011 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

The Halloween issue of D6 Magazine will be a bit late, but here's a late commission from the publishers! I'm not in the loop as to which article this illustration is slated to be in, but I guess said article has a Hellhound in it!

And it seems to be somewhat agitated.

I want a Peanuts strip reboot with this guy as Snoopy, pretty please?

Void Vulture Scrawlings

10 November 2011 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Three more Void Vultures RPG artwork was commissioned over the week and a half and here's what I've come up with. Click on the thumbnails to view bigger images, but I can tell you that the world of the spaceborne Void Vultures are filled with psionics in peril, homicidal brainbots, giant mecha, feral mutant killers and a guy who has to call his mom NOW!

This almost sounds like an episode of Red Dwarf
Brave Raydeen in brave? stop messaging him!!!

To read more about Void Vultures, check out their Kickstarter page here!


Uncanny X-Men 159: Cornered

31 October 2011 | Hisham | | Artwork, Comics
X-Men meets Dracula (THE Dracula)

Cornered blog's event this week is CORNERED FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE! My contribution is Uncanny X-Men #159 where the X-Men meets not just any vampire, but Dracula himself, who finds himself enamoured by Storm! Vampire hunting hijinks ensues. My entry can be found here.

I'd drawn another picture using inkbrush, but then I scrapped it on account of Storm's grimace being too ugly - so I whipped up another one with a pen quickly. No human, mutant nor vampire (or any combination mix thereof) should look so hideous.

Also I think I got the headpiece arms wrong. They should be turning outward, not inward.


Revisit: The Vacation is Over

26 October 2011 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars

After half a day of house cleaning, I discovered a long lost stash of old artwork. So I thought I'd post some of them on the blog and link to their final versions elsewhere (or on this blog itself if available.)

Here are pencils for the artwork for "The Vacation Is Over" piece for the SWAG Member Theme Art Contest from 2006.

... and they lived happily ever after.

Click here for the original blog post featuring the final artwork, which includes sparks.


Void Vultures Scribblings

21 October 2011 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Void Vultures is a role-playing game by Josh Roby and Ryan Macklin where players take the roles of space derelict retrieval personnel - salvage experts, so to speak. Space is littered with dead, derelict starships and space stations and players will have to salvage them.

However, it's no easy task since the old derelicts might have perils such as alien creature infestation, mutant beserkers, cyborg lunatics and heavily armed rival salvage teams!

To read more about Void Vultures, check out their Kickstarter page here! And here's an awesome illustration of frickin' space sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads by fellow art conspirator Ed Heil.

Check out my three art contributions to the Void Vultures RPG by clicking on the thumbnails below.

Scavengers security check
Its dentist bill wipes it out every time
Blow up cyborg priests and goats as you explore space derelicts