Category Archives: Concept Art

Castle Borealis – Palace of the Ice Wyrms

As I had just completed a desert landscape, I wanted to try to do the opposite; a polar landscape.

At the North Pole stands Castle Borealis, a gigantic palace made entirely of ice crafted by the sorcerer Niiros thousands of years ago as a gift to his mate. It has the┬ávery organic appearance of water being funneled up through the sea ice and bent into towering spires and twisting gates. Every night the palace lights up and out of it’s massive spire shines the northern lights.

The elusive and magical Ice Wyrms reside here: wingless, furry Draconians who possess great knowledge and power.


I drew a few very simple sketches to get an idea of what the scene would look like. I wanted to incorporate the tall sandstone pillars and the vast open sky. It was after a few attempts that I came to my final sketch idea:


Though very simple, this sketch shws a vast flat desert filling the bottom third of the frame, some dunes to the right, and the colossal body of a Dust Walker beyond the horizon.

Desert Landscape

I wanted to create a vast expanse of desert with some form of civilization that would show the size of the Dust Walker in comparison to a city. To start off with, I created a Pinterest board of desert city landscapes which can be seen below. The gorgeous warm colours of the desert and the vast towering colomns of sandstone made me want to try drawing a landscape like them.


The Process of creating a Dust Walker

Starting off with a simple sketch and working up through the layers until I reached the final product (layout inspired by the work of Jared Pullen)

Features of the Dust Walker include:

  • Massive tusks for digging up trees and burrows.
  • Huge frills to help regulate heat and also to be used as a threatening display over territorial disputes. Also used for balance.
  • Two sets of strong flippers to help push the massive body over the ground.
  • Long, curved spines along the bottom of the creature, lining its belly, it help anchor the creature to the ground when it’s resting so it doesn’t float off.
  • A tail to help grab onto rocks and anchor itself so it doesn’t float off.
  • Huge air sacs along the torso that suck in hot air and keep the creature floating.