Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Art: Fantastic Phrenology - Orcs

I am noticing an interesting phenomenon as I make these sketches - when I hate the profile, I am usually okay with how the mug shot looks; conversely, when I like the profile, the mug shot tends to be disappointing. I guess that's better than flat out hating both of them, right?

Dungeons & Dragons (4e Monster Manual I)
In comparing the realities, the Orcs of the D&D world appear the most simian in nature. A sloping brow leads down to a flat, upturned snout; which in turn follows a slightly convex upper perioral region to a powerful lower jaw dominated by two tusks. The ears are proportionally small to the head and situated slightly lower than other humanoids. The body is covered in a layer of short but dense hair, usually of a dull gray hue. A subtle brown or greenish tint may be present in the hide.

World of Warcraft
Like their D&D relatives, the Warcraft Orc is defined by his powerful lower jaw and the enlarged canines that protrude from it. The ears are large, pointed, and generally sweep back and slightly out from the skull. The brow and nose are most akin to humans, as are the areas and frequency of hair appearing on the head.

Warhammer Fantasy Battle (7th ed.)
The Warhammer orc has a thick, protruding brow shading beady eyes and an upturned snub nose that crown a disproportionately large upper-perioral region. A powerful lower jaw frames a large mouth in which teeth rapidly grow long and large enough to protrude at random from the lips. The pointed ears are not oversized, but do stick out more so than in the other realities. Warhammer orcs are naturally hairless. It is not unusual, however, to see an orc adorn its head with a pelt, tail or other hair-bearing accessory - usually taken by force from the original owner.

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