Shushnya Concept Art: Thumbnail Sketches and Notes

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Shushnya is a story I did an outline for a few years back. I loved the idea and now, finally, I have begun production. What you see here are the very first ideas on what Shushnya could look like.


I know what you are thinking.... "What the heck is it all about, Jon!?!" 

Well, guys, it's the adventure of a misfit band of young troubadours (bards, musicians, singers, that sort of thing). One problem. They are terrible, awful... just plain bad. Yet determined, yes, very determined. Unfortunately, we must touch upon the part in which they are awful. So awful, their village banishes them, never to return until they learn how to carry a tune or at least learn to whistle properly. With out revealing everything. They learn of a magical place devoted to music. The wondrous kingdom of Shyshnya. Unfortunately for our little band of merry men, they read the wrong sign and head the wrong way. Trials and tribulations follow. Danger and darkness, for they stumble quite innocently, mind you, to the darkest, most dreadful, and horribly boring place in the world. Shushnya.... ruled with an iron fist, by a not so very nice man. Mean even.... so there you go. You will just have to come back to find out more later.

So. On with the show. 

I had no idea where to start. I watched the amazing Frank Hong talk about thumbnails and his thoughts on idea generation (see Resources below). It did the trick. If you happen to visit the links below, I also recommend watching the One Pixel Brush video on "The Law of Increasing Awesomeness." I mean, how can you not watch that? 

So. Again... I just started noodling and what followed is what you see.

The Bridge That's Mysteriously Broken. Don't know where this fits in yet. Sorry.

Tumbletwerp Mountain. This is where the boys in the band grew up and are eventually banished from. It's really serene and pretty there. You should go and visit, it's pretty nice.

Somewhere along the adventure, it's starts looking a little more spooky. Yup, someone really should have noticed this by now but... hey, what kind of adventure doesn't get a little spooky. No spooky, no adventure, right?

Magical starry night. Something good happens at this point but it's a secret.

The Canyon of Lost Echoes. Yeah, that sounds pretty cool. I just made that up.

Okay, it's getting spooky again. Just run, boys, go home, forget singing, forget playing music. It ain't worth it. Trust me.

We'll just skip this one. It doesn't seem to fit in.

The Dragon Horn Pass. Sounds kinda dangerous, looks kinda scary. I don't have a very good feeling about this.

Okay, this looks too pretty and majestic.
We are in the middle of the scary part, so we will save this for another point in the story.

The Fearsome Gates of Shushnya.
And with that, my dear friends, is where we leave off for now. Please comeback for more of the somewhat thrilling, maybe even, but, at least, slightly entertaining next development in the wonderfully wicked world of Shushnya. 

Goodnight and sweet dreams!



I spent about 10 to 15 minutes (maybe 20 minutes on some) on each thumbnail. The brushes I used on these thumbnails were a combination of Frank Hong's, Jaime Jones' and Shaddy Sadafi's. You can download Frank Hong's thumbnail template (PSD), brushes and videos on his Gumroad page. I used them myself, they're handy.

Frank Hong Goodies 

Get those other brushes here 

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