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Tarkelby Wiggins – gnome conjuration wizard

Here’s another one where I came up with (or in this case solidified) a character concept and then immediately had to run and start a picture. Had to do a decent amount of cut-and-finagle with the robe, but I feel like this might have been the quickest a portait has come together (especially after dragging my feet so long on the previous one). I particularly like how his expression came out and I think this is one of my favorite illustrations of a character so far.

At first glance, Tarkelby Wiggins might appear to be a doddering old gnome wearing a wizard costume that seems to primarily consist of an oversized pointy hat, a bathrobe, and a conspicuously fake beard. But he will be quick to assure you that he is in fact a great wizard, renowned throughout the great society of wizarddom, and he would still be off somewhere casting his great high-level spells if only he hadn’t misplaced his spellbook. He is currently on a quest to locate and retrieve this tome of his life’s work, and in the meantime he must make do with a spellbook containing a much more modest array of low-level spells. At least, you would have to assume that they’re spells, since the only person who can read Tarkelby’s handwriting is Tarkelby, and even that’s not always a given.

Lest you be inclined to suspect that Tarkelby is any kind of a scam artist, let it be said that he is indeed old, and doddering, and he does have some amount of wizardly talent. His youth was largely squandered on various frivolous pursuits and grand plans that never quite went anywhere, and as he began to recognize that his time in this world was growing ever more limited, he came to want more than anything to accomplish something truly great before he bids this life farewell. The magic he had only tinkered with throughout his life became his focus, and while the hoitier and toitier of wizards largely regard him as a laughingstock, he is determined to prove himself useful to his adventuring companions and make for himself a name that he can be proud of. Now if only he could remember where he last saw that dratted book…