I got my comp. copies of the Forgotten Realms Players Guide through and thought I'd share some of the finer details in the pieces.
They were commissioned as 1/3 pages but it looks like they ran out of room for them and they got reduced more than I thought they might...plus they turned out a little darker than I thought anticipated so a lot of cool little details were lost. I continued with a new way of working on these that I'd started on some of the WoW cards Ive done. Inspired by the detail mentalist himself, Clint Langley, I borrowed his method of 'painting with photographs' (stop me if I'm getting too technical). I don't use them as raw as Clint does, his can almost be collage like, as I still prefer to retain a more traditional feel to the pieces, I try to get a more painterly effect on them so I do a bit more, well, over painting.
It's a really fun way to work as it introduces texture quite quickly and introduces ideas for detail, like the magic sextant thingy that the corsair piece has (below her buckle). It started out as a bit of obscure detail from a museum exhibit and only ended up there by accident (notice the squid pommels on the swords :).
In this Drow pieces I was perhaps guilty of getting lost in spider details (how the hell was that spider necklace ever going to show up in print??) I was really happy with the eyes on the hand crossbow though.
The Doomguide piece is awash with metal textures I've found on my travels, and again details in the photographs suggested details in the finish I would never have thought (you can see in the sketch things are a bit more basic).