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Character Sketch: The Salt Baron

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Jul 6th, 2010
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Aside from doing character bios, sometimes I like to do character or creature sketches. Yesterday I was reading the first book in the Monster Blood Tatoo series, and the book includes artwork of the creatures, characters and some of the clever devices in the world. I love it when books do that. So, it inspired me to whip out my Wacom tablet.

I ended up with a sketch of a character named Jacosta, a ruthless Salt Baron in the Desert of Night Walking from my novel, Jack of Hearts. Here’s the scene in the story where he’s first introduced. Jacosta and a charlatan named Moribrand are taking a meal when Jack is dragged into the room in chains:

Jacosta sat across the table from him, his opposite in every way, a face of hard edges and sharp angles. A trim beard followed the line of his jaw like an impassable black border. He kept his back straight and stiff, never hunching or reclining as if the cushions presented an extravagant temptation to which he refused to succumb.

The Salt Baron listened to Moribrand without interrupting, his lips fixed into an obligatory smile. A white eye patch cupped his right eye like an eggshell, held in place by straps that resembled thin scars etched into his skin. Jacosta’s other eye stared flatly, its glare suggesting a reservoir of venom. Jack thought Jacosta looked like a hawk watching a piglet eat, waiting for the right moment to dive down from the heights and crush it.

Jacosta the Salt Baron

I’m not 100% sure I’m happy with the style. Probably could do a better job with the line work and the values in places, but eventually I get lazy and just want to be done.


  • Clark Crawford

    Damn… is there anything you don’t do well? Very nice!

  • Bane

    Nice — seems like something that would have been in that deck of cards for the Iraqi Most Wanted :)

  • Adam Heine

    Jacosta was one of my favorite characters. That sketch is pretty awesome too. I really need to get better at drawing :-)

  • Ricardo

    Thanks guys!

    Adam–from what I can tell, since I’ve been following your blog anyway, you have gotten better!

  • Adam Heine

    Thanks, Ricardo. Really I just need to practice more and/or get a book on drawing cartoon/comic style (since that’s what I want to do).

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About Me

Ricardo Bare
Austin, Tx

Ricardo Bare is a writer and game designer living near Austin, Texas. Currently he works as a game designer for Arkane Studios, which in 2012 released Dishonored. Ricardo started his career in the games industry working on the Deus Ex series, winner of the BAFTA and numerous other Game of the Year awards.

Ricardo is the author of Jack of Hearts and Fool of Fate, the first two books in a young adult fantasy series.


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