A look at Jim Nelson's creation of Tar Creepers.

Journey to Un'Goro's tar elementals have become a staple of the set. Even if Tar Creeper is the only one seeing play at the moment, they're great examples of the art direction we've gotten out of this set. The one behind this art style is none other than Jim Nelson, a freelance illustrator and concept artist out of Chicago who Blizzard has utilized since back in the Goblins vs. Gnomes days. Today, we're highlighting his Un'Goro efforts, but we've also rounded up all of the Hearthstone art he's worked on. In the past, he's also done art for Wizards of the Coast, Beachhead Studio, and EA Mythic.

Most of the Hearthstone community is familiar with the artwork that goes into creating the game because each and every card has its own high-quality art. What isn't as common, however, are behind the scenes looks at how that art comes to be. Each week we highlight some Hearthstone concept art from Blizzard's various artists. 

All of today's art is from Jim's ArtStation page.

In this post you'll find art for:

Journey to Un'Goro



This is 1 of 3 tar creatures I painted for Hearthstone: Journey to Un'Goro. I've included a few process images to go with the final art. the first is my initial line drawing. The second is a value study and the third shows the color in-progress. Color was gradually applied on layers over the grayscale study and then eventually, the image was flattened and I painted in final touches.








Mean Streets of Gadgetzan


I designed and painted this robot for the upcoming Hearthstone expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, which will be published by Blizzard Entertainment. In addition to posting the final artwork, Ive included some process work: 

  • My preliminary rough for the robot

  • The finished preliminary drawing

  • The first stage of painting, in which I loosely blocked in colors and began to establish the lighting.

  • An intermediate stage, in which the light and colors are being pushed and details are being refined.

  • A third stage, in which the painting is basically complete. However, I painted out the wall in the final illustration because it was unnecessarily distracting, particularly when the picture was cropped into the Hearthstone card format, which is an oval shape.







One Night In Karazhan



Whispers of the Old Gods


League of Explorers



The Grand Tournament

Blackrock Mountain

Goblins vs Gnomes





Artwork for Blizzard's game, Hearthstone. I was able to design the gun from scratch on this assignment, which was fun because I've loved ray guns since I was a kid!




Interested in more concept art? Check out last week's post where we highlighted Rudy Siswanto who created the art for Stone SentinelVolcanic Might, and more!