This is my second cover for Paizo publishing's Pathfinder set of books. And it nearly killed me.
When the art director asks me to draw with a certain style, I love the challenge. When she gives me the art order, and its actually referencing a previous cover in tone, and the cover is by Wayne Reynolds, I knew it was going to be a lot of fun, but a serious undertaking. And it definitely was.
I've done a number of pieces over the years that have included many separate characters. In fact, some of the card games I work on have commissioned me to do huge pieces with giant backgrounds and hordes of characters all fitting together to create one giant story they could cut into many different cards, which has always been a significant bit of work artistically, and a lot of time to complete.
But this image, it was a cover. So the real estate was limited. I couldn't spread out the characters over a wide background, and layer them in easily and simply. No, this was the kind of image I had actually never approached, the kind where characters are literally piled on top of each other, and every square inch includes some kind of small story or detail. And for the final catch, I had a little less then two weeks to complete it, which turned out to be just enough time.
And out of the 21 characters in the image (I'm counting the cat) 12 of them had reference art that needed to match exactly. Which added just a little bit more difficulty to the overall project.