Commission work I did for a novel by Daniel Liut, targeted to a young adult audience. The client requested 2D art for print quality (6" x 9" @300 dpi). The challenges this project introduced were 1.) The image had to have a painted look to match art already made for the book. 2.) There was a time constraint, so as much as possible had to be done in 3D, because that is the medium I work fastest in.
Therefore, after modelling and lighting the scenes as fully as possible, I imported them into a paint program and added a few modifiers to create the painted look.
The client asked for an image that indicated an advanced, space-faring society meeting one at only at a medieval stage of development. The ground foliage was preexisting geometry that I used a particle system to distribute over the ground surface. The trees are hand-placed meshes. The Commander and standard-bearer are hand-placed and posed. The rest of the army are a particle system low-poly versions of the lieutenant.