Game Theory Illustration

Here’s an illustration from the reject pile... Well, the art was approved but the colors were not. 

This art is for the cover of a December issue, and my first thought before drawing it was "holiday colors". Complimentary colors, hell yeah! Let’s do this! The feature article is about game theory so after a bit of noodling around on the internet (mainly searching for definitions of game theory) I decided that chess pieces were a good option for the topic. Off I went to paint Christmas chess.

After finishing and submitting the illustration to the editor I got a message back from the editor asking to make it less dark. He said that it felt like he was in the flames of hell and he was about to be checkmated into oblivion. I looked at it again and I couldn’t unsee what he saw. He was totally right, it was too dark for a piece about game theory. So I changed the colors and the new version is now in the production process.

Anyway, when I got that message I laughed to myself about how the holidays are some people’s personal version of hell. Now whenever I see this piece I laugh. I still like this version though so here I am posting it. It's almost Halloween too, it seems fitting.