Charles Urbach is an award-winning writer and colored pencil illustrator with more than 25 years of experience in design, publishing, and illustration. He began work in graphic design in 1991 just as the technology of design was moving away from traditional cut and paste techniques into digital technologies. While working for regional publishers across New York State, he earned a bachelor’s degree in illustration from SUNY Fredonia, with an emphasis on colored pencil drawing, traditional painting, and traditional printmaking. By combining techniques learned in the academic and professional worlds, Charles developed a practical and unique approach to artwork that combines pen and paper drawing skills and digital editing during the sketch phase, with colored pencil techniques for the final artwork. The result is a wide array of hand drawn Prismacolor pencil artwork that has all the visual depth and sophistication of traditional paintings.
His subjects, like the techniques employed in its making, are a blend of ancient and modern. His work explores fantasy, science fiction, young adult, horror, and surrealistic imagery by drawing on a rich tradition of historical, spiritual, literary, and mythological sources. Like a traveler on a journey, his work ventures into varied territories, not resting for long in any specific genre or subject matter. As a result, his art is recognized for its celebration of diversity and dynamic visuals that appeal to many different audiences and age groups.
Charles’ published work includes hundreds of illustrations for the tabletop gaming industry, book covers for many independent publishing projects, cover/branding art for major gaming conventions including Origins Game Fair and Gary Con, and graphic design/concept work for the corporate world. Projects have included miniatures designs for Wizkids’ Heroclix, illustrations for “Magic: The Gathering,” “Star Wars,” “Legend of the Five Rings,” “Everquest” and artwork for many games and properties including “Esper Genesis,” “Das Schwarze Auge,” “Infinite City,” “Doomtown Reloaded,” “Noble Treachery,” “A Game of Thrones,” “Call of Cthulhu,” “Lord of the Rings,” and a multitude of others. Clients have included Wizards of the Coast, NECA, Sony Online, AT&T and many other game publishers and independent clients. Among his accomplishments, he is a 2018 Chesley Award winner and an award winner at Gen Con, Dragon Con, ConVergence, Origins Game Fair, Jordan Con, PhilCon, and MarCon. Charles is a frequent Guest of Honor, panelist, and instructor at conventions and gaming tournaments throughout North America and Europe.
In addition to his published work, Charles’ personal artwork is published through his in-house studio and available via conventions and art exhibits throughout the country. Contact information and galleries of his work are available on his website, www.charlesurbach.com and on his personal Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/charles.urbach