ATCitupwithfriends: July 2021 – Fantasy Field Guides

#ATCitupwithFriends is an ILLUSTRATION, Fantasy & Science Fiction focused Art Challenge – Trade Group hosted by Pabkins


How to Request to Participate:  You must read this Guidelines page! 

See Pabkins create some art & open ATCitUp envelopes each week on Mondays @ 10:30AM PST on my TWITCH CHANNEL!

Timeline and General info:

MAIL TO Host anytime: As long as I receive it before I start swapping I will accept the cards. Check the discord server for swapping status or message me directly on instagram to find out. This theme is our next book so I will try to postpone swapping these for as long as possible to allow the maximum number of members to participate. 

Requirements: As always our normal standards apply of original 2.5 x 3.5 inch original hand drawn/colored/painted cards in your best efforts. I swap cards around based on composition, detail, and final execution. Empty backgrounds or people/objects with solid color for background is discouraged, please try for more. This community is made fabulous by everyone trying their best and being supportive and encouraging of each other’s growth.

July’s THEME:

Fantasy Field Guides


THEME REQUIREMENTS:  Your cards MUST be done in a fantasy field guide style. You can use whatever creature or fantasy species/race of your choice from lore, myth, legend, or create your own! Cards MUST ON THE FRONT of the card – have the name of the creature/race/species and some random observations or hand written information of some kind ON THE FRONT! Yes you can still of course write more information on the back. The handwritten text does not have to be in English, whatever language you want is fine, or even made up fantasy text, as long as there is hand written text. Remember fan art is not permitted in our monthly themes.

We are Fantasy Naturalists on a quest to document all the creatures and races of the unseen world! (This is likely to be the 4th book in our community art book series so I hope as many of you will participate as possible!)

For hundreds of years scientists, naturalists and dreamers such as us have attempted to part the veil and see into the unseen world! We hope to spy fantastical creatures living in our backyards, oh was that a sprite nipping at your picnic sandwich? Those who dare to hope and dream would have gone into the furthest wilds before the time of cameras (and even now with cameras) and attempted to capture creatures, flora and fauna in the pages of their sketch and field books. Jotting down notes and observations of what the see.

This is the mission before you! You have your trusty sketchbook, watercolor album, pens, markers, paints, and must capture the them as well as little details you observe but instead on the cards you create!

Examples / techniques that might help you:

– Draw your critter/creature/character but try adding some flora/fauna/habitat
– Try adding a close up illustration of one of the body parts or habitat/foods they eat/predators etc
– You don’t have to leave so much empty space if you don’t want to, scenes work too just try to make the text noticeable
– Maybe you’d like to add hatch work randomly on the edges or a decorative inked border?
– You could try to make it look like a page taken from a notebook (holes on the side of one edge like a notebook)
– perhaps add illustrations that look like notes or polaroid looking illustrations like a field scrapbook (these must still be hand drawn by you)
– Maybe you’d enjoy coffee or tea staining or splattering your card with inks or watercolors?
– Distress the edges or random areas on the card to make it look worn / old.
– If you burn your cards in anyway or cut them in anyway please at least place another paper behind them to maintain the SIZE requirements and the rectangular shape of a trading card.
– Try your hand at pretty hand lettering to include the name of your creature and odd random notes or facts like in the style of the images you see on the board.
– A nice technique is to fade your images out in places (like you see in the pinterest board examples) so you have room to add the creatures name and random facts, maybe a species #, size info? likes dislikes? Have fun with it!

Some INSPIRATION in case you need it! (you can also look in our discord ATC Collection channel as many have shared photos of field guides they’ve collected over the years)

Fantasy Field Guide Pinterest Board

If ever in doubt or need some help just shoot me a DM or ask for feedback in our group Discord. Send signups to [email protected] 


These monthly themes are intended as a CHALLENGE as well as a way to trade fabulous original art and bond our little art community. Please rise to the challenge and treat your fellow artists with respect by putting in your best efforts. If you are unwilling to put forth true effort then please do not apply to join!