Monday, November 28, 2011
I created this piece for a recent Dungeons & Dragons release called Heroes of the Feywild. It was drawn and painted in Photoshop, with a little blending done in Painter. The little fellows being attacked and trapped by vines are spriggans, which are creatures found in Cornish folklore. Traditionally, spriggans are small, grotesque fairies that haunt remote places like ruins, barrows and standing stones. As you can see, the D&D take on these creatures doesn't stray far from tradition. they're still little and still grotesque (which makes them fun to draw!).
Friday, November 18, 2011
Here are two paintings from the recently released Throne of the Tides set for the Warcraft Trading Card Game. The first depicts a dwarf warlock named Hunrik Blackiron (I love the names they come up with for these characters) fiddling with dark magical energy beneath the waves. The second shows an air totem (an item from the game). While a character card contains features that will almost always be of immediate interest (faces, armor, etc.), cards depicting simple items like this totem present a different challenge. When possible, I like to go for atmosphere in a piece like this and I was very pleased with light and mood I was able to achieve in this one.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I'm busy working on assignments under non-disclosure agreements at the moment so it's back to the past for today's entry: a Gnome miniature design for Dreamblade. The assignment called for a mean-spirited "garden" gnome wielding some over-sized tools. It was a kick tackling a variation of such a popular, iconic character. As you can see, I provided front, back and side views for the miniature sculptors (that is, sculptors of miniature figures, although perhaps the sculptors themselves were tiny). I also included a side view without the arm, so the sculptor could see the beard and face in profile.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
This weekend I joined Matt, Dave and Jason of the Bookhouse Boys podcast on their special Halloween episode for a discussion of H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, other Lovecraft (and Lovecraft inspired) works and horror in general. We had a great time! Please download the podcast and hear what we had to say (but if you haven't read much Lovecraft, be aware that there are "spoilers" in the episode):
Thursday, October 13, 2011
... or as I like to think of him, Sir Rides-An-Armored-Horse.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
This is another piece from the D&D Adventure, Madness at Gardmore Abbey. It depicts a red dragon who dwells beneath the Abbey. The dragon has jewels embedded in it's neck/chest. Apparently, he's been lying around on some treasure.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I painted this translucent fellow for the recently released D&D adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. The assignment called for an "alien" beholder so I drew inspiration from the old Mars Attacks trading cards to make this beholder into a nice, green "alien". It was a lot of fun!
Monday, October 10, 2011
As most of you probably know, spot illustrations are those little images you see in books, magazines, etc. that tend to have their own uniquely defined shape or represent a figure, object, etc,. with no background. They tend to be surrounded by text and the also tend to be simple (or at least to appear simple). However, they present their own unique set of challenges. When less is present in a piece, what's there needs to be well-executed and eye-pleasing. If you're illustrating an object and nota scene, that object needs to be shown in a relatively characteristic view because it's not just being drawn or painted, it's being displayed for the viewer. The spot becomes the equivalent of a photo in a catalog or an object in a store window. So, how do you make a sword, a lantern or a group of paint pots interesting, especially without a background (which can make lighting tricky)? There are plenty of solutions. here's what I came up with for Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium...
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I realize things have been quiet in this space for a while. Life and work have been busy and I'm afraid the blog suffered the consequences. However, I have a bunch of work to post in the coming weeks so please check in frequently.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Please pardon the pun in the title, I couldn't resist.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Here's the last of the yai. This fellow is a little more whimsical than the others, from his blue skin and icy beard to his martial arts stance. I hope everyone has enjoyed this series of oni pictures. I certainly had fun creating them.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Here's another of the oni/yai paintings I did for Paizo Publishing's Jade Regent: The Brinewall Legacy, along with the preliminary drawing (done in Photoshop). Like the first one, this oni is female but she's less on the creepy side and a bit more burly and barbaric.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
This piece was one of four different yai (a type of Oni) I painted for Paizo Publishing's book Jade Regent: The Brinewall Legacy. Oni are creatures from Japanese mythology, often similar to ogres, trolls or demons in western mythology. Each of the four yai I painted is associated with something elemental (water, fire, wind, etc.). I tried to give each a unique visual flavor while also making them appear loosely related to one another. It's a challenge to adapt the often flat, graphic style of ancient Japanese art to a more contemporary, western style of illustration but it was a lot of fun. The features of Japanese mythological beings have a bold character that's blast to draw.
I will be signing at Galactic Force's 4th Anniversary event on Saturday, September 10th. Please come out and say hello! I'll be there all afternoon and perhaps into the evening.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The artist's reception for the Fantastic Worlds Art Show at the Kenosha Public Museum was held Friday night and I had a great time attending. I encourage anyone who can get to the show to see it. It includes 3 of my paintings and I'm honored to have my work hanging on the same walls as fantastic art luminaries like Jeff Easley, Scott Gustafson, Donato Giancola, John Jude Palencar, Steve Rude, Dave Seeley, Jeff Miracola and many others. Walking the show was inspiring and talking to some of the artists in attendance was too. If you like fantastic art, don't miss this opportunity to see some in person! I can't wait to go back and see it again.
Here's another painting from the Twilight of the Dragons set for the World of Warcraft trading card game. This piece depicts a goblin rogue named Azizi Daggerflick (I love the crazy names they give characters in this game). I'm posting my preliminary drawing and a color rough as well as the final painting.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Wizard World Chicago was a resounding success! Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by my table, say hello and look at my art. It was great to see old friends and meet new people.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Since I will be at Wizard World Chicago this weekend, here's something a little different: ink drawings of comic book characters!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Just a friendly reminder: If you're in the Rosemont, IL area this weekend, why not go to Wizard World? I'll be in the Artist's Alley section at table 3501, doing drawings, signing, selling prints and artwork and happily chatting with anyone who cares to stop by. Please pay me a visit! The convention runs all weekend, from Friday the 12th through Sunday the 14th.
I've been a busy lad lately, thus the lag time between posts. However, I'll be posting quite a bit of art in the next few weeks so please "stay tuned". First up: a digital painting and some process images from a Warcraft card that appears in the recently released Twilight of the Dragons set. This piece depicts a gnome priest drawing upon holy magic. The entire picture was created in Photoshop and Painter, including the preliminary drawing, which I'll call Step 1. Due to the holy nature of the spell, I thought it would be appropriate to have the gnome's eyes closed, as if she's peacefully looking within to get in touch with the holy power she's summoning.
Step 2: I blocked in basic colors, using a hard round brush in Photoshop at varying opacities. At this stage, i wanted to establish the basic color scheme and values. I intentionally made the rocks very dull, muted colors to emphasize the colors in the gnome and to provide a semi-neutral backdrop for the radiant light that would emanate from the priest's staff.
Step 3: This is basically step 2 with a yellow glow added on a layer to further establish the light source. If I remember correctly, that layer was set to Linear Dodge mode.
Step 4: I begin pushing lights and darks in both the figure and the background, slowly adding detail, beginning to define the shapes of the rocks, etc. At this stage i want to get a firm handle on my value range for the picture. Again, I worked primarily with a hard round brush in Photoshop, set to various levels of opacity and flow.
Step 5: On two separate layers, I added concentric circles of varying golden yellow value and roughed in rays of lights.
Step 6: I worked up texture and detail throughout the piece, particularly in the gnome, refining her until she seemed complete. I added small strokes to the circles of light surrounding the staff. further defined the rocks and the background and even muted the color of the sky and the purple mountain in the distance a bit. Most of this was done in Photoshop but I took the piece into Painter occasionally to use that program's blenders and add bits of texture.
The Final: The rays of light have been refined and small touches of light have been added. The values were adjusted a little more and the piece was finished!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
This illustration was done for the recently released Dungeon #191. It depicts a frog-like creature called a Banderhobb stealing through a village at night with a small body in a sack (it's up to the viewer to decide just what kind of body). There's nothing I like better than painting the grotesque so illustrating this creature was fun. There's a special joy for an artist in adding expression to a type of face (in this case, a frog's) that is usually rather expressionless.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Doesn't that title express a lovely sentiment?
This is a miniature design I did for the Dreamblade miniatures game. I was asked to create a devilish little version of Cupid and I was given the chance to get a bit "cartoony" with it. Those chances don't come along often enough for me so I jumped at the opportunity, especially because the subject was very reminiscent of an old Harvey Comics character I remember fondly, Hot Stuff, the L'il Devil. My version is more realistic than Hot Stuff but definitely intended as an homage to that character.
The vertical "pole" you see running up from the bottom of the drawing represents a post. In Dreamblade, this hateful little fellow would be able to fly so when produced, the final plastic miniature would be mounted on a clear post.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
This D&D character is a Storm Warden. The illustration was painted a few years ago and appeared in a book called Primal Power. If you're a D&D fan, you can read more about Storm Wardens in this article: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ex/20091012
Sunday, July 3, 2011
This is another illustration from the recently released D&D supplement: Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale. It depicts a few adventurers encountering a black dragon (Shadowmire) ina swamp. Glowing "swamp lights" illuminate the scene.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
This digital illustration from the recently released D&D supplement, Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale shows a collection of creatures called felldrakes (in fantasy settings, drakes are reptilian creatures related to dragons). Each of these drakes had it's own size, color and characteristics and it was my job to collect them all into a cohesive illustration. Hopefully, I've managed to do that here.