Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Busy month

My new baby girl, Grace, was born 10/23. It's been a heck of a month, even with paid leave from the day-job. Most of my time has been spent rocking, bouncing, changing, and generally cajoling into some sleep like state, along with chasing my three year old son around. We even managed to play a little dress up for Halloween. With all that craziness, I did manage to sneak into the studio to finish out two LARPer portrait commissions that have been plaguing me for a while. One was done in the same head and shoulders style my previous ones were done in (not that exciting) but the other requested the application of my more illustrative talents. Not necessarily a piece for the illustration portfolio, but a good exercise in painting some various lighting effects, etc.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Speaking of LARPs...

Here's a couple portrait sketches from the end of last week. All oil on canvas. It's fun to have friends that play "dress up."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quick little digital study in Painter, trying to level-up my digital skills. Roughly one hour, from ref.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Once upon a time I considered LARPing (Live Action Role-playing) among my hobbies. I embraced the uber-geekiness of combining my love of fantasy with social interaction, creativity in costume and weapon creation, spending a weekend in the woods, athleticism in combat and lots of my old acting skills in the form of improv. Dressing up like an elf for a weekend may seem to be the super-nerd activity, but I actually found it much less so than table top RPGs and MMORPGs like WoW or Everquest.

I've been out of the game for a few years, but I still retain a lot of the friendships I made there, and occasionally I get fun little side commissions like the one at left from those old friends. This was a request for armor design themed around a spider. Pretty rough painter sketch, but the leather-worker that will be doing the final build was pretty happy with the design. Hopefully I get some good pictures of the final product. Should be fun.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I find it terribly ironic that I've intended to write this post, about distractions, for several weeks now. And, well, I've been distracted!

It's incredibly interesting to me the more time I spend with working artists the level of commitment they put into their craft. Twelve and Fourteen hour days spent in the studio, 6 or 7 days a week. It's this singular, directed focus that makes them successful, that elevates their work beyond that of their peers. The reason I find it interesting is that it is in direct conflict with what I perceive to be the nature of the artistic mind. Most artists I know are also craftsmen (or women), musicians, or writers. They have a multitude of "non-professional" creative skills. I for one have found myself pulled away from the studio to build furniture, craft leatherwork masks, "weave" a chain-maille shirt, play drums in a band, or a whole slew of other creative pursuits that will never further my illustration career but somehow aid in keeping me sane, and hopefully allow me time to come back to my "real work" with a fresh set of eyes. Having a kid only adds to the opportunities for distraction, as my latest little project proves. 

Around my son's last birthday, my wife and I decided we needed to get a toybox for my son's growing collection of wheeled doo-dads and plastic thingamajigs. My brother in law, being a reasonably skilled carpenter, decided he would give a gift certificate for toy box construction as his gift. Little did he know what he was stepping into. After several sketches and designs, someone (I think my wife) suggested we build a toybox to look like a school bus, given my son's fascination with the bus parking lot barely visible from our back yard. We were off to work, sketching, prototyping, cutting, routing, painting, and improvising at every turn. Luckily, after far too many work sessions, everyone was somewhat pleased with the final outcome (as with any "custom" project, there's lots of little personal touches, from the father/son portrait, to the license plate to the id number on the bus-- lots of fun to play with):


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Head Study

Quick "phone sketch" while on a conference call. Done from ref in Painter, approx 30-40 minutes while talking/listening.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Abstract Experiments

I've been really enamored with the digital techniques my friend Tom Scholes has been showing on his blog lately. There's some great video over there of him pulling incredible landscapes out of nothing, but more importantly using the tools that Photoshop provides to take what he's already done and skew, scale, warp and generally transform pieces of his image to make entirely new elements. Then, by layering these and changing properties, "accidents" happen that he plays off of in creating his final. It seems a great abstract way to "find" compositions, and is something I'm particularly interested in to break out of my stale thumbnail habits, and think about compositions more abstractly.

These were not quite done in Tom's techniques. For some reason I'm a little more comfortable with Corel's Painter application. I'm still getting used to the digital interface, so I'll consider these "baby steps" for now.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gorilla Artfare's new blog

A bizarre little group collective I'm a member of finally launched our blog. The level of talent from these guys and gals is simply amazing, and I'm honored to be a part of it. Check it out.

Gorilla Artfare.com

Oh, and to save from cross posting, here's a link to my last post there which talks a bit about my image from Conceptart.org's latest monster art Thunderdome, Last Man Standing 3 .

My blog has been sadly neglected.

I'll be the first to admit it. I keep telling myself that once I have "a little more" to show, I'll post something. The issue is, I've got artistic ADD right now. I'm in "portfolio mode"-- no paying gigs right now, and so I'm free to work on whatever I want. Sadly, what ends up happening is I work a bit on this piece, a bit on that, and rather than plow through the tough parts of each piece, I put it down to pick up another half finished project. Case in point, the two pieces I was working on last spring (see below posts). Both have received some love, but neither making it to finish. In addition, I've got all these projects in various stages right now, each vying for the attention of my muse.

from top to bottom,
"Thor vs the Jotuns" --an experiment in sketching by photo-compositing, I hate the figure getting hit, so he will need to be taken out.
"When Last I Saw the Sunrise" --Old painting that needs a new life. drawing has been mounted and waiting for paint.
"Arch Enemies 1" and "Arch Enemies 2" --Some thumbnails from a book deal that fell through. I loved these both compositionally (other thumbs were quickly burned) and want to take them to paint
"Grimoire of Ashes"-- sketch from a "peer art directed" portfolio project. I loved the idea, but the composition has gone through about 17 iterations, none of which having worked remarkably well. I've been banging my head against this one for too long, actually, and think it may need to just vanish from my hard drive so I'm not tempted to hurt myself too much more with it.