Friday, October 23, 2009

I live by Google reader

and I think I just blew it up. This morning has been a string of craziness adding new blogs to my list, thanks to the #EPICBLOGRT over on Twitter. Don't know what I'm talking about? Get over to twitter and check out @Jeff_Lai @rowenaaitken @JonnyHodgsonArt @scottpurdy @abigbat @CharReed and I'm sure others by now (you can search by the hashtag label). Sweet!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Cover

Here's a cover for a historical fiction piece set in 1940's Maine. I believe this is my first commercial piece done start to finish digitally, which is a strange and exciting experience for me. Feedback is always welcome! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Drow vs Mindflayer sketches

Just thought it would be fun to put up some of the sketches in my sketchbook that I used to "warm-up" for the Drow vs Mindflayer challenge and get some compositional ideas.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Drow vs Mindflayer part 2

So a week has gone by since I submitted my Drow vs Mindflayer to ArtOrder (yes, I know I just posted on the blog today... that pretty much sums up my blogging timetable). I've actually been able to get some more sleep at home, think about my piece a bit more, access my "virtual studio" of friends on Gorilla Artfare, skype and beyond, and do silly things like, say, google images of crossbows (that first drawing was clearly made up). I'm not sure I'm done with this painting yet, but I feel like I'm making headway in the right direction.

Vacation and Drow vs Mindflayer

Jon Schindehette is at it again on The challenge this time around was a book cover assignment, color, of a Drow (aka Dark Elf) fighting a Mind Flayer (if you don't know... well, it's a D&D thing). The span of the contest actually coincided with my vacation... perfectly. So perfectly that I emailed Jon before we left to ask if I could turn in my piece a half day late because we would be without internet until returning from vacation.

And so we were off to New Hampshire. Every year my in-laws rent a house in the Lake Sunapee area and my wife's family pops in and out over the two weeks (her parents and my family "hold down the fort" and 'suffer' through the whole two weeks of lounging lakeside). For Jon's challenge, it meant I was bringing my
sketchbook and my laptop and nothing else. I had no internet, no
reference pictures, no oil paints like I would typically use. Just me, some pencils and Painter/Photoshop. It was an interesting challenge for me, and
not really one I was prepared for. I was even less prepared for a 9 month old sleeping in our room and having several days of awful nighttime sleep-- so awful that one night the baby and I took a two hour car tour of western New Hampshire and Eastern Vermont at 1:30 in the morning. Admittedly, the dock on the lake in the early morning is beautiful (as the panorama shows-- my brother in law got up special to take this sunrise picture.
I was always too busy holding a baby at those hours to photograph anything). Somehow the lack of sleep killed my working method, and the finished product turned in to Jon, pictured here, was pretty weak. I would likely
have bailed on the submission altogether if I hadn't already talked to Jon about getting my piece in. Oh well. I've been working on the painting quite a bit since, and will get the updated version up later today-- I think some serious progress has been
made (though more to go before it's portfolio ready)

Slightly bigger version here

Monday, June 29, 2009

Gwenth and Garreth

Jon Schindehette has hosted a number of weekly challenges on his D&D and fantasy-art themed blog ArtOrder. His blog has quickly become one of my daily reads for insights into the industry and samples of great genre art. This week's challenge was a B&W vampire piece. Details can be read here. I will say, too many late nights and a jam packed weekend (facepainting at a local fundraiser in addition to lots of social engagements) caught up with me in the end, and I'm not in love with the final piece. There's a lot more refining that needed to happen in some of the drawing, and a quick reference shoot could have saved me some pain in pulling some forms out of thin air. Oh well-- deadlines are deadlines.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Digital Color Study

I have mixed feelings about revisiting old work, but in the end, I usually come back to the "finish it before you can move on" mentality. It may not be the most productive from a portfolio standpoint, but invariably I learn something new from(and oftentimes bring something new to) the piece. Here's an old sketch that has been kicking around for a while. Drawing was mounted to masonite and even started laying some paint down before I set it aside, but it's been leering at me from the corner of my studio whenever I work. I decided to take it into Painter and play around a bit to get something resembling a color comp. Still a bit of tweaking to go, but crits are welcome.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thank you Frank Miller

It's been a crazy couple months. New baby + insanely busy day job = no time for personal work. We've also taken on a basement finish/remodel ourselves, which will keep my evenings and weekends pretty busy for the next month or two. In the end it will mean that I'll have a nice new studio space to work in, though, so I'll take the pain for now. 

Back around Christmas, my brother in law got crazy with some carpentry and was building bird/bat houses for his yard. He decided he would give bat houses to the immediate family as a "bonus" Christmas gift (natural mosquito repellant) and asked if I would be willing to paint them as my gift. We joked about putting a big Batman logo on them, but I wasn't sure how it would fly with all the recipients. In the end, I decided to do a little homage to Frank Miller and do a take on one of my favorite images from Dark Knight Returns. Here's the result. These weren't completed until just recently because I foolishly decided the best way to paint four of these would be to cut a pair of stencils and airbrush them. Yes, those bats are one stencil. Shows how well I take the easy path on things. At least I can make a hundred more if I was so inclined.