Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Vacation and Drow vs Mindflayer

Jon Schindehette is at it again on http://artorder.blogspot.com/. 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

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