Saturday, January 23, 2010

Creature Retread: Devil Assassin

So I did this piece for one of Art Order's Challenges. The first draft went awry on Hardboard (thanks for the tips Aaron & Mark), so I did this version on Illustration Board. I don't really plan on doing card art or Role-Playing work, but I have really wanted to push myself to try more variety. I tend not to think in the dramatic frame of mind necessary for most character-based illustration, and this was no exception. The figure is stiff and the angles not very dynamic. I struggled with the fixed rules of what the character had to display and I felt this hampered the normal flow of my work.

That said, I still found this process rewarding. As an unpaid illustrator head I have to play all of the instruments in the orchestra and conduct at the same time. I don't always have fixed goals or requirements for my art and that can be taxing. Having to adhere to someone's strict guidelines does leave out quite a bit of guesswork providing a check list of sorts to determine "success". I get tired of asking : Do you like it? Instead, I look forward to asking?: Did you receive it? My developing style will speak for itself and help me stay focused on the task at hand.

Today's Lesson: Push Yourself. Expand beyond what you know you are capable of, and you will always have a comfortable place to retreat to. Well, mostly anyway.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


So here is the piece I mentioned a few days ago. It went from a stale lump of crustiness, to something that I really like. When my new website goes live I will have a better representation of it. But in the meantime, I hope you like it.


So here is a piece that I initially did about 3 years ago and hung around the house. It was fun and I really enjoyed it. However, it definitely doesn't pass 2010 standards; personal or otherwise. So instead of burning it or giving it away, I thought I would work back into it and see if I could rejuvenate it. Although it is no showstopper, I still think it has turned out significantly better. I still want to do more to it, but working over a ooold work on canvas is terrible. Especially since back then I didn't use glazes or any additional medium. Lame. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to toss both images up and let you judge my progress.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A quickie

Tip of the Day: Don't give up. I picked back up on a piece I had started before my mini-crisis and reached an impasse after an hour or so. The idea was stale and I didn't care about finishing the bastard at all. Hating to not finish something I had started, I walked away for a bit and came back with a new perspective. I still feel it is a bit forced, but it was definitely salvageable. Another hour's work and I enhanced it further. Now I have a sellable painting that should probably move some prints. A Spectrum winner it is not, but still not too shabby. A pic will be posted soon.

The point is that I could have wimped out and ran away, but by coming at it from another direction, it turned out okay. Don't marry every piece, but don't walk away without a second chance. (Yes, I'm still talking about painting)

And on the Spectrum note, The Scout is on its way to briefly stand amongst the giants.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Back to basics

Alrighty. So I'll shoot some of the WIP tomorrow, but I thought I would drop a quick note while it is on my mind. Eric reminded me of some good advice that I have received before, but probably never quite as poignantly: Paint what you love.

As I explore the work of the many, many talented artists out there, I keep getting inspired to try different things. Oooh oooh I'll do a Prescott beastie with a Whelan sunset and a Brom texture but I also want it to have the emotional appeal of Fortune with some DDS lighting. (fog horn blows Waaaaa Wahhh). I love getting inspired and moved both in social and artistic moods but there is a time and place for everything. **Here is where the sage would offer his poetic and direct advice and we would all eat cake.** Unfortunately, all I can offer is what I am going to try and do.

Discover what I like and paint what I love. I am still planning on doing an exhaustive series of master studies on my heroes. not only is this the way it has been done for...ever, but it has already started to hone what it is I am really drawn to in a piece. In the Whelan study I started, I couldn't wait to dive in to the lighting but could care less about fingernails. This way, not only can I work through rough areas in my own piece, but I can also really etch that info into my visual/manual lexicon in a very tangible and lasting way. (Watta sentence!)

Anyways, since I really am doing this to connect with and help all you other beginners, if you find yourself in this spot, overwhelmed and ready to burst, take a moment and do a study. It might work for you. If nothing else, you've got some cool stuff to put on your wall.

Monday, January 11, 2010

So back to things...

Well, I took a few days off in order to recover, unwind and resume. With about 20 hours of Dragon Age under my belt and a dizzying number of circuits around the house chasing the girls, I am ready to get going again. Started a new sketchbook and have already plotted out the next few pieces. I think from now on I am going to have to factor in one play day a week to keep my sanity. With this, Vitamin B-12 and Fish Oils, I hope to regain/maintain my optimistic composure and positive outlook. I will be sure to post some pics in the next day or so and let you be the judge of its success. Thanks again for all the encouragement and advice guys. It's nice to know that any body is even reading this!

Send me your prints!

Alrighty. The holidays are over and Chris and I have gotten about 10 paintings up and displayed in the shop. I will be printing out the gallery cards today so now we are ready for prints from you guys. As you guys are preparing your packages to send, make sure you let me know how much you need per print to make as consignment. Remember these 3 things:

1.) How much do I (you) expect to profit from each print
2.) How much would the shipping be (est.) per print
3.) with a %20-30 markup would someone still buy this print?

These should guide your print needs.

Again, the idea for this venture is to showcase work from aspiring and working professionals from around the country. I know Michael Whelan and Dan Dos Santos will be featured and I am still hoping to get Eric Fortune, Steve Prescott, RK Post and any of you other big guys to enhance the pot. My phone number is 615-828-4457 if any of you want to call me up and discuss details. Get back to me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hanging Pictures

So I spent a solid chunk of the day framing canvases and hanging them at the store. It is amazing how much the presentation helps. The really exciting part is that it was a huge step to getting this print shop aspect of the store off the ground. I have invited all of you guys to get in on this gig with your prints and I think we are only a few weeks out from getting the system in place. If you haven't been there yet, head over to:

and find out what is going on. I'll post some pics of how things are shaping up at the store. In the meantime, get your prints together and get 'em to me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Well, I have been kind of down in the dumps. I don't know if any of you guys ever get this way, but I regularly find that I don't really like myself. I love the people around me and the life I am blessed with, but I am tired of being the main character in my play. I feel stale and terrible; kind of like a grey, brown turd. Couple that with a crushing sense of intimidation and you have the makings of shitty soup. Pun recognized.

That is kind of it. My update in a stinky nutshell.

However, today I had a bit of wonder injected back in my day. Not only have the girls been walking in circles around the house doing their adorable fake laugh, but the post...person just dropped off something beautiful: Eric Fortune's "Undine". This piece is tranquil, beautiful and masterful. I got it for a song on ebay and I pity the need that drove them to sell it.

As some of you know, I have been selling of my vast hordes of collectibles: from Warhammer and animation cels to an extra copy of Mario Kart 64 (?). This is primarily an effort to unclutter but also a means to fund my journeys and grow my art collection. As a guy who make about $20k a year, the money has to come from somewhere, and you guys can't just be allowed to sell your masterpieces to just anyone. In many ways, when I get a piece of your artwork, as I explore every square inch, it is like I am hanging out with you guys again and I am refreshed.

I am so thankful I was able to pick this up. It has inspired me and filled me with a sense of wonder and excitement.

Thank you Eric.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I, Galatea

So this is one I have been messing around with for the past week or so. I started it out as an underpainting in Acrylic but decided to go all the way with the beloved/hated latex medium. I really feel that this is more in the tone of my previous work as far as the process goes.

1.) Have Quirky Idea
2.) Sketch Quirky Idea
3.) Start Painting Quirky Idea
4.) Get Bored with Quirky Idea and Rush Through the last hour or so.

After completing step 4 this time, I deliberately took a day off and came back in to polish up. I still think some areas are pretty unrefined, but I don;t know as this painting calls for much more. Basic crafting issues aside, I am pretty pleased with this 7 hour piece.