Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sketch Redux: WoW Velkin Gray

Here is a piece that just came out for the Warcraft TCG that struggled a bit with.  There was a major redo for the sketch and on the final painting.  I am happy with the final result, but man did I have a hard time with this one.

original sketch


original painting gouache 9 x 12in

digital modifications

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Life Drawings & Demos (March 2012)

It has been a good long while since I posted any life drawings, so here they are.  I keep telling myself I am going to recommit to developing my life drawings and paintings.  Maybe posting them again will get me to do so. 

2.5 + hour figure drawing

25 min figure demo

2.5 hr head drawing

25 min head demo

5 min head quicksketch

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"How I Drew a Vampire for Guillermo Del Toro"

Hey all,
I mentioned recently that I had  a few announcements to make.  Well it is time for the first, I was recently hired as the regular cover artist on the Dark Horse Comic's adaptation of the The Strain trilogy of novels written by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.   Without further ado here is my first cover for the series, and a link to a step x step article I wrote for to help announce my coming on board.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Step X Step: Yesterday's Hero

Towards the end of last year I was asked if I would like to illustrate the cover for the sequel to "No Hero" by Jonathan Wood.  Some of you may remember that I did the cover to that novel as well.  I enjoyed the first one tremendously, so of course I jumped at the chance.

For the art brief I basically got an outline of the book along with a list of new characters, which was extensive.  Included was a willingness from the A.D. and the author to continue the movie poster theme from the first cover.  Whereas with the first cover I went in with the idea of doing a sort of spoof on 80's action movie posters, on this one I wanted to try and do more of a straight take, and pay homage to Drew Struzan.  These are the thumbnail sketches I came up with, which are basically a montage of all the coolest stuff from the book, including many faces both new and familiar.

The client decided they liked the composition on the bottom left best, so I moved on to a tighter sketch

I got an enthusiastic thumbs up from the A.D. and moved onto the final

Approval went quickly and I find myself hoping Jonathan gets the chance to right a third chapter in the adventures of Arthur Wallace and the rest of MI37.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sketchbook (March 2012)

Here are a selection of sketches I have done lately. The first one was done for myself, but the other three were done as demos in the sketchbook class I am co-teaching with Jeff Watts this semester at Watts Atelier.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Watts Atelier Spring 2012 Schedule and a New Watts Blog

Hey all,
Here is the schedule for the Spring session.  Also I would like to draw your attention to a new blog started up by Mr. Jeffrey Watts himself.  Go check it out he is going to be giving a lot of insight into his working and teaching methods, as well as a bit of history about the Atelier.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sketch Redux: Dragon Age

Hey all,
Here is a piece I finished a while back for a Dragon Age RPG published by

The illo should show an Orlesian Chevalier mounted on a charging steed lancing a darkspawn. Ideally, the Chevalier will be charging towards the viewer with the darkspawn in the foreground and the lance bursting out of its back.  We want this hero to have a face, so either give him a helm with the face mask up or no helm at all. He should look grim and determined as he rides this horror down. His horse should be a mean looking warhorse with barding. For the darkspawn let's make it a Shriek. You can find out about them here: Perhaps his head is thrown back in an ironic death scream. You can suggest a larger battle of Chevaliers vs. darkspawn but the focus should be on the main figures just described.

With this description in mind I executed these thumbnails

They client liked number 3 so I progressed to a more refined sketch.

The client liked the sketch but informed me that the shreiks had been redesigned, so I reworked the sketch accordingly.

Comments: If you can figure out a way to get a little more force into that lance arm, awesome. But the creatures are all good to go. can't wait to see the next stage! 

So I took another shot at it.

Comments: I think that what seems off about this composition is the lancer's relatively back-leaning posture. It looks incongruous to me given how far that lance is impaled in the darkspawn. Ditto the horse's rearing. Those two factors say, "Get this thing off the end of my lance!" instead of "DIE, FOUL CREATURE!" to me.

No more half measures, I decided to completely rework the horse and rider.

With final sketch approval I began painting

Comments: Not sure how you would actually work more gore in there – maybe some blood on the stairs from the Shreiks previous victims or some ribs shooting out of the one getting stabbed?
The guy on the right looks odd – maybe because he’s a floating head and shoulders with no body? Lol, Where are his legs? As is he looks like he might be some ornamental pilaster or something as there are no other footmen in the picture there is no additional angle.

A few last revisions and...