Thursday, September 16, 2010

The WAY Overdue Summer 2010 Update

Summer is almost over and I am WAY overdue for an update. And what a summer it was. I started it by quiting my day job at Royal-Athena Galleries and heading up to Amherst, MA for the Illustration Master Class. In between freaking out about no longer having a steady income and the upcoming move 3000 miles west to Portland, Oregon, I managed to cobble together a sketch and slap some paint on the canvas. And, according to Greg Manchess, I even had a breakthrough, though I'm still not 100% sure of that. I didn't finish my piece, but planning to get back to it in a few weeks after I finish off some freelance obligations.

So immediately after the IMC I spent a week in a daze of cardboard boxes and packing tape. It's amazing how much crap you accumulate in 5 years. But while all that turmoil was going on, AEG released an expansion for their popular Legend of the Five Rings CCG. I was only able to do one card for the set:
Legend of the Five Rings 01

Here are the sketches I sent to the AD:
Legend of the Five Rings 01 Sketches

Also, at the same time, I received a package from Fantasy Flight Games. It was a copy of their Talisman expansion. As with L5R, I was only able to do one card for this set. And it was a stretch for me. An environment piece with no figures:
Fantasy Flight's Talisman: Avalanche

The AD gave me the option to put a crazy monster into the illustration, which, in retrospect, I should have done. But I chose the literal route and decided on a landscape. Here are the sketches I sent the AD:
Fantasy Flight's Talisman: Avalanche Sketches
I liked the third sketch the best, but the AD picked the first one, because it best depicted the chaos he was looking for. As a compromise, I used an element from sketch #3 in the final. See if you can spot it.

July was a mad dash to find an apartment in Portland and getting acclimated to my new surroundings. I also managed to do another piece for Fantasy Flight. Unfortunately it is still under NDA.

And August was pure insanity. After getting ripped off by the movers and paying twice what I expected I found my savings dwindle to just $50. So it was Ramen noodles and PB&J for a while. The watercolors from my Nude of the Day blog survived the trek west, so I decided to get rid of them in a month-long and a way overdue (get the theme yet?) sale:
Nude of the Day - 3-Year Anniversary Sale

But in my usual fashion, I failed to promote the sale, so it was a bust. If anyone reading this blog is sorry they missed the sale, I will gladly extend it for you. Just shoot me an email.

And, if you have some spending cash left over afterward, check out what my girlfriend has been up to and send some cash her way:
BeccaSeda Banner

August also was the end of my 3rd decade on this shiny blue planet and the beginning of my 4th. And on my 30th birthday, Dover released my Vampire Nights Stained Glass Coloring Book. Here are a few pages from the book:
Dover Vampire Nights: Graveyard
Dover Vampire Nights: In His Arms
Dover Vampire Nights: Umbrella
Dover Vampire Nights: Car

And now in September I'm starting another "Vampire" project for Dover. I, too, am riding the Vampire craze as far as it takes me.

I hope this makes up for my lack of posts over the past few months. Here's another small nugget, a sketch for another portfolio piece I'll try to squeeze in when I have the time:
Merman Sketch

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring 2010 Update - C2E2

Howdy Everyone,

This is a last minute update. I have a table in the Artist's Alley at C2E2 in Chicago happening this weekend. Come visit me at table A6. This will be my first time ever behind the table and it's kind of a last minute thing, so I apologize in advance if my display leaves something to be desired. I brought with me a bunch of my coloring books for Dover Publications, including my Sherlock Holmes Sticker Activity Book, which I had not shown on this blog before.

here's the cover:
Dover Sherlock Holmes Sticker Activity Book 01

the background image, on which you put the stickers to make your scene:
Dover Sherlock Holmes Sticker Activity Book 02

and some pages of stickers:
Dover Sherlock Holmes Sticker Activity Book 03
Dover Sherlock Holmes Sticker Activity Book 04

I'm also bringing prints of a "newish" illustration I did for White Wolf's Vampire: the Eternal Struggle CCG. This was for the Heirs to the Blood expansion set (released a few months ago):

VTES Heirs to the Blood Card

here's a series of sketches I sent the AD for approval:
VTES Heirs to the Blood Sketches

And I'll also have a bunch of original watercolors from Nude of the Day.

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nude of the Day Rejects Part 5 -1000 Nudes

Big day today on Nude of the Day. Today I posted my 1000th Nude!

Nude of the Day 1000

Here is the image:
Martina Seated In Semi-Profile, Looking Left

And I have more Rejects for you. A few Thursdays ago the theme of the night was belly dancing:
Belly Dancing

Here are a few of Darlinda Just Darlinda.
Darlinda Belly Dancing Portrait
Darlinda Belly Dancing

There as another night with a salsa dancing theme:
Rainbow and Raphael
Rainbow In A Lacy Shirt
Rainbow and Raphael

And a quick little sketch of The World Famous "Bob".
World Famous Bob Quick Portrait Sketch

Also, a few months back I had a mini freak-out because I had not oil painted in a long time. I took an evening that I should have been working on my deadlines and decided to do a quick oil study. I used a modified version of the Zorn palette. The Zorn palette is a limited palette of yellow ochre, cadmium red light, ivory black and white, which Anders Zorn used only a few times to showcase how much range one could get from having color and value interact with one another. I think I used a different red and used a sepia brown with an ultramarine blue instead of the ivory black. This was painted from a photograph in an art magazine.
Oil Sketch of an African

Related Posts: Nude of the Day Rejects: Part 1

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy 2010!

Howdy Everyone,

I know I'm a little late to the party, but I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!
I started off the year swamped with freelance deadlines and a nasty cold slowing me down. I'm finally getting a lot of last year's stuff out of the way and it's given me a moment to reflect on 2009 and set up some goals for 2010.

My biggest goal for 2010 is to pursue my freelance career full time. I'm at that point where the freelance is enough to have me pulling all kinds of crazy hours outside of my day job but not enough to support my retarded-high New York rent and food expenses. I started off 2009 with just one client, and was lucky enough to pick up another few throughout the year. A few of them in the RPG card game industry, something I've been hoping to do for a while now. In 2010 I'm targeting the Big Kahuna in the RPG industry, Wizards of the Coast. I've hung out with a bunch of the AD's from Wizards over the past few years and had some great reviews from them.

One of the AD's who's been a great source of information is Jon Schindehette (the Senior AD for Dungeons & Dragons®). On his blog ArtOder he posts great insights into the inner workings of Wizards of the Coast, answers questions from the AD's perspective, spotlights all kinds of great artists, runs weekly creative challenges, and a whole lot more. I tried to participate in as many of the weekly challenges as possible, but only managed to finish up one, the one for the Vampires Challenge. Here is my entry:

ArtOrder Vampires Challenge

One of the funnest challenges form last year was the Drow vs. Mind Flayer Challenge. Jon enlisted top AD's in the industry to help him judge the challenge and it was a great opportunity for exposure. Unfortunately, due to prior deadlines for Dover and a fun week bleeding after sinus surgery, I wasn't able to finish my piece in time. I planned to finish it up after the deadline but haven't gotten around to it. Here's where I'm at:

Drow vs Mind Flayer Cover

Drow vs Mind Flayer Cover detail

There's probably some things I'd change in the composition but overall I'm happy with the direction it's headed.

One of the other really helpful things Jon used to do (and I hope he gets back to doing this year) was post selections from the D&D style guide so that non-D&D-playing artists like myself can familiarize ourselves with the characters of the D&D world. Every Thursday that Jon posted a style guide I'd spend my lunch hour at work sketching up some compositions and character studies. I also started using the style guides for warm-up sketches before tackling my freelance work. Here are a few:


Tiefling Sketch 01

Tiefling Sketch 03

Tiefling Sketch 04

A watercolor warm-up sketch:
Tiefling Watercolor Sketch 01

And with some digital on top:
Tiefling Watercolor Sketch 02


Dragonborn Sketch 01

Dragonborn Watercolor Sketch 01

Lucky for me, the stars aligned themselves and I spent most of 2009 working on books for Dover that related to the RPG game industry. Dover just published my Fantasy Warriors Stained Glass Coloring Book. Here are a some pages form that:

Front Cover:
Dover Fantasy Warriors Front Cover

Back Cover:
Dover Fantasy Warriors Back Cover

Dover Fantasy Warriors Orc

Dover Fantasy Warriors Angel

Devil Girl:
Dover Fantasy Warriors Devil Girl

It was a fun project to work on and I used it as an excuse to work up a bunch of sketches and collect a ton of reference that I may be able to use in the future.

Also, I just finished up a project for Dover that had a dragon in it. And thanks to Jon's critique of my dragon at GenCon, I was able to make a stronger image for this project. Here's a sneak peek: