Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Something a bit different.  A few pieces of larger images that I can't quite show all of.  Soon though. Soon.  More MTG sample work in the next post.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sparkmage Drawing

Final drawing for the Sparkmage painting.  I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, I was a little worried in the early stages that I had lost some of the movement I had in my initial thumbnails, but I think I found my way back.  I'm particularly happy with the armor - I had initially thought I wanted it to have a bit more cobbled-together look, but this, I think, is certainly a bit more "manufactured" and orderly.  Probably all of that Warmachine influence bouncing around in my head, and I'm sure watching Iron Man 2 again didn't hurt either...  

I've got the drawing projected onto the canvas everything primed up for an evening of paint as soon as I leave the keyboard.  I'm going to work a bit smaller for these than I have in the past year, this one is clocking in at 20x15, mainly to see if I can speed the whole process up a bit.  I'm also not sure how much help my color roughs will be, as I've got something completely different in my head for how I want everything to look, playing into the "Red" color scheme and whatnot.  I believe I'll tackle the background tonight, or at least as much as I'm able.

So, will the painting be done by Tuesday night?  We'll see, if the post contains thumbnails and roughs for the second card sample, I suppose that will be our answer.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sample Portfolio

So, my initial plan, with the end of the school year, was to take a look at all of my unfinished paintings, and simply "clear the docket."  However, and I'm not sure when this occurred, after a bit of pondering and gear turning, I decided time might be better spent developing a true sample portfolio of work that I would like to do.  And as the old saying goes, "shoot for the stars, and you may hit the moon..." I'm going to work up a group of pieces with the hope of garnering some work with Magic the Gathering. 

As of right now, there will be five pieces in the sample portfolio - one for each color of Mana in the Magic Multiverse.  And, each piece should showcase the following:

  • Dynamic design in the 3:4 compositional frame.
  • Accuracy and realism in concept and storytelling (make it believable).
  • A painterly approach (and, tackling a personal weak spot, making sure I don't lean on this as an excuse to not include fun details and rendering).

So the first piece out of the gate is going to tackle a Red card - The Sparkmage.  Wayne Reynolds' piece for the "Cunning Sparkmage" just strikes me as everything a piece of Wizards of the Coast art should be.  Bad-A looking main character, insane baroque armor and equipment, magical effecty hoohah, and strong design and color.  In all, a super inspiring piece, if I can capture a fraction of this I'll be happy.

So the initial thumbnails are bouncing around fairly inspired by this idea of the mage catching and redirecting the lightning:

In the first image next to some of those really bad thumbnails, you can see my notes on what the important bits of the piece are to be, in order here:
  1. Lightning
  2. Baroque Electro Armor and Equipment
  3. Dynamic Pose
  4. Reds (obviously this will be for the painting)
  5. Background Elements
The first couple of thumbs were really a "shaking off the cobwebs" moment, but they got me moving in the right general direction with a strong diagonal, and D got my juices flowing.  I really started to think about Cygnar from Privateer Press's Warmachine at this point (google it, if you're unfamiliar), and that really began to inspire my final armor designs and ideas for the piece.
So I tooled around with a few more bad thumbnails.  And I'll admit that this is another weak point for me, I have always been a bit impatient with thumbnails, but I want to be better.  Yet another area that I will focus on in this portfolio....Anyhow, H brought me back to the initial design of D and that's what I carried over into my little rough in the third image below.
    In taking another look at all of this, it looks like I've lost a bit of the life that was present in the thumb's as well as some of the shape of the armor, will have to rectify that.

The rough above led me into this super rough digi as my color rough.  I like where some of the values are going, but I definitely need to push my colors more towards the red side of things.  And, though the idea of all of those electro-storage/tesla-coil doodads on his armor being lit up seemed great in my head - our mage here is looking a lot like a Christmas tree.

Thanks for hanging in there for the maiden post!  Stay tuned, Friday night should see the posting of my final drawing for the painting.

Version 2.0

Obviously not a whole lot of activity on here over the past couple of months...What with new children being born, school ending, vacations, and a host of "life" in general.  However, the time away has provided me with some hopefully valuable reflection and redirection.

This was wordier, now it's not.  On the pic above, "Holy Crap! That's me hanging next to Matt Stewart, Dominic Saponaro,and JULIE BELL. (counterclockwise)"  Back in June, I was lucky enough to get two pieces into Phillustration, a great little local illustration show hosted by the Philadelphia Sketch Club.  I feel this is a pretty good end-cap to my first real year of digging back in to painting.  I am honored for the opportunity to have my work hanging in this show, everything on the walls was absolutely amazing.  Honored, and very humbled - there's a lot of work left to do. 

Hmm, looking back, that's still pretty wordy...

And now, on to other things.  The plan is to use this post as a bit of a reboot of the old blog.  A year and half ago it got me painting again, and now a year and a half later it's got me looking at my process and approach.  And, how I need to strive for a little more consistency.  So the plan is to update every Tuesday and Friday night with what I'm currently working on, give a little bit more insight into my process for those interested in such things, and in general keep me working.