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.


  1. Hey mr.Sample!!! I hope you get to make magic cards sometime in your life! you have the skill to do it. cant wait to see the finished product of your painting! you should make a DA though its a good way to get advertise yourself! but just don't go there expecting a lot of critiques on your work. good luck!

  2. HaHa, sorry for the crappy grammar! I just reread what i typed!

  3. Thanks Dante. Hope all is going well.