Sunday, December 7, 2008

Studio


Thanks to Clem Robins I've got a great drawing table now and some additional skeletal stuff. Here's the new set up. I'm on the look out for a stool now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blood Spider


Took some time to work on something for myself today. Quickie. Might turn it into something. Not a lot of motivation for it unless I can turn it into a full blow illustration with background.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Update

I've got a couple of pieces under NDA that I'm waiting to be able to show but for the most part I haven't posted any updates because I've been working on the MMORPG icons and comic concept art. I used to post the concept art that I was allowed to but lately there hasn't really been anything worthwhile. I've done several planets as seen from outer space which aren't that exciting or photo realistic. Then I'm also doing a bunch of space ships that they don't want me showing. I've also been taking over a lot of other people's pieces for doing orthos or revisions. That's really painful. It's hard to have the motivation to work over somebody else's piece when it requires a lot of time and then you're left with something you can't really claim as your own and therefor will never show up in your portfolio.

IFX and conceptart.org have really created this fad with speedpainting so I'm afraid I'm about to get hit with having to fix that stuff up. It's like being handed a rorschach inkblot and being asked to draw it from 4 viewpoints as a space ship. My head will likely explode in the coming weeks. So far I've just been hit with one of these types of pieces.

All clients decided to disregard the fact that I may need my money in order to eat. One took three weeks to pay me when they normally pay day of completion. Another spread payment across three weeks. And another is overdue on payment by 5 weeks. This last company will have screwed me whether or not they pay which is another story that I won't air here. In any case, I've already made more money this year than I did all of last year and I've still got two months to go. Improvement keeps my hopes up.
I hope to be starting a series of illustrations about the character from my Elorgo illustration. Should be fun.
Also I've nearly finished the patio in my backyard. I still have to bury a couple of the rocks a little deeper. The extension on the front was kind of an afterthought so it's craft is probably a nosedive. Hard to tell from this shot but three of the rocks in the patio are huge compared to my wussy physique.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sketch and Spot Illustration

Sketch night was a lot of fun last night. We had a guy named Shane Wolf sketching with us who brought some studies he'd made for a painting that were really great. Made me want to go out and draw some rocks. Lately I've been feeling like a hack because I still have to look up reference or shoot reference for all of my illustrations. He said something that really made me feel like I'm doing the right thing by not trying to work all from my imagination.

I've also got an illustration here that's several months old. I had to do a little spot illo for a story and decided to make it color for myself but I really didn't like the end result. I still need to work on illustrating women. Latest stuff which I haven't been able to post is a lot better. Trying to think about the saying, "you're only as good as your last piece" and it's really helped to push me to doing better stuff.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Concepts

Here are some pics from the concept art gig that I've been allowed to show. I'm starting some work right now that is really exciting where I think the product will probably be the highest production value RPG book I've ever seen and that's including WotC products. I'm happy that I'll get to be involved with that.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sketch Night




Couple of my quick sketches plus a longer pose.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This is GenCon!!!

Short summary: GenCon was good.
Now for long version.
First day I was having some stomach problems but tried to do all of the business stuff I needed to do, like showing around the portfolio. I showed to Wizards of the Coast first. I was a little disappointed I didn't get to show to Jeremy Jarvis who had looked at my work the past three years. I feel like I know the guy better and could better judge whether he was holding back on his criticism. I was lucky enough to have two art directors look at my stuff though and they were both very kind with surprisingly little criticism besides for making a couple of pieces more cohesive rendering wise and loosening up my character poses. I actually left feeling like I could potentially get work there which is amazing. I think I'm going to try to work off one of their briefs on the site and send that with my portfolio link to their art drop.

Couldn't find anyone from Upper Deck to show my portfolio to. I was disappointed with that. I came across two people who knew and recognized my name. Which is super awesome. I talked to the guys at Mindstorm Labs who were really great and they've got a very very sharp product out called Alpha Omega. We seemed to have similar trains of thought on what's cool and really hit it off. I ended up being introduced to everybody on the team and it seems highly likely that that will lead to some work. I ended up buying their book which has some breathe-taking environment pics in it. I'm probably most excited about that opportunity but about 11 other companies said they'd like to work together. Another company called Shard Studios released some products of a very different type that have really high production values. At first I was hesitant to show to them because I don't have much anthropomorphic stuff but it turns out they commission a lot of really nice item illustrations and in a couple of months and might be doing some of those which are lots of fun.

I got to meet Ralph Horsley who I've talked to on forums off and on. He's a very nice guy with great work. On some pieces he used white out to clean up edges of spot illustrations but on others, the spot illustration would end so crisply right onto untouched illustration board.

I went to a seminar hosted by Impact Books where they gave away Wreaking Havoc and Oh, The Humanity! There I got to talk to Chuck Lukacs some who was a very nice guy. I got some paperwork from Impact Books about what they're looking for as far as books and how to present it. It's always hard to initially get to work on something where there's no guarantee of payment at the end, but I'd really like to pitch them at least one idea. They're definitely aimed at a younger audience though so I would probably try to avoid making a book that has anything to do with the technical process of using paints or photoshop (which there are better books on anyways) but rather it would be about developing ideas and finding inspiration.

I met Ed Healy from Kobold Quarterly who was a very nice guy. Ed introduced me to Phil Menard from ChattyDM.net. He was a nice guy too, so nice that I gave him a free copy of NGoM.

The Hellas RPG I did artwork for sold out. I showed up after the exhibit hall had only been open for three hours and they had sold 60 copies. Sounds like it might be a huge hit. Hopefully people like that artwork and demand more.

The size of GenCon declined from last year which I suspect is because of them declaring bankruptcy earlier this year. I talked to a couple of people who were disappointed the Dark Skull didn't have a booth and Key20 wasn't there so there was no way to buy NGoM there at the con.

It was great fun talking to publishers and I found myself with almost no nerves at all when talking to them. I think even last year my hands may have been a little shaky and my movements slightly panic stricken. This year I was extremely calm except maybe once or twice when I felt like my jaw perhaps turned to jelly but I don't believe it was noticeable to publishers. I heard several talk of their horror stories with freelancers, hooray! Every time a publisher has a horrible freelance artist experience, it just means more work for me. I always love hearing those stories when they involve good artists because it makes me feel like I have a chance if only for my dependability. It was funny to hear one company tell me that they'd contact me soon with a quick turn around piece due in 30 days. In this business, so far, 30 days is like a dream come true.

I think next year I'll get a booth. Took some notes on what I thought did and didn't work with Artists Alley booths.
1.You might be screwed if you're in an area without any big names.
2.The more stuff you have, the better things seem to go. Even some lesser artists who had lots of artwork to look at and lots of sketchbooks, pencil versions, small prints, etc seemed to do better.
3.People seemed to spend very little time looking at the panels (no artist around). So people want to be able to meet you, so better be looking and feeling your best. They also want to meet you so they can have you sign products you've worked on.
4. Presentation means a lot. It appears to be worth it to have your work framed and matted or at least sold in a way that allows it to be immediately hung on a wall.
If you were in artists' alley, what did you learn.

My portfolio presentation (new binder, no sleaves, better quality prints) proved very helpful. Next year though, I think I'll just have a book printed of my work. I think next year I'll probably only be wanting to target a handfull of companies so maybe I'll have 4 different books made and then I'll give one to each publisher they target, after review. It'll be more expensive but I think that would be a flawless presentation.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Display and Icons

The World-Splitter pic is being used for a display at a game shop in Houston. Looks pretty spiffy.
http://darkskullstudios.forumotion.com/news-and-announcements-f2/photo-new-gods-of-mankind-display-at-third-planet-t107.htm
Also, I just got my hard copies of all of the books. It will still be a while before I get a hardcopy of the GM screen. Awesome to have in hand and see that the books have gotten better. Adam definitely did the best layout of the four books. Having it in my hands though, I realize the images are really really small. I'm going to talk to the printer (Lightning Source) about what we can do to help them improve the quality on future printings because these copies have a rather obvious problem with values 8-10 printing on images (although no problem with pure black text) and some images look to have banding. These guys are the most affordable though so we may just be stuck with them until money improves. My Blade of Fire pic and several of Mark Facey's images were ruined though. It's been a blast art directing and it's nice to see that display with two hard copy books with my artwork on the cover and a big poster with my art.

Layonara just posted a preview of some of the icons I've been doing. http://devlog.layonara.com/ There's only a few on there that I didn't do. Hadn't done any of those in a while. Finally returned to that and did 25 this week. Also finished two more pics for the childrens book. I think I'll wait until I've finished them all before posting more. I'm going to have to make tweaks across the board on them. The rabbit's colors need to really match from image to image plus my parents think the rabbit hitting it's head on the underground ceiling looks demonic.

I'll post some more art soon.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

ImagineFX


I'm on the CD with issue #34 in the FXPose section. Check it out.

Here's a screen cap. Also, I realize now that I forgot to turn off a layer on the pic with the robot before sending it to them, so the area around the baby is all screwed up. There's another reason not to work with layers. Turns into a freaking headache so often.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Space Ship


Here's a space ship concept I've been allowed to show.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Raising Ruins

Another one of the rush job images for Secrets of Pact Magic.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Two rush pieces

Two rush pieces for Secrets of Pact Magic.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More rabbits

Another.

Rabbits

One of a bunch of images I'm working on for my mom. First time re-visiting Painter in about 6 years.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More sketchnight stuff

Couple from tonight. I need to get better with likeness.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

Concept stuff

I've got permission to show a couple of things from my concept art gig. Mostly just sketches and nothing that's really defined. So here are a bunch of space ships. I don't know if I've ever drawn a space ship before this so it was kind of tough since I don't have a mental database of the doo hickeys that go on these. I think 8 of these 30 are going to be taken to the next step. Probably only a couple will actually make it to getting model sheets made.
Also, the concept art gig gave me a raise, woo hoo!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Figure Drawings

I get to go to a nice little sketchgroup every Tuesday and draw the nude figure with some of the best portrait and landscape painters in Cincinnati. So usually I have to hide these drawings from them.








Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dear Corel Painter

Corel breaks my heart with Painter every time. I first began using Painter when version 8 was released and used it exclusively for about a year or two around the time I was a freshman/soph0more in college. Classes never touched on it, except for one project where we used Painter to create animations so I had to teach myself. I loved the idea of it and it proved much quicker and easier than painting with real media so I stuck with it for a while since I couldn't find how to make photoshop look less digital. I was somehow able to look past the lag, loading times, and small image sizes (larger files seemed to kill the program).

Then I started running into problems with a program file corrupting, which was a common problem and meant having a duplicate ready at all times, prepared to drop back into the program file folder. Then I noticed that saving as riffs and going back and forth between file types left unpredictable artifacts and would frequently create corrupted files.There were so many things to complain about but the artifacts and corrupted files finally caused me to start using more and more Photoshop until eventually I stopped using Painter altogether.

Skip to this week. A co-worker has been insisting that I would love Painter X and so with some reluctance I downloaded the demo. With the friend's help I've been able to discover work arounds for many of Painter's issues and horrible interface. The speed of the program almost isn't an issue anymore except for with some brushes where it has to determine brush angles to build the brush before use. Occasionally you'll be running full speed and trip over that program feature and it will tick you off but overall I was beginning to believe I'd misjudged the Corel and perhaps they did have a dependable product. So today I decided to actually work on a low-pressure piece in Painter so that I could get more accustomed to it and decide whether I might actually want to buy it. So cut to now, after working an hour or so on this piece for my mother, Painter has randomly chosen to freeze up. The work was lost and I'm sitting here kicking myself in the ass for yet again trusting corel. Maybe they named it Painter X because it's like some sort of awful ex that you continue to return to because you think maybe they've changed but they're still the same ol' ass with a different haircut.