Monday, December 21, 2009

What a nice surprise!

Last Thursday, December 17th, I was invited out as a guest artist to speak at a local K-12 school called Kino here in Tucson, AZ.  I had a lot of fun talking about art, sharing what I've done, and answering questions about art, art school, and working as an artist... as well as doing a few quick demonstrations.  They were a great group of kids - all very attentive and inquisitive.  I felt very welcome there, and I think it's safe to say that we all had a good time together.

Today, I was happily surprised to find in my mailbox the best card ever!  Complete with drawings and notes of thanks.  It made me so happy that I felt I needed to share it with everyone, so here it is.

Awesome card, you guys!  Thank you!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


So, I've been working on a painting that deals with a creature who punishes naughty children (Krampus), and it inspired me to do a sketch of another creature of consequence... the Kelpie.

For those unfamiliar, the Kelpie was a supernatural water horse from Celtic folklore that was believed to haunt the rivers and lochs of Scotland and Ireland.  The scenario would play out something like this: a child is lured onto the Kelpie's back, where once astride, the Kelpie's skin would become adhesive.  At that point the Kelpie would gallop full speed back into the murky depths of the water, where its victim would then be drown and devoured.

Moral of the story?  Things are not always as they seem...?  Or, maybe it was simply to say that kids should come in before dark and not play around bodies of water by themselves.  Seems like a scary story to tell children, but then again... most folk tales are a bit gruesome.  At any rate, they make for some fun sketch ideas.

Krampus - Somebody fetch me a switch!

Above is:
Krampus underpainting - 10" x 16" - oil on board.

Krampus with some PS color adjustments.

After putting my painting into PS, I made some digital color adjustments to give an idea of what it will look like once I start adding more color to the actual painting.  Since Krampus is known to arrive during the winter holiday season, my idea is to have this painting feel cool.  By adjusting and tweeking things digitally, I can quickly get an example of what's to come in my oil painting.  The only thing not shown here is the snow and suggestion of trees, which I plan to add later on.

I will post the finished painting by January 18th, as this is the deadline for the Best of ArtOrder 2009 book.  I also plan to submit this painting to the Spectrum XVII fantasy art annual competition, whose deadline is January 22nd.  Wish me luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Are you on the wrong list?! (Krampus sketch)

Meet Krampus... Santa's counterpart to the Christmas season.  If you've been a good boy or girl, then you're likely never to meet him.  However, if you've been bad, well... Santa may not have a gift for you, but Krampus sure will!  The gift of birching - ouch!

This is my sketch of Krampus for Jon's art challenge over on ArtOrder.  I'm hoping to get a painting done of this guy done by Sunday (Dec. 20th), but I'm not 100% sure I can, so I wanted to at least post my drawing of him.  Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Medusa WIP

Medusa WIP - Version 1

Medusa WIP - version 2

This image of Medusa is a personal project I started in oil about a year ago, and for whatever reason ended up putting her aside... likely for other paying projects.  I was clearing out some things recently and came across the unfinished painting.  I decided to scan her into PS and play around with it digitally.  This is what I've got so far.  There are still some things that I want to do to it, but I don't think I'll push it too much further due to the fact that I do not currently own a tablet, and trying to get details with a mouse is darn near impossible (let alone crazy making!).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hurakan - Final book cover image

Well, here's the finished painting (for the Hurakan book cover challenge on ArtOrder), plus the image as it would appear in the book cover format.  This project was a whole lot of fun, not to mention the chance to create another portfolio piece and get some free promotion time with some top Art Directors in the industry.  Here's the list of AD's that will be judging the submissions:

Irene GalloTor Publishing
Lou AndersPyr Publishing
Mari KolkowskyWizards of the Coast (unconfirmed)
Sarah RobinsonPaizo Publishing
James DavisPaizo Publishing
Kris AubinPrivateer Press
Brian GlassWhite Wolf CCP (unconfirmed)
Mike VaillancortCthulhutech 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Centaur sketch

Thought I should post something I did between the several paintings I've been working on lately.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin"

11" x 14" Oil on board.

Here's the finished painting (Sorry, not the best's a bit fuzzy and dark.) for the "Buen Provecho: The Art of Food, The Art of Giving" charity group event, which opens this Saturday, Dec. 5th from 6 - 9pm at Lulubell's on 439 North 6th Avenue, Suite 187 in Tucson, AZ.  All are welcome to attend.  Entry into the opening is a suggested donation of $1 or a non-perishable food item.  All the artists will be in attendance during the opening night.  For those in the Tucson area, the show runs Dec. 5th through Dec. 31st.  Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12pm - 6pm.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Calendar candidate

So here's my submission for a calendar that will be produced through ArtOrder.  It was a rough ride (pardon the pun) to get this done in time!  I only learned of this call for artists late last week, and have been frantically painting this in hopes of getting it in by the deadline (by noon on Dec. 2nd... today).  Scanning was a bit of an issue, as it was still a little wet, despite my use of Liquin and Japan dryer.  I also think that I lost some of my details due to the textures I had built up on the surface.  *sigh*  Murphy's law, I suppose.  I would like to give prop's to my awesome designer friend, Eva, who helped me figure out how to create a direct link to the large psd file.  Thank you, Eva!!!

Now I have to move on to finishing and framing another painting, which is due to be dropped off by 6pm (later today) for an art exhibit.  Whew!  I'll be posting that one later.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A compromise

So I was debating whether or not to post my paintings when they're in progress, and decided it couldn't hurt... after all, I love seeing the WIP of other artists.

For those who don't know already, this is a photograph of a painting I've been working on for an upcoming art show/fundraiser.  The photo was taken when it was just in the early phase of roughing out the figure.  It caught a little glare on the left side due to the fact that it was very wet (oil paint).  I will post the finished piece in the next few days.

Also, I started with the idea of having her holding a tiny seed, which later evolved into having an apple and the addition of a snake.  But... that felt too sinister (i.e. eve & the forbidden fruit), so I settled on a compromise of keeping the apple and losing the snake.  This way it reads, at least I hope it reads, as an offering.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So... it started with a seed, but became an apple.

There's something scary and a little exhilarating about making changes to a painting when it's near completion, but sometimes paintings will talk to you and let you know what they need.  That's what happened here.  I just wasn't feeling this piece, so I made a last minute decision to make some adjustments to it.  And so, this is a peek into the changes I've made to a painting I've been working on for an upcoming exhibit (due December 2nd).  You'll notice that I've turned the seed into an apple, as well as added a snake.  What's not in the sketch (that is in the painting) are the subtle silhouettes of tree leaves behind the figure.  You can see my initial sketch version here.  Was it a good decision?  I think so.  I'm feeling much more happy with it this way.  The painting will be posted shortly after it's finished, so please stand by.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It starts with a seed

This is the sketch of a painting I've been working on for an upcoming exhibit.  The idea came to me from a few places.  The first comes simply from the fact that all life has a small and fragile beginning, which needs to be nourished and cared for in order to survive and grow.  The second being the mustard seed as a metaphor.  Because it is among the smallest of seeds, it has been used in many cultural stories.  The one I chose comes from its representation as mankind's knowledge of universe in relation to the scale of the universe and all it contains.  This is meant to teach humility, which is something I feel we all need a little of, and what many people seem to be losing sight of - especially around the holidays.

A portion of the sales will be donated to a local food bank to help those in need.  The opening is December 5th, and I will be sure to post the finished painting around that time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let the sleeping dog lie...

I haven't been able to get much done in the last few days artistically speaking, so here's a quick doodle of my dog, Wolfgang, sleeping.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hurakan challenge - Part 5

Part 5 of the Hurakan book cover challenge taking place over on ArtOrder.

Due to the fact that I primarily work in traditional oil paint, I am unable to scan at this time.  So, in lieu of scanning, I had to resort to taking a photograph.  It's not as good as a scan would be, but it does the trick in a pinch.  Keep in mind that this is still a WIP.  the finished piece will be up next week.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pretty woman, wailing down the peat...

Here's a rough sketch I did earlier today of a banshee.  Recently, I've become aware of the fact that I have a tendency to sketch things in profile, (which isn't necessarily a bad thing - I do love profiles), but they are not always as interesting as a 3/4 view can be.  Having said this, I have gone ahead and drawn her in profile.  Stubborn?  Perhaps.  However, I did consciously work on several various perspectives, and decided that, in this case, a profile would be the best angle to capture the stretched out gesture and flow of the character.  :P

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pegasus painting - color rough

Okay, so it's not the best picture, but I thought I'd post some color on here for a change.  This is only my start... about an hour into painting.
I've currently got three paintings in the works right now (all of which are being done in oil on masonite - my favorite medium.)  This one is 9"x12", by the way - I'm sure you've noticed my finger tips in the shot.

To see the pegasus in sketch form, click here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Warhorse sketch

Just for kicks (pardon the pun), I've included the rough structure I made before rendering the horse below.

Hmm, and now that I think about it... I think the head should have been a little larger.  :/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A little inspiration from 1977

My sketch for today was inspired by the faces of these guys (orcs?) from the 1977 cartoon, The Hobbit.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Today, inspiration lay at my feet

Dedicated to my dog, Wolfgang... because I swear he thinks he's a person.  And if he was, he'd be a wise and noble one.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kirin sketch

The Kirin, (sort of the Asian equivalent of the Western European unicorn), is said to be a peaceful mythical beast... a good omen that brings serenity and prosperity.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

That which is nameless...

Not sure what you'd call this guy, but I don't think I'm quite done with him yet.  It was originally going to be a zombie, but evolved into this birdlike humanoid instead.  Funny how that happens.  Probably due to the fact that I get a kick out of making anthropomorphic type creatures.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Witch Doctor

Hurakan challenge - Part 4

This is the B&W cover sketch and the (very) rough color character study with color palette (though I'm thinking of adding a few more greens and blues) for my submission to the Hurakan art challenge taking place on ArtOrder.

I think I'm happy with the B&W cover sketch's composition.  I think of Hurakan as this chaotic diety who wreaks havoc as he dances wildly across the sky.  The sketch has a few kinks, but that will be easy enough to fix in the painting process.  Hmmm, one thing I'm noticing is that I think I need to raise him a little higher on the picture plane.

Providing a color palette for the color rough is something sort of new to me.  I've always painted with a palette in mind, of course, but never really 'laid down the law' so to speak on color choices.  Much of my painting process seems to come intuitively as I work.

Blues and greens are what this cover is going to require, so even though this rough gives samples of what colors I'll be using, I would hope that I will be able to incorporate a bit more variety within those color ranges.  Anyway, that is my hope for this color rough's purpose... to provide a color example of what the finished piece will be (nothing locked down at this point).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Corvus Corax or Common Raven

Sketch of a Raven for All Hallow's Eve... eve.  :P

(The term Halloween, and its older spelling Hallowe'en, is a shortening of All Hallow's Even - e'en being short for even, which is short for evening.)

Why a Raven?  As a carrion bird, Ravens became associated with the dead and with lost souls.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

A horse, of course!

I was going through my closet today, and I came across a box of old books - one of which was my favorite as a little girl.  The book?  Walter Farley's The Black Stallion, which is inspired loosely on the story of Alexander the Great and his horse, Bucephalus.  For those unfamiliar, the Black Stallion is about a boy (Alec), and a wild Arabian stallion who become stranded together on a deserted island.  They eventually become friends, and at one point the boy rides across the island's beach at full gallop (no saddle or bridle, mind you) with his arms held out to his sides like wings.

Now, I've loved horses since the very first day I laid eyes on one as a young child, and when I turned eight, my parents bought me my first horse.  Well, one day I decided to try that stunt from the story, and fell off... resulting in a broken arm.  Though it scared the daylights out of my mother, it didn't stop me from getting right back on.  Riding was just too much fun, and I loved my horse more than anything.

This drawing is inspired by that love of freedom, power and beauty that every little girl dreams of.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Making do...

So, while I was waiting my turn at the cable company today to sort something out, I reached into my bag for my sketchbook and realized I had left it at home on my desk.  Darn!  Plan B - I found my car insurance envelope and used the back of it to satisfy my sudden impulse to draw.  Later, while I was making some phone calls, I tried to recapture my semi-manticore (less the human face) in my pocket moleskin.  Moral of this story... be sure to keep your sketchbook handy at all times.

A lil' sketcheroo

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another quick doodle

I love horses, and I love to draw and paint them whenever I get the chance.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hurakan challenge - Part 3

Thumbnails for the Hurakan book cover, and...

the B&W character drawing of Hurakan.

Since Hurakan is the god of storms, I felt like his physical appearance should resemble to some extent the angles and gestures seen in storms:  angles similar to arcs of lightning, a wild and unrestrained attitude akin to high winds, and a mouth that can boom like thunder through the hills.

He's one wild and crazy guy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Goblin Scout (sketch + painting)

In regards to the painting... it was started in oils, but was finished in Photoshop.
(Note to self: painting with a mouse is very frustrating... get a stylus and tablet!)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bull Ceradon (sketches + painting in progress)

These three sketches were my final picks for a painting I'm working on for my portfolio.  This creature is based on the one developed by the folks at Wizards of the Coast / Magic: The Gathering.  He's big and mean and ready to rumble!

...and here's my painting so far.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hurakan challenge - Part 2

Part II of V

Thumbnail sketches of the Mayan god, Hurakan, for the art challenge being held on ArtOrder.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dragon doodle

Another quick sketch I made on a scrap piece of paper - sucks that I ran out of room at the bottom.  I was initially just going to sketch the head, but then got a bit more involved in my drawing and, well... darn!  Oh well, I got my general idea down.

I've been wanting to paint a dragon for a while.  This is just one of my more favored idea's for its design and pose.  Wings?  Maybe...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cookamungus among us!

Just a sketch of some creatures I call 'Cookamungus'.  I'm creating an encyclopedia of creatures whose names are based on old slang, as well as funny nicknames, etc.  The idea I had for these guys was to have them be the transporters of the moon through the night sky.