Monday, November 30, 2009

Genasi Armor Designs #3

I made it through the holiday more or less intact and due to a clerical error I was excused from Jury Duty the minute I showed up this morning. With all of that behind me and nothing but deadlines ahead of me, lets get to some blogging.

Today I am back on track with the first half of Male Genasi Armor I designed for the Dungeons and Dragons Character Visualizer. Included today are the chain, cloth (with and with out cloak) and hide (with and with out cloak) sets. The biggest issue with the Male Genasi sets was to make sure they maintained a masculine feel. Due to the openings and diagonal lines it was really easy to make them feel somewhat feminine, especially the pants. Went through a few pants variations before landing on some that worked. I think all of these are successful but none really jump out at me. I would have liked to have them a lot more detailed and fantastical. But the job called for something more simple so that is what I made.

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I hope to have some new work for you on Wednesday. I had a book released recently I worked on but have yet to see it in the flesh. I am always reluctant to post work that I have not verified in person, but I am willing to take a chance ;) Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Giant Mutant Turkey Day


This is why I have ham for Thanksgiving! Hope everyone has a good one in the places of the world that celebrate the holiday.

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Monday, November 23, 2009

WiP Podcast #9

Episode #9 of WiP Podcast is now live! This episode features a first hand account of Illuxcon 2009 and a round table dissuasion of a question I submitted to them. And what question is that? This one:

“When dealing with an open ended art order how much weight do you give to time / money when it comes to limiting the scope of the art. Doing something simple and “good enough” that take less time and energy versus doing something super awesome and amazing over the top that involves more time and energy. Were do you find a balance point.

Example, say the assignment is “Evil Tornado, Wind monster causing much havoc” that’s all. You could go with a tornado knocking some trees around and a person running from it… all the way to leveling most of a castle and keep with dozens of people fleeing in terror. As an artist, how do you go about making these choices and how does $$$ and final product ( trading card vs half page book art) affect these choices?”

You should really take the time and get caught up with all the episodes of WiP. The Gen Con episode is a must listen. I only wish I had discovered them much sooner.

Due to family arriving for the Thanksgiving holiday and the fact I have Jury duty a week from today I most likely will not have any new post until the middle of next week. If something major happens I will try to post, but count on my return the beginning of December. Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ninja Mountain Podcast #41

Over on the Ninja Mountain Podcast they have part 1 of their wrap up of Illuxcon hosted by the world famous Jeremy McHugh. Nearly 2 full hours of exciting and interesting interviews with the artist and collectors that attended Illuxcon 2009. Oh yeah, I am on there too! Go have a listen. If you are unfamiliar with Ninja Mountain you are missing out, so get on that.

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

The Far Wilds - Borderlands ( part 2 )

Today I have for you the last five pieces from The Far Wilds: Borderlands and a funny little story about the great circle of life and art. If you missed it, on Wednesday I posted the first half of the pieces I produced for the online game, The Far Wilds. Not much more to add about these that I have not already said (save for the last piece) so without any further delay...

Galog Bullfrog
© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

The Cortex
© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

Twisted Nomad
© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

Vessel of Cathil
© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

Yarnagas Lab Assistant
© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

Yarnagas Lab Assistant was not originally produced for The Far Wilds. If is a modified piece that I had made for myself. While I was working on other cards for the game I was approached about turning the piece into a card. The client had been checking out my website and came across it and thought it would suit their needs. I was happy to oblige and eager to see the pieces used in a game. Here is the unmodified piece:

Finishing Touches - 2007

The beginning of the year is always an introspective time for me and the beginning of 2007 was no different. I was looking back on the work I had done up to that point and was trying to get a feel of it. I kept coming back to some of the pieces I had done in college 8-10 years earlier. Not for their quality but for the ideas and stories that I had wanted to tell and was not able to due to my lack of experience and skill. One piece, the very first etching I had ever done, kept catching my eye. Having gone through a fine arts program I met resistance at every turn and the continuous drone insisting "monster are not ART". My etching of a dragon man working on a mysterious magical orb in his laboratory received the expected reaction. I knew I could have been more successful with the piece, that with the right guidance and instruction it could be more. So 10 years after the first incarnation I recreated the piece trying to better tell the story and set the mood. I was happy with how it turned out and even happier that 12 years after making the original it now lives on in a game. If you are curious, against my better judgment, I give you the original etching done while I was in school back in 1997:

Untitled (Not really but the real title really sucked) 1997

I find it very humorous and humbling that this little piece has had such a strange adventure over the years. You never know the life your art will live. Don't let anyone tell you what your voice should be with your art. Make the things you want to make, do them as well as you can, the right people will be receptive to it. Until next time...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Far Wilds - Borderlands ( part 1 )

Way back in March I began working on The Far Wilds, an online turn based strategy game. I worked on a couple of cards every few months and by the time the newest expansion, Borderlands, was released last week I produced 10 cards for the set. The final pieces ended up being around 250 x 250 pixels in game so they needed to read well small. Hopefully I achieved that! You can play online or download a version of the game that includes 3D models of all the cards. It was a fun project to work on and allowed me several opportunities to experiment and try something new. Here are 5 of the cards...

© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

Brawn Ox
© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

Demented Gangi
© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

Dirty Bully
© 2009 Code Collective, LLC

I will have the remaining 5 up on Friday. Still trying to get all my ducks in a row after Illuxcon. Had to get a ton of sketches out the door yesterday and some more today. No rest for the wicked. Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Illuxcon 2009 - Wrap Up

Illuxcon 2009 has come and gone and I am now recovering from the fun. Still very much sleep deprived and desperately trying to catch up on things. I hope it will only be another day or so before all is back in order... cross those fingers. I can't say enough of how amazing the Illuxcon experience was. Truly a unique experience! I extend heartfelt thanks to Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire for all their blood, sweat and tear to create this venue for artist, students and collectors.

I have gone back and corrected some spelling and grammar issues on my posts about Illuxcon (hopefully I caught them all) as well as linked all the artists to their appropriate web sites. Due to time issues I only linked folks on their first mention. Take a moment and check out all the amazing artists that were at Illuxcon that were nice enough to let me talk to them ;) I hopefully will be answering all the questions and comments left on Illuxcon posts very soon.

Illuxcon coverage Day 1

Illuxcon coverage Day 2

Illuxcon coverage Day 3

Illuxcon coverage Day 4

Be sure to check out even more coverage of Illuxcon 2009 over at Kristina Carroll's blog, Jeremy McHugh's blog as well as several post on Art Order: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The fun never ends at Illuxcon and dancing should never be photographed with a flash. Until next time...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Illuxcon DAY 4

Day 4 of Illuxcon is upon us and I am exhausted. There were no events schedule today just hours and hours to cruise the gallery floor... or in my case, crawl the floors. Today was perfect to get things signed, make last purchases and steal some moments with your favorite artists. A lot of the artists were out of their booths talking with their peers and trading art. The excitement was still high, though it was tempered but a tiredness. Through out the afternoon the artists slowly packed up and began to depart. All in all Illuxcon has been amazing. I can not recommend it enough. My brain is pretty much jello at this point but I know I will come away with so much. One on one reviews and dialogues about your work are great but being able to do that with art directors and artists that you admire is invaluable.

I hope that I will be able to attend next year. A lot of the attending artist say that Illuxcon is the one event that they will definitely attend next year. Now for some images from the day...

I was able to add Lars Grant-West to my Monster Manual 2.

Steve Prescott and William O'Connor also join my Monster Manual 2 as well. SCORE!

Sunday morning at Illuxcon. I love the smell of fantasy art in the morning.

We see now the illusive Brom in his native environment.

Boris Vallejo (hiding towards the top) and Larry Elmore (bottom right).

The last frenzied moments!

The art begins to come down. Illuxcon is drawing to an end.

I will do some sort of wrap up in the coming days and might share some more photos that didn't make the cut. I also will be going back to all the Illuxcon posts and will be correcting any grammar / spelling issues and link all the mentioned artist to their appropriate websites. I have a full day of traveling tomorrow as I head back to Florida. Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Illuxcon DAY 3

Day 3 of Illuxcon is now over (for me at least). I am exhausted, too much awesome. I spent the majority of the day in classroom 1 for program events. First up was "Works and Processes" with John Jude Palencar. Very informative and insightful. If you are not familiar with his work you should really check it out. This was quickly followed by what I think is the highlight so far for me at Illuxcon, the "Round Table: Art Director FAQ" with Jon Schindehette, Robh Ruppel, Ben Thompson, Jeremy Cranford and Lou Anders. This was two hours of Q and A prompted by a packed room. So much helpful information and insightful views behind the curtain of the life of the art director. I could have sat there another two hours easily. I did make sure to check in of the "Collaborative Oil Painting Demonstration" with Don Maitz, Jeff Easley, Volkan Baga and Dan Dos Santos so I can say I actually saw Jeff Easley painting.

I spent the rest of the day talking with artists and walking the gallery floor. In the process I showed a lot of artists I look up to my portfolio to get their feedback and talk about process and ways to improve. Lars Grant-West offered some great feedback and advice and helped my digest a lot of what I came away with from my review yesterday with Ben Thompson and Jeremy Cranford. As evening turned into night everyone either gathered for dinner or prepared for the Showcase Event help at the Ramada Hotel. After dinner I was able to steal a little time with Jon Schindehette for a portfolio review and to talk about my work and to even more break down what i need to do with my work and to which direction I need and want to take it. I think this was the most enjoyable review I have had regarding my own work and an art director. If you ever have a chance for a review with Jon take it! He also deserves a metal for taking on extra reviews and working late into the night. Thanks Jon! The night concluded with the Showcase Event at the Ramada Hotel. This was a venue to allow young and up coming artist as well as collectors to display and sell their work. Somehow I didn't hear, know or understand what this was going to be because I really would have liked to be a part of it (always next year). While there I was trilled to be interviewed by Ninja Mountain Podcast's very own Jeremy McHugh. I am looking forward to hearing the 10 seconds of gold I provided for the podcast. One of the artist at the Showcase Event was my friend Aaron Miller, he is a great artist and you should really go check out his beautiful work! For some reason I completely forgot to take pictures of the event to share with you (may bad). Here are some pics from today's activities, now I will fall over in exhaustion...

Jeremy McHugh talking with John Jude Palencar.

Jon Schindehette and Robh Ruppel sharing their secrets!

The world famous Steve Prescott at his booth!

Vincent Villafranca with his pieces from last night's bronze pour.

The world famous Lars Grant-West as this booth!

The world famous William O'Connor at his booth!

The world famous Cyril Van Der Haegen ignoring me for his painting!

The world famous silhouette of Dave Seeley at his booth!

Jeff Easley painting!

A piece that Jordu Schell is working on at his booth.

My apologies for any spelling, grammar or other errors, I am writing these post really quickly and don't have time to catch everything. I will correct any grievous issues soon. Thanks for you understanding!

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Illuxcon DAY 2

I am writing and posting as fast as I can because things are still going on. Day 2 is / was amazing. I had my portfolio review with Ben Thompson and Jeremy Cranford this morning and I got a lot out of it and didn't cry. After that is was an intense day of demos and seminars. After being unable to get into the standing room only round table discussion on the "Art of Self Promotion" led by Donato Giancola, Ruth Sanderson, Caniglia, Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell I attended "Drawing the Female Form" by Larry Elmore. Very insightful and fun. A quick bite to eat and I was back to the auditorium for "Collaborative Sculpting Demonstration" with Jordu Schell and Tom Kuebler. Jordu was a laugh riot and they both had great stories and insights to share... including favorite movies and why people that use Zbrush aren't artist (Jordu's opinion not mine, take it up with him). Another quick break and by to the auditorium for "Collaborative Acrylic Painting Demonstration" with Michael Whelan and Christopher Moeller. This made me want to get rid of my computer and by paint. WOW! They made painting and creating art seem so easy and fun. I just wanted to play with the paint with them as they worked. I had a great dinner with Lars Grant-west, Mike Sass and Art Order's own Jon Schindehette. Lots of great art and industry talk. The evenings events at were capped off with a live bronze pour held by Vincent Villafranca. Vincent will be cracking the molds tomorrow so we will see how everything turned out then.

It is amazing just how excited and enthusiastic everyone is about art, fantasy and the spirit of creativity. Very refreshing! I mentioned it before, this whole experience is all at once humbling and empowering. So much greatness all under one roof. I did not spend a lot of time in the gallery space today because of the demos and events. Tomorrow will probably be spent mostly in the auditorium or classrooms as well. So much to ingest and digest. One thing I did pick up from Dave Seeley and Lars Grant-West today, NEVER date your work. If you want to show a great piece of work you did 10 years ago you do not want a date on it that says it is 10 years stale. Take off the date, show it forever (if it is good strong work). What else... oh yeah... work as hard as you can and do the best job you can do and ALWAYS keep trying to get to the next level. Sorry I can't give more specific info yet... still just trying to take it all in. Here are some pics before I head back into the maelstrom...

A drawing by Lars Grant-West I purchased yesterday.

One of the amazing pieces by Tom Kuebler on display.

Jordu Schell and Tom Kuebler triumphant after a great demo.

Jordu Schell and Tom Kuebler piece. Tom did the bust and Jordu did the creature.

Michael Whelan hard at work on his first piece.

After a pass by both Michael Whelan and Christopher Moeller this one is considered done for now.

Christopher Moeller working on his second piece of the afternoon.

Christopher Moeller wraps this one up and moves on to...

...number 3 of the day. Between the 2 of them they started 6 paintings.

Vincent Villafranca has removed the furnace and the bronze is ready for pouring.

Molten bronze at a temperature of 2000 degrees. We will find out how they turned out tomorrow!

*YAWN* Still more to go tonight and another big day tomorrow! I hope I can keep up with it all...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Illuxcon DAY 1

DAY 1! My mind is still recovering. I thought it was going to be a day of waiting for things to start this evening at 6 but this morning I found myself riding over with Cyril Van Der Haegen, Lars Grant-West and Dave Seeley in the Art Van. I was able to watch as everything came together as the artist slowly arrived and began setting their work up. It was like Artist Christmas. The sheer amount of WIN and AWESOME in the room nearly made me pass out. After realizing I had missed lunch and finally having some dinner at 7 I was filling much better and more optimistic. Being in this room with all these artists is both completely humbling and completely exciting. I am not doing it even the slightest of justices. You really do have to come to this event. After just one day I can honestly say that YOU NEED TO COME NEXT YEAR.... and the demos and presentations haven't even begun yet!

Enough of my words, let get to some pics of everything coming together...

It begins! Much still to do.

Soon these empty tables with have enough awesome to choke a horse.

Slowly but surely it comes to LIFE!

I helped Dave Seeley get his lighting set up in place. Sam Burley (a student of Lars Grant-West) was slightly injured in the set up. We salute you Sam for your blood and sacrifice.

A real life NINJA! Ninja Mountain Podcast's very own Jeremy McHugh happily takes advantage of my free sketch cards... and graciously offered me one of his! (It is BOSS!)

As the day moved along so does the art appear.

POOF! More art!

Seely on the bottom, Easley on top.

Everything is in full swing! Illuxcon is here! Artists, student and collector all interacting and mingling.

The demos and events begin tomorrow. I will try to keep posting in a timely manor but no promises. My portfolio review with the folks from Blizzard is first thing tomorrow morning! Well, I must sign off, things are still going and the night is still young, until tomorrow...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: