Friday, July 26, 2019


I have noticed a hashtag going around Twitter, and I thought I might join in on the fun. It has artists comparing old work to current work. Mine is not exactly current, but it best illustrates the results of time, hard work, and perseverance. I have repeated many time here on the blog, the best advice I ever received was, "Draw more." You have to stick with it. You have to put the time in. You have to look for reference. Seek out workshops and courses that specialize in the work you want to make. Don't give up, it is hard, and it is rarely quick or easy, and it takes time. 

1996 vs. 2016
From player to maker.

On the left is my Lizardman character that I played in the second edition of Dungeons & Dragons and on the right is the Lizardfolk I illustrated for the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons book, Volo's Guide to Monsters. SO many bad habits that I fought YEARS to break are in that left drawing. I continued to fight those bad habits into my professional career. Even now, I have to push myself to not fall back on those habits, to be objective with my work, and push myself to be better. Artist continues to grow throughout their careers. We always need to draw more.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

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


  1. Would you mind talking about some of the 'bad habits' demonstrated in the 1996 drawing?

    1. Hello! Let's see what I can do. A LOT of it begins with not using any reference or looking at the real world as a guide to make the art. I was under the (false) belief that "real" artist create everything from their heads. This is of course is ridiculous, professional artist use reference in EVERYTHING they do, or have spent YEARS using it that they create muscle memory to create what they want quickly without it. Even those artists will still make studies and use reference throughout any piece. The painting on the right is heavily referenced. I posed, with lighting and accessories, as the Lizardfolk to get the information I needed to make a solid illustration.

      Back to the left, there is a seriously lack of understanding of understanding of anatomy and a very flat cartoony way of handling everything. Notice the weird large cartoon brow and large eyes. This is something I have fault for YEARS. Here is a post looking back at work I did when I worked in movies and TV, notice of original drawings - large heavy brow, the flatness of the marks, etc. and then then at the redesign I did years later where I am breaking away from those habits.

      I have mentioned flatness of mark making. Not everywhere, but many of the lines are flat, they do not define a surface or give the impression that they are moving across a three dimensional surface, and when they do it feel like the surface is a inch or two deep. Look at how the bandoleers are handled. One the left it feels flat and stuck on a flat surface. On the right is wraps around a form from over a shoulder to around his side.

      Those are a few of the major things. Let me know if you have any specific questions regarding this or need me to clarify anything.

  2. Thank you! Those are helpful observations.