Friday, October 30, 2009

Freaks and Whispers - Dreamblade

And so we find ourselves at the end... Today I have the final two designs I did for the unreleased 7th set of Dreamblade. I present to you the Two-Faced Freak and the Whisper of Truth. The Freak was to be an uncommon Madness piece and (you guessed it!) part of the Janus lineage and the Whisper was a common and part of that thing I am not talking about that was going to be new for set 7.

Unreleased Two-Faced Freak - © 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC
This was a fun one to work on, you can never go wrong with tentacles. This was not my first Janus piece. I designed a late addition to the base set that was going to be a Janus Scout, but it was never released. I will NOT be sharing that design, I was never happy with how it turned out and I like it even less now. Looking at the Freak now I should have added more dimension to the tentacles in the side view, but I know at the time I was concerned about getting too crazy with them. This was only a uncommon and I didn't want to make as complex as a rare.

Unreleased Whisper of Truth - © 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC
Not much to say about this one save the challenge to make sure all the appropriate areas were covered. It needed to be PG after all. She is the third and final piece I designed for the new game element they were going to introduce to set 7. Now that you have all three, the Whisper, the Executioner and the Damsel you might be able to pick out a visual clue that they all share. It might be hard in some but there is a common visual element to them all. I wonder how it would have been received and how it would have effected the game.

Well, that is it, the end of my secrets for Dreamblade that I can share. I still have art for released pieces that I have never spotlighted that I will be bringing you and I have early versions to several of these set 6 and 7 pieces that I can still share. Actually both of these have interesting first passes that I will able to share later. Until then...

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Genasi Armor Designs #1

Today I bring you the first installment of the female Genasi Armor that I designed for the Dungeons and Dragons Character Visualizer. Unlike the Dragonborn and the Tiefling, there were only six variations of armor for the Genasi: chain, cloth, hide, leather, plate and scale. Also unlike the previous two races there are cloaked and none cloaked versions of some designs. All of these ended up much simpler then I was ever expecting them to be, but during the sketch phase more and more layers were stripped away leaving the simplified forms you see below. If you missed it, I have a previous post talking about the evolution of the sketches for the male cloth and plate designs. Compared to the complexity and Dragonborn and Tiefling armor this was definitely a change and required a certain amount of restraint not to go crazy and through back in a lot of detail. Enough talk, here is the armor...

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Illuxcon 2009 - Will you be there?

Illuxcon 2009 is just around the corner and it should be the event of November! For those that haven't heard of it before, Illuxcon is a symposium for fantastic illustration centered around demos and lectures and allows for interaction between artists of all levels, students and collectors of art. For more info you can find it HERE.

I will be attending the event for the first time this year and will be in Altoona all 4 days of the event and I was just wonder who else will be there. I am actually flying in the day before and flying out the day after so I will have a bit of down time in Altoona before the conference starts. I will either be watching a lot of cable and getting some drawing done or hopefully some of you folks will be arriving too and we can start meeting up.

I am eager to learn to know who will be attending and when you will be arriving, so drop me an email or comment on your plans.

To not be out done by my antics at Comic Con, I plan to have more buttons (cross those fingers) to hand out to anyone that wants one and I am already working on original sketch cards to hand out or to use as trade for other folks sketches. So if we meet up at Illuxcon make sure you ask for you button and sketch. I hope you will have something to trade ;)

I should have a little more info as we get closer to the event, until then...

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

Monday, October 26, 2009

Barbarian Essentials - Dragon #380

Barbarian Essentials went live today for issue #380 of Dragon magazine and I am very please to be able to share the pieces I did for this article. Without any further fanfare...

Dragon Rage Barbarian
© 2009 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Whirling Slayer
© 2009 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This marks my first opportunity to work with Jon Schindehette on a project for Dungeons and Dragons and I had a blast. I have been itching to share these pieces and thankfully I had to wait a much shorter amount of time compared to the rest of the work I have done recently. This also marks my first chance to do and actual real live Mind Flayer (2 even), I have been a huge fan of them ever since I got my hands on my first Monster Manual. You can't go wrong with tentacles.

Not much more to say. I am really happy with how they turned out and I am thrilled to be able to put some of my new work up. I hopefully will have more that I will be able to share soon! Until then...

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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Flesh, Bone and Mortar - Dreamblade

I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in regards to my current workload. I figured I could afford the time to find something else to post this week while I patiently wait for new work to be released. So it is back to the Baxar's War expansion of Dreamblade and a couple of miniature designs and their early incarnations. Today I bring you the Citadel of Torture and Skinless, two piece I believe I have never shared with anyone yet.

I received the art order for the Citadel well into the production of Baxar's War. I think in an interview about Dreamblade someone in production mentioned that the locations were a late addition to the game. Most of the locations I worked on for the base set as well as Baxar's War came to me much later then the other pieces. The Citadel was a fun piece to work on and was the first bit of architecture I ever had to work on. Granted I did design the Darkheart Cottage for the base set but that was still just a huge giant laying on the ground. The Citadel was really straight forward and only needed minimal revisions save for the skull base that went though several versions before the final was approved.

The final turnaround for the Citadel of Torture. For this piece I also made extremely loose quick color comps to distinguish different materials so that the sculpture could more easily understand want all was going on in the design. As a side note, I was given this assignment late in the afternoon and had the first drawing back to the Art Director before she got into the office the next day. That kind of extra effort goes a long way. To see how the Citadel of Torture turned out you can see the production miniature HERE.

Oh Skinless... I have included him here today to make the point to ALWAYS READ CAREFULLY when reviewing you art assignment. You see in my haste to get started I some how thought that the word "crossbow" was spelled "crowbar". It was no real calamity that I made this error, but it could have been. I just felt like an idiot after I found out I turned in a design with the completely wrong weapon. Especially after spending all that time to figure out the best way to give a common a crossbow and to make it a cool crossbow.

Besides the crossbow / crowbar issue the feedback was to have more fun with it. The Art Director felt is was to much like an anatomy study rather then a crazy monster. She suggested more gore and nasty bits and to play with the forms to make it more monstrous. Taking all this into consideration I came up with the above turnaround. Looking back now, I could have done more... but that is the way with many of these. Live and learn. To see how the Skinless turned out you can see the production miniature HERE.

That's it for today. I will be descending into my art bunker later today and will resurface on Monday with what will hopefully be a completed assignment. Cross those fingers. I will try to get back on a more normal posting schedule next week as well (hopefully). Until then...

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Genasi Armor Sketches

Coming up for a bit of air and I thought I would put something on the blog while I treed water. I am still plowing through paintings and waiting for projects to be released. I had thought something was going to be released this week (still crossing my fingers) but it looks like it will be next week for sure (hopefully). Until then here is some armor!

I designed a whole mess of armor for the Genasi race for the Dungeons and Dragons Character Visualizer last year. Unlike my previous armor posts where I shared the drawings last I thought I would switch it around especially since there are so many. By the end of it I believe I created around 100 variations for the Genasi armor before painting the final approved designs. Here are most of the sketches I did for the Male Cloth Attire and Male Plate Armor. You can see the evolution pretty well, each row consists of a wave of drawings I created and would then turned in for review before starting on the next set.

Genasi Male Cloth Attire variations.
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

Genasi Male Plate Armor variations.
© 2008 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I will start sharing the finals for these in the coming weeks. I hopefully will also be able to share some of the promised new work too. Cross those fingers! Until then...

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rhinos and Swamp Monsters - Dreamblade

The end of another week of painting, drawing, revisions and the slow advancement of deadlines. I have had my head down and been making slow but steady progress on my workload. I was missing my normal posting schedule here so I thought I would take a short break and reach into my bag of older work and see what I could find. Looks like I turned up a rhino man and a swamp creature.

The Bloodcut Behemoth and the Bogillian were designed for set 2 of Dreamblade, Baxar's War. Baxar's War is one of my favorite sets. Not only for all the pieces I had in it but I felt it offered a lot of new aspects to the game and it plays real well in sealed games (IMHO). But I digress... These two pieces are the type of designs I could have done 20 variations on and still felt like I could have done more and better. You can't go wrong with a giant rhino man warrior or a hulking swamp monster. The descriptions were loose enough to allow me to really have fun with the designs. Speaking of designs...

The first passes on the Bloodcut Behemoth and Bogillian were really close to how the finals ended up. Got to dig those crazy Bloodcut tattoos.

The final Bloodcut Behemoth included a larger head and a lot more skin texture. The design is shown here without the tattoos that do appear in the final mini, I just prefer the drawings without them. This piece was one of the first larger sized Dreamblade miniatures and was a promotional piece for set 2. I really like how this piece turned out, see it for yourself HERE.

The final Bogillian just included a lot more surface detail to make it look more like it was made from items found in a swamp. I love big hulking creatures, so this was a real treat to work on. I was really looking forward to seeing how this piece was going to turn out. Since this piece was a common it only received a two color paint job, but I think the sculpture is sound. I wonder how it would have looked with a translucent body....? To see how it turned out, click HERE.

That's all for this week. I have some surprises in store for next week that I am really looking forward to sharing! Until then...

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blob with Body Custom by Byleui

He has gone and done it again! Over the weekend I received a message from poster and blog follower Byleui, also know to the world as David Thies. David has completed another great custom miniature based on my unused designs for Dreamblade. This time around he choose the "Blob with Body" to work his magic on.

Here is my turnaround for comparison

Here is David's work in all its' glory!

Here are some thoughts about the miniature that David shared on Flickr:

"Body is derived from Nosferatix, but since she doesn't have a neck, I decided to use Doomball as the donor for a head transplant.

Once I had the Body, the rest was easy. The "Blob" is Liquid Nails Clear Seal sealant."

Great work David! As always, can't wait to see what you come up with next. If you missed David's first custom you can find it HERE. To see more of David's other custom work you can check out pics over on Flickr. Until next time...

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

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ninja Mountain Podcast #36

The new Ninja Mountain Podcast is up! For those not familiar with NM they are a loose collective of artists working in the fields of fantasy and science fiction. They put on a weekly podcast addressing issues and concerns that transcend these genres and are relevant to all person working in a creative field. This week they took questions from listeners that wrote in via Twitter. My question was chosen, which was cool. Head on over and check them out, you can find episode #36 HERE.

And for the record my question was a hypothetical and I have never had an issue with time management and making deadlines.

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

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shadowrun 4th Edition: Running Wild

I found out late Friday and confirmed over the weekend that in fact a book I worked on back in May is finally out. The book apparently hit shelves September 25th and I some how missed it until now.

Shadowrun 4th Edition: Running Wild is a new collection of creatures, critters, and all thing monstrous for the Shadowrun RPG Universe. I did 3 pieces for the book, one of which marks my first dragon to actually make it through to production. Which is pretty cool.

© 2009 Catalyst Game Labs
The great Feather Serpent (dragon) Hualpa holding court in the ruin of a city in the Amazon.

© 2009 Catalyst Game Labs
A subterranean environment with the Dour, Rockworm, Troglodyte and Wild Minotaur.

© 2009 Catalyst Game Labs
A wetland environment with a Afanc, Behemoth, Stymphalian, Shambler and Ghede Fly.

I should have several more new projects launching this month, so make sure you stop back by to see how they turned out!

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

Friday, October 2, 2009

October hiatus... sort of

I wanted to give a heads up that my posts will be a little thin for October. I am heavily booked on work and I will need every second of every day to make sure I stay on top of work. I will get it all done, there is not an alternative, I just need to cut back on things to make sure I don't put myself in a bad spot.

Fear not though, I have some projects that should be launching this month and I will make sure to let everyone know as things develop. I will post when I can but do not count on 3 posts a week until November. This will be an interesting experiment to see what happens to my traffic once I am not posting 3 times a week. Until then...


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

Braves and Termites - Dreamblade

Another quick post today. I will be doing a separate post about some other issue later, but for now lets look at some more unreleased Dreamblade art. We are almost at the end of my Set 7 pieces, but fear not, there are still a few left. Today I bring you the Indian Brave and the Termite Head. The Indian Brave was to be a Valor common and the Termite Head a Fear common.

Unreleased Indian Brave - © 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC
I thought a lot about my time at Florida State University and their ever present mascot. A friend of mine is a super FSU fan so I was hopping that this piece would make it out so I could give him one. I look back now at my first pass (locked safely away from prying eyes) and shudder. I somehow made him super scrawny, it is rather humorous. That is why we have art directors and do multiple versions of things.

Unreleased Termite Head - © 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC
This one was fun and rather straight forward. My first pass had a little hat and the umbrella was a cane. I think it works better as an umbrella, but the hat was nice. I am amazed how people will respond to this piece. I had all of my Dreamblade art in one book at Geek Night and people would flip through dozens and dozens of drawings not saying a word or reacting in any way and get to this one and say out loud, "TERMITE!" or "He has a termite head!"

There was some interest shown (I think over on the Wizards of the Coast Dreamblade forums) to see the first pass I did on one of the pieces I brought you last week, the Executioner. I aim to please... As you can see it is less detailed overall and of course the mask/head is different. The art order called for a LARGE axe. I thought I had obliged, as you can see from the final I had not. When I first did this version I thought to myself that I had gone over the top with the axe...

Unreleased Executioner (version 1) - © 2006 Wizards of the Coast LLC

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