Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ink Life Drawings

Hello! Here are some life drawings done with Japanese brush pen in a Moleskine sketchbook. Hope you like them!

Friday, October 19, 2012

New York Comic Con

So I'm a little late, but I just wanted to drop a line and say thank you to everyone who came by to visit my booth at New York Comic Con last weekend. It was my first time participating in a con's Artist Alley and it was a great experience, getting to meet so many new people, meeting up with old friends and presenting my art in such an exciting venue. Business wise, it was pretty successful too. I didn't leave filthy rich, but I did better than I had ever hoped to expect.
A word to other artists: don't wait until you feel 'worthy' to try out a table at a Con. When you have a large enough body of work (let's say 10 pieces) and the resources to commit to having a booth at an Artist's Alley, go for it. I spent roughly $700 in total, if that helps. But the experience is so worth it. You'll learn a lot of how people respond to your work, to you and you'll learn just a little bit more about yourself.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ku'Gath the Plaguefather

My newest Games Workshop inspired piece is Ku Gath the Plaguefather. I decided to work more on textures for this piece. Hope it shows!

Also, I'll be exhibiting at New York Comic Con this weekend. Please find me at the Artist's Alley, booth Z6. I'll be selling prints!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Hi! I'm a bit behind on posts, but today's post is something special. A job I did for Fantasy Flight Games was released last month as part of the Lord of the Rings Card Game. More specifically, this is for the Heirs of Númenor expansion.

I was really honored to be asked to paint a Mûmakil, one of the most iconic creatures from Tolkien's great works. We weren't permitted to use New Line Cinema's designs, as Fantasy Flight only has license with Middle Earth Entertainment and not NLC. Therefore, our designs could not resemble the movies in any way. I was more than happy with that as I wanted to come up with my own look and culture. I knew I wanted my Mumak to be heavily armored, wicked, yet exotic and cultured. Oh, and it had to have tusks. Big tusks. I ended up using Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian sources. 

I included a lot of gold to give a sense of opulence. The armor is taken from Indian horse armor. The wavy spikes are a classic Thai architectural feature. The red standard is a reference to the Serpent Lord.

Here's the final card, as taken from the Fantasy Flight website.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Salamanders Librarian

So sorry about the lack of posts! I just got back from my first Gen Con last weekend, and I have to say, even with the drama of the 1 stop flights, the lack of buses, etc., it was a really worthwhile event to go to! Thank you to Zoe Robinson and Mike Linnemann at Fantasy Flght Games, Ed Bourelle at Privateer Press, Sarah Robinson and Andrew Vallas at Paizo Publishing and Jeremy Jarvis, Kate Irwin and Jon Schindehette at Wizards of the Coast for your time, reviews and encouragement. In addition, here's a painting I just finished in time for the con.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mind Flayer Mighty Mugg

A couple of months ago, Jon over at Wizards of the Coast put out a call for artists interested in painting up a Mighty Mugg as a Wizards of the Coast character. I volunteered to make a Mind Flayer Mighty Mugg.
Here's my pitch sketch!

All the parts of my Mugg all laid out. Notice also, my epoxy putty, to use to sculpt the tentacles.
The face drawn on and some epoxy tentacles. I added several layers of epoxy sanding in between each one. Unfortunately, the seller of the putty sent me very old putty, which resulted in some of the putty already being hard and not very malleable. Oh well. Can't win every time you shop on eBay. After that I spray coated my drawn pieces with workable fixative. BAD IDEA. Acrylic paint becomes very streaky and thin on a smooth surface of fixative. Oh well. That's why the smart people think you experiment with this first. I ended up painting over the whole Mugg with gesso. After several layers, I lost my drawing, but acrylic painting was adhering well to the gessoed surface.

 My only other progress shot. Sorry I was pretty bad at taking photos as I progressed.

The final painted Mugg.
He looks like a tiny Chthulu that fell in a vat of Welch's Grape Juice.

The obligatory human skin cape. If you're wondering, the cape is painted felt. I had to get a paint specifically meant for cloth.

I'm hoping he'll be on display at Gen Con; I'm not 100% sure that will happen.

Anyway, this was a fun break from digital painting. It's the first time I've used acrylic paint in about 6 years. Hopefully that isn't too blatantly obvious.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Zombie Princess

A new e-book cover!

Believe it or not, she's a zombie. She's probably the most alluring zombie I've ever painted. The zombie dragon was a lot of fun, but a word to the wise: give more time, and charge a bit more for skeleton armies!!! This took FOREVER!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Curing Ezra

A few months ago, my friend Jennifer came to me with a request for a special painting. Her nephew, 3 year old Ezra Jordan Fineman is undergoing treatment for a condition known as Hyper IgM Syndrome.
He's at Sloan Kettering recovering from an umbilical blood stem cell transplant which will hopefully cure him. In the meantime, this brave little toddler has a long recovery ahead of him.

 Ezra's a fan of the book Puff the Magic Dragon, based on the song by Peter, Paul and Mary and illustrated by Eric Puybaret. Jennifer asked me to create a painting for her nephew based on this book. Here's my painting, with Ezra standing in for Jackie Paper.
Ezra is a big fan of dragons, basketball, music (I heard he's really good with a guitar!), space shuttles and lighthouses! His progress can be tracked here. He will continue to need blood transfusions over the coming months. Information on how to donate can be found here.

Good luck Ezra, and may the God watch over you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Uh Hi!

Eh...Greetings! Hola! Guten tag! Aloha! Shalom! Bonjour!

Okay, I have explaining to do. You see, I've been going about this blog all wrong. I strongly felt I could only put up my art here and not much else. You know, the whole 'being professional' thing. I'm a painting MACHINE! Now problems arose this year due to a sudden influx of freelance work...and all those pesky NDAs that come with them. So I have been painting all this time, but I still can't show you too much of what I've done. Hence the silence.

Anywho, after a lot of reflecting and despairing over the negligence of this beloved blog, I'm back. I'm going to start posting other things besides just my latest piece. Oh, don't worry, I'm not going to be posting about government conspiracies or any of that jazz. But I'll try to make this blog a little more about art in general, not just the desperate pushing of paint and pixels I've been monotonously posting for these past 5 years or whatever it is. I never talked about the shows and cons, or my peers or the masters who have inspired me! So hopefully, this blog will grow in scope, not just as a platform to show off my latest...masterpiece (stop laughing!)....I hope this becomes a place to check out to learn a bit more about art, to have fun, to see what this field is about, etc etc.

This whole thing is still a work in progress, so bear with me. Having been a teacher for 2 semesters now, my thirst to share what I know has grown. So let's see where this blog goes....

Oh but wait! I'm not going to leave you with no artwork, ohhh....no no no no no!!! And just to prove I have a pulse and a life, this is a new collaboration with my lovely artist girlfriend, Christina Skapriwsky. 

What you've never seen a polar bear during the dog days of summer?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fall of the Minotaur King

Here's a book cover I designed. The book is 'Fall of the Minotaur King'. It was written by a college buddy under the pen name Dave Devine. You can find it for download on Smashwords. 
It's a pretty fun read, full of magic, kings, castles, dragons, minotaurs (obviously), etc., with a rather stinging sense of humor. And it's only $.99 to download!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Still Life: Part 1

Dusted off the old oils earlier this week and did a still life. This is the same setup for that last digital still life I did a few weeks ago. Clearly I need more practice!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tyrannosaurus Astronaut

Why a T Rex astronaut?
Why not?

I'm also submitting this to IF. Dinosaurs developing a space program...yeah, I'd consider that 'capable' wouldn't you?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lighting Demo

Uh, hi! Long time no see!

Sorry about the being quiet for so long. I'm still alive and painting, but now I've gotten work and those pesky NDAs mean I can't post what I've done....at least until it's released to the public. I suppose that's a good problem!

Anywho, I have a demo here I did for my class on lighting and color. The one on the left was done using daylight (and painted live in front of the class, hence why it is less resolved). The one on the right was done with a lamp at night from the comfort of my home.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dragon a Day!

Hey everyone!
Since 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, I decided it was time to do something I've been thinking about: a drawing a day blog! And if you know me, you know I can never draw too many dragons, so I've decided it would be a dragon a day, every day. By December 31st, 2012, I will (hopefully) have 365 drawings posted.

The blog's URL is http://piyadragonaday.blogspot.com/. Please become a follower! Thanks!
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