Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kumo Onna Redux

4 years ago, I did a painting of a Jorogumo, or Kumo Onna, a spider woman of Japanese mythology. (Here's the old one) I decided to revisit it as I wasn't crazy about it the first time.
Here's the new one. I hope you like it!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dragons of Dragon Crate 5

Finally, here are the Joker Dragons! I knew from the beginning I wanted two headed dragons to represent the Jokers. Where that reasoning comes from, I haven't a clue.
Two heads means double the firepower!

Well that's the entirety of the Dragon Crate project. Thanks for following along. I hope you've enjoyed this series of dragon goodness!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dragons of Dragon Crate 4

And now to the fourth and final installment of the card suits of Dragon Crate. I came up with a theme of cold and...angels? Ah well, I think the thing these were meant to have in common was the color white. So there!
Dark Winter Dragon
This one looks awfully familiar...yes, this is an older painting that my client bought from me outright for his card.

Angel Dragon
 Thanks to Michael Rookard for helping me finish this bad boy.
 Frost Dragon
Secretly a draconic homage to Frozen. Hey, if inspiration strikes, run with it, don't argue!

So, that's my series of dragons for the Dragon Crate...NOT. Don't forget ladies and gentlemen, we have Jokers too! Coming soon!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dragons of Dragon Crate 3

And we're back today with our third installment of the Dragon Crate project.

This time, we're focusing on the 'evil' dragons; all of these dragons are themed around the dark side of fantasy. Let's meet the dragons!

Devil Dragon
This painting drove me nuts....I burned through so many sketches to get this done.

 Oh boy this one's going to get me in trouble with my Church...yes I do go to Church. Honestly, this wasn't meant to be a Devil Dragon; this was inspired by Disney's Fantasia sequence, 'Night on Bald Mountain'. Somehow it evolved into a Devil.

Ghost Dragon

 Ghost Dragon; I was thinking of gestalt organisms such as jellyfish (a creature made up of many many small creatures).

Zombie Dragon
Finally, the classic Zombie Dragon. I was trying to distill what made a zombie dragon: wings, breath and rotting parts. Hopefully it worked!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dragons of the Dragon Crate 2

Here's round two of Dragon Crate.

These dragons are more themed around 'wholesome' nature; woods, flowers and....lightning? Ah well, it sounded good on paper.
Fairy Dragons
The butterflies of the dragon world I guess. You can see in the sketch I originally had more gruesome ideas.

Forest Dragon
A draconic living tree. I know I know, it's been done, but it's cool!

Lightning Dragon
This one was redone about a hundred times. I'm proud of the horns of this dragon; they were inspired by a samurai kabuto maedate (helmet crest). I remember being a little irritated with my art director because of all the changes he was asking for. Looking back now, I'm really thankful he got on my case. It really helped me take this dragon from okay to probably my favorite of the bunch.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dragons of the Dragon Crate 1

As promised here's a closer look at the creation of the artwork that went into Dragon Crate.

For these three, I had specific natural environments in mind: caves, swamps and volcanoes. These are all natural and potentially very dangerous places. These are not environments for the faint of heart.

Cave Dragon

I was inspired by blind cave salamanders for this dragon. I loved the idea of cave creatures so utterly shaped by their environment. Not only did the darkness of the cave render eyes useless, it rendered pigmentation unnecessary as well. The giant claws and feelers on the dragon's nose came from star nosed mole, a burrowing mole that is also blind.

Swamp Dragon

Erik gave me a ton of freedom with this project, but was also clear that he wanted a swamp dragon. He didn't exactly have to twist my arm on that; I figured it would make for a cool design. I was really trying to get a rugged, Crocodile Dundee, bayou feel to this guy. Thick scales, a crocodile's face and a tail that could break an elephant's back, this guy's a monster!

Volcano Dragon

I believe this was my first dragon for the project. It was probably the easiest to start simply because I had the concept for him bouncing around my head long before I even got on board with Dragon Crate. The idea for this guy is that he's a living force of nature; lava, magma and fire that just happened to coalesce into a dragon. Dragons can make cool animal designs, but sometimes I like to think of them as more a force of nature, more godlike than mere flesh and bone.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Dragon Crate

Hello everyone! We wish you a (late) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This post is coming a little late due to moving. Christina and I are officially Pennsylvanians. Still strange to me and honestly, in my heart, I'll always be a New Yorker. 4 years of college in Massachusetts and 3 years of art school in California never dampened my feelings about being from New York and I don't think this will either.

So big post today. A project I worked on with Albino Dragon has shipped and is now officially public. Those of you who know me personally have already had an inkling of it, but now I can show all the details.

Erik, the CEO and Overlord of Albino Dragon contacted me early in 2014 to help him out with a project that had just completed funding over Kickstarter called the Dragon Crate project. He asked if I could paint 14 dragons for his dragon themed Bicycle playing card set. How could I possibly turn that down?!

From March to August, I had the time of my life designing these cards. Erik was a good combination of knowing what he wanted and trusting my creativity to carry the process along.

I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to do this project. There was nothing about it that made me not enjoy every minute of it. Was it smooth sailing? Hell no. But I would redo the bad with the good in a hearbeat. As an added bonus, the pay for this project made it possible for me to buy Christina's engagement ring. :-)

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be going over each card in detail in terms of its creation. Until then, Happy 2015!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Little Red Panda

Hello everyone. Sorry about the absence! Lots of changes going on right now. I'll elaborate over the next couple of weeks. Real quick post today: I stumbled across animal artist extrodinaire Aaron Blaise's video and figured I'd try out some of his techniques.

Christina had drawing this cute little Red Panda a few years ago and I always wanted to paint it.

I figured this was the perfect opportunity to use Aaron's ideas. Here is the result!

There are still a lot of things I would like to improve on, but I have to say, watching Aaron's painting videos is amazingly inspirational. I recommend watching everything he posts on his YouTube channel; he is generous and has worked very hard to get to where he's at right now.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Zombie Dragon (with Extra Guts!)

Well to kick off the month of October, here's a Zombie Dragon!

This is actually one of a series of paintings I finished for a client recently. His product has been approved for printing, so very shortly, I can release all of the other paintings as well. Yay!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


(Thanks to Chris Burdett for inspiring the blog title post)

Hey guys, so here's two new pieces done for an online game. The brief had a slew of monsters, so I had a really good time. It's not every day that what you love to paint and what the client needs manage to line up, so I jumped on this one pretty quickly.

Apologies to cat lovers, but here's a rabid radioactive housecat! I love the idea of all this energy, temper and thermonuclear danger packed into a cute and cuddy package.
And a classic firebat. Elemental creatures always lend themselves to being a ton of fun.

I'll have some more in the next couple of days. I've also got another project wrapping up, and once the art is delivered, I'll be free to share. I'm really excited about that one...hint..firebreathing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lord of the Rings Cards

Some cards I did for Fantasy Flight Games's Lord of the Rings decks have been released so here they are!

A Goblin Lurker for the Into the Pit Nightmare Expansion deck.

And a Prowling Wolf for the Voice of Isengard Expansion deck. Hope you like em!

Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm Back!

Well hello there! Wow it's been nearly 5 months since my last update. Lots to talk about! First off, a few months ago, I had the honor of being publishing in Lands and Legends Volume 1, a high quality, amazing coffee table tome full of art from the likes of James Gurney, Bill Sienkiewicz, Donato Giancola, Scott Murphy and so many others. It was exciting to see the book make its public debute at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live.
Here's the piece I contributed, the Wild Hunt of Odin. Odin is the Norse Allfather of the Gods, riding on the 8 legged horse Sleipnir and welding the spear, Gungnir. He is accompanied by his hunting hounds, Freki and Geri, and his ravens, Huginn and Muninn. Odin's hunting party consists of Valkyries, his favored warrior maidens and the Einherjar, the souls of Viking warriors slain in battle. 

Next, I just wanted to drop a quick update and express how pleased I am that my Jei Usagi drawing and print sold on eBay for $152 as part of the Help the Sakais project. This project is sponsored by the Comics Art Professional Society (CAPS) to continue to assist the Sakai family as they go through medical difficulties. Those who know me can speak of my long time admiration for Stan Sakai and his creativity, professionalism, example and humility as an independent creator.

Finally, on a personal note, my lovely lady and I have recently become engaged. :-)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jei Usagi

I've finished Jei Usagi. It was a lot of fun and a learning experience. It's interesting what happens when you try speaking someone else's visual dialect...in this case, cartoon anthropomorphic animal samurai. Hope you like it!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Demonic Samurai Rabbit (and My Website)

I needed a break from another piece I was doing a while ago...actually I needed a break from my usual look and style. Somehow or other, I decided I wanted to do another piece for the Help the Sakais fundraiser.  I remembered a couple of years ago that Sakai released issue 101 with this startling cover:

I loved everything about this cover: it was unexpected to see Usagi possessed and even a casual reader would find  it startling (but hardcore readers knew exactly what was going on). It really uses Sakai's trademark skull of death icon, making it consummate Sakai. Finally, Tom Luth's colors are beautiful as always. I wanted to do my own homage to it.
I have yet to color the piece, but the ink drawing is on its way to North Hollywood as I type this. More exciting news on this front: Dark Horse has announced The Sakai Project, celebrating 30 years of Usagi Yojimbo. It's going to be a book of Usagi as interpreted by the greatest talents in comics. Although I'm not a comic book artist, it seems submissions are open to anyone, so I'm going to go for it. Deadline is February 20, so you'll see the finish soon!

And finally, I just wanted to announce that my website is updated. Check it out! It's my biggest website so far, containing much more art than I've ever put on my official site. That being said, the body of work is broken down into categories and easy to navigate. Hope you like it!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Month of Love: The #nofilter Valentine

Something a little different today:
I thought I'd jump on on the Month of Love challenge, run by the amazing Kristina Carroll.

The challenge is 'No Filter Love' ie: love after the feel good emotions and the high of young love has long disappeared. Indeed, the 'honeymoon' is so named due to the transient nature of a new couple's love, waxing and waning like the phases of the moon.

Now the cynical among us can use what I just said as a reason why marriages don't work and is a sham. Indeed I have known many with that mentality.

But in a way, I believe that the ephemeral nature of eros adds beauty and meaning to those couples who make love work. New love is great, but after it disappears, it leaves couples with nothing but their own free will and choice. Those couples who succeed in marriage simply refuse to give up on each other. Yes, warts and age spots and lines appear, but strong couples CHOOSE to make it work.

So for my drawing, I wanted to be able to show that even when a couple fight, they're still together. A wife may be mad at her husband, but she knows that the important word is that he is HER husband. A husband may find the wife irritating, but she's HIS wife. There is nothing on this earth that can change that. I force of will, tenacity, selflessness and consistent choice to love is a beauty to behold, and I pray with every fiber of my being that I will be able to live that life myself.

By the way, yes this is in ink. New for me. I'll explain why the change later.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Year (and Ringwraiths)!

Happy 2014 everyone! Sorry it's been quiet recently. I've been slowing chiseling away at this new drawing. As you can see, it's in a medium and surface that I haven't really used all that much: pencils, white charcoal on toned paper.
It's a new look and clearly, I have a lot of work to adapt to this new style, but I think it has a lot of potential.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Usagi Yojimbo

This painting is my contribution to the Comic Art Professional Society's fundraising efforts to help out Stan Sakai's and his family. Stan Sakai is the creator, writer and artist of the one and only comic I read, Usagi Yojimbo.
I cannot overemphasize how much Stan Sakai's creation has affected my life. I proudly own every single UY graphic novel. Despite the fact that my style and subject matter is quite different from his, I strive to follow his example.

Stan Sakai is an exemplar of what we all strive to be: a creative artist and professional who has fed his family, bought his own home, sent his own kids to college, all through his own creations. He is legendary for never having missed a deadline, despite being responsible for EVERY part of the UY comic (right down to the lettering!) since 1986. 1986!!!!! His stories are still fresh and original even after 27 years. Usagi Yojimbo derives its quite power through well developed characters, great plots with tons of twists, lots of funny points and Stan Sakai's untiring enthusiasm and iron discipline.

Right now the Sakai family is going through a grave medical crisis that is not covered under their insurance. The expenses are considerable. This watercolor painting will be donated to a CAPS auction to raise money for the Sakai family. I am very proud of this piece, but I will gladly give it up, for it is a poor thank you compared to how much Stan Sakai's work has moved me.

If you are a creator who has even once read UY, I ask you.....no, I implore, demand and beg you to please consider helping out.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

ArtOrder Inspiration

My submission to Jon Schindehette's awesome challenge, the Inspiration Challenge.

I've always tried to infuse my work with some good storytelling and your stories don't get much better than the classics. Enter Hades and his less than enthused bride, Persephone.

It's great to get back to ArtOrder challenges. This one WAS A CHALLENGE. I think I overdid it with the detail and spent a lot more time on it than I had planned, but I learned a lot and am a lot wiser for it. Hope you like it!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Painting Video

Hi everyone! Just got done with a ton of freelance work that I will be showing off shortly. In the meantime, I just wanted to show off my latest project, my first painting video!

You'll be able to see how I painted a pivotal scene in Lord of the Rings, Gandalf confronting the Balrog from start to finish. I describe how I set up the file, use reference, etc. It's a good 20 minutes long and I hope, informative and helpful. 

Here's the finished painting from that scene!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...