Saturday, July 26, 2014

Last Chance to Vote on a "Crowd Sorcery" Sidekick!

It's the last day to cast votes for "Crowd Sorcery" characters–this time for heroine Fable Thatcher's sidekick. Will her partner be the swashbuckling boy who can talk to dragons? The mysterious girl who possesses the Book of Shadows? The Fledermouse in hiding? It's all up to you!


Development sketches for one of the potential "Crowd Sorcery" heroines.


There are twelve characters to pick from. Fred and I had a difficult time narrowing down the many submissions for each character, but it was especially tough this round. All of the "Crowd Sorcery" participants should be proud of their amazing efforts at coming up with so many unique characters for this project.

Some of my hero sketches were printed in the July/August issue of Cricket Magazine. Villain sketches will appear in September, and sidekicks in October. Finally, the November/December issue will feature Fred's finished story and my illustrations. I'm grateful to be a part of this fun project and excited to see how the story and characters develop from this point forward.

A preview of the "Crowd Sorcery" spread from the July/August issue of Cricket.

For more information about "Crowd Sorcery," including instructions for downloading the digital editions of Cricket click here.
To become a Crowd-Sorceror by sharing your ideas, visit the "Crowd Sorcery" section of The Chatterbox and get posting!
For my earlier post about "Crowd Sorcery," see my original blog post here.




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Crowd Sorcery Characters!

Minotaur voted. Did you?

The time has come to vote for your favorite "Crowd Sorcery" heroes and heroines. Go to the Chatterbox to cast your votes!

There is still time left to submit your character ideas to "Crowd Sorcery!" Now we are looking for some bad guys to cause trouble for our heroes and heroines. Visit the Villain thread to add your villainous characters to our fantasy story.

For more information about "Crowd Sorcery," including instructions for downloading the digital editions of Cricket click here.
To become a Crowd-Sorceror by sharing your ideas, visit the "Crowd Sorcery" section of The Chatterbox and get posting!
For my earlier post about "Crowd Sorcery," see my original blog post here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Help Us Tell a Fantasy Story Using Crowd Sorcery!

Click the image to enlarge and read more about "Crowd Sorcery!"

If you're a Cricket Magazine reader, you may remember the fantasy story "The Star Shard" written by Frederic S. Durbin and featuring my illustrations that was printed in the magazine for a year from April of 2008 through April of 2009. In 2012, Fred and I put together a series of posts that we called "Star Shard Week" on each of our blogs to commemorate the publication of Fred's novel of The Star Shard.

Fred and I have been given the opportunity by the editors at Cricket to work together once again on a new project called "Crowd Sorcery." It's a collaborative project involving Fred, me and you! Kids that would like to participate can go to Cricket's message board, The Chatterbox, to help us invent characters, items, and a fantasy dictionary that describes the world you would like to create. Participants will vote on the ideas they like best. Throughout the summer, I will be doing sketches of the chosen characters and items for the digital edition of Cricket. Then I will illustrate the story that Fred writes using your contributions and it will be printed in the November/December issue of Cricket!

For more information about "Crowd Sorcery," including instructions for downloading the digital editions of Cricket click here.
To become a Crowd-Sorceror by sharing your ideas, visit the "Crowd Sorcery" section of The Chatterbox and get posting!
To see Fred's post about "Crowd Sorcery," visit his website here.

We can't wait to see what fantastic ideas you come up with!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sketches from ECCC 2014



Another Emerald City Comicon has come and gone. I'd like to extend my thanks to everyone who came by our table during the convention.

Here are some of the sketches I did for people who purchased my sketchbook, Journey, this year:








I have two sketchbooks still available featuring the following original sketches. If you had been thinking of buying a copy online and either of these drawings have caught your eye, please contact me and let me know so I can put the book aside for you.



See you at ECCC 2015, March 27th-29th!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Emerald City Comicon 2014: Final Day

Today is the last day of Emerald City Comicon 2014! A con report of some sort will follow shortly. If you'll be at the convention Sunday, please don't forget to stop by our table N-10, located near the back of the exhibit hall.

I'll be waiting!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

ECCC's Monsters and Dames 2014 Art Book

My Painted Marsh Nymph illustration will be printed in ECCC's limited edition Monsters and Dames 2014 Art Book. If you buy the book (available at the ECCC Merchandise booth), stop by our table and I'll be happy to sign it for you. The proceeds from the book go to Seattle Children's Hospital.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Emerald City Comicon 2014

This year's Emerald City Comicon (or its fun to say abbreviation, ECCC) is only two weeks away!

Last year, the show was huge and had even expanded into the Sky Bridge, the wide hallway that connects the two sections of the exhibit hall. This year the show is even bigger, and as of Thursday, March 13th, it is completely sold out. It looks as though the exhibit hall has expanded even further into Level Three of The Conference Center, which is part of the Washington State Convention Center (and the location of GeekGirlCon in the fall). Please refer to the map for all the confusing details!

Click to enlarge! Full convention center map here.


There is an important note I'd like to make: there are now essentially THREE Artist Alleys. Please make sure to visit them all! Last year there was some confusion about the location of all the artists, and many attendees said they were unaware Artist Alley was split into two sections. 
As you can see on the map, one is on Level Four closer to the entrance of the Washington State Convention Center and the other is through that aforementioned Sky Bridge in the second, larger section of the exhibit hall (where most of the exhibitor booths are located) near the back of the convention center. It looks like the new, third section of Artist Alley is located below the main exhibit hall floor on Level Three of The Conference Center.

The show will be open longer this year, too. Friday is now a full day, with show hours from 10 am to 7 pm. It's gonna be a long day for those of us working the floor! (Come by and be nice to us!)

Vinod and I will be sitting at booth N-10 in Artist Alley, not too far away from our location last year. We're against the wall near the bathrooms, so hopefully we'll be easier to find in the crowd. I'll have most of my usual product available: copies of The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures, posters, prints, note cards and sketchbooks. They won't fit on the table, but I plan to bring some original paintings to sell, so if you're interested in seeing what's available, please ask.

Emerald City Comicon will take place at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle from Friday, March 28th through Sunday, March 30th. More information about the show is available at the Emerald City Comicon website. Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Article on Children's Picture Book Illustrations

The 2014 Caldecott Medal winner was announced today. The award went to the book Locomotive, written and illustrated by Brian Floca.

The cover of Locomotive.

Yesterday, in anticipation of the announcement, npr posted an article praising some of the picture books published in 2013: Eight Picture Books That Make Us Wish We Were Kids Again. Two of the books on npr's list were chosen as Honor Books by the Caldecott Medal Committee.

You don't have to be a kid to appreciate the wonderful illustrations from these books!

More on the Caldecott Medal here

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dwarves II

I hear dwarves are popular these days. Good thing, because I happen to have art of that!

The second character I designed for Unrestrained Games is an intimidating and capable fighter who leads his elite dwarven warriors into battle. To contrast from Hogoren who was heavy on the bottom, I made Downammar slightly top-heavy. His clothing and armor is fit for a king and formidable in battle.

A few of the costume details changed between this design sketch and the final.
It's mostly hidden in the final drawing and painting, but his necklace is made from a dragon's claw.

His additional weapons and accessories come from battles fought in distant lands.


Unrestrained Games website

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lands and Legends Kickstarter: Final Week!

Lands and Legends, a fantasy art book project.

It's the home stretch for the Lands and Legends fantasy illustration book Kickstarter, and there is a loooong way to go to reach the goal! For more information about the project, please see my earlier post here.

While I compared the book to Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art to describe the subject matter one might expect to see in Lands and Legends, Lands and Legends will be different as a collection of work. Rather than a compendium of art put together through a juried competition, this book is a collaborative project comprised of fantasy art that many of the artists are creating specifically for this project. As such, in order to fairly compensate the artists, the cover price of the book is higher than an art annual like Spectrum, the production of which is paid for by entry fees.

If you choose to support the Lands and Legends Kickstarter campaign, you will be supporting over a hundred working artists as they create an image of a subject they love. And of course art always turns out better when you love what you're working on!

Easy access related links:
Lands and Legends Kickstarter
Lands and Legends Website