Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Explorer's Guide Demo Sampler

After staying up too late to finish a personal project, I don't have the energy today for an involved post. The related subject of the benefits and pitfalls of being a freelance artist will have to be put aside for another time. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy Impact's sneak peek at one of the step-by-step demos from The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures, the Flying Fish!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Minotaur Monday

Remember when I told you I would stop with the alliteration? I lied.

This sullen fellow makes his appearance in the "Creatures of Myth" chapter in The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures

Those of you who frequent my website may have already seen this announcement: my first book, The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures, will be released (or should I say unleashed, heh heh) at the end of July! It's a 144 page how-to-draw book aimed at a beginning to intermediate audience that includes basic art tips and information, guidance for designing creatures, and step-by-step instruction for drawing fantasy critters and their various features and accessories. It also features a whole bunch of brand new full color creature paintings! The Explorer's Guide to Drawing Fantasy Creatures is published by Impact Books, is available for pre-order online right now, and will be in stores this summer.

Please subscribe to my blog for updates about the book, special demonstrations, contests and other fun stuff!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Monsters

These goblins eventually became an interior illustration for A Practical Guide to Monsters. When I opened the file to prepare it for posting, I saw that I had an extra drawing layer over the top of the face of the goblin with the mace. That layer made him look like a nicer, friendlier goblin. I had forgotten about this and remembered I had been asked to make him look a little less mean for the final art because the book was primarily aimed at a younger audience. His jerkiness has been fully restored both in this post and in my sketchbook!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Faerie Locket Process

The drawing stage can be one of the best parts of a new project. My sketchbooks and flat file drawers are filled with drawings and sketches from each job that I do. There are too many drawings to fit comfortably on my website, (and it would take forever to update them all and I'm too lazy) so I hope to keep them updated here on my blog!

The following is typical of my process when starting a new illustration.

The cover for The Faerie Locket needed to feature Pip and the glowing locket. This was the composition selected from my thumbnail sketches.

I did a few rough sketches of ideas for the sitting pose. Each has a slightly different attitude. For the final drawing, I combined aspects of the sketches at the top and on the left.

This was what I thought would be the final drawing for the cover. Sometimes issues with a composition only come up after a drawing is more fully realized. As it turned out, the locket needed to be featured more prominently, and in this drawing, the locket is too far in the background. The top-down perspective of Pip sitting on a tree branch above the locket lying far below on the ground also calls into question the scale of the locket. If Pip were to fly down and stand next to the locket, it would be huge. To solve these problems, I roughed out some ideas for a new composition.

I didn't want to lose the drawing of Pip I had spent so much time on, and I liked the pose, so I looked for ways to make it work with different surroundings. The art director and I decided that we could get an effect very similar to the original drawing if Pip was sitting on a tree root rather than a branch.

And here is final drawing for the cover!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My First Blog™

So I've started a blog. Welcome! I hope you like what you see, and I hope I'll be able to keep up.

This was a cover painting for the book The Faerie Locket. Those who are familiar with the Practical Guide series published by Wizards of the Coast's book imprint Mirrorstone will recognize Pip from A Practical Guide to Faeries. For that project, I was lucky to have the opportunity to design Pip as well as define the general look of the faeries.