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Updated: 2018-02-04T11:57:47.837-05:00


The Gryphon Hunters on


The final high-res of The Gryphon Hunters is finished!  
Check it out on our new blog at:

I won't be updating this blog for much longer. In the future all of my posts will be on I will also continue to contribute posts on Muddycolors as well. 

However, while I won't be posting here, I will be leaving this blog up for as long as Google will let me. We had some good times here and I'd hate to just take it all down. 

Fantastic Naturalist Paintings, and The Hobbit Part 8: The Desolation of Tolkien! I mean, Smaug


I think a good fantasy story, (and I mean fantasy as distinct from science fiction or any other category of fiction) should make us want to look at our actual world from a new perspective. While a poor fantasy story will make us bored with, and disinterested in, our actual world. There are other elements necessary to good fantasy stories of course, but I feel like this is an integral one.  Good fantasy, wether it is writing, film, artwork, a game, or whatever, should make us want to explore and become more curious about the world we live in.While the second Hobbit film disappointed me as a Tolkien story, I really enjoyed it as a fantasy story. The film, with its amazing landscapes and powerful vistas, made me want to get out and explore the world. The treks over mountains made me want to go backpacking. The barrel-riding scenes made me want to go kayaking. Smaug's lair made me want to hop some fences and do some urban exploring in that old abandoned chemical plant down the highway. It reminded me that there are still wonders to explore. (Okay, maybe the chemical plant one isn’t the best idea. But you get what I’m saying right?)This same idea applies to representational art for me as well.  There is a great deal of naturalist art, which borders on the fantastic. And it has much the same effect on me.  Thomas Moran and Albert Beirstadt’s work, while being that of naturalists recording the world around them, also has elements of the fantastic in them. The images are transportive, and they capture something beyond that of photography, something sublime, a momentary glimpse into eternity. Their paintings are scenes born in the American wilderness, but they are often an amalgamation of different places and times of day, combined together to capture the essence of a place. They give a sense of the wonder and grandeur found outside our own fences. Caspar David Friedrich’s gorgeous and haunting chapel scenes stretch even further. They instill a desire to visit ruins and learn about the people who made them and why their works have fallen.  But Friedrich’s visions take it a step further, somehow making us also consider our own life’s eventual twilight. Like the Hobbit film, these naturalist painters put in me a desire to escape my safe, suburban life for a while and see what is out there in the wilderness over the hills.  And I think that is pretty great. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------NEWS! : Annie and I have launched a new website, blog and gallery. Check it out[...]

Gryphon Hunting: The Painting


A Stone Cold 4'x6' Underpainting!  Since this is a night scene I am starting out with colder colors, but I'm still working monochrome.  Usually I work in monochromatic browns because they are so friendly to work over top of. Blues, and colder tones in general, can get tricky for me.  But for certain circumstances I really need to start out with cold or at least grey tones.  Otherwise I am just going to spend too long working backwards to get where I want to go. And yes, that is a fireplace behind the painting.  The old studio was too small for this one so we had to take the show to the living room. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And if those two lazy freeloading cats of mine want to lay in front of a nice, warm fire then they will just have to go get jobs like the rest of us and maybe then they can buy their own fireplace. And maybe then they could contribute to society for once in their miserable lives.  This is me in front of a nice, warm fire.  CONTRIBUTING.  SEE CATS? NOW GO GET A JOB.The colors I am using here are mostly warms, which by contrast helps to pull the figures out from the background. It is one of my favorite parts of using a colder palette.The Gryphon. Ever see that BBC Natural World documentary on Harpy Eagles? They are crazy looking animals and I love them.However, much as I love them, I need to push the gryphon's value intensity back some here.  He is a major part of the story, but I kind of want him to be more in the shadows. So that it makes more sense that the dwarves didn't see him when they walked in.These are the times when I miss all my digital tricks...It is about 90% finished. I will have a really nice photo of the final version next time![...]

Gryphon Hunting


So after some time away I am back! (Special thanks to Cory Godbey for holding down the fort for me while I went and got married and explored some sea caves in the Caribbean and was almost nearly kidnapped and eaten by bats.)  But I am back and I am painting again. And for Christmas Eve this year I'd like to share a few preliminaries for my next painting with you. Rough Design GO!This painting is a private commission and will be done 4'x6' oil on canvas.  I've been having a lot of fun working larger and am looking forward to tackling something this size.  Working large makes this early design stage really important for me.  Once I blow the drawing up and transfer it to the canvas I start to lose track of things fast.  Proportions start to slide off and perspective warps. So I like to nail down a really solid design here.  The little bits like leaves and individual bricks don't matter, but faces and poses and characters relations to one another is extremely important. Color Comp GO! Figuring out the light source and shadows is really important. Ultimately its story though. And we need to figure out what is the story is here most of all. Is it more interesting to have an ultimate-samurai-warrior-navy-seal-who looks like George Washington in a bear suit?  Or a lost pizza delivery guy? Or a band of adventurers of dubious character who are trying for the big one?  I don't know.  So we spend some time sketching to figure it out. Next Week: George Washington in a bear suit and a transfer to a very large canvas.[...]

The Ents Almost Finished...


I have been back to work on the Ents marching on Orthanc!

I have been adding colors in glazes recently using mostly just oil with a bit of Walnut Alkyd Medium when needed. The next step is to go in and recapture all the shadows again.  After that, it's final highlights and a unifying glaze and we're done.

Unfinished Business: The Silmarillion



A few years ago I did a number of illustrations from the Silmarillion.  It was a personal project that I did in my spare time.  

As with other personal projects of mine, when client work started coming in I had to shelve it.  

I hate to leave projects behind, but it happens every now and then.  I think it is really good to have a store of unfinished work to go back to.  That way you are never bored. There is always something you could be working on; something more you could be exploring. 

This little study of a Noldor elf and a werewolf is at the top of my little list of paintings to get back to when the time allows.  

Sketchbook 2013 Shipping Out!


Last week I shipped out all the 2013 sketchbook orders!  We sold out of the DELUXE editions on day one, and now it's time to roll the dice and see who got what!There is no rhyme or reason to these sketches, I just sit down and sketch for about 3 days and see what turns up. As the drawings are finished the sketchbooks are placed in order and then whatever number you are when you order, that is the one you get. Sometimes you get wizards......And sometimes you get crocs.And maybe more wizards.And maybe a few Ents.There were also a lot of mostly harmless dragons.And a lot of angry dwarves.  And some lucky person gets #43, which was probably my favorite of the bunch: It was a good batch and I hope everyone likes them. Until next year...  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To see the sketches from previous years:Sketchbook 2010Sketchbook 2011Sketchbook 2012[...]

MORZOG! Lord of Destruction


After a week of shameless self-promotion, I am now offering a post with what is hopefully something more artistically useful...For those of you who missed it, I had an artist's booth at DragonCon in Atlanta. For the show this year, I decided I would do a dragon mini-portrait painting.  (Do you get it? A dragon for...Dragon... ?  I know, I know, highly original. I am living right out there on the very edge of the fantasy art world.)Anyway, so I started sketching. I was thinking, "This guy, he's a huge dragon, and he's really ripping this castle up; just trashing the place. And he is loving it. Yeah, yeah this'll be great." As I went along I added a lot of smoke and more of the castle falling down around him. It was a lot of fun. Then I finished the painting.  (It was watercolor and gouache on bristol, by the way.)But it was missing something.  It was so...boring.  I mean, I should have known right?  There is literally no story here.  And I felt like, surely I can do better than this. I'm a high school graduate after all.There was just nothing of any substance here.  Sure he was real mad.  And that castle was getting real trashed. But there was no context for any of it.  I mean, who cares right?  I don't even know or care whose castle this is. And the audience certainly doesn't know or care. I got kind of depressed about it.  How am I going to sell this at the show?  Everyone would be whispering at the booth when they didn't know I was spying on them."That Gerard is an over-rated hack.""Yeah he is. I hear he doesn't even really paint anymore. Just talks about how great a painter he is on blogs mostly nowadays.""Isn't he running some kind of pyramid scheme?""I don't know what you are talking about. But say, have you heard of Amway? You look like a smart guy and who would like to make a lot of money working from the comfort of his or her own home..."Anyway, so I light the curtains on fire, crash my car, stumble off into the night and wake up the next day wearing a pancho, several garbage bags, a tear-stained face and a stray cat.  But with a resolution to not do such a boring painting. On the flight back home I drew this guy. (Cory Godbey was there. Thanks Cory.) I had realized what I needed. I needed some kind of further context; some kind of irony. Like most people I read books, and when I do, I find myself imagining myself as the hero, the dude, the gunslinger, the knight. Who is it who is imagining himself as this giant, fire-breathing dragon?  And that is where this little chameleon comes in. Now the piece makes more sense. It has a story to it.  It wasn't much of an addition, but it works better now.All in all I was much happier with the final piece and I think it did better at the convention for it. (We sold out the first run!) So I guess the lesson here is don't be afraid to stop and think about the message in your piece before finishing it. Even if you have to do some reworking. Make it tell something good that touches us in some way. We need more than just a picture of someone who is real angry. ------------------ALSO: More shameless self-promotion: I am selling the second run of prints on etsy at  [...]

Illuxcon This Weekend


Hey guys! I'm about to head out to Illuxcon to exhibit at the weekend salon and wanted to give you a quick preview of some work that will be there.  I love doing small paintings for studies and will be bringing a few odd portraits of knights and dragons. Above is one of the brave fellows that will be there.  Also, a here is a quick primer on how to paint a tiny 5"x7" painting:Step 1: Draw in the shapes in raw sienna. Step 2: Fill in the shadows with burnt and raw sienna.Step 3. Now just paint the whole dang thing. I will be bringing the new 2013 Sketchbooks as well other books and a lot of new prints. Also, I will be exhibiting the final oil painting of Smaug for the first time this weekend!  Stop by and say hi if you happen to be passing through! [...]

Sketchbook 2013: The Four Dwarves


Sketchbook 2013 is going live today at 11am EST on Etsy HERE!If you missed the previous post, the details are:1. Sweet New Sketchbook. It's just like the old sketchbooks EXCEPT IT'S TOTALLY NEW. 2. It's out today. Okay, one other thing: I am doing something a little different this year. In past years I have done the first 50 order receive a hand-drawn image on the front page. For previous years results check out:201120122010 Re-releaseThis has been a lot of fun, but has often-times ended in abject pandemonium. So, this year, I am experimenting with something new and am going to be offering 2 separate books.The Standard Edition and The Deluxe Limited Edition.That's right, Deluxe. The Standard Edition will arrive hand-signed and is $20. It's just like the normal order from previous years.The Deluxe Limited Edition will arrive, hand-signed and individually numbered (1-50), with an original drawing on the front page and it also includes a bookmark. The Deluxe Edition will be $40.  This one is limited to only 50, and once they are gone they are gone. Deluxe Drawings!Deluxe Bookmarks!Deluxe Things!(Deluxe Treasure Chest not included)This is going to be available online for a limited time only: Tuesday, September 10th through Tuesday, October 15th.I will also be offering 8"x10" signed prints this year of a number of my images. (More on this soon)  So get your Christmas shopping done early!11AM. Tuesday, September 10th.! The lovely Annie Stegg is going to be selling her new sketchbook: Thumbelina, at the same time on the same day. Check it out at 11am on Tuesday at:[...]

Sketchbook 2013 Release Date


Hi Guys!I am going to be releasing Sketchbook 2013: The Four Dwarves on Tuesday, September the 10th, at 11am EST! I am doing something a little different this year. In past years I have done the first 50 order recieve a hand-drawn image on the front page.  For previous years results check out:201120122010 Re-releaseThis has been a lot of fun, but a little chaotic. So, this year, I am experimenting with something new and am going to be offering 2 separate books.The Standard Edition and The Deluxe Limited Edition.That's right, Deluxe. The Standard Edition will arrive hand-signed and is $20. Much like the normal order from previous years.The Deluxe Limited Edition will arrive, hand-signed, individually numbered (1-50) and with a bookmark. The Deluxe Edition will be $40.  This one is limited to only 50, and once they are gone they are gone. Also, this is going to be available online for a limited time only:Tuesday, September 10th through Tuesday, October 15th. I will also be offering 8"x10" signed prints this year of a number of my images. (More on this soon)  So get your Christmas shopping done early! It all ends October 15th!11AM. Tuesday, September 10th.! The lovely Annie Stegg is going to be selling her new sketchbook: Thumbelina, at the same time on the same day. Check it out at 11am on Tuesday at:[...]

An Announcement for an Announcement


Hi guys! Quick post today as I am drowning in oil paintings at the moment. These are a few teaser images today from this year's sketchbook which will be available this September.

This year's sketchbook will be a little different than previous year's books and will be leading up to something a lot bigger that I hope to release in 2014.  I've been doing some writing.  (More on this soon.)  

"What do you mean, 'some writing?' You have all the grammatical abilities of a three-legged goat.  
You couldn't write your way out of a paper bag Gerard!"

I hope it all works out.  More details next time!

Current Projects Post #2: Color


I am back with my second post on my recent work, which has primarily consisted of larger-format oil paintings. Last week we covered the underpaintings, and this week I want to share some of the color progress shots.  Also, I promised to deliver on a no-solvent, fast-drying palette for oils. And when I make a promise; I deliver.  Unless it's about those llamas. Just don't worry about those llamas.  For the Ents Marching painting, I am going to work background to foreground since the blue sky is such a prominent feature of the image. I really like deep blues and for some reason I rarely use them.  A while back I emailed Gamblin asking them about a solution for my dilemma of finding a solvent-free, faster-drying palette. They were super helpful and said if I just use their products then all my problems would vanish like refined mineral spirits into the air. I would lose weight, I'd be fun, sexy, and my life would be one long beer commercial.Then they sent me a super helpful list of the drying rates of all of their oil colors.  I found that I could actually build a palette out of colors that dry faster naturally.  And if I were to add walnut alkyd medium, I could have everything dry overnight, without the aid of solvents or other drying agents. I also spoke by phone with the elusive M. Graham about his mysterious walnut alkyd medium. He told me it was safe. In fact, it was "salad grade" safe. You could literally eat it. Though he didn't recommend that because it had a "mild laxative effect."I see.  Haha. Well, Mr. M. Graham, I'm not asking if I can eat your products. I want to paint with them and your little jokes are not very funny."But so far he has been right (not about the laxative part. I haven't tried that yet. Not saying I haven't snuck some into other people's food, just that I haven't personally consumed any yet.)  But he was right about the overall safety of the product.  I have been using it for about a year now and have had no adverse effects. And surprisingly it works as advertised. So the secret so far is this:Build a palette based on colors that all dry in under 4 days, and walnut alkyd medium. The walnut alkyd medium speeds the drying time up a little bit faster than 2x the usual speed, depending on the humidity in the air. If you want to speed it up further, you can place the paintings under a car windshield, or a heat lamp.  Or light it on fire.  But you need to be careful with all of those. For sky in the Ents piece, I am using these Gamblin oil colors:Pthalo blue - (4 days to dry)Cerulean Blue Hue - (4 days to dry)Payne's Gray (4 days to dry)Titanium-Zinc White (3 to 4 days to dry)With the medium it probably took about 24 hours until it was touch dry. The reds are a bit more tricky, as most reds are very long drying colors. (Alizarin, the Cads and the Quinacridones are all at least 6 day dryers) Which mean you are stuck with Iron Oxide based reds.  Still, you can get a surprising range with them.   For Smaug I have used:Raw Sienna (4 days)Brown Pink (4 days)Hansa Yellow Deep (4 days)Transparent Yellow Earth (3 days)And these all dried very quickly.  Later on, when I don't need as many layers, I can switch into a broader palette and take advantage of Alizarin's cooler tones. But the above colors, which all dry overnight, are perfect for these early color layers.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------LPG Update: The Lamp Post Guild has just launched Cory Godbey's The Art of Personal Work and Chris Koelle's Graphic Storytelling courses! For more info check out:[...]

Current Projects


I have recently took on 2 private commissions for some larger format oil paintings and today I'd like to share my initial stages from them with you.For those of you who have followed along these last few years, you will probably know that finding a good working method in oil (that doesn't turn me into a werewolf or raise the dead) has been somewhat challenging for me these past few years.  I wanted to find a way that would allow me to work quickly, and in many thin layers, somewhat like watercolor; but that did not involve solvents or harm the archival quality of the painting. It has only been in the past year that things have finally begun to really make sense to me, and that I have finally become comfortable taking on larger oil paintings. The first of these is for Greg O'baugh, and the scene may he is commissioning, may look familiar to some folks...   Yes, this is Smaug. Greg actually purchased the original watercolor of Old Smaug at Illuxcon a few years back.  Since then he has asked if I might be interested in repainting this one, and this time in oil, without the aid of any of my digital trickery.Usually I would be very apprehensive about something like this. Wether traveling, painting or reading, I usually don't like to retread the same ground twice.  There is still so much to do and explore and learn that seeing a place twice seems like a wasted opportunity.  But this image is different. This one is a challenge, and one that I have always wanted to do as an oil painting.For many years I have been secretly convinced that I can't do traditionally what I can do digitally.  And no matter how many of you have told me in exasperation to JUST DO IT, I have always had great reservations.  So now this is a chance to finally give this one the treatment it deserves.I hope to share more of the work-in-progress shots as this develops and I look forward to hearing what you think when you compare the two separate approaches.The second image is also Tolkien themed and is being commissioned by Dan Perkins.  It is of the Ents marching up to break the dam above Orthanc and will be 30" x 50" on panel. If the characters in this digital color comp look familiar, it is because they are mostly from my 2012 Sketchbook.  The 2012 sketchbook was done chiefly as studies for a series of larger oil paintings like this one that I hope to keep producing over the next few years. Part of the reason that these scenes are painted so much larger than my other work is because of the lack of solvents. The only medium I will be using with the oil paints, is walnut alkyd oil, (and that only sparingly.) I hope you will follow along and when these are finished let me know what you think about the conversion from watercolor and digital to oil.Next: The Color Phase and a no-solvent, fast-drying palette[...]

TLC Workshop Details


For those of you who have signed up for the Seattle TLCWorkshop August 16-18, here is a preview ofwhat we will be up to!(And if you haven't signed up yet and are interested, check out the TLCWorkshop site for more details.)  TLC Workshop 2013: Monsters and Maidens with Justin Gerard and Cory Godbey(with Special Guest Appearance by Iain McCaig!)The Project:For this course, we will be illustrating a scene from one of the following two stories:Beauty and the Beast Alice in Wonderland ...with a focus on a monster and a maiden. We will be exploring visual storytelling and how to create interesting dynamics between our characters.What you need to do beforehand:READ: Familiarize yourself with your story and pick a scene or idea it that is interesting to you.IMAGINE: Spend some time thinking about your characters and how they relate to one another. Are they in conflict with one another? Are they helping one another? Place yourself in the scene as if you are part of the story.DRAW: Put together some thumbnails and rough sketches of your ideas. They can be stick figure layouts, or Da Vinci portraits. Wherever you are in your development when you get here, Cory, Justin and Iain will be helping you to take it to the next level.PREPARE: To rock.THE FORMAT:Cory and Justin will talk through their processes, both traditional and digital, as well as demonstrate how they work. Each day Cory and Justin will cover a new part of their illustration process and then the class will work on their illustrations together.And the-force-of-nature-that-is Iain McCaig will also be spending an afternoon with us showing his hands-on approach to character and creature creation.Materials Needed:We will be focusing heavily on drawing and character design in this course. While painting is not the focus of the course, Cory and Justin will be demoing how they work in color and attendees are encouraged to work alongside them.For more information, visit the site here![...]

Some Sketches for You


The new sketchbooks are shipping out right now! This past weekend (after some time to recover from a phenomenal time at Spectrum Live in Kansas City) I took some time and did some drawings in the first 30 orders. The topics for these sketches ranged from men in strange hats... to ancient orcs with limited table manners...To crocodiles who mean well...And even into reliquaries of great power...And finally, (as always) to princesses.  Thank you guys for the support and the renewed interest in these. I love working on them and I'm looking forward to getting started on the 2013 one soon. We will be doing something a little different and a little bigger for 2013.  Stay Tuned...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To see sketches from previous sketchbook releases check out:2011 Sketchbook Sketches Post2012 Sketchbook Sketches PostTo order one check them out at:[...]

Sketchbooks are BACK!


The sketchbooks have arrived!  They will be up for sale Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at 11AM EST here: as I mentioned in a previous post, the first 10 orders of each book will be receiving a sketch in the front!  To get an idea of what these sketched-in editions generally look like check out:The 2011 SketchesThe 2012 SketchesMay the fastest refresher win!One final note: I will be shipping these AFTER I return from Spectrum Live!  So please give me a little extra time to ship these before setting up any artillery batteries.  Some images from the new edition of Sketchbook 2010: The Silver Age:[...]

Running a Little Late...


Guys! The sketchbooks are running a little late. I know you are probably as angry as I am. I have personally killed 12 Sasquatches, 30 camels and a Ford Pinto in anger over this outrage. I cannot even imagine what you all have been doing in your anger. Please accept my apologies for the delay!
The books will be up on my store TUESDAY morning! Watch for it here and on my Muddycolors tuesday post!

Spectrum Live and Updates


Many things are happening... The first is Spectrum Live in 2 weeks. Will you be there? WILL YOU BE THERE? WE WILL.Second, due to increasingly hostile demands, I am currently having my 2010, 2011 and 2012 sketchbooks reprinted. They are being printed as we speak, and will be available for order sometime next week.  Please, no violence! I can get you the goods!  The 2011 and 2012 books are the same as the previous printings.  However, the 2010 is special.  This time I am printing it on much high quality paper, and am also including a number of extra spreads of many of the sketches and sepia paintings that have not been seen before.  (And that I had always wished I had been able to put in the first printing.)  As soon as they come in I will announce it on my blog and put them up on my etsy store. I am going to do sketches in the first 10 orders of each book! BE PREPARED. And third, TLC Workshops are running an early-bird special in conjunction with Spectrum Fantastic Arts Live! If you register for the Justin Gerard/Cory Godbey workshop before the event is over on May 20 you will receive 10% off the regular tuition price. Contact Tara Chang at if you have any questions. Check it out here.The workshop is going to be a ton of fun. Why? Because I will be there and Cory Godbey will be there. That is twice the action, twice the intensity, twice the sensational juggling. To get a preview, or to judge wether or not Cory and I really exist in the real life, come visit us at booth #513 at Spectrum Live. [...]

Fox Princess Development Work


The following is some development work for a piece I am working on for Spectrum Live next month. Digital Color CompThis color comp was a little break from other work I had been doing recently which mostly involved dwarves, wizards and other assorted hairy men. I wanted to do something different for a bit. Princess study on toned paperI liked the direction it was heading, but then it just felt too empty. There was not enough narrative interest and my brain started to go numb from boredom. Beauty should be its own excuse to paint, but it is already beautiful outside right now; i needed to add something more.  I realized it was missing the key element: Rat ninjas.Early digital face gestures The ninjas made me feel a lot better about everything. Now there is a good tension along with (hopefully) something beautiful. They add a nice contrast to our princess and now I wanted to know more about her, where she is going, where she has been, and why they want to nab her. What will happen next?Tight drawing on heavyweight bristol.  If you are going to be at Spectrum Live in May stop by and say hello to see how the final color version turns out! [...]

Gandalf Oil


A little while back I did a quick sketch of Gandalf in anticipation of the opening of The Hobbit. At the request of a collector I did a finished oil version of it and wanted to share it.

 Oil on panel 
11" x 14"

A little side note for anyone who has followed along with my misadventures in oil these past few years: You have probably heard me complain many times before that I couldn't seem to work in oil without using solvents, but that if did use solvents, that I would always end up having this allergic reaction where I would grow fangs, claws, and an unruly beehive haircut. I would then of course go roaming about the neighborhood howling at the moon, ravening for meat-flavored things.  

This oil was done without the use of any solvents whatsoever. It was done using only walnut alkyd oil, and using only oil pigments that tend to dry faster. (siennas, umbers, pthalos, etc.) So far I haven't grown a single beehive haircut, which is pretty exciting.  

Early sketch on toned paper

Baron Von Fiddleworth


For Christmas this year, my girlfriend and I exchanged oil paintings. At the time, I was into fruit bats and World War II documentaries.  So naturally, this is what I came up with for hers:

Baron Von Fiddlesworth
9" x 12"
Oil on Panel

We had agreed that we would exchange 8" x 10" sepia paintings so that it wouldn't be too much panic on each other during the holidays. For hers, I did what I think everyone would agree is a completely reasonable amount of cheating and and painted it 9" x 12".

Digital Sketch

But she did a clearly unreasonable amount of cheating by painting mine in color. Which I think everyone can agree is pretty messed up when.  Hers is also amazingly gorgeous. You can see it here

Color Comp and Painting for the Boar Rider


In my last post, I went through the layout phase of the boar-rider. Today I have the finished oil painting and for comparison, my initial color comp.Color Comp in PhotoshopThis color comp is a little unusual in that I took it really far, and I did it over top of drawings that were already pretty tight.  This tightness in a color comp can be dangerous because it can make me feel a little locked in and there are less happy accidents and explorations that go on.  It trades the energy of spontaneity for an idiot-proofed coloring stage.Painting, Oil on Gessoed Panel, 12" x 16" As you can see I ended up sticking fairly close to my initial color comp. The only major difference is the heavier glazes that darkened the image overall.  DetailLamp Post Guild Update:#1 My course has launched!  And the powers that be have given me this:Use the discount code MUDDY to get 25% off. This is limited to the first 30 takers. Act immediately.   Check it out at: My Llama-herding course has been post-poned indefinitely.  Please do not ask me anymore about it. [...]

Layout Tricks


Here is a a new piece I am working on and some layout tricks I use when designing a scene:Thumbnails and a digital compAt the beginning I just draw really sloppy.  Sloppiness helps you because.... ok, it's not really helpful.  But nothing is perfect at first.  You always have to refine, refine, refine.  What goes here?After I have drawn up a comp based on my initial thumbnails I will sometimes draw a background separately from my character.  Sometimes I will draw the background behind the character, which allows me to move the character around a bit after dropping them in.  This can allow you to experiment with different layout options.  In this case I was too cool to experiment with different layout options and left a boar-shaped hole in my scene. A dwarf riding a boarI then draw my character separately.  This is especially helpful in scenes with multiple detail figures.  Here I have done the drawing on toned paper to also start to get a better feel for how I want to treat the lighting.  Combined layoutThen, using devilish trickery, I combine everything into a workable layout.  Now the layout is ready to be transferred to my final painting surface.  Next Post: Color Comp[...]

Valentine's Story


Happy Valentine's Day all!

I have no art to share today. Instead I have a short story I contributed for a painting done by Annie Stegg.
Check it out here!