Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays!

"Winter Whitetail" 8x10 inch (20 x 25 cm) acrylic, ink, and pyrography on basswood panel.

Something fitting for the holiday season. Here's to a bright 2013!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Self Motivation: Now in Poster Form!

Everyone needs encouragement every now and again. Right? I decided that I would have a little fun in the midst of things, and made myself a motivational poster after being inspired by friends' ideas. This was the humorous result:

The line art was inked by hand, with color added digitally in Photoshop CS3. I quite enjoyed this color palette, to be honest. Nice and bold!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Red Stag: Revisited

A couple of years ago I painted "Red Stag" to be sold. I decided to follow some good advice and add more color, thus making the piece a bit more dynamic. Here's the end result:

I feel the green tones help the piece read better at a distance, something that was nigh impossible with the first version. Finally something that isn't more or less monochromatic!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boar of the Woods

More pyrography/art for sale, as promised in my last post. Since I liked the initial (woodburned) stages of this so much, I scanned it separate so I could at least have a file of just the woodburned lines before going on to finish. I decided not to go the usual forest creature route (deer, owls, foxes, wolves, squirrels, etc.) and chose a wild boar. I gave him a little portable ecosystem to carry on his back.

Here is the piece with woodburned lines only. This piece (quite possibly due to the nature of the wood I was working on) was quite agreeable, and I made no glaring mistakes with the woodburning tool.

Here is the final outcome. The first layer (admittedly a bit of a mistake) was a non-waterproof sepia ink, which has a heavy red pigment to it. The darker areas were added with a more brown sepia acrylic ink, and for the highlights I used white acrylic paint.

I have one more older piece on wood to touch up, and then I'll be back to portfolio projects, etc. 

Pyrography: The Sentinel (Great Horned Owl)

So I've been striving to make the best of my final year participating as an alumni at MCAD's annual Art Sale. (16th and 17th of November this year.) I find that I have less luck with larger works during these past few years, so have decided to produce things on a smaller scale. Yet, for all their relatively small size, they still take at least 8-15 hours to produce.

I've found I still have some spare basswood left over from other endeavors, so thought it'd be as good an excuse as any to work with the woodburning tool. 

People still like owls, right? I'll be uploading the progress shots on the other woodburned/painted pieces once I finish them up, which should be soon. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Current Project: Sneak Peek

Feeling a little slow as of late, even though I've been working on a larger project for a couple of weeks straight. It started out roughly, since I was transferring the original sketch to the final format via grid, and somehow my grid was slightly off and ended up distorting the first attempt. NOT PRETTY.  Then my current attempt accidentally ended up on a less desirable bristol vellum than usual, but I made do.

Since I can't show you the full image for a while now, this little snippet will have to suffice:

I will probably find plenty of things wrong with the final for me to fix, but I've got time for that, thankfully.

Friday, September 28, 2012


It's actually been a good chunk of time since I worked with my acrylics. To save more important projects from being butchered by a rusty hand, I made a little painting of a bumblebee... With diabetes? Perhaps I'm not so good with puns.

On the other hand, it turned out alright. Golden OPEN acrylics are fairly forgiving, though they do get quite sticky if you take a bit of a break. Also, I feel that I need to push the boundary between stylization and semi-realism in my work. That's what experimentation is for, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Personal Novel Project: Some Snippets

It's been entirely too long since my last post. I hope to rectify that by posting more on works in progress during the next few months, provided I have anything new/of interest to show.  For now, I'll make do by showing a few of the sketches and concepts I've been doing for my (likely) lifelong personal project, an illustrated short novel. I wish I had more time to write these days, but alas! No go.

The last image is one of the few digital experiments I've done. I just don't find the medium as satisfying as traditional, but we'll see if that doesn't change in the future.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oldies but Goodies

Here's a collection of older works I still enjoy, which is a pretty big rarity for me. With luck, these will remind me of the things I've liked most about past works, and what I should continue to hold on to as I evolve. Hopefully I'll move into bolder territories this upcoming year, and challenge old fears. Like backgrounds! Ha!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Something different, something new!

Unfortunately, I'm not too skilled when it comes to landscapes. I enjoy looking at them, but when asked to capture their essence on paper, I just can't seem to properly lend my attention to them and see a project through. Perhaps if one held a whip, I'd be better convinced. Here, however, is one of my first serious attempts at a full landscape.

It's not much, of course. I worked from a small and blurry photograph of my parent's view from their house in Iowa. I think I may have learned a thing or two, however. One being that dark watercolor washes want me to die, and two being that one should finish a sky as a wet wash as quickly as possible. I see things I wish I could fix, but I'll let it be. Next time it'll be a different story. (Or so, I hope.)

"Almost" cover for UK edition of "The Doomspell"

This blog is falling quite rapidly into a state of neglect, isn't it? *groan* That needs to be fixed. 

Anyway, here is something I finished months ago and forgot to upload. The illustration that was almost the cover art for the UK edition of "The Doomspell" by Cliff McNish. Unfortunately, it was turned down as the author ended up wanting a different look for the series. Oh well. You win some, you lose some, right? At any rate, this piece held a host of new challenges for me, and it would be an understatement to say I lost just a little sleep over this project.