Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Battlefield something...

My latest oil painting for Magic the Gathering has been previewed and written up today:


Battlefield Thaumaturge... I had to look that up and its actually a real word that comes from the Greek for "miracle worker".  See... Magic is educational AND fun.

Looks like the paining is also being used on their packaging.  This is pretty funny to me as the original art order asked for this dude to be shown from the top down and behind leading his army.  I thought looking at a hat and some robes would make a bad image, so I suggested a front view, which they agreed on.  I guess that was a good call as it allowed for this extended usage.
 I didn't capture the entire process for this one, but from my older blog posts you get the idea...

transfer the drawing...

outline the lines with acrylic paint...

Underpainting in acrylic....

Final oil painting..

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Torn Between Heads

Here's a Magic card that has been out for awhile and I didn't know. This card had only one solution... They wanted a guy from a first-person POV with a limb in the mouth of each Hydra head. If you do 2 legs, its a comedy-crotch-shot, and if you do 2 arms you cant see them in your vision if both are outstretched, so there is only one way to do this composition. Pretty limiting description, so just execute.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Archon Boneheart

New dragon design for video game: Dragon's Prophet.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Reckless Reveler

Just out is my second original oil painting for Magic: The Gathering, for the upcoming Born of the Gods set.

This one depicts a Satyr Troublemaker gleefully setting a Trojan horse ablaze...

As usual, I rub charcoal to the back of the drawing and trace down onto a panel.  This panel I gessoed myself again, keeping it smooth and slick as I intentionally wanted the paint so go on a bit uneven to get some "free" texture to the application for the rough wood areas.

Going over the lines so that I can see them through the underpainting... This time using a warmer burnt umber.

Establishing the contexts in acrylic washes allows me to paint quickly, completing one area at a time.

 Rendering background to foreground, right to left...

More rendering...

and more...

The final painting...

It seemed like the first painting I posted (Aerie Worshippers), the collectors were keen to see the object finished rather than cropped close. Here is a shot in the frame.  In fact my final photo didn't look nearly as good as it does in person.  I'm still trying to figure out the best-practices for photographing art, and images that have alot of darks and red tones are particularly problematic.  Its very difficult to do these in oils and learn at the same time, as I essentially have to accept a lower standard of quality for the print image due to all these factors.  Going back to digital art is very compellling...

16x20" oil on panel

Thursday, January 16, 2014

First Magic Card illustration in oils: Aerie Worshippers

Just Spoiled for the next Magic set is my first oil-painted card

There is always a bit of trepidation and lack of knowledge of end-results when doing something the first time.  This being my first Magic card oil, I had to guess what size of painting would work to have enough space to render the faces properly and have the right scale for the image and its reduction to tiny card-size.  I went with a fairly large 18X24" format as I thought the subject lended itself to a large, aesthetic painting good for wall decoration and future appreciation outside of the game application.  Not too happy they cropped it in closer, but I guess that underscores why its nice to have originals.

A year ago when I did this I was struggling with getting a good surface, free of priming brushstroke-marks and smooth with some tooth.  I experimented by gessoing my panel and dabbing with a sponge to create a slight stipple and then sanding on top.  I achieved a fine texture that worked well, but have since found pre-primed boards that are the same thing but even better. (and no work!)

After printing out the drawing I rub charcoal to the back and trace over the lines.

The transfer to the board is a bit ugly as the lines migrate and lose their smoothness.  I prefer this extra step to my early process of mounting paper to the panel with clear gesso, as its more archival and won't warp the panel.

I mix a few tints of raw umber acrylic and go over the transferred lines to get a drawing on the board that will be strong and visible as I paint.

Acrylic washes tint the linework and put the whole painting in the right contexts so that I can paint one object at a time, visualizing the final effect from the start.

Painting from back to front, rendering each area at a time...

The final painting is completed and properly photographed...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dragon's Prophet

Well, its been awhile since I have updated this blog!  I have been working regularly, but the past year has been a bit strange in that most of the projects have been done to sit for a year till release, and all the stuff I did last year was released quickly, so I'm in a long period where nothing can be shown.  That will change soon, and we will get back to a more regular schedule of posts, so thanks for any patience.

A couple months ago I was contacted by the CEO of the Sony-published game, Dragon's Prophet to partner with them to design some dragons for their online RPG. Here's the first one...

They are making 3-d game versions of them and selling them thru their free-to-play RPG.  Its nice to be sought after and trusted to provide some visions for this product, and I hope its successful for them.

This is cool!  (Store page)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First (and last ??) Warcraft card oil paintings.

I was just informed that I can now show my first oil-painted card illustrations I did early this year.  These were for the World of Warcraft card game, a product I've been consistently working on in digital paint for the past 3.5 years.  Unfortunately, things have been quiet on the WOW front and it comes as no surprise that the game as its currently published is no longer: http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/267188-world-of-warcraft-trading-card-game/

Its really a shame.  WOW has been one of my 3 steady clients since I started freelancing.  I had a blast doing these images in oils and was excited to continue doing more.  WOW has been great to work on, being one of the top-paying clients for this type of work and a natural fit for my aesthetic.  Also, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jeremy Cranford, the AD, and have found him to be a positive, nurturing influence.  Hopefully this is not the end of all Warcraft work, but just a shift to new products or publishing arrangements.  

Anyhow, here are my first 2 card paintings in oils.

Tauren Paladin

Orc Shaman

In a couple weeks I will be at Illuxcon again, but this time as a main-show exhibitor.  I'm very pleased to have cracked the lineup after only one year of oil painting my illustrations.  Unfortunately since I have not been doing this long much of my work is still tied up in NDA so I cannot bring most of 2013's product. Nevertheless, I look forward to a great time catching up with my extended art family.