Monday, December 28, 2009

End with a splash...

Thinking this is my last entry for '09, and I couldn't think of a more fitting image to end with.   One of my first attempts at digital painting, proved more frustrating than enjoyable.   I eventually shelved the image, but I've always liked this idea and as the year approaches it's end, I figured 'let's finish this image'.  Pulled it up in Photoshop, dusted it off and voila, it's done.  It's based on eyewitness testimonies, rather than the 'Plesiosaur' theory, hence the knobbed horns and horse face.

On a side note, I love Cryptoids, even if I don't necessarily believe in them.  They're the quintessential  'What Ifs' in this world and despite what my inner skeptic believes, I keep hoping they are real.  Hey, ya never know.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Full Circle...

What a year it's been.   When January 2009 first loomed on the horizon, I decided I wanted a fresh start with my art.   New portfolio, all digital.  Easy enough, since I've revamped my portfolio a number of times over the years.  2-3 months, and I'd be golden.  Riiight.

Well, it turned out that creating digital art is in many ways completely different from traditional mediums, and I quickly learned I would literally be starting over from scratch.  Not only with a new portfolio, but with a new paint medium, of which I knew barely anything about.  I also realized this wasn't going to happen in a couple of months.  I gave myself a tight deadline.  By year's end I needed to learn enough about digital painting to produce decent art, and a finished portfolio. 

Throughout the whole process, I joined a few forums, where I encountered alot of great and generous people who shared much of their experience and insight as to not only technique, but the industry of illustration as a whole.  The folks over at are amazing, and artists like Daarken, Dave Rapoza,  Bobby Chiu,  Todd Lockwood...all very generous with their time.  Jon Schindehette over at Art Order...who I think should be nominated for saint hood.  Great people, and I owe them all big time...even if they don't know it.

Anyways...I ramble.  The website's up...all new, all digital.  Link's over to the right. 

It's been a journey...but what a journey it's been.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"...nipping at your nose..."

I love Jack Frost, and for 4 years running now, my holiday card always features this harbinger of winter in some form or another.  The lore is as varied as it is fascinating, and he's always held a special place in my heart, ever since I saw the Rankin Bass version of his tale.

I was sorely tempted to do a zombified version of Jack Frost this year...literally nipping at someone's nose, but since this is going out to family as well as friends who don't quite share my enthusiasm for monsters and such, I figured I'd play nice.   For now.  Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's not easy being green...

I realized a few weeks ago that my portfolio to be had not a single dragon image;  I mean, a fantasy portfolio without a dragon?  Blasphemy!    Well I had to correct this situation pronto.  I decided to stick to the Dungeon & Dragons setting, since they have a fairly structured catalog of dragon types, most all of them pretty cool looking as well.  I didn't want to go with the usual suspects in the DnD line-up however.  Y'know...Red, White, Bronze et al. 

With the release of the 4th Edition of DnD, the Green Dragon had undergone a huge cosmetic makeover, and so I figured it would be a good choice.  Toss in some Orcs and we've got a party.  The hardest part was the breath weapon, as it's not your typical cone of fire, but a spray of highly corrosive gas.   After finishing it, I realize I now want to do another dragon...or twenty.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aaaannnd release...

Rough past couple of weeks.  Between getting sick (twice), bouts of insomnia and just plain life juggling, I've also been working on this piece.  It's somewhat of an ambitious piece for me...I wanted to do an image involving multiple characters, with a fairly detailed background and just for sauce, with a dynamic perspective tossed in.  I can't tell you how many times this image changed during the course of its creation, but the one thing I knew for sure, it needed to involve a big demon type monster.   Took a bit longer than I expected, what with the aforementioned life happenings, and any number of artistic challenges the image itself represented...but in the end, I think it's a keeper.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"  I admit I'm not the most fervent reader of W.B. Yeats, but the little I have read just sends me.  This last line especially, has always made me ponder all manner of beasties, harbingers of the coming doom of the world.  And while Yeats describes something more akin to a Sphinx, complete with lion's body and human face, I've had a different imagining of it.  Part demon, part bull, part lava flow...Doom comes to town, hide your pets.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I'm on a creative roll lately...Photoshop seems to be my weapon of choice, especially since I've basically shelved Painter for the nonce.  Speaking of Painter...

I've always liked this image, which I did as a test image in Painter.  I tried to use Todd Lockwood's technique, and with a little coaching from the man himself, I managed to get version #1 done.  A little bland, not much going on overall, but a successful test.  Still...I've always felt with a little tweaking, this could be a stronger image.  So with a little downtime on my hands, I decided to just push this image a little further using Photoshop, fixing some of the more obvious errors and voila, version #2.  A little more eye candy, and I like to think, a better image. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And the meek shall inherit...

So I entered the 'Creature of the Week' challenge over at, and it turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought.   Design a Bipedal Insectiod; no gear, no extras, no eye candy of any sort.  Just a straight up specimen of the species.  Simple enough, no?   Well..perhaps not.  You'd be surprised how much little extras like clothing, gear, etc add to a character or creature's overall design.  Not to mention, insects are probably the most diverse species on the planet.  Then there's the maddening array of colors to consider...oy!   I decided to base my concept on existing specimens, but without simply patching various parts together.  It needed to look like something that maybe could actually occur somewhere, somehow.  Anyways...coming to a picnic near you...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Only a man who is pure of heart...

I'm actually excited about the new Wolfman movie that's due out soon.  By all accounts, it seems they're paying some serious homage to the original Wolfman movie starring Lon Chaney Jr.,  right down to the makeup.  I love werewolves.  Tortured souls, cursed to stalk the night, slaves to their most primal, savage and bestial nature.  And more often than not, their own loved ones become their victims.

The original film was made all the more tragic by the slaying of the beast by his own loving father.  Such a good movie...I have high hopes for the re-make. satisfy my own savage instincts, an homage of my own.  AwwoooOOoooOoooo!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More chompy goodness...

If it's not obvious by now, I have a thing for anthropomorphic creatures; that is, creatures who are part man, part animal.   Killer Croc, pictured below, is one of my favorites.  One of Batman's arch-nemesis, Killer Croc is one of the few comic book villains who is truly scary.  Aside from the incredible strength, speed, claws and toothy grimace, there was always the possibility that Killer Croc might actually eat you if you caught him at the wrong time. 

A tragic figure as well, Killer Croc suffered through a life of abuse, rejection and ridicule, his mind slowly devolving to a more primal, bestial state.  While not a major player in the Batman line-up, I'm never disappointed whenever Killer Croc is showcased.   Oh, and venom or no venom, Croc can kick Bane's tights wearing arse any day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yellow yes...but terrible?

Seems like artists all over are creating images inspired by Maurice Sendak's classic "Where the Wild Things Are",  in homage to a work that's touched their lives in some form or another.   For me, 'Wild Things' was one of the biggest influences on me as a child, inspiring both my art and my love of monsters.    After seeing some of the artwork that's happening, I felt inspired to do my own.   

As a child I'd always wondered what would have been, had Max opted to stay in the land of the Wild Things.  I imagine over time, eventually he would perhaps even become a full fledged Wild Thing, complete with fangs and terrible, yellow eyes!   And so that's the basis for my own tribute to Maurice Sendak's gift.  Thank you Maurice...for showing us where the wild things are.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

and now for a little turf...

I wasn't going to do the latest challenge over at ArtOrder, but at the last minute I decided to just go for it.  If nothing else, it's an opportunity to paint a land based critter.  Something furry...and chompy.  The challenge is to re-invent the OwlBear, the idea being that instead of a mish-mosh of Owl and Bear, we have a creature that is it's own entity, with features that at first glance can be described as 'Owlish' or 'Bear-like'.  I'm happy with the results, but I think I might've pushed this one a little further had I not waited til the last minute to do it.  As's my take on the thing which is neither owl nor bear.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Life Aquatic...

I sense a nautical theme developing here.  Still soaked from working on the Creature from the Black Lagoon, I figured I'd take a swim around the ocean this time and see what I could see.  Lo, and behold...Gelugos, the Sea Titan.  Very gentle, and seemingly more curious than carnivorous...I just had to capture his image.   The colors borrow heavily from Todd Harris' 'Meg' image, though the concept was conceived long before I ever heard of him. 

Friday, August 21, 2009

Well hello there...

Actually, I already have a blog with another company, but I figured I'd give these guys a shot and see how I like it here.  Basically, a journal of my progress as an artist and illustrator, and whatever else comes up.

First up, The Creature from The Black Lagoon.  An all time favorite of mine, and not so much a re-imagining as an update, which is hard because the original design was just so advanced for it's time.  It still good creature design even by today's standards.  I may go back and fiddle with it though...maybe more fins, spines...etc.