7/24/14 - On style.
I've always heard not to worry about searching for your style to just do art and your style will develop. But, I've always felt I've been all over the board with different styles and nothing really stuck out as distinctly mine. Being influenced by the early Dungeons & Dragons art I wanted to be a fantasy artist when I first started taking this art thing seriously. At some point I got sidetracked into comic book art for quite a few years, because I like the idea of telling stories with pictures. Then I swung back to wanting to do the fantasy art (with maybe a comic book or two on the side in the future). There are a lot of amazing fantasy artists out there and looking to emulate them I was working on really pushing my painting skills (both digital and traditional) but not making much headway. It was a struggle and I couldn't really figure out why, after much introspection I realized it was because it's not how I was comfortable working. Looking back at my older stuff I could see something trying to peek out but I kept trying to force it to be something I saw in other's work. So, I decided to just do art the way I wanted to, the way I enjoyed working. After a long journey down a curving road I may have let my style be what it wants to be.
My new art mantra: "Inspired by fantasy and influenced by comic book art, I merge these styles using digital techniques along side traditional pencils and ink."
4/18/14 - The ArtOrder Tiny Painting challenge!
Once again I participated in a challenge over at The ArtOrder. This time around it was to make tiny paintings. Jon Schindehette put the call out for submissions to be included in a booth at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live May 9-11 in Kansas City, MO. The challenge? They had to be 3x3". I ended up doing three oil on canvas paintings which will be featured in Jon's booth along with 111 other artists with a total of 276 tiny pieces of artwork. If you're at the show be sure to stop by and check them out.
3/28/14 - Happy accidents?
So...this accidentally happened. I had no plans on ever coloring this one when I made it. I thought it was just fine as a black and white ink piece I did for the Easley homage over at The Art Order (see earlier post on 2.15.14 for full details). Then I got curious as to what colors would I use to color it, so I roughed in some colors, made some tweaks, some refinements and a few more refinements and the next thing I know it's hours later and there it is. The art has to flow.
3/15/14 - of Gen Con and Dragons
I was accepted into the Gen Con art show this year. I admit I'm freaking out a little. It's kinda like the real thing, going to have to step up my game in art and booth set up. Been working on new pieces and show collateral lately. Here's a dragon I finally finished, started it at last year's Con on the Cob in October (14 x 16.5" 4B pencil). So many scales...
I've been playing Blizzard's Hearthstone a bit recently and really love the look and feel of the user interface and all the details in that game. Was inspired to make a convention sign for myself with a user interfacey kinda look to it. Which, apparently, loses all it's detail at the thumbnail size below, not cool, click for full view.
2/15/14 - Jeff Easley homage
Jon Schindehette of The ArtOrder put out the call for submissions for an homage for master illustrator Jeff Easley. Having grown up being influenced by the original AD&D covers and illustrations I knew I had to be a part of the birthday surprise. While I enjoyed Jeff's works I never really got a full appreciation of them until I saw some of the originals at a GenCon fifteen years ago. The printing process really doesn't do his work justice, printing darkens the colors. The dragonfire literally glowed on the board, it was amazing. For the homage piece I wanted to capture the feel of the AD&D interior illustrations, a little of the old school style to honor an old school master. Also, I've been itching to do a large, highly detailed pen and ink piece so took this opportunity to do just that. You can see my submission below or at the Art Order site here. The original is 18 x 24".
1/11/14 - Simple is not always easy.
Sometimes the simplest of pieces are the hardest. Every line, every shadow has such an impact that they have to be just so. It takes time getting them there and I had to walk away from this one a couple of times to clear my perceptions and come back for a fresh view of it. You've got to power through the ugly stage to get to the good stuff of art, and the majority of pieces go through an ugly stage. Vamp (8.5 x 20" digital)
12/15/13 - 'Tis the season!
So apparently depression is not very conducive to arting. Problem seems to be controlled with a B vitamin regime. Feeling better than I have in years and I've got more art coming out of me than I know what to do with. Here's to hoping it keeps pouring out. First up, just in time for Christmas, Krampus! (6B pencil 10 x 13")
2/27/13 - everyday I'm doodlin'
Ok, not everyday but as often as I can...at least now. Sometimes I really dislike being an artist. The crippling self doubt, the comparison to other artists, the overall occassional creative crisis, they all tend to slow down progress or halt it all together. Had a rather large creative crisis recently, I think the combination of turning 40 and being nowhere near where I would like to be artistically or career-wise hit me hard. This one lasted much longer and went much deeper than usual. To look back and see that I've been doing this for over twenty years and have only a handful of published works under my belt I realized I just don't have it in me to be a salesman. And that is exactly what it takes to get noticed. Artists need to sell their art and themselves. I can't do that. I physically lock up when it comes time to toot my own horn or talk myself up or any other social situation for that matter, especially when I'm the one that needs to initiate it. I came at that problem from all angles and realized that it's just not in me and I won't be able to ever do what needs to be done. I've missed quite a few opportunities because of it and I'm sure I'll miss many more, but there it is. Slowly acceptance took over and I realized that you're never too old and I may never get to where I would like to be but I still have to do the art thing. So, I've been sketching more often (focusing on what I know I need to work on) and I've decided to try even more art forms as well, which helps my mood immensely...just ask my girlfriend. ;)
5/29/12 - of Origins and leveling
More updates before I head off to the Origins Game Fair. If you'll be there stop by the Art Show and look me up. I'll be there peddlin' my wares and prints. Here is what I've been working on the past month.
First up is the one I'm most proud of, The Timekeeper. This guy came to me out of nowhere and went into my sketchbook. It's not changed at all from my rough and it's pretty much what I had pictured in my head. (Fellow artists out there will understand how rarely that happens.) I think I may have leveled up when I finished this one.
Next up is the piece I did for the Origins on-site book. It's out in pdf format on their website if you wanna check it out. It's the header piece for their "Miniatures" section. This year the theme is time travel so I played around with those two themes and came up with the below, it will be on display in the Vendor Hall with the other pieces created for the program book.
I get inspired by music quite often. Sometimes a line in a song or the feel of tune will embed itself into my brain and evolve into an idea. I'll rough that idea out and set it aside and let it stew for a bit. While working on it it may evolve even more and turn into something a lot different or just a little different. This one only changed a little from my rough sketch to the final piece. Harvester of Pain.
And lastly I did this pencil drawing for the fun of it:
4/25/12 - website redesign and overdue updates
As you can see the site has gone through a little redesign. I do this every couple of years and it always goes the same way. I decide to redesign the site so I stop updating it, you know, cause I'm going to redesign it soon anyway. So I start thinking about the redesign and can't nail down what I want and more time passes, next thing I know it's almost a year later with no redesign and no updates. Then I feel like a major slacker and have to jump on it cause I've got artwork to show. And now for all the updates I didn't post in a timely manner...
First up is a zombie sketch I did at Origins Game Fair that I decided to work some color into. Yeah, there are some anatomy issues but this was more about practicing mood and lighting.
At Origins Game Fair I met the fine folks at Fireside Games the creators of the Origins Award nominated games Castle Panic and Bears! among others. And was able to get a few pieces to color in The Wizard's Tower, their first expansion to Castle Panic. Specifically I colored the Necromancer, Warlock and Azriel's Fist pieces.
Next I took a painting class from master fantasy artist Larry Elmore. If you've ever enjoyed Larry's work and want to learn his techniques from the man himself he has drawing and painting classes every year, I highly recommend them, check his website for the details. Classes are held in rural Kentucky at a 200 year old mill converted to a bed & breakfast (although I hear it's currently minus the breakfast). The setting is very conducive to relaxing and focusing on painting, especially fantasy art. Larry does a sketch that the entire class then paints, this keeps everyone on the same page. By the end of the week we were mostly done with our paintings and I learned what I was doing wrong with oil paints so many years ago. I really want to do some more oil paintings. I've got a few boards prepped and ready, now to just find a subject worthy of all the time investment.
The first part of 2012 was spent on a full color digital painting for the Origins Game Fair on-site book. I'll post that when it gets closer to Origins. I also did four illustrations for an as yet undisclosed project. I have to wait a bit until I can show you the art I did for those, but I can say I was extremely happy with the results.
An artist friend on Facebook posted the challenge to all his artist friends of drawing a centaur, his was a Fiji version, I decided on sketching a Scot centaur:
I currently have all kinds of ideas in my head and quick sketches laying around. Looks to be a productive year. I'll keep putting up the stuff up as I finish it, in the meantime here is a dragon I was messing around with in Photoshop. You might recognize him from my site header up there, that was a particular moment of inspiration to use him up there. Here is the original version:
6/18/11 - more experimenting
My first major digital painting. Learned a lot on this one. Have some more ideas coming so stay tuned.
5/27/11 - experimenting
Been experimenting with different techniques and styles, here is one result:
12/05/10 - photography gallery added
I've always wanted to learn photography but never really had the cash to fully get into it, the digital age has changed that a bit. So last year I bought myself an entry level Digital SLR and started to teach myself. Now, keep in mind I'm still learning and experimenting, I've added some of my photography to this site. Check it out if you would. Thanks!
10/11/10 - art dump
Big art dump just before Con on the Cob! One new drawing from the sketchbook and five new art pieces added to the main gallery. The goblin piece almost kicked my butt...almost. Check 'em out!
5/16/10 - new art
Been busy, as you can see. Two new drawings up. Also, just booked Con on the Cob!
3/6/10 - Dragon!
New dragon drawing up.
11/29/09 - ordering available I have finally added a shopping cart to my site, just
in time for Cyber Monday! You can now order prints directly from me by
clicking the "Products" button above. I haven't tested it yet
so order a bunch of stuff and see if you can break it. Any issues please
let me know.
10/21/09 - new drawing & CotC
Had a great weekend at Con on the Cob, hangin' with Larry Elmore and met a bunch of new artist friends. Finished up this drawing the night before the con:
8/25/09 - new drawing
Still going strong after my drawing class. Just finished this one up:
8/15/09 - new clock design
Remember the preliminary sketch for the new clock design I showed you a month ago? Scroll down if you don't. Anywho, it's done now and available for purchase! Just click the image.
8/4/09 - inspiring
Took a five day drawing class the week before last with the legendary Larry Elmore. It turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done. It was both educational and inspiring. Learned some new drawing techniques and how to photograph a model for reference. I came away with a new enthusiasm for this crazy thing I do, then did this drawing right after:
7/18/09 - new sketch up
Well that was fun. Hard drive went out on my iMac and the first replacement I picked up was DOA. It's all better now, in the meantime I did a sketch of my take on Nyarlathotep, The Crawling Chaos from the Lovecraft Mythos. This is going to be a new clock design but you can check out the raw pencils here:
6/18/09 - sneak peak at Stray
I'm currently working hard on my comic "Stray, The
Blood Devil's Eye". Written by Chuck
Allen, pencilled by Damion
Kendrick and inked, colored and lettered by me.
I'm shooting for
having it done for the Pittsburgh
Comicon in September (which, btw, I'll be attending). (Update:
Damion has stopped working on it so I'm on my own from here on out...)
Here's a sneak peak at the first two pages:
6/04/09 - new art up
Had a good time at the show this past weekend. Thanks to everyone I got a chance to chat with. I'll post any future shows here, in the meantime I hooked Damion up with some colors on his upcoming Chang Fury collected volume. (Update: which he did not use *sigh*)
5/23/09 - new art up
I've got quite a few half finished pieces around. Now that the book is done gonna try to finish some of them up... like this one! Pencils by Damion Kendrick, inks and colors by me.
5/13/09 - upcoming appearance
I'll be at the Pittsburgh Comic & Collectible show on March 31st. So if you're in the Pittsburgh area stop on by and say "hi".
5/12/09 - RotV art up
Posted some of the art from "Return of the Vigilantes". Pencils by Johan Manandin, inks and colors by me.
5/1/09 - Release of RotV
It's done! Five years in the making and "Return of the Vigilantes" is finally available. Go order it right now, I'll wait... Right now. <-- click it (you know you want to)