Inspiration from Gaming talk

My friend sent a post out this morning from the Goblin Punch blog site.  Which was about tribes of humanity living in the shadow and scraps of Dragons.  It was a cool post.  And it made me want to play a character from that background.  Link here: Goblin Punch Dragon musings  Here is what I wrote Judd:

“Very cool.  Now I want to play a dragon prince barbarian who somehow has the wool lifted from his eyes and is now out in the wider world trying to reconcile that his master and god is nothing but a manipulative, oppressive, 3 tons of acid spitting (thinking black dragon, why not?) Machiavellian brilliance.  I love me a fish out of water story.”

Now, I don’t really game much anymore.  But this got my juices going.  Judd likes it and writes back:  “I see this dragon-prince drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith.”

I write back; “Fuck that.  I see this dragon-prince drawn by me!  (Although, BWS is a huge influence on me and I would love to see that too….)”

And then the discussion devolved into truck loads of awards on BWS laurels and not mine…all in good fun.

But all morning the dragon prince barbarian lurked in my brain til lunch time.  I had to sketch him.  Snarfing my lunch down in record time, I put a few scribbly lines down and now I get to share it with y’all.

Still wanna play this guy in a cool Dungeon World campaign or something.


Battle Royale

Here is a private commission that I got to do.  This is, I think, the 3rd time I’ve drawn Clorton (the red bearded one, natch).  It is nice to return to a character that I’ve drawn before because of the new things you can draw out of the concept and freed up from the need to show a D&D character head to toe.

I have been doing a lot of reading on painting of late.  Thank you Patrick Jones, James Gurney for your wonderful books.  That, and getting to do action, well, I think this painting might be my best technically in some time.  It felt like a step forward.  I was really playing with trying to make it readable and still not be as delineated or as crisp as I usually am (a leftover of doing some much superheroes of solid black line)… this time I felt like I was more painterly and really thinking about where I wanted the focus to be.

It is unusual for me to like a painting after I am done.  I hope y’all like it… and if you don’t, let me know why, so I can continue to grow and learn.


Playing with ground, pencils, markers and white pencil

Working off of some of the sketches lately, I decided to try my hand at more of “finished” illustration, but still trying to keep some grit of pencils in it.  I found a Neutral toned paper I’m really happy with Kona Classic Premium Toned Artist Paper.  Made form repurposed coffee bean bags.  It has a lot less fibers, oddly enough, from some other neutral ground books I’ve found.

I was also inspired by a project that I’m doing some art work for, although this was not commissioned by the client, I was just messing around in that vein/genre/vibe.  I call this “Downed Pilot” and is decidedly space operatic, but I think with an old school feel.

Hope y’all like!

More Sketchy

I did another from the Figure and Gesture drawing website:  Figure & Gesture Drawing Site The site spits out random pics, which is great for when I am at work and want to spend a little time at lunch doodling and noodling.

I spent more time on this than I am “suppose” to, as it is really no longer a gesture drawing but a full blown study.  But, hey, once you know the rules of art, then you can break ’em.  <g>.  This was 20 mins and I spent more time, because I am trying to work on my folds, especially when I have to put a figure in some action pose than no once can pose for.  So, the more I can put in my visual memory of how fabric falls, the better.  I used to hate doing folds and clothing, having cut my teeth on super heroes in my younger days.  But now, I absolutely love doing cloth and folds.
So my advice to young artists, do what you DON’T like to do…. if you avoid hands, or horses, or cars or perspective… tackle those subjects!  Make it fun for yourself, learn from it and you might then find a weakness is slowly becoming a strength.

I might color this one up for my fantasy clip art series.  What do you guys think?



Someone on facebook, I forget who, but thank you very much, pointed out this website:

So, here are a couple of sketches I did, each are 10 mins, during lunch break. Well, guy with gun was more like 11 mins, I cheated just to hit a couple of details.


Putting it out into the universe…

So, tomorrow I move into Millie and my new house.  After Thanksgiving, I will have my studio up and running.  And while I am working at Ehrhart Energy as a marketing and customer service rep, I do want to do illustration on the side, but lean more towards passion projects.  I am *REALLY* missing doing work in oil.

One project that I came up with is because I have been reading some old sword and sorcery stuff.  Just finished the first collected volume of Kane by Karl Edward Wagner available as a ebook.  I was also reading some of Lin Carter’s sword and planet stuff this summer.

I have never really had any huge desire to follow in other’s footsteps, but I have been thinking a lot about doing a series of paintings… each painting would be the great character(s) of sword and sorcery.  So, obviously, Conan, Elric.  And I would be stepping into the shadows of Frazetta, Buscema, Whelan, Boris, Schultz and so many others.  Very daunting.  But perhaps at this time in my career, I should do a series like this.  Would folks want to see my Tarzan (which is blurring the line for sword and sorcery I admit) or my Belit or my John Carter?  Maybe I could do a gallery show in a couple of years?  Maybe folks would want prints?  Can I put my stamp on these characters that would be interesting to others?

Some of the ones I thought of really wanting to do:  Of course, Conan, Elric.. especially Elric, who might be my favorite fantasy character…. here are some others:  Tarzan, Jane, Deja Thoris, Red Sonja, Thoth Amon, Kull, Kane, John Carter, Fafhrd and Grey Mouser, Corum, Hawkmoon, Erekose, Eric John Stark (especially! never thought he was correctly depicted, he is dark skinned, not white!). Conn, (I always liked Conan’s son too).  What others would be fun to have done?

I finished this pic awhile ago, but kept forgetting to put her up.  The underpainting was posted in this blog back a few posts.  I think this series of “Maori” inspired characters also got me thinking of the Sword and Sorcery vibe.


Sometimes the road ain’t straight…

So, the pic of Medusa as a super hero didn’t quite meet Death Tribble’s request.  I missed the part that she was to be a patriotic super hero.  So I did another version, but I admit, I was pretty subtle with the flag motif on her outfit.  DT wanted it to be pushed a bit more and I came up with the final version for him.  I will present all three for your viewing curiosity.  Showing that sometimes, you have to sneak up on a concept.

Also, I did a crossbowman for yuks.  I had doodled him awhile ago.

Version 1.

Version 2.

Version 3.

Crossbow guy!

A return to super hero art

My long time patron Death Tribble gave me the challenge of doing Medusa as a super heroine.  Seemed like fun and it was.  I gave her a jaunty pose and smile.  He asked for a long, slinky outfit, but I felt that was kinda in the vein of a villain, so I gave her a skirt, semi-grecian, instead.  Hope he doesn’t mind.  What do y’all think?

Next are a couple of images from Green Ronin’s Cosmic Handbook.  Got to trout out my Kirby homage and my love of sword and planet motifs.  I went with some super vibrant colors on these both, trying for “alien and cosmic” after looking at a lot of what Kirby did back in the day.


Keep on smilin’ Smilodon!

Last Saturday (just scanned this yesterday), I went to Barnes and Nobles in Ithaca, NY.  The Museum of the Earth was there, promoting John Gurche’s talk at the museum on the new hominids recently discovered in S. Africa.  The talk was last night, and was incredible.  John talked about the process of coming up with the visuals based on these bones they found.

Anyway, the Museum of the Earth was really there at B&N to entice young kids to learn about dinosaurs, but I saw this skull on the table and asked if I could sketch it.  “No problem”… so I sketched this in about 40 mins and it was a blast.  I was told it was a smilodon skull…. but I’m no expert on that.

Happy with how it turned out.

Smilodon Skull

Where I have been

My art production has gone down considerably the last couple of months.  I had a nasty summer bug.  My wife and I are looking for a house, moved into a month to month apartment that is small 1 bedroom.  That means my traditional art supplies have gone into storage.  But the biggest impact on my art is that I took a marketing job for Ehrhart Energy.  They/we sell propane, fuel oil, wood pellets and wood bricks.  I grew up with the daughter of the owner.  So… pure nepotism.

It was supposed to be a 3 week contract but it is now permanent.  I write radio ads, I do graphic design, I crunch numbers trying to figure out trends.  It is a cool job, steady paycheck and great people to work with and for.

I am still doing artwork, still accepting assignments, but I’m much more picky as my schedule is much more limited.  I am hoping to work on some of my own projects too, now that I don’t have to solely rely on my art to make a living.

Meanwhile, I did get this out the door to Paul, who has commissioned several things in the past…. hope you like!