My approach to A MEMORY OF LIGHT was dictated by unfamiliarity with the series. Not having read The Wheel of Time books, I focused on the scene provided and the characters therein while also keeping in mind that this book was the culmination of many years of reading for devoted fans.
It seemed best to start with the focus of the painting: Rand himself.
My initial sketches explored the pose he might adopt as he entered the dark confines of the cave. I attached light sticks to a wooden bokken and descended a flight of stairs with the lights off, trying to get a feel for how he would be holding the sword to light his way into darkness. (Since early in my career, I’ve found a kinesthetic sense of the figure’s pose is helpful before attempting to recreate it in it’s variations.)Continue Reading
I wasn’t feeling in the holiday spirit this year, and as usual it took a painting—a gift for visitors of my new website—to get me into the mood of the season.
“Yupo paper” is an interesting surface. Don Maitz first recommended it to me, and I was pleased with how the sheet he lent me handled acrylics. When I found a 12″ x 12″ piece of the Yupo paper I’d ordered, I decided to try it for this year’s holiday image.
I put on seasonal music and got to work mixing raw umber acrylic and clear gesso (to give the underpainting some tooth). I splashed around paint and came up with a composition that I confess was partly influenced by a photo I once saw of a fashion model with striking wild hair.Continue Reading
The general concept for this work was spelled out to me by my art director and contact at Blizzard, Jeremy Cranford. We had met the previous Fall at IlluxCon, and despite being in an annoying loud bar lounge we were able to outline the basic assignment and agree to move it forward.
Before starting, the smart thing to do would have been to examine the actual game to become familiar with the feel of it, but instead I just jumped into exploring dramatic dragon poses and having fun with that. Being told from the onset that the image would depict a raging dragon emerging from a giant ocean maelstrom, I felt I had enough to go on.Continue Reading
I was honored to paint the cover image for the final book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, but it was a daunting prospect given the massive backstory of 14 books written over a span of 20+ years.
Each volume, illustrated by the late Darrell K. Sweet, had a similar look and feel. I decided the last cover should retain a sense of continuation while bringing the epic to a close.Continue Reading
In fall, the sun sets on the west side of our property to shine through the trees. On a humid day, the light seems suspended in the thick air, spreading against the dark shapes of the trees, fanning golden brilliance across the green lawn.Continue Reading
We missed out on the actual Halloween day this year due to Frankenstorm, but my mind had been in Halloween for the month leading up to it anyway! After the autumnal equinox each year, night starts to overcome day and my artwork seems to get darker as well.Continue Reading
The artistic process remains mystery to me even after painting for over 35 years as a professional.
As Norman Rockwell wrote, “Some come easy, some come hard.” And so it has proven for me. Whether in the form of an illustration done as a commission or a personal work painted for myself, there is no predicting how straight or convoluted the path to resolution is going to be.
There are times when I’ve been lucky enough to have an image appear complete in my mind’s eye, leaving me with little to do but render it as if it were there before me, already done. Other times, I’ve known the feeling that I was after, or the ideas I wished to convey, but felt uncertain about how best to express them…requiring rafts of preparatory sketches and studies before I felt ready to tackle the final composition.Continue Reading