Creative exercises can help keep an artist focused and productive. That was the thought going into 2016 with the Leftovers & Palette Gremlins project…and boy did the project prove essential in a year teeming with distraction.
Looking back it’s hard to believe I posted a new work every week—mostly on time—but there they are, all 52 still available to view. The project was so well received that I’m committing to do it again in 2017.
This year I’ll be publishing in semi-regular installments, not quite weekly because of time commitments like the exhibition at the Riverside Art Museum.Continue Reading
Leftovers are little spur-of-the-moment doodles or sketches created from paint left over from a work in progress. Most of these quickies end up in the trash, but some are kind of cool on their own and others have lead to full scale paintings.
I’ve been doing this since my art school days: THE PEEPER came from the paint left over from a piece done for my first professional portfolio.
Palette Gremlins are small creations found in random shapes, usually paint on a palette or the mat board I use to protect my drawing table. Often what I see is an alien or a face, but PASSAGE: THE RED STEP was suggested by shapes in the over-spray left from a complex airbrushing session.
In either case, when they spark an idea that leads to a larger work, it feels like a gift from my Muse! The point of it all, however, is to play with some paint — and see what happens.Continue Reading
LUMEN 9 originated from an idea that I brought home with me from the hospital in May of the year 2000. When the idea came to me, the only thing I had to draw on was an advisory pamphlet for patients, so I used the back of it for a rough sketch of the composition. I carried the idea in my head for years afterwards and didn’t get around to executing the painting until ten years later.Continue Reading
Assembled here for your delectation is a hodgepodge of images selected to fit the Halloween season. They come from a wide variety of sources, including concept renderings for book cover assignments, studio sketches, a digital experiment and a couple of more recent illustrations for a recently published story about vampires in post Civil War New Orleans.
Happy Hauntings!Continue Reading
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
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
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
A selection of images from the Whelan family cards.
“The change of seasons, each with its own palette of colors and endlessly varying skies, is a joy to experience here in the Northeast. While taking my daily walks this time of year, my thoughts seem to drift away from day-to-day concerns to pleasant memories of holidays past when my children were little. These seasonal feelings more often than not lead to a small painting for our family holiday card.”Continue Reading