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
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
A remarque is a small original sketch done by the artist on a limited edition print or book.
“Often when I’m asked to do a remarque, I grumble all the way to the studio because it will interfere with whatever painting I’m working on. But once I get started, I realize how little time I devote to just plain drawing and I end up enjoying myself.”Continue Reading
“It’s time for Halloween Dreams —
“I admit to harboring a special fondness for my excursions to the darker side of things. The cathartic joy of giving vent to the things lurking in the shadows and the viewer’s visceral reaction are a big part of the payoff.
“Come, creatures of night!”Continue Reading
“Much has been written by artists on the ‘fear of the blank canvas,’ but I have the opposite problem – I have too many ideas. Working out the details in sketches and studies helps me focus my mental picture, so that I can refine it into a finished work.”Continue Reading