Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all!!  I painted this portrait of Sir Peter Jackson and month or so back. After recently enjoying The Hobbit film, I thought I would share it before the year's end.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rise of the Underdark 3

Well, I finished these Rise of the Underdark images many months ago (nearly a year), but the time has finally come to show the last piece in the set.  Here are the previous ones if you missed them.  Underdark 1, Underdark 2.

This project certainly took some doing as each piece got a little more complex as we went along.  When I reached the last image the AD, Melissa Rapier, really wanted an explosion which the other pieces would lead up to.  The burning of the world and the complete rise of the Drow and the Underdark.

Some details

Here is some process work.

Initially I had a pretty different idea with a large monster behind the main figure.  That was scrapped and a larger scene with more figures and depth was worked out.
We also played around with the main figure and how he should fit in the scene.  In the end I opted to have him set back more in the haze of fire.

Here is the final pencil before I got into all the layered figures.

Finally,  here is how all the layered played out.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stone of Tymora

A little while back I completed a cover for R.A. and Geno Salvatore's latest novel "Stone of Tymora".  I worked with the always awesome Jon Schindehette on this one.

Here is a little closeup of Asbeel, the main villian.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Sundering

A few months back Jon Schindehette asked me to do a large character lineup for a new series of novels coming out from D&D.  The project was titled "The Sundering" and was debuted at GenCon a few weeks back.  The character lineup had a double purpose, requiring the six main characters up front to also exist, vignetted, on their own backgrounds for each novel.  It was a heck of a lot of fun building many of these character who had never been seen before in this format.

Figuring out where to start on this project was a challenge, not to mention the entire project took quite some time to complete.  I came to a realization that I had to fit all the character into the lineup at the very beginning before trying to solve the six main characters' individual covers.  I decided to do a sort of rough pen and ink style sketch of the whole lineup and use that as my starting point. It worked out great in the end because Jon decided to use that very drawing as promotional material in previewing "The Sundering".

Drizzt and Guen were my starting points because they are right in the center of the lineup as well as being the most iconic of the characters.  I am sure many are familiar with Todd Lockwood's amazing work with the duo. Once I had developed all the characters in the lineup and had them working together in the scene I could move onto designing background for the 6 main figures. These would be the jackets for each respective character's novel.

While the project took a long time to complete, I certainly had a blast working on it.  Many thanks to Jon Schindehette and all the writers (R.A Salvatore, Paul Kemp, Erin Evans, Richard Lee Byers, Troy Denning, and Ed Greenwood)  for their awesome ideas along the way.  Here are some closeups on a few of my favorite characters in the lineup, and a zoomed in set of them all together. 

Vasen Cale


Friday, August 31, 2012

Runner's World: Race Day Disasters!!

Recently I finished a set of illustrations for the October issue of Runner's World which should be on the shelves any day now.  The article, by Selene Yeager, is about the nightmarish situations that can happen to runners on the day of the big race. AD Benjamen Purvis and I had the idea of depicting these moments in a pulp style reminiscent of the old paperbacks and magazines.  So, I painted a series of illustrations showcasing each terrible event that all runners probably have nightmares about. Benjamen did a wonderful job displaying them throughout the article and really gave the opener that extra bit of energy with his excellent and ingenious text design.  This was a great collaboration and really fun job all around.

Here are two of my favorites without any text on them.  Really have to thank my wife for being such a good sport.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rise of the Underdark 2 & Magic

This is the second image in D&D's Rise of the Underdark story-line.  It's associated with the adventure called The Dawn of Night and depicts the same setting as the first image.  However, the fire of the Drow is spreading and the darkness is advancing.  You can see more of this imagery at GenCon this coming week, which I regrettably will be unable to attend. There will be a third image for this set which is very different from the first two but that will have to wait.

Also, I forgot to post one of my very first Magic the Gathering cards.  It is called Mutilate and was released with the M13 set.  This is the first of many to come.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Enter the Drow

A few months back and created a number of Drow images for the wonderful folks over at D&D. Drow are a lot of fun but also a crazy challenge. Their dark, nearly black flesh and beaming white hair always makes for some compositional hurdles. It usually provides a convenient focal point in the image, but occasional it can work against you.

First we have the Web of the Spider Queen.

Then there is the opening image for the Rise of the Underdark. If you head over here, you can find lots more good stuff about the Underdark. There are also some cool phone cases feature some of my art!

Now I have a few more images up my sleeve that run along these lines, but they'll have to wait.
Until next time....hopefully soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spectrum Gold Medal

Last weekend I attended Spectrum Live in Kansas City.  It was a fantastic event but I will save that for my next post.  On Saturday evening Arnie and Cathy Fenner presented everyone with an award ceremony for Spectrum 19.  I was awarded the Gold Medal in the category of Advertising for my Talon of Umberlee piece I created for D&D with art director Kate Irwin.  Special thanks to Arnie and Cathy as well as all the judges.  I big thanks to Kate Irwin and all my family,friends and fellow artists for their continued support.  I am truly honored. 

Here are the rest of the award winners.  Congratulations to all!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Recent Novel Covers!!

So I am a bit late on posting this but, better late than never.  A while back I did a couple novel covers, one for Tor books and the other for Penguin.  I thought it would be interesting to post them side by side considering they are for two different genres.

First we have the cover I did for Andre Norton's novel Forerunner.  I had the pleasure of working with Irene Gallo on this project and she asked me to create a modern cover for this classic Sci Fi story.  Forerunner was originally published in 1981.  It was a lot of fun painting a new look for Norton's work.

Second is a western cover I did for Tim Champlin's The Secret of Lodestar.


I have some process images I will put together for the next post.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lords of Chaos and other news!!

Apologies for the lengthy gap in posts.  I recently moved down to Olympia, WA but I am back in action now.  Here are a couple recent pieces I did for Dungeon Magazine.  These two are the Lords of Chaos: Olhydra, Evil Prince of Elemental Water and Yan-C-Bin, Evil Prince of Elemental Air.  I certainly had a lot of fun with these, especially the water scene.  

 Also here is this fun market scene I completely for this months Dragon Magazine.

I got to work again with Kate Irwin on both these projects which is always a pleasure.

In related news, two more pieces I completed for Kate have been nominated for a Spectrum Medal!  I am certainly very honored to be considered among such amazing artists.  Fingers crossed.  It sure would be great to get a medal.  I plan to make it out to Kansas City for Spectrum Live in May.  Here are those two pieces again you missed them.

Cheers everyone!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Professor

Happy 120th Birthday J.R.R. Tolkien!  Make a toast to "The Professor" today.  To honor his birthplace, try to make it a South African beef if you can.