My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


Winter in progress

This is a small section of a much larger illustration that I'm drawing at the moment. One of several versions of the rough layout is posted below. Seemed appropriate that this week's Illustration Friday topic was also "Winter" since that is the theme of this illustration as well. I intend to have a majority of the detailed pencil completed by this evening. This will be finished as a watercolor project rather than digital. :)


Merry Christmas!

Wishing all my sketchblog visitors happy holidays and a Merry Christmas! :)

Initial rough sketches for this Santa Claus illustration were developed when I was an in-house illustrator and product designer for a novelty company a few years ago. I've posted some early concept sketches for the scene below. The artwork posted above had been cropped and trimmed especially for use on an ornament (rotating sphere); but the art was also used for other products as well (banners, outdoor holiday display, etc).


Experimenting with a Dragon Rider

Color version of my first ACEO card. I was interested in doing some miniature painting (the cards are 2.5 x 3.5 inches) and creating these as traditional work rather than digital. Used a transparent watercolor wash first over my detailed HB pencil drawing, and then went over that with my new Caran d'Ache colored pencils. Some areas got a bit muddier than I'd anticipated, but for the most part I like it. I have three more to play with in between some other projects I'm working on lately.


Penguins of Leng, version 2

Updated version of my "Penguins of Leng" illustration inspired by Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness", revised after receiving some helpful comments via the ArtOrder forum and from my online critique group of fantasy illustrators. Have some additional work-in-progress posts for other projects I've been working on coming up in the next couple of weeks before Christmas... :)


Promotional Art for Fantasy Illustration

I'll be attending IlluxCon 3 next week -- yay! In preparation, I've updated and finished some artwork I'll be taking with me as promotional pieces for the art show. These two are a couple of illustrations that will definitely be there with me. Wish me luck! :)


Unkind Mermaids and Other Stuff

One of several mermaids I've been drawing in Photoshop 7 with my wacom tablet for yet another fantasy illustration project. Still need to add ornaments to her hair and a few other tweaks and fixes which I'll get to when I go to color.

I'm also working on some "miniature" pencil drawings (they're about 3.5 x2.25 inches each) for a series of fantasy illustrations I want to finish up with watercolors. Should be fun!


A little at a time...

Just a wee bit of progress on one of several dragon themed illustrations I've been working on in between those pesky other projects. :)

I happened to be thinking about this painting (in particular, how I'm going to do the hilly tree side) while I was driving around taking care of errands; and was so focused on that after seeing a vista that would suit the scene perfectly...I almost crashed my car. D'oh! That was not my best moment. Needless to say, I won't be doing that again...!!


Lovecraft Creatures: Penguins of Leng

The above is the final concept art that I did for the latest Art Order challenge.The initial rough sketches and lineart are below. A nice break and something quite different from other projects I'm working on at the moment. :) Here's the quote from H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" that I referenced while I developed these particular penguins:

“Suddenly a bulky white shape loomed up ahead of us, and we flashed on the second torch…This white, waddling thing was fully six feet high, yet we seemed to realize at once that it was not one of those others…We were indeed clutched for an instant by primitive dread almost sharper than the worst of our reasoned fears regarding those others. Then came a flash of anticlimax as the white shape sidled into a lateral archway to our left to join two others of its kind which had summoned it in raucous tones. For it was only a penguin—albeit of a huge, unknown species larger than the greatest of the known king penguins, and monstrous in its combined albinism and virtual eyelessness.”

You can view other artists' interpretations, from student to professional, of various creatures from the stories of Lovecraft on the Art Order forums, here.


More Dragon progress

Back to this particular dragon illustration finally after a brief hiatus to work on another different fantasy project (or two). I'll be refocusing on this one mostly for the next week while I do some major digital painting with it.


Things that go bump...

The recent Art Order challenge was to come up with a concept for a "log monster". I'd actually forgotten about it until I read a brief mention about it on Friday via my FB network. Came up with some sketches on Saturday, and colored the above on Sunday. It was a good way to spend the weekend. :)

See other WIP's and final concepts via the Art Order blog. Once there, recent challenges are posted on the right column (you might have to scroll down a bit to see all the links).


Dragon: Progress Crop

Yes, it's another dragon -- surprise!

This is a close-up sketch of one of several dragon illustrations I've been developing over the last few weeks. Should have the color final in the next two weeks, if all goes according to schedule. :)


Illustration Friday: Star Gazing

A quick concept developed for this week's IF topic "Star Gazing." Inspired by memories of summertime star gazing dreams. :)

Original sketch posted below; final art above was completed in Photoshop.


More Dragons -- The Sentries

Here's a small version of the rather larger
detailed sketch I was just starting to scan the other day. It's from the same "world" as the "Artegal Portrait" I had posted previously; both were inspired from the YA novel "Voices of Dragons" by Carrie Vaughn.

Still have a bit of cleanup to do, and most likely some cutting and pasting as well before I call the layout final and proceed to color. This one will be rather fun to paint, too; based on the descriptions from the book -- one bright green, one red and one somewhat brown dragon about to launch off a cliff somewhere in Montana...or something like that. Hopefully I'll have some time to work on it over the weekend, but I do have some other items to revisit first before I get back to finishing this one.


Acrylics: "Lap Dragons" progress

Started this small acrylic painting last weekend, in the hopes of getting in some traditional art practice at least once a week (in addition to the watercolors I already do) -- it's been entirely too long since I've done any traditional painting on canvas. Believe it or not, I still had one of my old paint tackle boxes from twenty years ago or so...a few of the brushes were still good, but most of the paint was either dried up or separated. But not all!

At the moment, the painting is very much in the rough stage.
I'm experimenting for now, applying some of the techniques I've learned from the artist group I belong to locally, as well as from my observations of other artists I appreciate, deciding what I like and don't like or doesn't work for me, I suppose. On the other hand, I'm also applying some of the digital painting skills I've been using when I work in Photoshop, at least in how I work with applying color, strangely enough. I'll post some more progress next week.

I'm somehow not surprised to find myself a little too often wanting to go for CTRL "Z"....not to mention "cut and drag" or "cut and paste"; however, this is not Photoshop. :)


A Bit of Dragon

Here's a detailed view from a sketch I've been working on for a larger illustration. Actual size of the full image with various dragons is about 14x17 inches. The artwork was inspired from the same story as the "Artegal" dragon portrait image that I posted previously, however these dragons are supposed to be older and rather larger. I'll post the color and final sketch once I've finished it all.


A Dragon Portrait: Artegal

Took a short break today from the projects and did a quick portrait of Artegal the dragon as inspired from Carrie Vaughn's recent YA book, Voices of Dragons. As always, color above and the original sketch below. :)

Here's the initial sketch on one of my 9x12 Strathmore Drawing Pad 400 series with my favorite blue pencil (before Photoshop clean-up).


SCBWI-AR Conference

I'll be attending a regional Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Spring conference this weekend -- Yay!


Mutation Nation: Zebrupine or "Spiny Ass"

I participated in my second ArtOrder Challenge by creating a quick concept for the topic "Mutation Nation" Path 1 (Gene Splicing). Above is the color final, below is the original sketch.


Sneak Peek: Painting in Progress

I know it will take me about another week and quite possibly longer to finalize this particular digital painting, ("The Mountain") since I'm working on a couple of other personal projects and the book projects and wrapping up a product design project as well (not to mention those pesky taxes) -- so I've posted a sneak peek detail up above.

I'm just about ready to post this painting in the small fantasy illustrator group I belong to so that I can get some constructive feedback and recommendations on lighting and composition. "Kelpie's Rider" is getting a major overall with the composition so that's on a brief painting hiatus while I revise the underdrawing for that, but I will continue painting on "The Mountain" and "Gorgon's Daughter" in addition to developing my book projects....

My SCBWI regional conference is at the end of next month -- whee! :)


Gorgon's Daughter: painting progress

Did more work on this illustration yesterday, the one I've been calling "Gorgon's Daughter". Still in the middle of revising the left arm (especially the hand), finishing the skirt and further developing the background. Much more fine-tuning to go before I call this one final!


Kelpie's Rider: color progress

Another update on this particular illustration. Added mermaids, but then took them away again to rethink their addition to the composition. Working on other things at the moment, but should have some more time with this over the next few days.


Kelpie's Rider: progress

Here is one of several new personal works I'm developing this year, as a way to improve my digital painting skills outside of my usual cute and cheery children's book illustrations and product concept art projects; and as a way to have some new fantasy art and/or urban fairy tale illustrations.

I started working last week on this illustration I'm calling "Kelpie's Rider" from a quick drawing I did back in 2007 and originally posted about here. This is the near final under drawing I'll be painting over. Decided last night, after some consideration and recalling the story that inspired this concept in the first place, to add in a few of the mermaids and some other underwater elements, but in a somewhat subliminal fashion. I want the viewer's attention to be mostly directed to the Kelpie and his rider.


A Happy Chameleon

Been keeping busy -- yay!

In the meantime, here is another "before and after" illustration I did. The concept drawing was originally scanned from my sketchbook and shown in an earlier blog post here.


Illustration Friday: "Muddy"

This week's IF topic is "Muddy" from the following quote:
Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear. ~ Lao-tzu

Original sketch is below. The color version above was completed in Photoshop 7. A muddy topic with muddy colors. :)


Winter Projects

Here is one of several illustrations that I am working on at the moment. This one happens to be a WIP of a new fantasy digital painting based on a rough sketch and color concept I had done last year.

Other February winter projects currently in progress from my "to-be-completed" list include:
- a new picture book which I'm sending out at the end of February as part of my agent review package (writing/illustrating).
At the top of my goals list this year is to start a partnership with an art rep for children's book publication...
- I also have an ongoing comic book experiment (pencils, ink, color) which is in the draft stages.
- two fantasy-related illustrations -- one with a rather testy wyvern, and one urban fairy tale with hints of Baba Yaga.

And as always there are various digital and traditional illustrations and paintings either personal or client related that I'll be scheduling here and there.

But let's not forget the online portfolio updates... :)