Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dinosaur Fight!

This is a monochromatic watercolor I painted a few years ago for a children's book. It was painted in sepia watercolor on Arches hot press watercolor paper. It's a personal favorite of mine. During the project, there was some talk of putting feathers on these bad boys but I was reluctant to do that because I didn't think it would look as cool for the kids reading the book. As you can see, the publisher ultimately agreed!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blessing of the Devoted

This image was created for the recently released Warcraft Trading Card Game set Crown of the Heavens. It depicts a dwarf paladin basking in holy, magical energy. As you can see in the two black and white images above, I initially drew the dwarf with his helmet off. I thought it would be nice to use his facial expression to convey the holy feeling he was experiencing. However, it was decided that it would be better to keep his helmet on for this one.

I've posted a few steps in the painting process. I think they're somewhat self-explanatory so I won't go into great detail about them. In a nutshell, I began (as usual) by blocking in basic colors. From there, I worked up the details of the armor and punched up the lighting (using color and also working with a Dodge layer in Photoshop). Next, I continued refining things and added some upward-thrusting rays of light on a new layer. Finally, I tweaked the values a little more and, using several layers, added in the final lighting effects. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dragon Anatomy

Here's something a little different. It's a piece I did a few years ago for a book titled The Practical Guide to Dragons. It's a watercolor which reveals that dragons, like us, are full of icky-but-interesting interior organs. This is the first and only time I've painted a liver!

Researching this piece was an interesting experience and it was fun to work out just which organs went where and how they all fit together inside the dragon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Fire Giant King

This illustration was created for the March issue of Dungeon magazine (issue #200). It depicts a character named Snurre Ironbelly and from what I understand, illustrates an article that updates a classic Gary Gygax-penned D&D adventure.

I'm including the sketch, which I actually prefer to the painting, although I'm happy with both. The creatures flanking the Fire Giant's throne are hellhounds. I can't claim their design but I was asked to include them in this scene.

The sketch and the painting were created in Adobe Photoshop. The king is partially composed of flame and is surrounded by fire and lava so I kept the colors in the picture very warm to reinforce that pervasive light and heat.

Friday, April 6, 2012


What's that you say? You'd like me to design a creature based on a shrimp? Okay!

That was the genesis of this fellow, known as a Craud, who appeared in a D&D Monster Manual. There are few things I enjoy drawing more than monsters, especially when I can make one up from scratch.

I just wanted to share this guy. I'll have another update tomorrow!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Goblins! Part 2

As I promised yesterday, I'm posting the large, burly goblin design today. Again, these designs were done for The Workshop.

These goblins are nocturnal creatures so I gave them eyes more like those of a cat (or even a reptile) than those of a human. I like the idea that two creatures of such different size and stature are members of the same species. We see that kind of variation in humans so why wouldn't we see it in goblins? If species such as goblins, dwarves, elves, hobbits, etc. actually existed, I suspect there would be significant differences in the height, weight and bone structure of individuals, just like the differences we see amongst ourselves.