Saturday, November 21, 2015


This is the last of the illustrations I did for Pathfinder Bestiary 5. It depicts a giant, primitive shark with a crab-like carapace and a hook-like tail. Even though this is a spot illustration, I really tried to convey an underwater atmosphere in this one.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Here's another illustration from Pathfinder Bestiary 5. This one shows a "Capramace", described  to me as a "feral, goat-man monster" that's "wildly chasing a victim". My assignment was just to show the monster so there's no victim here... unless of course you feel victimized by the sight of a hideous goat man.

Unlike the last few illustrations I've posted from this project, this creature isn't my own design. I was provided with a reference created by another artist which showed the creature in a crouch. My job was to re-interpret him into a more dynamic running pose.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Heikegani Crab

Here's a fantasy take on a real creature: the Heikegani crab, which is also referred to as the Japanese Ghost Crab. According to Japanese folklore, Heikegani crabs contain the souls of fallen samurai warriors. The version I painted isn't dramatically different from the real thing but the suggestion of a face on the back of the actual crab has been reinforced into a monstrous, distorted face. Plus, this crab wields a knife!

I'm not sure why a crab needs a knife but hey, knives are useful...

Painted for Pathfinder Bestiary 5.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


This mer-creature based on a pink dolphin (a real creature, by the way) was a huge challenge for me. I think it has a more feminine than most of my work. It obviously depicts a female creature but the pink color scheme and long red hair call to mind toys that are marketed to girls. There's nothing wrong with any of the above, this just isn't a place I typically go as an artist so it was fun and interesting to go there. It was something new for me and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull it off. Giving such a dolphin-like face to a relatively humanoid figure was especially difficult but in the end, I'm quite happy with the results.

Like the illustration I posted yesterday, this was painted for Paizo Publishing's Bestiary 5.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I painted this creature for the recently-released Bestiary 5 for Pathfinder, published by Paizo Publishing. It's a sort of humanoid salamander. I tried to give it a somewhat light touch since it's more of a whimsical creature than a "bad guy".

I love designing creatures like this.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Earthen Statue

Here's one more illustration (and one more statue) painted for Hearthstone: League of Explorers. I've included more process imagery this time because I thought the process behind this one might interest a few of you.

As you can see below, I began, as usual, with a line drawing. From there I began blocking in values, in gray, and building up the picture, all while knowing I intended to throw a spotlight onto the statue in the foreground and blur the partially carved statues in the background.

I began adding color and light, going with a very warm, yellow and brown color scheme. It's not a color scheme I use often and I thought it would be a challenge that would also suit the picture. At this stage, Art Director Jeremy Cranford helpfully suggested softening the rays of light so they weren't so distinct from one another (that helped the picture tremendously), adding some motes of dust (another good idea) and creating more color contrast by adding more cool color. That warm/cool contrast can really help a picture pop on a card.

Those suggestions led to the blue and gold version you see at the bottom of this post and, ultimately, to the final art you see above, which pushes the contrast between warm and cool colors even further. I'm still not sure which of these last two versions I prefer but I think the final art reads best in the Hearthstone card format.

Some pictures require the artist to go on a longer journey than others! I hope some of you find this info about the process behind this one interesting. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Giant Stone Statue

Here's another piece for Hearthstone: League of Explorers. The working title for this one was Giant Stone Statue. I think the final card is titled Investigate the Runes. Unlike the statue in the previous painting, this one's not moving but hopefully it's nice and imposing!

I've also included my value study in grays.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Eerie Statue

Blizzard Entertainment is releasing Hearthstone: League of Explorers this week so I can show the artwork I did for the game. First up is Eerie Statue, a statue that has come to life and is stepping down from the wall in which it was ensconced.

I've included my preliminary drawing, a gray value study and the final art.

I'll post more Hearthstone art tomorrow!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Order of the Eye

Here's a little (8" x 10") acrylic painting I created for FEZ FEST, which opens tonight in Elgin, Illinois and runs through the weekend. If you're in the area, please come by and check it out!

Thursday, September 3, 2015


This marvelous monster was a collaboration with my talented young friend, Kane Haffke! Kane drew the monster, I inked it and he finished it up with watercolors. It was fun!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hearthstone: Sparring Partner

Here's the second painting I did for Hearthstone: The Grand Tournament. There are obvious similarities to the first. The basic setting is the same and the color scheme of the armor is similar so consequently, the color scheme of the whole is similar too. Consider them variations on a theme...

The character's hair and mustache were a similar brown to his wooden sparring sword during most of the picture's development but were changed to black at the end. Capturing his friendly "come and get it" expression and hand gesture was a fun challenge! 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hearthstone: Recruiter

My apologies for being so quiet. I've been doing a lot of work under non-disclosure agreements so I haven't had much available to actually post online. Thankfully, the latest Hearthstone card set, titled The Grand Tournament, has been released and I painted a few cards images for it. The first painting, Recruiter, is shown above. I'll post the second tomorrow.

This was drawn and painted entirely in Photoshop. I started in black and white and worked my way up to color, using a variety of digital brushes.

Thanks for looking!


I'll be appearing at Count-i-Con this weekend, August 29-30th. If you find yourself in the Grayslake, Illinois area please stop by and say hello. It should be a good, family-friendly convention and admission is just $5.

For more information, please visit:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Princes of the Apocalypse Part 2

Here's another illustration created for the Dungeons & Dragons adventure, Princes of Apocalypse, published by Sasquatch games and Wizards of the Coast. This one involves a halfling discovering a large contraption in (you guessed it), a dungeon.

I got very wrapped up in the lighting on this one, for what I hope are obvious reasons.I really enjoy working on pictures with a single, very localized light source.

Monday, May 25, 2015

3 Keys and a Sword


Some assignments involve as much design as illustration. Here are a few examples: 3 keys designed for Paizo Publishing's Emerald Spire campaign cards and a sword I designed for use in Dungeon #200, published by Wizards of the Coast. I really enjoy this sort of work. Figurative pictures tend to focus a great deal on character and pose and anything with a background involves light, atmosphere, etc. but images like these are all about the objects, the silhouettes, the ornamentation. It's fun to visualize a single item that doesn't actually exist and design it in detail.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

SolForge Drawings

One of the trickier things about being an illustrator is switching gears between projects that require a different mentality or style. I had to do this quite a bit last year. Fortunately, that switch can be fun too!

I worked on some cards for the online card game SolForge (published by Stone Blade Entertainment) last year but the approach was very different from my usual method. I was asked to do clean line drawings that would then be colored. As a lifelong comic book reader and someone who's done a bit of work in comics as well, I'm very familiar with this sort of approach and the idea of passing a line drawing along to someone else to finish in color appealed to me. I was interested in seeing how someone else would interpret the underlying work.

I was under the impression the coloring would be done "comic book style", along the lines of this Kaiju artwork I did for Stone Blade, but it ended up being much more opaque and painted. It's very different from what I expected or what I would have done myself but that was inevitable, especially because I had no contact with the artists who colored the work.

Another aspect of these cards is that each one involved a sequence of 3 images. I haven't had a chance to play the game but as I understand it, this has to do with the game mechanics. Each image involves an increase in power of some kind so characters or creatures grow larger, spells manifest, energy is released, etc.

I'm sharing two examples of cards I drew, along with images of the final cards, colored by some unknown souls out there. The first set of images is titled Tuskin Sporelord and involves a character bringing large mushrooms to life. The second depicts a titan.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

On the Shoulder of a Giant part 7

It's been fun to share some of my work from On the Shoulder of a Giant this week. I started the week by showing the book's front cover so I thought I'd finish it by posting the back cover, which depicts the giant, Inukpak, catching a whale. I'm attaching the sketch for the illustration and I'm also posting a few spot illustrations that were done for the book. It's a big finale!

Many thanks to those of you followed these posts posts all week. I appreciate your time and interest. If you're intrigued by the book, please order a copy and help spread the word about it! It's available on and at Barnes and Noble. You can post about it on Goodreads too.

You can find the Inuit-owned publisher, Inhabit Media on the web at They publish some terrific books about Inuit culture and mythology.

Friday, May 8, 2015

On the Shoulder of a Giant part 6

This is the last spread I'll be posting this week from On the Shoulder of a Giant. It's also the last spread in the book and it shows Inukpak and the hunter roaming the arctic landscape in the winter. However, I'll share a few smaller images from the book tomorrow so please, stay tuned!

As I worked on this spread, I found myself continually painting details out of the picture, trying to make it work as a design as much as a rendered illustration. It's something I've been more focused on in recent years and I want to continue focusing on it.

I'm including two preliminary sketches this time. I added simple gray tones to one of them before painting the final. That was actually part of the process on all of these spreads. It was very helpful,


On the Shoulder of a Giant is available on and at Barnes and Noble. Please pick up a copy and write a review. You can post about it on Goodreads too.

You can find the publisher, Inhabit Media on the web at

Thursday, May 7, 2015

On the Shoulder of a Giant part 5

I don't want my posts this week to give the impression that every scene in On the Shoulder of a Giant features a panoramic landscape so here's a spread where Inukpak, the giant, picks up the inuit hunter to talk to him.

This was my favorite depiction of the giant in the book, especially as he's drawn in the preliminary sketch.

On the Shoulder of a Giant is available on and at Barnes and Noble. Please pick up a copy and write a review. You can post about it on Goodreads too.

You can find the publisher, Inhabit Media on the web at

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

On the Shoulder of a Giant part 4

Another day, another spread ...  I'll be here all week, folks!

The initial plan for the interior spreads of On the Shoulder of a Giant was to have the illustrations cover one page and "bleed" over onto the next, where the art would fade out and the text would be placed. However, we realized we could develop some interesting, panoramic imagery by having the artwork cover both pages and then placing the text on top of it. I think it ended up being a good approach. I suspect you can guess where the text was placed over this illustration.

The spread above shows the scene where the giant, Inukpak, first encounters the Inuit hunter he will adopt in the story.

As in previous posts, I've attached the preliminary sketch for this spread.

On the Shoulder of a Giant is available on and at Barnes and Noble. Please pick up a copy and write a review. You can post about it on Goodreads too.

You can find the publisher, Inhabit Media on the web at

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

On the Shoulder of a Giant Part 3

Here's another spread from On the Shoulder of a Giant, written by Neil Christopher who, I should add, was a pleasure to work with on this book.

This scene depicts the somewhat alarmed Inuit hunter telling the giant, Inukpak, that a polar bear is approaching. It's probably my favorite scene in the book and it was one of the more difficult to illustrate because I needed to show the scale of the giant, the hunter and the bear.

I've attached the preliminary sketch for the spread as well.

On the Shoulder of a Giant is available on and at Barnes and Noble. Please pick up a copy and write a review. You can post about it on Goodreads too.

You can find the publisher, Inhabit Media on the web at

Monday, May 4, 2015

On the Shoulder of a Giant Part 2

This is the first spread from On the Shoulder of a Giant, the picture book I mentioned in my previous post. The book is based on a traditional Inuit story and this scene depicts the titular giant, Inukpak, happily striding across the arctic landscape.

The picture, like the cover I posted yesterday and the rest of the artwork in the book, was painted digitally, in Adobe Photoshop, using a variety of brushes and techniques. I pushed the color palette because the book is aimed at a younger audience and I wanted most of the images to pop off the pages, especially this first illustration.

I've attached the preliminary sketch for the spread as well.

On the Shoulder of a Giant is available on and at Barnes and Noble. I encourage you to pick up a copy and write a review. You can post about it on Goodreads too!

You can find the publisher, Inhabit Media on the web at

Sunday, May 3, 2015

On the Shoulder of a Giant

Over this past year I had the chance to realize a dream I've literally had for decades: to illustrate a picture book. I collaborated with author Neil Christopher and Inhabit Media on On the Shoulder of a Giant, a picture book based on a traditional Inuit story in which a giant named Inukpak adopts a hunter. The book was released a few weeks ago and I'm very proud of it.

I've posted the cover (and the preliminary sketch) above and I'll be sharing art from the interior of the book all week so please stay tuned!

On the Shoulder of a Giant is available on and at Barnes and Noble. I encourage you to pick up a copy and write a review. You can post about it on Goodreads too!

You can find Inhabit media on the web at

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Princes of the Apocalypse

As the title of this post implies, this image was painted for the recently released Dungeons & Dragons adventure, Princes of the Apocalypse.  It depicts a genasi (a Djinn or genie-like race) casting a draining spell on the orcs attacking her. I had a good time with the lighting and colors in this one, as well as the characters.

This artwork was commissioned by Sasquatch Game Studio who put together the book in cooperation with Wizards of the Coast. It was a pleasure to work with them!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Son of the Flame

This is my contribution to the new Hearthstone adventure, Blackrock Mountain. It's a fire elemental emerging from a pool of lava. It was a challenge to paint with such an ultra-warm palette since my natural inclination is toward cooler or more muted colors but hard work and some insightful art direction from Jeremy Cranford really helped bring this image together.

For those interested in such things, the entire digital painting was created in Adobe Photoshop, using a variety of brushes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Groovy Robot

I've reached robot #70 in the series of robot designs I've been creating and posting on tumblr. You can see them all at:

Since this is #70 in the series, I drew inspiration from 1970s-era design motifs and color schemes, as well as my memories of album covers and movie posters of the '70s. I had a blast designing this!