Friday, April 29, 2011

Noxious Revival

Being that the entire New Phyrexia set has been revealed on the WotC site, I can start showing the rest of the stuff I've been sitting on for a while. I got the chance to paint a lot of gross creatures, which I'm suprised about because I never thought it was my strong suit, but I tried to have fun with it. And translucent, gelatinous slime is actually really fun to paint.
This one is called Noxious Revival. It's oils on paper, mounted to MDF, 9" x 12" . Here's the sketch.

An alternate idea. I didnt go with it because I felt it wouldn't translate as well when the image is reduced to the card size

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Slash Panther

Another card for the upcoming New Phyrexia set for Magic.
This piece gave me an opportunity to try to paint a number of visual effects. First, let me give credit where credit is due. It's fairly common knowledge that blurring can give the suggest motion in picture. I have to thank James Gurney, however, for clarifying two different types of blurs and how they work, and when to use them. You can find out about them here and here on his blog, as well as in his latest book Color and Light. I'm going to use his terms as well.

Imagine that my painting is actually a picture taken by an imaginary camera, and that camera moving along with the running panther. The great speed that both are traveling at is suggest by the blurring of the ground passing beneath. This is speed blur.
The panthers legs are moving relative to the rest of its body and the camera, and are therefore blurred. This is motion blur.
The third effect I employed is the refraction of light caused by heat. This wavy distortion can be seen on the rib cage of the panther.
It's done in oils on paper mounted to MDF. It's 11" x 14" I think.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Phyrexian Myr Token

This was just spoiled on the Wizards of the Coast site. It's for the Myr Token card for the upcoming New Phyrexia set for Magic. The vertical format of a token card was a refreshing change from the usual horizontal painting. I was allowed to paint the entire standing figure and not have to pay for it with a lot of background on the sides.

A Myr is a inhabitant of Mirrodin, a world where virtually everything is composed of metal. Not the get too inside baseball here, but by now in the storyline, the Mirrans are about to lose their fight against the alien bio-mechanical Phyrexians. This is reflected here in the Myr by the dented up, peeling metal, and the flesh growing like weeds on its limbs. These are the symptoms of phyresis, the corrupting disease by which Mirrans are turned into Phyrexians. Or at least that's how I understand it.

It's Oils on paper mounted to MDF board, 12" x 16". Below is the preliminary sketch.

Monday, April 11, 2011


The Cliffs of Moher

The Mrs. and I had been planning to go to Ireland for the last five years, and we finally went.

Gina on The Burren. Or at the Burren? Anyway, the limestone rocks there are like nothing I've ever seen


At the top of Diamond Hill in Connemara. We hiked half way up and stopped to draw. We were chased off the hill by a passing rainstorm. We were going to leave, but the weather changes so quickly there, we decided to wait it out, and try again for the top. Despite the fact that Gina lost her hat on the way up, I'm glad we did.

On the way back from Connemara

When we went to Dingle, it was overcast and foggy, which I think made for better pictures.

Taken at a falconry demonstration at The Burren Birds of Prey Centre. The Falcon started the show by dissappering over the hills for like 10 minutes or so. Apparently the falcon wasn't too hungry (and therefore motivated) and decided to ride some warm air currents for a while. When he decided to come back, he more than made up for it, putting on a clinic of speed and agility, earning a "Stuart Little" for his efforts.

The Rock of Cashel. The little doorways between the windows of the monastary is actually a passage way for the bishop so that he could navigate the the building without being seen. You can also see the iconic Irish round tower behind the wall.

The kerbstone of the neolithic tomb at Newgrange in County Meath. The tomb there, along with others around the Boyne River are older than the pyramids, dating back to 3200 BC. There are a lot of ideas about the specifics meaning on the swirl patterns on the kerbstone, but the stone itself acts as a boundry. To enter the tomb, one has to cross the stone, leaving the material world and entering the spirit world. We got a chance to travel down the extremely narrow passageway to the inner chamber. In the picture you can see a window above the entrance. This is so that on the winter solstice, and only on that day, the first rays of the sun reach all the way into the inner chamber. Apparently there is a lottery to be in the chamber on that day with thousands of people hoping to get the chance. What if it was cloudy that day?
Also, in inside the chamber, along with more neolithic carvings is grafitti carvings from like the 1830's.

Sheep on the road in Connemara.

While in County Meath, we also visited Trim Castle. This is a view of the main keep from a side gate. Trim Castle is the biggest Anglo Norman castle in Ireland, built in the late 1100's. It's also the castle where Braveheart was filmed.

Skellig Michael has got to be one of the coolest places on the planet. About 9 miles of the coast of County Kerry, it was the site of a monastery founded in the 7th century. We were lucky to find someone going out to the island this early in the season (it was actually the first trip they made this year), and due to the rough conditions we weren't able to land on the island. Despite that minor dissapointment, it still was a truly mind blowing experience.

Skellig Michael again, showing the mist shrouded summit. You can see in this picture the winding staircase to the top.

Nini, who along with Ken Roddy took us out to the island.

It does taste better over there.

We must have taken at least 700 pictures , along with iPhone videos. More of them can be seen on Gina's flickr. I'll also probably posting more about it from time time to time, including some sketches I was able to do while over there. As with all trips, we didn't get to see everything, but we did enjoy everything we saw, and hope to get back some time in the future.