New Ink Art: Yig, Father of Serpents

In getting ready for my Spectrum booth this coming May (check out the event here), I’ve been working out which pieces of art to bring with me. One of the ideas that came up, which I’ve had before, is to combine three of my smaller inks into one framed set.

I had two previous H.P Lovecraft oriented pieces, The Deep Ones and Cthulhucraft, so I decided a third one would work out great. After some research, I settled on Lovecraft’s snake god, Yig, first mentioned in his story, The Curse of Yig.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and Walkthrough: The Revenant

This week for Alphabeasts, which I’m now caught up on, I decided to try something different. With my computer being backed up and doing some maintenance, I thought I would try a larger piece than the others have been.

This week’s letter was “R”, and the first thing that popped into my head was “revenant”. Those with a sharp eye might remember a cover I did a couple of years ago, for Brian Keene’s book A Gathering of Crows. That book featured a number of stylized revenants, and I thought this would be a good time to revisit that creature.… Read the rest

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Experimental Alphabeasts: I is for Id

For my Alphabeasts entry this week, being still in an “experimental” mood after that last painting (here), I went with a different effect than I normally have.

Usually, I have quite a lot of crosshatch marks on my inks. I decided this time to try something with far less lines, but with just as much planning and reliance on the contrast in the image. It wasn’t easy, but I think it worked out fine.

One of my favorite films is the sci fi adventure Forbidden Planet. Especially the scene(s) with an invisible monster known as the “id”.… Read the rest

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Alphabeasts: F is for Flukeman

Once again, I’ve created a new ink for the Alphabeasts project (alphabeasts.tumblr.com). This time, I had a bit of a quandary, since there are a few creatures that start with “F” that I thought might be interesting.

Of course, there’s the faun from El laberinto del fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth). But I have an interesting ink in mind to show both the faun and Ofelia, and I didn’t think it would work for this project. The eye would be on both of them, not just the faun, so I thought it lost the spirit of this project a bit.… Read the rest

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Lovecraft, The Deep Ones

Alphabeasts: D is for Deep Ones

My second entry into the great Alphabeasts project (visit http://alphabeasts.tumblr.com/ for more info) is based on the race of beings called “The Deep Ones”, from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. I’m getting more comfortable working on inks without photo reference, and this one didn’t have any at all (other than a quick google search for “frog eyes”.

Make sure you visit the Alphabeasts site too, and see all the other great entries. Here’s mine for this week, D is for Deep Ones:

The Deep Ones

The Deep Ones

 … Read the rest

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New Ink Art: The Fox

My good friend Patrick Douglas has a new book coming soon, and I created a new art piece for him to use as a signature sheet. The book itself is great, and tells the story of an outcast girl who has stumbled into a lost tribe in a cave system.

Signature sheets, at their base level, just need to have a space for authors to sign, place notes, or even have numbering. Otherwise, they are pretty open to interpretation, from simple designs through highly elaborate designs. In this case, we decided simply to highlight one of the characters, a tribesman known as The Fox.… Read the rest

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The Tools and Materials I Use, Part 2: Painting and other uses

In the first part of the article yesterday (here!), I talked about the pens, pencils, and different paper stocks that I use as an artist. Today I’m going to discuss the other things that I do, including acrylic painting, matting, and so on. First off, the easy stuff.

Painting with Acrylics

Now, I’ve only been using acrylics for about a year (save for the time in the late 90’s when I toyed with airbrushing), so there may certainly be better and easier ways to do things. Also, perhaps there are techniques and abilities that I haven’t come across yet, so bear with me.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and working with reference: Cthulhucraft

I’ve been itching to do more ink work lately, and I decided over the weekend that H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday was a great chance to work something in.

The trick, of course, in doing art of a recognizable character (or person) is that you just have to get it right. Sure, there is some leeway here and there, some space to be an artist. But the essence of the character has to be correct, or all is lost.

With the ink art I’ve been doing in the last year, I’ve been trying to get as close as I can to the characters and still leave open that ability for my own art to sneak through.… Read the rest

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From Scratch to Tarkin: Creating the new art

On Thursday, I posted my newest ink/digital artwork, of Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin character from Star Wars. I decided today, while taking a break between art pieces (and while my internet is working) to upload this article about how it was created.

I like to post these kinds of articles for a couple of reasons. One, there people out there who’ve said they like to see the process, and I’m happy to oblige. For me, it gives me a chance to review my processes, and see where I might make things better.… Read the rest

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Of experiments and monsters

I decided I was getting too comfortable with my new inks, and I thought I’d try a new experiment. I think it’s important as an artist not to get too comfortable with what you are doing, as complacency can often lead to boring art.

So, what I would tell all artists is to try something unique and different sometimes. Not all the time, because, frankly, I do have to feed the family on my work. But sometimes it’s good to jump in the ring and get bloody. Throw out what you’re comfortable with and break some rules, and stretch your idea of art to its limits.… Read the rest

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New Ink Work: The Hard Night

Sometimes when I’m thinking of doing some art, I get a good idea going. Some concept, or some particular scene grabs me and I want to get art made of it.

Today was no different, as I’d had an idea for another ink work based on some old noir films. I thought that not only would it be fun to try, but there would also be the challenge of texture again like the Lorre/M piece.

So I started in working on it, and, actually, it wasn’t too bad. But, as with all things, the little issues started to bug me, and I started getting dragged into the old “you’re not good enough for this” thought pattern.… Read the rest

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Stepping back: comparing the ink project

I decided that it might not be a bad idea to take a step back and look at the inks I’ve been working on.

For those that haven’t been following (I know, I know, no one has been), I started doing ink cards and ink works late last year as a way to learn more from photos and film.

I wanted to learn more about lighting, about texture, and about things that I can’t just pull from my head. Most of the work over the years has been right from my head, either as an original piece or based on a story.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art: The Pale Man

Today has been an experiment in not only a larger format for an ink work, but also in the idea of not letting a problem in the art end the day.

When I started doing art today, I just grabbed my 12″ x 18″ watercolor stock and went to work. I had a decent idea for a larger piece, but one that was still consistent with the other cards that I have been doing. I even took some measurements, and decided it might be time to base an image on more specific requirements than just “where I want it”.… Read the rest

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A new ink card and a different idea: Fossil

While I’m working on these ink cards, I’m trying a few different ideas out. Of course, one idea is purely commerce driven, I’m unemployed and selling things keeps food on the table. But artistically, there are a few things at play here.

First, I’m trying to relearn what I knew about inks so many years ago. Ink art can be a challenge, using a few lines to create a reality. There are certain methods to approach creating texture, like the weight of the line, the directions of the crosshatching next to other lines, and so on.… Read the rest

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New Ink Card: Aknot

Now, I’m not sure how many will know who Aknot is, but let’s just say I enjoyed making the ink card (5″ x 7″, ink on 140 lb. Cold Press as usual) and leave it at that.

Ok, I guess I can let you know. Aknot is a warrior/creature that appears in the wildly underrated film The Fifth Element. I thought he would be a fun creature to try, and one that’s a bit more challenging.

I think there are two parts to that challenge. First, whenever I start these inks I always prefer to have a solid, sharp place to start at.… Read the rest

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