The process of new cover art and the grand feedback experiment

Last year, I created a cover for author Vincenzo Bilof’s Necropolis Now: Zombie Ascension. So, as is sometimes the case and something I look forward to, he asked if I could create the art for the book’s sequel, the now-released Queen of the Dead: Zombie Ascension II (go get it here).

Most of my year has been taken up by my art hiatus, from doing nearly any kind of art at all. I’ve done a handful of art pieces, as you can see on my site. But being away from it has had two interesting effects: my daily art skills have suffered, but my imagination has become sharper and sharper.… Read the rest

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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 Alphabeast: O is for Onryō

The second Alphabeast ink of the day is a Japanese mythological creature known as the onryō.

If you’ve seen The Ring (or Ringu), even maybe The Grudge, you probably have a pretty good idea what a onryō is. An onryō is a vengeful ghost, seeking retribution for some wrong that happened to it during life.

The most famous onryō is probably Oiwa, from the Japanese ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. Oiwa, before she dies, was given a poison creme that left her face, especially her left eye, drooped down.… Read the rest

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Digital art and using the right texture

One of the great things that I like about digital art is the ability for programs (I use Photoshop) to let different layers of art interact. For example, I can have a painting of a character on one layer, with all the shadowing, anatomy, and so on, and on a different layer I can have a texture. By using different abilities in Photoshop (namely Layer Blending Modes), I can use the texture layer to give the character a different sense.

Now, that can mean a lot of things. The character might be dirty, or bloody, or dripping with water.… Read the rest

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Contracts and art: a necessity

As a freelance artist (and designer), the need to have a contract template available becomes apparent pretty quickly. I like to think I work hard as an artist, and I want my works to be taken care of and used in the proper manner. So, I did a bunch of research, read a lot of books and websites, and managed to cobble together a contract that works for me.

Should you always have a contract? Yes. Do I always have a contract? No (he says, sheepishly).

But it’s something that I’ve been trying to get better at, and I think it’s important for both parties to have one in place.… Read the rest

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Social networks and the artist

There are a lot of social networks out there, and often as an artist it can be difficult to choose which ones would be best. There’s something to be said for really needing to be doing art all the time, but I don’t think that’s quite fair.

In my situation, as it is from many others (that I’ve heard), I not only need to be finishing work on current projects but I need to be looking for the next gig in line too. Submissions are a great place to keep things going of course, but being on the social networks can help in many ways too.… Read the rest

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Seeing it in a museum

I think it’s important as an artist to look at a lot of art, and in fact I love nothing more than to flip through the many art books I have on the shelf. Seeing different styles, different techniques, and just appreciating what others have done is a great way to learn more about art, and to think about doing it better.

Books are great, but to really see a painting I also think it’s important to get to museums. Seeing the real art in person gives you a different look, something that books just can’t do.… 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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Of Unusual Things and Monsters

I was recently looking around my office for a reference for a piece I’m working on, and after a short search I came up with what I was looking for. But when I was done I came to an interesting conclusion.

I sure do have a lot of stuff.

Now, I’m sure many artists, writers, and in general creators, have large collections of various items. In that, I’m no different. Many of the items I have are for reference, like the plaster skull I have I my desk for example. Other things I have just to give me comfort in my office.… Read the rest

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