Saturday, June 27, 2009


I'll be out of town and without Internet access until July 4th. Call my cell (it's on if you need anything.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ain't no party like a pre-release party

Magic 2010 (M10) will be released on July 17th. Your Move Games in Boston will be hosting an M10 pre-release party on July 11th, and I'm really excited to be one of the guest artists. I'll have actual paintings of my M10 Magic Cards with me, as well as posters, color studies and postcards. I'm not sure when Wizards of the Coast gives artists samples of their work, so I'm not sure whether I'll have my own cards on hand. With any luck, some of the players will be able to find my cards in their own deck. I'll be glad to sign anything you want.

This is a big deal for me. Actually, almost anything would be a big deal for me right now. I don't have a fan base or get a lot of attention from art directors, but maybe by taking my work directly to the fans I'll get something started.

So if you're in Boston on July 11th, swing by the UMASS Campus and say hello.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Music to paint by

Yesterday, Regina Spektor released her new album, Far. Spektor, in my opinion, is one of the best singer/songwriters of the new millennium. You can draw comparisons to Bjork, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, or even Ben Folds, but Regina Spektor is in a category all her own.

The stories she tells with her music sound autobiographical, but are mostly fictional creations; quirky, sad, funny, unique. Specific and universal at the same time. Her singing ranges from quiet whispers to operatic wails, and often uses her voice to create percussive sound effects. Plus, she plays the piano.

I'm no music critic. Just check out her website. Or, you can listen to the entire album here on NPR. I'd recommend The Calculation and Laughing With. If you don't like those songs, you won't like her music. If you do, you should also check out her last album, Begin to Hope, or her more bare-bones releases Soviet Kitsch, 11:11 and Songs.

The only thing I don't like is the CD cover, because they should have hired me to do the illustration. Oh well, maybe next time.

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Car!

The car that Magic Cards paid for. I've always liked the Scion Xa, and this '04 is a pretty good one for the price. My old Honda Accord was on it's last legs, and I really didn't feel comfortable going much over 65mph.

There's a couple dings and scratches on the body, and it probably needs some new tires, but I can't drive around in a brand new car. After all, I don't want to lose my artist cred.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

9 days ...

... since my last post. Sorry about that. Sketches came back from approval later than I expected, so now its a little bit of a scramble to get some work done before my week's vacation. Figures that it's a detailed painting this month. Once I have time to think, I'll post something of substance.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Follow my training

Added a new feature! Look to the left sidebar and you'll see my latest workouts. You can check back at any time and see my last few runs as I prepare for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Click on the links to see more in-depth data (pace, courses, etc).

Just a reminder, but I'm running to benefit the ALS Association.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Honestly, this is not one of my favorite paintings. It's not bad, I just thought it would turn out better. But it is one of the only pieces I've ever photographed in progress. Go figure.

Still, it does show generally how my painting process goes. Once I have a concept and have done a few sketches, I move onto the final drawing. In this case, I drew the different parts of the painting separately, scanned each of them and arranged them in Photoshop. Once I'm satisfied with the composition, I have to decide what colors to use. I make a few printouts of the drawing and paint over the drawing; testing color combinations and seeing what looks best. I make notes as I go so I don't forget what colors I used in the test.

Composition done. Color test done. Now I can move to the canvas. I use a projector to take a roughly 8"x10" drawing and transfer it to a 24" x 36" canvas. I trace the image of the drawing right on the canvas, make final adjustments and spray fix the pencil so it won't wash off when the paint is applied. I use the colors from the color test and apply thin washes over the drawing to establish a base.

I let the color wash dry. Then I start painting. For this painting, I wanted to start with the background because the atmosphere and lighting was fairly important. I put down the colors of the sky and trees which will later determine how I treat the figures.
With most of the background established, I start painting the monsters. I'm always referring back to the color test so that the contrast and hues are correct. When the figures are almost complete, I finish off the lower part of the painting to establish the visual distance between the treetops and the flying figures. The darker the trees, the closer they will appear to the figures.

Things look alright so far, so I move to the central figure to finish off the painting. Since the paint in the sky has long since dried, it was a bit of a struggle to make the edges of the figure "mesh" with the sky. Getting the contrast and colors right in the skin and clothing was also harder than I expected it to be.

But I pressed on, and finished it up. It was a good effort and I learned a little. Which is the whole point. You can download the large, high-res version of this piece on my website,


Friday, June 5, 2009

We did it before you, Conan.

My life is basically focused on two very different areas: Illustration and Running. That's been reflected in this blog, I think. And the Running part of my life has been defined largely by an event in my college days. In 2004, my teammates at RIT and I ran across the country in a continuous relay. It took us about two weeks to run from San Diego, California to Annapolis, Maryland.

Fast forward 5 years, and Conan O'Brien takes over the Tonight Show. I guess he was feeling uninspired, so he decided to copy us:

It's actually pretty amazing how much this short intro brought back memories. To offer some contrast, here is a 27 minute documentary that we produced about our trip:

And if you want to know more, please please PLEASE pick up a copy of Coast to Coast. Its available on Amazon, but buy it here at because the cut for the RIT XC team and *ahem* the author is bigger.

Also, you can preview the book on GoogleBooks, but be sure to pick up a copy and not read the entire thing on your computer.

My family says its a good read. And they are not biased at all.

Illustration Friday: Craving

This week's Illustration Friday topic is "Craving." This zombie craves human brains, as all zombies do. The flies crave the zombie, as flies would if zombies existed. If you're playing Metal, Magic and Lore and come across this zombie in the Undead Bestiary, you may crave a hasty retreat.