Friday, February 27, 2009
Yes, this is cleaner than usual. Just finished the three Magic cards, and while I'm waiting to put varnish on the canvas, I straightened up the place a little. Sending the art out next week, and I'll have a couple weeks to work on new paintings for the portfolio.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
His trademark talents include painting metallic, reflective surfaces, and creating massive groups of figures. He must have a loyal group of models, because in one painting he may have 20 individually rendered figures.
Giancola's process allows for this level of detail. Instead of transferring his drawing onto the canvas with a projector, he draws on paper and affixes the paper to the canvas. He paints on the paper, not the canvas. That way, he draws once, not twice.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I've also recently discovered Do Make Say Think. They're a indie-rock instrumental band who kind of have a movie-soundtrack take on progressive rock. It's difficult to describe, but their album You, You're a History in Rust has become a favorite on my iPod. I couldn't get through it on the first listen, honestly. But soon, I was singing along with the brass and the strings, as if the sounds were lyrics.
Why do all my male figures in my paintings look like me? Well, because I have two reliable male models: me and my dad. Here we are, shooting at some lawmen.
I'm tired of using myself as a model for every job. My female models live in Rochester and in Europe. So, I need some local models that will work for free. All ages, either gender. If you're willing to dress up as a medieval character or a pirate and get some photos taken, let me know.
Right now, I'm specifically looking to do some portfolio pieces for children's book art directors. So kids are a plus right now. Oh, and pets too.
Monday, February 16, 2009
It's got a huge range of talent, from professionals like Tristan Elwell to well ... people of much, much less distinction. I hope, as one in the 'professional' ranks, to post some information about my work.
You can help me out by following the link above and giving my gallery a five-star ranking. It might help increase the web traffic to my site.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I recently looked through some of my early work from Bob's class, and boy, I don't know where I got the idea I could make a living doing art. Some of my paintings and drawings were really pitiful. Even the drawings that I thought were good at the time now look pretty weak. I'll have to post some, because they really are interesting. The ellipses are all off, the perspective is wrong.
Of course, I think the same thing about my work from college, so I suppose that's a sign of improvement (I hope). Time to go foster some artistic talent ...
Friday, February 13, 2009
in 2005, I interviewed him over the phone as part of an assignment for all RIT Illustration seniors. As I recall, we talked for quite a while, and he didn't shy away from some personal subjects. He told me a little of his personal struggles, and the idea of him creating such grand paintings while truly suffering seemed as heroic as his work.
Two years later, I saw him demonstrate his process at the Society of Illustrators. Basically, he doesn't make mistakes. That's an overstatement, obviously, but most of his brush strokes are put down once. The finished product is created in one go. Look. Plan. Mix Paint. Plan Stroke. Brush to Canvas. Done.
Oh, and the human figures in the above painting are both me. But I won't post the photo reference for that part of the painting, as it's kind of embarrassing.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Dan Dos Santos is another CT native, and he's pretty much living the dream; killer work, great success, critical acclaim. In addition to painting about a gazillion book covers, he also continues to illustrate cards for Magic: The Gathering. When I saw him speak at the Society of Illustrators in the fall of '07, he said he had work scheduled six months in advance. How cool would that be? Man, I'm jealous.
In any case, hop on over to his website to see what I'm talking about.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
My first stop was Tor. The website gave the address, but not much more. So I did my best to talk my way past the doorman, who was simultaneously disinterested and difficult to understand. Finally, in a thick African accent, he told me to go to the wrong floor. I got further directions from someone walking around the building.
I was finally on the right floor, facing two double doors that looked like they shouldn't be opened. But I was desperate. I opened the doors and was standing in the middle of the Tor Books office. I stood there stunned for a few moments before asking the only person I saw if: A)I was in the right place and B) were they accepting portfolios.
She then sent me down the hall (really? just walk right in?) to Irene Gallo's office. The art director of Tor Books, Irene Gallo is a king-maker. She's the best at what she does, and as a result, can get the top-notch talent. Ms. Gallo can make your career if she likes your work.
So as I nervously handed her my portfolio, I was relieved that she didn't find it odd or intrusive for a complete stranger to show up in the office looking for a review. She was very pleasant and welcoming, and invited me to pick up my work later in the day.
That afternoon, I was standing in her office again, looking around at all the original illustrations displayed and stored around the room. It's amazing and intimidating to see an original Greg Manchess just draped over a desk and a Donato Giancola propped up against the wall. Ms. Gallo gave my work an honest look-through. She generally liked some of my pieces, but didn't have any work for me (not that I expected any work; I was just glad to get her opinion). So, that was a success.
Oh, and I also dropped off my work at Scholastic, didn't talk to anyone, and got a rejection letter with the wrong date on it (pictured). It's now hanging on on what I call my 'rejection letter wall,' serving as another piece of inspiration as I work. Speaking of which, back to it ...
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Amazing what you come upon while Googling yourself. Luckily, not all of it is bad. I had my paintings hanging in Eugene, OR last summer at the Maude Kerns Art Center. Little fanfare and no sales. I didn't even go out to see the show. But apparently Chuck Adams from the Eugene Weekly did a review of the show, and I somehow escaped a negative review. *whew*
"Just a few blocks from Hayward Field on 15th Avenue, Maude Kerns Art Center would be foolish to not capitalize on the interest of the Olympic Trials attendees. So with a juried exhibit titled “Track Town USA,” MKAC steps up to the plate and offers work in numerous mediums, some of it related to track and field and some not. Mike Leckie’s cast hydrostone bas reliefs of athletes in competition recall the Greek art of the first Olympiad in Athens, but Leckie’s are a sculpt-by-numbers affair, as if crafted by machine.
Kris Ibach’s oil paintings Release and Orbit appear to be the two major works of the exhibit, which is unfortunate because while they are lustrous and sensuous, their basic composition has gone completely haywire. In Release the shot-putter’s arm has been warped and stretched like Silly Putty to give it an inhuman, alien effect. Orbit appears to abandon common-sense anatomy outright, especially in the arms of the hammer thrower. Similarly dissappointing are John Giustina’s photoshopped and blown-up “action shots” on canvas. Another viewer wondered, “Why go the extra yard to make it artsy-fartsy?” I’d also like to know: Why print on canvas if you’re going to paste it onto flimsy foamcore? Canvas is meant to be stretched.
We start moving into some decent work with Carol Arian’s collages. Sacrifice, her collage of a long jumper in mid-air looking like Christ on the cross, posits the justified comparison of sports to religion, with the sacrifice of all the many miles and hours of training (and praying) paying off in gold medals. Just like Jesus. Or something.
Speaking of sports and religion, don’t miss Ryan Pancoast’s three oil paintings in the exhibit, all of which feel like they belong in a church or some other religious setting (making this former-church-turned-gallery the perfect setting). Pancoast’s The Starting Line certainly quotes French Neoclassicism in its mannered, dignified scene of cross-country runners. Poised at the starting line, the runners could easily be the soldiers in Jacques-Louis David’s Oath of the Horatii while the coaches squatting to the side are the unseen generals directing the athlete-soldiers to a considerably less bloody outcome. Pancoast’s The Spit is an oddly affecting portrait in muted yellows and muddy browns of a runner who catches his breath after a race by hawking a loogie. That’s a perfect blend of sports and paint."
I feel like I owe Chuck a word of thanks. Maybe the show wasn't a complete bust after all!
The full article is here.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Well, the solution is here. These color sketches are affordable, smaller, and more abstract than the final artwork, making even sword-and-shield artwork ready to hang in the living room.
Don't delay! Act now! Products flying off the shelves! Not really. But enjoy.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Visit them online at www.MetalMagicandLore.com.
5th Epoch is planning big things for 2009, including the long-awaited Game Master's Travel Guide. They have commissioned me for a series of illustrations, and by the looks of it, this publication will greatly enhance play and broaden the lore.
The illustrations in the Basic Player's Rulebook can be seen on my website.
White Wolf Publishing has released the newest book in the Scion series. Ragnorak allows players to explore Norse mythology, but perhaps the White Wolf site explains it better.
I was excited that White Wolf asked me to work on this project, especially since I only showed them a limited b&w portfolio at Gen Con 07. They had to trust that I'd put out some good pieces, and I hope I didn't disappoint.
My commission included depictions of Grendel, Bloody Mary, and Jack Frost, as seen through the modern world lens of Scion.