Thursday, January 28, 2010

Worldwake 3

In preparation of my trip to the Houston Regional Worldwake Pre-Release, I uploaded the full size images of the three Worldwake images. Click the appropriate link to see the largest size.

Full Size Nemesis Trap
Full Size Crusher Zendikon
LinkLinkFull Size Khalni Garden

...and over at, you can put together a puzzle of Nemesis Trap. You can collect the free wallpaper after you're done (Or, just click the link above).


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Worldwake 2

Card number 2 (of 3) in the Worldwake set. Last one is revealed tomorrow.

I'm not exactly sure what to say about the Khalni Garden art. Definitely a departure for me, and unlike most of the art I have done for Magic so far. Based on browsing the Magic: The Gathering message boards, people either love the art or hate the art. This is fine, as I'm simply glad my art is finally sparking any reaction.

Just so you're aware, Khalni Gardens was supposed to be overflowing with weird plants. The plants were supposed to be glowing with powerful green mana. I intended this green glow to be the only light source, as no outside light could penetrate the garden. Hence all the green.

Would I have made changes if given a second crack at it? Absolutely. Do I still fine it interesting? Sure. But here's something some fans may not have noticed: did you see the plant in the center of the piece digesting a humanoid figure? Khalni is huge and dangerous.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Magic: The Gathering's new card set, Worldwake, is about a week away from being released. As always, the Magic website is showing the cards one by one. And look here:
Wasn't crazy about this illustration when I shipped it out last Spring. But it looks really cool on the card, so I'm pleased. Another one of my cards will be previewed next week, so stay tuned ...

EDIT: Maybe someone who plays Magic can tell me; So if it's a land and a beast, can you tap a land and enchant the tapped land? Can this thing power itself?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Illustration Friday: Wilderness

These guys are in trouble. They shouldn't have gone into the wilderness.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Not Magic

Leonardo da Vinci was a great painter. In fact he was great at a lot of things. He was probably a genius.

But he was not a magician. Even on NPR, when the topic is the Mona Lisa, some host will casually say how her eyes follow you no matter where you stand in the room. Can we all get over this?

When you paint someone on a two-dimensional surface and you paint their eyes pointing toward the viewer, the "eye-following" effect is created. Go ahead and try it out: Draw a smiley face on a piece of paper and look at it from the side. Or look at one of your family portrait photographs from JCPenny. If you're looking at the camera when the photo was taken, your eyes in the photograph will "follow" a viewer around the room.

Some paintings of mine even have this effect. And I'm not a genius. Or a magician.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year, New Projects

Happy belated new year! So far 2010 has been eventful, even after only 11 days. It looked as if January might be a little slow, so I started on two new portfolio pieces, trying to fill the gaps in my portfolio. I decided to work on two paintings at the same time so I wouldn't waste time letting paint dry. Maybe I can double my productivity this year.

While I was working on these, a new job came in. One that has been on the back burner for nearly a month. It is a commission for a series of book covers. I'm excited about meeting my 2009 goal only a few days into 2010. It's not a big publisher, but it's a paying job, so I'm thankful. Obviously I can't say much, but I'll post the results once it's done and published.

Looking forward, I'm planning my trip to Houston in two weeks. The Magic: The Gathering Worldwake Pre-Release has the potential to be a great event. I just bought a art traveling case, which will be able to fit my 18x24 canvases plus all my prints. Rather expensive, but it's an investment that will pay for itself soon enough.

January has proven to be a month of investments. In addition to the art case and a page in the Directory of Illustration, a full chain mail shirt was delivered to the studio today. It's another necessary addition to the collection of period costumes. Eventually, I might have one of the best collections of historical outfits of all the 26-year-olds in the country.

To understand why I need all this stuff, please read this post over at It follows illustrator Sam Weber as his completes a book cover. His methods are generally the same as mine and you can see how he requires good photo reference and interesting costumes. But while Mr. Weber has access to the costumes of fellow illustrators, I need to rely on my own collection. I haven't been as good as I should be at cultivating relationships with illustrators who may be able to help me out in those areas.

That might change, however, come November. I'll be one of the guest artists at IlluxCon, the premier convention/art show for fantasy illustrators. I was honored to be granted a spot. Perhaps it will be the turning point in my career. We shall see ...