Sketches – experiments with color

Color is not my strong suit. I tend to panic and go for neutral earthtones, and when I do push myself to go bright I often overdo it and include far too much variety. Or maybe not very well matched variety.

I’ve decided to make this a bit of a focus, because it certainly deserves it. You’ll be seeing a lot of experimentation in color from me, in other words, though I’ll try to keep it interesting.

To begin with, I’ve gone back into some old ballpoint sketches in my moleskine with colored pencil. I deliberately limited my palette, putting aside a handful of (mostly vivid) colors to work from. I feel I did a decent job with these, though obviously they’re only a start.

Next step: using a palette-generating tool like Kuler to set limits for myself, and see what they look like in paintings.

Wish me luck.

The Crossed Genres Quarterly

So Crossed Genres is an excellent SFF literary magazine for which I have illustrated (or co-illustrated) covers twice before. Recently, they asked me to do the cover of their first ever Quarterly publication. They’re going from a monthly paper release schedule to one where new issues are released free online monthly, but a print issue comes out only four times a year (with extra content and new cover art).

It’s now officially on sale to the public, so I’m sure no qualms would be had if I posted the cover art here.

Illustration is 11 x 17″, graphite and digital color. It’s based on the story “Love in the Atacama or The Poetry of Fleas” by Angela Rega.

I very much encourage you to visit the website to poke about the free content, and consider buying the book. CG’s a great publication.

Unnatural Creatures

Baritone Lark

So it’s come to my attention that we’re finally able to sell prints of the Unnatural History Museum work we did for 826DC! Which means we’ve also been greenlighted to post the full suite online! Evan’s already done so over at his blog. If you don’t recall, the Unnatural History Museum catalog was a collection of watercolors of strange, evolutionarily disadvantaged creatures illustrated by myself, my mate Evan Jensen, our friend scientific illustrator/filmographer Katie Schuler, and Oliver Uberti, scientific illustrator/design director for National Geographic magazine.

The book isn’t out yet, though that should come soon. When it is, it should be available in at 826DC itself, and hopefully in its online shop. Definitely will be an announcement for that. But for now, the creatures!

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Mailer art

The finished images for the back and front of my illustrator’s mailer! There will be text with my name, contact info, etc. etc. on here too, but I really just feel like sharing the pictures. It took me a while to finish this, because of course I’m stressing out about what I’m happy having represent me to potential clients. I’m hoping having finished this, the next one will be easier (you’re supposed to send these out three or four times a year… gah).

So, the front! A familiar image, but a little more colorful:


And for the back, a Cthulhic squid-elephant abomination reaching in from the madness of another reality:

Now to work on that list of who to send these to.

Draconic Victoriana mailer, WIP

Since I’m almost done with this piece, I thought it was probably time to post the WIP sketches for it. Or rather, the time might have been a few days ago, and I’m just behind. This image is going on my (first ever, since again I’m always behind on things) illustrator’s mailer! I’ll post the final, plus the image from the back, in a day or two.

I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about how it all turned out.

The reference for the figure came from an old photograph of Jeanette Jerome Churchill (Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston’s mum). It’s a pretty striking portrait of her in riding gear, and one I might try reinterpreting again in the future.

There she is, in sepia ink! Done with a crow’s quill, because I can’t leave my love of those things behind.

The idea behind the dragon is that it’s an analogous stage in dragon evolution to, say, Velociraptor or other feathered raptors. If dinosaurs, why not dragons? There are more sketches of feathered dragons in my sketchbook, which I’ll scan at some point soon.