Monday, March 25, 2013

Winged Lion - Beasts of Yore

This Winged Lion was originally designed for The Beasts of Yore Portfolio, a collection of artwork by 12 different artists depicting many strange, unique and mythical creatures from tales of yore. Each image was accompanied by an original story! Though the book is now out of print, if you would like to see more of the art, please go here: Beasts of Yore.

I know I had posted a preview of this, but I had not posted the final piece. I've posted the final pencil drawing, as well as the finished color piece, so you can see a little bit of my process. When I work like this, with a pencil original and then digital color, often much more of my time is spent working on the pencil art than on the digital color (and I still use a mouse; I need to get out my tablet and practice). I love to draw in pencil, and it's one of my favorite things to do, but it is a very time-consuming process.

The winged lion is a very, very old symbol; as you may know, many ancient cultures have their own beautiful versions and stories behind them (and I love them all! I collect lions and lion imagery, among other things). For my piece, I narrowed it down and finally chose to do one as was often featured in heraldry, as I love working with the stylizations, though I love winged lions of all kinds. Years ago I had done one for a Typography project but was pressed for time and wasn't happy with the outcome, so I was glad for the opportunity to do a nicer one.

This was done in mechanical pencil on Bristol, then colored in Photoshop CS3. I scanned in some papyrus and used it for the background.

Should you be interested, Limited Edition Prints are available here, at my Storenvy Store. Thanks for looking!

Ratha's Creature Kickstarter Challenge Support Art

Here's a picture I drew to help promote a Kickstarter project for Ratha's Creature, which will be a graphic novel based on one of my favorite books as a kid (which is also a great read for adults), by the wonderful Clare Bell. Though the Kickstarter has ended, pre-orders for the ebook and paperback versions can still be made here.

Note, I'm not involved with the project myself, but I love the book (and series), and I had a little time to draw while recently snowed in (we got over 30"!), so I hoped to help by drawing and spreading the word. I have been a huge fan of the Named series (Ratha's Creature, Clan Ground, etc.) since I was a kid in the 80's, and have been dying to do new fanart, so here's my little homage to a fantastic character from a wonderful author of an excellent series.


The first drawing is how I saw Ratha in my head when I first read the books. Now, I understand her species (a sentient prehistoric big cat) looks more cheetah-like now, but back in the 80's I had pictured her as a kind of puma/leopard mix, with some prehistoric sabertooth too, so that's what I drew (the author herself encourages artists to draw The Named as they see them, which I think is fantastic). The second is a detail, and the third is a big male "UnNamed" as I saw them in the book. This could be Shongshar from Clan Ground, but I think he would have somewhat longer saberteeth, so this might just be a random UnNamed instead.

Good Luck and Best Wishes to the Ratha Project! :D

Eagle-Eyed Tiger

I've been behind in posting art, so for those of you who may not have seen this elsewhere, here is a fun little exercise I painted back in the summer of 2011 - apparently I was on a fantasy-inspired tiger kick!

"Eagle-Eyed Tiger' - new band name - I call it!"

A warm-up piece inspired by a silly quote from a TV show I like. It's done in gouache on an 8" x 10" fiber board panel, like my Prehistoric Series from last year. I LOVE painting on this surface! I wanted to keep this light and stylized, and the tiger has "eagle eyes", not tiger eyes --- obviously real tigers don't look like this!

It was really busy for me back then (though it still is now, actually), so I drew the concept sketch for this, transferred it to board a month after drawing it, and finally got around to painting it a few weeks after that. I may be slow, but I am determined!

The original is available for sale here, at my Storenvy Store.

"Sonora", Mountain Lion

I don't seem to have posted this here, but as it's one of my more favorite "real" wildlife portraits, I thought I might share it. I hope you like it!

From 2010, "Sonora", a colored version of a mountain lion I'd originally drawn in my Pen Sketchbook. I had been watching the "Wild About Animals TV" show and was inspired by the animals of the Sonoran desert featured on an episode, as well as by memories of visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens in Arizona with my parents and little sister back in 1997. It was cleaned up and mouse-colored in Photoshop, with a scanned image of papyrus added.

Should you be interested, prints are available here, at my Storenvy Store, and t-shirts, mugs, totes are available my Printfection Store.

Tiger God IV version III

I had always wanted to paint my Tiger God IV from my Pen Sketchbook. Even though I had colored a version of it in Photoshop, I really enjoy actually painting whenever possible. The results are different too, as in Photoshop I only color using a mouse, while when using gouache I have better success working with textures.

This is done in gouache on a Fiber Panel Board, like my Prehistoric Series from last year, and is pretty large; it's 10" x 20". Gouache is a funny medium, though; it looks really vibrant and has a lot of depth when you see the actual paintings, but is tricky to scan... the colors are a bit harsher here, and not quite as smooth as they are if you see it in person.

It, like the original pen sketch, is supposed to be stylized; obviously real tigers don't look like this! I enjoy stylizing things my own way; there are plenty of artists out there who are much better than I am at photorealistic paintings, which is fine with me--- I''ll leave that to them and just do things my own way - which is more fun! ;D