This cover art was commissioned for the re-release of two e-books (Once Upon a Rhyme and Happily Never After) as a paperback. The author wanted something to capture the humor of the books without feeling too juvenile. The project was a lot of fun to work on!
The full cover is up on the author’s website, I’ll be updating once the release date is posted!
The final installation in my character series and the only one not showing the actual character. This is for Abigail Smoot, my lonely little necromancer.
The next two peices in my character series. These have all been small at 4″ by 6″, I have one more larger piece planned that I hope to have finished next month.
My Dullahan with some severe family issues.
And the Selkie that has yet to be named.
The hand work on this was actually finished last week while I was waiting on some paperwork but I didn’t get around to scanning and touch ups until today. It’s the start of a series for a show on the roots of cultural art. For me that means knotwork as it shows up in many of my countries of origin (I’m a european mutt) and is thematic to several of the characters I’ve been developing. So this piece is my tricksy werewolf.
Every now and then I redo an older piece, either because I feel I can improve on the first or because I want a more archival version of a piece that was originally markered. This is an example of both. I made some drastic changes to the composition and switched to ink and watercolor for longevity.
So this is the first draft of some cover art I’m working on.
Things I like:
The color pallette and the moon and sun design in the background.
Character design, there are a few tweaks I’d make but overall I’m happy with how she and the rodents look.
Things I want to change:
The structure of the background, I want more negative space and the title incorporated into the design work. As it is I would have to add the text overtop and I prefer not to on a design like this.
The signature, I tried an experiment and it didn’t pan out.
Character pose, it just feels too standard right now. And I really don’t like the tangent I wound up with at her feet.
I’ve come to understand that my favorite way to approach a property is to strip it of all it’s dignity. So when watching the big reveal of Saber’s attack on Fate Zero this is where my brain went. I’m not sorry.
For a few months now I’ve been working on a series commissions, character designs for a pathfinder group. Since they are intended to be gifts I will only be posting them once they have been given.
The first is the character of the commissioner so he was held under wraps until the first gift hit. This is Mor Nesta, the healer and fire mage.
And second is the first of the gifts, Olran the half orc barbarian with a skin-color changing monocle and a flaming axe. At this point in the project I was fairly convinced that this party sets a lot of things on fire.
I swear I didn’t fall off the face of anything. Between a new job and client work focusing around gifts not yet given there hasn’t been much work I can put up here. To mitigate that I’ve decided to bite the bullet and try a sketchbook brand I’ve been eyeing up for a while, Moleskine.
I got a small book, Roughly 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches in an effort to force myself into quick ink sketches. Thus far that effort has failed, though they are quicker by virtue of size if not detail. I have decided that I want to dedicate this book to the world of Abigail Smoot so most of the imagery will be either direct references or concept sketches for that project.
So this is my first two pages. The binding on this page didn’t allow for the completely flat lay that the brand is known for as the title page is glued to the first 1/4″ of the next page so I had to stick to just one page for comfort. The paper was excellent for my multiliner pens but the copic marker bled through the page pretty much on contact. So markers are out for this little book.
And this is the second spread, note that I wasn’t kidding about those copics. I definitely want to try a two page spread next, as well as experimenting with more materials. I want to see how well the paper takes watercolors or colored pencils or if this will be an ink-only book.
Today was supposed to be a day off. I did this instead because we watched the third Berserk movie last night and this is where my brain goes during powerful and poignant scenes.
Another series done:
So this is based off a Scottish and English Fairy Tale titled The Well of the World’s End. It’s very similar to the Frog King with several notable differences.
First off the girl is not a cherished princess playing with a golden ball but a common girl sent to fill a sieve with water at the well of the world’s end by a cruel stepmother. It’s at that well that the frog helps her in exchange for a promise to do whatever he asked for one night.
Second instead of throwing the frog into the wall in frustration the frog orders the girl to chop off his head which is what ultimately breaks the spell.
Third there is no faithful Henry.
And fourth, it’s actually more romantic than the Frog King. I’ve talked before about just how much chemistry there isn’t in the Frog King but in this story the girl is genuinely grateful to the frog. While she is less than thrilled to put him on her knee and take him to bed, she balks at the order to chop off his head specifically because of how he helped her when she was in need. The end result, the girl who beheads her prince has a better foundation for a relationship than the one who just throws him into a wall. God I love fairy tales!
This is an older commission that I realized never got posted. The client wanted a She-Hulk version of Rosie the Riveter staying as close to the original poster as possible. I’ve never been a huge fan of She-Hulk but researching this project was a huge amount of fun. And you’ve got to love a lady that hot who could snap your neck by flexing one arm.
The conclusion for The Well of the World’s End. I’m still considering a third installment, there’s a few more repeats of the rhyming scheme in the story to pick from. Most are fairly standard but there’s one standout for “Take me up to bed”.
Messing up on Monday did not slow me down after all. Though I’m still relieved I started this instead of working on the mermaids.
This is based off of The Well of the World’s End, which I’ll go into more detail about once I’ve done the other scene I have in mind and possibly a third.
Between houseguests and the holiday I didn’t do any artwork at all last week, so for today I started a smaller project rather than try to jump back into the massive merpeople project that stands partway done. It turned out to be a very good decision, as shortly after the sketch was finished I bungled the ink and had to start over. I would have lost a lot more work hours if I did that to the fish.
Below is the first version right before I started the ink. Appologies for the poor quality photo but I wasn’t too focused on getting a good shot, more just document my progress.