Saturday, November 29, 2008


Here is my Cinderella piece I did. The concept was to take the story of Cinderella and place it in a non-European culture. I chose to place the story in Japan.

I wanted to make sure, with this piece, not to just incorporate images of Japan but ones that were symbolically relevant. Such an example can be seen in the Sakura tree. Not only is it iconic for Japan but it has symbolism relevant to Cinderella. The Cherry Blossoms are symbols of femininity and for a cycle of change and rebirth. Which I think relates nicely to how Cinderella is changed by her fairy god-mother.

The most difficult part of this illustration was trying to find an appropriate translation for the fairy god-mother. At first I thought perhaps a very elegant looking female spirit. However, after doing research I came to realize that most times when a female spirit is represented they are usually evil spirits. So, I had to find another avenue of thought.

After a discussion with my friend I decided to look into animal spirits in Asian cultures. I thought of tanuki (raccoon), kitsune (fox), and dragons. Dragons seemed to be the best bet for they are symbols of good luck and intelligence. They also can be known to help humans. It still however didn't seem to fit as well as I wanted it to.

Then, as I was working, my friend Sujin called me again and recommend I looked up the Asian phoenix. In China known as Feng Huang and in Japan as Ho Oh, the Asian phoenix was, I think, the best representation for the fairy god-mother. Originally Feng and Huang were the names for the two separate genders of the phoenix. However, they eventually became fused together and refereed to more commonly as a female figure. It is seen as the feminine counterpart to the Asian dragon and as a symbol of good fortune. The Asian phoenix also carries with it the similar cycle of death and rebirth that the European phoenix has. Similar to the Sakura the Asian phoenix adds to the symbolism of rebirth that the story of Cinderella embodies.

All in all I really like how this piece turned out and I hope everyone enjoys it. Also Happy Belated Turkyday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Darkness beyond blackest pitch. Deeper than the deepest night. King of darkness, who shines like gold upon the sea of chaos.

Here it is, my illustration for the first book in the Slayers book series "Slayers: The Ruby Eye". The illustration depicts the heroine Lina Inverse casting her most powerful spell the Giga Slave. The star icons around her are the symbols of the Lord of Nightmares, so no Lina is not Jewish, in case any of you were wondering.

Despite the troubles I had dealing with Painter and Photoshop I'm still really happy with the outcome. I did learn how to use a new brush, the glow brush. It is what helped me create the effect around the stars. I also added some traditional media in the background to give the piece some more texture.

I think what I liked most about this piece was the value structure I had as well as my color palette. Originally I had a very hard time deciding what colors I should use. At first my under painting was a deep navy blue. However, I decided to change it to a purple one instead. Good thing I did that, it really saved my piece. It allowed me to shift between the blues in the sky and stars as well as to the reds in her body. This way I didn't have to fight with my palette I instead made the purple under painting do most of the work.

Also, in case you were wondering the title for this post is part of the incantation for the Giga Slave. So in essence that is what she would be saying at that moment in the piece.

I would like to say more about this piece but it's almost 6 in the morning and I am very tired, and should go to sleep. So night for now and look forward to my Cinderella piece next. Nighty night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Dreaded Pacmanosaur

This was the other Monster Engine piece that I did with Dave DeVries. It was another drawing done by my cousin Billy. He called this one the Pacmanosaur it apparently breathes fire, can shoot lightning from its head, and has a shield that can throw bombs.

Unlike the other Monster Engine piece what I did with this one wasn't a tracing of the original drawing but a fleshing out of the concept for the monster, with a rendering of it in my style. I decided to lay it out like a concept page, including not only my early sketches but even Billy's original drawing

The way Billy described his monster made me think of an odd frog like creature, so that's where I started with my sketches. Then I thought of how his shield and lightning cannons would look and thought perhaps a steam-punkish look would be cool. Thus I ended up turning Billy's monster into a steam-punk frog.

This is the last Monster Engine piece, I just finished my Slayers book cover so that should be posted in the next day or so.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Week in Review

No artwork to post today, this is more just an update on what has been going on and what is to come. After all it's been a very exciting, busy and historic week. Obviously the biggest news of the week is finally someone I voted for actually won an election, congrats to President Elect Obama. I vote in Florida not NY so many of the candidates I vote for usually have a snowball's chance in Hell, thankfully it wasn't like that this time.

I am however very unhappy that in California Prop 8 and in Florida Amendment 2 got passed. I was quite upset. I just hope they eventually get overturned, I'd like to see some of friends get married.

Any who enough with politics. Most of this week consisted of me being sick which has sadly set my schedule for my projects behind a bit. On Friday I spent the day in NYC, which also helped set my schedule back. It was really fun though despite still feeling under the weather. Met up with my former roommate and fellow Ringling grad Mark, who showed me around Central Park. Went to the Met, this being my second visit, and it is still an amazing place. The highlight of the trip though had to be going to the Society of Illustrators. It was amazing I had goosebumps walking through the halls, seeing work from Howard Chandler Christy, John LaGatta, and Norman Rockwell just chilling on the walls. Even got to go up to the third floor dinning hall and there were about half a dozen illustrators hanging and playing poker. It was definately a sight to see.

Also I recently submitted some work to the Society of Illustrators' Illustration Annual for the first time. Hopefully something will get in (knock on wood).

Stuff to come: I will be posting my final monster engine piece, within the next week. By November 20th I'll have my Slayers cover and a Cinderella Piece done. The Cinderella one is based on taking the story of Cinderella and placing it in another culture. Both of those should be done by the 20th and thus posted sometime after that.

That be all for now keep checking for updates.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another RARRRR!!!

Well finally was able to scan in my painting. Obviously it's a demon all scary and such. What I wanted to do for this project was a simple spot illustration that could be seen in books like those of Dungeons & Dragons.

This was done on illustration board and in oils. Actually it was done in my Holbein Duo Aqua water-based oils. Which are amazing to use by the way. It has actually been over a year since I really used my oils, and about three years since I painted on board. Needless to say it felt good to get back into it.

The reason I have been staying away from oils was because of my technique. Whether I use traditional or digital the most important aspect of my illustrations are my drawings. This is why digital has just been easier for me, for I get my tight drawing and scan it in and then paint right on top. With traditional what I used to do is take my finish drawing and make a small xerox of it. I would then place the xerox in a lucidiograph machine (basically a projector) and then trace it in colored pencil on a toned canvas. After I moved it made it though to get access to a lucy. So I just relied more on digital.

So when I went back to painting I decided to use an old technique that I haven't used in a very very long time. What I do now is make a full size or larger xerox of my drawing then I matt medium it to a board. While it's still wet I use a comb to make some texture. After that I cover it in a thin acrylic underpainting. So I bacically have what I normally had, an underpainting with a very visible drawing. This way when I paint I can choose to have my drawing show through in certain areas.

Also when I had to scan this in I learned the joys of the tool photomerge in Photoshop, thank you Suj.

That be all for now next image I'll post will be another monster engine piece.