Wednesday, July 2, 2014

'Bronze Dragon'

I love Dungeons and Dragons. I love fantasy. When I was a kid I was really into comic books. But, one fateful day almost 2o years ago, I happened to catch a glimpse of a wizard drawn on paper and slipped into the front of a three ring binder being stuffed into a backpack from a locker. I asked my friend what it was. He said, 'Oh, this is my D&D binder. You should come by sometime and play with us.' And that was all she wrote. Aside from Spider-Man (which I eventually dropped, as well), I quit collecting comics altogether and began a passionate and dedicated love affair with Sword and Sorcery. I never looked back. And it has been a rewarding journey. Fantasy feels like home to me. I plan on traveling its whimsical paths for the remainder of my days.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

'Egg Thieves'

I recently told someone that if left to my own devices, my drawings revolve around dragons, wizards, and knights. While this is largely correct, I also like to push myself. This is particularly true in the case of dragons. I love making new types of dragons, finding creative ways to make them look sinister, benevolent, crafty, and interesting.

In this drawing, made at work during breaks one day after making a commitment to myself to draw more, I explored the idea of egg thieves stealing a mother dragon's eggs, but not before some had hatched. I really enjoy the storytelling here. There are so many possibilities. In my opinion, a piece of artwork should be able to stand alone as much as stand with others of its kind. I revealed this sketch on Facebook, first. I wanted reactions, to see if others were drawn to its narrative. They were and it made me feel like this piece was a true success. Though there are things that definitely need to change here, the overall idea is present. After all, these sketches are just ideas to be edited and re-edited by me at some future date so I can redraw them and finish them.

Now, the next part in my two-part plan is to get to the point where I can have the time to take all these drawings to final paintings. For that I will need to leave my current day job at the art store completely. Until then, a painting now and again and a bunch of drawings will be the norm.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

'Hydra Cave'

Hydra are interesting creatures. I always wanted to meet one in a D&D game, but never got the chance.

I imagine the shifting scales, dusty and heavy in the dark of a cave, uncoiling slowly, sunlight from some lost crevice adding enough illumination to reveal a bulky mass in the pitch night of the cavern. Now and again there is a dull glint off of hard scales; an irritable snapping jaw as one of the beast's many heads wakes another. Aegean soldiers, quiet save for the light creak of leather and the whisper of sandals on sand, steal into the lair, weapons drawn, shields ready, eyes searching the darkest corners for movement.

A soft breeze and the Aegeans are betrayed. Like lightning unleashed from the wrathful Lord of Olympus himself, reptilian heads erupt from the dark, quick, deadly, bringing death to the unlucky and the unwary.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

'Dragon Slayer'

Today's sketch is titled, 'Dragon Slayer.' I started this a couple days ago, not sure where I wanted it to head, but it took its own course and has supplied me with a cool idea for a painting at some future date. Also, this drawing will be up for sale for one week only on my Etsy site. Buy it and get a 4x6 print of your choice for free! https://www.etsy.com/shop/EpicWerkesStudio?ref=l2-shopheader-name


'Watch Your Back'

This is another one of my quick work drawings. I got a chance to flesh it out more at the end of the day. Just a quick thing to satisfy my need to draw. I'll have something more substantial this evening. But, for now, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

'Giants!'

After a few days of debilitating back pain and a stomach flu, I'm back to posting. Giants are fun to draw. They can be misshapen, beautiful, fat, skinny, strong. Of particular interest to me are the Norse giants. I like drawing the deformed heads and gap-toothed maws, the bits and pieces that a giant might carry with him, pouches, skulls, cow and sheep bodies (maybe even horse and deer). It's a lot of fun. Not to mention the scale differences that can make putting a giant in context very amusing and awesome.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

'Ladye and the Dragon'

Tonight's sketch is 'Ladye and the Dragon.' It's an homage to Larry Elmore and Keith Parkinson, as well as the other AD&D artists I grew up with.


Monday, June 9, 2014

'Elric of Melnibone'

Keeping with the theme from the past few days, this post deals with the process work for my paintings. I am including here the final sketch for 'Elric,' as well as the pieces of reference I will be using. My next steps will be to make the final drawing,  create a value rendering of this piece on a smaller scale, and then paint it on a prepared surface. I am very excited about this painting and look forward to taking this to its conclusion. I hope you all enjoy this peek into the world of making illustrations!




Sunday, June 8, 2014

'Tavern Brawl'

Like the 'Harpy Attack,' this is a post about the process for the 'Tavern Brawl.' Unlike the last painting, I am only showing photos I took to get the lighting I wanted. Once I made thumbnails and figured out what composition I wanted, I took my reference, made the final drawing, then scanned it and painted over it in the computer.

Final Colour Study

Tavern Model (cardboard, tape, kneaded eraser, q-tip)

Wolf Head (kneaded eraser)



Final

Saturday, June 7, 2014

'The Ladye of the Lake'

Here's a sketch from today, 'The Ladye of the Lake.' My friend, David Hoffrichter, and the inspirational N.C. Wyeth have been the impetus for this drawing. So, enjoy. I would love to paint this, so you may be seeing this very soon as a small painting between the larger works.


Friday, June 6, 2014

'Harpy Attack' Process Work

I had to do the six paintings for a recent commission very quickly. Each one was developed from thumbnails (like the images you see here) and studies, reference material (made and shot by myself and my lovely wife), and the time to paint them. Represented here is a gathering of some of the images that went into creating the final painting (also supplied here). Enjoy!








Thursday, June 5, 2014

'Elric of Melnibone'

It's getting down to it. Pretty soon I'll be starting my Elric painting. So, to prepare for this venture, I'm sharing another sketch of Elric I made when trying to figure out which composition to use. Here we se the Melnibonean Emperor upon his throne.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

'Bard, the Hare'


This is the character sheet for my character, Bard, the Hare. I love playing Dungeons and Dragons, especially 2nd Edition AD&D. Bard was a half-elf turned into a hare by a mad sorcerer. It was Bard's wish to rid himself of the curse and return to his home. I've supplied the black and white and colour sheets. Enjoy!

Monday, June 2, 2014

'Dragon!'

So, here's a dragon sketch I made today. Haven't been able to draw as often as I would like lately. I saw a favourite regular at the art store the other day. I was feeling pretty down because I wasn't able to draw at all that day and the overall effect of not doing art much during previous days just compounded the depression. I apologized to him and said I just wanted to draw. His response, "Wasn't it Picasso who said, 'Just draw?'" So, that was that. And here's a dragon.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

'An Evil Skeleton Riding A Bat And Wielding A Frickin' Flaming Mace!'

So, this pretty much speaks for itself... It's an older sketch I coloured over in Photoshop about a year ago. I love it so much and I'm on this D&D kick, so I thought I would just continue to ride this wave :) So, on that note, 'Game on!'


Saturday, May 31, 2014

'Flynn of Flann'




So, since we're on the topic of D&D, I'll post some concept pictures of a recent character, Flynn of Flann. He started as a cleric of Mielikki and ended up a rogue with a conscience. From knight to cutpurse, Flynn presented me with many possibilities, each one difficult to decide upon. However, in the end, I made my choice, and it has been fun ever since.

Originally Flynn was a European type of guy from a feudal society. Eventually he developed into a swarthy dwarf from a desert region. His heritage is inspired by Bedouin and Medieval Arabic culture. I love the way he eventually turned out.

Like a dwarf he likes to stick to his traditions. He has a way of doing things and watching his back that has kept him safe time and again. He doesn't like changing that routine. However, his more chaotic nature has made him opportunistic and lazy. He would rather show his skill in acquiring wealth without working for it than do an honest day's work. However, he is not above helping the less fortunate or the down-and-out. In fact, that is Flynn's weakness. He has seen the depravity of the streets, the scraping and clawing to get by. He has seen the rich snub the poor and the poor snub the poor.



Initially I pictured him with very dark skin and short hair (image below). However, I decided he needed to be more Middle-Eastern and, 'voila!' I had it (image at top).


Friday, May 30, 2014

'And Speaking of D&D...'


This is a drawing I made for my wife for her AD&D character. She's a red-headed barmaid turned warrior. Fresh from the fiery remains of her livelihood, thrown into a world of adventure and struggle, she is more than a force to be reckoned with.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

'Arcades & Dragons'


Have any of you played the Dungeons & Dragons arcade games? They were awesome. 'Shadows Over Mystara' and 'Tower of Doom' were very interesting. They included so much of what is fun in a roleplaying game like D&D: secret rooms, weird monsters, treasure, adventure, and dragons, of course! One of my favourite parts was the swamp where the characters fight the baby black dragon. Admittedly, this is not a baby dragon, but you get the point (er, acid breath :P).

One of the things I really miss about modern D&D are the dragons. I quit paying attention after 3.o. They're just not my style. I miss the dragons from the old days. There is something charming about them, despite the obvious health risks they presented to characters.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

'Hobbits, Dwarves, Wizards, and Dragons'

I love 'The Hobbit'. It is one of my absolute favourite books. It's a quiet tale, despite the fact that the hero is yanked from his mild life and thrown into an adventure bigger than himself. 'Beowulf' is mirrored in its pages, making the two very simple reflections of everyman's journey and his struggles.

That said, it is also just really fun. Trolls, dragons, wizards, elves, and many other exciting creatures, including the famous Hobbit, himself. How can you go wrong here?



A couple doodles. Even though the wizard never appeared with the dragon, the serpent's shadow was over the journey from the beginning.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

'Skull Mountain'



A painting idea I have been tinkering with. It's very small, 8x1o. I have had this bobbing around the old noggin' for a while. This is the small painting I am working on.

Monday, May 26, 2014

'Trolls Go Marching Two By Two...'

Hey, folks. Another image for ya, hot from the pages of the ol' sketch book. Hope you enjoy this one. I love my sketch book. I can always be so free in it. I love exploring new ideas and compositions, allowing the images to talk to me and let me know how they want to come to fruition. Sometimes when I am stymied I take this as an opportunity to let go and be open. I scribble all over a page then leave it for a long time. When I return, almost every single time, I can begin to pick images out of it since I am coming at it with a fresh head. Since I started doing this I have not been affected by Artists' Block once.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Red Sonja

One of the characters I have always wanted to paint is Red Sonja. My own vision. Of course, I always really enjoyed Morgaine from the C.J. Cherryh stories, as well. Either one (or both) would be fun to paint. I think Morgaine offers more interesting options. At least, I think there are more story elements I could jump off from to make a painting I thoroughly enjoy. But, how can you go wrong with sexy ladies in armour?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bryon of Brookmere

Alright, so it's been awhile. Lots of moving and shifting and getting used to a new life. But, through it all, l managed to draw a lot. I'll be uploading it now.



These are images are some concepts of a character I enjoyed from a Larry Elmore illustration. I hated the inside illustrations from the book, 'Return to Brookmere', but the cover art won me over and really helped establish my aesthetic as an illustrator. This is Bryon, the elf prince from a kingdom overrun by gnolls and a wererat.