Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In the Beginning.. there was Crab Jay.

Since it was in college that the very beginnings of Fantasy Genesis were formed, I've given a couple of copies to local schools here in Portland, and back in Detroit.  I remember going to see John Zorn's Cobra, and thinking why can't illustrators do the same thing?  Then I studied the Surrealists, and realized we'd been doing the same thing centuries prior!  I remember having the time of my life in group sketch jams, and timed Exquisite Corpse sessions at College for Creative Studies, with or without the dynamic of a game back in those days, but it proved to me games are something that are timeless, and will be around, so long as there are artists and creatives who play off one another's technique and skill.

This title leaf sketch was done for the Library and students of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and was handed to amazingly talented artist and the head of Illustration there, Martin French when we met for lunch a couple of weeks ago.  I snagged a scan of it before it found it's way to their shelves, and hope to spend more time at the PNCA now that I call Portland home.  This is a Creature roll of which I unfortunately didn't write down, so my guess is; City Bird-BlueJay, Crab/Lobster, Lens/Bulb, and Lichen or Ginger.  Went in with another digital wash and am finding the idea of painting digitally fascinating.  You're able to achieve such instant gratification with colour and tone, but I still don't think I'll be able to really get a nice finish with it..  Stay Tuned !!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sketches from Steve

Philosopher creatives are not a rarity on this Sphere, and thank the Ancients for it.  Most folks will know someone in their family that thinks perhaps more than is good for the Holiday conversation, or the employee that shakes up the chat around the water cooler by happily reading off stats from our current blood thirsty occupation.  I dare say, I'm one of them. blessing or curse?  I can spot 'em when I see 'em as well..  So, I've no hesitation in saying my long time friend from Detroit, Steve Huczek is just one of my sort of creatives.
Steve is not only a writer so reminiscent of a young Kurt Vonnegut, that you think you're reading lost drafts from Galapagos, but he is also a comic artist.  I know Sam Kieth and Maxx comics enter in as a huge influence on his line and technique, which you'll see, but as for content, Steve is about as diverse as one can get, and that's why when I sent his copy of Fantasy Genesis off in the mail, I knew exactly what kind of odd cornucopia of dark oddity, and tongue and cheek I was in for.  These sketches based on rolls from Fantasy Genesis; Pig Moth, Root Rooter, an Burnt Electric Sword, just put a huge smile on my face, and leave me wanting more. =) Gracious thanks, Steve..  Stay tuned !!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Roll No. 4 - First Go - Lioness Warrior

Recently sent off a copy of Fantasy Genesis to Erik Mona and my friends at Paizo Publishing and sketched up this Lioness Warrior Humanoid for the Title leaf.  I liked her so much, I got a quick scan and worked the sketch up digitally a bit.  Sometimes when using Fantasy Genesis to create and associate from, the danger is to crowd your Creation by using too many words, too many ideas for one Creation can happen with or without using a brain game.?  It's the main reason for leaving only 3 spaces in Pick & Group, so that there will be just the right amount of oddity and rarity to make your Creation something different and your own, without adding too much either.  Although I like the pose I used for this Lioness quite a bit, I think there was more that could've been done with her costume.  So, I'm going to do another Humanoid with the same Roll for fun..

There's some great news to come about a recent review of my book in a properly BRILLIANT digital art tutorial magazine off of Britain, but I'd also like to announce another guest artist taking up their polished skills with a Creature Roll from Fantasy Genesis!  Fellow illustrator and conceptual genius, Vinod Rams will be doing a sketch for the Blog in the coming months as well!! Really can't wait for that.. =)  Stay Tuned !!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Roll No. 3 - Rat Droid

Copies of Fantasy Genesis are shipping by the week, and I've sent out a number of personalized sketched copies so far.  This Rat Droid went up inside a copy sent to one of my long time friends; genius embodiment of a young Kurt Vonnegut, and comic artist, Stephen Huczek.  I've been doing quick 30min. sessions for these sketches, but this one intrigued me enough to want to go digital with it.  He's a combo of; Mouse/Rabbit - TreeFruit - and Lamp/Bulb.  After finishing him up, I also kinda got on the eye lens, goggle trip for a bit, and did a couple more with switching out the Anima role, but this was the first.  It's important to explore versions of a concept, if a particular idea or portion is successful.  I'll sometimes take a chunk of content or technique and mash it up with a few past ones while it's fresh in my mind.

I've never been the biggest fan of painting digitally, but I explored a bit more with this Rat Droid, having some time between jobs, and I think I can get a relatively close version of a wash out of the thing..?  I can't see myself ever painting a finished digital piece any time soon, but there are an amazing amount of fairly simple techniques that make it grotesquely tempting.  Don't think I ever really realized how easy it is, and now I kind of wish I could go back thinking that way..  =)  Stay Tuned !!