Thursday, December 16, 2010

First class Class

Here I am at the end of my first semester teaching at the PNCA, and I sigh with an air of guarded fulfillment.  I taught a materials class with an aim towards illustration, Experiments in Drawing for the Illustrator.  Such a bizarre cacophony of content, materials and technique crammed into a couple of months, and simply entering back into the college atmosphere has been a baptism of fire to say the least.

I would've never expected some of the mistiming and thinly spread states of fatigue over the semester, but the great group of focused students I had the pleasure of guiding for a short while, came over as unexpectedly as the Portland Sun on my face before the end of class today.

Fantasy Genesis played a roll as well, with an extra credit assignment.  I gave them the same roll that was used for the Cosmic Dragon to spring from, and here's a couple results coming from; Danny Frasier (a very focused junior with an eye towards editorial and expressive inks), and Sara Stanton (like many of my students, coming somewhat from both the worlds of Miyazaki and the Portland Comic scene I'm still discovering) Take a look at these offerings, and hopefully there will be a couple more to show before too long..  Stay tuned

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jim Pavelec's Witch Dog

When I got an email that contained a blog contribution from Jim Pavelec, I couldn't open the file quick enough..  Since meeting at conventions, co-authoring Wreaking Havoc, and working with many of the same games and clients over the years, I can say with all honesty, that Jim has shaped some of the best portions of my career..  He is not only one of the nicest and giving cats I've ever met, but he has tenaciously held on to time honored traditional materials and techniques to create his amazingly detailed style of Fantasy, something the likes of a death metal demon with a brush.. This sketch is a testament to what kind of Creatures and Humanoid conceptions can spring outta yah brain when using Fantasy Genesis, but it's also a testament to the mad skills of a very good friend and painter.

Jim and Chris Seaman's new book from Impact is called Ink Bloom, and I cannot sing it's praises enough..  Please do yourself a favor, and after checking out this brilliant Concept, check out his Art Tutorial that teaches, while it tells a wickedly cool story as well..  It's a celebration, Witches !!!
Stay Tuned..  =)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oryctolagus Polypoda & Fire Drummer

This contribution comes from two W o n d e r f u l  British artists off Deviant Art; Calmllama (Joni), and Grinning-Goblin (Gavin).  I've not yet spent a whole lot of time on DA, but J&G along with Steve Huczek created a Fantasy Genesis Group page on DA, (of which there are more posts to come with other Deviants work) but they also painted these brilliant pieces with rolls from FG as well!  What beautiful creations these two have made, and I couldn't be more geeked in my brain game having played a small "roll" in the inspiration. (see what I've doon there, then.? Forgive.. =)

First two are Joni's watercolours based on a Humanoid roll; what I'm calling - Deer-Frog on a Unicycle ©2010. and a wonderfully odd Creature roll - "Oryctolagus Polypoda." "The Chimera Illusionists of Counter-Earth crash landed in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Laysan Island. Misunderstanding Earth's fauna they created the Oryctolagus polypoda in a misjudged attempt to blend in.." Joni ©2010  I couldn't be more pleased, and they both put a giant land-island sized grin on me jib.. =)  Thank you.

I guess what I can't get over is the combo of story and art, as we see here again in an amezin' illustration, and a whole tale based on a Humanoid roll! This is really something I was hoping for when I created the game years ago, as I certainly wrote stories based on my outcomes in the game, but this is the first I've seen in an international writing inspiration.

"It had taken young Kimokone of the Ash Tribe the whole night to climb the sacred mountain. It was a dangerous undertaking, for there were many predators that could gobble him up and numerous ridges to tumble from. But, most dangerous of all where the proud spirits of the four winds, they would, if given the chance pluck him from the mountain side and dash him to pieces on the crags below. Yet Kimokone was a dutiful apprentice and knew the secret chants and cantrips to placate the spirits of the four winds and had whispered them as he climbed.
Once at the summit, in the pre-dawn light he had gathered wood from the floating Hanom trees and built himself a fire, just as his master Paph the Sun-Greeter had instructed him to. Then he'd opened his Subechi bag and cast three bones next to the fire. Each one had been most favourable, so Kimokone began drumming the sinuous, spiralling rhythm of the fire spirits and became one with the music.

As Kimokone drummed, his soul drifted to the Otherlands, the place of the spirits. He had visited there many times with Paph the Sun-Greeter, but always as his master’s shadow, never on his own. But, this time was different, he was infused with a power he had, until recently, only felt burning within his master. Now it burned within him. Kimokone felt a kinship with the world of the spirits; he was, somehow, a connection between one world and the other. He had nothing to fear from the Thunder Dogs or the ever hungry Gomo Brothers now; he had earned his right to walk the shifting paths of the Otherlands. Kimokone altered the rhythm, very subtly making it his own. As he did so the power of the Otherlands welled up through his soul. This was the test, if he could not channel the power he would not be the tribes next Subechi-man, the power would destroy him utterly. As the energy intensified Kimokone thought he could contain no more, his soul felt as if it would be lost and swept away he saw it, the mighty Coal-Horn, the proud totem of the Ash Tribe. Kimokone shifted back into the lands of his people and the Hanom wood fire flared as the power of the Otherland swept through his soul and into the flames. The spirit of the Coal-Horn burst from the blaze and soared high into to morning sky. Suffused with the unadulterated joy of creation, KimoKone rocked back and roared with laughter."  ~The Grinning Goblin ©2010

I got a little choked up when I saw this, I must admit, but I think you'll agree, it's a very creative tale, and I'm sure Joni and Gav wouldn't mind any praise on Deviant Art that any of us can give.  Thanks for all the creativity you two..  More to come from the Deviants, stay tuned !!

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 !!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spider Ducks !!

Quick couple of sketches in between all the madness this week. This roll was taken from my friend, effects and costume designer Ian Strandburg's
suggestion of "Spider Ducks". Couldn't pass it up, so I rolled a Creature making sure Spider and Duck were in there as well, and went to it. Strangely enough I rolled another insect, so I played a bit more, and came up with an arthropod, Patrick Woodruffe looking rarity, and a bi-pedal to see if I could actually make a duck look anything but goofy. =)  Within the next couple rolls, I'll start to pose some of these Creatures with the Action roll.
When we equate and associate words in terms of Action, Movement, it can often make all the difference in your creation.  That original pose and gesture influences the remaining sketch with movement first.  Things like Pathways of Pattern, Habitat, and Systems of Growth and Decay will often form my creations afterward.  I was asked if this Spider-Duck chap "dips" like a duck, and just that Action word alone made me want to sketch another one.!  It immediately  implies liquid environment, and the myriad things that come along with it.!  Next time I'll try starting with the Action roll first.. =)

Well, a copy or two of Fantasy Genesis should have found it's way into a major book store chain near you, so check it on out, and enjoy these two odd ducks.. =) Stay tuned !!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I bow to your inner Rusty Penguihorse Engine !!

Never imagined in my wildest dreams that the first contribution would be this outrageously brilliant, or a color painting, but by God it's all that and a bag of smoke spittin' pipes !! This is by far the coolest test run of Fantasy Genesis since playing with fellow artists back in school.. Fellow SF&F freelancer friend, and wickedly skilled, Portland based, digital illustrator, Craig J Spearing has painted this gorgeous piece based on a Creature roll from the book!! As Craig says, "I decided to use the first four elements I rolled, no matter how odd a combination they were. I got: penguin, horse, engine, and rust."

I've found some of the best combos spring from Anima/Anima, and Craig's technique and skills have done just that. Wow, to see another artists results with Fantasy Genesis is really a site to behold !! A testament to the imaginative spirit, and to your skills, Craig !! Gracious thanks for the first contribution, I bow to your Rusty PenguiHorse Engine, and welcome any artists, in whatever skill level to join the madness as well.. Stay tuned !!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Roll No.2 - Cosmic Bubble Dragon

I'll be honest, I'm quite unreasonably geeked about this one!! Yes, it's the first Creature Roll to be posted so far, but it also shows the wonderful way artists influence and challenge each other.. Much of the goal of any artist is to show the world something new, something they've never seen before in quite the same way.. The beauty of this game is in the infinite diversity of ones associations with just 1-4 words.. A veritable Magic 8 Ball for the conceptual designer, whether you're creating the final elements of plot to your story, or the few odd elements that take your creature straight on into the rare, obscure, or that which has never been seen..

Something is always learned through these experiments, and this time it was that the combo of Suds/Bubbles & Bananas somehow formed a rather space alien looking dragon.. I picked Bull out imediatly, as I think I wanted to draw a new dragon, after seeing a great digital piece by James Paick, and I had no idea how Bubbles and Bananas were to fit in, but I knew they'd be cool.. =) Now, I've drawn quite a few dragons over the years, but I've never drawn one like this until last week.. After shaping the basics of the eyes, head and open maw, I went on to sketch in horn forms based on my words from Fantasy Genesis. It started as a sort of portrait, keeping the sets of eyes tight and small, but after sketching in more spiked and horn forms along the creatures spine, and bubble surface skin across the backs of his legs, he then expanded exponentially to an alien dragon creature spreading across my whole sketchbook.. Och.. Further proof of how just a couple words can change the flow of creativity.. Had I picked other forms to sketch from, he'd of come out different, but Roll No.2 supplied me the way for this dragon to be created.. What kind of Creature would you create with Roll No.2? How would you make them different? Stay Tuned !!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Roll No.1 and 1st on the Fridge

Here we go fellow Friends and Fantasy Geneticists, the first online blog Role of the Humanoid game!! My concept was that of a Ring Droid looking Humanoid, twisting around to maneuver some multi-task, but there are an infinite variety of concepts to be had from these word associations.. The dynamic of individual voice and creativity is boundless, and I hope to see what you can add to the concept I created.. Feel free to pick your own Forms and Surfaces, even fill in the Emotion role that I left blank.. No matter what the skill level, let your wonderful imagination play!! Scan it, Send it, and I'll post the results I receive along with any others using this role next month..

Gracing the SuperCool Fridge this month is my SuperCool Niece, Paige Walker !! A beautiful Faerie with Squirrel, and a Husky Dog portrait.!! I love the gesture of the eyes and ears on the smaller dog!! Great job, Paige !! You're so cool, you need mittens when you draw.. =)

Stay Tuned. . . .

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cool spot in ImagineFX !!

This is so cooler than cool, I'm gettin' freezer burn.!! Along with Jim V's Images Magazine for fantastic historic illustration prints, ImagineFX has been a constant source of inspiration for watching what's cutting edge in the world of digital illustration.. Recently, the folks at Future Publishing's ImagineFX have given me a spread featuring illustrations from Fantasy Genesis and my work for Magic the Gathering in the February Issue, No.53!! Gracious thanks to Vinod Rams, for suggesting me, and contributing a brilliant demo, Mark Penfold, Beren Neale, and Roy Delaney for working up my spot.. It's truly an honour.!! So gallang and check it on out, get yourself a copy, or a subscription, and stay tuned.. .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

:: Advanced Copies ::

I've recently received my advanced copies of Fantasy Genesis, A Creativity Game for Fantasy Artists to review, and I'm so pleased to say I LOVE it.!! The designs and layouts by Wendy Dunning are beautifully inventive, the color printed superbly, and without the hard work and concise vision of my editors Pam Wissman, Mary Burzlaff Bostic, and the wonderful Mona Michael, I simply couldn't have the book I now hold in my mitts.. It's hard to grasp how many versions of my Conceptual Drawing Game I've played with over the years, and how many life changes have brought me here, but now it's finally in a form that I can share with the Sphere!!

So let the shameless promotional slogging begin !!

Fantasy Genesis is available for PreOrdering Now, and will be on shelves in a couple weeks, but until then please >> Follow this Blog >> join me for FaceBook and Twitter updates, and win free signed prints, and Magic the Gathering collectibles by joining my Mailing List!

There are few things in life as fulfilling as seeing a project into a final, tangible object.. When I'm working in the BookArts, it's the act of couching a sheet of paper pulp, lifting the first print from the block, or cracking a book from the press.. When painting it's pushing those final strokes of light on to your character and scene, they are these wonderful moments that I've grown to adore.. But what happens when a book idea that's been floating around your wig for years finally comes to fruition, and becomes an object ?? Well, for a short start, it gets your brain cogs spinnin' and churnin' faster, it swings yah soul straight on up into the big smilin' Sunshine, and then back on down easin' yah toes through the cool groovy sands of serenity.. and that's quite a trick for Portland in January.. =) Stay tuned..

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year :: New Website

Welcome, Lords and Ladies, one and All. . Step right this way my Friends, to the newly rebuilt !! Ticket, Popcorn, take your seat there in front row, que the Projectioness and enjoy the next amazing show!! This one features such a brilliant variety of Wondrous Worlds, Heroes, Heroines, Fantastical Oddities, Creatures, and Concepts, that it might just keep your Imagination thrilled, your brass goggles polished, and your wig properly flipped, well into the New Year !!

:: Free Quarterly Prizes :: I've started a Quarterly Raffle along with giving donations to the four charities listed on the Home page of my new site. That means if you belong to my mailing list, you are eligible to win either an 8x10 Limited Edition Print, or a Magic the Gathering Collectible Whiteback Card with a sketch and alter. I'll give you an email hollah, get your address, then send your prize to your door step, along with my check to the charity..

:: Fantasy Genesis :: I'm extraordinarily pleased to announce my word association RPG drawing game, Fantasy Genesis will be on the shelves in the Spring from IMPACT Books !! I'll be teaching a workshop at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, May 2010 here in Portland, but any art teachers interested in a lesson plan should give me an email to see if your students would have fun with it. Pre-Orders are available online, Today !!!

:: Magic: the Gathering - Card Signing :: I'll be sure to send updates on signings before the Grand Prix - Portland in Sept., but in the mean time, I've changed addresses again. Send any cards to be signed or altered to :: Chuck Lukacs - 715 SE 60th Ave. No.7 - Portland, OR 97215 :: Big shout outs to all the incredible Art Directors, and folks at Wizards of the Coast, Tim Shields & Mike Goodman from Cascade Games, Brian Artiaco, and Seth Morrigan from

Also solid propers to the amazing Editors, and cast of creatives at IMPACT Books, Paizo Publishing, and all the wonderful Friends, Family, Fellow Lightpushers and Freaks, local or otherwise that have helped me acclimate to Portland, and that make it a life goal to support the Arts where and when they can. You are what makes everything happen, and I wish you all the very best in 2010 !!!

** takes no responsibility for post flippage wig tapping services **