Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Phial of Galadriel

Some red wine, a thunderstorm, and the framing of a newly finished painting. That's what I call a nice evening.

"Phial of Galadriel" 2012, oil on paper, 11x14.

The paint looks smooth from a distance, but up close it's very rough. There are about 6 layers of paint in most areas, some fingernail marks here and there, and brush texture from the priming of the surface underneath the oils.

And finally, there exists a photo of me in the studio! Complete with my favorite coffee mug.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Artomatic opens tomorrow!

Every year or two, a collective of 1000+ artists takes over a local building that's slated to be torn down, and turns it into a temporary art gallery, with everything from paintings to sculptures, installation art, photography, fabric, jewelry, and more. It's called Artomatic, "DC's largest creative event," and I'm very excited to be participating for the first time this year.

This year's event will be held at 1851 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA 22202, directly opposite the Crystal City metro station. The show officially opens tomorrow, Friday, May 18 @ 6 p.m. Check here for all visiting hours. I'll be there for the opening, and on various nights throughout the show, including Meet the Artist Night from 7-9 p.m. on June 2nd.

It's near impossible to see the whole show in a single day, so you might want to plan on coming more than once. If you want to find my exhibit space, here's a map. I'm on the 8th floor near the men's room:

(click to enlarge)

And here's a photo of what my section of wall looked like during setup, so you know you've found the right spot:

If you're in or around DC, come check it out!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Random beauty in the studio

I spend most of my time in my studio, but sometimes fail to notice some of the little uncontrolled things that make it feel like home to me. Little things like these old mason jars that I've been using for oil mediums:

I caught a quick glimpse of this old turp jar on my windowsill in the sunlight.

Ah, my most often-used medium jar. I actually try not to dab my paint on the edge of this one and contaminate it too much, but habit gets the better of me.

This jar of linseed oil is so old that it's taken on a life of its own. Believe it or not it's still perfectly good medium, once you bust through that dried layer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sketching at the Museum of Natural History

I had a chance to travel down to the Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC and do a little sketching today.

Panthera pardus (Leopard), *note: it was super crowded, so I didn't draw all the spots.

Plesippus shoshonensis (Prehistoric Horse)

Newspaperus readerus (Guy on the metro reading a paper)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Magic Card Art: Rush of Blood

Card Name: Rush of Blood
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

Gatherer Link: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=240183

Medium: Oil
Original Art Available? Painting SOLD | Drawing SOLD
Artist Proofs Available? Yes

Artist Notes: This was the first (and as of this entry, only) card I finished fully in oils. Another sort of breakthrough card for me, in terms of how I work and approach characters. I'm fairly certain that during this painting I realized I love painting hands. It was one of the better things I accomplished altogether in 2012, but unfortunately the card itself wasn't very interesting or powerful. Rats.

Preliminary drawing (sold)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Magic Card Art: Exquisite Blood

Card Name: Exquisite Blood
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

Gatherer Link: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=240134

Medium: Digital
Original Art Available? No
Artist Proofs Available? SOLD OUT

Artist Notes: This card was one of those where I could see a tiny glimmer of a breakthrough in the evolution of my art style. Not that all of my previous cards were "bad" per se, but this was the first one where I'd taken more time and exercised patience, instead of taking shortcuts and rushing to meet the deadline. During all of these early cards I was still working a full-time job as a web designer while freelancing as an illustrator for a handful of companies, so finding time was always a major obstacle.

Here's a link to the step-by-step post I made on digitally-painting the hand: http://sheppard-arts.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-magic-card-exquisite-blood.html

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Magic Card Art: Archangel

Card Name: Archangel
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

Gatherer Link: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=240205

Medium: Oil/Digital
Original Art Available? No
Artist Proofs Available? SOLD OUT

Artist Notes: This was the first card I attempted to paint in oils, but fell short on time, and had to finish digitally.

Archangel was also used on some of the booster packaging for the Avacyn Restored set. On June 9, 2012, I was with a group of artists attending the Illustration Master Class in Amherst, MA. We stopped at a WalMart to buy toiletries on our way back to campus. Lo and behold, Pete Mohrbacher and I found some of our illustrations side by side in the checkout line, and took a photo to commemorate the occasion:

^^ My "supremely chuffed" face.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Magic Card Art: Trusted Forcemage

Card Name: Trusted Forcemage
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

Gatherer Link: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=240064

Medium: Digital
Original Art Available? No
Artist Proofs Available? Yes