Monday, September 24, 2012

Magic Card Art: Tavern Swindler

*Note: post updated on Oct 1, 2013*

Card Name: Tavern Swindler
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

Gatherer Link:

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

Artist Notes: I actually went to a Return to Ravnica pre-release with a couple friends, and didn't immediately mention to anyone that I worked on the game. One of the game shop regulars came over while I was building my deck, and noted that I had set aside a Tavern Swindler. "You should totally put that in your deck." he insisted. "Really?" I asked. "[lol] no, that card is complete shit!"

Yes, he was talking about what the card does, not the art, BUT there's always that moment of disconnect before silencing my inner critic.

Original comments from 9/24/12: If I had this one to do over, I would change the costume. The art order called for an unguilded female with cloak and gloves, but looking back I think I made her a little too standard-spooky and not quite Magic-y enough. Hey, I still dig the dripping candle wax. Overall, that's one of the downsides about having to wait a year before showing off these card illustrations- sometimes a year is long enough to second-guess your original choices. Hopefully it won't diminish the fun of using the card in play. Was it heads or tails?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Painting Process: The Making of "Omens" [HD Video]

Yesterday I posted this painting. Today I want to show you how I made it.

Why make a video?

The answers because I could, and for fun bubble up to the surface, but of course there's more to it than that. For one, it was an educational process for me. To be able to go back and review high definition video gave me a rare glimpse at both the good and bad habits I've cultivated over the years. It was worthwhile in critiquing what I need to keep doing or change to make better paintings in the future.

Most of all, I wanted an opportunity to invite a wide audience into my studio to see how I make paintings, so they could appreciate not only the finished original, but the whole process. If you're a professional or serious student looking for an instructional video about oil painting, this is not that video. There are plenty of others out there that do a more in-depth job, like Dan Dos Santos's "Warbreaker" video, and Donato Giancola's "The Mechanic" and "Joan of Arc" videos. Theirs certainly inspired me to film myself, but where theirs go into extreme detail, mine is an easily-digestible ten minute overview. My hope is that it's accessible and fun to watch for artists and non-artists alike.

Is the technique demonstrated the best one for everyone to use?

It's one road of many you can travel to make a painting, and it just happens to be the way I'm currently making paintings after several years of instruction and experimentation. It's important to remember, though, that even when you've found methods that work for you, it's still a good idea to try new things and challenge your idea of what's conventional often.

If you have any questions about the video, please feel free to leave a comment. I hope you enjoy it!

Since a few people have asked, I also created original music for the video, and (because I'm nice and music is just a side hobby) you can download each of the 3 tracks from the video here. The tracks were created using FL Studio 9. Yes, that is me singing in track 3. Enjoy!

Download: Omens Soundtrack 01 | LENGTH: 1M 09S
Download: Omens Soundtrack 02 | LENGTH: 3M 54S
Download: Omens Soundtrack 02 | LENGTH: 3M 20S

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Oil Painting: "Omens"

Oil on illustration board
22x30 inches

Omens is a personal painting about seeing visions of bad things to come- protecting oneself from being swallowed up by darkness.

A shot of the original graphite/white charcoal/india ink drawing.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a special treat: I'm going to show you exactly how this was painted...