Monday, December 20, 2010

Dragon Ref. Maquette

The Foil skeleton. I've been adjusting the rocky structures in the final drawing while completing the reference maquette.
A couple different reference shots. I decided to experiment. Instead of using the usual layer of clay I painted gesso straight onto the foil, adding color over that. It was less of a mess and ended up working out fine. The chain mail around the body is a piece of leftover Christmas ribbon I found stashed away. The armor is paper painted gold. It's really rough and definitely not exactly like my drawing but it will serve it's purpose as a reference model. I'll post an image of the final drawing soon. Still have some work to accomplish before the actual painting begins.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nature......of the Beast.

Section of my new portfolio piece on gessoed illustration board. This is 15" x 20" and will be in oil. I'll be gearing most of my future artwork towards companies I want to work for.

I still have to build some crude reference maquettes, etc. before painting. During this process (or any process) it's helpful to surround yourself with great work. Visiting blogs, looking through books, etc. I plan on visiting a local museum alone for a whole day sometime to absorb and collect thoughts. Though looking at amazing paintings honestly makes me doubt my own work, the inspiration is immeasurable, like don't forget to visit the outdoors every once in a while as well for whatever reason you choose. Pay attention to your surroundings and realize that you're not separated from the limitlessness of it all. It's beneficial not only to your work and others but also to yourself.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Illuxcon 3 Jam "Voodoo Child"

This is a video I just finished editing. After several emails back and forth with other artists, Mark Zug came up with a song list and did such a great job organizing. This took place after an award ceremony at Le Bistro in Altoona, PA. It was a pleasure finally meeting everyone for the first time, seeing their work, hearing them perform and being able to jam on "Voodoo Child" by Jimi Hendrix. You can find more details about Illuxcon 3 in my past post and here. Enjoy the youtube video!
Update! 12-5-10 For some reason this video is cropped off a bit on the page? I apologize. You can watch the entire video directly from my youtube channel here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Petar Meseldzija Blog

I wanted to share how excited I am about Petar Meseldzija starting a blog. I mentioned in my last post that I had the opportunity to meet him at Illuxcon this year. It was truly a pleasure seeing his work in person and crossing paths with him and his wife. Many thanks to the amazing and inspiring James Gurney for directing me to the blog! It's been a great source of insight and inspiration so far! I assure you that the future will only unfold more for your soul. Above is a painting I was lucky enough to see at the first Spectrum show in NY. Needless to say, it blew my mind. Thanks to Dragan Bibin and Vanja Todoric for convincing him to begin a blog. I wish Petar the best in his endeavors!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Illuxcon has come and gone, Eternal in my soul

Back home with family, still processing my recent experience at Illuxcon. It was an amazing journey to say the least. Many thanks to the founders, Pat and Jeannie Wilshire for making it all possible! For several months I prepared for the event. Little did I know how much of an impact it would have on my life. I saw the greatest collection of mind blowing Sci-Fi Fantasy art in the World! Simply breathtaking! I was fortunate enough to have my work displayed along with established pros. I finally had the chance to meet Jon Schindehette from D&D, had portfolio reviews with Jordu Schell and Jeremy Jarvis, attended fantastic lectures and just had the best time laughing and hanging with old friends and everyone I met there.

On top of that, I played and sang Voodoo Child by Hendrix after an award ceremony and we were met with a standing O. What more could I ask for? I was a bit rusty and it was the first time everyone played together but it was definitely fun. I'll have a youtube video up soon! If you want to see beautiful work. If you'd like to make connections and long lasting friends and memories. If you're looking for inspiration and growth then get your butt in gear and go to Illuxcon! Below are just a few of the many photos taken during the event. Enjoy!
Jordu Schell working away on a sculpture. He designed the aliens for Avatar and worked on a ton of other cool movies. That's just bad ass! I was lucky enough to meet, sit down with him and receive his advice. Thanks Jordu!
Vincent Villafranca by his very cool sculpture. Bruce Jensen painting. Greg Hildebrandt painting and accepting a lifetime achievement award. Wow, wow and....ah wow!
Donato Giancola giving an interesting, informative and hilarious lecture on Abstraction and Realism to a packed room and listening to some live tunes at Le Bistro. This guy is a Beast of an Artist!
Michael Whelan pretending to be interested in my work :-) and Raoul Vitale These dudes are Awesome!
Petar Meseldzija stopping by my table with his wife, Anita. Petar is one of my favorites out there today. Simply an amazing artist! I couldn't believe it when I read he was going to be at the event.

Mark Zug (another amazing artist and great musician) jamming and Parker tearing it up the keys. Jim Donovan of Rusted Root was kind enough to loan a drum kit. How cool is that! Had a blast jamming with Mark and everyone! Thanks to Mark and everybody involved! Everyone I met was so kind and generous. I'm pretty damn happy right now.

Monday, November 8, 2010


4 of the 9 pieces that will be with me at Illuxcon. Completed wiring and varnishing. I applied gloss varnish to the two pieces on the left and the one in my hands. I decided to go with a matte finish with the painting on the right.

Brush on and spray on varnish both work fine after a couple layers. the spray definitely saves time. No cleaning brushes!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I just finished framing this one. Although it's a small painting and one of my older experimental pieces, I thought it would be nice to take it to Illuxcon Unfortunately The fantastic artist, Stephen Hickman, will not be able to attend the Main Show this year. You can view his beautiful work here I have been offered the opportunity to move from the Showcase Show to fill the vacancy. It is truly an honor and I'm extremely grateful, for I'll be in the midst of masters in the field. I feel unworthy but I'll do my best to satisfy the position. Please stop by and say hello if you plan on attending.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Komodo" Acrylic & Oil - 16" x 20"

This is the final painting for my portfolio and the Artist Showcase Event at Illuxcon. However, my goal is to crank a piece out every month or so. By this time next year I hope to have a dozen new paintings. Perhaps I'll exceed my goal?

Here's one of three sketches I did along with two in progress photos. The middle image is the first couple layers of acrylic. I began adding oil on the right photo.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Komodo Close Ups

Couple close ups for you. I just finished up this painting today and I'm getting it photographed tomorrow so I'll upload a full image within the next couple days.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Monday during the day I assembled my prints into portfolio sleeves. From 10:30pm to 1:30am I cut mattes and framed two of my pieces. Ran into some minor obstacles but they turned out alright.
From 1:30am to 3am I quickly inspected each one of my postcards, front and back. Out of 1,146 cards 1,115 past my visual inspection. 31 didn't make the cut due to high chroma, dents, subtle spots and even blank fronts but the company supplied extra cards and they did a good job overall. Thanks to my bro from Silverback Studio for designing the postcard. They turned out great!
My little baby Scarlett Mae is critiquing my framing ability and giving me a few pointers :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"komodo" Final Drawing 16" x 24"

Finished researching, maquettes, photo ref. and quick studies. Finally time to seal the pencil and start off with some acrylic washes before I throw some oil down. Squeezing in one last piece before I head off to Illuxcon.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Offering" Acrylic & Oil - 24" x 36"

Here's the Final piece Photographed by openimagestudio My bro is a very talented photographer. This piece kicked my butt! Most of the acrylic under painting is covered up by oil. There's a little tension with the bottom edge and the cranes tail but that's from my image cropping. There's a half inch space from the bottom on the original. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Offering" in progress (silk close up)

Here's a close up of the piece I wanted to have posted by the 26th? I painted velvet back in college but I believe this is my first time attempting silk. It has proven to be very time consuming with the wrinkles and variations in value and color. I have at least a couple more hours of painting on the fabric alone.....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Komodo" in progress

Began drawing the face on canvas. Feels good to start something fresh. I've been working on finishing up a painting that's been taking a lot of time but I'll have it finished and posted by the 26th.
Stylized the arms a tiny bit from the reference to accommodate the komodo dragons that will be weaving through them. There will be three komodo dragons, one by the left arm, right arm and one in the foreground. Planning on building maquettes and painting sometime next week.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Buffalo in progress (top right section)

I began throwing down some oil several days ago over the acrylic under painting. Still have to work on this area and the rest of the piece. Just wanted to share the progression of the top right quarter of painting. So much for finishing this by the 21st. Life is full of distractions and sometimes I just tank out. Must.....p...p...paint :) It was a good goal!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"On a Wing and a Prowl" Part 2 (revised) Oil - 24" x 36"

Here's the revised piece that I thought I was finished with a while back. Some of the color is more intense in person.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Delicate Diffusion" Mixed - 13" x 19"

Well, I learned a lot on how NOT to go about creating a piece with this painting. My original plan was to do this in colored pencil and acrylic while working on another separate oil painting. I ended up using oil over both mediums and finishing it off that way. The background in the original is a bit more blue in appearance. It's always a bit of a challenge trying to match the original on the computer. Happy to be moving on to another painting. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Current Preliminary Steps

Sketches, Ref. & Research - I begin with small sketches of ideas. Sometimes I'll get inspired by a spontaneous line, a wrinkle on a paper or anything, and it evolves from there. The sketch on the top left is my first one. After taking photo reference and researching cranes and water buffalo online I decided to do another sketch. The final result after a few hours of fiddling with it is the middle image. Don't ever be satisfied with your first sketch. Do several and just have fun taking photos and researching!
Transferring & Maquettes - After a satisfying sketch I freehand the image on canvas with pencil, making changes and corrections along the way. It helps to have a great artist as a friend to critique your work before moving along as well :) Next if needed, I build maquettes using clay and other materials, take photos and establish forms. James Gurney is great at this and his work is awesome! He inspired me to create reference maquettes. The final drawing on the right is 24"x 36".
Color Study - I used to not do color studies but after struggling with my last painting I thought it would be best to take a couple hours to do so in photoshop. This is a really rough color study. Ultimately, it helps the painting process move faster. So, after hours and hours of preliminary steps it's time to spend hours and hours on the final painting.

In the final the foreground figure and crane will have crisp lines and the background will remain unfocused, something I've been experimenting with a lot recently and I dig it. I also plan to create the appearance of soft fur on the ground. The whole process currently works best for me and I encourage anyone out there to take the time out in the beginning. Believe me, you and your painting will significantly benefit from it. Thanks for reading and I hope it's inspiring!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Buffalo Maquette

Just finished painting this crazy guy today. It was made in the same way as the crane in my last post. Didn't have to build the entire buffalo since some of it is cropped on my drawing. Now that I'm done with all three maquettes it's time to finish photos, establish the forms on canvas and work on a color study before throwing some paint down. I'm giving myself two weeks to finish a 24" x 36" painting. It's not impossible for me but damn near insane! No sleep........

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Rough Crane Maquette

Here's the final crane maquette. Around 10" x 14". After some thinking, I decided to wrap some old cotton socks with foil for the body. I then used a rolling pin to make thin layers of clay to surround it. It reduced the weight and use of clay. The legs are made from a close hanger painted black. Paper was used for the curls and pointing wing. It's all constructed from several separate pieces and is now ready to serve as my reference for my next painting. Two more maquettes to finish and then photo time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maquette Beginning

So, isn't this the most exciting photo you've ever seen in your life! :) Hey, it's in progress! Got a late start (guns on the sportsman channel) but I put in a little painting and started on a reference maquette for my next piece. I carved the beak out of pine and I'll be using some clay, a small frog and one giant beaver. Kidding! About the pine and clay of course :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In progress.....still!

Another day going on 2 am. Couple of close up in progress pics for ya. This piece is taking me forever. I was struggling, running into so many obstacles but it's flowing smooth now and I'm very close to finishing up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Color Study

The left image is what I thought was a completed painting. After a critique from my friend, I took it into photoshop and experimented with it. The final will look more like the right image.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Sketch & Adjustments

This is one of a couple small sketches I worked out a few days ago until 4-ish AM!?! I'm in the process of figuring out the final on canvas before the painting begins.
After some much needed critiquing from my friend, I'm planning on adjusting the panther piece. I'm working out the girl with the dragon and I just finished correcting some issues on my new piece on canvas, 24" X 36".I spent around 6 hours just on the drawing alone and several on sketching the idea with many more steps in the process before painting. Being an artist is time consuming. Being a Father to a new baby girl definitely is as well but it's an amazing experience. It's a challenge balancing both but a beautiful one at that. Does anyone else want 50 hours in a day instead of 24? :) Considering it's 2 am, I wouldn't mind having a few more.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Delicate Diffusion" in prog. part 2

Worked on some details today. I decided to experiment and use colored pencils and acrylic on watercolor paper. During the process I ended up gessoing over the face and arms because I wanted to paint it with oil. From now on I'm gessoing everything first before the drawing and just using acrylic as an under painting. I've found that I really dig oils better than acrylic. Hate cleaning the brushes though. After 1am and that's what I have to do right now. Hope you all enjoy the progress. I'm around 75% done which means I have uhhh.....50% to go! LoL!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"On a Wing and a Prowl" Oil - 24" x 36"

Rough photo of my piece I finished about a week ago. One more to add to my body of work before I head to Illuxcon in November. Several more to go. Thanks for the reference Kenny!
While I was looking at this piece during the process in the mirror, I liked the inverted image so much that I had to experiment and see how it measured up beside the original. I don't know how you feel but I think it looks cool. Too bad it would take me forever to paint a mirror image!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Delicate Diffusion" in progress 13" X 19"

Another late night spending several hours working out this new piece on watercolor paper. I'll be working on this while taking breaks from my oil piece. Acrylic will be involved. Instead of painting scales on the dragon I'm aiming to achieve a skin that is more fabric like in appearance with a subtle pattern.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Background Development

This is an unfinished portion and yes, my forearm is in the FOREground for a reason :) I planned on having a more calm, neutral background but things changed. The beauty of art, it's flexible. Several days ago I was sad to know that Frank Frazetta passed on. I really wanted to meet him. After looking at some of his work again I thought an orange background could be nice so I followed my instincts. The flames developed out of spontaneity, inspiration and just plain anger. Loads of fun in painting fire. Try it! This is for you Frank!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Mermaid Sale & Illuxcon 2010

I'm very happy to announce that I recently sold "The Mermaid" to Pat Wilshire, one of the founders of Illuxcon. Pat and his wife, Jeannie, are internationally recognized collectors. They began Illuxcon a couple years back in their hometown of Altoona, PA and it is a success. Donato Giancola, Boris Vallejo, Michael Whelan, John Jude Palencar and my good friend Eric Fortune are just a few of the extremely talented artists that are planning to attend this years event. I was overwhelmed with excitement when I received an email from Pat inquiring about the mermaid and encouraging me to display my work with a showcase table at Illuxcon in November. I'm currently in the process of creating several pieces for the show which I hear is a great experience. I'm looking forward to meeting Pat, Jeannie and everyone! Pat, I can't thank you enough for the purchase and for leading me into such an amazing opportunity! Pat also runs a cool website called The Illustration Exchange. I suggest you check it out along with the Illuxcon website!

I made a box for the mermaid before shipping it out to PA. Packed it pretty tight between layers of cardboard, shredded paper and foam. Luckily, it arrived unharmed and Pat and Jeannie were pleased with the piece. Thanks again to the both of you!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Mad Fox" Time Lapse Youtube Video

I thought it would be cool to create a short time lapse video of me finishing up the "Mad Fox" piece. I also decided to spend a couple days writing and recording a song for it. I began jamming and recording with the bass, added 4 different guitar parts and drums. Had to do a lot of editing with the video but everything seems to fit alright. Lots of work for 1min. & 30seconds but loads of fun! Turn up your speakers!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mindless Strokes

This is me attempting to look dramatic while throwing the first layer of paint down. I'm a horrible actor! :) Just a couple raw colors, some wet on wet, mindless strokes. Good times!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

From Sketch to Fixatif

I decided to take my second 5.5" x 8.5" sketch further. After researching panther images, taking reference photos of my friend, building some crude maquettes and finishing the final drawing on canvas, I applied a couple layers of Krylon Wokable Fixatif in my garage. The piece is 24" x 36" and I'll be using the crazy oils.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Unification" Framed!

Finally had this framed! This is my breast cancer donation piece I finished on Feb. 1st. It will be an online auction. I bought a custom frame and had it assembled at Michaels. No glass though, too risky. Had to wait a few days for it to arrive before I took my artwork in but it took only a half hour and they do a good job. All I have to do is either find a box to buy or make my own before shipping it out to California tomorrow, in one piece :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Mad Fox" oil 22" X 28"

Finally finished! Almost 1 am. and I'm wide awake. It's hard to move on from my paintings. Every time I look at them, I want to adjust something. I'm actually doing it right now! Time to climb the next mountain though. This is a low res photo but I wanted to share the piece.
After receiving some feedback from my friend Eric. I sharpened up the face so it wasn't conflicting with the crisp edges of the fox. Made sense! Had some blurry reference photos. Don't be a slave to your reference. It's always nice to have other eyes looking at your piece when all you're doing is staring at it forever.

To give you a sense of scale, here's a photo of me sitting behind the piece with a zippo lighter on the bottom right.