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December 19, 2009

God Speed, Screw-On Head.

Filed under: Superheroes & Supervillians, Uncategorized — tb @ 9:15 pm



Ever since I saw Hellboy on a comic cover for the first time and thought “A giant stone fist..? AWESOME”, I’ve been a Mike Mignola fan.  That said, when I heard an Abraham Lincoln impersonator was going to be modeling at the Atelier for a costume drawing class, I had to go ahead and indulge myself and put together an Amazing Screw-On-Head piece.  The sketch has been projected, and the underpainting started.  I’ll be getting to color comps over the next few days, once I get to my final Christmas destination of Chicago.  For now though, I’m off to finish packing.  Have a great holiday all, and thanks for the Inspiration, Mike.

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November 14, 2009

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…

Filed under: Studies, Superheroes & Supervillians — tb @ 11:11 am



    Here’s a portrait painting from life I played around with a bit during Wednesday night’s sitting.  No, Kal-El did not pose for us, but the model that did pose had an exceptionally square jaw and massively thick neck.  After the drawing/lay-in was down on the canvas, I couldn’t help but play around a little with the subject matter.  While serious studies and observation are immensely important when painting from life, it’s almost as important to let your creativity get the best of you at times so you don’t get burned out from those serious studies.  In addition to being pretty fun, playing up and exaggerating features, changing the color tones and making the new color harmonies work can lead to quite a bit of unexpected learning.

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October 18, 2009

How Giraffes and Camels taught me to carry another book to the zoo, part 1.

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 10:24 am







      Here’s a few pages from the last trip to the zoo.  In case you can’t tell, we hit the camels and giraffes.  I hardly ever head in the direction of the giraffes, which I think will change on future zoo trips..They’re just a blast to sketch, with that awesome, graceful gestural swoop they have.  While I’m happy with how the head turned out in the sketch, I was a bit confused and had trouble with the way their lips worked in relation to their skull while sketching them.  That said, I headed home, took out the trusty Goldfinger Animal Anatomy for Artists book (that’s right, he has an animal anatomy book, too) and did a quick skull study.


     I’m going to have to do the same with those damn camels.  I always love sketching them, because of those exaggerated, full-of-character features they have, but they’re a pain for the exact same reason;  Exaggerated, charactertured features.  Let this be a lesson, all…  Anatomy studies are not just for the human figure.  I’ll be posting a few animal anatomy studies I’m doing (including the camel and giraffe) in the next few days, and I’ll be carting my anatomy book to the zoo from here on out;  It’s a valuable tool, and there’s no reason to leave it on the shelf.


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October 2, 2009

He just wants a friend. And maybe pants.

Filed under: Gribbly, Sci-Fi — tb @ 12:14 am



If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, this is it;  painting pantless mutants with semi-automatic rifles.  This fellow is actually for a project I’m currently working on involving mutants, oppressive regimes, hyper-intelligent self-aware robots and  rail guns.  It’s been alot of fun working on this stuff, and I thought I’d share this guy in all his gribbly, sketched glory.

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September 21, 2009

Study time with John Singer Sargent

Filed under: Studies — tb @ 6:49 pm



     Studies are something I’ve been doing quite a bit more of lately, and consequently I’ve been getting a good deal more comfortable with oils.  This is a study done from a John Singer Sargent portrait, under the watchful eye of my instructor and friend, Lucas Graciano.  I learned quite a bit from this one, mainly edge subtly and cool notes versus warm notes.  Some areas of the head are a bit wonky, but overall I’m happy with the painting  due to what I took away from it.


    Take away from this post?  Do more studies.


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September 20, 2009

Hurakan, God of Storms

Filed under: Deities, Thumbnails — tb @ 1:45 am


 (click the above terrible, low-res thumb for the hi-res imagine)

     For the first time in a long time, I’ll be participating in an art challenge.  The subject of this challenge?  You guessed it; design Hurakan, the Mayan diety of storms.  When I read over the challenge description on Jon Schindehette’s blog, a challenge that had the participant designing a deity that has (to my knowledge) never been depicted, I knew I had to give it a go.


     Outside of monsters, gods are my favorite subject matter to create.  When it comes to dieties, I like my designs to be one of two extremes; completely downplayed with a mild whimsical feel (Think Larry MacDougal) or completely over-the-top and fantastical (along the lines of Kekai’s Guild Wars deities.)  I opted for fantastical for this design, due to the fact I could cut loose and go wild with the silhouettes, the first step in this challenge.


I had a lot of fun with these, and I’m looking forward to the next step in this multi-part challenge.  Stay tuned here and over at ArtOrder for the progression of this design.




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August 24, 2009

Battle Magi

Filed under: Fantasy — tb @ 12:49 pm



     Once again, it’s been far to long since I’ve updated.  This is the tight sketch for a painting I’m currently working on, which I’ve already projected and started painting.  Check back for the final illustration in the coming days.

     As far as the story goes, I imagine the spellcasters are three Imperial Battle Mages (magi? Is that the proper plural form of “Mage?) an elite sect of soldiers which are credited to the Empire’s success.  In the world they exist in, I see the Empire as being the only major power to understand and harness magic.  The upper ranks of the Imperial Army are required to have training in the Magic Arts, and the practice of unsanctioned magic is illegal.  The Holy Emperor, who is viewed as a near-deity amongst his peoples, sanctions the merciless hunting and genocide of any other culture caught practicing even the least of mana manipulations, such is his paranoia that another magic-using nation will arise to challenge his might.

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May 8, 2009

B is for Blue Dragon

Filed under: A to Z monsters — tb @ 6:24 pm



“Blue Dragons have a highly developed sense of order.  The oldest blue dragon in an area acts as an overlord to all lesser blue dragons living nearby.  This suzerain receives homage from it’s subjects and settles any disputes, particularly involving mates or territorial boundaries.”


I’ve always loved the Blue Dragons of D&D, and with Lockwood’s redesign of the RPG’s dragons several years back, I fell in love with them all over again.  I image this particular overlord like an old male lion, having a harem of females hunting for him, bringing him gifts of food and gold daily as he does little more than look out over his territory and grow larger with each passing century.  Yeah, I’m a nerd.

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May 7, 2009

Another update? You bet. Gorillas and Jaguars.

Filed under: Wildlife — tb @ 1:43 pm



Today seems to be the day I pay for my past sins against my sketchblog and Update update update.  This page was done yesterday, while at the Wild Animal Park with Efrem, and today while at the zoo with my lovely wife, Becky.  The gorrillas at the Park are always great subject matter, as they seem to have no problem giving the artist great poses and gestural practice.  I arrived just in time for the morning feeding on this particular day.

   The jaguars at the zoo, on the other hand, always give me trouble whenever I try to give them a go.  Cats in general are tough subjects,  with thier super-flexible, graceful bodies.  Do you think figure quicksketch is tough?  Give cat drawing a try… Today was my day though, as this gal seemed to be pretty tired as was more than happy to just lounge about for me.


• • •

Zoo drawing with E and the Schutter; Tapirs and Orangutans and Bearded Pigs

Filed under: Wildlife — tb @ 1:26 pm



The other day I found myself at the zoo with two good friends and fellow artists, Efrem Palacios and Ryan Schutter.  Although the trip resulted in some terrible orangutan sketches (one pictured above) done from some super-squirrelly apes, I did manage to sneak in a chance to sketch one of my favorite mammals, the Bornean Bearded Pig.  Don’t ask me why I like boars and pigs so much..I really have no clue. If you want to ask me a question I do know the answer to, go ahead and inquire as to why I find the Malayan Tapir (also pictured above) so freaking terrifying.  It’s because these pre-historic throwbacks have a horrifying tendency to swim in their enclosure’s pool at night, slowly rising from the depths like some Frazetta-spawned swamp beast, baring thier horrible people-teeth and shrieking  like a velociraptor at you.   While an Internet search left me dry as to the terrible shrill noise they emit, I did manage to find a picture of a Brazilian tapir that gives you an idea of how creepy their grimace is.  It’s like their skulls are trying to escape through their mouths…Gahh.

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