Thursday, December 28, 2017

5 - "S.O.S. Save Our Saucer" - Skull Saucer




< < < Previous Entry: Party Crasher          Next Entry: Contraption Cannon > > >

Thursday, December 21, 2017

3 - "Double Vision" - Handy Dandy Clone Machine

Hello Hello??

Uh uh--oh oh..

Ok Ok this this is is weird weird..

Today Today I I want want to to tell tell you you about about another another piece piece of of art art I I made made for for Unstable Unstable,, but but it it appears appears that that I I may may be be suffering suffering side side--by by--side side effects effects from from prolonged prolonged exposure exposure to to the the Handy Handy Dandy Dandy Clone Clone Machine Machine I I was was given given to to illustrate illustrate so so I I hope hope you you can can bear bear with with me me through through this this one one..

This This was was a a really really fun fun image image to to paint paint.. The The focus focus of of this this card card was was a a mad mad scientist scientist creating creating life life through through the the use use of of a a cloning cloning device device,, with with the the creature creature followed followed by by an an exact exact copy copy. I I was was asked asked to to depict depict a a creature creature that that looks looks kinda kinda sorta sorta like like a a disembodied disembodied hand hand,, except except for for the the fact fact that that it it is is not not exactly exactly a a disembodied disembodied hand hand.. Weird Weird request request,, fun fun challenge challenge..

I I was was really really happy happy with with how how the the creature creature came came out out,, and and my my art art director director,, Dawn Dawn Murin Murin,, seemed seemed pleased pleased as as well well.. I I hope hope all all the the players players like like it it too too.. I I am am especially especially excited excited to to see see how how the the card card works works now now that that the the set’s set's been been released released. Whenever Whenever I I play play this this card card I’ll I'll be be able able to to tell tell people people that that my my “token” "token" was was also also the the “model” "model" for for the the card's card’s art art.. Happy Happy joy joy!!

 Want Want to to see see the the sketches sketches??

You You can can see see in in the the sketches sketches that that I I experimented experimented with with a a furry furry green green version version of of the the creature creature as as well well,, kinda kinda riffing riffing off off the the big big red red furry furry monster monster from from the the Looney Looney Tunes Tunes.. I I like like what what came came out out in in the the final final but but I I still still enjoyed enjoyed the the idea idea behind behind the the other other version version..

Last Last but but not not least least,, like like my my previous previous Unstable Unstable artwork artwork,, I I created created an an original original drawing drawing that that I I used used in in the the making making of of this this piece piece,, seen seen below below..

Anyways Anyways,, I I think think that's that’s all all for for today today,, all all of of this this doubling doubling is is making making me me dizzy dizzy,, and and I I still still have have more more stories stories to to tell tell,, so so I I need need to to fix fix this this problem problem,, fast fast.. Hmm Hmm,, let’s let's see see.. Maybe Maybe if if I I fiddle fiddle with with this this switch switch here here……

Did Did Did Did that that that that work work work work????



< < < Previous Entry: Three-Headed Goblin          Next Entry: Party Crasher > > >

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2 - "The Goblining" - Three-Headed Goblin

Continuing my series of Unstable posts, today I'd like to introduce you to one (...or three?) of the friends I made while working on Unstable. I was asked to illustrate the never before seen Three-Headed Goblin, but to do so I knew I would have to find some authentic reference material! Thankfully, I knew one worked just a few blocks away at the local scrapyard.

My local scrapyard

He stood tall and intimidating as I watched him bash piles of junk over and over and over with his giant wrench. I approached stealthily, not wanting to alarm him and end up amongst the debris. Without blowing my cover, I was able to make a couple of rough sketches of the goblin.

I was feeling pretty good about the sketches, but that feeling fled me when I noticed a shadow looming over me. I looked up from my drawing tools and saw them… those three green faces.

The center head focused on me with a dead-eyed stare while the head to my left snarled violently. The head to my right appeared to be harmlessly blowing snot bubbles.

The massive creature snatched up my drawings as I was frozen with fear. Not brave enough to run, I could only wait for their response. Lefty and Righty were examining my sketches, but the head in center never took his eyes off of me the entire encounter.

Lefty grunted and groaned as he chewed up and spit out one of my sketches.


Righty seemed oddly excited by the other sketch and giggled to himself a bit.

The center head continued it's stare (I can't remember his eyes ever blinking) and they roughly handed the remaining sketch back to me. I knew I needed to leave before one of them ate my other sketch, so I slowly turned away from them and bolted towards safety. It was time to go home and work on the final illustration.

The first thing I did was create a refined drawing based on the sketch. I would then scan that drawing back into the computer and use it as a map for the final painting.

After that, it was time to start laying down the digital colors and paint paint paint.

Upon finishing the image, I felt courageous enough to venture back to the scrapyard, and wanted to track down the goblin (goblins??) and show them my result. I waved to get their attention and then eagerly approached them, presenting what I made. All 3 heads confusingly looked at each other as if coming to the agreement, "this guy knows we could totally crush him right?", but they decided to humor me and peer down at the picture.

In unison, their eyes went wide and they each looked up at me. I nervously lowered the picture, just now remembering their fondness for giant wrenches. And smashing things with said wrenches. They took a single step forward, their wrench firmly gripped.

"Well, I guess I deserve this for thinking it was a good idea", I thought to myself. I closed my eyes and braced myself for certain doom.

There came a thud...then silence...then...

I slowly opened my eyes and was immediately hoisted into the air then squeezed against their blubbery body. Was this...a hug? I found myself encased in smiles, slobber, and glee.

"We like it!!!", they exclaimed.

After some hopping about, I was safely placed back on the ground. I felt a wave of relief, and was happy that they liked my art and, more importantly, hadn’t crushed me to death death...either by wrench or by hug. We all shared a four-headed laugh and I gave them the picture as a souvenir. We parted ways, but before I could leave, silly ol' Righty handed me his own picture and said, "This I make! This for you!"

Goblin's Drawing*

Touched by the generosity, I happily accepted the trade and returned to my normal life as an artist.

Or so I thought...

Swing by next time for more un-stories!

*Goblin's Drawing by my niece, Gabriella 

< < < Previous Entry: Beast in Show          Next Entry: Handy Dandy Clone Machine > > >

Saturday, December 16, 2017

1 - "Why Can't I Hold All These Beasts?" - Beast in Show

Hello and welcome! I am delighted to have you for the grand opening of my series of posts for Unstable. This is the first time I've done artwork for Magic the Gathering! As a long time fan of the game, it was a huge deal when I was hired to be a part of it. When I got my first commission I was full of excitement, though I also felt the pressure. I knew I had to do everything in my power to deliver an image worthy of being printed on a Magic card. Below is my very first-ever piece of art created for Magic...

The concept behind this image is to poke fun at Magic having a history of using the "Beast" creature type as a catchall for a huge range of made-up creatures. "Beast" is pretty much akin to the "Isle of Misfit Creature Types" -- if it doesn't fit another creature type, it gets the "Beast" stamp and is sent along its merry way.

I was asked to present the beast as if it was taking part in a dog-show, with the displayed creature winning the prize of "#1 Beast". I had fun with the pageantry of a dog-show, and adorned this creature with some bows, a jeweled collar, and pink nail polish. Aside from being a cute color, pink also does a decent job covering up any blood left over from the beast’s last hunt.

After the image was completed and approved, I was ecstatic! "What will they hire me to do next?", I wondered curiously...

You may have noticed a similarity or two between this and the last image. That's because I was asked to do a second version of the same illustration, for the same card.

My first reprint! How fun!

For this one I was asked to reference a different type of creature that had also been previously represented under the "Beast" creature type. For this one, I wanted to take advantage of the poofy Gnarlid fur and have the creature done-up like a poodle. And, if a poodle had horns, it would probably use them for scratching hard to reach places.

Now let's mix things up a little bit...time to show you my third ever card illustration...

You may have noticed the same similarity between this and the last image and the image before that. That's because it has the same similarities, but what you might not have noticed is that its differences are different.

For this one I was asked to reference an even differenter type of creature that had also also been previously represented under the "Beast" creature type. Baloths have been depicted with some pretty wild facial expressions, so I wanted to capture that in my rendition. I kept this one pretty straight-forward so as not to distract from the creature's crazed face.

Now, before I present my fourth ever Magic card illustration, I see that look in your eye and I'm happy to say that the answer is yes...

...there is also a fourth version to this card.

You may have noticed the same similarities between the last three images and this one except there is one similarity that is different yet it's the same difference as the others, and so for this image I threw in yet another difference, to keep the images from looking too similar.

For this one I was asked to reference an even differenterer type of creature. I really wanted to capitalize on this creature being covered in hair. The bows in the first depiction were a fun element, so I decided, "let's go all out on the decoration with this one". It would also be pretty adorable if it had pigtails, and bangs covering its eyes. Lastly, the part that makes this version differenterer from all the others is that, the creature is removing the hat from the judge's head. It was fun to add in a slight change to an element outside of the creature that differentiated this card from the others.

Ready to see version 5? It’s the most differenterest of them all!...




...just kidding. There are only 4.

That'll do it for my first-ish Magic card commission. It was an honor to paint a cycle...or would I call it a reprint? also-print? Whatever the case, these pieces were loads of fun to make and I hope you all enjoy them.

For some added trivia, I first painted all of the foreground and background elements that would appear in all versions, and I had a separate layer in-between the foreground and background where I would be able to easily switch in and out the different creatures. This way it was easy for me to keep the image consistent and added to the fun of the image.

I have to say, hat's off to whoever wrote the flavor-text for these cards. It really delighted me to see the flavor text tying in some of the details I added to each piece. I literally laughed aloud when I read the baloth flavor text.

Alternate Sketches
As a final encore of sorts, here's the batch of alternate sketches I created for these pieces. While I'm still fond of a bunch of the ideas in these versions, the ones we went with wound up being the right choice. Stop by again soon for more un-stories!

< < < Previous Entry: Intro         Next Entry: Three-Headed Goblin > > >

Intro - Let's Get Unstable!!!

It's finally here!!! I've been waiting a long time to write about this. About 2 years back I got my very first assignment to create artwork for Magic: the Gathering, and that work has finally been published with the release of the 3rd Un-set, Unstable.

While my artwork for Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation wound up being my first published works, those were actually done after I worked on Unstable. It's been an odd mix of excitement to finally be published while still having the eagerness to show off my very first works for Magic. So to finally reach this moment brings me much delight.

In case you didn't know...


My Unstable far

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of non-Un-sets too. But what makes the Un-sets special to me is the crazy new ideas they explore along with their light-hearted and silly tone.

Magic has created so many amazing worlds over the years, and the fact that they can hit the full spectrum of super serious to outrageously comical just makes me love Magic as a whole even more. I feel incredibly honored to have gotten the chance to work on Unstable and I'm very excited to share some posts about my artwork for the set in the coming days.

Humor is very important to me for lots of reasons, but more than anything it brings me great joy to be able to put a smile on another person's face. There's no greater compliment to me than genuine from-the-gut laughter after telling a joke, doing something silly, or drawing a funny picture. I hope the work that I've created for Unstable enhances the overall experience of the set for Magic fans.

Please enjoy the following posts to come on the artwork I created for Unstable. I took an unconventional approach while writing them, with the goal to keep them in the same spirit as the Un-sets themselves. I promise you're in for quite an unusual experience, so watch out!

I'll be updating this post with links to the new ones as they're posted:
1 - "Why Can't I Hold All These Beasts?" - Beast in Show 
2 - "The Goblining" - Three-Headed Goblin
3 - "Double Vision" Handy Dandy Clone Machine
4 - "No Party? No Problem!" - Party Crasher
5 - "S.O.S. Save Our Saucer" - Skull Saucer
6 - "It's a ConTRAPt!" Contraption Cannon
7 - Wrap-Up Post

*NOTE: This collection of blog posts are unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.”*

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My first Magic: the Gathering card

The full preview for Magic the Gathering's latest set, Amonkhet was finally unveiled yesterday, and with it, the first Magic card I've illustrated. I would like to introduce you to Soulstinger...

Totally putting this into my mono-black -1/-1 counters deck :D

I'm very excited! Well before I got my first Magic assignment, I would (and still do) interact with Magic on a daily basis. It's one of my favorite things! So it's incredibly cool to be a part of the game that I've been enjoying for ~10 years.
While I definitely worked hard to get to this point, there's no way I would've been able to make it if it weren't for the constant help given to me over the years by so many. If you're reading this and you've ever spent any amount of time helping me in any way, this thank you is for you (there are so many of you I couldn't possibly name them all <3 b="">Thank you all!!

My collection should give you an idea of how excited I am.
And I gotta give a special thanks to Cynthia Sheppard. She did a lot to help me get my foot in the door with Magic, and I was very happy to work with her for the first time on Amonkhet. Thank you Cynthia!!

Thanks for taking the time to read, and may you "Rise Among the Worthy".