Friday, September 11, 2015

Geisha Warrior commission

This was my first commission, and it's for Adam O. Largely inspired by Memoirs of a Geisha, Miho from Sin City, and a previous piece I did called Lyssa. Japanese letters brush from touch-and-go. Photoshop.

No long-winded description this time. But if you have questions or thoughts, please comment!

Initial sketch

Pose and basic clothing for silhouette

Pose wasn't satisfactory


first draft colors

Frank Miller style

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying podcast

Teaser image
I ran a real-play game of A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying for the ladies of the podcast Close the Door and Come Here. Inspired by this page of the Goblins webcomic, I illustrated the party to get the podcasters excited about the game. Most had never played a tabletop game before, and were unsure of what to expect. The full resolution image is a Patreon exclusive.

You can listen to the adventure here: episode 1 and episode 2.

thumbnail of chainmail brush
While painting the knight I made a chainmail brush in Photoshop to speed things up. It's actually quite simple; it's just the highlight of one ring. When used with enough spacing it stamps down the rings in a row. Work on a dark base for shadows. But be sure to follow normal patterns of chainmail: the chain rows lay horizontally, and flip the brush around so the rows face the opposite direction (so a row of right-facing rings is below the row of left-facing rings).
Initial sketch

I didn't know I was going to take this art to full painting phase. It just started with a morning sketch and I kept going when I heard the response from the group. Eon turned in her character at the last minute, so she was drawn last. You can see the maester originally had a cohort, who was secretly an undead minion, ala Qyburn. But that was dropped as I warned her of the ramifications if such a secret was discovered in-game.

If you're interested in playing the adventure with your own gaming group, here is the pdf homebrew module. It's short and encapsulates the essential themes of Game of Thrones. The adventure is called The Second Whitewalls Rebellion. The notes will be a bit different when you ready them, as I improvised throughout the game and especially at the end.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Mountain and the Mother of Corpses

I wanted to paint Cersei squaring off with a Gregor reminiscent of the Hulk. Thanks to thehyenagallery for suggesting the title. This is from the scene in Game of Thrones season 4 episode 7, Mockingbird. You can watch a timelapse of the painting process here. Photoshop.

Black and white values, either from your pencil sketch or speed painting. I usually do shadows on one layer and highlights on another. 

If you skip this and first paint in color, it’s wise to check your values by adding a B&W adjustment layer. 

Then base colors that we’re going to put our highlights and shadows onto. If you’re separating stuff into layers you can change the base colors later without altering your shading hues.

What you don't want to do is just use black to darken areas and white just to brighten. You may notice the result looks dirty and the color starts to fade. 

Sometimes doing it wrong is okay if the result is something desirable. But with ‘art’, you should learn the rules before you can break them. 

Base colors
For yellow hair, I used red-orange for the darker areas. Choosing a yellow that’s not too yellow for the base color left me room to make the highlights really yellow. 

Other areas to compare to the previous image: under her chin, the light areas on his beard, the vibrancy of his tongue, and the pinkness in her lips.

Shading with color

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Go on, I dare ya!
Quick piece I made while in a chatroom with the good people at A few hours painting in Photoshop. Brienne is gonna get that new armor dirty. The Hound doesn't stand a chance.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Bickering Gam Jam

Speed painting for splash page, literally made in the final hour.
In Jan 2014, Scott Washington and I entered the "All Out War" game jam, sponsored by The Walking Dead website. Our game, The Bickering, is a dark look at relationships between survivors in a zombie apocalypse. While most zombie games focus on killing ghouls, this game looks at keeping your survivors from killing each other. The theme of the game jam was 'War', so I focused on a quote, “War is the end of innocence, and a darkness inherent in human nature.”

Early mockup of user interface
The player is the mediator of a group of survivors amongst the apocalypse. She decides jobs, schedules, and supply displacement at the cost of fellow survivors attitudes. The more time people spend together the more their hostility rises, represented by the room glowing red. Meanwhile, the undead tear down the house's defenses outside the house.

There were 60 games entered and in the end we got an Honorable Mention. There's a lot to this game, but without the time to implement clear feedback and flourishing polish, it's a bit frustrating. But I'd rather it be overly ambitious than simple and stupid.

                                      Gameplay Trailer

Zombie Easter Eggs
There are many, many references for zombie fans in this game, and most of them very subtle. My favorite is that the house is modeled after the cabin in Evil Dead, along with the Oldsmobile and workshed. Some of the weapons are taken out of Max Brooks's Zombie Survival Guide. The survivors are all named after people related to zombie fiction:
  • Romero (George Romero, director of Night of Living Dead)
  • Shaun (Shaun of the Dead)
  • Dr West (The Re-Animator)
  • Redeker (savior of humanity, World War Z)
  • Linda (Ash's lady in Evil Dead)
  • Fulci (Director of Zombi 2)
  • O'Bannon (Creator of Return of the Living Dead)
  • Bub (trained zombie, Day of the Dead)
  • Lionel (main character, Braindead)
  • Dellamorte (Cemetary Man)
  • Savini (zombie makeup artist)
  • Nicotero (zombie special effects)
  • Mikami (creator, Resident Evil)
  • Boyle (director, 28 Days Later)
  • Booth (designer, Left 4 Dead)
  • Bela (Actor, White Zombie)
  • Keene (author, The Rising)
  • Littlewit (pen name, HP Lovecraft)
  • Shelley (author, Frankenstein)
  • Buckner (sadist zombie family, Cabin in the Woods)
  • Wirkola (Director, Dead Snow)
  • ElRay (main character, Planet Terror)
  • Matheson (author, I am Legend)
  • Velasco (actor, REC)
  • Craven (director, Serpent and the Rainbow)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sea Nothing Game Jam

The Sea is full of bubbles and fish ...and fish poop.
Asylum Jam is a 48 hour game jam in October. In 2013 Scott Washington and I entered with Sea Nothing, an undersea dash to follow your diving tether back to your shark-proof cage before your air supply runs out or Jaws gets ya. But what really brings the tension of the pitch-black darkness is the music stinger courtesy of Cat Arthur.

Swimming faster will reduce your air.
The Asylum jam is for horror games inspired by Ian Mahar’s article ‘Nobody Wins When Horror Games Stigmatize Mental Illness’. These games illustrate horror without using asylums, psychiatric institutes, medical professionals, or 'insane' patients. These are all tropes too-commonly used in the horror genre; inaccurate stereotypes that stigmatizes mental health issues.

He's got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye...
The recent Asylum Jam in October 2014 had an article in Rock, Paper, Shotgun which specifically mentioned Sea Nothing out of the other 60 games. Pretty cool.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jaime/Brienne comic page

This Game of Thrones fan art came out of wanting to do some comic book stuff, listening to the Close the Door and Come Here podcast, then someone pointed me to a tumblr prompt:
"...Modern Jaime and Brienne huddled together in appropriately coloured warm clothing,
walking in an autumn scenery. Brienne could be blushing with Jaime huddling up to Brienne ‘for warmth’"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Jaime/Brienne Choke

More Game of Thrones fan art. Fooling around with inking techniques.
Shipping? Me? I don't know what you're talking about.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

D&D 5e T-shirt

 This was a Dungeons and Dragons T-shirt design for WeLoveFine. The 5-headed dragon Tiamat is a classic DnD villain and is prominent in the 5th addition adventures under the Tyranny of Dragons storyline. Each of the five heads is a different type of dragon, with different elemental breath attacks, so that's why the heads aren't identical.
Initial design sketches
Black and White value sketching
final layout mock

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Knight is Dark and Full of Justice

The Cowl, the Scowl, the Jowl, and the Growl.

I only liked Stannis from Game of Thrones after I realized the similarities with his personality and a few of my other favorite characters. So I drew this. A lot of hate out there for Stannis the Mannis, hopefully this turns some.

"I had fun once, it was awful."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Man in Torment

Lighting reference photo
Some Game of Thrones fanart. The Clegane brothers fight at the Hand's Tourney. Done for a Color pallet challenge on Tumblr. This palette hurt my eyes, but the Mountain reflection was a fun callback to one of my favorite Wolverine covers. The Red Keep's silhouette frames Gregor's helm. The book says Sandor's jawbone can be seen through his burn scars, so I made his mouth look more like Two-Face.

Some alternative titles I considered:
Spit on Their Vows
Knights Are For Killing
No True Knights
Gentle Rage