Astrid 2013 wip 02


Today I spent about 2 hours roughing in colors and trying to find the right composition for the background.  I really love this grey-white-pale blue color palette, and not just for this painting, I mean for like.. a lot of paintings I’ve done.  Maybe too many paintings.  But one more won’t hurt. 🙂

A bad habit of mine is leaving some seemingly minor aspect of a painting un-figured-out for too long.  This almost always comes back to haunt me later in the painting, so I’m working on establishing *everything* early on.   For example, I was tempted to figure out the dragon’s tail position “later”.  What would probably happen “later” is there’s nowhere to put it that looks good and I end up repainting the whole damn dragon to make it work.  Another thing running the risk of becoming a “later” thing if i don’t figure it out soon is the platform Astrid is crouched on.  Is it rock? Sand? Water? But do I HAVE to figure this out this soon?  For me, a big part of the fun is making it up as I go.  As long as I don’t become one of those artists for whom the entire background is the “later” thing (er…actually this used to be me years ago :D).

I don’t know if this is shaping up to be the best Astrid annual painting yet but it’s off to a better start than some of them were by this point!  (I think Astrid ’11 is still the one setting the bar to beat.)

Some things I’d like to address when I come back to it:

  • I think her skin looks chalky  (actually maybe everything looks chalky, chalky tends to be my style until I take conscious steps to reduce it)
  • The dragon’s face is pretty blobby compared to everything else that’s been established and is running the risk of becoming a “later” thing

Also: Wow, I just realized this is the ninth painting in the annual series.

Kelethin wip 01

Just for fun, a 1-hour quickie inspired by some of my earlier Everquest adventures in Photoshop CS5.

This was my character Macanai (who my friends nicknamed Macaroni, lol), a wood elf warrior.  I was new to the game and had no idea what I was doing when I made her.

I picked the warrior class because I was just so damn stoked that warrior was open to female characters.  I would later find that all class/sex combinations were possible, but if you think about this in the context of late 90’s gaming you may realize this was the exception, not the norm, for the time. Back then, if I wanted to play as a girl I’d have to be a spell caster.  Now, females even show up in the soldier ranks of games such as XCOM.  🙂


I probably won’t come back to this one, even though I would happily revisit the idea in a new piece.  For me to start work, push it to this point over the course of a few hours, and then scrap it is normal.  I suspect it might be a necessary part of my process, kind of like cleaning my desk of clutter before I can get to work on something new: I have to paint a “bad one” before I’m free to paint a “good one”, perhaps.

2013 Blog Status Update

This post is to formally announce the creation of

  1. I ported the old contents of the blog from Blogspot to WordPress.  This is why some images are still hosted on Blogspot.
  2. This blog is no longer just a picture blog.  The old format was to paint something and slap it up here.  The new format is I will actually type something to go with most updates to give insight into my process and thoughts about my artwork.  I’m not used to talking about my art, like, at all. I keep its meanings and my processes very private, so I think this will be a good exercise for me.
  3. This blog is no longer just for artwork.  I intend to use this space to develop a bit more of an online personality.  I’ve been posting artwork online for nearly a decade but almost nothing about myself.  I’m not used to talking about myself either – like, at all.  Maybe this is a good place to start. 🙂