Fantasy Art

Fantasy Art
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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Whatever that looks like to you.
To me it looks like chocolate.

Here's a mural I once painted for a church.  My heathenism didn't trouble them at all so long as I could do the job.  It was based on photos of what some people believe to be "The Tomb".  It certainly is A tomb from the right time period so that makes it a good reference either way.

Some pen and ink work that I used for bookmarks.  I sold them very well at Comic Con to all the moms and sisters who had no interest in comics but were tagging along for the trip.

A few years ago I found myself in possession of a pile of scrap wood and some free time so I made some Easter yard art.  People said they were cute, but looking back I find them kind of creepy looking.  Which is a little funny considering all the other stuff I draw.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Queen of the Apes

I was inspired by some other fantasy painting of a barbarian queen on a throne with henchmen all around her so I based this picture on that.  It's charcoal on Bristol board which was an interesting departure and not entirely a good idea.   I did it because I was losing confidence in the job I was doing with pen and ink.  I hadn't really done professional illustration in years especially not inking.  It was hard to keep the darks looking really dark because the charcoal wouldn't sink in to the surface.  I think I also used some white paint to pull up the highlights in the end.  Ultimately I wish I'd just used some of my wooden panes and painted the whole project in black and white paint since I'm comfortable with paint and not with pen and ink.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

7th Sea Pirate Roleplaying Game Illustrations 4

The idea of silhouettes layered over each other to create a sense of visual depth was something Burne Hogarth wrote about in his book "Dynamic Light and Shade".  He used this principle extensively in his work on the Tarzan newspaper comic strip which of course was printed very small in stark black and white.  I used the idea much less effectively by using gray tones because I assumed the work would be printed larger and therefore more easily visible.  I may go back and re-work a lot of these to make them stronger. even thought they may not be used again.

The figure was posed by me and the costume was a hodgepodge of movie stills and Gilbert and Sullivan stage photos.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Monkey always Gets the Girl

From the Mongoni Island book.
There's a scene where a pirate is abducted by apes.  In the game it could be any member of the party male or female, but I couldn't resist the temptation to make her female since the image of a monster carrying a girl is such a classic trope of old science fiction and fantasy illustration.  We've seen it in King Kong, Robbie the Robot, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and many other classics.  Possibly a little sexist of me to perpetuate that, but I just love that kind of thing.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Arizona Grass Dragon

   The Arizona Grass Dragon is similar to the Prairie Dragon only the legs are a little bigger. Prairie dragons have those tiny legs which allow them to swim through the grass like a snake.
   It's just one more of those things you hardly ever see anymore not that they ever were all that easy to spot. As big as they were they could still glide among the weeds and bushes without hardly making a sound until they're sliding right past you. You just look down by your feet and there he is. Man I tell you I like to have jumped clean out of my skin! Then he turns his head and gives me a slight nod as if to say "Yeah I could've eaten you anytime I wanted to, but not today." And he slides away in a whisper of dry grass.
   Try to follow him and he's nowhere to be seen.
I tried once. Just as he slithered around a clump of bushes I ran to see where he'd gone and there was nothing. So I turned back the way I'd come and there he was hanging from a tree branch nose to nose with me. His mouth opened and he gave a hiss that startled me backwards ass over elbows. And I swore right there to stay out of his business from then on if he let me go.
   Some folks say I've got a fanciful imagination. "Gil" they say, "This all crazy talk! Dragons are just reptiles, they got no intelligence to make bargains with little boys."
   But you can say what you like, I know what I saw.

Friday, March 31, 2017

7th Sea, Pirate Roleplaying Game Illustrations 2

I did this front-piece for the book after seeing a similar thing by N.C. Wyeth for Robinson Crusoe.
Nobody illustrated pirate stories better than N.C. Wyeth so I looked at a lot of his work before starting on this project.
Here's the N.C. Wyeth piece that inspired my piece.  There will be someone telling me that I copied but I have no such misgivings.  I suppose it depends on what aspect of the image you're focused on.  It's a different ship, different water, different ribbon, different font, different colors, but if  'ship-and-ribbon' make up the totality of original design then one could still say it's a copy from a certain point of view.

If I seem defensive it's for good reason.  The business of fantasy illustration is filled with copiers and ten times as many accusers and a hundred times as many people who can't tell the difference and just go along with what the last guy said.  This can put a good many of us on the defensive in any case and then I go and do a project like this which skirts the line a little closer than usual as I'll show you over the next few days.
Like I said in my video I was very pressed for time and not feeling well at all.  Because of this I decided to let some of my artistic heroes give me a leg up for once.
 I've spent thousands of dollars over the years on fantasy art books, art instruction books and art reference photography books.  Some of those books are my prize possessions, many were a waste of money.  None of them could be said to have paid for themselves until now.
Now all these things are going to earn their keep and help me out a little in ways like this.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

7th Sea, Pirate Roleplaying Game Illustrations

Something I did some work on recently was illustrations for a fantasy role-playing game called Mongoni Island a 7th Sea Adventure.  7th Sea is a pirate themed game.
For the next couple weeks I'll be sharing art from the book along with some insights into my methods and inspirations.  I hope you will enjoy it.

This was the painting used for the front cover.  a similar drawing was also used for an interior illustration.

Here is a little video I made for my Patreon page that explains what I was doing and how I came to be involved.  One really cool thing about the video is that you get to see me almost faint towards the end.  Actually you probably couldn't tell but there's a long pause in my speech and I look a little confused and repeat myself.  I'd been really sick and never knew how physically demanding it is to make a video.


If you'd like to support my Patreon page for a mere dollar (and who wouldn't?) you can do so here:

Gilead's Patreon Site

You will have access to many more videos and to art that no one other than my patrons can see, plus sneak peeks at projects such as this one before the rest of the public can see them.

You could also buy this painting and many others for half price.
This Painting is Oil on board 20" X 24" $200. to the public $100. to my Patreon supporters.  Plus shipping.

Here's a link to the book.  It's digital only for the moment.  Plans for a hard copy are in the works.

The Book