Fantasy Art

Fantasy Art
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Grabapple Trees

Somewheres there's a kind of mantis bug what looks like a pertty flower and then grabs bees what comes near it. The Venus Fly Trap lures critters with a scent and then snaps shut on 'em like a miniature bear trap.
In round my hometown there was the Grabapple tree. At night they crawl about like a 'noctopus on their root-like legs and plant 'emselves in the yard of some home what never had an apple tree before. It took a right sucker to fall for that one, but then the world's full a suckers aint it?
Little Timmy Wilkinson disappeared one day after telling his mom he was gonna go pick apples on Henderson's Corner. The neighborhood got all up in a hurly-burly and even called the police who went door to door and looked sternly at any strangers an' suspicious looking individuals.
No one would listen to me when I told 'em there weren't no apple trees on Henderson's Corner. There wasn't neither I checked, but it'd already slithered down the bank into Bosky Creek where I'd seen it before. So I took a gas can and a book of matches down to the creek and standing up on the bank I sloshed gasoline on the grabapple and said "Let 'im go!"
I never knew if it understood me or if the gas made it sick, but either way it gives me a resentful look and spits up ol' Timmy like a hairball all covered in sticky goo. Folks said later he was "found in a tree" which is true enough I suppose. Timmy grew up fine, but couldn't never stand the thought of apples after that.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Oh Deer!

I spent a goodly bit of my youth hiking in the woods and hills around Prescott where I grew up. Most times it was just peaceful if a bit lonesome. Some days you'd meet other folks or see some wildlife or other.
One day I heard flute music playing in the distance which was peculiar. I crept up to peek between the branches and see who was playing. And there she was, delicate as a flower, sitting alone in the tall grass naked as far as I could see.
I couldn't resist taking a step closer for a better look when a twig snapped beneath my boot.
Up she jumps on four hoofed feet an' bounds away among the pines. As I watched her hinde end bouncing among the boles I tell you I could not have been more shocked. You never see them this far south in the Spring.

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.