Fantasy Art

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gilead's Goblinz

Speaking of goblins; I've drawn these little goblin guys for years, decades actually.  They used to come out from behind that door in my basement and make a mess for which I was always unjustly blamed.
But anyways a couple years ago I got the idea to make a coloring book full of pictures of my little goblins.  I'll probably tell that story in detail later, but it was a huge success and you can get your very own Gilead's Goblinz Coloring Books by searching "Gilead's Goblinz" on

You might recognize three of the goblins in the book as being the same guys you see here in this painting.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Minnions

I thought the "minions" suggestion sounded like a fun idea in fact I liked it so much that I suddenly wanted to make a painting of it.  So I designed these goblins to hang out with the "queen".

 I drew them on separate paper but was careful to make them to scale with the queen so I could trace them all onto the same canvas together later.

Now she's not just the queen, she's the "Goblin Queen".

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Queen

That evening I added some jewelry and hair to the girl and posted the new drawing the next day.  Someone said "she looks like a queen"
Then someone else said "Yes she needs minions!"
...Hmmm cool idea...

The Beginnings of Fantasy Life

My favorite activity in the world is life drawing.  I'm part of an open session group that meets every Saturday and I just love it.
Other members have become some of my best friends and most constant social group.  It gets me out of the house and talking to other people which is important, because being an artist is ultimately a solitary profession.
Not to mention of course the immeasurable value of practicing drawing the human form.

Life drawing is an exercise much like working out at the gym or practicing with your band.
It's not really about the drawings that you end up with, it's about the skills you end up with.

That being said you Do end up with a big old stack of drawings after a while and start to wonder what to do with them.
They're usually on newsprint which doesn't last like other paper and there's probably not much of a market for selling the sketches.
At this point the practice aspect is over so what is the sketch good for?

My answer to that question came a couple years ago I hit on the idea of re-using my old sketches for a different kind of practice.  I like drawing fantasy art especially designing fantasy costumes, weapons, creatures and locations.  So I decided to use my old figure studies as a base for my fantasy art.  This is fantasy art drawn from life and thus the expression "Fantasy Life" was born.

So let's get into it shall we?
This is the initial sketch that I brought home from class.  The girl and the couch are fairly accurately drawn  and I posted my result on my Facebook.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Beyond the Door

I met my destiny when I was seven years old. 
Oh I was an artist before then.  I remember my parents telling stories of me drawing complex pictures at an age when other kids were just scribbling. 
But I wasn’t a Fantasy artist before I turned seven.  It was at age seven when my parents moved into an old Victorian house in Prescott Arizona.  Not one of the big mansions on the rich end of the street you understand, this was a little bungalow on the poor end of the street, but still it was a great little place and it loved it there.

The house had a basement which was dark and damp and spooky as basements are obliged to be.  And at the back of the basement was an old brick wall, and high up on the wall was a small, but heavy wooden door with rusty hinges that squeaked when the door was opened. 
Of course no one in their right mind would open a door like that, but when you’re seven and you’re in the basement alone and there’s only one light bulb hanging from the ceiling throwing creepy shadows everywhere, and you’re looking at the door, you can hear someone knocking softly from the inside, and I could hear voices whispering to me “Gil, let us out.  Open the door and let us out.”

So naturally I opened the door!  

And the room flooded with sunlight, and beyond the door were fields of green grass and flowers with unicorns and fairies dancing and capering about…

  But not always.
Sometimes it opened to a darker place where dead things dragged themselves across the floor with fingernails as long as knives.

Other times it took me to a distant planet with spaceships and robots, or a castle with knights and dragons and damsels in distress.

(Over the years the damsels played an increasingly prominent role as they became increasingly dis-dressed.)

Of course any time my dad opened the door it just led to a crawlspace where we could work on the rusty, old plumbing that was in constant need of repair.   But even then there were centipedes as long as your arm.  It was always an adventure beyond the door.

Sometimes at night the door would open all on its own, and things would climb the stairs, and stand at the foot of my bed watching me, waiting for me to quit pretending I was asleep.

They all wanted the same thing from me: the dark things and the unicorns, the knights and maidens, they all said the same thing; “Gil!  Draw me Gil.  Draw me before you forget, don't let the memory fade, Get your sketchbook out and draw me.”  And I did.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the old house, but it doesn’t matter because when I left I took the door with me.

And sadly for a while I did forget.  As I grew older I had lots of jobs and most of them were boring and I forgot about the door and all the people and places beyond it.
It’s been a long time. 
Too long. 
The seven year old boy is in his fifties.  
So much has changed.
But we’re here now; we’re back, standing in front of the old door, sketchbook in hand.
Where do you think it will take us today?
It’s time to open it and find out.
Are you coming?