Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cards Signed By Mail and Artist Proofs

Update June 2016: Artist Proof info added!

Artist Proofs:
I am no longer offering a shopping cart-style method of buying whiteback cards, but I do have a list which will live here. I'll update it at that link, so if you download a fresh copy, it's always the lastest. Instructions in the PDF here!

Card Signings:

I haven't been doing many in-person events the past few years, but I am signing by mail. I am currently charging $1 $.50 per card you want signed, with no limit. If it's worth your money to have me sign as many cards as you feel like sending, it will be worth my time to sign them and return them promptly.

USA residents: getting just a few cards signed?
You must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage, otherwise your package will sit in the bin of forgotten cards and extra earbuds that came with various electronics, until that issue is rectified. Eventually, those may be tossed in the trash. I will sign your cards, put the package in the mailbox and it will go where you address it, provided there is enough postage to get it there. You're paying, so return is prompt.

I am sorry, but this few-cards method is only for the USA. However:

USA only: at $20 or more
If you s(p)end more than this minimum, then I will cover your postage for you. I will reuse your packaging and ship your cards home with delivery confirmation.

International: $50 minimum
For international requests, I have a minimum of $50 purchase. I will reuse your packaging and ship your cards home, airmail. I will pay for return shipping.

Why so much more for international? Because I have to go to my post office to send them, which means going there, standing in line, filling out customs forms, waiting for the postal employees to enter the info manually into their systems, and also I'm paying shipping, which can be very difficult to estimate.

Extra notes:
If you can't make the minimums, gather up cards from friends and send together. Still can't quite make the minimum internationally? Well you can just pay the extra to qualify. Either form of return mail will generate a receipt that the package was sent. I will not be responsible if the package is lost in the mail for whatever reason, but I'll guarantee that they shipped. If you require that your return package be insured (USA), then you still have to include an appropriately-done SASE including insurance. Why? Because if the package is lost, I don't want to have to go through insurance claims.

Send payment first, via PayPal at the links below. When payment is received, you'll receive the mailing address. Please do your fellow players a favor and don't post the address online--if people start sending me cards without following these directions, their cards will go in the Bin of Earbuds. Maybe the trash, eventually.

Once you're ready, click here, then increase to the number of cards you want signed, and pay. Include a printed receipt with your cards so I remember you paid.

You get signed cards and fund my coffee habit, ensuring new art gets made. Smiles for all.

Get your cards signed!

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Today's release over at Every Day Original is the third in a series that includes Decidua and Arctis. One piece remains in this little series, of course, and I'm planning on having that ready for June's release.

"Chrysaline" 6x8" oil on canvas panel
Available at Every Day Original

These are small paintings, probably a size I won't be working at much more for my Imaginative Realism pieces, but they've been fun. In each case, I've dived in without a lot of pre-work--even the drawing is done straight on the white board. A lot of decisions were made on the fly in all three of these. I went in with a concept and some model ref, and from there it's been very seat-of-the-pants.

A lot of my EDO pieces have this in common: there is a high amount of experimentation involved in what I do there. I try out concepts, do little one-off things, and so on.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Dragon's Descent

Working on Laurice Molinari's series The Ether was a lot of fun, coming as it did at the beginning of the year over the course of three years. The series varied a bit in its execution each year. Where the first book had me reading a completed manuscript and concepting the illustration, the second and third book had to be painted before the final manuscript was in, in both cases. That meant getting a brief for the type of scene or image they wanted to see, which is a lot more challenging.

For the third book, we had the title and I was given the task of showing Vero armored up and ready to do battle. That's about it.

My initial sketches included a couple of concepts that I really pushed for, that were a bit more symbolic than literal, in that since we didn't have any text to go on, I intended to portray Vero armored, but with the enemy clearly indicated as wanting to destroy him. There were also a couple of others that featured the dragon in one manner or other.

A few of my unused concepts, digital over pencil

It took an awful lot of back-and-forthing on this piece for some reason, despite having numerous solutions that worked well. In the end we settled on one and I got to work.

I think by the time I got the go-ahead on the final, the actual deadline had passed. Not my fault! My sketches were in on time but there were very long stretches waiting on approvals, tweaks, new concepts, approvals. When it came time to go it was basically a matter of needing it yesterday. I got to work, beginning with an acrylic underpainting and then switching to oils.

I probably will never get to reading the other two books in the series, unfortunately, but I hope the direction I got does the stories justice. It is a shame I wasn't able to read the stories, as interpretation is a large part of what an illustrator can bring to the table. It's not that Art Directors and Editors have bad ideas necessarily (though sometimes, they really do), it's just that I think you tend to get the best from an illustrator when they are able to bring their whole creative selves to a project.

In any case, this series is wrapped up as far as I know, and it was good fun. The paintings, too, have been well received and all three covers sold fairly quickly.

"The Dragon's Descent" 12x16" oil over acrylic on heavy watercolor paper

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Still and Not-So-Still Lives

I've greatly enjoyed painting still life paintings the past couple of years, and have endeavored to make them a more regular part of my work. They are great as experiment labs and also low-commitment ways to explore lots of subjects. Lots of happy accidents can happen, they also result in art that is a bit affordable, at least when contrasted with more full-sized, fully-realized studio paintings.

Traditionally, the subject matter for still life paintings tended to revolve around common objects found in the pre-industrial age. Because that consisted of centuries worth of paintings, the objects portrayed in those paintings became synonymous with still life painting: flowers, food, small household objects, etc.. And since those objects still exist, they still provide good subject matter for still life paintings. For instance, my painting of mistletoe painted during the past Christmas holiday season was received well by the jurors of the Oil Painters of America, who selected it for their Annual Salon. It will thus hang and be available from May 13th, 2016 at the exhibition held at Southwest Gallery in Dallas TX.

"Come Here, You" 6x8" oils on linen
(purchase information / larger image)

But still life painting has and should continue to include new items and objects, as new items and objects are created. I'm not one who thinks the old should be abandoned, but definitely if new things come up, artists should paint them! To that end, my Hearts for Hardware series has been my contribution to the broadening of the scope of still life by including these modern objects.

"The Standard: True Colors"
8x16" oils over acrylic on canvas
(prints available)

But what of objects that aren't portrayed as being still? While any artist could observe objects in motion, and through repeated observation could try to cobble together the impression of motion, now with photography we have lots more options. By combining photographs with imagination and having the objects present to work from, there is also I guess what one might call not-still life painting.

"23d" 8x8" oil on masonite
Available through Every Day Original