New Storm Chase cover under construction

The old Storm Chase cover is pretty vanilla. So I’m trying to make a cover with a theme I can do for a series.

I figure that since the story is pretty much over the top, the cover should be over the top, too.


Isn’t it nuts? It’s not done yet–I haven’t painted the highlights, and the fire and lightning are just scribbles to figure out composition–but I like the way it’s going.

Any suggestions? Better font? I’m using this particular stock because it was free for commercial use. 🙂

Sketches and artwork

I’ve been working on some art commissions lately. I thought it’d be fun to show the one I finished last week.

First off, my commissioner asked for a scene from one of her fanfics, where a guy finds baby Sonic lost in a snowstorm. So I did some thumbnail sketches of how this might look as a pic.


She liked the one with the guy holding up the lantern, so I sketched it out in a larger size.


When she approved that, I colored it. I did the background first, working off a spiffy picture of some mountains in the Swiss Alps somewhere.


It’s supposed to be a very cold, sad sort of picture, with muted warmth from baby Sonic in the foreground and more warmth from the guy in the background, with the lantern.

Also, snowflakes are really fun to do. These were just a fat airbrush set to a really big size, so the dots were a couple pixels wide. Most are dark blue and some are lighter, right around the light source.

I’ll show off my second commission once I get it finished.

Fun landscape

One of my relatives posted a bunch of pretty fall landscape pictures. This one caught my eye, for some reason. Maybe it’s the fence.

A while back, James Gurney did a workshop where people were to go out, take a picture of some spot in their town, then work from that photo and a model of a dinosaur, and paint the dinosaur into their town. The idea has intrigued me, and I decided to try that.

So I busted out one of the few interesting dragon models I happen to have around here. Changed it a bit, of course, since it’s a copyrighted design. All I need is the lighting on it, anyway.

Landscapes are a lot more interesting when stuff is happening in them. 🙂

Thoughtful Friday

Been thinking about lots of stuff lately. Like Nanowrimo and what I’m going to write for it. I’m thinking of a zombie story.

When we visited Arizona, I studied the colors very closely. The Sonoran desert is highly colored. You always see deserts on TV as being all one color–brown, maybe, or yellow. The Sonoran desert is all primary colors, assuming your palette is the rebel colors of red, blue and green. 🙂

Trying to get back into the swing of things. I should be writing or drawing or something else productive. Instead, I’ve been building a series of networked cities in Sim City 4. That’s constructive, right?

Two commissions

Been working on two commissions. First, the dragon. I made some clean fill-ins of the main color masses, then added some basic shading. And also a background of a park. Because for some reason this is happening in a park in my mind.

Also worked on another commission, this one of a scene from an audio fanfic.

I love drawing the Sonic characters beating each other up. The trouble is, I have to bust out my Sonic action figures to see what they look like from such odd angles. Then I have to find pose reference.

So that’s what’s been going down.

Time dragon sketch refining

I’m trying to get back into the groove of things after loafing for a solid week. It’s hard to cudgel my brain into work mode.

Anyway, I refined this sketch and slapped a rough color layer on it.

It still amuses me very much. My commissioner graciously agreed to let me keep the Doctor in there, so I’ve been staring at Matt Smith’s weird face. I want to go back and watch all of seasons 5 and 6 now.

Lighthouse progress

I’ve been working on this in short snippits of time. Here’s how it looks so far:

The lighthouse’s stripes aren’t working for me. I think it’ll have to go pure white. Some of my rocks are too uniform (you can count them, stack of five, stack of five, stack of five). So I need to break those up a bit more. But you can see the values coming up from the deep darks I started with. The darks reinforce the drawing, while the lights carry the color. It’s one of those quotes up there in the widget.

I think the guy and the dragon might be a little too understated. My thought was that the dragon is more of a sea-dragon type, with big fins, and he’s waiting for a fish for his dinner. But maybe I should make him bigger and more European. I don’t know. I like smaller, more approachable dragons.

Lighthouse color blocking

I tinkered with colors and mood for my Kinkade-copycat pic.

Here’s a sort of sky painted in. I changed my mind halfway through, which is why it’s so many colors. Still working on that. The foreground is just all the dark colors that will give structure to the light colors later.

Here’s my main references:

A real lighthouse on the sort of cliff I’m trying to draw. Notice how the rocks are all worn into triangles. That’s why I’ve got so many triangles/pyramids in mine up there.

And here’s the Kinkade:

Lots of trees, a picturesque cottage (nowhere do I find real lighthouses with picturesque cottages attached to them), and a light in every window. One thing I notice with Kinkade’s paintings is his expert use of neutrals. You can’t have light without dark to set it off, right? His darks are very gray to set off the lights.

Of course, that’s also just good color management. So this is a fun exercise for me. I’m having a nice refresher course on painting and color theory. Time to break out Gurney’s Color and Light again …

Sonic and Blaze color progress

I fooled with the colors and background tonight, and this is how it looks so far. I’m just messing with blocking in the colors and getting stuff the proper contrast. I don’t like the color of the wheel back there. I think I’m going to go more of a purple instead of the red-orange.

Also, see those clover-leaf holes in the wall behind them? Those are a PAIN. I just can’t get them looking right. They might just have to be round holes.

Otherwise, the only thing with shading is the sky. It was too bright for a while, and the wheel disappeared into it, contrast-wise. So I darkened it down. I might have to cheat on the wheel a bit. We’ll see.

Walpa Gorge speedpaint

Just a speedpaint landscape tonight. I need to get back into the swing of painting regularly. This is Walpa Gorge, Australia, painted from this reference. I painted it in a high key, meaning lots of light colors and not many dark ones. It makes the shadows on the cliffs and on the path really pop out, doesn’t it?

I also kept in mind that “Shadows are not the same color, only darker. They are a different color.” So, reddish brown local color, and purple/blue shadows.