Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas Everybody!

Wishing a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Everyone!

Here is a backdrop I was volunteered to paint for my kids school Christmas Fair. It was displayed behind Santa when the little ones went to visit him in his grotto. It was fun to do but I had little time to do it due to other commitments.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Tha Work Thang #18: Skeletons and Radicals.

Just a quick update on what I have been up to. Below is the skeletal cyclops for D&D miniatures.
This guy turned out pretty nifty if you ask me, good job the sculptor! I never know why the sculptor isn't credited anywhere?

I also have a few pieces in "The Radicals Handbook" a Warhammer 40k Dark Heresy book published by Fantasy Flight Games.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Da Life Ting #10: Cobalt Troll

So, following hot on the heels of the silver dragon, here is my next foray into the world of sculpting. I wanted to do a monster this time and fished about for some things I could use as a base.

I found a cap for washing liquid which had a good shape for a neck and shoulders. To this I attached a polystyrene ball, ( I found these in the local craft shop and thought they would be good to model heads around.) I used a plastic lolly stick held on by a lump of super sculpey to hold the head in place. You can see these stages in the process shots.

I had no idea how this would all react in the oven, I was hoping that once covered in the clay and packing the inside of the model with aluminium foil would do the trick.
The monster evolved quite organically, I just went with what seemed troll like to me.

When he was sculpted I took him off to the oven. All was ok, no noxious fumes or anything. However, the polystyrene ball had completely vanished, leaving a hollow head. At least I could also dispense with the lolly stick now.
Onto painting, I was originally going for more of a stone colour for him, but quite liked the blue. I decided to name him a Cobalt troll because of the blue colour. So, there you have it...The Cobalt Troll!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Da Life Ting #9: Silver Dragon Update.

So here is the Silver Dragon after painting so far. I used mostly metallic acrylic paints on him.
It's nearly at the stage I envisioned him in my head.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Da Life Ting #8: Sculpting a Silver Dragon

This weekend I eventually got to try something that I have been wanting to do for a very long time....having a go at sculpting my own figures. Almost a year ago to this very day I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mr. Sean Green, sculptor extraordinaire at Game'08 in Manchester. I saw at first hand his fantastic models and he gave me a few great tips on modelling. Anyway, this week I bought some SuperSculpey and decided to give it a go.

Without giving it too much thought I decided to do a Silver dragons head and dived straight in, I scrunched up some silver foil into a rough dragons head and neck shape and started applying the sculpey clay on top. I got to the stage seen in the first two pictures and left it there for the night.

The next morning I was faced with the problem of the crests on the dragons head, neck and cheeks. I decided to use a card base, which i would then cover in sculpey. I had no idea if this would work or would even survive being baked in the oven.

But, eager to crack on, I threw caution to the wind and went ahead with the modelling.

I bulked up his rather skinny neck, worked on the horns, started applying ridges to the neck piece, inserted small ballbearings as eyes.

Next, I added on the cheek crests that I had sculpted seperately and went about applying all the fun detail, like eyelids and pock marks and the scales ( I rather rushed the scales, but was enjoying myself so much I just wanted to get him baked and painted up!) So below is how I decided he was finished, I thought it was pretty cool for a first go and can't wait to try another one (maybe a Red Dragon next time.)

There are plenty of things I would take more time over next time, the scales, the thickness of the neck spikes for example. With trepidation I put him in the oven and hoped for the best, and lo and behold he came out fine. Nothing broke off or burned, so well happy.

I will post again to show how he came out after being painted, and I will see if I can mount him on a little stand for presentation.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Tha Work Thang #17: Savage Encounters Miniatures

Wizards of the Coast have started officially previewing miniatures from the upcoming "Savage Encounters" set. Three of the minis I concepted have been featured so far, first up the Grey Slaad. I like this little fella, he captures the artwork from the monster manual nicely. Next up the Death Giant:
And the Black Slaad:

Below is some of the concept artwork I submitted for each of the pieces:

Images are copyright Wizards of the Coast 2009.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Tha Work Thang #16: Rogue Trader.

I am currently working on some starship designs for an upcoming Rogue Trader supplement. The core Rogue Trader game book has recently been released by Fantasy Flight Games so I can show you a few of the pieces I did for this book. These are all item illustrations showing some of the ephemera you can equip your Rogue Trader characters with.

Digital Weapons.

Captains Baton.

Mirror Shield. Mechanicus Axe.

All Images are copyright Games Workshop 2009.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Da Life Ting #7: The Rise of the Machines!!

I have a love hate relationship with machinery, I hate it and it loves to make my life a misery.
Recently our boiler gave up the ghost and we had to fork out for a new one (very expensive...ouch!), but this was the last in a line of machines that mutinied and tried to bring me down.
Over the last few weeks I have had to replace two printers (don't get me started on the lousy service I got from PC world, whom I will now avoid like the plague!), a monitor and a graphics tablet. The fridge is struggling and collecting water, tears trickling down its white goodly face. The bearings on the tumbledryer are voicing their discomfort, a nagging whine that pleads "Fix me." The car decided that it would bleed its power steering fluid all over the road and render itself inoperable just last week. This very machine that I type these humble words on splutters and coughs itself to life every morning, and I feel will soon join its brethren in the great scrapyard in the sky.
What I want is ROBUSTNESS! RELIABILITY! VALUE FOR MONEY! what I get is built in obsolescence, the shrugging shoulders of indifference, the overpriced greed of the corporate economy. Enough I say, stand up and be counted you manufacturers of machines, for one day they will rise and your greed will be your undoing! Mwa hahahaha.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Tha Work Thang #15: Hero's Handbook Tieflings

Goodman Games has just released "Hero's Handbook Tieflings" and here are four images from the book representing the 'Legacies' that can affect a tieflings beliefs and personality. Avarice.



All images are copyright Goodman Games 2009.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Tha Work Thang#14: Halfling Armour and Weapons.

Here are some pieces of concept art I did for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Ed. The halflings backstory was tied into their love of water and nature and their clothing and weaponry was to reflect this.
Lots of interwoven leather strips and themes of fish, birds, animals and water can be found in their look.

All images are copyright 2009 Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Da Life Ting #6: Ooh, is it that time already?

Apologies folks for the lack of recent activity but the summer holidays have intervened and three expectant young children have been clamouring to be entertained. So, returning from our adventures in North Wales it is back to business.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Tha Work Thang #13: Seekers of the Ashen Crown

Here we have three images produced for "Seekers of the Ashen Crown." An Eberron adventure produced by Wizards of the Coast. The images here are the "Kech Volaar" a tribe of goblins, "Fiendish Passage" and "Hive Foundation".

Images are © 2009 Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Tha Work Thang #12 : GHOULS!!!!

A selection of Ghoulish delights for you today. These flesh eating fiends were all done for Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. Above are some Plaguetouched ghouls emerging from the ruins of Starmantle.
Next up are two images from the Monster Manual, a standard ghoul and his nastier kin, an abyssal ghoul.

Lastly, we have some concept drawings for the ghoul and a miniature turnaround for the Ravenous Ghoul from the D&D miniatures range.

All images are © 2009 Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Tha Work Thang #11: Crime Pays

Here is another piece of cover art for Goodman Games for a book about rogues called "Crime Pays." The idea behind the cover was to represent a half orc crime lord reminiscent of the Godfather.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Da Life Ting #5: "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to..."

Hit the big 40 today! Spent a lovely day with the family. Eaten too much chinese and birthday cake though!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Tha Work Thang #10: From here to there

Just noticed that Goodman Games have put up the cover for "From Here to There", which I had the pleasure of painting. It's the first time I have seen it with the trade dress.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Tha Work Thang #9: "Keeping an eye out": Concepting the Cyclops.

Way back in July 2006 Stacy Longstreet, then Art Director at Wizards of the Coast, contacted me about designing a Cyclops for the, as then unannounced, 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. The art description asked for a design “based upon the traditional Cyclops (one-eyed monster) but altered slightly to create a version that is unique to D&D. The idea is to have a design that we can "own" that can be identified as the D&D Cyclops. He should be more sophisticated than an ogre. Wear descent metal armour, chainmail or scale mail and carry a real weapon hammer or axe, not a club. It will be related to the Formorians. (MM II pg 105 BUT we are going to make even him look a bit more intelligent.) “The Cyclopes were almost like human beings but of a gigantic size and with only one eye in the middle of their heads."
The first thing I thought I should concentrate on was the head. Getting the right look for the eye and determining the overall head shape. What should I go for? Something like the ‘Harryhausen’ look or more alien? So I came up with a selection of head designs (FIG 1)and sent them in for feedback

The initial feedback on these was, “We like F and would like to see a few more similar to that one. Make the eye slightly larger. No horn. No hair. Try maybe 4 ears, possibly not all the same size? Work with the head shape, not ridges like in H, but maybe lumpier or a more uniquely shaped back side of the head? We like the nose on F - does it have 2 or 4 nostrils? can't tell.

Once we have chose one, it will need to have a long spear being held in both hands above his head, pointed horizontally and he should be wearing a breastplate (but the arms are bare) and a pleated kilt (skirt) and boots.”
I went away and worked up a few more head designs, looking at dinosaur heads for inspiration like the pachycephalosaurus. I also sent in a couple of alternate poses (FIG.2 & FIG. 3) The first pass at a final figure, in the pose and armour required was FIG. 4

An additional idea was put forward at this point." What does the Cyclops look like if you make his eye run vertically instead of horizontally? Rotate it 90 degrees. and let's look at it....” So I came up with these concepts, including a more ceratopsian head shape. (FIG. 5) :

Wizards took a look and suggested the following changes (FIG. 6), and also stated, “Clothing and weapon for this creature should look a bit crude and other worldly. welded together bits of metal and chains torn or poorly stitched together leather/cloth.”

With this in mind I reworked the final version (FIG. 7)

Feedback at this stage requested a few more changes.
“There have been some changes and we'd like one more pass at the Cyclops.Changes we'd like to see:Body proportions altered a bit. Make the legs a bit longer not so stubby incomparison to the rest of the body. He should look more like a towering Gianttype.The armour seems a bit too Roman Gladiator,should be more primitive.Adjust the cheekbones a little so it does not look so cat-like.Pose is still good.”
I went back and adjusted the figure accordingly to reach the version seen in FIG. 8
At this point the figure was approved, the look of the 4th ED. Cyclops was decided and I could go on to draw the back and side views for the miniature design. (FIG. 9) This miniature was unveiled in the ‘Desert of Desolation’ set of D&D miniatures.

Since then I have had the pleasure of doing two more Cyclopes for the miniature range. (FIG 10 & 11.)

I am pleased that they have a consistent look (FIG 12.) about them. It was a great privilege to be able to concept these pieces and hopefully I’ve created a look which is unique to D&D.