Zel’s portrait


Well, I’m still plugging away at “Fabelwald Book II: Dandle & Lion”, which is why I’ve completely ignored this blog.  Actually, I’m reworking Book I as well a little bit. I have settled on a consistent cover layout for the series, so will reissue “Mythic Forest” with a new cover (the first design I had painted, but then not used) AND inserting a handful of character portraits AND adding a very short chapter at the end to allow for ‘loose ends’ to be picked up in future novels.

The portrait here is a 4×6 digital paint of the main character (Zel, aka Rapunzel) for Book I.  The following pics show the process… I sketched directly into the computer, then messed around until I came up with something that looks like stone for her window frame (on a separate layer).  On a third layer I underpainted the sketch with basic blobs of light and shadow.  I then duplicated the sketch layer (to save a clean copy) and merged it with the light/shadow layer… this allowed me to smudge and paint around the sketch, instead of having to essentially redo the sketch in a new layer of paint.  Finally came the long process of detailing and refining…. eventually getting down to adding individual strands of fly-away hair, freckles, birthmarks, etc.

I also tried adding a little bit of blur as you get towards the edges of the pic, and I kind of like the looseness of those areas.  The problem I keep running into is that I zoom in too much to smooth out the fine areas of color change on the face, which looks great zoomed in, but then when I zoom out to the “actual size” the paint looks strange… Its obvious there’s too much drawn in detail and there is a sort of harshness about the whole thing.  I need someone to stand behind me and slap me upside the head when I press the zoom button!

Sticking to a “rougher” paint will likely not only look nicer (more like oil paint) and save me hours of work no one can see.  Well, actually, the detail DOES allow me to print much larger sized work and even print out zoomed-in, individual areas… but really, unless by some miracle these drawings go viral and people start demanding poster versions, I’ll never use that option.

So, its back to having someone just slap me upside the head.

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Book Cover 1

cover 1

Boy, its been a while….

Where have I been the last 3 months?

Let’s see… in Feb. I had some water leaks in the basement, and my free time was eaten by cleaning, tossing damaged stuff, knocking holes in drywall to find the cracks, having them repaired…

March I went to Puerto Rico during spring break week with the wife and kids, it was very nice…

April was Easter stuff at work, doing some big yard work, etc

May, just taking it easy.

number of drawings made: ZERO

I did scribble once or twice, and worked on novel covers (one drawing is at perhaps 40% complete) the other is shown here, perhaps 95% complete (I want to redo her face and punch up the lighting).

What novels you ask?

Last year I toyed with writing a fantasy story to go along with a dozen or so drawings, and actually had a rough outline and perhaps 10 drawings completed or thumb nailed… well, that project sat on the shelf until I finally committed to doing something about it.  I began writing months ago, and because I nit pick, looked at a chapter and thought ‘that needs some explaining’ so I wrote some more… and then that needed explaining, so I wrote some more.

Fast forward to today, the story has stretched to three books between 200 to 300 pages each.  Needless to say I gave up on illustrating it!  The first book will be perhaps 200 pages or so, introducing the “world” and the background of the parents of Dandle and Lion (the kids who are the subject of some earlier drawings posted, which my own kids modeled for).  Book 2 will deal with their preteens, book 3 with their late teens, and then (hopefully) more illustrated works will lead into their adulthood (standard fantasy art).

I am pretty close to finishing the first book, I have maybe twenty pages  I want to add at some parts that I have “yada-yada’d”… then its going thru the draft to punch up word choices, etc.


Its been quite an educational experience working on this, but I will go into the details in a later post…

till then…………..

Circe the Witch


Hurray I finished!

Circe has been sitting on the back burner for some time now, as I was a little burned out due to the research and experimentation put into painting her (see previous WIPs).  Finally I decided it was time for another go, as I am in between drawings… developing ideas for another Norske Folk or Femme Fatale series pic (Circe is FF#2, Morgana is FF#1). Continue reading

Ballerina (revised)

The first time I posted this, I said i was not happy with the color, and would look at playing with color settings or overlaying a “screen” of color some other time as it would likely take a long time. As it turns out, it took about five minutes to try a couple of color overlays (I went with a sort of honey mustard) and then set the lightness and saturation of all the blue colors almost all the way down.  Life was so much easier drawing only in black and white!