Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Becca's Egypt Painting

Here's my final Egypt painting. I'm pretty happy with how this piece turned out, but this scan of it has made me realize that it's time for a new scanner (it's a little blurry in spots)! Yeesh, it's always something!

Anyway, I had fun with this one. Let me know what you think!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lis's Egypt Painting

Hi! Finished the painting. I think I'll call it "The Call of Hathor"... maybe. Titles are always difficult! I originally had white around the image and border, but it was too bright so I brought in the dark blue color on photoshop. Night paintings, especially with watercolor, can be challenging, but I think I pulled it off... The glow was achieved by missing chinese white with greens/blues/yellows, made me want to play with an opaque medium like gouache again! maybe next time...

Maybe I should send this over to Neil deGrasse Tyson who wrote Death by Black Hole. He mentioned, with annoyance, how artists always paint either a full or crescent moon. Since reading the book, I've always wanted to make him proud with a gibbous moon! Hmm... apparently he is now too famous to personally e-mail. Ah well, this is for you, Dr. Tyson!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Death King Sketch

After a long day of work even Death needs to relax.  Let me know what you think.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter: Last Flock

This is my final for my "Winter: Last Flock" piece.  I have finally finished my "Winter" series, for which I have been working on for the past year.  I am truly proud of this series and personally feel it is some of my best work thus far.  I doubt I could do something like this for any other season, I have grand feelings for autumn, but I don't think I could show 4 vastly different feelings or images to make a series.  Winter is a very unique season.  I can't quite put into words why it has inspired me to do this series, but I hope it comes across in the paintings.

Winter: Last Flock, Oil on Paper on Masonite, 27" x 9", 2010.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Becca's Egypt Sketch

Hi there! Well, it's been a while! I've been back from Egypt for a couple of weeks now, and am going through the somewhat painful process of getting back into the groove of working. This is my sketch for the Egypt-inspired piece. It's a scene of a mother and child on the banks of the Nile in Luxor. The mother is putting an amulet around the child's neck to protect him. Children were considered very precious, and often had amulets tied to their wrists and ankles as well. This child is holding a toy and is accompanied by his dog (oddly enough, modern day Egyptians tend not to have dogs as pets, but it was common in ancient times). The sketch is pretty rough right now - I pieced it together in Photoshop, and I still have a good deal of designing and refining to do, but let me know what you think so far!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Death King Thumbs

Hello everyone,

So Scott is off in Egypt, as we have said many times, and he has been doing some commissioned projects for some card companies.  So my next piece will be another personal piece for my portfolio, a  "Death King" image.  A Skeletal character with armor, more a character based image than story based.  My idea is based around this character having a nice relaxing smoke after a day of hard work.

So these are my thumbs.  I will be doing the horizontal version to make more of a card based composition.  See you in a week or so.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lis's Egypt Final Drawing

Hello! So here is my final drawing, much better than the first sketch...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lis's Egypt Sketch

So here is my idea! I already see things I want to fix... lower the frame so there is less sky, anatomical issues, make the papyrus clearer (that will really happen in paint though). I wanted to do an action scene, something that could be suitable on a book cover.

Story in brief: Some young Egyptian wealthy/princess/priestess-esque girl has been possessed/sleepwalking, hearing a goddess and heading toward some unknown destination. She's holding a sistrum, an ancient instrument typically associated with women and either the goddesses Hathor or Bastet. It's a night scene, with a boat on the nile (that she disembarked from, or perhaps someone is trying to catch up with her?), and a temple on the shore across the river. I plan on making her eyes and the sistrum glowing.

Oh... I just realized if the moon is just a sliver, as I have it here, there probably wouldnt be much moonlight. Hmmm... perhaps I should make it a full moon or even a gibbous moon, the kind artists rarely paint.

Border with egyptian motif or no? Don't have any pieces with borders, so it could be nice...

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Who's the fairest of them all?"

Hey dudes!! Yes, it has indeed been slow around here. But that is now ending! Here's my latest piece, the Evil Queen from Snow White, finished just in time for Halloween! And next week, Becca and I will be posting the sketches for our next project.

Sorry about the grainy reproduction - currently without a scanner and had to take an icky photo.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh Hallo

Hey everyone! Sorry it's been slow around here. You can blame me. I've been far away in Egypt for a while doing work for my day job. I also happened to drag Becca along with me. She's on her way back home now though, so things should get rolling around here again real soon. But for now here's some watercolor studies i've been doing while here. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Owen is Working On

Since Scott and Becca have left we haven't updated this much at all, so I thought everyone should know that Lis and I are still working on paintings.  Mine is a personal piece, the final addition to my Winter series.  This one is called Last Flock.  It's inspired by an event that is described in "Sometimes a Great Notion" by Ken Kesey.  I feel like this moment captures the start of Winter perfectly, the last leaves falling from the trees and the last flock of geese flying south.  

Once this is completed we will go back to working on fantasy stuff and posting a lot more often, but for now this is what is on my easel.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Elf Hunter (Unfinished)

What happened to the time! Ahh! 
Well, anyway, today I am off to Egypt for the next 11 weeks so I will have to put this painting on hold. I was hoping to finish this up before leaving, but another unexpected job turned up at the last minute and need to be worked on. As you can see she still needs her belt, dagger, and bow. Also, the grass at the bottom and right of the image needs to be done (would've been hard to do over the wet white dress right now anyways). So here's my image as it stands for now. The photo is kind of yellow because of my table lamps. I will see if it can fit into my travel bag, but it may have to wait until December :(. 

Friday, September 24, 2010


I just finished this today.  Although I've painted dragons before, they had never been the focus of the painting/ good.  I'm happy with the way this came out.  I hope the element of addiction comes across.  I wanted it to look like the dragon needs lightning in an unhealthy way; the old bent spears and such melted to his skin.

Recharge!, 11" x 14", Oil on Paper on Masonite, 2010.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Project: Egypt!

Since Becca and Lis's project is complete, onto the next one! However, things are gonna be a bit slow around here for a while. Becca and Scott are both leaving Monday September 27th to work for the Metropolitan Museum in Egypt at their dig site (yes we should all be jealous). Becca will return by Halloween, but Scott won't return until just before Christmas.

In honor of this Egyptian adventure, our next project will be... "Egypt!"
This is a pretty limitless project. Becca and Lis can basically do whatever they want, children's book style, but they must incorporate some research into it, whether it be for accurate costume, architecture, style, landscape, anything that has to do with Egypt.

Due-date for thumbnails will be whenever (since Becca will be fairly busy, she'll get to them when she can).
The due-date for the drawing will be Friday, November 5th.
Due-date for final painting will be Friday, November 19th.

Meanwhile, Owen and Lis will continue to work on personal projects and may post updates here.

Woo! Egypt!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Becca's Final: Taming the Battlebriar

I have to say, I had a ton of fun with this painting! Using only watercolors (no colored pencil) is still fairly new to me, and with each painting I'm getting closer to the effects that I want to achieve.

(Sidenote: The scan looks a tad pinkish to me. Does it look that way to anyone else?)

100TH POST!!!

It was a lot of hard work...

We journeyed through the dark woods of uncertainty, hand cramps, and scrutiny...
Sometimes, we REALLY needed a break...
  But in the end, we were victorious! Happy 100th post!!!

  Images from top to bottom: Owen Weber,  Rebecca Solow, Scott Murphy, Elisabeth Alba

Lis's Final: Travelers

Here is my final! I had a ton of fun with this one.
I fixed the legs of the elf a bit before going on with the paint. I tried a few new things with this piece - trying to be more atmospheric, have the background fade... Just trying to be a little more delicate and thoughtful with my watercolor, less bold colors and lines.

Anyway, elf + drake. Next, send it to the WotC art-drop email!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lightning Dragon Sketch

My thumbnail definitely changed drastically.  The lightning dragon has transformed from roaring on a mountain to charging itself in a storm.  Looking forward to getting started on this one.

Elf Hunter Drawing

Here's my final drawing for my elf hunter image. i'm looking forward to painting this one. Hopefully i'll have enough time to squeeze it in while working on a few other projects.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lis's Drawing: Travelers

So here is my final drawing on watercolor paper, ready to be painted. I combined both sketches. Made them a little more active in their step. Let me know if you see anything that needs immediate correction before I begin!! (:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Becca's D&D for Kids Sketch

Here is my drawing for the D&D Kids-themed project. I wanted to scan it in, but discovered that my rabbit had completely chewed through the USB cable on one of her recent forays into my room! 'Sigh'. So instead - a photograph.

I chose to depict a young elf and a battlebriar. OK, disclaimer, when I first discovered a description of a battlebriar, it said it was a frog-like creature. I later found out it is supposed to be more lion-like, but I loved the frog thing so I went with it. Either way, it's a creature that is at least partially made out of plants, so I've covered much of it's body with leafy scales. They also have six legs... I can already see that I'll need to give more room around those front toes. Critique away!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A quick thumbnail

So here's a small sketch for the painting I'd like to do. It's a bit more book cover-y. Been super busy lately with game related NDA's so I want to make sure I am still getting in some sample work for the book cover market. The things behind her are birds....should I do crows or doves?? haha i can't quite decide since they're pretty opposite symbolically. Any preferences?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Owen's Dragon Thumbnails





I am doing a dragon piece.  My portfolio doesn't have many monsters or made up beings so thats my next challenge.  Anyone who wants to be a fantasy illustrator needs to show that they can do a dragon.  If you can't tell 2 and 3 are of a dragon that breathes lightning instead of fire.  Number 1 is kind of a whale shark version of a dragon.  And the 4th one is pretty mundane, kind of a vignette type piece.  Let me know what you think because I kinda like them all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lis's sketch: Travelers

Travelers or Off the Beaten Track... depending on which sketch I choose. I like them both! Argh! So I think I will do another of whichever I don't choose with different characters in the future. Hmm which one for now?

I chose an elf and a horned drake. I want the drake to be fairly young looking, and I really like that sturdy squat look for the elf (even though it may not be right?). The head is a little too big on the elf so making that smaller would probably help. I could also make the elf younger to fit the body... but I'm not sure! I kind of like him being older, handsome, AND squat, haha! I guess he would be closer to a halfling... but I want the pointy ears :P. Anyway, it probably doesn't matter. There's probably some type of elf thats sturdy and squat out there.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scott and Owen's Next Piece

So Scott and I both want to do fantasy compositions (since thats pretty much what we do) for our next painting.  But our themes are vastly different, so FANTASY is our theme.

Due Dates:
Sept. 1st - Thumbnails
Sept. 10th - Sketches
Sept. 24th - Final

Scott and I have varying specifics for where our portfolios need improvement, that is why we can't really pick a theme right now.  So bare with us, we have no rules, just making good art.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Next Project: D&D for Kids

When Lis went to Gen-Con and met with Kate Irwin, an art director at Wizards of the Coast, she was introduced to the world of Dungeons and Dragons... for kids! Unfortunately the Practical Guide series was finished, so Lis and Becca have no hope of ever getting work for it. And one of the Practical artists, Beth Trott, does watercolor just like them! Curses! However, Kate mentioned that Lis should make D&D childrens book style art anyway, and send it to her via the Wizards artdrop in case any future projects under Mirrorstone or for kids were done... so here we are. The next project!

Pick a character (human, drow, dwarf, halfling, etc), give them a class (cleric, thief, paladin, etc), and have them interacting with a monster/creature (choose one from a monster manual) in some way. It should be more of a vignette with basic background, rather than a huge finished painting. Concentrate on the characters. And most importantly, keep everything 'kid-ified.'

Sketch due September 2nd. Final due September 17th.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Becca's Baba Yaga

Well, here is my Baba Yaga! Any thoughts before I pull of the tape? I had a ton of fun with this piece! This one is 100% watercolor.

Watching Over the Princess

Finished!!! As you can see, I added a little fairy to the right, closer to the bed. I'm not sure which I like better, the pencil or the colored version?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Watching Over the Princess

This is a portfolio piece I'm working on right now. Kind of an experiment, the way I'm going about it. Scanned the sketch, fixed it up digitally, added some shading to figure out the lighting... now I'm going to print it on drawing paper, do a final pencil drawing on top of it, scan it... and then color it digitally. We'll see how it turns out :P

In other news, Becca and I are plotting our next RWP project. Stay tuned for that!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Becca's Baba Yaga Sketch

At long last - here is my Baba Yaga sketch. I am pretty excited to paint it! This has been surprisingly tricky to draw. I ended up making a model of the house on chicken legs, and had all the characters on separate pieces of tracing paper (hence, the final drawing on tracing paper). Sorry the reproduction isn't great - try to disregard the shadows if you can, ack! Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ravens' Watch

Hello! Well as we're in between projects, I've been doing random personal pieces. Haven't done a good pencil drawing in a while. Thought I'd post it here!

Been getting a lot of feedback recently on my work. Everyone loves my watercolor work, but they also love my ink work. I thought pencil might be a good in-between... similar to ink but softer. I also need to build my black and white portfolio.

Anyway I was just playing around and wanted to do something that didn't take as long as a watercolor piece (:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Panticore Attack

So finally I have finished my Panticore painting.  I have retooled this piece quite a bit from it's conception, and I am quite happy with the final product.  I have only painting one other horse in my life, I think, and I really like how he came out.  This piece made me realize how I missed painting action. And blood.  Blood is fun.

Panticore Attack, 13" x 15", Oil on Paper on Masonite, 2010.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Next! RAR!

Awfully quiet 'round here! 
Anyhow, just thought i'd break the silence with a new drawing...gotta finish this one before Gencon next week...eeek! 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Averna Final

Hey guys! Here's the final for my "Averna" painting. I'm off to San Diego in one more day so time for me to start packing!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lis's Baba Yaga Final

Hey all! So Scott and I had to finish early since we're going to Comic-Con in a couple of days. We wanted our pieces for our portfolio. Here is my final!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Panticore Attack Sketch

I really liked the ideas Scott had for my piece, so I cropped in a bit and gave more perspective to the panther's wings.  Can't wait to start working on this, it's been so long since I've done a real action piece.  Thanks for all the help.

Lis's Baba Yaga drawing

Hello! So I finished my drawing (unless there are any major edits) and have transferred it to the watercolor paper. Here it is:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

OK Owen is Startin' Fresh

So this is why having this blog is great.  My drawing for my current painting was riddled with flaws, and my blog partners were nice enough to let me know what was wrong with it.  It wasn't very dynamic, didn't have enough angles and the perspective was predictable.  Although it is really tough to admit when one's composition isn't working, one has to move past it and take advantage of good constructive criticism.  I want this to be a great piece, so I have trashed the last one and am starting over.  I think this one is much better.

The panther character is attacking a flying horse and rider in mid-air.  The winged horse will have armor as will the falling rider.  Basically a Barye sculpture in the air.  What I can't quite decide on is the background color.  Green:

or Brown:

I would just like to thank my friends for letting me know when a composition isn't working, 'cause we all need to help each other out, especially in such a competitive world.  Criticizing art of any form is tough to do, it hurts people's feelings and makes them feel inadequate.  But doing it in a constructive way helps us become better artists.  I feel this is a better composition and a better use of my time.  Please let me know if I should change anything.