Monday, December 31, 2012

Wolves of Winterfell - Shaggydog

This is my second of six posts showing my series of the Direwolves from the "A Song of Ice and Fire" books.
This is Shaggydog, Rickon's wolf. He is quite a fierce protective pet, but I wanted to show him in a calmer state, wandering the snowy terrain.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wolves of Winterfell - Nymeria

This is the first of the series of Direwolves portraits from the " A Song of Ice and Fire" series of books by George R.R. Martin. These are meant to be seen as portraits of the characters but also they can be seen as just portraits of wolves, coinciding with my series of other portraits of mammals. Here you can see Nymeria with her pack roaming through the woods.
Each of these paintings are only 5" x 5".
Everyday this week I will unveil another wolf, and once that is done I will put them on my etsy page for purchase as an original or as prints.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Nisse or Glaedelig Jul 2012

This year I am fully immersed in Danish culture. Sarah and I are talking a Danish language course at NYU, we are reading all about Danes in the Xenophobes guide to Denmark, and we are planning our trip to Denmark next year. So, it only naturally feels like our Yule holiday card should be based on a Danish Christmas folklore.
The Nisse is a very small gnome-like character who tends to the farm when the farmers are asleep. But he is also very mischievous if you are not kind to him and he will upset your favorite animal or play tricks on you in the night. He is also know to bring the presents on Christmas Eve.
In Denmark, this is a very lovable character and most people decorate their trees or houses with his likeness.
The Nisse, 17" x 12", Oil on Paper on Masonite, 2012.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Etsy Shop

Owen's Etsy shop: RagnarokShop is now open! Please take a look around, we have cards and prints of all your favorite paintings!

Hope you all like it and if you want any other images for me to make prints let me know!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Amylee Painting

Craig Maher Amylee The Michael J Epstein Memorial Library

"Amylee" based on the song by The Michael J Epstein Memorial Library. Oil on board 18" x 24"

Amylee Finished Drawing

Craig Maher Amylee The Michael J Epstein Memorial Library

Posing a model and gathering reference pictures carry the image farther and suggest details. The railing came much later on and really helped frame the figure. It's also just a little more environment for the character.

Amylee Drawing

Craig Maher Amylee The Michael J Epstein Memorial Library

A larger drawing helped me define the image further and figure out what I needed from my reference.

Amylee Thumbnails 2

Craig Maher Amylee The Michael J Epstein Memorial Library

An idea came forward and I brought it through stages, trying variations and evolving the image.

Amylee Thumbnails

Craig Maher Amylee Michael J Epstein Memorial Library

I recently created an illustration for the song Amylee by my friends The Michael J Epstein Memorial Library. With the image wide open and up to me you can imagine I started with pages of pre-thumbnail sketches.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Riding Hood Final

Well, the crickets over here are nearly deafening! I know myself and my fellow RWP crew have been working feverishly on both personal and freelance commissions. But that's good! Hopefully we can get something going on here again in the near future, but I won't make any promises because if everyone else's schedule looks like will be tough.
In any case I finally managed to finish up the Riding Hood piece that I posted the drawing for so long ago. I think I managed to solve most of the problems with least I hope I did.
16"x22" Oil on board

Monday, May 7, 2012

New drawing: Riding Hood

Well, it's been quite a while since anything's going on around here. We've all been busy as ever and unfortunately not had any time for RWP projects. We're hoping that will change real soon. For now, here's a drawing that I've been working on. Just about ready to paint. Any last minute suggestions?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ragnarok: Fenrir Swallows Odin Whole

Yay! I FINALLY FINISHED! Sorry folks, that took way too long.  If memory serves we started this project back in november? Awful, simply terrible.  But I have been doing a couple commissions and arranging my wedding preparations, which include a bit of design work.  But I have finished.  This is my depiction of a small event that happens during Ragnarok, the Norse Armageddon, where Fenrir, a giant wolf, swallows Odin, the Norse Zeus, whole.  Don't worry, because later one of Odin's sons, Víðarr, cuts Fenrir's belly open, freeing Odin.  I love Odin, he's got one eye, carries a spear, has wolves and ravens at his bidding, and has a great big bushy beard!  I painted a portrait of my professor, Dennis Nolan, as Odin back in college.  I am Danish, so I have Viking blood in me, or at least I tell myself that every night before  I sleep, so I loved doing this piece.  I had been a little while since I had done something so big, 18" x 24", which I thought this painting deserved.  Hope you all like it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Craig's Viking

Here is my not yet a viking youth and his vision of Valkyries. My grey underpainting pulled me towards a subdued color scheme with cool blue light.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hartford Art School Low Residency MFA in Illustration

Have you ever thought about getting your MFA in Illustration, but were worried about the time commitment, the cost, having to move, etc? Well, I just want to take a moment to put in a plug for the Low Residency MFA in Illustration at the Hartford Art School. I am in the midst of my first year in the program, and fellow RWP-er Scott Murphy will be joining the program this summer. Since beginning the program last July I have my first two children's book proposals under review, I have gotten work from a dream client, I have had my work re-energized, my understanding of the history of the field of illustration has deepened, and my circle of illustration contacts and friends has expanded to include folks from across the country who work not only in the children's and fantasy markets, but who do concept work, editorial, licensing, and more.

For me, the best part about the program is that my classmates and the faculty are ALL working illustrators. Many of my classmates are mid-career, so have quite a lot of experience in the field, and at least half of them are already teaching on a college level. Every single person involved in the program, whether faculty or student, is a great resource for information and feedback.

The program is structured so that its students can continue to live their lives, so that it won't disrupt their freelance or teaching careers, or their other full or part-time jobs. Those that have families don't have to move, or be limited to only what is offered nearby. We are technically full-time students, but only meet for a total of four weeks out of the year for two years (three summers). These one or two-week intensives are exactly that - intense! I always come away from them full of inspiration and new ideas. In-between the intensives we work on some small assignments, and most importantly we develop our thesis projects. For a lot of students, the thesis is something that they have been wanting to work on for a while, but needed some motivation and guidance to make it happen. I have been working on my thesis for 7 months now, and have over a year to go, and I am incredibly excited about it. I'm sure I'll do some posting about it in the months to come.

So that's my little pitch for this fabulous program. If you are thinking about getting your MFA and the low residency format sounds right for you, you can read more about it on the website here - Hartford Art School MFA in Illustration. Be sure to check out the mind-blowingly amazing list of faculty, and links to the work of current students.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lis's Viking Final - "Rán's Embrace"

Here is my final piece! Watercolor/acryla gouache/digital - I want to make the corrections in the painting that I made digitally. I just did them digitally first because it's easier to see what I'm right and wrong. Submitting it to Spectrum tomorrow along with two others!

I found some more great information about Rán here -

From the link:
"She has been called cruel, greedy and insatiable. She reigns over the the Underworld found at the bottom of the sea. Ran mated with Her brother, Aegir, the sea god, and they had nine beautiful daughters, the Waves... Her name means "robbery", and She could often be found lurking on the dangerous cliffs and, with the help of Her daughters, enticing mariners to approach; once within Her reach, She spread Her fishing net over them and calmly draws them down into Her realm.

"The Norse people believed that drowning victims were not admitted into Valhalla; instead, they went to Ran's realm of the dark. She was, therefore, also considered to be a Goddess of the Dead. If the dead had gold, they were treated well within Her deep sea abode, and the mead would flow freely... Ran represents water; and, as such, She controls the life force of all the creatures on Earth."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Craig's Viking Underpainting

Inspired by Petar Meseldzija I decided to do an underpainting for this piece.

He, of course, has a lot of experience and I'm sure his handling of the thinness of the paint sets up a better underlayer than I've created here. Also I know a warm underpainting can set up some great contrasts and warm shadows but I simply used a grey palette made of Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White. This was an experiment in planning tone for me. I spent too much time blending the background instead of just laying it in but I'm happy with the way I simply blocked in the forms on the rest.

P.S. I had a family friend pose for the face and made my viking even younger. This will also contribute to a better expression on his face. I added a bundle of sticks on his back for a little storytelling ... "I was out collecting firewood when suddenly ..."

Lots of painting still to go!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Becca's Viking Painting - In Progress

Hey All! Soooo I'm a bit late on this thanks to some commissions, but I'm posting the progress to see what you guys think of where it's going. I need to darken up that shield and play a bunch more with the background... basically everything can use some more work, but I'd love your thoughts before I finish it up! Thanks! (Also FYI the colors look a lot duller here than on my computer! Ug. Technology. Anyone have suggestions for that too?)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lis's Viking Teaser

So my viking painting is finished but I'm expecting a critique tomorrow and might have a few changes. I don't want to post it until those changes are done! Here's a teaser (: