Sketch of the Day

todays sketch...


Spanish Banks digital plein air

On Spanish Banks in beautiful Vancouver B.C. will post more of my digital studies soon...


Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak early conceptart

  Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is out and moving strong... So grateful to have had the opportunity to work in such a rich sandbox as Homeworld and am proud of what BBI has accomplished through the many twists and turns along the way.
Here is a few early initial comps I did of the expedition embarking out of dry dock and our hero unit on its journey...mostly trying to capture the spirit of adventure before anything too specific...

and here is a GoogleEarth overpaint of the units for a scale reference :)


Life Drawing sketches

 There are few things as fluid and wonderfully responsive as a loaded brush and a sharp pen for me right now...I am gravitating to ink gestures for a variety of subjects... they really make you commit to that little line and train those finger muscles to learn from practice.  Here are a few ink sketches from life...click to see the full pages


Sketchbook Bookstore Studies

Started looking through some of my old sketchbooks and thought to start scanning a few....mostly from coffee shops and bookstores...

 One of my early studies back in college was of a poet by the name of Jack Veeger.  After showing him this sketch and chatting a bit, it resulted in my first book illustration commission for his latest book of poetry.  Always thankful Jack


Homeworld Remastered Collection

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to update the cutscenes for the Homeworld Remastered Collection.
Along side such inspirational artists as Aaron Kambeitz (HW Lead Artist and original animatic creator), Rob Cunningham, Brennan Massicotte & Noah Stacy.  It was truly a treat to revisit/reimagine/and rerender such a wonderfully efficiently told story on such epically massive and classic sci-fi scale.  All the while... working on the upcoming prequel to Homeworld, it really was a perfect exercise in feeling at home with the style.   Very proud of Gearbox for beautifully updating this classic while maintaining its true spirit.



Happy Holidays

Here's some early thumbnails before finishing up this year's christmas card.  I'll save you from all of the doodles/thumbnails that would require a bit of hand-waving and imagine-iffs.  Thumbnails are a great way to imagine the stage and characters in your head and move the camera/lighting around before committing to that "final" composition.
My first ruling instinct was to cross the obvious:  Santa delivering a SR71 Blackbird as a gift and checking off BBI/Gearbox with good measure.  I found, that to be immediately readable and generally pleasant to different people from around the world it needed less ambiguous imagery.  Pull back from St. Nick/his list/and flying/loading the plane and more about the instantly readable Blackbird silhouette with the giftgiving theme of the bow on the top.

I still feel there is a wonderful energy lost in the rendering of a final image that doesn't express the emotional conviction of a few descriptive strokes....I think that is a great part of why I usually like my first thumbnails better than the final result...
Happy Holidays 


International Self Portrait Day

Apparently November 1 is international self portrait day...
A little late is better than never I suppose


Process Notes #1...Heating up the morning Iron

 A few people have asked me about my process of working up a concept or illustration so I figured I would start posting a few "process helpers" to share.

"There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning."
-Jiddu Krishnamurti

-Think before you draw-

  A great piece of insight I received in my education was that to become a competent artist one must learn everything there is to know about History before grasping the true present. The more you understand the underlying and influencing structures in place at any given place in time the more it informs you about the character of their meaning in context and how and why forms are represented in stylistic manner based on relationships.  One must learn everything there is to know about the process of image making and make that second nature before you are truly free to speak with a clear visual language and create within the full spectrum of technique.  -You can't break the rules until you first have a solid grasp of how they have been employed in the past and how you are choosing to employ them now.

"If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing."
-W. Edwards Deming
 Whenever I feel stuck or feel I need to fix something that isn't working in an image... I try to keep in touch with the fundamentals (for now I won't bother repeating what the masters have already taught us...).  There are countless artists that have outlined the basic principles of line, composition, colour theory, ect...and the wealth of information at our fingertips of the scientific principles underlying the nature, light and the material properties that follow is becoming staggering within this day of age.
  I recommend studying the books of Andrew Loomis Creative Illustration and James Gurney for a traditional start to get a base.  A Dictionary of Symbols by J.E. Cirlot and Dictionary of Symbols by Carl G Liungman is a great visual reference for gestural and compositional rules for mark making that are innate in all of us.  Pay attention to the 5 basic ideographic structures in Nature:  the straight line, circle segment, spiral curve and point dot when making bold strokes in composition>  Design Synectics:  Stimulating Creativity in Design by Nicholas Roukes also...
  Gestalt is formed from the combination of basic elements and their relationship with each other (earth, air, fire, water, and the eye of the beholder) and there are examples of pattern all around us.  Look at the cosmos and we can recover a diagram of almost any state of perceivable nature to type and digitally reference.
Compositional Subdivision from Andrew Loomis-
     I have been trying to make a habit of "Heating up the morning Iron" as I tell myself when I am about to attack a painting.  That means first thing I force myself mentally or physically to do is shake off the rust which sometime results in a half decent quick study.  Here's a few quick warmups:

  Assignment No1: familiar my self with the fundamental geometric relationships of pure composition and texture (see Andrew Loomis), then start daydreaming and identifying relatable subjects, perspectives and settings...the squint test.  
No2:  assign properties to the composition (and start with few)  these are what the things you might be seeing could possibly represent based on exercise No1s results.    
No 3:  Settle on your key light and model from there and best judge for yourself what means of an end you would like to achieve in another 10 mins (usually stylistic detail treatment experimentation....fun)
  If there is any takeaway from a couple of new morning scratch doodles please remember "speed painting without thinking" should be preserved in its pure form within the creatively acting animals like child primates and elephants.  Until you have a grasp on the fundamental properties of nature through observation and accurate representation that instills absolute confidence in experience with handling a medium that you can then apply with Intention. 
  This is the goal of the lesson I use it when needed to free the gap up between what I can possibly imagine in my head and what I can reasonably execute within whatever medium or time limit I am working with for the rest of the day -  Its a brain exercise in seeing things in their pure form and breaking it down into reasonable general representations of the overall message.... quick warm ups:
....just run down my brushes and loosen up: