Friday, November 14, 2014

Retiring My First Palette

This was the first wooden palette I ever owned and it has seen me through quite a few paintings.  I may put more colorful globs around the edge, but right now I think she's finished.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Oil Portrait

Here is a portrait painted earlier this year of Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, which was sent to the North American College in Rome a few months after the portrait of Pope Francis.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Elves and Orcs and Things

The pencil drawing for this one is here, because sometimes it looks better in simple line.

And just because I couldn't make up my mind,
here is the elf in various autumn orc hunting colors.

Earlier this year I played a game mod for Lord of the Rings which had a real good feel to it.  Reminded me a lot of the books.  You could even be an orc although I ran into trouble.  Playing as "Spuds" I was not inclined to do orcish things.  Savage orcs turned on me, and the race of men wouldn't accept me.  Stay in the middle and I'd be killed!  So Spuds did the only next best thing.  Join a group of roaming heroes to fight against the darkness that was coming upon Middle Earth!  (Okay I embellished a bit on the end but hey!  It did lead to some crazy drawings, of which these are a few.)

I had some more serious Lord of the Rings drawings, but I think they got buried somewhere.

In other news... I'm jumping between paintings, illustration covers, and finishing my studio.  More coming soon.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Digital Studies

Here are a few digital studies for work.  Most of what I'm doing now can't be shown until later.  I speak the truth but it is a pretty bad cover for my lazy blogging habits.  I haven't been drawing outside of work for a few weeks, and what I did intend to post then, I forgot about by the time the weeks rolled by.  Maybe this post will prompt me to update more often.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wimple Lady

This could really use a few more coats of paint, but it was just a small experiment for fun.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dancin' Boots

Taking some time off for the 4th of July weekend with a little digital painting.  I've been drawing this bucktooth, freckle face, country girl for fun ever since I did an outdoor magazine logo back around 2004.  This sketch of Irene just happened to make it to color...  "Ireeene!!!"

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Pen and graphite sketched scanned into Photoshop.
Unaltered sketch here.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Beleg Strongbow

A quick sketch of Beleg Cúthalion with the sword Anglachel,
from The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Coming back soon

Hand study for some cover roughs done a few weeks ago.

I'll be posting here again soon.  This year has been particularly crazy, and not just for me but for many people I know.  Alex pulled through his ordeal okay and we are all very grateful.  It makes you realize how life hangs by a thread.

I'm finally in the studio now but the trim and woodwork still need to be completed.  It's looking very nice.  More coming soon!

Monday, April 21, 2014

This blog will be down for awhile.  My brother Alex went into the hospital about three weeks ago, was released, and because of a gross misdiagnosis had to go back in for another emergency surgery.  He's been in a lot of pain and family and I are trying to help the best we can to get him through it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

That's Positively Medieval!

The work schedule this year has been crazy, and I've had poor results the several times I've tried to pull aside and draw something for myself or for the blog.  There may not be a problem at all, but I'm just not feeling it.  After several attempts over the last few months, I resolved to put all my energy into my work, especially since it was impossible to get to some of the things I wanted to create, either because of delays in building the studio or the project I wanted to get going was too big to jump into.  The only problem is doing this can lead to a creative burnout.

Anyway enough talk about that.  Here's a medieval dress sketch I did last night with a little tinting in Photoshop.  Been really interested lately in animated character development drawings and movie color keys.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Historical Dress Sketches

I watched A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott) a few days ago, and observed how clever the creators were with the clothing.  This was the first time I noticed how the attire in Scrooges past matched more of a 1700's style dress (knee breeches and spencer jackets), while the older Ebenezer had an early 19th century style.

I realized yesterday, after poking around some files on my computer, how many period clothing references I have.  The style for the bottom drawing was inspired by the self portrait of Rose-Adélaïde Ducreux.  What a lady!

And I can't leave without saying just how much I enjoy the previously mentioned production of A Christmas Carol.  The interaction between Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas present is superb... but then again I love all the acting in the film.  If you haven't seen it, you should definitely watch it soon.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

A small Epiphany sketch done today for a painting to be completed later next year.

Special thanks to everyone who has followed my work and been supportive this year.  I really appreciated it!  Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I'm Still Here

Or "there" considering my absence from this blog for four weeks.  It's been an insane last three months.  I'll have to recap sometime if I remember everything.

Here are just a few sketches from Friday night.  It's been roughly three weeks since I've had a chance to draw.

I've been revisiting old anatomy books and notes lately, and feeling more responsive to what I didn't grasp years ago regarding anatomy and form. It has been fun revisiting a lot of the basics and I should do it more often. 

I've made invaluable art book discoveries too.  I found a J.W. Waterhouse book misplaced in the photography section at Books-a-Million (probably the only reason it was still there).  Also I found Andrew Loomis books at a local art shop that I love to frequent.  They cover design, composition, color, and more.  A great addition to the art book collection.

Pdf versions of these books can be downloaded, and what is funny is I've had copies on my computer now for almost a year.  The only problem is I hate to sit and read something lengthy at my computer.  Drives me nuts!  I was ecstatic to find these.

I also found some great anatomy models over at  If you're studying anatomy for drawing or sculpture it would be a good idea to check it out (Warning: the site is for artists and medical students and does contain some nudity).

I found these through the blog of the fabulous sculptor David Lemon.  He's a real inspiration!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Completed Pope Francis Portrait

23 1/2" by 29 1/2" oil on canvas

    It was a pretty quick turn around on this painting.  As I said before it needed to be completed in roughly two weeks so the paint would be dry enough for varnishing and shipment to the Vatican in December.  Click on the label below to see the painting in its various stages.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Scottish - Pencil Drawing

Helen Mary MacGregor perhaps?

This one is pencil on Strathmore sketch paper - about 10 1/2" by 14".  It was a quick drawing I did last night.  There are probably a few things I would change if I was going to paint it, but for now this is how it will stay.

I've been sketching Blue Bonnets and Redcoats for free time drawing last week and listening to a little music...

Rise Rise - Sung by the Corries

Ye Jacobites By Name (Robert Burns)

Sherramuir Fight! - an action packed piece written by Robert Burns around 1787 and sung by the Corries.

I don't know about you, but bodhráns can get me worked up!

Prelim work for the Helen Mary pencil drawing

    I had an idea to post these preliminary sketches for the above drawing - this has been a good method for me over the past few months, to work out several roughs, refer to them for a large loose pencil sketch, and then lay a clean sheet of drawing paper on top, tracing out the basic shapes and adding details based off the earlier sketches.  Having three different roughs helps to choose what details are best to put it.  Have one that is simple block shapes (since you want your drawing to communicate quickly) and the others with several variations of details.  It's almost like having several reference photos and you assemble what you like best in the final piece.