Now, now, before you get your hopes up, I'm not coming out of Blogger retirement just yet... But I did want to pop by and say that after ample tweaks and nudges, I have now launched my Patreon campaign!
So why don't you be just the best person ever and go have a look at what I'm offering as a reward for donating to my campaign. I'd be ever so grateful!
I've been blogging away here for over five years now. It's been my artistic home. The place where I have shown the vast majority of my art and has served as the store front, so to speak, for what I am all about.
But, to quote the great George Harrison, 'all things must pass.'
I've been wanting to move on to other networking pastures for some time now. This blog has been great, but it is a lot of work for what is often very little return.
So I'm moving on. But in a totes positive way, I promise. I hang out on Facebook a fair amount, and I'm incredibly in love with Instagram at the moment too. Here's some recent work I've posted on it...
But the big news is that I am getting closer and closer to putting up my Patreon campaign. There's a few videos to edit and some more planning to be made, but it is getting close.
Also, I'm going to be doing a proper website soon. I'm a professional artist. I get paid to draw stuff, I should really have a website. So a website I shall have!
So while I am saddened to wrap up proceedings here, I'm pretty jazzed about the future. There are big announcements to come, so why not come hang with me at the following places?
This blog will remain live for the foreseeable future, because it has a huge amount of posts and work that will inevitably come in handy in the future. But I shan't be creating any new content for it.
So all that remains to be said is that I am truly thankful to all of the people that came back and read my ramblings on a regular basis, I hope you got something out of it and will join me on the next leg of my artistic adventure!
This is the third post today! My head is spinning, but I have finally caught up with the challenge after a couple of burnt out days. And I went with something different for a change this time...
I would usually copy an illustration by an artist I admire for this particular topic (we do this one every year), but I thought, instead, that I might take the signatures and symbols of some of my most favourite creators and make them into an object that I have seriously been considering getting tattooed on me for several years now.
I have never gotten a tattoo, and I'm still not convinced I'll get this one done, however cool I think it will look... we shall see.
So what are all of those symbols on the design?
Well, they are as follows-
1) The red asterisk symbol on the top is part of my favourite artist Rien Poortvliet's signature. 2) The black symbol in the middle is the easy one, that's my favourite writer, J. R. R. Tolkien. 3) The black signature to the left is by the great Arthur Rackham, one of my favourite Faerie illustrators. 4) The black symbol on the right is part of my favourite fantasy artist Frank Frazetta's signature. 5) And finally, the stylised red omega symbol at the back is the logo for my favourite comic artist and good friend Bart Sears' company, Ominous Press.
Anyway. There are only two more days of this challenge to go! I'm now back on track and ready to finish off with a bang!
It's no secret that I'm a big Elder Scrolls fan. At least I don't think it is, I've gushed excessively about it in the past, I'm very sure.
So when it came to doing this topic, there was really no question that I was going to draw something in relation to those games I love so much...
So the story with this illustration is...
There is a very steep stretch of road between the Corbolo and Silverfish Rivers in the land of Ctrodiil where a large boulder can be found just to the side. There is usually a fellow hanging around there who is intent on killing you and stealing your gold and possibly your weapons and armour. He's quite often of the cat-like race called the Khajiit.
If you've ever played Oblivion for any real amount of time, you'll know that the game is riddled with glitches and foibles. It's all part of the game's charm though, I assure you!
One of those said glitches is that sometimes this bad guy is actually literally stuck inside that boulder. You can see his head and various other parts sticking out of the boulder as he runs around, telling you how he's going to kill you, completely unable to escape. It's pretty funny.
I also find it kinda sad though. Which is sad in itself. I know it's just a game, and I know that the bad guy is just a bunch of pixels and mathematical points, but I always try and put him out of his misery quickly and humanely...
This here is what we like to call 'the home stretch!' We are down to just four more drawings to do in the challenge after this one...
I'm not a huge Bond fan, I confess. It's the blatant sexism and often ridiculous unbelievability that does it for me.
But I love Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge, thanks to an old friend of mine, Bob Nicholls, loaning me a video of the first TV series came out back in what must have been 1997.
Anywho, Alan is a big fan of Bond, so it seemed like a good idea to draw him as the next Bond.
The last four topics of the 31 Day Drawing Challenge are really interesting and should be a lot of fun. I'm planning on putting in my very best work for them, so do pop back, won't you.
The old Urban Sketchers were out again today!
We set up our motley gang of artistes near a pub called the Crane Bar in Galway. There's a small parking lot next to it and an area with flower beds and what I would guess is an old crane-like weighing scale from when there must have been a market there.
It was a fun day out drawing with friends. The weather was even obliging!
Of course, we did get a local fellow who insisted on giving poor Donal his own rendition of what we were drawing, in Donal's sketchbook, no less! Why do people think we want them to do that? We're usually quite happy and busy doing our own drawing. We don't want your drunken chicken scrawl in our sketchbooks, thank you so very, very much!
I'm mad about dinosaurs. I'm fairly certain there's an alternate reality out there where I am a paleontologist instead of an artist. Or maybe both...
Settling on a favourite dinosaur was tricky, though. I eventually went with the Spinosaurus because I think they look fantastic and they can kick T-Rex's bottom, as seen in Jurassic Park 3 (a movie I really enjoy!).
In a close second is the mighty Mosasaur (seen in Jurassic World!). Then Plesiosaurs follow them. I have a fascination for sea dwelling dinosaurs. They also petrify the bejeepers out of me...
Anyway, tomorrow's challenge should come with some lovely pictures of friends and settings.
I believe the blame for this particularly tricky topic lays squarely at the feet (apt!) of one Miss Anita McGarry. Anita used to be a really close friend of mine. But because she made me have to draw something in a Steampunk vein, we're no longer close...
It's not that I have anything against Anita, per se. It's just that I have a great deal of difficulty drawing Steampunk-themed things. And I've drawn a few of them in my time! It's just not a good fit for me, for some reason.
Macbeth's Flying Castle!
But the wondrous news is that tomorrow's topic is one of my all-time favourite fields of study in all of known worlds. So it'll be good to put today's topic and its culprit behind me and switch to something I am keenly interested in!
God I miss working on The Circle!
In my head, all six of those characters are fully developed and they are off having adventures around my mind as I write this very sentence. But to the outside world, there is very little to go on for them yet. So while I love these characters and stories dearly, I know that I am completely alone in this feeling, for the moment anyway.
So today's challenge is to draw a couple...
I went with Alanna and Strongbow. They're not a couple. They actually pretty poisonously hate each other actually. So I kinda went my own way with this particular topic.
Tomorrow's topic is a nightmare I've been dreading all week! So that should be fun to see how that turns out...
And here's all of the Couple entries, all conveniently in the one place!
I had planned to do an accompanying piece to the Winter illustration I did for the 2012 31 Day Drawing Challenge. I printed off the fancy frame to a fresh piece of Bristol Board and worked away on it for a while. But it got ugly real quick and then proceeded to get beaten into an even uglier pulp. So to the bin it went, to remain...
And then I whipped up this crazy quick headshot and put huge amounts of filters on it in Photoshop.
It sucks. I'm not happy with my output for this piece or really the whole challenge. But you have to push on through the pain, and in my case too often this time around - mediocrity, and just keep moving in the direction of the finish line.
This is some challenge. I've never had so much enjoyment and personal disillusionment at the same time in my artistic life!
But who knows, tomorrow is another day and it might end up being a winner...
I was looking at the remaining topics for this year's challenge, and it really is a mixed bag of things I'm really looking forward to, things I have no idea what to do for, and ones I am absolutely petrified of!
Today's topic was one that fell into the 'no idea what to do' category. My Chinese Zodiac Birth Sign is the badass sounding Fire Snake. Granted, it also sounds like a venereal disease, but I'm not dwelling on that...
I decided to throw a rough drawing of the snake outline into my beloved Adobe Illustrator to see what I could do with it. It's kinda... meh. I could probably add a million little elements and effects, but who has the time for that? I have a friend who does amazing things with that program, but I don't know how they can handle staring at a screen for that long!
Anywho, back again tomorrow for day 22.
Oh, and here's the usual gathering of art for today's topic.
Have I ever mentioned my old pal Kieran Turley here before? I think I might have once or twice.
To recap/fill you in, I met Kieran back in 2002 when I was working at a gaming store called Gamers' Realm. It specialised in tabletop RPG's like Dungeons & Dragons and card games such as Magic: The Gathering. Kieran was a regular at the store and we formed a friendship pretty quickly.
Kieran is a hardcore gamer, by the way. Like proper serious into it. He plays a lot.
But Kieran takes it one step further and is actively involved in the industry. He's been creating games for a long time and has been a presence in the industry for many years now. Go check out his bio right here.
Anywho, Kieran came to me last year to ask me if I wanted to do some illustrations for a book he was currently working on for Serpent King Games. There was a huge amount of illustration work to be done, so we decided that we would spread the illustrations that needed to be done over a group of artists. I put forward the names of art buddies Gerard Coady, Donal Fallon, Patrick Gavin and, of course, one Gordon Mackay.
We all got the approval to go ahead and we all started systematically working through all of the illustrations over the summer of 2014. 'Twas fierce great times, I tell ya.
And now the book is out! I can't speak for the lads (perhaps for the best), but I can say that I am rather exceedingly excited to see the book. This is what it looks like -
It looks great! The cover is by a fellow called John Hodgson. He does great work!
Anyway, you can see all of the purchasing details over here. If you click on the Full-size Preview below the cover image, you'll get a glimpse into what the book looks like inside, including a full-page illustration by me on page 6! Yippeeee!
And since the book has been released and all of the artwork 'spoiled,' as it is called in the biz, I can finally put it up here! So here's some of the artwork I produced for the Dragon Warriors Players Guide! Double Yippeeee!
I hold this project ruddy close to my heart, I must say. It was a blast to do and I had my pals around me getting in on the action. It gets me all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.
It's been a hell of a week, I tell you!
Lots of late nights and early mornings. There's been some artistic hard knocks, and a couple of mini-victories. Gord and I are now YouTube sensations (surely?), and there's a new fantasy RPG manual featuring our, along with pals Gerard Coady, Patrick Gavin and Donal Fallon, artwork (more to come on this very soon).
It's been fun and rewarding, but it has left me looking, quite literally like this...
But the show goes on and we are now under two weeks away from completing this bloody thing for another year!
Today's challenge is to 'Leave some Art in Public/make someone's day more magical. I went for the former. And when I say 'went for,' I realllllyyy went for it. Like 19 pieces...
These are all old pieces form my 100 Heads in 100 Days self-challenge from a few years ago.
Even after this, I still have a sizable stack of those puppies lying around. Well, they aren't lying around... they are neatly secured in a sleeve for protection, because that's exactly how I roll, baby!
Anyway, today was fun and thankfully drawing free for a change. I'll be back at the drawing board with an illustration that perfectly represents my current state...
ugugugug. Time got away from me yesterday and I didn't complete the day's challenge in time, unfortunately. Goodness, I tried though!
But that just means that there are two images to show today...
Day 14's topic was to select a random pose and colour palette using this generator. I got pose 3B and palette 95.
So I did this with it...
Today's topic is 'What Inspires You.' I have many positive things that inspire and influence me, but as I'm struggling through a case of the doldrums right now, I thought I'd wallow in a negative source for this...
Tomorrow should be a fun one, with lots of pictures and sharing of art. Come back, won't you?
So as mentioned yesterday, Gord and I were to host a Google Hangout to coincide with the 31 Day Drawing Challenge. Well, we had a blast (once we got past the first hour of technical difficulties, of course...) and got some good drawing done. Here's mine...
This is a Quokka, an odd little marsupial found mostly on Rottnest Island, off the coast of Western Australia. My family and I went and saw them back in the late 80's. They're pretty darn cute.
As promised, the Hangout was streamed live on YouTube, and the great thing about Hangout is that it saved to Gord's Youtube channel, so I can link to it here, in case you had the great misfortune of missing it...
In an attempt to get myself out of the rut I currently find myself in, I thought for today's challenge I might go back to an old practice of mine to hopefully shake off some of the dark clouds hovering above me...
I've drawn Willow many, many times. I've come close to capturing how I envision him on a few occasions, but I still don't think I've ever completely gotten him right.
The pursuit continues...
Anyways, tomorrow's topic is a special occasion. Gord and I will be hosting a Google Hangout for about an hour or so, where we'll be talking about art and getting people to join us!
Who doesn't love The Princess Bride. Seriously, WHO!!!!
In case you didn't know what the heck is going on there, I took the actor Chistopher Guest's character from The Princess Bride, Count Rugen, and put him in the context of another of his characters, Nigel Tufnel from This is Spinal Tap (also directed by the great Rob Reiner).
I must say, I hate this drawing. Just hate it. I kinda hate everything I'm drawing at the moment, actually. But these lapses happen. You just have to ride them out and not get too down in the dumps. sob...
Maybe tomorrow's challenge will start turning it around...
And here's some actual good art!
I had fully intended to have my Strongbow story out and about on the internet by now, but he's been stuck playing second fiddle to this blasted 31 Day Drawing Challenge! I literally only have like three or for images left to do for it, but it's amazing how little time is left at the end of the day after all of the other stuff has to get done.
But just so that the Realms of Faerie and The Circle aren't completely forgotten, here's a scenery shot from the beginning of the main story...
I am really rather pleased to have tomorrow off. It's been a long week! I'll be attending the Secret Scrawlers with some of my Galway Pub Scrawl pals, and I'll be working on the day's challenge, which should be fun. I might even try and take a few photos of the shenanigans that will no doubt take place. There's always shenanigans...
Long time readers may recall that for much of 2012, I was contributing artwork for the tabletop roleplaying game zine called Loviatar. I produced covers and interior illustrations for issues 3 through 14, and I think I can honestly say that the work I produced for Christian Walker and his zine is still some of the best I have ever produced.
So it is with great joy that I can now say that Christian and I will be resurrecting that fantastic publication in the very near future.
I'm really excited about this. I always loved illustrating Christian's words and he is just one of the nicest guys in the entire universe, so this should be great fun!
Keep an eye out here for more details as they come to light.