RPG Portraits - a round up

Over the years I've done a lot of character portrait art. It took a back seat over the last few years as I focused on book cover art, but I've recently decided to make it a focus again. So here are some of my previous portraits - face only to give you an idea of what I do

 A Voodoo Witch OC - 'witch of the wilds' for the Dragon Age RPG

A Voodoo Witch OC - 'witch of the wilds' for the Dragon Age RPG

 Elthas - a sellsword mercenary who is Viking inspired (despite being clean shaven)

Elthas - a sellsword mercenary who is Viking inspired (despite being clean shaven)

 A double portrait of two male characters

A double portrait of two male characters

 Vika - a paladin character/ holy warrior

Vika - a paladin character/ holy warrior

 Kether Creed - An arbalest character

Kether Creed - An arbalest character

 An Archeological Bard

An Archeological Bard

 Foxglove - a half elf ranger character

Foxglove - a half elf ranger character

 Lunzie - and alchemist/ steampunk like character

Lunzie - and alchemist/ steampunk like character

 Alessandra Van Sekel - my GW2 Mesmer character

Alessandra Van Sekel - my GW2 Mesmer character

 Zayva - Personal loose portrait - fantasy medieval woman

Zayva - Personal loose portrait - fantasy medieval woman

 Gaulen - this was a portrait done for Xulima games

Gaulen - this was a portrait done for Xulima games

 Lorenth - A GW2 Seraph inspired warrior character I have yet to create in game. Again, this is looser in style

Lorenth - A GW2 Seraph inspired warrior character I have yet to create in game. Again, this is looser in style

You can have your own character done (yes I do World of Warcraft characters too) for $80USD - check out the details here on my commissions page

Sword & the Elf Princess book cover

Hi all

Hopefully everyone is getting ready for a nice holiday break as the year winds up and another one gets ready to begin. My Etsy shop while still up, I will not be posting anything out until the new year. The post office is manic and I don't have time.

I thought I'd share some new art and maybe some process behind the art for my latest cover, The Sword and the Elf Princess. This is number 5 of the books I've painted for Frances Smith, though this is a series of short stories set in the same universe.

 Some thumbnail sketches with a final showing where the text would go, because this was already fairly well established. The brief was an elf maiden with silver hair and Michael's brother kissing or touching faces, or something fairly romantic. One of the challenges is that one of the main characters from the previous books has white hair, is not an elf, but I needed to try and make them look different enough.

Some thumbnail sketches with a final showing where the text would go, because this was already fairly well established. The brief was an elf maiden with silver hair and Michael's brother kissing or touching faces, or something fairly romantic. One of the challenges is that one of the main characters from the previous books has white hair, is not an elf, but I needed to try and make them look different enough.

 The lineart, including some changes the client requested like moving the biers, and adding a cloak. We decided on putting her hair down even though in an Ancient Roman setting this would have been a bit taboo! Not even a head scarf! Makes sense where it is in the story, plus fantasy! She's an elf!

The lineart, including some changes the client requested like moving the biers, and adding a cloak. We decided on putting her hair down even though in an Ancient Roman setting this would have been a bit taboo! Not even a head scarf! Makes sense where it is in the story, plus fantasy! She's an elf!

 The colour sample we ended up going with, though the client wanted a bit more warmth in the characters as was shown in another concept

The colour sample we ended up going with, though the client wanted a bit more warmth in the characters as was shown in another concept

 The final cover

The final cover

 And with the text added!

And with the text added!

New website, new sale process, commission updates

Over the past year I have been very quiet. I've been going through a massive round of art block and have been fairly unhappy with the work I've produced. I'm not saying that I'm not doing quality work for clients, but from a professional standpoint I've been feeling like I've hit a wall. Ideas a there, motivation is quite limited. It doesn't help that the day job has been extremely stressful and my health put a lot of things on the back burner.

It's the double edge of being a part time artist. Sometimes your life outside of the art completely takes over. I work in IT/ computing. I've moved roles several times and am now re-learning things as I delve back into pure programming - just using different languages/ frameworks and technology stacks. With learning anything new, you go through periods of feeling as though you've forgotten everything you ever learnt, and wondering if you will ever get good at it. 

I'm in that stage now. 

Some days are better than others. But having a chronic illness on top of the day job has meant I've had to learn to be a lot kinder, take more time out for rest, and try not to beat myself up for not producing work. Migraines have been forcing me to stay off the PC while at home... but trialling some different medication and so far things have been going ok.

Shop news

I've been moving artwork designs into RedBubble. Shipping is becoming very expensive from Australia, and really, really slow (plus I have 1, sometimes 2 windows a week I can do shipping). I've gone from under 2 weeks delivery for international parcels, to 3 weeks minimum... and I have zero control over it. Also, no tracking. And on top of that, parcels now cost about $24 AUD minimum. Small prints I can send flat as documents for under $8, but they still take three weeks - and to be quite frank, I'm getting tired of wondering if a parcel is lost, or if it's just got stuck in customs. I'm likely going to shut down Etsy and move all my digital stamps here to my shop (digital stamps are cheaper here anyway) and then figure out some grab bags of prints and ACEOs. I have a lot of originals floating around which I might put up here (contact me if you ever are interested in owning an original painting). If you want to buy prints from me, I'm not going to say no, but print fulfilment is a bit easier for me to manage.

Commissions are still OPEN. Commissions are generally fairly structured so tend to use a different part of my artistic brain. I can break them up into scheduled work, I don't need to rely on my own 'muse', it's generally drawing to spec - it's a collaborative process between me and the you as the client. There's research and boundaries and getting to bring someone else's characters to life. In fact I'll be releasing a new commission fairly soon, hopefully before the end of the year. 

I've attached a screenshot of some rough examples of prices for character commissions. I'd focused on book covers for the last few years which I love, but I miss doing character portraits. I moved away from them because for a while all I seemed to get were male commissions, or people asking for characters that were not in my realm of interest - I make no apologies for liking to paint pretty people. You want someone to paint a grandmother or a butch female fighter, I'm probably not the right artist. I love diversity and strong characters, but I also like to paint the type of art I like to paint. I want to dip my toes into GW2 characters and even World of Warcraft. I am trying to get into playing World of Warcraft, I play the odd DnD game, but I am a daily GW2 gamer :D

 Further info and examples on my  Commissions page  - this is a teaser

Further info and examples on my Commissions page - this is a teaser

I also do do traditional commissions... but shipping will be likely around $30 - I am not taking responsibility for missing paintings that are untraceable and uninsured. I used to, and was lucky only one painting every went missing and eventually turned up. I used to absorb the cost, but not any more unfortunately.

 Been debating about offering some quick and cheap sketches - this was a doodle done just for fun

Been debating about offering some quick and cheap sketches - this was a doodle done just for fun

 Finishing up some old digital sketches started years ago - no prints as it's a really small painting

Finishing up some old digital sketches started years ago - no prints as it's a really small painting

 And this gal is available over at  Portrait Adoption  if you want her to represent your character!

And this gal is available over at Portrait Adoption if you want her to represent your character!

Painting Gemstones and jewels

Painting gem stones and jewels – cabachon

Basic oval gem, in greyscale

 Cabachon - basic construction

Cabachon - basic construction

 

Although I’ve done this in digital format, the principles are the same, regardless which media you use. The best way to paint gems is to look at them in real life (even paste gems are good enough), and if you don’t have real ones, use photographic references to look at the way the light hits.

Brushes:

  • Hard round for highlights
  • Airbrush at 50% – 100% (I normally don’t use airbrush, I have custom blending brushes, but you could use Hard round at varying percentages)

Steps

  1. Generally I start with the darkest tone or at least a mid tone. To make the stone really neat, I’ll often use the selection tool to isolate the stone from the rest of the painting.
  2. The light source is to the top right of the gem.  I take the airbrush and add a dark mid tone to the upper right hand of the stone.
  3. Because gems are transparent, there will be light coming through the stone and out the opposite side of the stone. This is why I add a small amount of light to the lower left. (I probably didn’t add enough for this sample, but you get the idea).
  4. Add more highlights to the upper right in a mid tone.
  5. Take a harder edge brush, and with a lighter tone add a reflection point
  6. I added an extra highlight because I wasn’t as happy with the highlight.

 

Here are a few more examples:

Round Moonstone Example

 Round moonstone

Round moonstone

 

Oval Moonstone Example

 Oval moonstone

Oval moonstone

 

Green Drop shaped gemstone

 Green Drop shaped gemstone

Green Drop shaped gemstone

 

Don’t be afraid to play with colours. Light is not all white so if your gem is being hit by a warm light, the reflections may not be that white. Also, if the shape is not round, light may reflect off multiple surfaces.

Square Amethyst

 Square amethyst

Square amethyst

 

Triangular gem

 Triangular gem - This is a bit messy, start from a better base

Triangular gem - This is a bit messy, start from a better base

 

Star Sapphire

 Star Sapphire

Star Sapphire

 

Tigers Eye

 Tiger's Eye

Tiger's Eye

Round Opal

 Round opal

Round opal

 

 

Pre-made cover art

If you’re interested in an art piece to be turned into a book cover let me know. I’ve got several already available with a variety of options starting from $150 for an illustrated ebook cover.

What is included:

  • If you want to replace a font with a specified font (that is free for commercial use or you’ve paid the rights for)
  • Change of text to your details including colour changes
  • Possible minor additions to text layout (i.e. addition of a logo that you supply and hold rights for)
  • Minor modifications to the image – please enquire as some changes may mean large repaints
  • Inclusion of simple Audio book version
  • Print setup to a supplied template or supplied sizes (as long as it’s not larger than the specified file)

Some of the examples available (see here for more details - facebook album currently)

Scifi sample eBook

Scifi wraparound with text

Fantasy Romance cover art with design layout

Historical novel example with text and layout - text would be adjusted slightly to stand out from image