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I've been busy lately working on a little side venture, a dieselpunk racing game I'm constructing in Unity. Here's a link to the blog , and here's a link to the game itself.

It's very rough right now, but you can at least fly around a bit and see the sights. I'll post some concept art up here soon.
  • Listening to: The Smartest Man in the World Proopcast
  • Reading: the Unity Game Engine Reference Manual
  • Watching: my hairline recede
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: my words
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
I made my first steampunk costume for our local renfaire over the summer, I guess because my nerd street-cred was slipping. It turns out I really enjoyed putting the whole thing together, particularly making the pistol I wore. It also got a pretty warm reception here on DeviantArt, with a few people asking if it was for sale.

So I've decided to put a bunch of weapons together, with an eye on setting up an Etsy store when I build up a bit of an inventory. So far I've been having a great time, and it's been fun making three-dimensional art for a change.
  • Listening to: The Smartest Man in the World Proopcast
  • Reading: the Unity Game Engine Reference Manual
  • Watching: my hairline recede
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: my words
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Now stay off my lawn!
  • Listening to: The Smartest Man in the World Proopcast
  • Reading: the Unity Game Engine Reference Manual
  • Watching: my hairline recede
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: mostly meat since they told me I'm pre-diabet
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Having proven conclusively that I'm a mediocre artist, I've decided to establish my credentials as a very mediocre writer! Towards that goal, I've submitted a pilot script and show concept to Amazon Studios, for their Kids' show category.

You can download it here: please be as vicious as you can in your feedback so I can make it stronger.
  • Listening to: The Smartest Man in the World Proopcast
  • Reading: the Unity Game Engine Reference Manual
  • Watching: my hairline recede
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: mostly meat since they told me I'm pre-diabetic
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Just in case anyone's interested, my latest piece "Tarra's Scary Friend Beast" is among the contenders for the March monthly contest over at ImagineFX. Pop over to the contest here and vote for your favorite- there are a ton of great works of art in the competition.
  • Listening to: The Smartest Man in the World Proopcast
  • Reading: the Unity Game Engine Reference Manual
  • Watching: my hairline recede
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: mostly meat since they told me I'm pre-diabetic
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Well, the holidays are over, and I'm back at work. Had a great visit with my brother and his family, including my extremely talented niece Phennik, whose art and imagination make me the proudest weird Uncle there is.  Seriously, who'da thunk I would someday get my teenaged niece a book on designing fantasy creatures!

These days I'm pretty busy trying to wrap my head around the Unity Game Engine (dusting off some old game design skills in my free time), but I'm keeping an eye out for some digital painting inspiration. This year I'm hoping to push myself a little harder artistically, and if possible I'm hoping to get back to some sculpture as well.
  • Listening to: The Smartest Man in the World Proopcast
  • Reading: the Unity Game Engine Reference Manual
  • Watching: my hairline recede
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: mostly meat since they told me I'm pre-diabetic
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
just discovered a maggot in my mouth after eating a large bag of salted peanuts. Further investigation revealed a number of other bugs and larva in said peanuts.

For some reason I'm having a hard time with this.
  • Listening to: the Doug Loves Movies podcast
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: the Daily Show
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: entirely too much chocolate
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
I've found the stock resources on DeviantArt so useful that I've decided to make my own humble contribution. I recently unearthed a huge trove of photos from behind the scenes at the great Congress Theater in Chicago, show back in 1993 or so for the "Are You Afraid of the Dark" computer game.  The picture quality leaves a lot to be desired, but there are some locations here that hardly anyone ever gets to see, so hopefully they'll be of use to someone. The catwalks were pretty incredible- there is this amazing and terrifying landscape above the beautiful plaster ceiling, where these narrow wooden walkways criss-cross this weird lunar landscape of re-bar and plaster dust.

My stock rules are very simple- use these images however you see fit, send me a message if you make something cool, and that's pretty much it. Commercial use is fine, with the only requirement being that, if it's practical to do so, throw me a free copy of whatever you make.
  • Listening to: the Doug Loves Movies podcast
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: the Daily Show
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: entirely too much chocolate
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Since the passing of Jeffrey Jones, I've been thinking a lot about the artists I stumbled across when I first became fascinated with fantasy art, and I thought I'd use this humble little soapbox to revisit some of them occasionally. I'll try to do this now and then- hopefully I can introduce some young artist out there to a new source of inspiration.

The first I'll call attention to is Enrique Alcatena. As a young man, I was lucky enough to stumble across the Moving Fortress, which I can't recommend enough if you want to learn how far fantasy can be pushed from the traditional, tolkien-esque cliches we're familiar with. Alcatena's influences seem to draw on south-eastern and central American mythologies and surrealism more than the typical euro-centric worlds we're all familiar with. His style is meticulously detailed and uniquely his own, and now that I've re-discovered it I can't get enough.

Spend some time exploring his blog, and hopefully you'll be as inspired as I was.
  • Listening to: the Doug Loves Movies podcast
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: the Daily Show
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: entirely too much chocolate
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
www.comicsbeat.com/2011/05/19/…

Sad... I have to confess I'd forgotten about her work until I read her obit and was reminded how incredible she was.  She was one of the many influences I need to credit for whatever talent I can lay claim to.  It's got me thinking about some of the other old influences I need to re-acquaint myself with- Berni Wrightson, Milo Manara, Erol Otus, and a host of other artists whose names I don't even know, but whose work inspired and guided way back when.
  • Listening to: the Doug Loves Movies podcast
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: the Daily Show
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: entirely too much chocolate
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
IT'S ALIVE!!!!!

My Tablet laptop is back in action, a month and $300 after dying on me. I'll scan in and clean up some of the analog sketches I've been alarming my fellow train commuters with- new digital work will be flowing again shortly.
  • Listening to: the Doug Loves Movies podcast
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: the Daily Show
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: entirely too much chocolate
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Sadness and woe...


My HP pavilion laptop tablet is looking extremely deceased right now, with alarming blinking diagnostic lights and very little else happening. I managed to pull the hard drive and save all my stuff, but it remains to be seen if my kung-fu is strong enough to get the system up and running again.

No tablet means no drawing projects, and probably not very frequent appearances here on DA for a little while. Sorry if I don't reply or answer requests in a timely fashion- it's just harder for me to get online these days, and when I do get on I'm usually Googling ways to get my tablet back in shape.
  • Listening to: the Doug Loves Movies podcast
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: the Daily Show
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: entirely too much chocolate
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation for earthquake/tsunami relief for Japan and other nations affected by this morning's events.
  • Listening to: the Doug Loves Movies podcast
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: the Daily Show
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: entirely too much chocolate
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
About time I did a journal update... I've posted a few more works since last time, including an old contest entry for the "Steampunk Superhero" category, which I never quite finished. The Prismat is for the Creature Of the Week contest at ConceptArt.com- I'm pretty happy with the lighting effects, but as usual I have no illusions about winning. It was a big growth step for me, so for that alone it was worthwhile.

I'm working now on a personal project, a scene from a story I've had in my head for nearly 15 years and can never seem to do anything with (great start, decent ending but absolutely no idea what happens in the middle of the story!). It marks the first time I've created a decent human figure, so it's a major breakthrough. The key this time was finding a reference photo with the right pose and lighting and placing it next to the canvas so I could could trace the outline at the sketch stage, color-pick from it and check my perspective and lighting. I'll probably finish it up by the end of the week and post it- it's definitely way beyond what I've been able to do up 'till now, and I'm curious to see if it was a fluke, or if I can do it again on the next one.

I also passed 1,000 pageviews recently, so let me say thanks again to everyone who passes through here- it's amazing how much each comment or favorite-ing keeps me pushing on. Keep the comments, suggestions and critiques coming!
  • Listening to: the Doug Loves Movies podcast
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: the Daily Show
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: entirely too much chocolate
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Added a couple of new works since my last journal update, including the Epimeliad entry for Alphabeastiary that was kicking my ass for so long. I have really mixed feelings about that one- there are definite issues with the composition, the anatomy and the brushwork, but I'm glad I challenged myself to do it, and I'm pleased that I was able to spot some issues and fix them along the way.

The Allmaw creature has proved pretty popular- thanks everyone! I feel like I rushed the paint job on that one, so I reserve the right to revisit it later and push it a bit further. The predatory bipedal raccoon of the future was fun, and helped me practice painting fur.


I also managed to get my Slenderman image out of my head and onto the screen. I've got a second concept rolling around in my head, which I might jump on in the near future.

Ok, off to catch the morning train, and work on some more contest entries.
  • Listening to: the WTF Podcast with Mark Maron
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: my signed picture of Evel Knievel glaring at me
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: whatever comes within reach
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Added a new image last night, a quick creature design I drew on my lunch hour at work and painted on the train ride home. It's a bit rushed, but I'm still getting back up to speed after a lull over the holidays.

Over at Alphabeastiary, the Epimeliad contest deadline has been extended, so I'll be getting back to that entry soon. I can safely say that image has been kicking my sorry ass, between problems in the composition I'm trying to fix and four human figures (one of whom is dead, and therefore easier to paint). I haven't given up on it, but it has become a bit of a slog. Maybe once I get a little farther I'll put some WIPS up and ask you all for some suggestions.

I'm thrilled that I've picked up some new watchers over the past few weeks, as I've been putting my neck out a bit more and submitting images to some of the really cool groups I've found here on Deviantart. Thanks to all of you- it has been really gratifying to find that my humble efforts are appreciated!
  • Listening to: the WTF Podcast with Mark Maron
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: my signed picture of Evel Knievel glaring at me
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: whatever comes within reach
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Well, my the deadline came and went for the Epimeliad contest on Alphabeastiary, and my entry never quite came together. The holidays just didn't offer much in the way of art time, and when I did have a chance to work on it, I realized I was in trouble with this one. My composition was garbage, and even worse I realized I still don't know how to paint a human figure. Thus, my first new years resolution in years- this year I'll achieve some degree of mastery over figure painting.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

:icontheaquabatsplz:
  • Listening to: the WTF Podcast with Mark Maron
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: my signed picture of Evel Knievel glaring at me
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: whatever comes within reach
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
I'm kicking off a couple of new works, although with the holidays on the horizon I'm not expecting to make much progress. Here are the next projects I'm shooting for:

Alphabeastiary: an Epimiliad, a particular species of Dryad that inhabits apple trees. I'm both excited and alarmed about this one- I've made it a point to avoid human figures (and especially faces) since my skills fall really flat when it comes to human anatomy and skin. This time there's no avoiding it- I'll have to buckle down and watch some tutorials on figure painting.

CGHub Creature Planet: Szapleez Rudolph. I've got a sketch started that I'm kinda lukewarm about, but maybe I can get inspired over the holiday.

#Xphiles: Slenderman. I just discovered this phenomenon the other day, and I'm totally fascinated by it. I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, but I HAVE to contribute an image.

Happy holidays to those of you who are so inclined!


(p.s.- it looks like DA blocks links from journal entries, so you can safely ignore all the <HREF> tags I added above!)
  • Listening to: the WTF Podcast with Mark Maron
  • Reading: these words I just typed (hey, here are some more)
  • Watching: my signed picture of Evel Knievel glaring at me
  • Playing: with my kids
  • Eating: whatever comes within reach
  • Drinking: Coffee...beautiful, beautiful coffee....
Just wanted to encourage everyone to come vote at CGHub's creature planet challenge- My "Foorian Food Chain" image is up there, as well as some really spectacular stuff.

visit cghub.com/forum/showthread.php… to see the contest thread, and explore CGHub while you're there- it's a really great site.