Thursday, 12 December 2013

Smaug - Out of the Shire

A few months back I had the happy occasion to be invited by Gallery Nucleus to take part in "Out of the Shire" -- the Tolkien themed tribute show that's opening up in Los Angeles this weekend.  I had been waiting for an excuse to make a dragon sculpture, so I leaped on the change to take a stab at Smaug.  Far from Tolkien's only dragon, but definitely my favourite.

I took my inspiration mostly from two sources -- the illustrations Tolkien made himself and that of Roger Garland.  The latter is hardly the definitive version of Smaug, but it has a particular nostalgia for me since the painting below was the cover of my mom's copy of The Hobbit that I'd seen lying around the house since I can remember.  It had an incredibly formative affect on my personal idea of dragons in general and Smaug in particular.

Roger Garland's cover for The Hobbit

And although I don't think it's absolutely necessary in all cases to follow to the letter precisely what an author has set forth regarding the look of their characters (see: Daario Naharis in The Song of Ice and Fire), I've always found Tolkien's illustrations of Smaug to be really charming.

Tolkien's Illustration of Bilbo's Conversation with Smaug

If you're in LA on Saturday night (Dec 14), please do come by Gallery Nucleus and see all the pieces in person!  There are a ton of fantastic artists with pieces in the show -- Karla Ortiz, Wesley Burt, Iain McCaig, Justin Gerard, Donato Giancola, Nicolas Delort, etc etc ... there is no reason not to :)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Blizzard Trio

Recently I had the opportunity to paint this trio of characters -- obviously one each from the three main Blizzard titles.  Ever since I started working there, I have been DYING to paint a hydralisk, so this was a welcome treat :)

They were painted in a way that they can be used independently or grouped, and in super high res so they can be printed very very big.  Fun stuff!

The Burdens of Shaohao are now all out!

The last part of Shaohao's was released at the end of last week!  There are 6, including the prelude in my last post.  We learned a lot through the production of all of them .. for me they get better and better every time.  To watch all 6 in sequence, go first to the prelude I linked before.

Shoutout to Doug Alexander, Lucas Merino, Josh Horst, Micky Nielsen and all the other people who helped to put it out - tons of work went in and I'm just happy to have been a part of it.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Burdens of Shaohao

Feeling lucky today that a project I've been working on for more than a year has finally started its release!  I did the final 2D components of the art, (i.e., the painting part) while the story, storyboarding, animation, editing and sound were all handled by various amazing people all over Blizzard.  I learned a ton about storytelling and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.

Thanks to everybody who took part, and everybody who watches :)

There will be 5 more parts, so stay tuned...

Friday, 26 July 2013

Back from Comic Con!

... and we had giant pandas at our booth!  I did this piece about a year ago for the Mists of Pandaria launch, and he's been seeing a bit of use here and there since.

He's life sized!  Or thereabouts...

Thanks to everybody who stopped by the booth.  It was an awesome time -- like always, packed full of too many amazing things to see.  Next year, would everybody please stop having so many amazing prints, books, toys and plushie pleisiosaurs?  My wallet cannot handle the awesome.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Zombie Unicorn -- now with paint!

Finally finished this guy!  Also... finally made a lightbox so I can get half-decent photos of these things.  Not much to say about it... I just felt like sculpting an undead unicorn.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Hearthstone Launch Art

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to paint an image that would be the announcement piece for Blizzard's new digital card game, Hearthstone.

Blizzard Hearthstone - Launch Art
Orc wins!

I figure you blog readers might like to know, beyond its blizzard-y content, I based the composition loosely around one of my very favourite paintings -- The Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks by Ilya Repin.

 There are few works of art that I think get across such a great sense of story.  Repin was a master of this.  I learned a lot about story with this piece -- makes you wish the man were still alive so we could all go ask him :)