Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sunny Geometrikon Re-mix


Now that's more like it. What are all those blue pencils for anyway? The irregular shape is designed to fit into my sketchbook journal but the words are removed. I suppose I could have done this in digital media but it sometimes looks too precise that way. The lovely wax colored pencils can look like paint if you work with it. These are the blues that aren't sad.

Colored pencil with some white marker, 5" x 4", October 18, 2017.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Street Urchin Game Character


During the course of a role-playing game, you, that is, your character, will need further information. You can find it in a medium like a book or an inscription, or you could use a gadget paid for or found in play, or you could just ask someone. Here, your character engages a street urchin girl to tell him where the next opportunity or contact is. She is from the lowest level of society yet she has native uneducated intelligence. She also may be lying or giving wrong directions. Either way you will want to reward her with a few coins for her information. She doesn't have much of a future; without someone to care for her, she will be snapped up by slavers or pimps or any number of nasty folk. Your character is considering helping her, but he also knows that she may already be part of a vicious gang. Haven is a dangerous place.

Black ink on illustration board, about 5" x 5", spring 1984.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Task Light


I love industrial lighting. I'm especially fond of lanterns and desk lamps, if they're old or visually interesting. I like the old-fashioned enclosed hurricane lamps used in pre-electric houses or in railroads. Just a few years ago there was a decorating fad which used reproductions of old incandescent bulbs inside metal grids, like old factory lights. This didn't last long although Starbucks still has them. 

This is a task lamp, a modern version of what workmen used to give a high intensity light to a job close at hand. The bulb is enclosed so that dust and debris won't get in. This particular light has an LED bulb, rather than a very hot metal halide bulb. LED's have revolutionized the lighting world. They are not burning hot which is much better for safety. Similar bulbs are now in automotive headlights. The style of this light does not have that "antique-industrial" look though.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, colored in marker and Photoshop. 5" x 4 1/2", October 15, 2017.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunny Geometrikon


Even though I work at night, I made a sunny picture. This little Geometrikon visits the Mid-20th Century once again, telling us that the 1950s and '60s were a wonderful time of peace and cheerfulness. Well if you were a designer, or an upper middle-class kid, that was kind of how it worked. Don't worry about those Commies or those marchers with the signs.

I drew the lines and shapes for this in blue pencil and forgot that it doesn't show up well on the scanner. So I colored it digitally by hand with stylus and it looks like I used crayons. I think I'll re-mix it with colored pencils.

Colored pencil lines tinted digitally, 5" x 4", October 15, 2017.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Castle and Spaceport


Here's a rather late addition to my endless stream of Darkover fan art. It depicts in symbolic-architectural terms the re-imposition of technological colonialism on the settled world of Darkover. After Marion Zimmer Bradley's passing in 1999, fan enthusiasm for Darkover waned. I haven't done a Darkover picture in many many years. As I see it the whole culture of fandom has changed from a print and traditional media society to a video-driven world inhabited by pre-fabricated characters from movies, TV, and best sellers. Where is the "slow" "farm-to-table" movement in fandom, where a less frantic and more original-based culture can be cultivated? You can't buy it online, though you might be able to share it online. The fact that I was barely able to sell this picture for only a few dollars alerted me to these changes, just after the turn of Marion's millennium.

Mixed media (ink, watercolor, colored pencil) on blue paper, 10" x 7", November 2003.

A note to Claudia: Your insights about gaming as the inheritor to the men's fraternal orders is really worth making into an article for publication. These orders fascinate me, they are declining quickly in membership with mostly older members. One difference is that most of these orders were founded and continue with a charitable mission. They have banded together to do good works, whereas gamer groups don't usually have a charitable quality. If you could find such a thing (Warcrafters for hurricane relief!) that would also be very interesting.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Macho Guardsman


This burly type is an illustration for a Renaissance-styled game I worked on in the early 2000s. I adapted him from an old engraving from that European era. I don't know how the guardsman fits into the game, but it would be sad to have him show up and fight just once before he succumbs to the deadly force of our players. "What if the guardsmen win and they slay most of our party leaving but a couple of survivors running away without the treasure...?" That would be a crappy game if that's all that happened. So this poor soul can look great but has to go down in a minor melee. Artist's confession: I've never played any game that I have illustrated.

Black ink on illustration board, 5 1/2" x 7", early 2003.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Horton Wine Castle

The wineries of Virginia have some unusual buildings. This "castle" is one of the more entertaining of them. I had wanted to get a drawing of the Horton Winery's edifice for a while and finally was able to visit for enough time to do the art. As I recounted in an earlier posting, I drew the building while sitting in my new folding outdoor chair.

The first drawing I did was incomplete because there were parked cars blocking my view of the doorway and wall. I had recourse to a few snapshots I took there and have now finished the drawing. This is a "hybrid" drawing. Some of it was done in pen and ink on site. I transferred it into a digital file and worked on it a bit with the Cintiq (remember that?). Then I printed the results onto paper and finished it again with the tech pen. For a drawing like this I decided that "traditional" pen and ink would be easiest so here you are.

Horton Vineyards is one of the largest wineries in Virginia and they are able to place their wines in big stores like Trader Joe's or Total Wine. They have 48 different varieties to choose from including a line of "country" fruit wine called humorously "Chateau Le Cabin." I wonder whether that tower had once been a silo.

Black tech pen ink and digital, 10" x 4 1/2", fall 2017.