Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rose Ritual

I did a series of small character portraits illustrating ritual magic, inspired by a friend of mine who actually practiced it. She belonged to a Western Esoteric group called "Builders of the Adytum," which I found totally fascinating if a bit scary. The rich image and mythic resources provided by the Builders could be made into theatrical rituals which members created and enacted. The Builders were never really scary; their magick was in the service of the Light. This image is a concept sketch for a potential ritual involving the symbolic "sacrifice" of a red rose bloom which is floated on holy water in a silver dish. The ritualist is a concept sketch as well, since he is an ideal, beautiful character and didn't exist in real life.

I never joined "Builders of the Adytum" but in other less formal groups I was able to participate in a number of rituals which were not at all scary, being very "white" and harmless magick. I'm not much of an esotericist any more but if called upon I could rise (or make art for) the occasion.

"The Sacrifice of the Rose" is ink and watercolor on paper, 5" x 7", January 1984.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Quick Poses

Sort of going backwards with the life drawings, these are from the one-minute poses the model took at the beginning of our session. Because she only has to stay in the pose for one minute she can take more active and unbalanced poses. These are what I like to draw for use in comic books or illustrations. I think our model must have some dance training because she used her arms beautifully to continue the graceful lines she took. The pose in the lower right corner is a Yoga pose. Click on the pic for a larger view of these quick drawings.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life Drawing!

Wednesday evening I got to do something that is a great opportunity and privilege for an artist: life drawing from a real live model. This was provided by Falls Church Arts, and was something that I have wanted them to do for a long time. Falls Church Arts will have a figure drawing session for four Wednesdays, three of them in May next month.

I was glad that my old skills have not completely deserted me. I haven't drawn from the live model for a long time, at least a few years. Drawing from a photograph isn't the same, although it helps when you finally get to a real model. This model was an excellent, graceful professional, who moved beautifully and was steady in her poses. Life drawing sessions usually begin with fast one-minute poses and move on to longer poses. This drawing was the last pose of the night and lasted thirty minutes. Some life drawing groups select a single pose and work on it for an hour or more, but not this time.

There were about eight to ten people in the art group, and some of them brought whole kits of acrylic or watercolor paint. I kept to the minimal side and drew only with a pencil in one of my sketchbooks. I'm looking forward to the next session. Maybe I'll bring my colored pencils to draw with in the next round.

This drawing was pieced together in Photoshop from two scans. The original is pencil on sketchbook paper, 14" x 7", April 27, 2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cat Sketches

My friends in Lawrence, Kansas, love cats and share their lives with at least two at any given time. When I visited Kansas in my "Great Midwestern Tour" of year 2000, they had with them "Digital" and "Analog," along with a couple other felines placed with them by owners who couldn't keep them any more. I had my sketchbook with me and did sketches of the cats. "Digital" was a gelded male part-Maine Coon who had a hilarious repertoire of tricks that kept us amused. "Analog" was a fierce little feline female who was rescued from hard times to live in a loving family. The images on the upper left are of fluffy Digital, whose sense of space was somewhat more-than-three-dimensional. The cat on the lower right is Analog.

Digital ran away, but Analog remains with my friends. She is still fierce but is now well-advanced in age. They added another Maine Coon to the household, a neutered male named "Zip," after the briefly flourishing "Zip Drive" which for a year or so rivaled the CD in data storage. There is plenty of cat hair, plenty of computers too.

Cat Sketches are pencil on sketchbook pages, September 17, 2000.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


This isn't a backdrop for Trader Joe's. It's yet another of my visionary landscapes set in some ideal world, hence the title, "Elfland." I have always had a yearning for a green open terrain with the right balance of forests and meadows and hills and lakes. Elves and fairies and other little glowing things live in this one. Unfortunately my photo of the original art was so bad that I had to do a lot of Photoshoppage just to make it visible enough to appear here. The original picture was taken in the light of an electronic flash, while the painting was stuck to the wall of my living room. Usually I take pictures of art using sunlight, but when this one was ready to be photographed, there wasn't any sunlight and there was snow outside. So "Elfland" lost a lot in translation. Only when I got to Virginia and saw my first view of the countryside did I realize that my ideal landscape was right there in the Shenandoah Valley and its foothills.

"Elfland" is acrylic on illlustration board, 9" x 5", January 1984.

Monday, April 25, 2011

All Possible Paths

This isn't a By-Product, by my definition, it is a full-scale Product, because it's a fairly large piece of acrylic work. And it's intended for art galleries or shows. It's another of my geometric abstractions, and in this one there is only one straight line. This also took a long time to produce, because I had to solve many technical problems about paint, color, and blending. It ended up being in many different techniques, ranging from hand-painted acrylic to texture blending to spray paint. Some solutions were rougher than I might have wanted. But I finally got it done.

The theme comes from quantum physics. One concept in this arcane way of physics knowledge states that a subatomic particle's position and momentum cannot both be known at the same time. And in fact a particle's position is best represented statistically rather than classically. It isn't in one clear point in space, the way a tree or a wineglass would be. It exists in a "cloud of probability" which cannot be reduced to certainty. And when one of these particles moves from one point to another, it doesn't just travel from A to B in a straight line. According to quantum physics (as I understand it...physicist readers, please correct me if I am mistaken!) a particle such as an electron will take all possible paths (hence the title) through space to get to its destination, and we the observers will never know which path it took until we measure it and thus force it to give evidence of passing through a specified position.

The puff of orange at the lower left represents the "cloud of probability" of a single subatomic particle. The orange line diagonally across the painting represents what would happen in the "classical" world, where something moves directly in a Newtonian straight line through space. The orange square in the upper right is the "destination" of our moving particle, where it was detected. All the blue curved lines and wave shapes in the rest of the painting are the many paths (some say even many universes) where our traveling particle might have been. That orange line also is in the form of a "Feynman diagram," a visualization tool invented by that famous scientist guy which allows physicists to diagram how particles move, interact, collide and break apart, and emit other particles.

"All Possible Paths" is acrylic on primed Masonite board, 20" x 16", April 2011. Click on the picture for a larger view. Whew, I'm glad this one is done.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lost Creek Winery

My Weekend Winery was "Lost Creek," located some miles north of Leesburg, Virginia. The day began with rain but by the time I got to the winery, the skies had cleared. I tasted some nice wines, including their excellent "Sweet Summer" which is made from a mix of grape and apple juices. Spring has brought brilliant green to the grass and new leaves are sprouting from the grapevines. On this Saturday there were vendors selling goodies in the party room, a guitarist/singer providing oldies rock songs, and in general a party atmosphere. I sat on the patio outside and drew this dry fountain, which has not been activated yet for the summer season. I like the trellis woodwork and the combination of wood and stone around the door. I also placed three landscape prints for sale in Lost Creek's art folders.

My sketch of Lost Creek's patio and fountain is brown technical pen with colored pencil, about 8" x 10", April 23, 2011.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

White Haired Wolf Woman

In the early 1980s the character of the White-Haired Wolf Woman appeared in many games and fantasy books. She was sometimes a werewolf but more often kind of a hybrid wolf/human who could run with both wolves and humans. She had lupine characteristics, such as claws on her fingers or wolf-like eyes or sometimes pointed ears. This portrait of the stock character was made for a pair of friends who played this character, named "Lena," in a game. She may also have been a text and comics character. She had a brother who was a true werewolf, and the wolf here is her brother in animal form. A somewhat later version of the archetype, not necessarily white-haired, appeared in Clarissa Pinkola Estes' "Women Who Run with the Wolves," a romantic Jungian inspirational book for women.

"Lena and Brother Wolf" is gouache on illustration board, 7" x 8", February 1983.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Elf Character

I did this little portrait for a gamer boy who was the cousin of a friend of mine. The character is an Elven archer along the lines of Tolkien's Legolas. Elves are all pretty people and when I think of a pretty guy I often think of Richard Chamberlain, the TV actor who played hero roles all the way from Dr. Kildare in the early '60s to the British exile in Japan in "Shogun." So the Elf Archer looks like Richard Chamberlain. This is a tiny picture but I managed to put in a fair amount of detail.

"Elven Archer" is ink and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 2" x 2", September 1983.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yet Another Pastoral Scene

I've painted this scene or something like it for Trader Joe's more times than I can count. And it always looks good. This is based on a real place I visited in Virginia, a remote valley in the Shenandoah region where houses are few and far between. There is even a town there called "Blue Grass." The birdwatching is excellent and it is real quiet. This scene will go somewhere in the produce department as a backdrop, and most of it will be obscured by stacks of fruit.

"Blue Ridge Pastorale" is spray paint and acrylic marker on Masonite, about 36" x 24", April 20, 2011.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Acrylic Beginner's Luck

Veteran fantasy fans will remember Fritz Leiber's pair of sword and sorcery adventurers, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. They are some of my favorite fantasy characters and when I was first entering into fantasy illustration, I did some pictures of the duo. This is the best one of the lot. It was one of the first things I painted in acrylic, rather than watercolor. And I have always been pleased at how my acrylic painting here turned out. I was able to model fabric, wood textures, figures, and even faces. I have a lot of trouble doing that in acrylic now, after more than thirty years! I remember painting this piece. I used a lot of reference photos and looked at a lot of other people's art to see how they used acrylic or other somewhat opaque paint. Somehow I was able to paint a bimbo who had a decent face and nice flesh tones. She was from a reference photo too. I call it beginner's luck. I was rather disappointed that this picture wasn't popular and I sold it for a way-too-low price at Boskone (at the time, the only science fiction convention in Boston) in 1979. The colors of my slide are faded and this is the best I could do to recover the look of the original painting.

"Fafhrd, Mouser, and Friends" is acrylic on illustration board, 8" x 10", January 1979.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cosmic Confetti

Some of you might remember "Colorforms," the playset for both children and adults which had plastic shapes that you stuck to a shiny black background. I always wanted a set of Colorforms but never got one. Now I have Photoshop to provide me with an infinite number of colorforms to stick together digitally, as in this doodle. But even with this infinity of color and form, I miss the feel of plastic shapes in my hand and the smell of the fresh plastic.

This is something light, just a doodle, but it's inspired by the cosmology I've been reading about, including multidimensional spaces and twisted shapes called "branes" which may or may not collide to form whole new universes.

"Cosmic Confetti" is Photoshop, 7" x 7", April 19, 2011.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fresh Meadow Flavor

This one's from fall 2003, the first few months I worked for Trader Joe's. In those days I was encouraged to do charming pictorial ads which would be placed near various products to attract attention. I worked with water-based markers on plain white cardstock paper. The original art was laminated in plastic. It lasted two or three months before it would be bent out of shape, crushed, or faded. Almost all my original art from this era has been used up, but I scanned every one of them so the images survive. In this sign, spring bunnies contemplate "natural" mushrooms. The original image is about 7" x 4".

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Minas Tirith

Flash back 32 years to 1979, and even then I am doing complicated fantasy cities. This one is Minas Tirith, from Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." It was a commission from the head of the publishing house I was doing illustrations for at that time. Minas Tirith is described as having seven levels, each with a rampart wall and a gate. I gave each battlement a different color, according to the specifications not of Tolkien but of Herodotus. Tolkien, who would have known the histories of the ancient Greek geographer Herodotus, based Minas Tirith on Herodotus' description of a Persian fortified city. My style in 1979 was still heavily influenced by late Medieval or early Renaissance book illuminations. This picture hung on my patron's office wall for many years.

"Minas Tirith" is ink and watercolor on illustration board, 18" x 13", February 1979.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

City of Surakosai

Welcome to Surakosai, one of the gems of Noantri New Earth! This attractive seaport is the biggest city in Trinacria and a center for both business and tourism. Here you see the original harbor which has been re-developed as a place of vacation entertainments, lined with luxury hotels and casinos. A cruise ship is about to dock at the main jetty. The pale oval structure is the Convention Center belonging to the Crystal Harbor convention, casino, and hotel complex. The tall pointed skyscraper is the tallest building on the North Coast of the Middle Sea. It is the "TanaNoantri Tower," built by the marine insurance industry. Surakosai's restaurants are some of the best in the Noantri world, and you are invited to party along with the Keilians at their many pubs, music halls, and hostels. Lovers of Paleomusic and Archeovisual arts can visit the Aeolian Cultural Complex for orchestral and opera performances as well as exhibits of authentic pre-Crossing art and artifacts. There's something for everyone in Surakosai.

Artist's notes on this image: I've been working on this for months. I could only do a bit at a time, but since it is digital, I could pick it up when I had the time and store it without messing about with paint and a large panel. All the buildings in this matte painting are created by me in Photoshop. No photographic textures or other images were used in creating this scene. I've made a larger image available here, just click on the picture to see Surakosai in more detail.

"Surakosai" is Photoshop, 4271 x 1970 pixels, about 14" x 6.5", 300 dpi, January - April 2011.

In this close-up detail, you can see some of the most famous buildings of Surakosai. The white building up on the hill is the Nouergic Institute, the home and school for techno-mages. This new complex was designed by the techno-mage Khemaru architect Mereth Kahn, and completed in 217. The Tananoantri Tower is the tall pointed building in the center. To the right is the Aquamarine Plaza, designed by another techno-mage architect, Apsou-Ari, in the second century. In the center is the Crystal Harbor hotel and casino, and next to it is the Golden Sigil casino and hotel.

In this image, the small cruise ship "Star of the Sea" arrives at the dock at twilight. This Khemaru-based ship, along with its sister ship "Star of the East," cruises the Middle Sea with an elite clientele of no more than 100 people. After the ship docks, the cruisers will debark for a couple of days of fun in Surakosai, the City of the Crystal Sea.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Portrait in Pencil

Back in my Cambridge days, I often drew portraits of my friends, and used the images in artwork. This lady was one of my fellow comic book fans, and I used to do sketches and illustrations for her fanzine. In those days "fanzines" were privately printed magazines on paper, which were distributed to a small circle of friends. This has all gone online now; I wonder whether any paper fanzines are still produced. Anyway, this gal was fairly glamorous in real life but for some reason I drew her as older and more weary than she really was. I drew this in pencil, a medium I'm not fond of because it smudges so much. But it doesn't fade the way some of my other drawings have. This was done in 1982, and is about 7" x 9".

Thursday, April 14, 2011

City of Amber, 1977

Here's the magical trump card for the City of Amber. If you are a member of the royal family, one of the 16 or more offspring of King Oberon, you can teleport through this card back home to your City, where you may be met by your brother waiting for you with drawn sword. I did this piece along with the rest of the series during a long, stifling summer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during an idle interval in my short graduate student career. I've had to do a lot of Photoshop work and some color retouching (in the "Amber" text background) to retrieve a usable image from my bad old slide. Twenty-two years later I would go back to the City of Amber in a big way.

"City of Amber" is ink and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 4" x 7", summer 1977.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Worm God

This Photoshop sketch is inspired by a contest on a fantasy art site which asks contestants to envision a God. Not the One True God, necessarily, but a divine being which would run the show in a fictional or gaming universe. Having seen the previous winners of these contests, I kind of know what they are looking for. I'm not trying to enter the contest, which is almost always won by tireless Asian twentysomethings, but I'd like to have their level of skill. The winning art is incredibly complex, almost to a manic level, and it is also packed with insane movement and action.

I tried to put some of this quality into this sketch, which I confess is done with cheap Photoshop tricks. If I wanted to do an actual entry, I would have to refine all of this and somehow introduce a naked woman as well. My concept here is what I imagine one of these fictional Gods to be: a swirling vortex of terrifying life energy well outside the humanoid or animal conceptions of our earthly Gods. Perhaps a bit Lovecraftian, I want a God who scares the daylights out of Its worshippers. Thus we have "The Worm God," staring out at us from the spinning abyss that will suck out our souls.

"The Worm God" is Photoshop, 7" x 10", April 12, 2011.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tiny Italian Village

I missed posting last night due to an internet outage. Oh well. Let us proceed. This little picture of an Italian village is one of the earliest pictures in my catalog. I have kept a catalog of every piece of art (and some By-Products) that I've ever done. I started in late 1976 or perhaps early 1977 with, uh, number 1. What was Number 1? A small watercolor sketch of Michael Moorcock's Elric, leaping up with his black demon sword held high. But I don't have a picture of it. I know who bought it, and I think he lost it many years ago in one of his many relocations.

I try to have a picture of every one of my catalog pieces, and I mostly do. That's what I've been transcribing so diligently from slides these last years. Now I am delving back into my earliest files, things done in the late 1970s when I was still a hapless graduate student. This piece is number 5a in my arcane outline-based numbering system. The ideal Italian village depicted here was from recent memory as I had just come back from living a year in Italy. A friend asked me to do a picture of an Italian mountain village and so I created this miniature scene for her.

I believe I am now working on painting number 996. With luck, I should reach number 1000 this year.

"Italian Village" is ink and watercolor on Fabriano paper, about 8" x 3", 1977.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hellride to Amber

Back in 1978 when I did this piece, I thought it was bad. Well, it could use a bit more focus in the composition, but it's a lot better now than I thought it was then. It depicts what Amber author Roger Zelazny called a "hellride," or an agitated fast gallop through the dimensions seeking the relative safety of the City of Amber. In the center, cape flying, is Corwin, the hero of the series, brandishing his sword which cuts through dimensional barriers. The red-haired gal is Fiona, his treacherous half-sister, and the guy in the red-crested helmet is Bleys, his half-brother. At right is Oberon, King of Amber, and the heraldic and real Unicorn, the symbol of this extended royal family. Behind the King is the "Pattern," the maze which underlies all of Amber's many realities.

I used an old technique on this picture which I still call my "storybook style," which is an ink drawing done in very thin lines, painted over with watercolor on heavy, absorbent paper. The Tarot trumps are in the same technique. I sometimes wonder whether I could still do that style nowadays. I have the equipment but my eyes aren't as good as they were in '78. Nevertheless, maybe I should give it a try. It is best on small scales.

"Hellride to Amber" is ink and watercolor, about 15" x 9", spring 1978. Click on the pic to see a larger image.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Creature Procession

I draw these at odd times when there is nothing else going on. The drawings never take more than a few minutes to do, because that's all the time I want to spend anyway. I take basic solid geometrical shapes and make creatures out of them. These marched across the page of my daily journal a couple of days ago. Each one has its own mood. Click on the picture to see them closer up.

Creature procession drawing is about 7 inches wide, technical pen on sketchbook page.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Benedict, Knight of Amber

Roger Zelazny's "Amber" series was popular in the late 1970s. The five-book series featured interdimensional swashbuckling fantasy, with plenty of adventure and fantastic scenes. The main characters all belonged to an extended royal family who could pass between the worlds and who all tried to get the throne of the realm, either by warfare, assassination, or intrigue. Each one of them had a Tarot card which had his/her portrait on it, and this was the token through which they could traverse the dimensions. Benedict was one of the older brothers, an experienced knight and warrior, who wasn't that interested in taking power.

In 1977, when I was still a graduate student at Harvard, I made a complete set of the Amber Tarots, with a portrait of each character as described by Zelazny. This set of 17 cards went with a friend of mine to be exhibited at the World Science Fiction Convention, where they were sold to a collector for $600. That was an amazing sum for me to earn as an amateur.

Many years later, last year that is, the cards re-surfaced, and the collector was trying to sell them. They offered them to me but I couldn't offer them enough for their satisfaction. I don't know whether they were sold or not. Looking back on them, I think they were pretty good for amateur work. I don't know whether I could do better today.

"Benedict" is ink and watercolor on Fabriano paper, mounted on black board, 4" x 7", summer 1977.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fuzzy Creature Tea Time

This begins what will be a long series of images retrieved from what is now considered the "distant past," the Internet-free later decades of the mid-20th century. From 1976 to 1978 I was a Harvard graduate student in Greek and Latin classics, but I ignored Herodotus and Plutarch in favor of science fiction and fantasy. In 1976 I was introduced to the Boston science fiction fan community, a bunch of eccentric and fascinating people.

I quickly began taking commissions from them for portraits of their favorite characters. This piece was done in 1977 for some friends in Boston who wanted a scene where "Little Fuzzies" were sitting at tea with a "tormal" monkey. The "Little Fuzzies," which I portrayed as my couple of friends, were from the H.Beam Piper books about tiny sentient furry folk on a distant planet. The "tormal" was the monkey companion of science fiction author Murray Leinster's interstellar doctor and adventurer "Calhoun." The tormal likes coffee in the books. I thought of the tormal as being me.

Most of the work I did while avoiding my graduate studies was quite small, as I didn't have much room to paint in. I did them on the desk of my dorm room.

This image took a lot of rescuing. My slides from the late '70s were never very good, and now are faded and dusty. Photoshop to the rescue, I've managed to retrieve enough of an image to post here.

"Little Fuzzies at Tea with Tormal" is watercolor on Fabriano watercolor paper, 7" x 5", March 1977.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Return to Naked Mountain

I went back to one of my favorite wineries in the Northern Virginia area, "Naked Mountain." I've posted about this winery before, but there's always a reason to go back, and I've made friends with the people there. And their wine selection is superior. I brought out my colored pencils and did this view out the tasting room window. Bright green new Spring grass is growing, and the flowers are on tree branches that are still leafless and brushy. The Blue Ridge is as blue as ever, constantly changing shades as the clouds cast their shadows or the sun breaks through. Spring and wine are a good combination.

Colored pencil and Pitt technical pen on sketchbook page, about 8" x 10".

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Historic Leesburg House

I visited Leesburg, Virginia, an old town northwest of the DC area in the foothills of the Shenandoah. It's about 30 miles from where I live. Somehow even after living in this region for more than 20 years I had never stopped there and explored the place. It is touristy and full of shops and restaurants. I sat on a sidewalk bench in very nice weather and drew this image of a historic building, the "Lynch-Tebbs" house, on one of the main streets. When I showed it to a waiter in a restaurant there, he said that the house was haunted! No ghosts in this drawing though.

Brown Pitt technical pen on sketchbook paper, about 8" x 10".

Monday, April 4, 2011

Star in Azure

Tristan and others mentioned that some of my abstract flower designs looked like they would make good quilts. Well, this one was intentionally created for a quilt. Many of my friends make art quilts and have asked for designs from me. Some have been made for real out of cloth and filling and embroidery but many of my other quilt plans have never been done. This one never got done, as far as I know, and the person who received it is no longer with us. So if anyone wants to do a quilt from my work, I have plenty of pieces ready to go.

I think this is the last of my flower/abstract pieces, so prepare for yet another long series of art retrievals from old slides.

"Star in Azure" is watercolor on illustration board, 7" x 10", fall 1992.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Warhammer Battle Mecha

A "Mecha" is a giant warrior robot, sometimes with one or more humans inside it, and sometimes on its own. They were invented by the Japanese anime-makers, and now they are everywhere. These warrior robots fight titanic battles in the "Warhammer" tale that I am currently reading. This one is not one of the truly gigantic ones, it is a more humanoid model used for quick assaults. I have always thought that humanoid mechas would not be much good on the battlefield because they can be knocked down so easily by attacking the legs. But they are so cool that you have to have them.

"Warhammer Battle Mecha" is Photoshop, 7" x 10", April 3, 2011.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"The Flag of the USA is Pink and Black"

The title of this piece needs a little explanation. Well, a lot of explanation. After creating an iris plus abstraction piece for my gallery series, using a pink, purple, and black color scheme, I needed a title. Inspired by the horizontal stripes I put in, which look kind of like flag stripes, I remembered something from my middle school days. Back in the fifth grade we had reading workbooks which also trained us to fill out forms (for good little taxpayers) and answer "true/false" questions. One list of "true/false" questions had some things which seemed absurd, obviously false. One T/F question read: "The flag of the United States is pink and black." I almost wanted to say "True," just so we could have a weird flag.

"The Flag of the USA..." is watercolor and acrylic on illustration board, 10" x 7", fall 1992.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Warhammer, my Guilty Pleasure

Warhammer and its successor, Warhammer 40,000 are games that are played by young guys who have an infinite amount of time, money, and patience to paint thousands of miniature figures which they then use in this tabletop fantasy war game. The game has expanded into an international fan base as well as Internet gaming and books set in the Warhammer universe.

I learned about this from deviantART, that endless source of artistic corruption. In search of more corruption and ideas for illustration, I bought a Warhammer text, "The Iron Storm" by Graham McNeill. I regret to say that I love it. In the far future of Warhammer's universe, a mind-bendingly bizarre interstellar Vatican/Roman Empire eternally battles forces of "heresy" and chaos. There are myriads of human, alien, and mechanical beings, which die like flies in titanic battles. This is a universe without morals, pity, kindness, or compassion, where war never ends and over-the-top violence is the universal way.

This digital sketch is my first attempt at depicting a warrior from Warhammer. The elite troops are clad in giant iron power-suits and wield both futuristic and archaic weapons. I am not satisfied with my drawing here because he doesn't look aggressive enough and his sword isn't big enough. I'll read more about the war of all with all and try again. By the way, this is not an April Fool prank. If I did a winged kitten, then you might be right in thinking so.