Thursday, March 31, 2016


Just in case you ever wanted to know what my studio looks like. More or less the same as other artists' studios I suppose. I've got a black metal stool and an "Art Bin" full of markers.(There is also an office chair, not shown.) The flat surface is for mat cutting but it is very unusual to see it empty of papers, fragments, tools, etc. The multi-compartment box is filled with hundreds of markers, the fruit of my marker obsession. Each box has a collection of a different color, such as greens, blues, browns, etc. There's another box you can't see, filled with grey, pale gold, and light blue tones, all to make skyscapes. The Cintiq is in there but you can't see that either, it's reverently covered over with a dust cloth.
This is also a result of Not Having Anything Interesting to SketchBlog.

Tech pen black ink on sketchbook page, 4 1/2" x 7", March 31, 2016.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kallitechnia Panorama

You may remember (but probably not) the project I worked on with an engineer who made up a fantasy utopian civilization named "Kallitechnia." You can read the story of the project here, so I don't have to re-describe the whole thing. I am surprised that I've never posted most of the black and white illustrations I did for it. Or maybe I have and forgotten about it, duplicating it on this Blog but after 8 years I get forgetful. Anyway this piece was to be the front cover of the magazine-sized book, with the title up at the top in the empty area. The Kallitechnians lived in great big glass-domed climate controlled "arcologies" where the houses backed up on the domed area but also had land outdoors in the front. Kind of a cool idea but in reality it would be very expensive to create. At the center is a big grass playing field where people would play soccer or other games, as well as hold outdoor events and meetings and parties. Most of the people in Kallitechnia were young, healthy, and beautiful, with only a few older people as faculty or counselors, so it was kind of a college atmosphere, or at least a fantasy college atmosphere.

Original art black ink on illustration board, 11" x 14", February 1996. Klik for larger more utopian view.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Big Creeper

It's a giant head made from industrial debris, walking on huge fuzzy slippers both front and back. Or even worse, it's a legless female torso, made for perverted admiration. These things happen when you have too much clutter in your dwelling and you see things in half-light in the dark hours after midnight. They could be moving. That pile of random stuff? It's looking at you. If you draw its picture, you will never be able to forget or unsee what you drew. It's in your sketchbook creeping up at you. Clutter has an energy all its own and you better defend yourself against it. Dust bunnies or laundry monster? They're already here.

Black ink and marker on sketchbook page, 5" x 4 1/2", March 29, 2016.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Darkover Theatrical Villain

One of the most popular characters in the Darkover fan community was Lord Dyan Ardais, who was a villain dressed in black from a decadent aristocratic family known for their sneaky ways and subterfuges. He was a bad gay man who abused the hero and manipulated anyone in his path. He was part alien, too, as shown by his 6-fingered hands which you can see if you look closely. But he was interesting, unlike the rather bland, pretty, and victimized good boys. Author Marion Zimmer Bradley was well aware of the "good bad guy" character as well as the dashing villains of stage and film. This illustration of Lord Ardais, which was fan art for a Darkover magazine, is based on a publicity photo of Tom Savini, an actor, special effects and 3-D designer, and stuntman who made presentations at a Baltimore science fiction convention, where I met him and bought his photo. Some fans criticized me for copying the character's face too literally, but this was never meant for anything but fan use.

Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10 1/2", November 1998.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Moon, Cherry Trees, Photoshop

This really happened, just a week ago. It is Cherry Blossom time in the Washington, DC area and people from all over the world have come to see the flowering trees and the stately monuments and the mesh-wrapped Capitol building. There are cherry trees in the landscaping in a lot of places so I don't have to go downtown to see them. I always enjoy hearing the radio announcers at traffic check time talking about "cherry blossom congestion." Quite a lot of congestion is happening now for those who are allergic to tree flower pollen, though not necessarily cherry blossoms. With me it's red maple blossoms and I hope they finish and drop off soon. Last week there was a full moon and clear sky which was a beautifully designed background for the blossoms at twilight and evening. Something to write a haiku about, though it would be one of uncounted similar Japanese expressions. Perhaps to be original I might wax poetically about the "Moon, Cherry, Cintiq," or some other modern non-poetic gadget. "Falling blossoms, petals drop onto my Cintiq, Move Moon with Stylus."

Photoshop on Cintiq and main iMac, 8" x 3 1/2", March 27, 2016.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Noantri town square

Most of my imaginary Noantri people lived around the Mediterranean Sea in their alternative Earth. This square, with its cobblestones and cafe's and central fountain, could be found anywhere in our world, too. Why didn't I create a world radically different from ours? With their psi-powers, you'd think they could create all kinds of special effects as well as practical devices running on psi force. But it has its limitations: psi can only be produced and managed by gifted humanoid beings, and it wears out rather quickly and has to be renewed. Nevertheless, a Noantri village will have things we don't, such as a licensed fortune-teller, a finder's service, or a psionic therapist. Since Noantri are humanoid, with limbs, hands, feet, and senses like ours, their accommodations will probably look like ours. And since Earth's life forms fit their own nutritional needs as colonists, they would eat the same food as ours, minus the spaghetti (no pasta borrowed from China! no tomatoes from the Americas).

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 9 1/2" x 8", mid to late 1990s. Click for larger view.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Winter Vines

A week ago, this picture didn't exist. I thought about it for a long time, had a reference photograph for it all set up (yes, photograph, it was winter, not tailgate art weather), and even took out my watercolors, but only since a week ago have I actually set watercolor brush to paper. This is what grapevines look like in the winter when they are leafless and twiggy. This vineyard is at Fox Meadow Winery in Linden, VA. The vines will not leaf out till late April or May. Meanwhile enthralled tourists are looking at DC's cherry blossoms by the light of a full moon, which seems totally japonais. I hope to feature this picture, titled "Winter Vines," as a seasonal piece in my next wine art picture book, "Virginia Under Vine."

Watercolor, ink, and colored pencil on Arches watercolor paper, 8 1/2" x 11", March 2016.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Outrageous Pringles

I was waiting for a friend at CVS pharmacy and so naturally I took out my sketchbook and drew what was in front of me, that is a store aisle and an advertising box (sometimes called a "dump") of Pringles snack chips. On the box was an ad that said "Pringles. You don't just eat'em, you DUCK LIP 'em." And there was a pretty boy who somewhat resembled (or maybe even was) pop star Justin Bieber. Justin had stuffed two Pringles in his mouth so it resembled a cartoony duck's bill.

In this current culture of outrage at the slightest hint of prejudice, as a privileged and prejudiced person myself I realized that this Pringles sign could be considered racist (or duck-ist) due to the "duck face" in the ad. Here comes "Outrage Duck," who as my representative is ultra-sensitive to cultural slurs. He (or she) should not only never eat Pringles again, but should demand that all these Pringles ads at the point of sale or anywhere else should be banned because they offend ducks. Eventually we will reach a point where advertising will be dignified, abstract, and totally bland, with no "triggers" (oops, used a violent gun word, delete that), with nothing that could cause distress in any living being. This screed completely passes over the deeper issue of whether non-nutritious Pringles snacks should be eaten by anyone at all.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, assembled in Photoshop, 6 1/2" x 6", March 24, 2016. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Boxmaster Headers second set

Here are the rest of the chapter headers from my "Boxmaster" illustration series. Left upper: Shard box in channel. Right upper: "Boxmasters" logo, reminiscent of the famous CBS broadcasting logo. Left middle: Shard with special effects, somewhat like a Thor's hammer. Middle right: The "Pylant," the spaceship in which the main characters travel. Lower left, twin spacecraft. Lower right, Planet and stars.

The spacing on this is irregular and has nothing to do with how they would look in a final printed edition. Unfortunately nothing was done with these and after you see them all my "Boxmaster" designs disappear into cyber-obscurity. I like the style, however, and will probably do a few other illustrations like it if I get the chance and the time.

Black ink on illustration board using an old-fashioned Rapidograph and ink pen, each about 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", fall 1994. Click for larger view.

This concludes my presentation of the "Boxmaster" art that I did for Jacqueline Lichtenberg. There are two other pieces on my Blog archives here if you search for them. If you don't search for them, they will still be there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Suburban Post-Modern

I found these fanciful decorative tower arches built onto a shopping center in McLean, Virginia, a very affluent suburb of Washington, DC. The design just calls out "2000s" to me. It is clever, sculptural, asymmetrical, and post-modern, as well as being completely useless. You'll find a recently built edifice in this style here and there as the suburbs get built up into big city. I shop here fairly often, since they have a two-story Starbucks Coffee with a coffee lounge and a gas fireplace on the second floor.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 5" x 7", March 21, 2016.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Political Signs of the Times

I wouldn't call this a political cartoon, it's just a doodle inspired by what has been showing up on the screen, with a little wordplay. Do you like Turnip, Barney, or Holler? I can't claim originality for "Make America Hate Agin," that was on a newspaper just yesterday. No picturesque spring flowers yet, but happy First Day of Spring. And happy NoRuz, for all you Persians and Central Asians out there.

Technical pen black ink on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 2 1/2", March 20, 2016.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Trader Joe's Memories

It's been a year since I was laid off from Trader Joe's. I sometimes miss working there, but not much. I still shop there, but when I go I see fewer and fewer of the people I worked with, as they move on to other employments. Looking back from a year, I now see that I would have had to leave anyway, since last March my mother fell and broke bones, which meant arranging extra care for her. And she would continue to deteriorate until her passing in October. I could not have spent the necessary time in Massachusetts and continued to work at Trader Joe's.

Over my years there I saved images of some of my best art and documented everything I did for the store. Among them was a selection of my best decorated price tags, called "templates." I loved making the miniature art, which left space for the writing just like a book cover. I tried to make a little picturesque scene with every one. Here are four of my favorites. "Kalamata Olives" celebrates Summer and the bounty of vegetables.

I made a lovely pastoral scene with a barn for the Granny Smith Apples. I never get tired of idealized pastoral landscapes. This one is not my handwriting. Trader Joe's loves the "bouncy kiddie" type of writing but I never did.

My tag for the "Stromboli" Italian sausage and dough treat includes a Mediterranean vista with the volcano Stromboli puffing ash in the distance.

This tag was done on the computer, with CorelDraw. The store authorities didn't like my doing Victorian-style designs on the computer, they would rather use only hand-drawn tags. But I think my editions of Victoriana looked great. They are still using hand-drawn and written tags even now.

Each tag was either drawn as a blank "template" in markers or on my computer, then reproduced by color copier on cardstock. Then we wrote on the copies, laminated them, and added the price with Sharpie or Lumo pens, which could be erased when the price changed. The rectangular tags like these ran about 6 inches by 2 inches and were mounted in clear plastic holders. 

Over the years I must have made thousands of TJ price tags, most of them much simpler than these. I saved my decommissioned favorites in a couple of boxes, hoping perhaps that they would be used again, or saving them as examples of my best miniature art. But I have to move on. I selected the best of the best for saving, and the rest....well, they will sit in a landfill until some future archaeologist unearths them and wonders what an "organic Roma tomato" was.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Crushed Hat of the Cat

The traffic got the best of Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat" in my neighborhood. I found his famous hat crushed at the crossing. The Cat must have escaped, but his hat is history. Dr. Seuss published "Cat in the Hat" in 1957 when I was just a wee thing, but I never really paid much attention to his kiddie fare. I was busy reading the Bible and stories from Greek mythology. But Dr. Seuss characters would be recognizable to most any American middle-class person from the mid-century era onward. Don't worry, it's only his hat and the Cat will be back to amuse youngsters and cause domestic mayhem again.

I tried to draw this outdoors but it was still a bit too cold and windy to work on site. I snapped some pictures with my modern gadget and finished the drawing indoors with the photo as reference. A more macho artist would have done it all on site, but I'm a cupcake, not beef jerky.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, about 4 1/2" x 5", March 18, 2016. Color tint added in Photoshop.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Boxmaster Combat Scene

Jacqueline Lichtenberg didn't write a lot of action and combat scenes, since she was more interested in characters and worldbuilding. But towards the end of the first in her proposed "Boxmaster" series the bad guys do attack the good guys, coming at them with a rather improbable large medical needle. Note the alien sidekick calling for help on her cell phone (this is 1994 and they were just starting to appear). I don't remember anything more about this plot except that the good guys escaped to do their good work again.

Ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", fall 1994. Click for larger view.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

DC Cherry Blossoms

Do you like the color pink? If so, then in the next two weeks you will have your fill of it if you live in the Northern Hemisphere temperate zones, as Spring approaches and trees flower. Here in the Metro Washington DC area the famous - dare I say "iconic?" cherry blossoms will open and the spectators will fill the streets and parks beholding them. Right now the iconic Capitol building is covered with unsightly scaffolding and it looks kind of like a mesh wastebasket upside down, so stick with the trees. 

I made this design for the program book and T shirt design for a now-defunct science fiction convention called "Disclave," which used to meet in late spring. I was Art Guest of Honor, the only larger regional convention I've ever been Guest at. I incorporated a selection of iconic Washington buildings and monuments into the composition, and I also added some iconic Masonic motifs for those who know the symbolism. The iconic Eternal Flame at JFK's tomb can be seen in the center.

Original is ink on illustration board, 7 1/2" x 10", May 1996. Pink color added in Photoshop.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wine Logo

Usually when I sell one of my "Earthly Paradise" wine books, I put a little drawing on the front leaf which is blank just for that purpose. That way the new owners have a bit of original art. I just sent one off and this is what I drew in their copy. It only took a few minutes to draw, but when I finished it I decided I liked it so I scanned it. I thought that perhaps it could be used as a logo or even a bottle label.

I colored it in with Photoshop, and this is what I got:

It's nice but I would like to re-color it in more "transparent" colors. This is the way comic books and graphic novels are colored in the modern era. This will not be the cover of any future wine book by me, though I would like to use it as a logo.

Ink drawing on book page, about 3.5" x 3.5", March 15, 2016.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Boxmaster Chapter Headers

The client, that is, Lichtenberg's publishers, wanted me to do a series of logo-like, simple images which would go on the first page of each chapter. Here are four of them. From upper left: Shard in landscape, upper right: Alien and human hands holding box, Lower left, alien baby (she shows up in the story, not the child of the main character), lower right, mystical power of shard.

I'd like to work in this black-and-white illustration style again some day, but I don't want to do it right now.  

Each image is about 3 inches square, meant to be reduced to a much smaller size for the final text.
Ink on illustration board with computer-printed additions (the one on the lower right is all digital.) Fall 1994.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mall of Temptation

J. Lichtenberg's "Boxmaster" book contained some amusing scenes of romantic comedy as well as more serious adventure. In this scene the two leading characters go into a bustling mall at a spaceport. By this time in the book, we readers know that instead of a neuter-gender, the young alien is a straight female and has a love interest in her Boxmaster guardian and teacher. But she doesn't know this, at least consciously. Her erotic sensibilities are awakened by the large projected image of a male of her species, a dancer wearing only a posing pouch over his alien private parts. We readers have no idea whether the equipment of these two is compatible for a sexual relationship. But in a conversation with Lichtenberg, when I asked that question, she said that not only were they physically compatible, but in the later books of the Boxmaster series she was planning to write more explicitly romantic and erotic material for these characters. I was kind of disappointed because alien/human erotica is such a cliche. Since the project was discontinued I don't have to worry about that.

"Mall of Temptation" is ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", fall 1994.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Linden Vineyards Hardscrabble

"Hardscrabble" means poor quality, dry, and rocky soil, not much fit for farming. But for grapevines, it's great. "Hardscrabble" is the name of this vineyard, associated with Linden Vineyards in northwestern Virginia near Front Royal. It's one of the older vineyards in the area and you can see old vines with thick stems there. In this rare and brief moment between winter and spring I wanted to capture the colors as accurately as possible, such as the grey tree branches, greening grass and the reddish flowers on maple trees. The place has beautiful views and will be glorious when it is all green.

Brown tech pen ink with colored pencil on sketchbook page, 8" x 11", March 12, 2016.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

R.I.P. Keith Emerson

We interrupt this Blog with yet another sad announcement of the passing of a major musical figure. This time it is Keith Emerson, the brilliant keyboardist of the famed prog-rock band "Emerson, Lake, and Palmer." I had the fortune to meet him and briefly work with him on producing sound charts for the "Mini-Moog" synthesizer, when I worked for Moog Music in the summer of 1973. I did the graphics and some of the sound testing for the charts, which were designed to show a user how to set the knobs and controls on the synthesizer to get the desired sound. We included some settings that were developed in collaboration with Keith, who was patient enough to offer up suggestions and test results. Here is a copy of a page I worked on at Moog. I was given the basic circle and square diagram of the synthesizer control panel, and all the points and indicators where to set things were mine. When we were done I asked Keith if he would sign the "ELP" sound chart and he graciously did so. You can see his autograph if you click on the page.

And this is what the cover of the MiniMoog sound charts looked like in the 1970s. This is from a 1977 reprint. The design is not my work.

Time to find and listen after all these years to Keith Emerson's legacy. As with all of them, their music will live on.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Boxmaster: Cutting the Shard

In Jacqueline Lichtenberg's "Boxmaster" story, an apprentice Boxmaster must venture into a planetary wasteland, far from any help from civilization, to find and carve out the psychic crystals that he or she works with. They are often in mountainous places where the quester must do difficult climbing. I will never do rock climbing though it seems like a fascinating sport. I bought a picture book about "how to learn rock climbing in a weekend," and that was all I needed for details of harness, ropes, and tools. The shard is depicted as having almost a  winglike appearance, as if it were an occult vision or an angel. Lichtenberg worked in some of her Jewish mystical background if the reader can pick it up.

Black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 10 1/2", fall 1994.

Note: The Photoshop annoyance continues. I re-installed it but it still wouldn't work. Due to this "licensing" incompatibility, Photoshop is Kaput on my main system. Fortunately I have two back up systems, my MacBook Pro laptop and the glamorous Miss Cintiq. So I can continue to blogify until I've found, or paid for, a solution to the problem. I tell you it sure is easier to type in my blog blather on a keyboard rather than tap it out on the Cintiq screen. She's an Artiste, she isn't made for mere typing.   

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Earth Mover Dragon

Dragon on site! How can you resist our friend Fred,here resting between dirt-chomping jobs at the construction venue. I hear they're  building  a care home for aging fantasy-prone folks.Well I may belong there soon enough.We'll build  a garden with a little waterfall and some fantasy creatures sculpted in resin or concrete.There will be reliable, plentiful bandwidth and a big library donated by the residents.Sooner or later there will be the option of having your consciousness and memory uploaded to the Singularity.

This is the first blog post I've posted from the Cintiq where the art was processed in Cintiq's Photoshop.Typing is cumbersome (no, not Cumberbatch).I am having nasty "licensing " problems with Photoshop CS4 after upgrading my Rosetta  Stone Persian language learning set. Photoshop won't  go.

Dragon is tech pen black ink on sketchbook page, color added in Photoshop, 7" x 6", March 10, 2016.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Boxmaster: Collapse in the Mine

Here's some danger action from Jacqueline Lichtenberg's "Boxmaster" series. In this scene the Earthman and his alien apprentice are almost obliterated by a mine collapse. They got out somehow because there are more illustrations. I may even have the manuscript somewhere. I have a lot of "intellectual products" packed away in my closet, not all of them authored by me. Soon I will start examining just what I want to keep and what I want to dump. I'd like to move out of my current place someday, but not to the vermin-infested homestead back in Massachusetts. 

Ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", fall 1994.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"Lona" from Stasheff story

Finally, fresh new art, at least a little of it. "Lona" is a charming, brilliant, sexy space bombshell who is married to the rather nerdy hero. Stash must have had fun writing this character. The writing style is reminiscent of both pulp action and romantic comedies, and is unusual in fiction since it depicts a married couple who genuinely love each other and don't break up even though they are tempted by riches or attractive others. (At least in this  part of the story.)

I chose a "retro" look for her outfit, and added bits of tech gear to her gloves and boots, so that she wouldn't have to tote too much stuff with her on her interplanetary business trips. The drawing is meant to be colored in eventually. Now I must admit something. The figure looks a bit better than the ones I draw by myself. This is because I traced it from a fashion drawing. So sue me. That's what fashion designers do, too. It's called "croquis," pronounced "crow-key." You can look it up.

"Lona" is 3 1/4" x 8 1/2", digital inking Photoshop on Cintiq, March 8, 2016.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Construction Save

You're probably sick of the construction site saga that I have posted here. After four futile attempts to build their structure, the builders have finally turned to the best solution: custom-designed engineering that fits different parts together into one integral structure. This is "C.A.S.E.," or Computer Aided Software Engineering." Nowadays it's probably everywhere, computers working to direct other computers. In 1994 it was just getting started. As you see here, a skilled workman from "C.A.S.E." applies software hardware putty to the hole for the beam. When dry and cured, this inbuild will fit exactly with the upright beam. Meanwhile, everybody who used to work here has been let go as all the jobs in the offices were outsourced to India and the Philippines. They didn't know anything about that in 1994, either.

Ink on illustration board, 6 1/2" x 8 1/2", spring 1994.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Boxmaster by Lichtenberg

Some of you may remember author Jacqueline Lichtenberg, who was for many years a regular visitor to the now-gone "DarkoverCon." Jacqueline originated and wrote (or co-wrote) a series of books set in the "Sime-Gen" world, a post-apocalyptic era when humanity has separated into two phases, the vampiric Simes and the life-giving Gens. But Jacqueline has written much more than that, including genuine vampire stories, occult romances, humorous fantasy, and even some non-fiction about Jewish mysticism.

She ventured into "hard" science fiction with her proposed "Boxmaster" series, about a guild of spacefaring Earthmen who were psychically bonded with semi-sentient crystal shards (somewhat like the famous old "Lensmen"). The crystals, housed in special boxes, processed data and memories which the Boxmasters could transfer and interpret. Lichtenberg wrote one book as a sample, which she allowed me to read so I could produce illustrations. Unfortunately the "Boxmaster" series did not succeed in getting published so it remains with Jacqueline somewhere, with an excerpt online. 

This was my original cover for the book, which would have been available in magazine form rather than paperback. The style is different from my usual ink drawing; I was trying to imitate the etching and flat black style of mid-century SF magazines. You can see another image from my illustrations here. And also, a portrait of the alien partner of the human Boxmaster.

Ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", September 1994.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Lyrical Cat of Syracuse

I have friends in the "Cat World," the international community of cat breeders and exhibitors. They also love my art and I have done many commissions for them. This is one of them. They were running the annual cat show for TICA, "The International Cat Association." Since it was to be held in Syracuse, New York, they wanted a Greek-classical theme for the souvenir logo and program book and T-shirt art. (Many cities in New York State are named for ancient Roman and Mediterranean cities.) I came up with this Lyric Cat, playing in a bower of grapevines (another New York State feature). It was colored in and printed on a lovely T-shirt which I still wear sometimes, especially if I am visiting a winery.

Original is ink on illustration board, grapevines are clip art glued onto surface. About 8" x 10", 2005.

Note to reader(s): I just found a box full of my black and white archival material. So I can restore and share a whole lot of images before I have to worry about changing my posting schedule. If I repeat something, neither of us will know. On the first day of spring this Blog will be 8 years old. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Warlock's Companion cover art

The cover art for "The Warlock's Companion" by Christopher Stasheff is now approved by the Stasheffs and will be available as an e-book now. These well-loved humorous fantasies have not been in print for many years and nowadays e-books are "in print." This one, "Companion," includes elements of lightheartedly risqué science fiction as well as spooky medieval ghost fantasy. 

The horse head is a portrait of "Fess," the robotic horse on whom our hero, Rod Gallowglass, depends for not only protection and transportation but counseling, as the horse (which had been a C-3PO style humanoid until Gallowglass came to the neo-medieval world of Gramarye) is a powerful artificial intelligence. The golden "halo" marks the position of Fess' supercomputer brain.

The fanciful buildings to the left of Fess are ostentatious palaces built by asteroid colonists. The asteroid colonies are the yellow constellation-like dots and lines shining on the dwarf planet's surface. And the red sports-space-car is from a story early in the book where Fess's artificial intelligence must take care of a drunken and irresponsible overrich boy driver.

Stasheff wrote lots of these fantasies and they are all fun, and I hope to continue enjoying them and pixeling the covers of more of them. So far I've done the e-book "cover" for "The Warlock is Missing" and "The Warlock Heretical. This is the third I've done and I am already  planning number 4.

Photoshop mostly on Cintiq, 12" x 16", February-March 2016. Click on the pic to get a larger view.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Construction Fail, Part 4: Welder

If you can't assemble your construction because your beam doesn't fit in the hole, then you must adjust the hole to fit it. Here, a welder laboriously cuts away unwanted parts of the level plate, so that the upright will fit in it. In the software world this means coding new software so that your own pre-made codework will work with it. It's a tough job and not easy to do, and you still have to pay someone to do it - until now. Now, it's 1994 and the Internet has incredible possibilities. And all that new code to fit with the old code can be done  - by computers! 

These comic book-style illustrations were made for an entity named "Leverage Technologists," who were promoting their product of "Computer Aided Software Engineering." Their idea was to make all these temperamental and independent programs work with each other to build the infrastructure of the Internet and everything related to it. In 1994 the World Wide Web is only one year old. What is one year old now in 2016, that will change our lives forever?

Ink on illustration board, about 6 1/2" x 8 1/2", March 1994.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Voter Wuk

I voted on Tuesday but nothing was very "super" about it. I voted and all I got was this patriotic sticker and more images of Donald Trump's orangutan-like face. In my notebook appears this bird-of-paradise from some jungle electorate district, commenting in a word I often hear crows using. "Wuk! Wuk! Wuk!" It rhymes with something and I'll leave it like that. 

Tech pen ink and sticker on sketchbook page, about 4 1/2" x 4", March 1, 2016.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Friend as Model

I needed a mythical lady for a commission I was working on so I persuaded a good friend to pose for me. This was for a science fiction illustration from a book where the people on board a lost spaceship role-played King Arthur's Court in Camelot. The lady was supposed to be Guinevere, I guess. I created the hair, dress, and heraldic shield, and my friend posed in her ordinary clothes. The hands look too big because I was too close to the figure and I didn't take that into account. 

You can see the finished painting here. I haven't made my friends model for some time but if there were something that they would fit into, I would ask again. 

Pencil on (yellowed old) sketchbook page, about 9" x 8", September 1982.