Earthquake Dragon Re-Revision

I put some more time into the Earthquake Dragon. I really wanted to get back some of the texture in the dust cloud, and I did a few other things too.

Revisions: Bullywug and Earthquake Dragon

First is my revised bullywug piece. I lightened the near toad's face and throat, and clarified some of the middle and background's value schemes (or something like that. It's been a couple of weeks. What Jeremy said). I also toned down the diagonals pointing into the corners.

Below that is my revised Earthquake Dragon. I posted the original version back in July. Flipping between the two now I seem to have edited out some of my favorite parts of the original. I guess another revisit is in order.


Playmats? Indeed!

Just a quick note: at long last, my playmats are available. I'm offering both gaming cloth and foam backed mats. More at http://www.drewbaker.com/playmats.asp


Ninja Bullywug!

I did this piece for Dungeon Magazine a while back. (Jon schindehette featured it on his blog if you want to see a larger version.) This week it faced the harsh eye of a Ninja Mountain critique. How did it fare? You'll have to listen to episode 44 to find out! Or wait for me to put up a post-critique version after the episode is released.


I'm terrible at doing daily warm ups. I'm not great with maintaining a schedule, but at warm ups I'm truly terrible. Today I decided to sketch through an episode of Windows Weekly. It's been a while since my Drow/Mindflayer piece and I thought it could be fun to touch on D&D again.


An Obvious -- Yet Still Painful -- Confession

I suppose it's pretty obvious from my work, but I've done practically no portraiture since art school. And I wasn't very good at it back then, either. I'm sorely tempted to make excuses, or couch this in words that would be gentler to my ego, but the truth is it's a fundamental skill I have left woefully undeveloped. I need to change that.

These are my third, fourth, and fifth efforts from today. I console myself with two things. 1) I'm making different mistakes each time. Surely this means I'll be able to get better, right? 2) The photo I'm working from -- taken with a terrible phone under the many banks of florescent lights in the GenCon art show a couple of years ago -- is exceptionally poor, as reference photos go. (See how I don't understand her far cheek? Clearly it couldn't be my fault, so it must be the vague passages of shadows, highlights, and reflected lights are disguising the forms. I'm just not good enough to cover for it. Drat.)


This is for an upcoming board game from Crosscut Games, and they said I was welcome to share the project here. We had -- basically -- the one on the top left when I started this page of thumbnails. My plan was to see if I could find something we liked more. I didn't, so that's what we'll go forward with.

The next step is research and reference.


Extra Lines

Last week at Borders I bought a Piccadilly graph paper notebook. The first few pages were used for estimating dye sublimation printing costs, nesting said dye sub images on fabric, and ideas for a game for my daughter's 5th birthday party that we didn't have time to make. Then I got to sketching in it, and it wasn't bad. The graph lines are a bit darker than I'd like, but once I got going they weren't disruptive.


Stomping Hello

I hadn't realized my last post was a month ago. It turns out I've been busy. I took a break this morning and played with this centaur sketch again. It's always frustrating to lose a sketch's energy while the piece is refined. Over the years I've gotten a better at holding onto it, but I've still got a long way to go.

Anyway, back to work.


Today's Token Thumbs

My schedule loosens up a bit next week, but until then some new thumbnails is really all I can offer. I may still consider it a victory, however small.


Some Older Sketches

Sorry for the dead air. Here's a page of sketches from earlier in the year.


Still progressing

Of late my sketchbook efforts have just been flailing, with nothing fun or interesting to show. So I took a break from them to work this piece up some more.


Triceratops in the Morning

Because I missed my flight to Greece I was free to join my wife and kids for a play group triceratops dig. We -- my wife and I -- hadn't had time to make the whole skeleton, but what we had held up to being buried, walked on, and dug up surprisingly well.

The kids came down on the foreleg first then worked toward the tail, which made for a good reveal when they went back for the skull.

Most Embarrassing -- and Publicly -- Blown Deadline

I was up early this morning getting ready to travel. My phone was ringing when I finished my shower, but I missed it. Oddly, it was an international call, and I'd missed two of them. I got a text while I checked my email. My flight was early and Michael was afraid he'd missed me.

Wait, what? My flight is today. He must have mistaken my arrival date for.... Oh. Oh! Drat.

So, this time I really screwed up, and I'm afraid I won't actually be in Athens this week. Sorry. Ridicule is expected, and certainly warranted. On the plus side, I should be able to catch up on work.

EC Bound

In a few hours I'll be heading to Athens for the L5R European Championships. I'm sure they have the internet in Greece, but you should all still expect me to be incommunicative. More than usual, even.


GenCon 09 Award

Omar Rayyan made it clear it was his doing that my little dragon painting won the 1st Place Award at the GenCon art show. Thanks to Jon Schindehette and Steve Belledin for letting him have his way.

(Sorry it took so long to get a photo. Think of this as a dramatization, in the fine tradition of Unsolved Mysteries.)


Yet Another Got Away

For quite a while I thought I'd be able to miraculously pull this piece together for GenCon as an 18"x48" oil painting. I see now I've let my chance for that pass, probably two days ago. That's the price of goofing off.

With any luck I'll still be able to work it up digitally, bring prints, and revisit it with oils some time in the future.


Another sketch

My commission ratio of lightsabers to protol droids is nearly down to 3:1, so I thought I'd try to nudge back in the proper direction.

I'm not really sure where I was heading with this one, but I kind of like where it ended up.


Hanging Around

After binging on the Mindflayer I wanted a break from creature and fantasy stuff.


ArtOrder Drow vs Mindflayer

Here's my piece for the Drow vs Mindflayer challenge over at Jon's blog. I think it turned out pretty well. It came together pretty smoothly, which was nice.

I've also included my (slightly refined from the original) sketch, since I think that sort of thing is interesting.


One Giant Leap...

... so then I thought, "If you're going through the trouble to take the elephant to the moon so it can jump and caper about, go ahead and give it the mission commander's stripe to really make its day."


Earthquake Dragon

I recently decided to be a part of the art projects Jon Schindehette is running over on his blog. This was for the Earthquake Dragon challenge that recently wrapped up. I've got an idea I'm fond of for the current Drow/Mindflayer challenge. We'll see if it works out.


More centaur sketching

Another centaur sketch, and it looks like I was able to repair my scanner. That's nice.

Also, the Anguillian -- which I illustrated in Stormwrack, my first D&D project -- was recently called the #2 most retarded D&D monster. Be aware there are many profanities: page 2 of the article here.



A Hida Kisada sketch for a fan in Brazil.


Snowy Mountain

I believe this one was in Henry's sketchbook. I thought a touch of Star Wars would be fun. Pardon the camera noise.


Centaur doodle 3

Another centaur. I tried sketching some up on my tablet PC, but for this sort of thing pencil and paper are still much more natural. If only scanning weren't a pain.


Centaur doodle 2

Most of yesterday's studio time went to revisiting abandoned paintings. They're still not presentable, so here's another centaur.


Centaur doodles 1

Sketchbooks were passed around at the end of the IMC and Abby was asking for Centaurs. I did a couple in other people's books, and had so much fun I wanted to do a few for myself.