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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Exterrestrial cephalopods and partying shrimp.

My buddy, Irene Gallo at, apparently REALLY likes when I draw tentacles. I've done about 4 or 5 tentacle-based illustrations for her and, honestly, that I don't mind that type-casting one bit.

The latest was a featured article about editing. One part stand alone story, one part tribute to a Tor editor.  Originally, we wanted to do a rollover with the editor's head on the octopus body, switching back and forth to the full on cephalopod head. Because of time constraints, and Irene hiking in Iceland (God bless her), we ended up dropping the rollover likeness. But you can see it here...
The winning thumbnail with some value refinement, staying loose.
The very rough sketch, establishing a mood.
A bit more refinement, plus a layer with the editor's face. All bad tie and plaid pants were specifically requested to match his "style."
After approval, I keep refining to make sure everything works spatially, and try to correct the weight and solidity of the figure and tentacles.
Clean finished drawing printed onto watercolor. 
And the final paint/post production effects.
I attempted to put a couple Easter eggs in there for those who looked closely. You can find three Hugo awards this editor (David Hartwell) won sitting on various shelves. Good luck.

And recently, I was given permission to show some exploratory work I did for Adfero. I was asked to help design a shrimp that looked friendly and healthy to represent the Gulf Coast shrimp industry*.
    Making an insect-like crustacean look cuddly is an art in itself. I purposely didn't let myself look at Peter de Séve's blog knowing he had done something similar and far superior a short while back.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, though.

And one last drawing from my mystery project to hold you over while I got back to my cave...

Thanks for reading- S

*Mardi the Spokeshrimp was created by the Washington, DC public relations firm Adfero Group for an organization that wanted to promote the shrimp industry in the Gulf Coast of the United States.  Playing off of the Canjun flair for creative ways to serve shrimp, Adfero named the character after the world famous Mardi Gras that takes place in New Orleans each year.**

**Sorry about the fine print.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hidden Shrine / Wizards of the Coast

While we're posting Dungeons & Dragons art, here is something I did a while ago for Wizards of the Coast.

Thanks for checking it out-S.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Neverwinter Fortune Cards

A few months back I did a piece for D&D's new Neverwinter Fortune Cards set. While they only used a small portion of the image for the box art as you can see here, I painted out the whole figure so that they could use more of the image for other marketing purposes, dealing with the Neverwinter set. This was a really fun peace and I had a great time working on the landscape in the background. Had a bit of inspiration from Albert Bierstadt on that section.

Hopefully, more work will be freed from NDA's soon and I can post again.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

ESPN, Wall Street Journal, Billboard, etc, etc

In between all the books I have done and the current ones I am doing now I get to do some really fun editorial pieces. I love the oasis these jobs represent while working on larger projects. The quick turnarounds and the different themes help give distance when you return to working on the books, and these kind of images are always a joy to work with. Also since you can't really disclose much of the books you are doing until they are out it allows for showing something once in a while.

For the Wall Street Journal, Book review section on the excessive violence of books aimed at teenagers.
For Las Vegas Weekly on the rising fear on communism in the U.S.
For ESPN Fantasy football issue, Ron Landry
For Billboard magazine on the Amazon cloud music service.

Thanks so much to the amazing AD for inviting me on this fun ride.

Friday, July 8, 2011

New work for PLANSPONSOR

Sorry for not posting for a while , I have been travelling and working on an exciting project that I am dying to tell but can't say a word until next year...
In the mean time, here is a piece I did for this month's PLANSPONSOR magazine.
The story is about the difficulties of communication. For the millionth times, big big thanks to AD SooJin Buzelli.




Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!!!

I thought this would be a fitting post for today. I recently completed 6 illustrations for a Men's Journal article on our military special forces units. These JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) members are the guys who got Osama bin Laden. This was a fun project from start to finish. The AD and I both agreed it would be great to paint these images in a similar way to the G.I. Joe box art we both grew up with in the 80's. It was very nostalgic. You can find the article in the July issue of Men's Journal. Happy 4th to all, especially all those serving in our armed forces!!!