Thursday May 7th is the worldwide release of the app game SoulSpark! The game is a real-time based card battle game and is a visual feast if you like these stocky little fantasy characters and creatures I have been posting on my blogs and Facebook.
As many of you know (because I have been peppering the inter webs about it for like 11 months now), there is a most excellent app game coming out soon called SoulSpark! The game was created by Denmark-based Copenhagen Creators and WizKids and every illustration was done by yours truly! There'll be more thorough articles in the near future about the creation of SoulSpark but I thought I'd share a few of the detailed pencil drawings that went on to become full color characters for the epic adventure of SoulSpark.
The horrid thing at the top is the drawing for the carnivorous plant that awaits you in the dark forest. I liked the trope of a plant with teeth but didn't want to go the route of the straight up venus flytrap since it has been done so much. So I went with a kind of pod that scrabbles around on little tuber-like legs and a four-section mouth that opens like a milkweed or one of those eggs from the movie ALIEN. Inside are lashing grabby tentacles, lots of teeth, and a grisly demise.
This is a Frost Hawk - an ice winged predator of the cold mountain region. If you hear the tinkling of ice getting closer, you're about to be set upon by these frigid creatures.
There are three different fungus monsters that will impede your journey to find the SoulSpark - and none of them take kindly to adventurers. If you research images of fungus you get quite an extraordinary array of shapes, patterns, colors, and textures. There really are quite remarkable - even if most are unsettling and rather creepy. I used portions of many different kinds of fungi to create the SoulSpark fungus monsters to make them unique and visually appealing. Warning though: DON'T eat these mushrooms. DO NOT.
You will encounter a mysterious tower on your quest. It is filled with all sorts of mechanical adversaries. This monkey bomb construct shouldn't be allowed to get too close for obvious reasons.
Bluestone was one of the very first drawings I did for the game. It actually was drawn before there was ever even the idea of SoulSpark - before I ever even talked to the fellows at Copenhagen Creators. This guy's attitude and design made him a favorite among the game makers which helped to make Bluestone the lead hero in the SoulSpark story.
If you should be unfortunate in your battle with the enemy, you will be greeted with the Defeat illustration - your weapons and armor bashed and strewn about the battlefield - your banner a tattered reminder of the cards you should and shouldn't have played. Oh yeah, and to add more insult, here come the vultures to pick your defeated bones!
There is no specific date of international release just yet but SoulSpark will be available for FREE download in late April. If you are a resident of Denmark, the game IS currently available for download.
Make sure to go to: SOULSPARKGAME.COM for more information and even a 30 second video trailer featuring the excellent SoulSpark musical score!
Haven't posted in a long while. The reasons are many but the main reason being I've just been a busy bastard the past year. I picked up a crazy and unique and huge project that filled in all the cracks of my schedule and them some for most of the past 12 months. It mangled up my schedule something good but it'll be well worth while. The project was for the soon-to-be-released mobile app game: SoulSpark. The game features tons of artwork by yours truly - in fact, ALL of the artwork you will see in SoulSpark is from me! I think the website is still getting a makeover but check it out and sign up for the newsletter HERE. The game is set to be released in March so stay tuned!
I have of course been keeping up with work on Magic: the Gathering. The latest block to come out takes place on a plane called Khanar - a plane of warring tribes and hordes loosely inspired by the Mongols of ancient China. There are still a few cards to be released but here is some of my pieces that are currently out there (including the piece at the top!):
This here is "Hallowed Spiritkeeper" for Magic: The Gathering. I don't necessarily know if this is a considered a "high key" painting since it certainly has a few darks in it. Nevertheless, it is the highest key painting that I have done which was pretty fun to try out. I think it forced me to use subtleties of tone and color that I do not often tinker with - and that's a good thing.
Obviously, it's a white card and portrays a mystical figure that guards a realm of spirits so I wanted to play up the almost "heavenly" mood with lots of white and light colors. His costuming is regal and robe-like and the wall behind him is unblemished white marble. Beyond the wall is an ethereal glow.
The appearance of the spiritkeeper is purposely straddling the line between benevolent and malevolent. He guards the gates without alignment, without prejudice and that's the kind of mood I wanted to capture.
For this post I'm selectively throwing back all the way to like 9 months ago with some Theros illustrations. Sure, Prognostic Sphinx and Kiora's Follower are my favorites from the Greek-themed set but I've decided to share some other Theros pieces on the merits of specific portions or aspects of the paintings that I find particularly successful.
This painting, while maybe a bit innocuous and forgettable at first glance, has some really savvy painting that I wish I could consistently conjure much more often. The lower left hand corner shows a hydra head confronting a spear-wielding warrior in the background. In order to push that back in space, I muted the shadows while keeping the highlights warm and sunlit. And the sky warming and then fading into the jagged mountain line helps set the atmosphere even more. The rest of the image works well for what it had to show but that corner right there I'm particularly proud of.
Another overlooked favorite from the Theros block is this hydra token. And it is yet another good example of subtle and muted color choices to play up atmosphere and depth. I think when I first painted this piece, I thought I used a bit too much Payne's Gray which is kind of my replacement for black on my palette. It's close to that dark but has a cooler tone and seems to mix better with other paints. Anyway, I used Payne's Gray a lot in this piece to keep the colors muted and misty feeling. The result seemed to make the overall image a little too gray for my liking. But since then, I have had time to look at it with fresher eyes and now I rather like this painting a lot. I think the grayed tones help and not hinder the image - and the painterly textures of the foliage turned out nicely, too.
Ah yes, the Gluttonous Cyclops. Working with a kind of fish-eye perspective, I never could establish how exactly I wanted the background to look. Never-the-less, it is the cyclops that sells this piece so I had to really get that purplish-brownish-blackish African skin tone just right as well as how and where to highlight the skin. In this instance, there was some trial and error but overall, I'm pretty proud of how the skin colors and textures came out. I also like the smashed little shepherd's house in the background!
Finally, Fleetfeather Sandals. Part of the sweeping art direction for this setting was that, as opposed to Innistrad which was swathed in murky darkness and creepy, obscuring fogs, Theros was to be brightly bathed in Mediterranean sunshine. Colors were to be bright, skies nearly devoid of clouds, shadows to be sharp-edged as they are when cast by the sun. That said, no other Theros painting of mine shows that better than this piece and I'm pretty pleased by that. Again, at first glance this is a pair of legs from the knees down and some shoes with owl wings. Seems simple enough. But I really focused my energy on establishing that sunny lighting and playing up the natural colors that come from brilliant sunshine. Yellow grasses, the red in the rocks, the blue of the sky, the reddish-brown of the tanned legs in shadow, the purple of the shaded areas. Also, I used a palette knife to get a good texture on the foreground rock.
In less than 3 weeks I will set foot on Scandinavian soil! I'll be flying in to Copenhagen, Denmark to meet up with fellow fantasy artist Jesper Ejsing. We will both then make the short hop north to Stockholm Sweden for the Magic: the Gathering Grand Prix October 24-26.
Jesper's original thumbnail. Such liveliness even in a simple doodle like this!
Jesper and I are the guest artists at the event so make sure you bring your cards and card protectors and play mats to get signed or drawn on - and bring your Swedish money to buy prints, sketches, and artist proofs!
My polished line drawing featuring the Vasa ship in the background.
Besides meeting the handsome faces behind some of your favorite card art, is there any other reason to go to GP Stockholm? Well, if you're into collecting playmats, yes there is! The exclusive GP Stockholm playmat is a team-up illustration by Jesper and I. Jesper gave me a rough thumbnail idea, I drew up a more refined and detailed line drawing, then Jesper applied his potent digital painting skills to finish off the artwork. You'll only be able to get these unique playmats at the GP and it's a damn good time to get both Jesper and I to sign them, too.
Jesper's masterful color application pulls it all together!
Another good reason to go to GP Stockholm is that from everything I have heard, Stockholm is an awesome city. I have heard nothing but great things about Sweden and Stockholm specifically so I am truly excited to go. See you there!
I've had a flurry of sales over the past 4 months as well as some new Magic art being released and returned to me. Thusly, an updated list of prices and availability was in need.
Below is a comprehensive list of all of my Magic: the Gathering artwork. Contact me via private message if you have interest in any of these. You can contact me through Facebook or using: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MtG Price List has been removed in order to be fully updated. Sorry for the inconvenience, yo!