Saturday, December 28, 2013

Roon of the Hidden Realm

This is the rough for "Roon of the Hidden Realm" for Magic: the Gathering. Many of my drawings that are on the way to being paintings become a patchwork of adjustments and multiple pieces of drawings - stitched together in good ol' photoshop. This is because I tend to "feel" out a drawing as I am drawing it.  I'll start with the main focus which is usually a single figure or two figures - if I can get the feel and action of that to look right, I'll start to build off and around that.

On a drawing like this one for Roon, I'll start in a large sketchbook.  In feeling out the pose and action, I often run out of room to finish the drawing so I'll scan what I have, print that out as a slightly smaller version, then finish the drawing out to roughly the appropriate size ratio with background and everything.

Then BACK to the scanner and back into photoshop where I deliberate placement and proportions, etc.  Sometimes looking at the image on a computer screen helps me see little things that need to be tweaked - I'll adjust the size of a figure in the background or maybe bump the horizon line a tad - rotate a weapon a smidge so it isn't interfering with some other component of the composition - and so on.  In the case of Roon, I did a little of all these things.  I played around with whether I wanted Roon to be bigger or smaller in the frame according to how much of his whacky staff was going to be cropped off at the top and adjusted the building behind him this way and that to get it to feel right in the composition - all in hopes that I can get it all into a good, well-reading balance that makes for a potentially exciting painting.

You can see the final painting HERE on my art blog.

Oh, and the final painting is up for auction on Ebay through January 13th. Feel like owning a nice piece of original Magic artwork? Check it out HERE.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Planeswalker Sketch Crds

I just posted five new auctions selling a full set of the SDCC Variant Planeswalkers plus one original sketch card featuring one of the featured Planeswalkers. You have until about 10:00 am eastern time zone next thursday to make your bid if you're interested!


Here are what the sketch cards look like. I did these drawings on blank cards and adhered them to a valueless old magic card so that they could have that nice iconic Magic the Gathering backing - makes it look pretty nice. Don't try to peel the cards apart to see what card I glued to - it's not a Black Lotus, for cryin' out loud!

By the way, for those of you interested in purchasing original Magic: The Gathering artwork, I have posted a price list of my available Magic originals HERE.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Jack Plane

I haven't posted any pencil stuff in a while so here's a little sumthin sumthin just to break the silence.  This was drawn just this week for a friend who is devilishly keen with carpentry stuff.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eberron Revisited! (Kind of)

Hey, remember Eberron? It's still close to my hear because I was one of the concept artists that helped give visual cues to all the cool stuff found in the D&D off-shoot. I did a lot of interior art specific to the various Eberron books that came out in the mid-aughties - many of which I unearthed in my studio during my latest clean-up and containment surge.

This isn't a revisit to Eberron where I post a bunch of Eberron drawings so much as a ham-fisted attempt to get some of you Eberron fans out there to buy this old artwork I found and give it a better place to while away the rest of eternity than a shabby box in my studio.

Over on my Art-Blog I have posted a bunch of these old Eberron pieces including an epic panoramic cover painting of the dragon continent of Argonessen done for the Eberron book: Dragons of Eberron.

Any purchases over $300 also get an original Eberron-specific drawing such as the one at the top of this post!  Contact me at: with any interest or questions!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Fall is almost here and for the sake of this draw-blog post, that means two things!  Football and ILLUXCON!!!!

Firstly, here's a sketch of a beefy football player.  The Cleveland Browns are my team so this here's a Cleveland Brown.  That said, you can rest assured that he is about to fumble (which will be returned for a touchdown) and that he will also probably have a season-ending injury.

But anyway, yeah - football is upon us.  I like football but I'm not a fan of things that signify the end of Summer.  I like Summer. This Summer especially has been a delight.  But oh well, guess it's time to grimace and watch my favorite tomato can humiliate northeast Ohio again.

Now, Illuxcon.  Never will you be able to see so much glorious traditional fantasy artwork in one spot at one time.  It's a annual fantasy art convention where a phenomenal crop of contemporary fantasy artists all set up and show off some truly masterful artwork.  For yours truly, it's always a humble-fest.  I go there every year and consider myself very fortunate to be among such great artists. Often times I wonder if there was some clerical error that got me into the show!

This year, Illuxcon has been moved from its usual November slot to September 11-15.  And it's also been moved from it's comfortable confines of Altoona to a new city further east - Allentown, PA.  This should be very exciting for everyone - I know I am damn excited.  And nervous!  And ill prepared!

A few things.  Illuxcon is split into three "shows".  There's a Main Show that goes on all five days.  There's a "Weekend Salon" that is just the two weekend days - and an evening showcase that is thursday and friday nights.  I am part of the Weekend Salon so I'll only be set up for all day Saturday and all day Sunday.  But don't let that deter you from enjoying all the IlluxCon has to offer for all five days!

Lastly, I did an interview with "Hipsters of the Coast"at a recent Magic: The Gathering GP.  Mind you, it has been word-for-word transcribed including all the "ums" and "uhs" and broken sentences I tend to use when I'm blathering on and distracted by answering questions in a bustling convention hall while signing cards. It makes it a bit of an awkward read and my short answers make me seem like a big jerk. Maybe I am a big jerk but I promise I wasn't trying to be on this particular day!  Anyway, there's some insight in the interview and I talk about my most sucktacular Magic card, too.  If you're into transcribed interviews with distracted, nonsensical fantasy artists, this is right up your alley!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Damn Dirty Apes

Just thought I'd post a little something since, ya know, I haven't posted much of anything in quite a bit.  This is the sketch for a painting that never came to fruition.  It is actually the precursor to my illustration for the Philadelphia Magic GP playmat (the one with the three-headed chicken monster).  This was my first idea but it was deemed not zany, crazy, or whacky enough.

It will probably never become a painting but it was a fun idea that kind of took shape while I drew it.  I started with the vague idea of apes in fantasy regalia.  But when I drew it, I liked the vapid/dejected look of the gibbon so much that I decided that he would be the catalyst.  In his hand is not a banana (as originally drawn) but a banana-like tooth from the water beast on the right.  See the little bloody hole in its gum line? The idea being that the banana-hungry gibbon saw the teeth and just had to have one - much to the discomfort and rage of the water beast.

Friday, June 28, 2013


So this week MTV Geek posted a teaser for the Magic: the Gathering promo Planeswalker cards that I was lucky enough to get to do the artwork for.  The five super-rare cards are to be unleashed to the slavering Magic fans at San Diego ComicCon this July.  The teaser showed the Garruk black-on-black promo card as an example of the nifty graphic quality of the cards - completely different from what one normally sees on a Magic card.

Despite the extremely graphic pos-neg quality of the artwork, I did do these traditionally (well MOSTLY traditionally - there was a bit of digital tweaking and cleaning-up that went on after I scanned them in). As such, there was just as much preliminary work and post work as there would have been had I just been painting these, believe it or not.  I had to plan them out as black and white graphics - establishing bold shapes and elements while letting go of lines and halftones to describe the forms and details.  It was most definitely a "less-is-more" approach - a different and challenging way of creating an image that I wasn't used to but welcomed never-the-less.

But before that, I had to draw up the right poses for each planeswalker and still establish them as drawings first - with all the appropriate details even though most of those details would get dropped out or covered up. So here's my preliminary work on Garruk as well as Jace.  As far as I know, an image for Jace's card hasn't been released yet but the same image is being used on t-shirts that are being sold at WalMart right now - some I'm thinking it is ok to show the sketch here.

One last thing, there has been a bushel of inquiries about purchasing the original artwork for these planeswalker pieces (apparently, non-digital planeswalker art is hard to come by!). That said, I'm going to be selling all five together in an auction on eBay in the coming month.  Don't worry, I'll post details about that when the time comes so, if you're interested, stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


A few months ago I did a handful of pencil illustrations for a small-production project called "Chronicle", a game designed by Timothy Nanzer.  He let me have a nice amount of breathing room as far as my takes on some usual fantasy tropes - always a welcome thing.  The above sour-faced antagonist is a hobgoblin. And he lost his balloon so step off.

This lumpy-mugged brute is an orc and he's sick of your knock-knock jokes.

If you're interested in finding out more, go HERE for the website or HERE for the facebook page.

Do NOT lick the carnivorous toads. Public service message.
Priestesses often look down their noses at infidels.

Tim and his game will be at Origins at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio on June 13th through the 15th so come and check it out!

The Toad God needs a burger.  Now get on that sesame seed bun, scum.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Some Ravnica Under-Drawings

Just to bridge the time until the next post of interest, here are a handful of my roughs that went on to become paintings for Return to Ravnica Magic: The Gathering cards.  Pictured above is the line drawing for "Gem-Eye Drake".

Below is the line drawing for "Crowned Ceratok" (one of my favorite pieces from this Return to Ravnica block).

And lastly, here's the drawing for a card called "ShowStopper" which is coming out very soon in the "Dragon's Maze" set for Ravnica.  Apparently, the final card art will grace the official playmat for Grand Prix Kansas City in July.  Oh yeah, and guess who is gonna be there to scribble on them all with  his trusty Sharpies? If you guessed "some tool" you are CORRECT!

Speaking of Grand Prix appearances, I'll be at the GP Providence in Rhode Island June 7, 8, and 9! If you're a lobstah-eatin' chowdah-head that happens also to be a wicked Magic fan, I'll be seein' you there!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


One last Goblin post.  I still have drawings from this defunct project left but they aren't really worth sharing so truly, this is the last of my goblin drawings.

Above are some examples of goblins from the Kung-Fu faction.  Highly skilled in being calamity-causing sub-par martial artists, these goblins fling themselves into frays and supply their own Bruce Lee inspired sound effects.

The goblins have a police force, so-to-speak.  But, let's face it, they don't really excel in keeping order.

Here are some gene-splicing "experimental" goblins.  Why are the genius goblins doing these experiments? Nobody knows...

And finally, the plutonium bomb faction goblins have somehow found a way to animate plutonium.  Not sure they really meant to, but now they have themselves a plutonium golem which goes around wrecking things and then contaminating the scene with radiation.  (Notice the plutonium bomb mechanic for scale!)

All images are copyright©Wizards of the Coast.

Monday, March 11, 2013


It's been a while, but I still have more goblin crap to share so I hope ya ain't sick of it yet.  In Goblandia, there was, of course, need of a mining faction to hastily and dangerously extract mineral resources for the depths of the world's crust.  Mining goblins obviously spend a lot of time down in the dark pick-axing and shoveling and drilling away.  Their eyes are pale like a cave fish and they're often not even as intelligent as their surface-dwelling brethren - probably because of the lack of adequate ventilation and thus, not enough oxygen to the brain. The drill borer is one of my favorites from the whole goblin series.

There is also a bioengineering division which experiments in complex biosciences - but with rudimentary understanding and tools.

Being foolhardy and distractedly industrious, goblins are prone to war.  War leads to escalation of weaponry - which leads to goblins figuring out ways to use plutonium.  Here is a plutonium bomb mechanic.  Radiation suits were not thought of yet.

Side note: over on my Art Blog I have a post about illustrating specific actions for Magic:The Gathering cards as well as, if you're interested, a complete list of all the original Magic:The Gathering paintings I have left and are for sale.  Prices included in the list.

Also, must I remind you still?  I have a book chock full of pencil drawings sure to delight your eyes and offend your parents (if they are offended by malevolent fantasy creatures and the occasional bare bosom).  The book is called AGGREGATE .  It is $25 (plus whatever shipping costs might apply).  If you like what you see here, you'll definitely like my art book so pick one up while I have some!  Contact me at: to make an order.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Yet MORE goblin drawings (I told you I had a lot of them!).  This batch includes some conceptualizing of the "Dark Arts" goblins and the "Dracogoblins".

The Dark Arts goblins dabble in all sorts of seedy and exceptionally dangerous projects - all having to do with tapping the demon world and using volatile enchantments and potions.  It goes without saying that they don't know what they're getting themselves into.

The Dracogoblins are the goblins that deal exclusively in dragons.  From catching to wrangling to taming (doesn't really work out too well) and also egg harvesting, these goblins work an extremely high-risk job.  I like the goblin that has a pathetic little net to cast on a dragon - he cowers behind his ceramic heat-shield knowing his job sucks.

Lastly is the guy with what HE thinks is the suckiest job but is really one of the safest (with a mortality rate of merely 57%).  He's the fertilizer goblin - and his job is to scoop dragon shit all day long and take it to the agriculture goblins so they can use it to fertilize their warped, monsanto-like crops.

Once again, all these images are copyright©Wizards of the Coast.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Can't get enough goblin-oriented pencil drawings?  Well then, I'll have to oblige.  Here we follow up the previously posted "Brewing Faction" goblins with their own Beer Battle Cart which they can only use on downhill antagonists.  Notice the goblin puking - if I can work the act of puking into an illustration, by golly I will!

Above and the next two drawings are some goblin structures.  We have Goblin Political headquarters, A plutonium bomb factory, and a sorcerer's tower.

Looking at the plutonium bomb factory, I am reminded of my approach to goblin society.  Their society is much like how human society would be without ANY regulations of any kind and if you scrapped almost all design aesthetic.

And lastly, a goblin dentist.  He can help you with premium dentures OR budget dentures.  And no need to fuss over Novocain and pain relief - he doesn't really believe in that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Here I present to you some members of the Mobster faction of goblins - including, of course, the mob boss.  The "Gob"father, so to speak.

Also included here are "legal" mobsters, otherwise known as the political faction.  ZING!  Take that, politicians!  The decree-maker goblin (above) is one of my favorites!

This little fella is the mayor's assistant.  Below is the mayor goblin pictured with a member of the "Dark Arts" faction.  Appropriate.  - Zing again!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Tossing out a few more goblin drawings for ya.  Here are a trio of drawings for the Goblin society's favorite spectator sport: GoBall.  I have no idea how it is played but it's fun just to come up with the possible positions.  I intended to draw a goalie goblin, too but never got around to it.

Yes there are even Goblin hippies.

Yes, there are even narcissistic self-improvement Goblins. Who forget to improve their legs.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


To start out 2013 on my blog-o'-pencil art I'm going to be posting a whole mess of goblin drawings.  With tongue-in-cheek I often endearingly generalize that my job is "drawing goblins".  It's often easier to tell people that have no clue about the gaming world, the fantasy art world, or the fantasy gaming art world that I draw goblins and dragons all day then to try and describe not only what a collectable card game is or Dungeons & Dragons, but also to describe how my artwork fits in with that.  I'm usually pretty sure that no matter how much I say, the listener only hears "draws goblins and dragons all day" anyway.

*This drawing is my fave - sums up all you need to know about the flavor of the goblin world. A frying pan, a plunger, a board with nails? All viable goblin weapons!

You and I know of course that I draw and paint a whole lot more than just goblins.  HOWEVER, in 2007, an art director at Wizards of the Coast, having just seen my concept work on Lorwyn, called me up wanting me to work on a little online game side project.  The game was all but entirely based around a humorously crazy, chaotic, and extremely volatile society of goblins.  This of course, sounded like loads of fun to me.

*There were many different goblin factions - this one was all anarchists! And the piece at the top is the Brewing Faction.  How fun is that?

I worked feverishly from my home studio for a few months on this project and churned out dozens and dozens of drawings of goblins and their genius-but-dangerously flawed technologies and tools. I never found out how the game was actually going to work or what it would finally look like - it was shelved indefinitely for years.  Just a few months ago I found out that the project was dead.  This was sad to me because I thought there was some great and fun ideas put together by the art director and myself.  I passively inquired whether the rights to the images and ideas could be bumped down to me but Wizards still owns the rights it all (for whatever it is actually worth to them).  I wondered about repurchasing the rights to my stuff but I have enough other stuff going on right now that such a transaction, if even feasible, can wait for now.

BUT, the good news is that I am free to share the drawings as I please!!!  So enjoy the silly goblins - and remember that they're all copyright©Wizards of the Coast.