The Clockwork Frog!

This is an acrylic painting of Lirael and Sameth from the Old Kingdom novels by Garth Nix, with Mogget, and the Disreputable Dog.  They are camping on their way down the Ratterlin at the start of their journey to try to rescue Nick. Sameth’s clockwork frog is catching bugs: an asset to any riverside campsite!

This painting was created for the Fandom for Oz charity auction, thanks to my lovely recipient for being patient about the development in this very odd period of life.

Here are a couple of sketches that I made when I was developing ideas for the painting:

 

The Resurrection of Merit the Pale

I made this A3 size painting as a prize for a competition held by the Shop on the Borderlands.  It illustrates a key event for the group, where one of the party has been killed and they are waiting to see if he can be revived. To make sure I had the right idea for each character, I sketched them out in pencil before assembling the finished painting: you can see the various head-sketches below.

Commission: Adventuring Party at Leisure

Completed version of this commissioned painting of a D&D party: first the quick A4 sketch:

And then the final painted version: I’m told the adventurers are  pleased with it. The Innkeeper on the right is based on the GM (Game Master), who commissioned the painting and was lovely to work with. As you may have guessed, the lighting and composition was inspired by Caravaggio’s wonderful painting, The Calling of St Matthew: I thought I might as well aim high.   But this little painting is just A3 in size, whereas Caravaggio’s original is about three meters square!

With commissioned paintings, I would usually discuss ideas with you, then email you a photo of a rough sketch, then later, email a small first-draft incomplete painted version for discussion, and then finally a completed high resolution image.

I am open to making paintings that are only supplied digitally, if you want art to print out yourself and don’t want a physical copy.  However, in this case, the person who commissioned the painting did want the original as well as the photo, so it was sent out to them by post.

Demilich, Beholder : Fun with D&D Monsters!

Upcycled Demilich! This round board came to The Shop on the Borderlands as the base for a rather tired bunch of very old miniature figures.

The figures were removed & stripped of their old paint, and I have made this painting on the base. I kept the bumpy texture, which has interacted interestingly with my palette knife, and I’ve used a semitransparent gold paint to pick out details and add the ghosts of adventurers trapped by dark enchantments. The ghosts change in visibility as the light moves. Quite pleased with the flame-ruby eyes.

And here’s another famous D&D monster: a Beholder, with dagger-teeth and many eyes. I painted this because I wanted to practice painting flamelit flesh tones, and was tired of painting human figures. I’m particularly pleased with the ring on the adventurer’s finger.

Three illustrations for a poem

My poet friend Pete Clark sent me his tragic fantasy poem The Well, wondering if I might feel inspired to make some art for it.  Did I ever!  It’s got some fabulous vivid imagery and so I dived into making these three watercolours with enthusiasm.  I think the one above is probably my favorite, but all three were a lot of fun to make.

We had some discussion about what the setting should be like.  I felt that the  setting seemed Eastern Mediterranean, but the contrast of shining blue streams in a valley with red rock mountains reminded me of photos I’d seen of the Little Colorado River.  This was what I ended up with:

And then this painting of the two protagonists of the poem is of course inspired partially by the ancient Roman statue known as the Dying Gaul (a copy of a lost Greek original).

Do go to Pete’s site to read the entire poem to see the context.  The Well.

Good Omens & Queen’s Thief portraits.

I wanted to practice some portraits, so here is an A4 portrait of Crowley, played by David Tennant, in Good Omens.  I’ve loved the book of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman for many years, and it was a delight to see it brought so faithfully to life on the screen.  Below, Michael Sheen as Aziraphale.   These two are both acrylic paintings.

Another much-beloved book – well, series of books, really, is Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series (I’m eagerly looking forward to the last book!)  So here we have Helen, Queen of Eddis, with her short curly hair, dark skin and broken nose, set against the mountains of Eddis.  Irene, Queen of Attolia, with her pale sad beauty, and her land rich with grapes and grain, and in the middle, the Queen’s Thief himself, Gen (Eugenides) who will marry Irene and become Attolis, the King of Attolia.

These are inktense pencil watercolours, apart from Helen’s face, which I made a horrible mess of on the first attempt and had to re-paint over the top using acrylic paint.

Cirdan Facing the Storm

Here is Tolkien’s Cirdan the Shipwright, looking out across a wild sea into the uttermost West. Cirdan was eager to travel to Valinor; when the Teleri went without him, he wanted to sail after them, but was told to wait. He built ships for other people till the last ship sailed from Mithlond.

I made this acrylic painting after watching a demonstration by Emma Carter Bromfield at a Tavistock Group of Artists meeting this week.

A Good Many Roleplaying Character Portraits

I’ve been playing in a roleplaying campaign for five years now, run by my husband, and set in the world of Second Age Middle-earth.  One great thing about roleplaying is that you meet lots of fascinating characters and get ideas for all kinds of exciting scenes.  Some of these were painted in advance, but most of them were made pretty quickly during the actual campaign time, with the players giving their own ideas of what the characters should look like.

These are almost all A4 paintings, watercolour inktense pencil on watercolour paper, though the two bottom right are larger and were painted in acrylic on artcard.