Gearing up for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! I am SO stoked about going to this convention. It’s my first illustration show to ever attend, and I managed to snag one of 15 slots for a workshop with the utterly amazing Iain McCaig!!! This is the guy that designed Darth Maul! (And Jar-Jar, but I don’t hold the annoyance of that character against him lol.) There will be more top-tier artists attending and showcasing at this exhibition than I’ll know what to do with. I have a feeling I’m going to be spending the weekend walking around in a fanboy stupor, babbling at any art director or illustrator that I recognize.

In either case, it’s going to be a prime opportunity to start networking for real and show my work around to some of the most prominent ADs in the business. I’ve been busting hard to become a working illustrator, so the journey really begins at SFAL.

Here’s a portfolio piece I’ve been putting together here and there over the last two weeks. I’ve always loved the works of Matt Stawicki, so I wanted to try a cover design while referencing his style through the cover to Dragons of Autumn Twilight, which is one of my top 5 illustrations of all time.

Dragons fo Autumn Twilight ©Wizards of the Coast
Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Art by Matthew Stawicki, © Wizards of the Coast

As you can see, it’s an absolutely masterful example of scale, painterly impressionism, color and design. I wanted to emulate the basic style of this as much as I could while still keeping my own spin on the drawing. There were a lot of pitfalls and trial/error, but I’m pretty darn happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to get faster.

I came up with the idea while looking over one of my pieces from last year, the Ascension 1 cover image. I always liked how it turned out, but looking back I see so many flaws. I decided to take that whole “humans vs. giant beasts” trope and do it over, this time showing the aftermath of a big fight. I got some great feedback on this from Facebook crit groups, and wound up doing a comp design as well as the final art.

One of these days I may actually write a story incorporating this team of daredevil colossi slayers. I might find a way to work them into the larger story I’ve had simmering in my head for the last year. Who knows, time will tell, other random cliché.

Hope you enjoy!

dread climbers on downed monster in front of ancient castle
I spent hours working on that background, then covered it all up with a 15-second fog job. Heh 😛
Final art
Final art



I forgot I had a folder of WIPs, so here’s a gallery on how I put this together.

4 thoughts on “Dreadclimbers

    1. I really appreciate it! I’m going into this with little to no expectations, but with any luck I’ll be pleasantly surprised. At worst I’ll get some valuable face time and feedback from some art directors I’ve been trying to network with on Facebook. Thanks again for the compliment Don!

      1. Hahah, I’m sure I’ll have a bajillion pics to post, and I’m sorta planning on trying to do a “wrap-up” post to highlight any cool things I learn or fun stuff I see.

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