Sunday, November 25, 2012

Koi Fizz Time Lapse

Hey folks, just dropping this little number off. I was time lapsing the Koi Fizz piece's process so that I could do it up to look just like the League of Legends art spotlights. Here's the piece, for your personal enjoyment/fun:

Hope ya' like it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Graham Stark: Planeswalker

Hey guys, just dropping this off. I did this in a caffeine fueled binge last night as an art challenge for Desert Bus. The challenge was to portray comedian from Loading Ready Run, Graham Stark, as a planeswalker in Magic: The Gathering.

I ended up winning the art challenge, which would have netted me my second prize from Desert Bus' list of amazing things to give away. Instead I decided to gift the item back to Graham Stark himself, who I feel could better appreciate the Magic: The Gathering themed prize.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sketch Dump

Hey folks,

I'm back yet again this week (what is this some parallel world where Simon posts frequently?) with some stuff. I forgot to mention how awesome NYCC was. Got to see some really awesome stuff and meet some really awesome people, including someone whom I consider one of my personal heroes, Mikey Neumann. I've applied to a few places to see if they want a piece of me, art-wise, but I've heard nothing back, yet.

Second on my list of things to say and do... DESERT BUS. Okay, so every year I get drawn into watching this charity telethon. It's for about a week straight, with a group of sketch comics playing the world's most boring video game and generally also being hilarious. They raise money for Child's Play (they've raised over a million dollars total over the last 6 years of doing this event). It's hard to describe exactly what makes Desert Bus so addictive, but it's like being part of a big happy family while you're watching it. The chat as well as the large cast of characters on screen weave a community complete with it's own lexicon of memes. Plus, you can win sweet stuff (I personally won a sweet Chrono Trigger bundle which I am awaiting with much excitement). You can check out the insanity yourself here. Desert Bus usually brings my productivity to a screeching halt, though this week it's actually been really good for my drawing, since all I seem to do is draw and watch Desert Bus. It's how I managed to do Koi Fizz in only about 2 days of on/off work. I've also, over the last month or so, done a lot of quicker stuff just for fun. Here's a bunch of that stuff...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Koi Fizz

Hey folks, It's been a while and I apologize for that. I'm a little distracted at the moment so I don't have a lot to write for the moment. I'll just drop this off. I made this as a potential alternative skin for the character, Fizz, from League of Legends. Wanted to do something dissimilar to all his current skins by doing an Asian-themed koi fish/koi dragon skin.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Time Lapse and The Lovers

First off, I forgot to post this when I actually uploaded it. I made a time lapse of twin arrow canyon. You can see at about 5:10 or 5:11 in the video, I actually fuck up and it's a mistake that I haven't corrected in the final image yet. I accidentally slice off a huge portion of the bow, which is why it's a little wimpy on the top half. I plan on correcting that soon.


This second item is a drawing I've been meaning to do for a while. It's a concept I've wanted to do for a long time but couldn't figure out a composition I liked. I finally settled on this one. I wanted to evoke Kinoku Y. Craft's type of floaty, surreal-feeling fantasy, within my own style. I used this piece to explore fabric and textiles in a way I hadn't thought of doing before. I hope that comes through and looks okay. Cheers.

Next weekend (Oct. 11-14) I'm headed down to New York to hit up ComicCon. I've never been to a Con before and I'm pretty pumped. Among other things (like potentially meeting Yoshitaka Amano), I plan on peddling my portfolio to companies to see if anyone may have need of a fantasy illustrator of my talents. We'll see, wish me luck.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Twin Arrow Canyon

So it's official, I've switched to PC. With that I've also upgraded to using CS6. I really like the design and feel of CS6, but I get a little annoyed with the way that the brush panels are laid out. In CS4, my Brush Presets and my brush options were part of the same panel, and I could just select which I wanted with one click. Now, my presets are all in one window, and any time I need to tweak a brush's settings, I have to open a whole new menu. I suppose it's motivation for me to have my preset panel more robust, but it's something I'm going to have to get used to, for sure.

 My new computer is really working out in terms of making art. My old Macbook Pro is now in such a state of disrepair that it will no longer start up. It's going in for repairs on Tuesday. But the beast I've build has enough RAM to run PSCS6 with tonnes of processing power to spare. So what am I doing with that? I've begun time lapsing my processes. The piece you're seeing below is the first piece I've time lapsed. You'll get to see it eventually, when I've got some decent editing software to work with. Until then...

This is a piece that came out of a doodle I did when I was visiting my family in Toronto, recently. The character is based on a character in game I ran on and off for a couple years, a gnoll by the name of "Grerr", whose ability two simultaneously shoot two arrows with a degree of proficiency was the bane of many a monster I had intended to be more challenging. Anyway, here it is. I've been really heavily influenced recently by the splash art for "League of Legends" characters so if you're familiar with that you should be able to see some of the style coming through there.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

D&D Art Test: Round 2

So, back in late april/early may I did a piece that I submitted for approval to Wizards of the Coasts' D&D art test for 5th edition. Artists were given 1 of 3 briefs to work off of, and could submit to one, two or all three of them at any point. I already did #3, but I thought I'd do #1 as well, as a challenge. The challenge was, given two examples of orc-like humanoid creatures, you had to create either the tribe cook or the tribe shaman. I did the shaman, obviously. I knew there would be a lot of septum piercings and bones everywhere and I wanted to do something kind of unique, so I thought: what kind of body piercing or sacred mutilations might a really brutal tribe have. I decided, because I had already liked the concept of the mouth being sewn together, that I would also have it that shamans have double-piercings which stretch their lower eyelids by having them attached to their cheekbones. I think it turned out pretty cool. Let me know what ya' think.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Skirmish at Dawn

Here's a little piece I've been working on and off for the last little while. Working night shift is not quite as good for my drawing habits as I had hoped it might be. Anyway, this is a piece based off of Naomi Novik's universe in her series of books under the Temeraire title. The series is a historical fantasy set during the Napoleonic war, only there are air forces which employ the service of dragons. It's an awesome series, if fantasy is your thing you should check it out. I didn't want to descend to heavily into the realm of fan art, so none of the actual characters from the books are featured in the piece. The dragon in the forefront is a breed known as the "Yellow Reaper", other than that, it's meant to be rather vague what breeds of dragon are in the background, or even which are English or French. I had a lot of fun with this piece, but it's gotten tiring to work on, so I'm taking a break from it, for a little while. Enjoy...

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Here my latest piece, I did just for fun. Went all the way from a doodle in my sketchbook to this piece. It's likely I'll go back in and fix the background, which is a little wonky and muddy at the moment, but I'm reasonably happy with the character and the root-beast.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bubblegum Derps

It's been a long time since I did a Creature of the Week round. The topic this week was to create a creature who will explode as a defense mechanism for the rest of it's species. The round was called cute, fuzzy bombs. I decided to create these super derpy creatures that I had sketched while at work the other day. Total time on this piece: about 4 hours. Here's the description I gave for the creature.

There are few species quite as oblivious as the Bubblegum Blast-Rat. Breeding at a rate of approximately 100 new Blast-rats a month, per-member of the horde sounds like a recipe for disaster... and it is, but not in the way one would think. See the Blast-Rat is so oblivious of it's surrounding, that, upon seeing a predator the Blast-Rat will have a surge of adrenaline, which, unfortunately for it, it is highly allergic to. The allergic reaction trigger the massive quantities of phosphorous in the Blast-Rat's diet to ignite, cause the Blast-Rat to explode (creating a distinct popping sound). Often this may cause a chain reaction of Blast-Rats becoming startled enough to explode. An exploded Blast-Rat will usually leave behind it's large, bushy tail which often float around like tumbleweed. They are collected by local artists as they create excellent brush-making material. It is said that the prairies that house the Bubblegum Blast-Rats are simultaneously the most fertile and least profitable place to build farms, often having ones crops blasted to smitherines right before harvest. It is said that the Bay farming family has lived on those prairies for a century. Their youngest son Michael taking inspiration from the Bubblegum Blast-Rats and going on to have a lucrative if mediocre film career.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

D&D Art Test: Culture - Soldier

Hey folks. Here's a new piece, done for the WotC D&D Art test. You can find the details here. This piece was done for the 3rd challenge: Culture. The challenge was to create a soldier or town guard based on the examples given in the brief. Here's the artist statement I wrote to go along with the piece: The two full-colour characters shown as examples evoked a sense of both Russian and East Asian influences, but contained a lot of calls to an Inuit sort of sensibility. For a soldier within that culture, I thought something taking cues from Mongolian style armor might nicely tie the above influences together into something somewhat militaristic. When it came to the weapon I went through a lot of iterations with the character holding a various pole-arms and both curved and straight swords. I ended up feeling like this kind of great-club fit with the sensibilities of the rest of the design. I wanted a strong sense that the warrior culture was about physical might, and intimidation, so the war-mask paired with a big, heavy and blunt weapon felt right to me. I really got into the idea that masks might play an important role in the cultural identity of these people. With the more shaman-like character you get a much more serene effect. Here I wanted to have something that might call back to the masks on the armor of samurai, but still play within the confines of the pre-established design, so I attempted to take the visual cues from the mask of the shaman character and make more complex, gargoyle-like masks that might be seen as more demon-like and give a more spiritual side to the warrior culture. I've included a couple of examples of war-masks just to get a better sense of that side of things. I figured maybe in the warrior hierarchy, different levels of complexity in your mask, different patterns of war-paint might indicate rank. The simpler, less intimidating mask going to the low-ranking soldier, the ones with all the bells and whistles (and teeth) going to the officers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Work dump from the last month or so

Website planning has been delayed because... well... for the most part we've kinda forgotten about it. Also I can guarantee that Tavish and Natalie probably don't really have the time to worry about doing that kinda thing for me right now. It'll have to wait for this summer, which is approaching fast, so no worries.

Here's a couple of pieces from the last little while, though I've been really lazy with my workflow lately...

This is a piece I did for Character of the Week over on They were doing "Dragon Riders", and having just finished the first of the "In His Majesty's Service" books, I wanted in. Artists in Character of the Week have a tendency towards going for badass rather than giving any of their characters a sense of personality or chemistry, so I wanted to approach it by giving the kid and his dragon a bit of a dog-owner type of relationship. Obviously How to Train Your Dragon was a pretty big influence on the design.

This is an image from a set of creature design projects I've been working on over the course of the last 8 months or so. What started out as a Brynn Metheney-style exploration of an ash-based wasteland, turned into an exploration of creature design and cybermutation. This came from a set of images that I sub-titled "Assemblages". The top row of athropods are all created from a set of insectoid parts, then thrown together and mirrored in illustrator to give me some basic creatures to work with. The second row is taking the initial creatures and splicing top and bottom halves together. The third row is the same, only splicing left and right halves together. The fourth and fifth row are then taking the second and third rows, and splicing them either horizontally or vertically (depending on which way they had not yet been spliced). It's one of a few different pieces I'm doing, based around exploring digital media and it's implications in drawing. I'm pretty happy with the result. This piece was printed on rice paper, and will be chin coll├ęd onto stone-henge individually.

Finally. I submitted a couple of designs to Threadless' shirt design competition-whatever-thing. It was a way for me to explore doing a little more graphic, line-based pieces, while giving me the potential to make a little money on the side. Neither of these designs ended up getting made, but I had fun enough with them, so hey, I guess that's alright. Here they are both as they were advertised on the site, and just the images alone.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'll Protect You, Buddy

Hey guys. I just submitted a design to Threadless. It looks like This. It's still pending approval, but if it gets accepted, I'll let you guys know. If it does, though, help me get it voted in! In the meantime, would you wear a shirt like that? Let me know...

EDIT: Shirt design now up for scoring! Please vote, if you can.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fungus Beast

Hey all. Here's my latest piece, the mycocanth. I'm pretty happy with the turnout, but I've been told the image comes off as kind of flat. Ah well. Anyway, it was for Creature of the Week, round 249: fungal beast. The creature cultivates the large fungi on it's back and legs which allow it to grow its other fungi types (the small blue clusters and the protruding phallic mushrooms), which function as it's reproductive organs. I still have to work on my enviros quite a bit. I'm going to try and tackle some characters and enviros in the next little while, if I can find time in between that, my print classes, my paintings, my work-intensive cybermutation project, and any free time I have... Oh, and Mass Effect 3 is coming out soon? Oh good, I'll have no time to do any of that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yes, I am still alive and doing things...

Hello world.
God it's been a long time since I've updated this thing. Here's the deal:
I've been super busy with my studio classes. It's left me very little time and even less motivation to get a whole lot of digital painting done. I had a creature design project on the go for a while, called The Ashlands, which was based around creating a pseudo-museological exhibit based around a set of invented flora and fauna (in a similar vein to Brynn Metheney's Morae River and current project, The Red Valley). Now, being in a highly concept-heavy art school, illustration-type work is very hard to get away with, and like many of my projects for which I set out with noble intentions of blending creature design and "high art", I ended up changing directions. I am still doing something in the vein of creature design, but it has taken an unexpected turn into the direction of cyber-mutation. The Ashlands may be picked up again at another time, but for now I'm abandoning it for a more conceptual-based commentary on my evolution from traditional to digital media.

In other news, I'm going to try and get a new website up in the near future. It should have my digital and traditional work documented on it, so I'll keep you posted on that. The creation of that site will likely mean the death of May Contain Dragons as you know it, so enjoy this blog while it's around, it won't be for much longer...

In the mean time, here are two pieces that are both quite old. These were originally intended for The Ashlands project, one for the Ashlands' harsh ash deserts, the other for the silt swamps that pock-mark the southern regions of the ash deserts. I'll post some more of my sketches from that project in the future. The Fithe (the phallic one) was done for the Freestyle Creature of the
Week round which happened in December, but was adapted for the project.