One of the biggest reasons I love gaming of all types is the way it brings people together. I’ve met so many amazing people by simply being interested in a certain video game, or a tabletop game, or even a collectible card game. Some of the most lasting friendships I have were forged through those shared passions. You can learn a lot about the kind of person behind the keyboard or on the other side of the table in such a short time. A lot of it is in their play style and how they react to a challenging situation (or an overwhelming victory).
Recently I started playing World of Warcraft again to get a little more online hang out time with some real life friends that are more than a little scattered across the country. In no time I was meeting a ton of new players from the guild and getting to know each of them through chat or over the headset.
When news that our guildie Kimilyn had passed away broke, I felt compelled to make something to honor a fellow gamer whose own passion for the game and specifically the PVP aspects of it drove me to play a little harder when I was lucky enough to step into a battleground with her. She was kind, caring, fun, and utterly ruthless on the field of battle.
Kimilyn’s guild note says it all: “PVP.thats it.PVP.nothing else”
This saying may have it’s roots grounded in religious texts, but it’s also a feeling that every soldier, marine, sailor and airmen that’s found themselves in combat know well. That willingness to do anything and everything for the man or woman at your side in their time of need. It’s not about bravery or heroism. It’s not about politics or country or even defeating the enemy. It’s about family. You take care of your own, and you’ll do anything for them.
Diving a little deeper into the WoW art this past week with another commissioned portrait piece for a friend. This time a Blood Elf Deathknight! Learned a little about metal coloring work with this piece, and fought myself with the color tones the whole way but I actually like the final quite a lot. It’s fun to challenge myself with textures and materials I’m not used to rendering/coloring. And with every portrait I get a little more comfortable with where this style is heading, making my ambition grow more and more to create full scenes. Stay tuned.
I love working on fan art. I don’t do it often but I have a blast when I do. There’s just something fun about creating imagery based on characters, places and things you spend so much time with. Be it video games, movies, tv shows or comics. It’s also great practice. So much so that this piece helped me solidify the direction I’ve been wanting to go with my digital color work.
I have tried in the past to do a full digital style like this, but I’ve never been happy with the lines that come from it. This piece used ink line work, from the Pentel Brush Pen, that I just did on a whim in my sketchbook while I sat around waiting for an appointment. This was the lead up to the Triumphy piece I shared earlier, and set how I wanted to work on them. The colors and technique is more refined in the other piece as well, but without spending the time here, I wouldn’t have even had that commission pop up!
I’ve started doing a little bit of nerdy portraiture based on characters from World of Warcraft. This piece was commissioned by a friend recently and it was actually a fun exercise working in a this style that I’ve not touched on for a little while. Digital color and art making has been a struggle but I’ve started feeling more and more at home with my style in the computer. But with these sort of portraits I feel like it’s a lot lower stress and just allows me to play with technique and handling rather than getting bogged down with concept or even too much with composition.
I’m looking forward to doing more of these and seeing how the style develops from there!
The men and women I’ve known as my medics have left lasting imprints on my life. They took care of me in my time of need and they fought side by side with us in the thick of it. It’s up to these soldiers to keep the wounded clinging to life, and thankfully our docs were up to the challenge time and time again. Caring for any who found themselves on the unlucky side of an IED, RPG or a bullet, they were always up to the task.
Dedicated to Doc Chase, Doc Torres, and Doc Collins.
The design was a fun change of pace and gave me a chance to stretch my legs and push this style of illustrating/designing a little more. I drew the original in black and white and then converted the entire thing over to just white for the shirt. It was a fun challenge to get the depth and distinct shapes I needed/wanted out of the drawing while making it work in a single white tone on a color background. In the end I’m extremely happy with how it all came together.
Support this fundraiser and support this group! And if you order one, I definitely want to see some photos of people repping my work!