Fantasy Art

Fantasy Art
Gilead draws and paints on location in the realms of fantasy and myth. Usually after convincing the most beautiful women in all the worlds to take their clothes off for him. It's a tough gig.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Are You Following Me?

This painting was done at least a year before the last one.  I'd learned a lot in between the two so I certainly feel like "Goblin Queen" is a better painting over all, but there's a lot I still like about this one.
The board that it's painted on is 4 feet tall and a little more than a foot wide.  It's something I had been saving to make a sign out of, but that work wasn't coming in so I decided to use my materials on my own projects.
Having freed myself of the notion of doing art for any particular purpose or market I was able to just go with my instincts and make whatever came to mind.
First the background was done in a faux finish technique using splattering and sponging and ragging until it looked like old stone.  I then achieved the carved look with some dark and light glazes to create highlights and shadows.  This is very quick and easy, I've painted entire rooms like this in a single day back in my mural painting days.  It was all done with acrylic house paint.
Unfortunately I didn't take any step by step photos at the time, but I think I sketched the girl in vine charcoal and then used a razor-blade perpendicular to the surface to scrape the paint smooth from all the faux finish texture.
Then I did the rest in oil paint.
You can see the sign painter in me showing through in this entire painting.  Faux finishes, decorative borders, centered composition, orange against blue contrast, and skin tones that are more about luscious color than accuracy.
 In many ways it's more like a sign than an illustration, but I wasn't trying to do either, I was just having fun and rolling with my impulses.
Another nice thing is that the finished painting could have hanging wires screwed right into the back of the board so no frame is required.  In fact the wire and clips were practically my only cost making this painting.  That was important because I was broke at the time, but now it's just become an enjoyable quirk of my art to use whatever material I can find to paint on.  It's challenging and it keeps me from settling into any kind of standard such as book cover format or standard frame sizes.
People said she looked like someone was following her so she's getting defensive.  Hence the title: "Are You Following Me?

 I know that the end of my sign painting career had more to do with the economy and the sudden affordability of computer printed signs, but when you make a living at something for twenty years and then suddenly you can't make it work, it's easy to convince yourself that you've simply "lost it" and you're all washed up and not useful anymore.  At least that's how I felt.
Consequently the success and sale of this kind of painting was very instrumental in restoring the self confidence I'd lost.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Chaperon Part 2

The realms beyond the door are as treacherous as they are wondrous.  But as dangerous as the land may be, the young ladies there who ask me to draw them can be even more so.  Guarded as they often are by pet leopards or dragons,  such chaperons are the least of my worries.  It's the sudden homecoming of jealous husbands or protective fathers that I have to watch out for.
  Usually I only have time for a rough charcoal drawing and maybe a snapshot or two and then it's time for me to slip away back through the basement door sometimes with my skin barely intact.
I do feel like this one would make a nice little painting someday if I get around to it.

There are better artists in the world who's blogs you could be following and I'd certainly encourage you to do so.  This blog isn't about my being the best or having the best techniques, it's about sharing what little I do have and hoping you take away something of value from it.

Oh and it's also about selling my coloring books, please support your local artist by purchasing the occasional coloring book.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Chaperon Part One

Most of my drawings just go in the closet and never see the light of day again. 
A few get reworked and refined and then a tiny few of those become the basis of a painting.
I'll share as much as I can of everything with you.
I love this kind of pose, there's movement even though she's lying down.  And it feels natural, a young lady lounging around and putting her feet up against a pillar.  During the drawing session I want to spend as much time as possible on the girl so I ignored most of the props in the background.  I can put all that in later.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Goblin Queen Final

One other thing I like to do as I work is keep checking the image in grey-scale which you can easily do with your computer.
This makes sure that all the values are good, nothing is too dark or light or distracting or too blurred together.

And that's it.
The Goblin Queen Oil on Board 3 foot by 2 foot.  Sold.

I hope you enjoyed that.  Please feel free to contact me her or in my email with any questions even if you discover this blog years from now.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Dreaded Flesh Tones!

People often ask me "how do you mix accurate skin tones?" The best answer is "Take a painting class from JD Parrish."

 But if you insist on asking me the answer is "where are you and what time is it?"
The color of everything is affected by where it is and what kind of light it's under. For some reason people can accept that with regards to any object in the world except skin. They think there's got to be a formula for painting skin that will be the same anytime anywhere. Well there's not. She's in a green and lavender room so she gets green and lavender skin.
Simple as that.

It's not about blending colors on the pallet it's about laying different colors side by side on the figure and blending them together with a soft brush.  This is virtually impossible with acrylics but easy to do with oils.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Goblin Ethnicity

Some detailing on the goblins skin.

Only where the light hits him, the shadow areas stay rough and simple.

Goblins have different complexions just like people do so don't paint them all the same.

I'm sometimes asked why I don't draw more "ethnic people" which is a silly question we're all ethnic people.  I go to as many life drawing venues as I can afford and have the time for in addition to private sessions and I draw whoever is modeling that day.
  I've drawn beautiful women from Chandler Gilbert Community College and Mesa Community College.  From the Bander Heights to the jungles of Khomoria,  I've sketched centaurs on the Mogi plains (from a safe distance) and the knights of the Glowing Vale.  I've even been to the ruins of Casa Grande.
But if ethnic diversity is your thing then goblins are your subject.  There are more variations of goblin than of any other people.  From fairy winged peskys no more than a foot tall to the gigantic cyclopes of the north who can tower over 8 feet.  There are frog goblins and lizard goblins (who are probably not related at all, but that's what people call them) and there are any variety in between.
Treacherous thieves and dangerous at the best of times, but endlessly fun to draw.  However they rarely hold still long enough to cooperate with me so most of my sketches are a bit of a caricature which actually lends itself well to my coloring book project.

Please help support this website by buying Gilead's Goblinz Coloring Books available here:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sign Painting

I often mention that my artistic style owes more to my background as a sign painter than to any other influence. Most people just give me a quizzical look when I say this sort of thing and probably figure I'm just some kind of crazy artist or something.

Hopefully this graphic will illustrate the point. Understand I didn't intentionally format the painting like a sign, I just realized that I'd done it after the fact.
When I was a sign painter I would crowd my letters into the space as big as I could and I'd place colored panels or circles behind them just to give them contrast or to separate one element from another and now I do the same kind of thing in my fantasy art instinctually.

Some people might consider this a failing, but I'm calling it a strength. Sign painting is something I did every day for over twenty years. I'm good at it and I'm confident with it, the design aesthetics are natural and instinctual. So while I don't intentionally try to make fantasy art like a sign, I don't fight it either. The art would come out more contrived had I resisted the inclination than to have rolled with it.