Tag Archives: fantasy art

Kicking the can (still)


Just a few notes to break to engine seize on my blog, after all it’s a new year and I’m still painting!  🙂

I’m currently exploring a new website design.  I’ve reached out to co-workers and that has fallen flat twice now.  So a call; via Facebook, for available web guru’s went out and I think I’ve found the right person.  Anyways I’m excited again about a re-design.  More later on this as things progress.

I’m still struggling with time management, go figure… My nemesis of paintings sits on my desk spiting me to attempt to put the finishing touches on it and I look at it like a tax audit needing my attention.  I’m not happy with this, and I so much wanted it to be a cornerstone piece into sci-fi fantasy art yet I feel I have failed even before its done.

What inspires me lately has been the recent Spectrum 20  It’s the past years best in science fiction & fantasy art.  I sat up last night paging through the book dreaming a bit, ranking each piece with a “I like” or “I don’t like” and at times in awe of the creativity of some of the artists therein.

How awesome would it be to see my own work in that book.

More tidbits later…

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Thoughts

Artist Review I: John Howe


John at work in his Switzerland studio

John at work in his studio

I’ve never met John Howe in person, though I feel I know him, well as much as one can from emails and an internet forum.  Since I’ve been a kid John’s art has given my imaginations of Tolkien’s mythical world color, texture and light.  I remember the first Tolkien Calendar I bought back in 1988, which I still have, along with no less than a dozen others.

I would just sit and think about the worlds John depicted.  It was easy to drift off inside his pictures as I imagined what it would have been like to have seen Smaug fly over Laketown:  earth shaking roars as a conflagration of fire danced off the illuminated waters beneath him.  His translucent wings casting an amber shadow in the fading light.  Even more I imagined how anyone could make such a picture look so real, I was in awe.

I was eleven or twelve when I read the Hobbit and a junior in high school when I started reading the Lord of the Rings for the first time.  Tolkien’s books were unlike anything I had read before.  I have to thank my cousin Kevin for letting me borrow his green sleeved copy of the Hobbit, which is where all this started at.  THANKS KEVIN!  Since then, Tolkien’s writings and Howe’s art have become an integral part of my being.

A man who needs no introduction in the world of illustration; and now film, John Howe ranks as one most praiseworthy fantasy illustrators alive today.  John was born and raised in Canada and presently lives in Switzerland where he works out of his home studio.  John is a modest and most generous man who is giving of his knowledge.  We have had some very pleasant emails back and forth over the years about art.  He selflessly mentors aspiring artists through books he has published, guest speaker appearances, in email and his correspondences on the inter-webs from his website: john-howe.com.  Go visit his page, it’s full of wonderful images and good people, many whom are regulars on the art forum John hosts.

Five Reasons I admire John Howe and his art:

  1. John’s fantasy is very grounded in realism and he is one best sketch/drawers I’ve seen.
  2. His work captures fictional moments in time like no other.
  3. He possesses a mastery of light, transparency, detail, color and composition.
  4. John’s ability to work in other mediums such as ink and pencil elevate his watercolor paintings to higher levels of elegance and craftsmanship.
  5. John is a constant teacher, a kind and generous artist whose contributions to the craft have helped move fantasy art into the mainstream and inspired many to follow in his footsteps.

Meeting John for a day of art and good company is on my bucket list.

Thanks John for doing what you do.

Leave a comment

Filed under Artist Reviews