Monday, 17 December 2012

Adrian Smith VS Cyril Roquelaine, The Last Days!

Unfortunately I was working over the weekend so couldn't keep up with posting these awesome sculpts on the blog, but hopefully by now you have subscribed to Adrian's and Cyril's pages anyway so it shouldn't matter! Here is a round up the final days images, all great sculpts and all that's left to say is that it is a great shame that these won't be available for us to buy as resin kits. I know I would like to paint some of these beauties!

Day 5

Adrians choice of art.....

Cyrils finished sculpt....

I am so glad this piece was chosen to be sculpted - thank you Adrian!!! I really do love this artwork and quite fancy having a go at sculpting this myself one day.

Day 6

Adrians chosen art for the day was......

Cyrils finished sculpture......

I just knew that this one would get picked! It's a great and popular character of Adrian's that appears in a few of his illustrations.

Day 7

This one was an unexpected and awesome choice featuring two characters. This piece of work is the signed art print that people who pre-ordered the Illuminations book got as a freebie.

Adrians chosen art....

Cyrils completed sculpt.....

And that's it all over, boo hoo. Some great eye candy though and that's what this blog is all about. My passion for fantasy and sharing the cool stuff I find with everyone reading this blog and for me to sit back and peruse at leisure. I will get around to sorting out all this stuff into the cool sculpt archive just so you can get to the meat of the blog a little easier. I have another sketch of my own to share soon and I have a project in the works I cannot share at the moment that will appear elsewhere on the net at some stage. That's it for today folks!


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Adrian Smith VS Cyril Roquelaine Day 4

I hope you have all subscribed to Adrians and Cyrils Facebook pages and are following this by now!! Catch up by looking at the posts below, head on over to their pages to view the sculpt progress throughout the course of the day and watch the time lapse videos!

After half a day asleep I crawled out of bed. Very late with todays posting, but this challenge is on my blog because it is incredibly cool art and idea and I want to be able to look back on all this stuff one day. So I shall still post this up regardless of the lateness of it.

Adrians chosen art for today....

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Adrian Smith VS Cyril Roquelaine Day 3

Ahh day 3 of the Adrian Smith and Cyril Roquelaine challenge is upon us. As ever be sure to check Cyrils Facebook page for updates throughout the course of the day and if you have missed any previous days work they are below this posting as well as on the main respective sites.

Adrians chosen piece of artwork for today is this.....

Cyrils finished work for this illustration is looking the business!

If you visit Cyrils Facebook page and or website you will be able to see some of the time lapse videos of him sculpting these masterpieces - they are well worth watching!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Adrian Smith VS Cyril Roquelaine Day 2

I hope you took a look at yesterdays posting about the artistic collaboration between Cyril and Adrian, with Cyril sculpting Adrian's selected photo each day this week! Here is the photo selected by Adrian for todays sculpt.....

EDIT: Here is Cyrils finished sculpt, visit the Facebook page linked below to see the work in progress throughout the course of the day and all of the final photos Cyril has taken!

You can follow the progress on Cyrils sculpt on his Facebook page. I would suggest subscribing to his blog and the FB page if you don't already as there is some lovely work to feast your eyes upon.

I can also wholeheartedly recommend you check out Adrians book "Illuminations" if you haven't yet done so. Its available from his Facebook page direct and well worth the wonga if you like fantasy and science fiction art!!


Monday, 10 December 2012

Adrian Smith VS Cyril Roquelaine

An interesting challenge has been set on the pages of Facebook between two great artists - sculptor Cyril Roquelaine and illustrator Adrian Smith. Each day for the next 7 days a new painting will be posted by Adrian on his Facebook Page from his artbook "Illuminations" each morning and Cyril will sculpt it and post photographs of progress throughout the day. Certainly an interesting project to follow indeed. Cyril has already posted some of the first challenge here...

Here is the art Adrian has given Cyril for the days sculpt...

EDIT: Here is the finished sculpt at the end of the days work. Please check back here for more tomorrow to see what picture Adrian has chosen from his book for Cyril to sculpt next. This is some great sculpting - I love his work so be sure to check his blog and take a look!

This is just one photo, to see all the rest please visit Cyrils website where you can see the full days sequence of progress! I am really liking this collaborative project - great stuff!!!!


Cyril Roquelaine is an awesome sculptor and his website is here. Take some time and check it out!


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Watercolour Painting With Adrian Smith

I would recommend a look at Adrians Smiths Facebook page if you like watching artistic process. He has a watercolour of a warrior character shown in various stages of progress with some explanation of whats going on. Also worth reading the comments to find out more.

Stage 1 - Pencil -- Facebook Link

Stage 2 - Underpainting -- Facebook Link

Stage 3 - Build Up -- Facebook Link

Stage 4 - More Build Up -- Facebook Link

Stage 5 - Finished Piece -- Facebook Link

I cant recommend this Facebook Page enough, new drawings from a great artist everyday!! Get on.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Pothead Sketch

Check out the Sketchbook section, just updated it with my pencil drawing of a goblin character head, named him Pothead.

Having lots of fun with pencils, just love them best of all.I hope to get a bit more drawing done over the coming weeks. We'll see. Kind of got Halo 4 and Christmas rearing its ugly head. Have moved my art stuff inside so I dont get put off by working in the cold of the garage anymore.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cool Mini

Today I perused the pages of the Cool Mini Or Not website, on the top twenty for the week section and I came across a mini I was actually looking at in one of Rackham books I have. I thought the art was great and the guy who painted this miniature done an amazing job, it looks really good. So I recommend you take a look here.....

Throw the guy a vote or post a comment if you a registered user of the site!

I have been doing a few things this week. Completed a sketch of my goblin character "Pothead" which will be up in the Sketchbook section shortly. I am also working on a Quasimodo bust, just touching up the face before I bake the head and continue with the body. Painting wise, I am just finishing off the base for my Hive Tyrant. Normally I do the base last, but in this case I thought it would be a nice and easy way to start this painting project. Haven't done much on my Nurgle guy unfortunately, but I will get back to him soon enough.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Adrian Smith - Illuminations Interview

First off some apologies, laptop failure prevented this article from being posted up last week. I now have a shiny new one, although not as fancy, it does the job!


Artist Adrian Smith has just released his new art book, entitled "Illuminations" and I recently received my copy in the post. I am not ashamed to say that I ripped it open like an excited schoolboy at Christmas either! The book is a softcover publication, only available to order through Adrian's Facebook page (more details later) and is chock full of fantastic pictures - fantasy, science fiction, swords and guns galore. Something for everyone here. I was certainly was not disappointed as my main interest lie in the fantasy art which is in greater abundance in this book. The work presented is in a variety of mediums, sketches, watercolours, digitals, colour, black and white. Really a whole spectrum of work which is laid out fantastically well. Some of the first artbooks I bought were one piece of art per page and very straightforward in terms of layout design. This book is far more interesting to look at with full page pieces, sketches next to finished versions, double page pieces etc. A lot of thought has gone into the layout and it most certainly is well presented. I don't need to say that the artwork is brilliant, because you already know that! Anyway I am well happy with this purchase which was funded by the sale of my Golden Demon finalist model. Thanks Ebay, a worthy trade indeed....

Here are a couple of pictures I took of the book to wet your appetites!

The book and the pre-order signed art print!



Hope you liked those sneek peeks. And now for some more eye candy, Adrians work is abound the internet so I have just selected a few favourites to include with this article. Of course these images are copyright Adrian Smith and respective owners, used without permission. If you want to see more, as ever Google is your friend!



Adrian Smith Interview

Adrian, firstly - a big thank you for taking the time to answer some questions, it's very much appreciated! I am a big fan of fantasy art as are so many people nowadays, so it is very interesting to talk a little as well as drool over the actual pictures! I know you are busy with your new book, which we will get to, so onwards...

Fairytales and the Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone Fighting Fantasy Game books are what created my interest in fantasy gaming and art. Could you tell us what it was that sparked your own interest in art and gaming and what kind of age were you?

Reading the Hobbit when I was about 13 was the thing that got me into the worlds of fantasy. Rainy day on holiday, noticed a book on the shelf, picked it up and couldn't put the book down for two days, fantastic stuff. Still one of my faves.

Could you tell us about your early artistic endeavours, how you began to develop your skills and what artists inspired you in those early days to pick up brushes and pencils?

The first fantasy artbooks I actually saved up my money for were books by Rodney Matthews. Also the 'Tolkien Bestiary' artbook was a big influence.

What was the first illustration you did professionally and who was it for?

The first comission I had was for Games Workshop. Freelance work for the 'Lost and the Damned' book.

How did you come to work for Games Workshop? 

When I was freelancing for Games Workshop  my dad took it upon himself to ask the GW studio if there was any in-house work available. An interview was arranged and I got the job. Cheers dad!
Some people have expressed an interest in the whole creative process of the birth of a piece of art. Could you explain the process for say a full colour, major important piece of cover art would go through from start to finish at the Games Workshop studio? I'd also be very interested to know how disappointed do the artists get when something they would love to work on gets given to someone else to do?

You start with a brief usually. A bit of background story sometimes. do a few sketches, discuss these with the art director. The chosen sketch is then worked up into the full sized drawing. Underpainting followed by the painting proper. This is pretty much the proceedure for any of the mediums I might use for a painting, be it oils or digital. 
Sure theres always a bit of disappointment if you dont get the image you wanted to work on but its not that bad. Artists like a challenge and they usually do their best to make the most of any uninspiring project or brief.

Can you share your own personal painting process for a typical piece, how long you would spend on concept, design, prepping etc to the actual painting itself?

The process as I've stated above is pretty much the same each time, whatever the medium used or subject matter tackled. Being a freelancer, time is money, so you give yourself a time depending on the budget. The bigger the budget, the more time you can devote to the work.

I read that you enjoy working in many mediums from pencil to digitial, I have been asked if you would share some thoughts and opinions  between the two processes of digital and traditional media....

I think you cant beat paper but I also think digital can be just as rewarding sometimes, even for straight forward sketching or drawing. Sometimes I think digital is better because you dont have the pencil or your hand as a distraction....if you know what I mean..

What software do you use  and what model of graphics tablet do you use for your digital work?I use Photoshop and a Wacom Intuos 5 tablet.

I read that you shared a house with John Blanche, Paul Bonner, Wayne Reynolds and Steven Tappin, what was it like living with all that creative atmosphere around you, did you help push each other, was there friendly rivalry? Tell us a little about that.

I didn't share a house with these chaps. When I first started in-house with Games Workshop I was in the studio with Stephen Tappin, Paul Bonner and Tony Ackland. Friendly rivalry sure, with the odd pea shooter fight.

How does working for Games Workshop compare to working as a freelance artist? Do you spend more time than you'd like getting work and doing admin and all the boring non creative side of being a freelancer? 

I much prefer working freelance. My own boss. Nobody else to annoy or be annoyed by. Admin isn't so bad, just Non Disclosure Agreements to sign and I'm away.

What was the reason for you leaving Games Workshop and what was your first freelance project after that?

I've worked in the Games Workshop studio twice. The first time I left was to explore the freelance world. First job was a few comic covers for a comic called Toxic. Not the most encouraging start as they didn't pay me for any of the covers I did for them. So I moved to scotland to work for Fantasy Forge, a small fantasy tabletop game company. This was a good move, met my partner, worked with great people in a great environment and am still in Scotland today. 
The second time I left was due to my partner becoming pregnant with my son and also because I thought it was time to hit the road again.

Is there any industry you prefer working in over another? Are there any major differences between working in the GW, comics, trading card, book and video game industries?

No, no real difference to any of these when youre freelancing. All jobs are equally important and get the same level of attention from me.

I'd like to talk a bit about some of your work in comics. You have done a collaboration book about eastern and western myth with Hyung Min Woo called Eastania & Westania (it looks fantastic by the way) are we likely to see it released over here in Europe/US/Canada etc? This book is in three parts, will you be working on the other two also? 

Easteran and Westania is a concept/artbook. Min-Woo is a great guy. We got on very well from the start and so the books were a pleasure to work on. I was given pretty much a free reign apart from the fact they did insist on having dragons in the story.....I find dragons rather boring.....I know, weird considering my job. All three books were completed a while ago now. I dont think they will be printed in Europe or the States unfortunately. I think they are happy enough with the Korean and Chinese market. Sorry.

You have been working hard on your new book "Illuminations" being released on November 5th and available on your Facebook page. How tough has it been self publishing this book, could you tell a little about it? 

Yes, a project I've much enjoyed. Alot of the layout was done by me which I found surprisingly enjoyable. Each page spread is a design work in itself. So no page has an illo just plonked on it. It's been hard work though, probably because self publishing is all new to me. But with the help of some good friends and contacts I've managed ok so far. It's selling rather fast too so this has given me confidence in my plans for the future self publishing projects I have planned.

Before I finish though just a few quickfire questions people wanted you to answer....

Favourite brand of brush, paint and surface? 

Monarch oil brushes. Windsor and Newton or Rembrandt oil colours. Windsor and Newton watercolours and brushes are good. Conte Paris graphite pencils are the best. For both oils and watercolour I use HP smooth watercolour paper.

Chaos Dwarfs - what source of imagery would you use as your inspiration for this GW army race? 

erm.....chaos and dwarves;):)

Do you have time to paint miniatures? 

I don't have time but I do have literally hundreds of miniatures painted. Mostly tanks but also quite alot of Games Workshop stuff too.

Adrian Smith - would you prefer to be Illustrator or heavy metal guitarist in a famous band? 

Ha! well i have been asked in the past why I don't paint the covers for my records myself. And plenty of other times when people have been a little confused regarding me an' that; band.

Favourite video game...

I dont play much anymore but my son does and at the mo I am rather taken with 'Borderlands 2' a great looking game, intelligent dialogue and story, fantastic animation, great concepts and a very nice well thought out game with a lot of love in it from its creators. Of course Skyrim looks fantastic!!

Favourite drink....


Favourite band/music.....

Napalm Death have always been in my top ten. most grindcore, Slayer, most things noisey and grungey.
Right, that's it - thanks very much Adrian!! Your work has served to fire the imaginations of many players and readers everywhere, I hope you won't be putting the brush down anytime soon. Thank you.

So do I, thanks mate! And special thanks to the fantasy art fans who have given their support over the years, much appreciated.

You can visit Adrians website HERE.
You can visit Adrians CGHub account HERE.

I can whole heartedly recommend this book, so give this man some love and take a look! Lookout for a feature on some of the other artbooks in my collection sometime next month. This blog is going to be sharing some 2D sweetness as well as the amazing sculpture work on the fantyasy and sci-fi comicbook genre from now on. My own sketchbook section will be recieving some updates to soon. Nothing amazing, but not bad either.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

Well, it's All Hallows Eve - Samhain, festival of the dead, Summers End etc. This holiday whilst not as popular in the UK as it in the United States has a theme that most people love, ghouls and ghosts, pumpkins and fancy dress parties. For me, it's mainly about pumpkins, so without further ado, a few more interesting things for you.

  (from Wikipedia, used with no permission whatsoever!)

Celtic influences

Though the origin of the word Halloween is Christian, the holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots.[11] Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end".[11] Samhain (pronounced SAH-win or SOW-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic (Irish, Scottish and Manx)[12] calendar.[13][14] It was held on or about October 31 – November 1 and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year.[15] This was a time for stock-taking and preparing for the cold winter ahead;[11] cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and livestock were slaughtered.[15] In much of the Gaelic world, bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them.[15] Some of these rituals hint that they may once have involved human sacrifice.[16][11] Divination games or rituals were also done at Samhain.[15]
Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a time when the 'door' to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings such as fairies, to come into our world.[17][18] The souls of the dead were said to revisit their homes on Samhain.[19] Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them.[20] Lewis Spence described it as a "feast of the dead" and "festival of the fairies".[21] However, harmful spirits and fairies were also thought to be active at Samhain. People took steps to allay or ward-off these harmful spirits/fairies, which is thought to have influenced today's Halloween customs. Before the 20th century, wearing costumes at Samhain was done in parts of Ireland, Mann, the Scottish Highlands and islands, and Wales.[22] Wearing costumes may have originated as a means of disguising oneself from these harmful spirits/fairies, although some suggest that the custom comes from a Christian or Christianized belief (see below). In Ireland, people went about before nightfall collecting for Samhain feasts and sometimes wore costumes while doing so.[22] In the 19th century on Ireland's southern coast, a man dressed as a white mare would lead youths door-to-door collecting food; by giving them food, the household could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'.[23] In Moray during the 18th century, boys called at each house in their village asking for fuel for the Samhain bonfire.[24] The modern custom of trick-or-treating may have come from these practices. Alternatively, it may come from the Christian custom of souling (see below).
Making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween may also have sprung from Samhain and Celtic beliefs. Turnip lanterns, sometimes with faces carved into them, were made on Samhain in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.[25] As well as being used to light one's way while outside on Samhain night, they may also have been used to represent the spirits/fairies and/or to protect oneself and one's home from them.[26] However, a Christian origin has also been proposed.[27]

Christian influences

Snap-Apple Night (1832) by Daniel Maclise.
Depicts apple bobbing and divination games at a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland.
Halloween is also thought to have been influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows, Hallowmas or Hallowtide) on November 1 and All Souls' Day on November 2.[28] They are a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach Heaven. All Saints was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on May 13.[29] In 835, it was switched to November 1 (the same date as Samhain) at the behest of Pope Gregory IV.[29] Some have suggested this was due to Celtic influence, while others suggest it was a Germanic idea.[29]
By the end of the 12th century they had become holy days of obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing bells for the souls in purgatory. "Souling", the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for "all crysten christened souls",[30] has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating.[31] Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door on All Saints/All Souls collecting soul cakes, originally as a means of praying for souls in purgatory.[32] Similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.[33] Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas."[34] The custom of wearing costumes has been linked to All Saints/All Souls by Prince Sorie Conteh, who wrote: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities".[35] In Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Nicholas Rogers explained Halloween jack-o'-lanterns as originally being representations of souls in purgatory.[27] In Brittany children would set candles in skulls in graveyards.[36]

Families picking pumpkins for Halloween in Maryland, United States, 2012
In Britain, these customs came under attack during the Reformation as Protestants berated purgatory as a "popish" doctrine incompatible with the notion of predestination.[28] This, coupled with the rising popularity of Guy Fawkes Night (5 November) from 1605 onward, led to Halloween's popularity waning in Britain, with the noteworthy exception of Scotland.[37] There and in Ireland, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since at least the early Middle Ages,[12] and the Scottish kirk took a more pragmatic approach to Halloween, seeing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage of communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country.

Pumpkin Carving

That's enough education. Getting back to the more important and relevant topic now, yes cool pumpkin carvings.....

Yesterday I made a post about Ray Villafane and his excellent work. Ray has recently established a VERY talented team of pumpkin carvers. Here are a  couple of bits about a couple of that team.

First is sculptor Andy Bergholtz. I love this guys work, he is a great sculptor. Yahoo have done a great feature on him which you can read here.

Here is his Joker pumpkin....

The Yahoo article article shows a time lapse video of Andy sculpting to, so be sure to check that out.
Next an interent buddy of mine, Alfred Paredes. Alfred is a very talented sculptor, doing fine art work, resin garage kits featuring comic book and horror characters and pumpkins, recently joining Ray Villafanes team. Alfred has featured on national TV and his pumpkins have appeared on the Ellen Degeneres Show amongst  others.

You can see a video of Alfred on TV demonstrating and talking about pumpkin carving here....

Happy Halloween everone!