Dragon Hatchling

The last time I drew a dragon, I was in college working on an independent study of book illustration. I was illustrating the Hobbit and was tasked to draw Smaug over lake town. I haven't drawn a dragon since. Well not really, the awesome Art Order is creating a collection of tiny dragons and not so tiny dragons for a book. I was recently published in the Art Order Invitational Gallery and knew I wanted to create a piece for their next project. 


As a person who doesn't draw dragons, I had to figure out what my dragons look it. It was a mixture of using reference images for lizards and chickens. Chickens? Well for the wings, my idea was that since baby birds don't fly, maybe baby dragons have the same learning curve and anatomy. 

One of the unusual parts of my normal process for this piece was doing a rough digital sketch in photoshop. Normally, that process is on paper, but this time I pulled all of my references together on one file and was able to look between the two files to create the rough drawing. It's something I want to continue to do for larger, complex pieces moving forward. 

So I learned two things with this piece: digital mock ups and play with texture!

We'll see if it gets into the book!

Spector in full color

Digitally coloring my drawings is my preferred method, but that does not mean it isn't a wrestle match to get color theory to be on my side. But when color theory and I get along, we get colored monsters. Behold the Spector that lives in the Dwarfish ruins in the Dragon Spire mountains (yes my friends have already faced this creature in Dungeons and Dragons)


For me, digital colors lets me experiment with out the constant worry of ruining the drawing like it does when I watercolor. In college I watercolored as my main method, but between working with Chris Gash and Cory Godbey (post college), digital grew on me. Now its mostly a balance of cool and warm, darks and lights, and not loosing the drawing under layers and layers of photoshop. But hey, feel like I'm getting some where now!

Zorn, reimagined

In college, I starting playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends of mine. We would take turns dungeon mastering and playing characters. During one campaign based on the dark soul series (if I recall correctly) I played a warforge (a magical robot) knight. I liked the idea of the character still and decided to reinvent the character to be a non-player character that the players have the potential to meet in the City of the Iron Conclave; a mysterious city run by these magical automatons in a weird Disney world like recreation of what a city should be. But Zorn is a little different from the other automatons. 

Here is her updated design:

Just for full, I searched my tumblr for the first drawing I made of Zorn while we were playing through the adventure. Then I redrew her again a few years later thinking I might play the character again. And added the new drawing as well.

I like to think I got better at drawing.

Exploring Fablewood- December 5, 2016

Finally finished coloring the tree imp. Sitting at the computer with my pen in hand and tablet in front of me is easy, its the process that is difficult. But I have worked towards refining my process this with piece. It's much easier to refine the process on many smaller pieces then sitting on one large illustration. Though I have started to color the larger drawing I made for Parade of Wisps. Until next week, enjoy a fully colored image for a change.

Exploring Fablewood- September 5, 2016

I am done with all the illustrations for this years sketchbook. Now its time to put it all together. I am very happy with the work I created and look forward to sharing the final product with you all. Next week I will reveal the title and cover for Exploring Fablewood.

This week is a small study of a satyr I did as a cool down drawing after work one night. Enjoy.


While work on Fablewood marches on. I like to take a brake and work on other small illustrations. About a week ago I shared some drawings of monsters from Dungeons and Dragons. Like the Xorn drawing, I brought it to a full color illustration. The more time I spend working in photoshop, the more I am creating my own process for applying color.

Asking for Directions

Directions_p_Connelly Another of the full color illustrations from Songs of Fablewood. After being lost in Fog Hollow, Otis and Gertrude meet a friendly tree folk who gives the pair some advice on how to navigate through out Fablewood.

This one was part of the the illustrations I created during my ten week mentorship with Corey Godbey. It was a great experience  and am glad have a new way of thinking about narrative and story telling. And I am also enjoying working in graphite, something I would probably not have said a year ago. Losing the inked line for the pencil has really help me push my work more towards the young adult/children's market that I am after.

Songs of Fablewood Kickstarter is still Live, get books, commissions, and original art!

Monster Monday- February 16, 2015

mandrake_root_watercolor For this week's Monster Monday, I created a little Mandrake Root drawing. A while back I bought a brush pen that I wanted to try out and sketched out the character above. After inking it I scanned the drawing in to experiment with watercolor washes digitally. The next step will be to use actual watercolor confidently to lay in washes over my drawings and not freak out if I screw up a piece. There are bound to be more mistakes then successes, that's just the way art is.