Pumpkin Monsters

pump_line_up Over the past couple of weeks, I've been working on some new pieces to represent my style and work for mobile game companies. I started out designing pumpkin characters in my sketchbook, then explored ideas of how I could use the jack-o-lantern face in different characters for a cohesive cast of characters.

Currently working on the next set of characters.

Monster Monday- February 9, 2015


The Minotaurs of Orbis live in the grass lands spending most of their time slowly traveling across the plains during the day and resting in a group at night.Their groups can be huge, causing stampedes destroy the land and anyone that stands in their way. They track deer herds to feed the group and will steal cows from near by farms. With a burst of speed, they attack their prey dragging it back to the group for meals. When desperate for food they have been known to kill with in the group for food, but that hasn't been recorded since the First Age when a drought dried up the wet lands and farmers to lose their crops.  When faced against a minotaur, it's often recommended to not engage in battle, other minotaurs will be nearby unseen resting in the grass and will kill a deemed threat.

Goblin Week 2015- Day 5

rus_jump2 Rus Dread-gouger returns, renowned assassin of the goblin guild. When a job needs to get done they call on Rus. He's so skilled that even outside of the guild he is hired for hits, but won't go after his own. He spends most of his time in the capital city, hiding in the shadows and knife on his hip, ready to strike in the night when your back is turned.

Monster Monday- January 26, 2015

goblin_scholarSecond day of Goblin Week. Goblins aren’t known for their education, but there are members of the guild who work as scholars in different areas such as war tactics, engineering, and literature. The scholars are also in charge of the library holding all the guilds documents and were the guild scribes work.

Monster Monday-January 5, 2015

starken_warrior Starkens live in the vast fields of Orbis. Spending most of their life traveling the lands following game rather than settling in one select area. There lives are built to move, their yurts can fold into smaller parts and carried on bison. Traveling for weeks on end before establishing a settlement is normal for Starkens from a young age, you carry what you own. Starkens govern in a true democracy, all voting on laws, rules, and travel. Rarely Starkens have been involved in war, they prefer to create peace then get involved in others politics. The only reason for having warriors is to hunt and protect the group while they migrate. Starkens are skilled martial artists that focus on the spiritual side being trained by monks who teach them the philosophies of their society and of the world beyond their own.

Bugbear now in Technicolor

MM_Bug_BEAR_color2_internet Over the past few months, I've been creating and coloring many of the monsters of Orbis for a person project. Here's one of the finished character illustrations. By spending more time in photoshop, my digital skills have grown since September. Learning more color theory, harmonIous color palettes and experimenting has a major part of this project. It's one thing to read about color theory and another to put it in action. I hope by the end of January/ early February to have 50 inked and colored monsters to share as a cohesive work. Time to pull out the paper, grab a pencil, and get drawing.

Quick reminder character commissions and toned paper commissions are open. Order soon if you want them for the holidays.

Monster Monday- December 1, 2014

hill giant V2 Hill Giants live in the valleys and foothills near mountain ranges. They live in small traveling families that constantly move for fresh grass for their herds of sheep. Since Hill Giants don’t have a system of formal currency, sheep are used for trade instead of coins. Sheep are the basis for their society as they sell their wool to trade for tools they need. With families of Hill Giants constantly moving it’s difficult to track them down with out following their path to see where they camp for a day or two, though Giants rather be left alone then become members of formal cities or states.  As long as the families are left alone, they are known to be peaceful and don’t attack or destroy settlements unless provoked.

(wasn't happy with the last Hill Giant I drew and decided to create a better design)

Monster Monday- November 24, 2014

image Hobgoblins are cousins of both goblins and bugbears. They are known to be the intelligent of the three, but not considered geniuses either. Hobgoblins are often elite fighters compared to goblins having more training.The mass amount of weapons and armor for the goblinoid army is crafted by Hobgoblin smiths. In the depths of volcanoes they use the lava to craft tools of destruction. Often the most crude weapons are given to goblin soldiers and the best crafted armor is given to the Bugbear guards of the Goblin King. Hobgoblins often experiment with new materials and explosives to help conquer enemy territories.

Monster Monday- November 17, 2014

gnoll3_lines copy The origins of Gnolls is shrouded in mystery. Legend tells of shape shifters who formed a clan to protect their kind. But spent so much time in their nonhuman form that they permanently remained as beasts. They lost their ability to speak common languages and developed their own. Since the Gnolls left society due to being hunted for their shape shifting origins, they created their own society in the wild. Gnolls live in large clans all over the land from mountains to marshes, they are able to survive in all weather and terrain. They keep to themselves and don't welcome outsiders to their groups. Gnolls are rarely seen in cities or settlements besides there own and if they are in common society they are usually outcasts from clans. Gnolls are not interested in destroying other's lands but want to be left in isolation from the society that shunned them.

Monster Monday- November 10, 2014

MM_Hill_Giant Hill Giants live in the valleys and foothills near mountain ranges. They live in small traveling families that constantly move for fresh grass for their herds of sheep. Since Hill Giants don't have a system of formal currency, sheep are used for trade instead of coins. Sheep are the basis for their society as they sell their wool to trade for tools they need. With families of Hill Giants constantly moving it's difficult to track them down with out following their path to see where they camp for a day or two, though Giants rather be left alone then become members of formal cities or states.  As long as the families are left alone, they are known to be peaceful and don't attack or destroy settlements unless provoked.

Sketches for an Upcoming Project

For the past few weeks, I've been spending a lot of my time working on a personal project that includes many of the Monster Monday drawings. In my past post, I showed the process of how I created the Fungus Behemoth, but didn't show the sketch I created for the ink drawing. Lately I've been experimenting with pencils that are similar to my technique I use when I draw in my sketchbook. So I bought some new pencils in Terra Cotta, Red, and Blue prismacolor pencils to create rough drawings for ink drawings. Here are some drawings I created over the past few weeks. bugbear_sketch Hill_giant_sketchsk_2


Some of these have been seen already as ink drawings and digital pieces. Others will be popping up in the next few weeks for Monster Monday and other blog posts.

Process of Fungus Behemoth

Haven't done a process post in a while, and don't think I've ever shown how I digitally color. Starting a design or illustration always starts in a sketchbook or on random straps of paper. The Fungus Behemoth started a while back in my last sketchbook. fungus_Sketch

I like to sketch in ball point pen, the one thing that always bothered me about pencil is that it smudged everywhere and made a huge mess and I always forgot a pencil sharpener when I needed it. Ball point pens are usually easy to find, even if I forget to bring a pen with me. I start out sketching in red pen then add details and clean up the shapes with black. There's a small sketch of the Fungus Behemoth on the left of a pose and design. Then I experimented with what the face should look like. And in the corner of the page is a little Brownie randomly crashing the party.

Then I'll take the ideas I like, sketch the design and ink it. I always ink with a brush, sometimes I'll use a pen for some details but not often. Like I've said in other posts, FW ink is what I use and will always use. Watery Ink is not my thing.

Screen shot 2014-10-26 at 10.57.14 PM

Next, I scan the ink drawing. I have a Scan Express Pro scanner, it can scan up to an 11 by 17 drawing, which is nice so I don't have to stitch multiple scans together saving time. I'll clean up any random ink and pencil that is scanned before I start coloring. Using multiple layers in folders, I create the base for the piece.

Screen shot 2014-10-26 at 10.57.27 PM

Most of the time, I have an idea of the kind of color palette. But I like to experiment before I settle on the base colors for a piece. Since the Fungus Behemoth lives in swampy forests, it helped flesh out the colors. I try not to use to many colors so it doesn't look like a box of crayons threw up on my drawing, limited colors are better (for me).

After settling on base colors, I start to render the monster. Most people say render as in adding layers of value to create a more realistic look. For me, I am doing the same but not in an ultra rendered way of smooth gradients, more graphically for my work.


Laying in the shadows can be easy sometimes and challenging most times. Adding black to the base color does not create interesting shadows, shadows are color, light is a spectrum, and just because I don't render photo realistic does not mean I don't take the physics of light into account. On the top layer, I'll draw lines that show where the light is coming. After laying in the shadows and experimenting with colors for the shadows, I place color on the base that the creature stands on and add a cast shadow.

Currently I am juggling a few monsters in photoshop at various stages for a personal project in the works. The Fungus Behemoth is a part of it as well. But more on the personal project another day.

Monster Monday- October 13, 2014

MM_Imp_colors Imps are small, mischievous, creatures seen as pests to others. They live in small, tight areas ranging from attics to hallow trees. Imps enjoy stealing metal objects from human homes, most notably silverware and coins. Inside their burrows, they use the metal to sharpen their teeth or carve crude weapons. To keep Imps from stealing, hang cut up onions in doorways and window sills. Imps' sense of smell is very sensitive to the distinct odor and won't enter the house. This technique can also be used to rid an area of unwanted imps.

Sorry for the silence lately, was dealing with some food allergies that left me out of commission for a while, but i'm better now. So later on this week I'll post some monsters that I finished up coloring in photoshop

Monster Monday- October 6, 2014

eel_Soldier Born from the wraith of the sea god himself, the tritons are amphibious creatures constructed of some of the most feared beasts of the sea. Legend said that when a small fishing town began to stop thanking Tritonus (the sea god) for the food, calm waves, and good weather, he became angry for their selfishness of taking with no thanks. Tritonus pulled a rock from the depths of the ocean and carved an army of soldiers. The soldiers had the face of an eel, the fin of a shark, and smarts of a dolphin. After arming his new people, he sent them to the town for an attack. The Tritons sunk the boats and destroyed their equipment. The town was in horror of the aquatic beasts that Tritonus forged from anger. From then on, people made sure to give thanks to Tritonus. Though the story is thought to be pure legend, Tritonus are know to attack ships that enter their territory. Working together in large groups to use shear numbers to intimate their foes. It is rare for Tritons to be seen on land unless they have a reason to leave the water. Some even believe that Tritons are as much legend as the story itself.

Monster Monday- September 15, 2014

Goblin_Green_Paper This week's monster is a goblin on green paper. A while back I sketched out the idea for this goblin for Goblin Guild. But I was not happy with how the soldier ended up. As a way to relax between preparing for Illuxcon, I worked on this drawing on and off. This version will replace the older design in reprints of Goblin Guild.

On Wednesday I'll be driving to Allentown for Illuxcon. I'll be exhibiting my work at the showcase on Friday and Saturday. Original drawings, prints, and books will be available at my table. Make sure to stop by .

Monster Monday- August 4, 2014

orc spell caster


This week's monster is a spell caster orc. It's been a while since I've experimented with color on toned paper. Instead of using marker and color pencil, I just used marker to try and replicate techniques I use when coloring digital. This piece was inked with FW Burnt Umber and white then colored with sharpies (I can't afford some of those fancy copic markers.) Over all, I liked the result and plan to continue experimenting with color on toned paper.

Remember if you want your character drawn, head over to my store for private commissions. 

Monster Monday- July 28, 2014

tree elemental color


A while back I posted the ink drawing of tihs Forest elemental. I began to digitally color the piece a few months ago and it sat in my work in progress folder. I decided to finish the character as a way to practice digital coloring since I want to continue to improve. Having a Work in Progress folder is helpful, when I feel stumped on a project; I'll search the folder and work on the piece while thinking of how to solve a problem on the other piece. And this helped me finish a new illustration I created for the Art Order challenge that I'll be posting this week.


Monster Monday- July 14, 2014



This week's monster is an orc warlord ready to rally the troops into battle. Orcs often find there way into my sketch book, along with goblins and treefolk and lots of other creatures. This piece started out as a thumb nail on a scrap piece of paper and evolved into a drawing. Currently I am flatting color in photoshop for the drawing and plan on working on it over the next few days. 

Continuing to prepare for Illuxcon in September!

Monster Monday- June 30, 2014



This week's monster is a Catoblepas from Ethiopia, one of the monster requests I received on Tumblr. It's said to look like a boar or buffalo with spikes along the spin. It's breath turns people to stone or kills them. For the creature's design I looked at oxen reference since they have an interesting silhouette and a strong build. For a future I plan on using the Catoblepas for an illustration.