Friday, January 9, 2015

New Magic - Dark Deal, and Infected By Art

As I mentioned last week in my tarot post, some new Magic work was on the way. Well, here we are a week later, and I'm happy to be able to stay true to my word. Today all of the final card images were released for the new Fate Reforged set in the Tarkir block of Magic: The Gathering. I'm happy that one of my new cards was in this group, as sometimes it's hard to tell where my illustrations will fall. Here it is: 
 
Dark Deal - 12" x 16" - Oil on masonite


And here's my sketch:

12" x 16" - Charcoal and digital



In other news, I'm super honored to announce that two of my paintings were selected for inclusion in the Infected By Art, Volume 3 Book:


The caliber of artwork entered this year was amazing, and the judges were some real leaders in this industry, so I'm very thankful to have been chosen. Congratulations to everyone else who was selected as well, I think this will be a beautiful book!

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year! New Post!

Hello there dear followers,
Once again I've managed to let this blog get coated in a nice thick layer of dust. My apologies for that...Often I find myself so enthralled in trying to stay on track with my work, that I don't want to spend the time to write up blog posts. I'm a terribly slow writer, so it takes me quite a while to put something together, no matter how small it is. But! Here we are in a new year yet again, so with that, I will do my best to post more regularly.

So what have I been up to lately?? Well, lot's of things, but mostly working away on the Modern Spellcaster's Tarot that I made a post about back in April. This project is huge, and I think I underestimated the challenge it would be especially on top of finishing graduate school, getting married, moving to a different state, and now holidays that have just passed. However, I am making good headway now that I have a good stretch of time ahead of me without any significant interruptions. So onward I battle! 

I have completed all of the Cups cards in the deck, and I put together a little image showing the whole group:
Ace-King of Cups, varying sizes, Oil on paper and digital.

 Here's some larger views of my favorites from the group (I like them all, but you know how it is): 

Two of Cups, Oil on masonite

Eight of Cups, Oil on paper

Knight of Cups, Oil on paper

Queen of Cups, Oil on paper


Additionally, I've completed all of the drawings for the Swords cards, and many initial sketches for the Major Arcana. There's still tons left to do, but I'll try to post more progress as I roll along here.

Also expect some new Magic updates in the coming days. Until then, Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Paintings: Revival King

Here's another set of characters that was recently released for the Japanese game I've been working on "Rage of Bahamut." They wanted a mummified king in various stages of coming back to life and commanding an undead army. I liked that I was able to throw in some made-up Egyptian inspired costuming, and also paint lots of zombie-mummy dudes...I mean, you can't go wrong in my book. 
Stage 1  11" x 14" Oil on masonite.

Stage 2  11" x 14" Oil on masonite.

Stage 3  11" x 14" Oil on masonite.

Stage 4  11" x 14" Oil on masonite.

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Painting for D&D: Bar Fight!

I was really excited this past weekend when I was told that the new Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook would be released at Gencon. Because that meant I could show a painting I created for it: 
"Brawl at the Yawning Portal Tavern"
17"x22" Oil on masonite.

I've been really itching to show this painting off for a while, and to be able to display it at Gencon where the fans could really appreciate it was awesome. 
This painting was a bit unique for me because due to a bit a scheduling mix-up I only had about a week to paint it, and on top of that it contains the most people I've ever painted in a scene ever. So the challenge was on. But in such a crunch I'm really happy with how it turned out and enjoyed the challenge of composing an image with so much going on. Actually, I was in such a rush I even did the entire preliminary sketch digitally, which I think was a first for me: 
Photoshop

I'll have this painting as well as many others with me at Illuxcon in Allentown, PA,where I'll be set up in the weekend salon September 20-21st. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gencon Sketch Recap

I've finally managed to get home and somewhat settled after returning from Gencon this past weekend. As usual, I had a blast meeting fans, signing cards, drawing a million sketches, selling art, and hanging out with many of my artist pals that I only get to see at conventions. 

I think this year I ended up drawing as many sketches in one weekend as I had over the previous three Gencons combined! It was lots of fun, although pretty exhausting. Here's a few of my Magic artist proof sketches that I did for customers and managed to remember to take photos of...there was way more than just these.









I guess when left to my own devices I like to draw portraits facing to the left...

I also participated in the Gencon charity auction by creating a special playmat sketch that was auctioned off to raise money for a special cause. Here's the mat that I did:


All in all it was a great weekend and I look forward to the next time.

In addition, one special fan even went so far as to present me with a gift of epic proportions:


It's a bit difficult to see in the photo, but it's actually a three-dimensional version of my Setessan Oathsword card that they made out of eight different layers of the same card. It even included a foil version as the top framing card and as the background card for the waterfall. Super cool! 



Thursday, August 7, 2014

New art for Star Wars and Gencon!

Here's a new painting that was recently released for the Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Roleplaying Game's Core Rulebook. It's always nice to jump into a more sci-fi setting for a change so I really enjoyed my chance to work on this project. The image called for a painting of a scout on watch duty as the other soldiers set up camp on a jungle planet. It's not really a super exciting scene but I'm happy with how it turned out nonetheless. 
12"x18" Oil on masonite.

In other news, I'll be at Gencon in Indianapolis next week from August 14-17th. Come find my booth in the art show where I'll have original art, sketches, prints, and Magic artist proofs for sale.  


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Magic: A Large Rock (or Meteorite)

Here's another of my contributions to Magic's M15 core set. This was a bit of an odd one since rather than your typical fire wreathed meteorite hurtling towards doomed person/place/thing (I guess those have been a bit overdone), the art description called for something a little more comedic: 

ART DESCRIPTION:
Setting: SHANDALAR
Color: Colorless artifact
Location: On a city street.
Action: Show an iridescent
 meteorite about 10' across that has landed on someone who had previously been walking down the street. Maybe we can see the poor victim's legs under the still sizzling, smoking meteorite. Kind of looking for that Wizard of Oz moment where the Wicked Witch of the East was crushed by the house.
If it adds to the scene, show some shocked and horrified onlookers.
Focus: The smoking, irridescent
 meteorite.
Mood: Humorous - two pathetic looking legs/feet under a massive meteorite.


Ok...not really what I envisioned Magic art to be (outside of Unhinged), but I thought it was funny and tried my best with it anyway. After playing with many different angles, we finally decided that a street-level angle with the unfortunate guy's legs sticking out towards the viewer was the best way to go. Here's the sketch:

12" x 16" Charcoal and digital.

...and the final painting:

12" x16" Oil on masonite.

And it's another Uncommon! ...Which I know isn't really a big deal, but I'll take what I can get.

As usual I'll have the artist proofs available in my Etsy shop once I get them in the mail. 
Also, the painting and sketch are available for sale, please contact me at murphyillustration@gmail.com.

Thanks for checking in! I hope to have some more stuff coming along pretty soon.

Friday, July 4, 2014

New Magic - Brood Keeper

Here's a new painting that was just released for Magic's new core set, M15. I really enjoyed working on this piece as it was my first "human" I painted for Magic, and it was the first setting I worked on that was outside of the Theros realm. 

Here's what I got for an art description:

SET ON ALARA
Color: Red Creature
Location: On a mountain peak on the plane of Jund - we can see the savage landscape, volcanoes, fissures, craggy mountains. Reddish, Turner-esque sky.
Action: A female human shaman stands among a clutch of dragon eggs. She holds one of the eggs, which is maybe a bit larger than her head. Her hands glow a bright red, looking like hot metal. Radiating from her hands are cracks in the egg. Perhaps the light from her hands illuminates the young dragon in the egg. The shaman is dressed in savage, Jund attire.
Focus: the shaman
Mood: my power can awaken dragons!
Notes: Jund humans have very slight reptilian touches. maybe she has 'alligator eyes'.


A female shaman with dragons eggs?! Sweet!

Here's a few thumbnails that I turned in to the AD from the description:






But needing to see the dragon in the egg a bit clearer, the AD requested a couple other options with the egg a little more pronounced. So I went back to the drawing board and did these:



Satisfied that the first one hit the vision that they wanted for card, I went ahead with my charcoal sketch. I had a lot of fun working dragon claws and teeth into her jewelry: 

12" x 16" Charcoal and Digital
I enjoyed painting her and the eggs a lot, but I really had a blast making up the volcanic landscape behind her. Here's the final:

12" x 16" Oil on Masonite

And it's my first Uncommon card! So maybe she'll see a little more play than my previous cards?...I have no idea.


Both the charcoal drawing and the original painting are available for purchase. Please contact me at murphyillustration@gmail.com if interested. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

3x3 Bronze Medal for Badru and the Beanstalk!

I was recently notified that my series of paintings for Badru and the Beanstalk has received a bronze medal from the 3x3 International Picture Book Show! I'm super excited about this because this project is something that I've been working hard on as part of my thesis for the past two years. Being my first real foray into the picture book market, I'm honored to have my work recognized amongst the thousands of entries that I'm sure 3x3 received from across the world. You can see a list of the other winners here.

Many of you have seen one or two of the paintings I've done for this series before, but i've kept a wraps on the others because I wanted to wait until it was closer to my thesis show. But since that's only a month away now, here's the four illustrations that were awarded by 3x3:

Stealing the Chicken 12" x 22" oil on masonite.

At the Door to the Great House 12" x 22" oil on masonite.

Climbing the Stalk 12" x 22" oil on masonite.

Badru and the Giant 12" x 22" oil on masonite.

These illustrations are part of a whole book that I am slowly putting together, and hope to have published in the future. I will be writing more about these paintings individually over the next few months after my graduation from the Hartford Low-Residency MFA in Illustration Program. Also, I will be talking about the other half of my thesis which has not been shown yet. So stay tuned!

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Magic: The Elusive Minotaur (Token)

Hey guys, as usual there's been nothing but tumbleweeds on here for a little while since there's quite a bit of artwork I've had to patiently sit on. But I just got word that I can finally share a new piece I did for Magic last year. 

This one I had a hard time tracking down because it's apparently very hard to find, but here it is: 
Preliminary sketch, charcoal/digital, 12"x16"


Oil on masonite, 12"x16"


How it looks on the card


This guy was created as alternate promo art for the original Theros minotaur token. Apparently it's only been given out at special league events...So I've had a hard time tracking it down, and from what I've read, most of the players have also had a hard time finding them. So it's a rare card indeed! 


I had a great time painting this one as the art description basically said, "a badass minotaur running at the camera." Sounds good to me! I gotta thank Jeremy Jarvis for giving me the opportunity to create it. 

Both the charcoal drawing and original painting are available for purchase. Contact me at murphyillustration@gmail.com if interested.