Studio website and Daily Warm-Up Blog

TIME is the 4th dimension of making illustrative art.

firstcoverart_throwbackthursday

My first acrylic painting

Lore of the Gods cover art

Lore of the Gods cover art

 

Throwback Thursday —Then and Now Edition. ( originally posted on FaceBook)

Folks in my friends feed have probably seen both of these by now, but I think recent events for me warrant a bit of perspective on my part.
The top image is my first acrylic painting.

It was executed on 11×14 canvas board and the image size is, perhaps, 8×10.
TINY.
It was used as a cover for a small press game publisher and is from around 1999 I think.
The bottom image is from last week and is the cover for “Lore of the Gods” from Dragonwing Games.

It received a Juror’s Choice Award at Gencon where it was on display in my booth.
I couldn’t be happier.
These paintings are separated by around 16 years.
16 years of long days and late nights in the studio meeting deadlines and attempting to make each assignment a learning experience.

Trying to make each painting better than the last.
And making plenty of mistakes.
If someone asks me what I feel my best piece of work is, I strive to be able to honestly say,

” My latest piece is my best.”
I share this with folks just starting out, who may feel that their work is still immature and not up to standard.
Hard work over time coupled with a desire to improve and learn makes all the difference.
People may like my work or they may not, but one thing folks will hopefully agree on when looking at my stuff is that it has come along over the past decade.
I don’t post this as a chance to thump my chest.
There are folks who started out with more talent and better skills.
Folks who worked hard and improved far faster than myself.
And Lord knows I have many more lessons to learn, but I am pleased with the direction my work is taking.
I’ve seen similar progress in the work of my peers and it is heartening to know that I can draw inspiration from them as I walk the path.

Now, I better get back to work!

Thanks for reading.

 

Demon World cover art for FASA Games, Inc.

demonworld_cover_final

 

My latest cover for FASA Games, Inc was released at Gencon this past week and I am happy to share it with you here today!

Acrylics on illustration board.

I was looking at Wyeth’s Treasure Island stuff a fair bit during this painting.
His “Golden Hour” lighting schemes were amazing.

I hope you enjoy it.

And, yes, that is a barefoot dwarf!

The original is available for purchase.

Lore of the Gods–A work in progress

I was contacted a short while back by my friend, Steven Creech of Dragon Wing Games, to re-visit a book cover I had done eleven years ago for his former imprint, Bastion Press.

The role-playing game book’s title is “Lore of the Gods”.

My early cover for the book featured a woman who had uncovered a book detailing the deities of antiquity across multiple cultures. Here is that original image from around 2003.

At the time, I was working digitally in Corel Painter 6.

loregods

 

This was the best I was capable of at the time, only a couple of years into my career and learning fundamental skills along the way.

When Steve came to me with the opportunity to produce a new cover with my current skill set and new tools at my disposal, I jumped at the chance.

The first step was to produce a new sketch that we could agree upon as the new cover.

I wanted to do something completely different in both tone and scale. While my first cover chose classical themes within mythology, I felt that the new cover could be be culled straight from my imagination without nods to Earth mythology.

Enter this sketch that was agreed upon as a good direction to play with. A strange god bursting through the rock of a mountainside in defense of a massive temple located on the slopes above.

loreofgods_screwed

 

Once the rough sketch was approved, the pencil stage was begun.

It was interesting to challenge myself with an untethered imagination.

Key features would be alien-looking armor and shield that did not strap to the body, but, instead, floated above the god’s flesh. Spinning disk-like devices with unknown functions.

A mountainside being sundered by the deific warrior.

Juicy stuff!

pencils_log

 

Once the pencils were approved, I proceeded to the tonal under-painting with washes of gray mixed from ultramarine blue and burnt umber. Touches of gray archival marker were also used to help preserve the drawing when painting was begun.

tonal_ununderpainting

 

inkingtheunderdrawing

 

paintingstage_1_log

 

After the tonal under-painting is complete, I start washing in the basic colors. This process is a series of washes that slowly builds up the colors in the piece one layer at a time. It is like watching a polaroid develop over the course of hours and days.

latestage_log

 

I work from background to foreground as I paint. This keeps me from having to re-work areas of the foreground later in the painting that might get damaged by painting into the background after working so hard.

Once all the basic elements are in place and buttoned down, I go through a stage wherein the painting receives needed detail as well as “special effects” ( highlights, spell effects).

Shadows are deepened where appropriate. Colors punched up where needed.

Of particular note to this image was the special attention given to the god’s armor where I gave the metal a strange iridescence to add to its alien appearance. That was FUN!

I also removed some of the structures in the background in favor of one large temple to simplify things and produce a more pleasing design.

Much can be done with paint when changes need to be made on the fly.

The painting was finally scanned for the publisher and varnished for presentation.

mchugh_logcover_web

This assignment needed a rush order to be placed on it, because the deadline fell directly in the middle of my exhibiting at Gencon 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Far away from my studio.

I made the deadline for  Dragonwing Games by working many long days and late nights.

 

Not unusual for a professional illustrator.

They were pleased with my work, I am happy to report.

We are all excited to see this book out on store shelves ( digital or otherwise).

The piece was on display at my booth in the Art Show and on Friday night of the convention, it was awarded a “Juror’s Choice Award” by Aaron Miller, painter extraordinaire!

A happy ending to an already great experience.

One can’t ask for better. :)

jurorschoicewinner

 

Onto the next assignment!

More about my work can be spotted on Facebook at  The Art of Jeremy McHugh.

This painting is available for purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sketch cards for Marvel’s 75th Anniversary!

My sketch cards for Rittenhouse Archives’ newest release in honor of Marvel’s 75th Anniversary are out there in the wild now.

If you come across one, I hope you enjoy it!

 

Cover art for Questors—an upcoming title for Earthdawn!

Cover to Questors for Earthdawn from FASA Games, Inc.

Cover to Questors for Earthdawn from FASA Games, Inc.

 

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Jeff Laubenstein on the cover art for “Questors”, an upcoming sourcebook for the Earthdawn Roleplaying Game!

The cover was just shared with fans of the game and I am pleased to follow suit!

Many thanks to Jeff for the opportunity to work with him on a beautiful game. :)

Here’s a link to the blog post showing previews from upcoming game titles.

The painting will be with me on display in the Gencon Art Show in August.

I hope to see you there!

Enjoy!

http://www.fasagames.com/blog/?post_id=93&title=earthdawn-developers-blog:-on-the-path-to-gencon

My work on The One Ring: Rivendell is live!

Rivendell, The latest book to hit the virtual store shelves for The One Ring Roleplaying Game from Cubicle 7, is now available for pre-order!

This means I get to share my work on the book today.

Make sure to check out the book!  Rivendell and its environs are amazing places to visit.

It was a real treat to visit Middle Earth, once again, with paper and acrylics under my arm.

Equally exciting is that my work appears alongside that of my friends, Jon Hodgson and Jan Pospisil. :)

I hope you enjoy my latest images.

Thank you for stopping by!

All artwork is available for purchase.

Drop me an email at jmchugh@mchughstudios.com, if you’re interested. :)

whisperingruins_scan rivendellculturalactivity_scan trollshaws_scan queenofcastlehill_final

Sketch cards for “Beauty and the Myth” from Braiiinz Publishing.

dragon_scan183 lamia_scan185 manticore_scan184 scylla_scan182 treemen_scan181

 

These are the five sketch puzzle cards I did for “Beauty And The Myth” from Braiiinz Publishing.
They were fun to do and I hope they will make collectors happy should they turn up in their packs!

If you’re interested in a private commission from my studio, you can see my offerings on my Private Commissions page.

I can do sketch cards for your collection as well. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

 

The Diner–comic short story

Today I get to share a four page story I illustrated back in 2011 for writer extraordinaire, Ron Fortier.

Ron is well-known in comics circles as the writer of many popular titles including, “Terminator: The Burning Earth”–some of Alex Ross’ first published comics work.

Not to mention his revival of The Green Hornet, Captain Hazzard, and other pulp fiction heroes of yesteryear!

I was jazzed to get to work with Ron and he has graciously allowed me to share our efforts on my blog.

This was the first story to appear in issue 1 of ”Ron Fortier’s Tales of the Macabre” from Redbud Studio Comics!

I’m so happy to be able to share it here today.

It was lettered by none other than Jaymes Reed of Digital Caps Comic Book Lettering.

It was exciting to work with such talented professionals.

I lead a blessed life. :)

Enjoy the story!

 

Page 01

Page 02

Page 03

 

Page 04

 

 

 

Studio updates galore!

landsandlegendsbook

 

My copy of “The Fantasy Illustration Library Volume One: Lands & Legends” arrived in the post! It is a beautiful book complete with slipcase and more artists than you can shake an enchanted stick at.

The book is available through Michael Publishing, LLC

The original painting is available for purchase for the asking price of $2,000.00

Contact me if you’re interested!

———-

A story I illustrated for writer, Todd Jones, is part of “Wicked Awesome Tales Vol 1″ and is now being released through Comixology for your reading pleasure. Some preview pages are up for viewing as well, if you click on the cover.

———

Episode 126 of the Ninja Mountain Podcast is also available for your listening please at:

http://ninjamountain.blogspot.com/2014/05/episode-126-cons-art-sales-and-ebay-oh.html

This episode includes footage taken at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live and is followed by lively conversation between artists: Socar Myles, Eric Lofgren, Patrick McEvoy, and yours truly. A fun show for the budding fantasy/sci-fi artist in your life.

———

And finally…

“Klump” is currently being auctioned on ebay as of this writing.

He is watercolor on 9×12 paper and I am hoping he finds a great home!

Here’s a link!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/151308077988?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Klump--- $75.00 --- 9x12 paper  watercolor

Klump— auctioning on ebay —
9×12 paper
watercolor

 

Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you’ll check out the links posted today and enjoy some browsing.

Take care, my dear reader!

 

 

Free Comic Book Day 2014

 

I hope you enjoy this small gallery of images from Free Comic Book Day 2014.

The photo of me was shared on iamthink’s page on Facebook! Check them out at:

https://www.facebook.com/iamthinkdotcom

I was a busy man!

Hoping you made it to your local comic shop on that special day!

The celebration at Double Midnight Comics and Collectibles was amazing!

See you there next year. :)