My original career training was as a commercial artist, so When I first envisioned my fanfiction, "Youthful Indiscretions", I saw it complete with illustrations. I had been out of school for, well, let's just say 'more than a few years', and I hadn't attempted anything of this scope since retiring to raise my child at home. Though I had dabbled now and then at sketching, and done a few paintings, I'd allowed my skills to fall out of practice. In spite of early misgivings, I decided to give the project a go, and the results are documented within this website.
I enjoy drawing. It's satisfying work, especially if the piece comes out well. Art is a combination of skill (training and technique), vision (imagination and design), talent, and effort. It's very possible to create art without formal training. Some people seem to have a natural eye for design, and while they lack any actual ability to render an image by hand, they can find other media to express their talent. We have photography, and cinematic imagery, and a host of other techniques with which we can express our vision. The internet had a multitude of sites featuring manipulated pictures, wallpapers, banners, buttons, and of course, wonderful artwork. A whole new world of creativity has opened up to anyone with access to a computer.
My own computer experience is marginal, so most of my work is still done the old fashioned way. Way before my formal education at art school, I used to fool around with various papers and tools. My favorite combination was cheap and readily available. Using plain white paper (preferably something with a hard, smooth surface - typing stock works well), and a soft lead pencil, I would work up sketches for various stories I read. Looking back, my early efforts were somewhat crude, but a few weren't that bad. Mostly, I look back on those drawings a learning process. I got in a lot of practice working on anatomy, and trying to imagine how clothing fit the human body in motion.
Years went by, and though I learned to work in color, and collected a host of other tools and papers, my true skill still came through best in simple pencil drawings. This is the medium that I used to render most of the illustrations on this site. This particular page does have a few examples of other types of drawings I have tried, and I've tried to document how each was done when I could.
As for the illustrations that accompany my Buffy fanfiction, each started with photograph. I'd like to explain up front that portraits are not a stongpoint of mine. Sometimes the picture comes out, and other times, no matter how closely I think I'm following the shading, something looks "off". There were plenty of rejects before I came up with the final selections appearing on this site.
In this section I hope to impart in a few notes the process by which each illustration was created. The work is divided into three separte categories. Just click on the title link to see the pictures.
This is pretty much self explanatory. Most of these drawings here were taken directly from my fanfiction. A few sketches are included that have no reation to any specific story. There are also some that cross over into the next category.
FANTASY BEASTS, WEAPONS, AND PARAPHERNALIA
Here you can find creatures and people of mythical origin. It's sort of my attempted homage to fantasy art. I've always enjoyed the work of Boris Vallejo, Frank Frazetta, Greg and Tim Hildebrandt, Julie Bell and Heinrich Kley.
I love carrousels. I've alway wanted to do a series of these imaginary pieces. Here are some rough designs I've worked up.