Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore

I recently worked on a very fun project for Source Point Press, a book titled "A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore". This book is a small collection of some great works by Edgar Allan Poe that haven't gained the popularity that "The Raven" or "The Tell-Tale Heart" have. Trico J. Lutkins (author, Source Point founder, and dear friend of mine) hand-picked 5 of Poe's short stories and 5 of his poems for this collection, and I took on the task of gathering artists willing to do an illustration based on one of the chosen works. I immediately reached out to some of my favorite illustrators, artists whose work I respect greatly. And, of course, I did one myself, as I'm a big fan of Poe and was excited to do a piece that could capture his sense of both beauty and despair, of something both tragic and magnificent.
Trico Lutkins wrote the foreword in the book, as well as a chapter at the end titled "The Influence of Poe" with some neat informative stuff. I also included some photographs at the end of the book that I took a few years back when I traveled to Baltimore to visit Poe's gravesite.
Even if you already have everything Poe's done, this book is unique, as the art in it is the real treasure. The end result was a great lineup of artists who did some really top-notch beautiful illustrations: myself (Joshua Werner), Jason Keith Phillips, Tyler Sowles, Dan Gorman, Darcey Young, Jeff Sornig, Diana Busby (who's already done a ton of great work on other Source Point books), Summer Ketchum, and Aaron Trendy. I also designed the book cover, utilizing a Poe-inspired painting I'd already done on the front cover.

For my illustration within the book, I did a piece for the poem "The Sleeper". I love, love, love this poem, and hope I did it justice with this drawing intended to capture both elements from the poem and the spirit of the poem in one piece.

If you'd like to buy a copy of this book and support the indie endeavors of Source Point Press as they try to bring a great blend of both art and writing to the public, it's available currently on Amazon. It will soon also be available at other web retailers, including Source Point's own Storenvy site (I highly recommend following, so many cool books).
If you do purchase a book, please do me a huge favor: take a quick selfie of you with your cool new book and post it over on the Source Point Press Facebook page or the Twitter page. The people who work hard and spend money out of their own pocket to bring art & literature to you will see the picture, and man does it make them feel good. If you want to make them smile even bigger, leave a nice Amazon review, recommend it to a friend, and read it repeatedly, love it, and treasure it. :)
- J

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spider-Man 2 in Hong Kong

Just returned from doing some business traveling and while in Hong Kong I saw another epic Marvel display, this time for Spider-Man 2. This country sure loves their Marvel movies, they go all out to advertise them. Check out this larger than life Spider-Man statue saving a taxi from rolling into a hole in the destroyed street, and their massive movie advertisements, including one painted across the steps leading up into a mall. Pretty awesome!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Owls Commission

I don't think I ever showed you guys here on the blog the commission I did of the owls with the castle in the background.   This is a massive painting I did on wood. Put a ton of hours into it. I hope you guys like it, I was very happy with how it turned out.
Working on a piece like that is kind of like having a child. You know every intricate detail of the painting, every hidden secret and emotion, and you see yourself in it. And you can step back and marvel at something you created. Something that didn't exist before and now does exist, only because of you. And then it's a little hard to let go of. But luckily the couple that commissioned me to do this piece are 2 of my favorite people and this thing is going to a great home. Plus I did it specifically for them, they came to me with the concept, told me what they wanted, and I filled in the rest.  So I couldn't be happier knowing that it's on their wall and being looked at by them everyday.
If you look close up you'll find all sorts of neat little stuff in here. I glued down pages out of destroyed vintage books and painted over them, all sorts things to look at.

Me holding the painting, gives you an idea of the size. Here I am, a sketch card artist packing detail into pieces only 2.5" 3.5" and I'm asked to do this giant thing. I'm not gonna lie, I had a blast. It had been too long since I really got get my hands dirty on a big painting. 

Progress shot. This piece was very heavy and large, so I had to use a table with a vice built into it to hold it straight up and down while I painted. Stubbed my toe on the legs of that table many times during the course of painting on it.

Progress shot showing how large the owl's head was compared to my own.

Progress shot as I was finishing the castle. 

Dead Divas

Here's all 20 of my sketches for Bianca Thompson's Dead Divas set from Unstoppable Cards. All of these sketches are very tiny, only 2.5" x 3.5" (the size of a trading card) and the original pieces of art are mixed into regular trading card packs.
This was a fun set work on. I love drawing ladies that are both beautiful and ugly. :)