Starting February 2014 this blog will be out of action.

But DO NOT DESPAIR. We've just moved, and you can still find the same riveting and informative posts that you have come to expect on our new blog:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Disaster Strikes!

Just when everything was going so well, the Goblins got my pc.

"They have taken the bridge, and the second hall. We can not get out. The end comes. Drums, drums in the deep. They are coming..."

This morning my pc crashed. 
Every possible spell and incantation I could think of only resulted in another variation of the Blue Screen of Death. Evidently, the primary hard drive is bacon.  Crispy, smoking bacon.  I am fortunate to have had all my data on a second hard drive, but as for the machine itself, it is dead. 

This puts something of a damper on the digital half of the watercolor/digital method that I have been employing in these Hobbit pieces. This is what you get for taking a ring of power from Bill Gates the Deceiver. There is only one Lord of the Rings, and he does not share power....

So, while I save my pennies for a shining new Mac Pro, (the new 8x cores look wicked hot) there are a number of other possible solutions that present themselves for how to go about tackling the Battle of Five Armies. (The show must go on) For some time now I have been wanting to get back into oils and I am very tempted to attempt this piece with them. The drawback would of course be that it would probably take me a month and a half to finish it properly with the drying properties of oils. The other option would be to try take the watercolor step itself farther towards finished than I have done in the other pieces. Most of these other pieces have been finished to something like a very light underpainting in watercolor, which allows me a number of really interesting possibilities digitally. There are a few effects in photoshop that look really great over watercolor underpaintings. Digital painting also offers a lot of really compelling lighting effects that I can't find suitable traditional alternatives to (and by suitable, I mean that don't take a month and a half with drying) I also really enjoy the vibrancy of color that is easily achievable in digital painting. However, it looks as though I may have to do without my digital tools in this endeavor. So, before beginning the Battle of Five Armies, I am going to be doing a few odd experiments in oils. We'll have to see how it works out. Let me know what you think as I post these up.


  1. I'm like a kid in a candy store right now!
    I mean, it sucks about your pc.... the key word in that sentence is.... PC!

    can't wait to see how you pull these off in oils!

  2. Man ... (I'm stricken for words, here.)

  3. BRO! That is insanely familiar. My Mac died this week too... I did get the new 8core... pretty amazing! I've copied your "Goblins take the PC" drawing and its now taped to the old machine as it waits for repair!

  4. man, that's the WORST! so sorry about the crash. my laptop is doing the same thing to me and it's the pits.

    look forward to seeing the new piece! what an endeavor! You have such a wonderful series going on so far, i hope you can maintain a consistent look with your oils so the series stays in one cohesive look.

    hopefully you publish these when you're all done!

  5. Wow, Bummer to say the least! Good luck getting every thing back together!

  6. This isn't that same PC that you just put together last year is it? The one with so much promise??

    Lo, the evils of M$ ...

  7. AGH dude that seriously stinks!
    not cool at all. Sorry to her that.

    I feel your pain to, the blue screen of death plagued me all last year until I finally gave up and joined the prevailing shining armored army of Mac users against the evil PC's of the past. haha
    Glad I did to.

    I definitely think you should go for oil man! That would be bloody incredible and well worth the wait!

    Watercolors are cool, but something about oils seems more fitting for a classic epic scene that the battle of five armies is.

    You can do it! haha

    Can’t wait to see what the result is.


  8. How about taking your watercolour as far as you can and then finish with gouache. This'll give you the opaque quality of oils and the drying time of watercolour.

  9. My condolences. Oils? I vote oils. I just wanna see what you'd do with 'em.

  10. would love some kind of a tutorial on using photoshop effects with watercolour...when you get the new mac I guess!

  11. "Come, Justin - Join the Mac side"
    Trust me: everything's better here. Don't give up on the painting though! Please!

  12. Bummer to say the least! Good luck getting every thing back together!