Saturday 18 July 2009

Bugman's Peanuts Competition

Today is competition time on my blog. I am giving away a signed copy of The Bugman's Game board game, which has just been released by Games Workshop.

The Challenge:

Guess how many pieces of peanut there are in the pint-sized tankard pictured above. Please note that the salted peanuts I used come either whole, or else split in half, both have been counted as a single piece. I know, this makes it even harder.


Enter by posting the number you think is correct as a comment to this blog entry.
Only 1 entry per person (if you enter more than once just your first post will be used).
If more than 1 person gets the correct number (or the nearest correct number) the first person to post the number will win.
Competition will finish on Saturday 1st August 2009 12:00 GMT (UK time)

The Winner:

The winner will be announced in a new blog entry. I will also notify them directly through the contact details in their profile. I will then send the game to any address you provide me with.

The Prize:

The Bugman's Game is a special promotional board game published by Games Workshop. It is only available for purchase at Bugman's Bar, which is in GW's Nottingham, UK, headquarters.

It is a light-hearted, beer & pretzels, game, whose objective is to get your Dwarf to the bar, then back again, with your food and drink. Sounds simple enough until you factor in the other Dwarfs, Trolls, Rowdy Revellers and the urgent need to get to The Bogs.

I provided all the artwork for the game; cover, board, cards and counters. It made a surprisingly refreshing change to flex my humour muscles and create some cartoon imagery - which I have always suspected I had in me.

I have included a few samples in this post.

I have had the pleasure of visiting Bugman's bar several times, and it is a fun fantasy themed bar. Adjoining it is a gaming hall which is also very well made up as a village square.

Here's a link:

Good luck in the competition.

Friday 17 July 2009

Ninja Mountain podcast; Episode # 25

I had the great pleasure of participating in this weeks episode of the Ninja Mountain podcast.

To listen to the show please follow this link:

This time around the episode was structured a little differently; here is a summary taken from the NM blog.

Ninja Mountain Episode 25 - Three Way Split. Its a big one this week as three seperate Ninja Teams assemble to deliver a triple whammy in a joyously confused magazine format. First up we have Anne Stokes and Socar Myles discussing the topic of being an awesome female fantasy artist in what can appear at a glance to be a male dominated world.
Next up its convention talk with Patrick McEvoy, Ralph Horsley and Jeremy McHugh - get the fat ole skinny on what to do at your next convention attendance! Whether selling prints or selling your soul to every art director you can lay hands on, this crack team discuss it all.
Lastly Andy Hepworth, Ralph Horsley and Jon Hodgson discuss the work and influence of truly awesome historical and fantasy artist Angus McBride.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Doodly Sketches

I think of myself as never having time for personal work. Invariably I feel the need to be working on compositional thumbnails, concepting sketches, or the like, rather than sketching for simple pleasure.

So it was a pleasant surprise when I found myself drawn into one of Jon Schindehette's 'artorder' challenges the other day, the results of which can be found here:
and here:

However whilst enjoying exploring my concepts for Oso I also realised that I do manage some personal work. Most Wednesdays I play in a Warhammer FRP campaign. This has been going for a couple of years now, and I regularly find myself doodling throughout the sessions, oftentimes this is work related...

... but if not they are usually representations of my character (of which I am on my second, the first - Josef Fraze - having had an unfortunate accident involving the wrong end of a Kislevite's sword). Dietrich Totenwasser is a Magister of the College of Light, and rather down on his luck at present, but still opposing the forces of Chaos.

The Images here are shown in reverse order of his career trajectory, though the wererat/skaven was a foe, not an incarnation! They are rendered in biro. I find that I can lay down a lighter line then firm it up when needed, but it is still relatively unforgiving.

This tends to mean that I 'follow the line' and end up with less considered pieces than my usual preparatory sketches, but conversely they can have more energy in them. I certainly hope you find them of interest.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Hols & Helmet

I have been away for the best part of the last fortnight indulging two of my great passions; gaming and music.
Firstly I was playing in a live role playing game. This system is written and run by some friends of mine, and is held over a weekend on a Scout camp site. The site is nicely hilly, with lots of small streams, and extensive tree cover. All of which helps with the atmosphere and immersion in the game.
We are always looking for new players and details can be found here:
Whilst these games are easily derided (and I have myself done so in the past), I find that participation in them helps feed back into my artwork. This works in a number of ways; being involved in fantasy games, and working on fantasy games products, clearly has a close correlation for sparking ideas, my imagination, and an understanding of other players concerns and interests - what people consider 'cool' I suppose.
However the most useful aspect has been observing kit and costuming in action. Despite drawing/painting chainmail for years I had rarely seen it worn 'in the flesh' until I started LRP. Seeing players running around in this, along with the wearing of plate armour, robes, and the miscellanea of adventuring (pouches, scabbards, bags, etc) has really boosted my understanding of how to represent these in my artwork, oh, and showed up my own previous erroneous interpretations, For instance chainmail is heavy and 'slinky' it doesn't crease and fold the way fabrics do at all, but has its own distinctive dynamic.
I have also found the costuming/kit aspect to be enjoyable in it's own right, besides also giving me a very good excuse (as if one were needed) to acquire my own armour and other very useful pieces for reference. The pictures at the top of this article are of my latest purchase; a custom made open sallet, which I think is gorgeous on so many levels, and now has pride of place next to my drawing board. It was made by Maxim Suprovich of wildarmoury:
The second passion, music, I indulged this last weekend. For me one of the huge benefits of working from home is the ability to listen to music all day whilst working. It is something which I feel enhances my quality of life no end, and it was certainly enhanced this last weekend when I attended the Glastonbury festival.
It is, allegedly, the largest music and performing arts festival in the world. 180,000 people gathered in fields near to the legendary Glastonbury Tor (supposedly the site of Avalon, and visible from the festival) for five days of hugely enjoyable entertainment. It has an 8-mile perimeter and a plethora of stages. I am now exhausted, but recharged, happy to be home, and looking forwrad to getting back to painting :)