New Paintings, and a New Year

The January 2013 edition of National Geographic serendipitously arrived at my house on Christmas Eve, with two of my paintings in print, accompanying a great article on the future of space exploration by Tim Folger. If you use the digital edition of National Geographic for your iPad or Kindle, there is an accompanying audio interview of me discussing the process of the two paintings.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a great holiday with friends and family.

Announcing New Art Book Trajectory, Available Summer 2013

I'm proud to announce the release of my new art book Trajectory being released this summer. This is my fourth book, following Quantumscapes, Quantum Dreams, and Velocity. You can begin pre-ordering your limited edition copy, that comes with a 9x12" signed and numbered exclusive print, and an 8 x 11" original ink sketch.

Only 100 available worldwide! For more information and pre-order, visit the shop.

From the Afterlife to Disney Cartoons - February Newsletter

When my good friends at Acme Archives approached me to do a painting based on their Walt Disney license, I thought it would be a great opportunity to push myself as a painter and create something really finished and polished with animation style.  Over the years I've worked in animation, I've done everything from characters, props and environments, but they have all been very conceptual. The animation process is such that work gets heavily divided into different disciplines and it is common to have one person do a drawing while another does the color. So this was my chance to really see an animation-style painting from concept to final.  

I was given the choice of many different subjects, but I my immediate choice was Winnie the Pooh. Winnie the Pooh was one of my favorite Disney characters growing up and I always found him so lovable and sweet, just as I loved Totoro from Japan. I didn't have a specific vision when I started, so I started doodling and looking at references, particularly the artwork of Fantasia and Bambi. I was drawn to the amazing fall colors of fiery red and orange and decided to put the character in a sunset environment with a giant oak tree behind him that was wrapped in autumn.

Because I am also an environment artist and a storyteller, it was important to me to convey a sense of story in the painting using the entire environment, not just a portrait of a character. To me the big, ancient tree has always been a symbol of wisdom, and Winnie the Pooh himself is a philosopher in his own way. I thought the juxtaposition was perfect to have the eternal tree of wisdom in the background and Winne the Pooh in his own simple wisdom asking a naive question of the butterflies: "Do you make honey, too?"


From a technical standpoint, this painting really allowed me to push my painterly skills by using a lot more Painter than Photoshop. I explored a lot about creating brushes for leaves, since the tree is so prominent. It was important to create a pattern that would be both efficient and have my signature, graphic feel.