November 1, 2012

New Pathfinder oils and Illuxcon prep.

I just recently finished a big 6 month job for the Pathfinder Roleplaying game; completing 24 illustrations for the current 6-book adventure path "Shattered Star".  I have managed to paint about half of them in oil paints, and its been a challenge to do multiple paintings at a time plus other client work in a one month period!  In past posts, I have shown a few of the oil paintings, and the third book is now out so I can show more.

Here we have an alchemical golem attacking the Pathfinder Alchemist on the edge of a balcony.

Next, Karzoug hands the shard of gluttony over to the Dark Rider:

Drawing mounted on masonite and outlined in acrylic...

Acrylic underpainting...

Establishing the background...

 Working on the characters...

 Final painting...

And a last quick one the Hounds of Tindalos attack the female Barbarian:

In a future post I will show some of the digital paintings I produced for this set of books.  It was a real challenge to illustrate so many multi-figure scenes in paint and on the computer with tight deadlines.  

Over the past year I have done about 1/3 of my work in oils which added up to 17 paintings... now I just have to decide what to bring to Illuxcon next week... volume or quality??  
I've bought some large bubble envelopes from the post office, and the plan is to slip the paintings into padded envelopes and onto the plane, thus avoiding the inevitable lost luggage that always happens in my 3 connection flight to Altoona from Canada.  

Lastly, I recently recorded a new podcast that I'm quite proud of.  Give it a listen!


  1. Nice illustrations Mike! I'm curious about the paper you use to mount on masonite? do you use a special watercolor paper and soak it first?

    I'll listen to that podcast!

  2. Felipe, I use 90lb watercolour paper. Alot of people use strathmore paper... as long as its rag and not pulp its fine. Yeah, there is a whole process to mounting it...its quite easy and commonly used... Get Donatos DVDs...

  3. Nice work Mike, the costuming details on the alchemist in particular are really well done.

    I have no idea how you find the time to do some of these in oil. I've done a few big interior runs for Pathfinder (Carrion Crown and Skull & Shackles most recently), and even in digital I barely squeaked 'em in by the deadline. Are you using a drying accelerator?

  4. hey Craig, I am using cobalt dryer but really, each one is just a one-pass affair... taking about 4 days and just rendering everything one item at a time. No time for pausing or even thinking!

  5. These turned out great, Mike! I'm really digging the oil pieces, you must feel so good having the originals when the project is over :)