Starry Skies - Painting Feathers

This month I was able to squeeze in a quick study for the Bird Whisperer Project. How could I not? This Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo is magical! I only had time for a study, so I decided to crop the reference image down to a portrait. Here’s a look at that initial sketch in Photoshop.

I’m a messy sketcher! I’m not worried about things being exact on my first pass. I just want to start drawing. Once that first sketch is finished I usually go back to adjust things, refine shapes, etc. However, even then I’m not concerned with things being exact. I don’t need a copy of the reference photo. I want the essence, something that captures or creates its own magic. In this case, after I finished the initial sketch I decided I wanted to work on a square canvas, so I cropped things further. Here’s a GIF showing all the stages:

CockatooProcess.gif

My first painting strokes are messy too. My goal is to get the color down fast and then go in with details over that. I often switch between small tipped and large tipped brushes. For this piece, I only used 4 brushes for the bird.

What makes this a Study?

If you look closely, you can still see my sketch in some areas as well as parts that are less finished. In a finished painting I would have refined some of the feathers more too. A study may not feel finished to an artist, but it’s still a piece of art and in some cases it becomes a valuable reference for a future painting.

Chesley Award Winner!

The 2019 Chesley Awards Ceremony was held at SpikeCon July 4, 2019 – July 8, 2019 in Layton, Utah. My artwork for the cover of Diabolical Plots Year 3 won in the category for Best Cover Illustration: eBook/Paperback!

“Maybe Tomorrow” 2018

“Maybe Tomorrow” 2018

The Chesley Awards were established in 1985 by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists to recognize individual artistic works and achievements during a given year. The Chesleys were initially called the ASFA Awards, but were later renamed to honor famed astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell following his death in 1986. The awards are presented annually, typically at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

For this anthology I created an original illustration inspired one of the stories in the book. For Now, Sideways by A Merc Rustad is a beautiful, emotionally charged story about a woman at the end of a war on an alien planet. It's not your typical military science fiction and I didn't want the art to be either. The painting is as much telling a story, through the characters, as it is expressing an emotion through color palette.

Learn more about Diabolical Plots—>

Purchase a print of Maybe Tomorrow—>

Crescent Moon Moth Kickstarter

The Crescent Moon Moths are coming!! Today marks the launch of my second Make 100 Kickstarter. This year’s enamel pin is a companion to the Twilight Moth enamel pins from 2018’s campaign. These pins, like last year’s, are a limited edition run of 100. Last year’s campaign funded in under 8 hours and all 100 pins were claimed in 3 days.

Claim your Crescent Moon Moth Now!

I had quite a few requests this year for additional pins of other wonderful creatures. This has been something I’ve been pondering in the back of my head—there is an idea brewing—but there just wasn’t enough time to make that happen just yet. However, I did decide to add a little something extra to this campaign.

When all 100 of the Crescent Moon Moth are claimed, I will add a new reward tier for a Mini Moon Moth Badge. The badge is also a hard enamel pin, but it’s about half the size of the limited edition pins. These pins will be $10. Backers of the Crescent Moon Moths will also have access to these as an add-on to their pledge for the same amount.

Here’s a rundown of all the current stretch goals:

-- Stretch Goal 1: $900+ -- LOCKED!

All enamel pin backers will receive a Crescent Moon Moth Sticker.

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-- Stretch Goal 2: $1500 -- Mini Moon Moth Badge -- LOCKED!

When all 100 Crescent Moon Moth enamel pins are spoken for I will add a new reward tier for a special open edition pin, a Mini Moon Moth Badge. All backers will also have the option of adjusting their pledge to add-on this pin. This pin will be $10.

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-- Stretch Goal 3: $2000 -- Crescent Moon Moth Prints -- LOCKED!

All enamel pin backers will receive a Crescent Moon Moth print measuring 4 x 4 inches.

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There’s always the possibility I may add more stretch goals as the campaign progresses, we shall see what happens!

Back the Campaign Now!

Eligible Art for 2018

Here’s a selection of award eligible work for 2018. These artworks qualify for the Best Fan Art category of the Hugo Awards.

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"Perchance to Dream" -- Cover, Paperback, Long List Anthology Volume Four, Diabolical Plots, December 2018 | Media: Digital Painting.

ForestScout2018_Makepeace.jpg

“Forest Scouts” — Unpublished, Created for the Bird Whisperer Project, December 2018 | Media: Digital Painting

SpiritKeeper2018web.jpg

“Spirit Keeper” — Unpublished, Created for the Bird Whisperer Project, March 2018 | Media: Digital Painting

*****

DPYear3Art2018web.jpg

"Maybe Tomorrow" -- Cover, ebook, Diabolical Plots Year Three, Diabolical Plots, June 2018 | Media: Digital Painting

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Cover for the Long List Anthology Volume Four: More Stories from the Hugo Award Nominations List.

*****

LastLight2018a_Makepeace.jpg

“Last Light” — Unpublished, January 2018 | Media: Digital Painting

DragonsBreath2018_Makepeace.jpg

“Dragon’s Breath” — Unpublished, February 2018 | Media: Digital Painting

*****

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Final Cover