Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two and Twenty Idols

I leave for Illuxcon tomorrow and *just* finished this piece in time for the show :) This is the first completely non-commissioned illustration I've done in a couple years, I really need to make more time for that sort of thing.

15x23, oil on illustration board

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More new work for November

A few more pieces for my upcoming gallery show in November

"Underbelly", oil on panel, 24x54

"Tranced", oil on panel, 30x40

"On nights when we're apart", oil on canvas, 30x40

"Beyond the castle walls, there are new kingdoms to explore", oil on panel, 12x48

"A long and crooked road", oil on panel, 18x24

Thursday, October 21, 2010

God's War and Haven

Nice to be finishing up a book cover, it feels like it's been awhile (though only a month or so I guess). Mostly I've been crazy busy getting my November show at Artists House together (more on that in a week or so), but here's a brand new cover for Night Shade Books. Also, I forgot to post the final cover in the Sasha series for Pyr, so here's that too ;)

God's War, 18x27, oil on Illustration Board

Haven, 18x24, oil on illustration board

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10 of Swords

A new Tarot card here, the dreaded 10 of Swords. Symbolic of ruin, pain, disaster. Despite that, it was fun ;)

10x15, oil on illustration board


Also, NY comic con is this weekend, come by and visit me and Scott Altmann at booth 528, near to Artists Alley and the autograph area!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

An interview with Scott Altmann

I'm running a day late on my end here, but I'll be sharing a booth in the upcoming New York Comic Con with fellow illustrator and very good friend Scott Altmann and he asked me the other day about doing an artist on artist interview for our blogs. You can find my answers to Scott's questions over on Scott's blog

And before I begin with my questions to Scott, I'll give a little intro just in case you may not be familiar with his name. In addition to numerous appearances in fantasy art anthologies such as Spectrum and Society of Illustrators, Scott has firmly established himself in the young adult book cover field working for heavies like Harper Collins, Random House, and Penguin to name just a few. He's painted Magic cards, done freelance concept art, is a founding member of Gorilla Artfare, shown in galleries across the US and in Europe, and was this years Chesley Award Winner for Best Paperback Cover Illustration.

You can find his work, contact info, and all that sort of thing at his website and blog:
Bad Dreams Good Nightmares

And now the interview:
I'll start things easy. Since isolated color is meaningless without context, what’s your favorite color scheme?

I don't think I have a favorite, as much as I go through phases. I am definitely coming off a "brown phase" where I was really preoccupied with cool tones over warm, earth tones. For instance, a cool gray over a raw umber tone. Lately, I have been really into grays, pinks, and cerulean blues.

As an illustrator who’s very prolific in the YA field, what were your favorite books when you were 12 and did the cover art have any influence over you?

I have to admit at 12, I put down the books a bit and I got really into Conan comics and Heavy Metal (the magazine - not the music). For some reason I never really got into superheroes, and my dad kind of realized that and he would bring me home these comics all the time. There was one book I constantly looked at from when I was even younger. I mention it , just because I kept revisiting it over and over and I still have it. It's called "Chinese Fairy Tales" and I believe it is out of print now:
It has really beautiful illustrations on the interior as well by Serge Rizzato. I'll have to show you when I see you. I can't even remember the stories in the book, but some of the imagery really made an impression on me.

I also used to read a good deal of my dad's National Geographic mags, and they always had at least a few illustrations that were really cool to see.

Which painting of yours presented the greatest challenge to you while you were working on it? With the lessons that it taught you, is there anything that you would have done differently in retrospect?

Hmmm....that's hard to say. The recent Microvisions piece was tough because of the size

I was experimenting with a lot of palette knife work, which was really hard to do on the small 5" x 7" surface. I probably should have put away the palette knives, opted for less textural effects, and stuck with synthetics or sables.

The other painting that comes to mind, was a digital illustration I did for Random House and that was Chris Grabenstein's "The Hanging Hill".

The story was so great- Chris is such a skilled writer and this was my first job for Random House, so a lot of the challenges of this painting I put on myself were self-imposed pressures. Then when the art direction was to have a scary house, and NO FIGURES I panicked a bit. I had never done an illustration that the focus was on something that was something other than a human figure. How was I to make a house interesting enough for a cover?

I think I learned that I was placing too much emphasis on subject matter, and I should have focused more on compositional effects, picture dynamism, and narrative I figured that out in the long run, but I could have spared myself all the stress and anxiety!

As your professional career has been unfolding, what are your reactions to the direction that you’re moving in? Do you feel it would have surprised you as a younger artist, or has it all followed your early plans and goals?

I think I am eternally dissatisfied with my work and career, but not really in a negative way. That makes no sense when I say it out loud, but it has more to do with just always looking forward and looking to evolve. I have definitely moved into a market geared towards younger audiences, and it will probably keep going in that direction. Of course I get the urge to do more mature illustration once in awhile, but I feel this market plays to my strengths as an illustrator.

I'm honestly surprised by it all when I stop and think about it. I can't believe I get paid to do this as a living sometimes. My early goals and plans were either non-existent or vague , but now that I have goals and a decent momentum I'm excited and just want to keep pushing forward.

With your schedule full balancing illustration commissions and family life, do you ever find the time for personal painting these days? If so, what is it that matters to you most in doing them?

It's hard -I cannot lie. My days are packed from morning to night with various family/house/ illustration obligations so finding that time is a real struggle for me. . I've only gotten to sneak in a small painting here and there for myself.
There is a positive side though. Now that my illustration career has started to take shape, I feel I can now more clearly separate my job from my personal work. There's no more pressure for me to have gallery owners like it, or have it accepted by art buyers. Now it's really just for my own expression and experimentation . Just need more time to do it!

In terms of concept vs. technique, which is more likely to excite you in the work of another artist?

I think it's the synthesis of the two that really excites me. When an artist combines these elements in harmony it can really be powerful.

What sort of things do you feel you absorb most from other artists that ends up later in your own work?

It's definitely technical things I admire . Whether it is edgework, atmospheric perspective, or shape arrangement - I try to learn from people who are doing things better than I am. As far as narrative and concepts, that is more personal for me.

What is the one aspect to picture making which you find the most exciting to you right now?

I'm definitely feeling a renewed interest in composition , but not only arrangement of shapes but also arranging values. I think once you get a solid grasp of the basics, it opens it up to unlimited possibilities. Yes - a light figure against a dark background is very effective, but a light figure against a light background can be even more powerful if skillfully done.


Be sure to come visit us at the NYCC, we'll be at booth number 528 with originals, prints, books, DVDs, and awkward conversation ;)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Personal works

Just felt like posting a few of the pieces I've been working on for my next show at Artists House in November. Stepping away from the rigid series approach that I've taken for the past few and just sort of free associating instead. It's interesting to see as the group is coming together. Anyhow, here's a sampling

"I still think about then but I never think about her", 16x20, oil on panel

"Would I see you next to me?", 20x20, oil on panel

"View from the Carabela De Colón", 5x5, oil on panel

"We never talk anymore", 30x40, oil on panel

Friday, September 10, 2010

Chimeric Mass

I just found out that this piece was one of the early spoilers for the upcoming "Scars of Mirrodin" release for Magic, so I'm free to share as well. Big ol' trash monster

11x15, oil on illustration board

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Zombie Girl

I've been really in the mood to paint some horror lately. If fact, I did a little write-up for that comes out some time next week where I mention briefly about how rarely you see an attempt at sexy zombies, so I thought I'd take a new swing at it. Kind of disturbing actually...

11x17, oil on illustration board

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

FOUND: book of convention sketches - SDCC

Hey, I'm currently in possession of a book of con sketches found in my booth (4813: David Palumbo/Daren Bader) during tear-down at San Diego Comic Con. Nobody near by seemed to know who it belonged too, but it looks like a pretty serious book and I'm sure the owner is missing it. The name inside is "Doc Anthony" with a phone number no longer in service. Looks like the book dates back to '99. If you are the owner or know anyone who lost a book like this, email me at dave (at) and we can hopefully get it returned. There will be follow-up questions to confirm the identity of the rightful owner.

Just putting the word out, please feel free to forward.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

See you in San Diego!

I'm just about out the door for San Diego Comic Con. It's always a mountain of tasks to get done before the show, but it's nearly time and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be showing with Daren Bader again this year in booth #4813. I'll have originals for display and sale, as well as copies of the new book and DVD and all sorts of things. Stop in and say hello!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Is Your Soul for Sale?

Another new one, this time a little something for Realms of Fantasy

12x16, oil on illustration board

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Duel

Here's a recent piece for a C.T. Adams story on that just went live. Fun to sling some magic around, it feels like ages since I've painted anything glowy ;)

oil, 13x26

If you'd like to read the story that this piece is supporting, you can find it here


PLUS! Anyone heading out to comic con (in just two short weeks!), I'll be out again this year and sharing a booth with Daren Bader at booth #4813. I'll have the new books, some new surprises, painting DVDs, drawings, paintings (including the one above), and whatever else I can cram into the FedEx truck in the next few days. Stop on by :D

Monday, June 7, 2010


This is weird, but somehow I never posted this piece. Cover for Pyr books, done a few months back:

Oil on illustration board with some digital tweaks, 18x24

Thursday, May 27, 2010


A new piece for the Tarot series, this is the first significant departure (in my opinion) from the traditional depictions/interpretations. This is to be in place of Judgment. My interpretation of Judgment is a card about transcendence, metamorphosis, rebirth, and progress, so that's what I was trying to bring across.

12x18, oil on illustration board

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ghost Ship

I did this a little while back, just for kicks ;)

15x24, oil on illustration board

Friday, May 14, 2010

D&D pin-up

Something for fun here, I decided that I couldn't pass up the D&D pin-up challenge that Jon Schindehette announced on Art Order. It may as well be called the Tiefling Pin-Up Challenge, but what do you expect when your selection of races includes devil girls amidst a bunch of big ugly monsters :P

12x16.5, oil on illustration board

Monday, May 3, 2010

The new Quickie is officially here!

After months of work and prep, the new 2010 Quickie hardcovers are finally here! The book is bigger (10x10) and thicker (96 full color pages) than last year's model and features about 80% previously unprinted works, some of which haven't even been shown on my postcardnudes blog. I'm really really proud of this one :D

Click HERE for more info or to order. Order along with the upcoming "Painting Stephie 7" process DVD and get 50% off!

The book is also available in a very limited deluxe edition which will include an original oil postcard remarque. Deluxe editions are limited to 25 copies, click here for more information.

Also, an update for those who have asked about the process DVD: After some production delays, I've just received a delivery date of May 20th, which means that DVD and combo orders will begin shipping on May 24th.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


16x25, oil on illustration board

Something for an upcoming horror anthology here. I was pretty much on my own to go where I wanted with this, just keeping the tone appropriate. It was fun but also disorienting to have so much freedom, but I could get used to it ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just sharing some good news :)

Two pieces of new today. First is that a slightly less nude version of These Things Really Work will be the cover for a single from the upcoming Meat Loaf album for the song Los Angeloser :)

And the second piece of news is that I've just received my confirmation from Spectrum for volume 17 and the pieces selected were Living Dead 2 and The Scavenger. It's to be my fourth year in the book and every time it's been such an honor to be included. I feel like the quality just gets better and better, can't wait to see number 17 all laid out :D

Next post will have more art, promise ;)

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Stephie #7" DVD trailer is up :D

I've hinted around about my DVD for awhile now, but it's nearly finished and I'm finally able to show a peek ;)

for more info on this or on the new hardcover Quickie book also coming out next month, go to

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Loving Dead

It feels like my updates here have been so sparse over the past few months! Well, I have been finishing up the new Quickie book (more info coming soon), but I know that's no excuse. Anyhow, new illustrations on the way, I've got some exciting things lined up and in the works. For today, here's a cover recently finished for Night Shade Books:

14x21, oil on illustration board

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

M:tG Worldwake cards

Now that Worldwake has gone public as of this past weekend, I'm free to post my images from the set :) All oil on illo board, but I did these almost a year ago and can't quite remember the sizes...

"Apex Hawks"

"Marsh Threader"

and the (as I'm told) much discussed "convertible turtle":

"Calcite Snapper"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Postcard painting demo online :)

I’ve been fussing with editing software and youtube for about a week now, finally got something online :) Kind of a teaser for the full length process DVD that I’ll have out this spring… oh, and there’s a new book coming too, but more on that later ;)

the finished piece without all the video compression:

5x7, oil on illustration board