Daydreams and Wanderings

After months of tedious, but also fun work, I’m pleased to announce the pages for my first sketchbook volume, Daydreams & Wanderings, are finished and ready for the printer! I’m running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for printing. Supporters of the campaign have the opportunity to purchase the book at a special KS only price of $15. Essentially, you’re pre-ordering the book at a sale price! Outside of Kickstarter the book will be $20, available from my online shop and conventions.

Kickstarter Only Price

This is only one of the KS Reward Levels. There are several, including budget levels of $5 and $10. Levels $25 and up include a sketch on the inside title page. I hope you’ll help me make this dream a reality!

http://kck.st/1AOtpk6

Heart of the Forest

Heart of the Forest by Amanda Makepeace

Art post! Yeah, I couldn’t think up something clever to write this week, so here’s a magical tree I painted for an online art challenge – Colour and Texture ArtOrder Challenge.

The glowing symbol in the middle of the tree comes from the Ogham alphabet. It’s the name for Oak and means Strength. I imagine this to be an old, moss covered tree–the heart of a magical forest. I’ve ordered a cotton rag print that I’ll be embellishing, mounting, and framing. If you’re going to Jordan Con 2015 you’ll see it in the Art Show!

Devourer of Stars

Devourer of Stars Teaser Image

Last week, J Edward Neill shared a History of the Ur, where you had the opportunity to learn about the villain of his fantasy trilogy, Tyrants of the Dead.

They move from star to star, swallowing every planet in darkness, building black towers on every surface, and turning oceans to deathly broth. Once a planet is blanketed in shadow and every living thing smoked out, the Ur eject clouds of star-snuffing darkness from their towers. The darkness consumes the planet’s star, and the Ur move elsewhere.

I had the pleasure of painting one of these diabolical interstellar shadows last year for the cover of the final book in the trilogy. What you see above is only a fraction of the painting Devourer of Stars. You’ll have to wait just a bit longer to experience all of his beautiful darkness. In the meantime, here’s small playlist of some of the songs that inspired me along the way.

Work in Progress: Her Last Breath

Her Last Breath Sketch

Final Sketch

I’ve slowly begun work on a new painting, tentatively titled Her Last Breath. When I begin a new painting project there are often keywords and phrases I’ll keep close by while I work. They help me visualize and focus on the idea behind the painting and the mood of the scene. I don’t usually share these thoughts with anyone, but as I’m moving toward a more defined direction with my art, I thought it might help the viewer to understand the unspoken story.

This is what I have tacked to the cork board above my desk:

Last Breath – Transformation – Becoming

She wears an ouroboros. The earth, roots and soil, are accepting her into the fold. Flowers sprout from her hair. She is leaving her human life to become a guardian. Her last breath drifts from her lips, warm against the cold air. Blood seeps from one nostril. Her skin pales but her eyes are vibrant. She is becoming.

Last Breath First Layers

The first layers of paint. (cropped)

The first layers of paint are in place. Now the fun begins! Follow me on Instagram for more progress shots.

Vote in the Infected by Art Volume 3 Contest

It’s time to vote in the Infected by Art Volume 3 Contest! I went back and forth on whether or not I should enter this contest, but in the end I decided, what the hell. What could it hurt? I might be a little bummed if I don’t make the cut, but that will last about a minute and then I’ll be back to painting. There’s always next year. But it’s one of those situations where I decided I need to stop putting things off. I need to stop assuming I’m not ready and just take a chance. Below are there simple steps to take to vote for my entry, Her Domain II.

Step 1: Signup to vote at: http://www.infectedbyart.com/signup.asp

Signup to Vote

Step 2: Follow this link to my entry: http://www.infectedbyart.com/contestgallery.asp?cid=21&gid=9354

My Entry

Step 3: Click on my entry and then click on the green Vote button. That’s it! Voting ends Dec 9th. That’s in three days!

Her Domain II by Amanda Makepeace

 

Thank you!!

amandamakepeace.com

Shop Art on Small Business Saturday

Shop SmallThis weekend, through Monday night, you can take advantage of some of the best deals of the season in my Etsy shop. Everything is 30% off, including the new Spirit Cards. Plus, if you’ve made a purchase from my Etsy shop in the past every purchase comes with a coupon code. This special thank you coupon will give you an extra $5 off your order. Sale ends late Monday night!

http://makepeacestudios.etsy.com

One Fantastic Week

One Fantastic Week

 

I’ve been featured this week on One Fantastic Week, a weekly web show run by Sam Flegal and Pete Mohrbacher. Each week, Sam and Pete (and a guest artist) talk about life as a self-employed artist, illustration, game art, conventions and more. Once a month they interview one of their supporters, old school, with a post on their website.

Check out my interview on 1FW!

Ravens and Owls for your Walls

Stone of Knowing II Framed

Love birds? Drawn to mysterious ravens and elusive owls? You’re in luck. I have two framed original mixed media paintings available to purchase. Stone of Knowing II (above) was last seen in the Dragon Con 2014 Art Show. The 16 x 20 inch painting features Odin’s ravens, Huginn and Muninn, discovering a magical relic, a stone of knowing.

Fly Fast II Framed The second painting, also from Dragon Con 2014, is Fly Fast II (11 x 14 inches). Who doesn’t love Barn Owls? These barn owls are messengers, flying fast into the fading light, to warn the next village the dragons are coming.

Both paintings are ready to hang with wire on the back. If you live in the US, make me an offer. I might say, yes!

You can get in touch with me at makepeace.arts@gmail.com. Mention the painting you’re interested in purchasing in the Subject line. Also, be sure to let me know you saw this post.

http://amandamakepeace.com
@amandamakepeace

Art Print Giveaway!

Almost a year ago, a few of my friends from high school and I decided to team up and create the Tessera Guild. To celebrate, I’ve decided to hold a giveaway here on the blog. One winner gets to choose an 8×10 (or similar dimension) matte print from almost anything I’ve painted over the years.

Art by Amanda Makepeace

 

There are multiple ways to enter via the Google form below. You can pick one or all. The total number of entries possible is five. I’ll be taking entries till October 2nd. On the morning of I will randomly pick a winner and make an announcement here. The winner will be contacted by email and given a link that will let them see the art available to choose a print from–yay! Oh, and this giveaway is open worldwide.

Good luck everyone!

Will you be Attending Dragon Con 2014?

Dragon Con 2014 is one week away! Are you going? Are you excited? We are! John McGuire, J Edward Neill and I, along with Robert Jeffrey II, will be attending this year’s event. Here are some official blurbs about where you can find us:

Amanda Makepeace

Amanda is a Dragon Con 2014 Art Show Participant. You can see her Fantasy paintings in the Main Gallery of the Art Show, in the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Selected artworks will be available to purchase as prints in the Art Show Print Shop.

Saturday, August 30th Amanda will be leading a panel on the Basics of Digital Painting in the Hyatt, room Hanover G. You can download the full schedule here:

2014 Art Show Programming

 

Like her Facebook Page, or let her know you’re attending via the Event below, for more details leading up to this year’s convention.

 

John McGuire

Author of The Dark that Follows and creator of The Guilded Age comic, John McGuire will be attending Dragon Con this year. John and Tessera guest blogger, Robert Jeffrey II, will be at the Terminus panel at 8 p.m. on Saturday Aug 30th. In addition, they will be around the Terminus Media table (please see the guide for the exact location) at various times throughout the weekend, so if you have a minute or two stop by and say hey.

 

J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead series and co-author of the upcoming serial novel Hollow Empire will be pit-stopping at Dragon Con. He’ll have free bookmarks, car magnets, and free books to dish out. He hasn’t been to D-Con since 1995, during which he stepped on Glenn Danzig’s foot, saved his friend from drowning in a bathtub of vomit, and cruised the open streets while searching for bottles of Captain Morgan.

So please be gentle…

Like J Edward’s Facebook page here. Shamble after him on Twitter here.

And to check out his ghoul-tastic website, click the Orb of Souls.

TheOrbOfSoulsSliderBizCard

 

 

A Small Dragon for #DragonCon

Here he is, my re-imagined Dragon’s Egg for Dragon Con, all done up in his beautiful frame. This was a test run of shots I took on my iPhone. When he hangs in the show you’ll see below the egg, the title, number and signature. I’m taking print no. 1 from a limited run of 15 to the 2014 Dragon Con Art Show. There will be 10, 4×5 inch open edition prints in the show’s Print Shop. The 8×10 inch limited editions are available now in my Etsy shop and if you’re quick, they are on sale for a few more days!

Dragon's Egg by Amanda Makepeace

 

I’m going to have quite a few large artworks at Dragon Con this year, but there will be a selection of smaller works too like this little guy. There will be a range of artworks in a range of prices. As the event draws closer I will have some detail information on what I’m taking on my website – amandamakepeace.com.

Everything in my Etsy shop – http://makepeacestudios.etsy.com – is 25% off for a few more days! Don’t miss out.

Etsy Christmas in July Sale

My Christmas in July Sale begins today in my Etsy shop. Everything is 25% off. Discounted prices are good from July 10th – July 20th. Here’s a breakdown of the discount:

  • $10.00 sketch cards are now $7.50
  • $25.00 prints are now $18.75
  • $30.00 prints are now $22.50
  • $35.00 prints are now $26.25

http://makepeacestudios.etsy.com

Sketchbook for the end of the world

 Let’s face it. I’m likely the worst artist on Tessera. If you want beautiful, colorful, deep art, check here.

Otherwise…let’s dance.

A few months back, I shared a few sketches I drew ages ago during the inception of Down the Dark Path. Each sketch depicted a fragment of the story as I’d originally dreamed it. My pattern was: I dreamed it, I drew it, and years later, I wrote epic fantasy novels about it. It sounds simple. It wasn’t.

Recently, I dug up about forty additional sketches.  Most (read…all) I sketched during my early twenties. They’re simple, sometimes juvenile, and somewhat faded by years spent moldering in an ancient paper envelope.  Even so, to this day they reflect my early conceptual visions of the Tyrants of the Dead series. If I were a true artist, I’d spend my time painting reimagined masterpieces for each one.

But I’m not.

So you get sketches…

Gryphon Inn

 

We begin with a tower deep in Grandwood. It’s ten stories high, surrounded by oak trees, and hides a wizard’s laboratory in its walls. I named this tower Gryphon. About ten years after this sketch, I wandered back to it. I decided Gryphon needed to be an entire city, not one lonely tower in the woods. And so Gryphon, home of Rellen, was reborn.

 

 

 

 

Knight 1

This was my original concept sketch for Rellen Gryphon, one of the heroes of Down the Dark Path and Dark Moon Daughter. Rellen later lost his halberd, became younger and blonder, and sat atop a horse instead of a bizarre, long-snouted mutant mule, but his pose…reining up to watch the Furyon horde draw near…still belongs to him.

 

 

 

 

The Whisperers

 

Long ago, I only had the vaguest notion of what the bad guys in the Tyrants series looked like, but this is how they began. I’m not spoiling anything, because the modern-day Ur look very little like this trio. And yet, somehow…I still remember the night I dreamed them. White eyes… Pale as death… Whispering black thoughts into fragile minds…

Hmmm…

 

 

 

Ghoulish

Nothing fancy about this dude. Every other sketch I created in the beginning just happened to be of a ghost, a ghoul, or a skeletal horror. I suppose this guy could be the murderous spirit who shows up in the swamps of Furyon. You’ll just have to read it and decide for yourself.

.

.

.

.

.

KiraniSexy Elf

.

.

It’s no secret. Women are usually more pleasant to draw and dream of than zombies, ghosts, and stone towers. These two ladies were characters who lost their spots in Down the Dark Path during the great 200k-word ‘let’s make this novel more serious’ culling. Even so, I remember them, though these drawings do them no justice.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..

..

Soul Orb Sketch J

.

Now we’re getting somewhere. This is my first sketch of the Soul Orb. (The final version graces Down the Dark Path’s cover.) Notice the ghoulish faces at the Orb’s base and the demonic eyes gazing out of its center. This is among my favorite sketches.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Night Wisdom

.

My original concept for Dark Moon Daughter’s antagonist, the Warlock. He later lost the horns and the jewelry, but kept the hood. Because…you know…every diabolical wizard needs a sinister cloak to hide behind.

.

.

.

.

.

.

What are YOU looking at

And lastly, a bit of adolescent fun. The original Andelusia was sassy, sneaky, and completely willing to use her beauty to snare men’s adoration. Here she seems to be saying, “What are you looking at?” And yes, she’d have used that knife. You probably had it coming.

.

.

.

.

That’s pretty much all the sketches I have related to the big fantasy trilogy. Maybe someday, after I write my fiftieth novel and the ideas cease to flow, I’ll get some art lessons.

I could definitely use ’em.

Love,

J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead dark fantasy trilogy

Author of The Sleepers and Old Man of Tessera

Down the Dark Path

The Seer

The Seer by Amanda Makepeace

 

Her name is Masego, meaning divine favor, but don’t assume that means she is on your side. She is a member of a special council–the Mystics–who oversee the protection of our planet. Humans have been making her job very difficult as of late. I was fortunate to be able to paint her portrait last month.

Limited Edition Prints can be purchased from my Big Cartel Shop and if you’re attending Dragon*Con this summer you’ll have a chance to see her there too.

😉

Phoenix in Need of Home, Plays well with Unicorns

 

There once lived a phoenix trapped in the mind of an artist until the day she set him free in fiery waves of sunlight and crimson. While the artist loved the magical bird, she knew he must be set free, to find his own home and heart. She watched him soar over plains and dew frosted pines until she could only see him in her dreams.

 

Where will my little Phoenix find a home? He first traveled to Colorado and then Kansas City, Missouri for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3, but no one captured his heart. Now he waits, feeling hopeful that someone will find him and love him.

Adopt a Phoenix Today

SFAL is this Weekend!

Phoenix and the Unicorn by Amanda MakepeaceDon’t forget, if you’re attending Spectrum Fantastic Art Live this weekend you can see (and purchase) my tiny oil painting, Phoenix and the Unicorn. You’ll find my painting and many others at Jon Schindehette’s ArtOrder Booth – #718.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 is May 9-11th.

https://spectrumfantasticartlive.com

Bartle Hall Grand Ballroom
Kansas City Convention Center
301 W. 13th St. Kansas City
MO 64105

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3

Click to Enlarge

The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Amanda Makepeace

 

Last year I painted a well received Jackalope and I made sure to tell everyone he was the first in a new series. Then I had one commission after another and the series was put on hold. Until now!! Say hello to The Alchemist. Yes, I know he’s a fox but he’s an alchemist too. He’s part of an ever evolving series of paintings called the Mystics. Read more

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live

‘Spectrum Fantastic Art Live is the Sundance of Illustration.’ – Gregory Manchess

I won’t be there but my tiny oil painting, Phoenix and the Unicorn will be!

Phoenix and the Unicorn by Amanda Makepeace

Last month I entered a contest via Jon Schindehette’s site The ArtOrder. Artists were invited to submit a 3×3 inch painting in traditional medium for possible inclusion in Jon’s exhibit booth at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3. Read more

Fantasy Art Prints from Amanda Makepeace

The Price of Magic by Amanda Makepeace

One of the drawbacks to creating digital paintings is the idea that these are massed produced artworks, or not true art at all. I’m not going to argue what is and what is not art. I’d rather create something and share it with people who appreciate art in all its forms. However, the idea that digital paintings are something massed produced and easily created is nonsense. I spend hours working on sketches, thinking about colors, and eventually painting. So inevitably, I’ve been working on some big changes to how I market and sell my art. The answer for me Limited Edition prints.

limited edition

 noun

: a special book, picture, medal, etc., for which only a small number of copies are produced and sold

The prints you’ll find in my new shop are all limited edition prints and they are larger than the standard prints I sold in my Etsy shop. Editions sizes will vary. As an example, I’m selling both prints of Forest Guardian and Spirit Guardian (the enhanced version). However, there will only be fifteen prints made of Spirit Guardian, whereas Forest Guardian will have thirty.

There’s also been an upgrade in the paper. I decided to go with Somerset Velvet, 100% cotton rag and acid free. It’s a common choice for fine art prints. Prints are long-lasting, rich in detail and color and all signed and numbered. Essentially you are buying a collectible piece of art; hence, the price increase. Prices for my prints will range anywhere from $25.00 to $60.00. I’ve already sold 1 of the 15 Spirit Guardian prints. Be sure to follow my Facebook page for announcements on new prints to the shop.

Stone of Knowing DetailWhere is my new shop?

Big Cartel!

http://amandamakepeace.bigcartel.com/

Will I be selling any traditional artworks?

Yes. I do plan to eventually sell original drawings and the occasional watercolor or oil painting.  I’ll also be selling one-of-a-kind canvas prints for my digital paintings. When I say one-of-a-kind, I mean a one off canvas print–the only one in existence.

Will I still offer open edition prints?

Possibly. I may still sell these, but only at conventions or other events. If I do, they will be smaller in size and printed on standard matte or lustre paper. If you want something more original, a work of art, hold out for the limited edition.

Forest Guardian

Forest Guardian I by Amanda Makepeace

“But he is not always alone. When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack.”

Read more

Print Sale on Etsy

I’m planning a reorganization of my Etsy shop in March, at which time the shop will go into vacation mode for a month (maybe more). Until then, you can get 40% off your purchase of $15.00 or more. Seriously. Truly. I wouldn’t lie to you. Yes, this is an insane sale but several artworks in my shop now will no longer be available. I’m calling this a Pre-Spring Cleaning Sale. Use the coupon code: ILOVEART at checkout to receive your discount. Here’s a sampling of the amazing deals to be had.

The Dragon’s Egg Wood Mounted Print – Regular price: $65.00 – With coupon: $39.00

Read more

Stone of Knowing – Part 4

Stone of Knowing by Amanda Makepeace

Here it is at last, my first new painting for 2014, Stone of Knowing. Since I began sharing tidbits about this painting I’ve been asked whether these ravens are actually Huginn and Muninn–Odin’s ravens from Norse mythology.  While I didn’t intend for them be I think my subconscious had other ideas. Thought and Memory find a Stone with the power to control a person’s mind. Seems apt or maybe serendipitous, either way I approve! Read more

Stone of Knowing – Part 3

Stone of Knowing WIP 1/23

Last Thursday I’d only just begun painting the base layers for Stone of Knowing. The painting isn’t finished but it is moving steadily toward that line in the sand. Along the way, I decided a few changes had to be made. The more I looked at it, the more discontent I became with the orientation. So I switched back to Plan A with some minor adjustments. I also decided to completely ditch the background I originally envisioned. This happens. Often times the vision is clear from start to finish; while in others it’s more a journey of discovery. Read more

Digital Painting: A Year in Review

Come Home Brother, Nov 2012

Come Home Brother, Nov 2012

In the summer of 2012 I bought a refurbished Wacom Intuos4 Small (I’m using a Medium now.) with some extra money I earned house sitting for my younger brother. I played around with it for a couple months before I made the conscious decision to devote serious time to learning to paint in Photoshop. Instead of easing into it, I dove head first, deciding I would paint a portrait of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki as a Christmas present for my daughter. I spent all of November and the first part of December learning as I went. There were a few times I thought I’d lost my mind but I finished it in time for Christmas and realized I’d opened a new door for my creativity.

There are so many things wrong with that first painting, Come Home Brother, but it’s not all bad. After wrapping it up and placing it under the tree, I wanted more. Kind of like Kirsten Dunst’s character Claudia in Interview with a Vampire when she has her first taste of blood, “I want some more.”

My second attempt, The Reluctant King, wasn’t perfect as either, but it’s still one of my favorites. I have a 16×20 print hanging in my studio.

Reluctant King, Jan 2013

Reluctant King, Jan 2013

I promise, this isn’t a Loki post! I’m not denying I have a bit of an obsession, because I do, but. . .  I do what I want! LOL To be honest, painting Loki was a perfect way to learn. I was painting something I loved and I didn’t have to worry about completely mucking it up as it wasn’t something I was going to market. It gave me freedom to experiment. Sometimes the experiments worked and other times they didn’t but it was all about learning. I was determined to improve. Failure was not an option.

Over the last year I’ve explored different painting techniques and experimented with a myriad of Photoshop brushes. In my early paintings it was common for me to use several different brushes for various aspects of a painting. Now I often only use one or two brushes for the bulk of a painting. I save special brushes for little details and sometimes I don’t use them at all. Glancing at the images above you might think the opposite is true. As the year went by my painting style/voice evolved. I like to think my paintings became more rich with detail. My journey also revealed that painting in Photoshop is not all that different than painting in oils or acrylics. The core concepts are the same.

So what’s the point of all of this? The paintings above are only a sample of what I created this year. I’ve painted nearly every day, I’ve read numerous tutorials/workshops, watched videos, studied other artists (both digital and traditional) and adapted my traditional painting skills into a digital medium. I may still have a lot to learn, but I wanted to show other artists, especially young artists, that with determination, passion, perseverance and maybe a little luck you will get to that place you want to be. It doesn’t happen overnight but it does happen. This is true whether you’re working in traditional or digital. I encourage you to take a look back through your sketchbook or portfolio. Find what you painted in December of 2012 and compare it to the last painting you completed. Better yet, go back 5 years and compare what you created then to now. If nothing’s changed then you aren’t creating often enough. You have the gift, but your skill can only improve if you practice, practice, practice.

I’m planning to take my art to the next level in 2014. I have so many things planned, many of which I can’t really discuss yet. You can stay in loop though by following my Facebook Page. I make announcements there and on Twitter before I get a chance to post to my own blog!