Monday, December 7, 2015

Riverside Opera!
The World of Darkness

Title: Riverside Opera! The World of Darkness
Medium: Photoshop CS6

Notes: I would be lying if I told you that this wasn't inspired by a conversation about the Vampire: The Masquerade LARP that happens here in Memphis (

I was in line ordering a pizza and I heard the entire tale of how it played out during the convention, only to find out that everything that transpired is completely true! I was just minding my own business thinking about things to sketch, not really in thinking about anything in particular, when in walks a large group of folks. I had just gotten back from Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, and was pretty much ravenous, so I wasn't actually paying too close attention to what was around me. I kept hearing the con mentioned as well as the events that transpired during the Vampire LARP. I had always found the idea of the World of Darkness intriguing, so I just so happened to listen in to the events that had transpired. The events aren't as particular as the idea that popped into my head. I started to think about modern vampirism. What would that look like? How gritty would it be? What kinds of attire would they wear? Mundane things really... but then I started to recall when I played all of the World of Darkness material when I was younger. I was brought back to a time when I was playing RPGs constantly. It is ultimately what inspired this painting. The conversation that happened behind me, on an unassuming pizza run. It just goes to show you that inspiration can strike you when you least expect it! Don't let anything deter you when you find inspiration.

This leads me to a major statement that I want to make about the upcoming year...
I want to begin a major change in my art. 2016 is the year that things HAVE to change.
So with that I give these declarations of where my art will go for the upcoming year:

The darker side of art is what interests me the most.
I've been wanting to get into the darker side of my art for quite some time and have only just recently begun to reach back into the original reasoning for why I wanted to do art in the first place. I want to paint the things that scare me, that horrify, that stay with me, in the back recesses my brain pan! I want to inspire people to talk about a piece because of the horror they feel about it or just recoil from sheer gore or violence. That's not to say that I will do violent pieces for violent sake, but I will probably have some pieces that come out that are so rage-fueled that some people might not approve of the visual output. For that reason, I'm putting an official disclaimer here:  

This blog will most likely become 
very explicit in the very near future.
You've been warned.

I want to evoke an emotional response in some regard.
If those have to be the recoiling of people from my work so be it. In some ways I want to cater to my own tastes rather than always painting what I think others will enjoy. I think that Fear drives too many people. Fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear to the point of holding back. This is really what keeps almost everyone from truly doing the things that they want out of life. Ashley is always pushing me to break this in myself. I have too much pent up fear of things like, "I'm afraid people won't like this piece." or, "I'm afraid I won't be able to make this piece exactly what I see in my head!" There's too much in the world holding us back, so why the hell do we keep holding back in our own personal life. If people don't enjoy the work you do, screw them, keep doing it anyway. Hell, do it because they don't enjoy it. But ultimately, make it the best you can. Don't let fear hold you back anymore.

Make a schedule and stick to it.
This year is another year to fill with another schedule. I think that I might have referred at one point to a summer schedule that I followed. I will openly state that it grew my skill exponentially every time I did it. Therefore I think that it's high-time that I started a new one. I will still stick to set of rules that I think seems to work, one that Ashley actually proposed:

  1. Do one piece of original art a week that is purely yours - something that you want to see.
  2. Do two pieces of fan art that will be things that others will want to see.
  3. Do three pages of sketch pages a week to flesh out some of the ideas that lurk.
I feel like this is a good goal set to have for the upcoming year and this is what I plan on sticking with from here forward.

All of this is to say that I declare this next year another extreme push forward...
Here's to it!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dragon Age: Origins - Morrigan

Title: Dragon Age: Origins - Morrigan
Medium: Charcoal, Chalk
Scale: Original is 8.5" x 11"

Welcome to Silent Hill

Title: Welcome to Silent Hill
Medium: Charcoal, Chalk
Scale: Original is 8.5" x 11"

Notes: I am a fanatic for Silent Hill. To the point that I watched about four hours of people on youtube discussing their theories behind P.T. and how it relates the rest of the Silent Hill canon.
I mean, to say that I enjoy this series is mild. There's just something visceral and horrifying about what the town represents and what it's all about. Couple that with just the horrifying imagery that comes out of this series and you have the ultimate cluster of just insanity to come out of one game.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Brilliant Axe of Slaughter +1 
(International Self-Portrait Day 2015!)

Title: Brilliant Axe of Slaughter +1 (International Self-Portrait Day 2015!)
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Date: November 1, 2015

Notes: Every year, artists from around the world gather together to do a challenge called the International Self-Portrait Day. This just so happens to be November 1st of every year.
I decided that it was finally time to come out of the shadows and join in this thing.
..... I'm a bit shy though, so I had to bring my trusty axe just in case there were goblins or other nasties.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Month of Fear: Danse Macabre

Title: Month of Fear: Danse Macabre
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Scale: Original is approx. 10" x 13"

Notes: Doing this week's challenge for
This week it was the Danse Macabre.
I wanted to use this piece as a symbol of the entire life cycle that we all go through - from birth to death and back again.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Queen of Blades

Title: Queen of Blades
Medium: Charcoal, Chalk
Scale: Original is 8.5" x 11"

Notes: I've been wanting to do Kerrigan justice for quite some time. I think that she is probably one of my favorite tragedies from games in the 90's. If you've never played the original StarCraft simply for the story mode, you were really missing out.

Title: MCA 30 Day Self-Portrait Challenge - Round 6.
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Scale: Each portrait will be 9" x 12"

Notes: The challenge is simple... draw a self-portrait every day for 30 days.

You can't take longer than 30 minutes on each.
Here's the entirety of the project!
Only missed one... damn you sickness!

For larger view: CLICK ME!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Isaac Clarke

Title: Isaac Clarke
Medium: Charcoal, Chalk, Pastel
Scale: Original is 8.5" x 11"

Notes: Ashley got me the Art of Dead Space for my birthday and HOLY CRAP is that book inspiring.
I can't stop looking at it hahaha! It pumps me up every time I look at it.
OH! And I discovered how seamlessly my digital works on top of my charcoal / pastel pieces. So... more on this later!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Commission: Pronto Pup

Title: Commission: Pronto Pup
Medium: Charcoal, Chalk, Pastel
Scale: Original is 8.5" x 11"

Notes: Commissioned by a teacher that I had back at Memphis College of Art, Adam Pankewycz.
It was out of the blue with a break-neck turnaround, but I got it done with no questions asked. It has since been matted and framed and back at him.

If you would like to start a commission like this, let me know at and let's work something out!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Good Night, Dream Master

Title: Good Night, Dream Master
Medium: Charcoal, Chalk, Pastel
Scale: Original is 9" x 12"

Notes: Wes Craven pretty much brought me the epitome of my favorite villain. While I know that he did many other films, a lot of them great, I will always know him for my first horror movie icon - Freddy Kreuger. I still remember as a kid watching in absolute terror and glee at the insanity that these films offered.
I think that he created some very iconic characters throughout the years, but the nightmare lord has to be one of my favorites!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

MGX - Brotherhood of Steel from Fallout

Title: MGX - Brotherhood of Steel from Fallout
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Scale: Original is 5" x 7"

Notes: Fallout is such an amazing series. I've been really wanting to do a fan art from this universe for quite some time. It was really between a deathclaw and a Brotherhood of Steel. The tech lover in me one out, but that's not to say that I'm not still considering a deathclaw. As of right now I have yet to really grab from the exact same universe, but it's still to early in my painting career to get pigeonholed into something like that. I just have way too much fun painting portraits!
It may seem like I do a lot of them, but with every one I do, I'm trying out new textures and materials. Like for example. this one had lots of worn metal and tubes. Previous ones have dealt with things like polished steel, or glass, etc. I'm always trying to challenge and push myself with every one of them I do...
Anyway, more to come!

Friday, August 14, 2015

MGX - Garrus from Mass Effect

Title: MGX - Garrus from Mass Effect
Medium: Chalk, Charcoal
Scale: Original is 8" x 10"

Notes: I have been wanting to do some Mass Effect fan art for so long, I just never got around to it really... But now I think the flood gates have opened up and now I want to do the entire cast line-up. Oh for more time, right?

This is my charcoal piece of Garrus.

Join me at Memphis Game Expo this weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

MGX - Big Daddy from BioShock

Title: MGX - Big Daddy from BioShock
Medium: Chalk, Charcoal, Pastel
Scale: Original is 8" x 10"

Notes: Bioshock was one of those games that really crept up on me. I didn't really know what I was playing at first, but then I really got into it. The fact of a game being so dark and under the sea and creepy and awesome all rolled into one was intriguing. And that is my official review... (not really, but maybe I should start to review games.... hmmm future blog posts perhaps?)
Anyway, I just loved the dynamic that the Big Daddies and Little Sisters had in this game. I mean, there is something  to be said about the most powerful creature being protected by this big badass, right?
Alright, this was kind of rambling post, but it's really early yet.
Oh, and...

This is very last minute, but... going to Memphis Gaming Expo on Saturday! If you wanna come out and hang out, feel free!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sons of Anarchy Commission - Juice

Title: Sons of Anarchy Commission - Juice
Medium: Chalk, Charcoal
Scale: Original is 8" x 10"

Notes: Another Sons of Anarchy commission. If you missed the previous one, it's here.
The character of juice was kind of enigmatic in the series, if you're a fan. I would say that he was one of the under-appreciated characters of the whole series, but that's a different type of conversation.
Suffice it to say that I did another piece of Juice Ortiz. He is now sitting with the other four that I did for Memphis Comic Expo a few months ago.
More to come soon...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Mechnomancer

Title: The Mechnomancer
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Scale: Original is 5" x 7"

Notes: I think the Borderlands universe has some of the most interesting character design. It blends my punk-loving sensibilities with the grit and grime of post-apocalypse. In that vein, I have to go even further and say that Gaige happens to be my favorite of these characters. I mean, listen to this, she's a badass haha - albeit a little brat, but eeehhh....
Anyway, hopefully you enjoy. As always... more to come!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Artist Promotion


Title: Artist Promotion
Medium: pencil
Scale: Varies

Notes: Following suit with the previous post, if you've followed me for any amount of time, you know how often I randomly sketch during lunch breaks. I have to do this to maintain any semblance of sanity. Here's a few of the quick sketches that I did during my lunch breaks over the week.

In order: 

Try to spend your day today being productive!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Title: Sorceress
Medium: pencil
Scale: Original is 9" x 12"

Notes: Lunch breaks... a time when we just eat and go back to work right? WRONG!
This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to do something productive.
Read a bit? Write a bit? Draw a bit?
Do something creative! You have thirty-minutes to an hour. What will you do with it?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

According to Plan

Title: According to Plan
Medium: Mixed Media

Notes: Now for something a little different... Typically I scan, retouch, etc. But I've been working on larger scale pieces lately, and this one was just too fun!

Ashley commissioned me to do a portrait of the Joker. No big deal right? Then she was looking at it when I got done, and she was like... "This frame just looks TOO basic. Let's fix that..."
Short car ride later, we come home with a frame, paints, sandpaper, and matte-paper. She then proceeds to grab the frame, analyze it and grab that sandpaper and scuff and scrape on the frame itself, giving it tooth and texture. Then she splatters paint all over it. It ends up looking really decorative and awesome. Then she grabs the paintbrush and writes all over the final piece.
I matte and frame it for her and we call it a day!

I'm wondering if she'd glitz up other frames.....

It's now sitting on my wall of what is slowly looking like it will become the DC Villains wall.
(In case you're wondering, the pieces - from clockwise, starting at top left - 

Gotham Girls by Garrie Gastonny
Harley Quinn by ME!
Two Loot Crate Exclusives)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dr. Staten

Title: Dr. Staten
Medium: pencil, pastel
Scale: Original is 8" x 10"

Notes: Ashley went out the other day and I was just sitting here drawing the day away. I look over at my art supplies and simply shrug and go, "Welp, guess it's time to stop procrastinatering and start using these damn pastels..." Long story short, I decided to start doing a study in random colors just for fun. I'm drawing away, la-de-da, and in walks Ashley. 

She looks down at my piece that I'm working on and says, "Who is that? (eyes get bigger) That looks like Dr. Manhattan." I look down, not even fully realizing what I'd been working on, as I was just experimenting. 

"I didn't quite realize that he looked like that, but not that you mention it... he does kinda look like Dr. Manhattan doesn't he?" I respond.

"Nah..." she begins to walk out of the room, "that's obviously his brother, Dr. Staten Island." She responds, dripping with New York accent. 

My eyes get big and I literally cannot stop laughing.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Rocket Raccoon

Title: Rocket Raccoon
Medium: charcoal, chalk, ebony pencil
Scale: Original is 8" x 10"

Notes: It's a bit on the late side, but while I was down in Texas, visiting the awesome Jeff and Maysa, I looked through their Marvel encyclopedia and was like... "I should probably draw one of these guys!" And so I proceeded to grab my charcoal and chalk and just go to town.

I still have to say that this my favorite media: chalk / charcoal. I'm slowly working in pastel, but more on this later...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pin Ups - Bettie Paige

Title: Pin Ups - Bettie Paige
Medium: Photoshop CS6

Notes: Talking to a buddy of mine at work, we decided that he needed a little more art on his walls. Eric Crimmins is quite the convention goer and I thought it would be awesome to try out an official art trade with him. So here's the result, now it's time to hand it over so that we can get this show on the road!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Indies Pack



Title: The Indies Pack
Medium: Photoshop CS6, charcoal, chalk, ebony pencil
Scale: Approx. 11" x 17", smaller pieces are 5" x 7"

Notes: This was one of the packs available at the Memphis Comic Expo last weekend.

I can say that I had a blast and met a ton of really awesome people along the way! If there is one thing to open your eyes to the awesomeness of fellow artists, it's a convention. This was my first, and will most definitely not be my last!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Harley Quinn

Title: Harley Quinn
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Scale: Approx. 11" x 17"

Notes: Besides her voice, I think she might be up there with my favorite character from the Batman canon. I just love her design overall.
This one took a minute to paint. I feel like I dragged it on for way too long. But here you have it finally.
Hope you guys and gals enjoy it as much as I had fun painting it.

Come hang out with us at Memphis Comic-Con this weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Locke & Key - Bode

Title: Locke & Key - Bode
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Scale: Approx. 5" x 7"

Notes: Ashley and I just recently got into Locke & Key. I was just minding my own business at work and came home for lunch and she was just sitting there with this huge grin holding a big box full of graphic novels. I was like, what is that... and she just looks up and says... "Stuff."
Needless-to-say, she bought the entire boxed set secretly and surprised the crap outta me with it!
Tried to make this one a little story in itself. Hopefully you get it if you've read the graphic novels...

Again, see you at Memphis Comic Expo on June 6 & 7 at the Agricenter!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Teen Titans - Deathstroke

Title: Teen Titans - Deathstroke
Medium: Photoshop CS6
Scale: Approx. 5" x 7"

Notes: Interestingly enough, I thought Deathstroke was originally a villain of Batman. I come to find out that he originated in Teen Titans. WHO KNEW?!

Anyway, I just love the design of this character overall. His backstory is a win, his costume is a win. Overall, this guy is just awesome to me. I'm just glad he's not pure villain and has his moments of at least being an anti-hero.

Had a lot of fun with this one....

Again, see you at Memphis Comic Expo on June 6 & 7 at the Agricenter!

Follow Mat @artofmatk

Follow Ash @ashley.storyteller