Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year

Hello 2010, year of Greek Mythology! In the first 3 months we'll have 2 new films based greek myths and 1 new video game (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief, the remake of Clash of the Titans, and God of War III). So I've decided to ring in 2010 with a piece of the god of sky and thunder himself.

As for 2009, it was okay I guess. At least it brought us one truly magnificent film (Drag me to Hell) and one spectacular game (Uncharted 2).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Presents

My wife has been asking me for a while for a few pieces of art and I guessed she ultimately deduced that the only way to get me to do them was to ask for them for Christmas. So above is the portrait of our son, Max, and a personalized bookplate. She seems pleased with them.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Palate Cleanser

As promised, I've done something more appealling to male sensibilities after all the Twilight stuff. I hope you enjoy viewing my sexy, bikini clad, jungle inhabiting, panther riding woman as much as I enjoyed painting it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

For the Ladies part 2: Team Jacob

The females in my family requested this and I wanted another Twilighty piece for the Avalanche blog. I did not paint it of my own volition. I think I'm going to do something tough and testosterone filled next. I need to cleanse my palate.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The God of War Collection ships today and I've been playing the God of War 3 demo over and over so I've been in an angry greek mythology kind of mood. I have a hard time pinning down what I like so much about the games. The main character is a horrible person. The fighting system is fun, but not incredible. The narrative is frequently cheesy but always feels appropriate for the subject matter. The rush of pure testosterone laced adrenaline the game provides is nice. I also really appreciate any franchise in any form willing to tell an epic fantasy story without just feebly copying Tolkien.
I also recently had a Final Fantasy 7 marathon. I played Crisis Core, Final Fantasy 7, (watched) Advent Children, and Dirge of Cerberus, all back to back which was quite an experience.

Currently Playing:
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Game of the year! I'm just a few trophies away from platinum (I finished it on Crushing the other day). Phenominal in every way.
Metroid Prime Trilogy - I like the Wii controls and all the games are great so I'm loving this.

Recently Finished:
Batman: Arkham Asylum - So much better than any other Super Hero game I've played. Finally someone got it right. Incredible game.
Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus - The great production values and fondness felt for the characters by FFVII fans isn't quite enough to make up for the uninspired gameplay.

That's it for me, pretty dry until my birthday/Christmas next month and I get all the great games that have and are coming out this holiday season. I really want to play through the campaign of Modern Warfare 2, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii looks awesome. Anything else good out there?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

For the Ladies...

Not a big fan (like I'd admit it if I was), but I think the two main characters have interesting faces. So I painted them. You're welcome.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween Pumpkin '09

This year I entered the Lehi City pumpkin carving contest and won the grand prize, a year membership at the Lehi Legacy Center (which is our city's pool/track/gym place). I also won a game at a Halloween party we went to wherein one eats crackers attached to a sheet of plexiglass while wearing a blindfold with goofy eyes on it. My finest hour. So generally a great Halloween with one exception: Trunk or Treating. I hate, hate, HATE Trunk or Treat. I loathe everything about it, the practice, the name, everything. It is ruining Halloween and slowly destroying society. In the future when civilization has collapsed and we live in a post apocalyptic wasteland and people wonder where it all went wrong, I'll be there to answer, "Trunk or Treat." If you were someone who engaged in this practice over the weekend then you should be ashamed. Classic Trick or Treating forever!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Death in a Red Dress

I try to keep the spirit of Halloween in my heart the whole year round so it's nice to have the season here again for real.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sketch Trade with Jordan

There's an explanation here, but I don't want to get into it. Thanks Jordan!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sketch Trade with Virginia

Another trade with another great artist. Virginia Critchfield gave me one of her trademark pencil sketches of Tonberry (a Final Fantasy monster) and I gave her some creepy wall-eyed dude in brush pen and marker. Thanks Virginia! Good luck in Texas.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ol' Jack Burton Always Says...

The topic on the Avalanche blog is "Childhood Re-Drawings" where we're taking stuff we loved and would draw as kids and rendering them now with our more developed artistic skills. I was obsessed with the movie Big Trouble in Little China as a child. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would answer "a truck driver who fights monsters," which is how I interpreted the occupation of Jack Burton from the film. So I decided to paint him, my childhood hero.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Details, Details

I don't like to post huge images on here (though I try to make them of admirable size) so I occasionally feel that the painstaking love I put into certain areas of an image get lost. So I thought I'd take an opportunity to post some details of previously posted images which I feel deserve a closer look.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Drag me to Hell!

I finally watched this a few weeks ago. I've wanted to see it since it came out but it released the same weekend as Up and I saw that instead. I'm not sure I made the right choice. This is the best horror movie of the year, possibly the decade. Modern it may be but it had, in part, the tone of a great classic horror film (so I felt compelled to do a fan-art movie poster carrying that mood). Sam Raimi's storytelling style is very conspicuous which is why I think he excells with pulpy subject matter. As a fan of such material he's one of my favorite directors and Drag me to Hell is one of my new favorite movies.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sketch Trade with Dillon

A bunch of the artists here at Avalanche have been trading art for art and my good friend Dillon and I decided to trade. I got a cool acrylic painted space man and he got a ball-point pen and marker cowboy sketch. Thanks Dillon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It has been far too long since I did one of my video game posts and part of the reason is because of Resident Evil 5. I've played it start to finish about 5 times, at least once on each difficulty, and earned the Platinum Trophy. Yes, I'm awesome. The game is great, though not as good as RE4 (but, really, what is?). The new additions to the series are great (co-op, Sheva), and the old stuff is still entertaining (cheesy-cool storyline, shooting zombies). The horror element has been even further diluted and I, for one, am happy to see them trying new things. The game focuses almost exclusively on combat and Chris (whose phisique I've only slightly exagerrated) and Sheva (the main characters) are super strong zombie killing machines. The new Silent Hill game (called Shattered Memories) puts you in the shoes of the most average of individuals removing combat completely, making monsters something you can only run or hide from. What makes me happy is that two of my favorite Survival-Horror franchises, which started out with similar gameplay, are both going in such different directions.

Currently Playing:
Final Fantasy VII (again) - I just downloaded it from the PSN and copied it to my PSP. I forgot how great this game is! It's reputation is well deserved, one of the best ever.
Patapon - Fun.

Recently Finished:
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - loved it. It was been especially fun to go straight from this into FFVII. I plan on continuing my FFVII marathon by watching my Blu-Ray Advent Children after I'm through with FFVII and even playing the poorly reviewed Dirge of Cerberus after that...Epic.
Ghostbusters: the Game - Better than I expected. Nothing great but a solid experience overall.
Fallout 3 - I didn't finish the game (It's huge!) but it kept me engaged about as long as Oblivion did. I love the environment, the V.A.T.S. system, and the sense of discovery. Ultimately, however, the lack of a compelling narrative and mundane/repititious missions killed my interest.
God of War I and II (again) - Gamers seem to be leaning in preference more and more towards the procedural, sandbox experience (like Fallout 3). I still far prefer a straight, focused game. The God of War games are about as linear as they come but the experience is relentlessly captivating in every way. I can't wait for GOW III.
Killzone 2 - I'm not a big FPS fan, but I got this one mostly to admire the tech on display (and there is A LOT to admire). I ended up really enjoying the game as well.
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride - I don't know what it is about Dragon Quest games, they're so simple and essentially all the same, but I just can't get enough.

Anything else good out there?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Portrait of my niece, Delila. I did it for her birthday...and so she would get my brother to let me borrow his PSP during my vacation next week. Thanks Rich! Hope you like it Katie.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

Creepy Pirate

This is a quick painting of a pirate based on a homeless guy I saw in downtown Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Miss White prefers Merryfeather

I've been wanting to paint some of Disney's leading ladies in a retro style and thought it might be a fun fit to place them in old magazine ads. Snow White is first since she's my favorite. Hopefully I can find the time to do more.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pirate Sketches

I won't bore you with the details of my long absence. I will only tell you it involved an ancient curse, a mad scientist, and high speed car chases...or I've just been working crazy overtime at work leaving me no time to draw or paint. Either way, hopefully I can now begin updating regularly again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Xanax and Allegra, Conquerors of Zyban!

I've always found an amusing similarity in the names in fantasy novels and the names of prescription drugs, thus the title.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Valkyria Chronicles

Yes, it's been a while. I've been busy, give me a break. Anyway, it's 2009! What better way to start a year of blogging than with the most important issue of the previous (or any) year: video games. One of those games (which I got for Christmas - thanks Heather) is called Valkyria Chronicles.
The game takes place in a fictional version of 1930's Europe with situations resembling those in second world war. You play a squad leader for the small country of Gallia, desperately struggling to fend off "the Empire" which is fighting to gain control of their land and it's ample supply of Ragnite (their main source of energy).It's a tactical RPG which you play both from a bird's eye view of the battlefield (selecting which unit to move) and from a third person view (within which you actually move the unit, playing like any 3rd person shooter). It also uses a clever turn-based combat system and a distinctive art style. An ad for the game has already played off another popular war poster featuring Uncle Sam (itself based on an earlier poster from Britain featuring Lord Kitchener).I like this image so much I wanted to do something similar and since one of the characters in the game is named Rosie I thought Rosie the Riveter would be appropriate.

Back to the games of 2008: Game of the year? Metal Gear Solid 4, followed by Valkyria Chronicles and Little Big Planet.

Right now I'm playing:
Valkyria Chronicles - If you can't tell I love this game. A lot.

I've recently finished:
Mirror's Edge - The concept feels fresh and the graphics are phenominal. When it's working it's wonderful, but unfortunately it becomes too frustrating too frequently in the latter part of the game. Still, definitely worth a look.
Gears of War 2 - I played this after hearing people go on and on about it on the gaming blogs and podcasts. Due in part to these lofty expectations I came away from it feeling it was only marginally better than average and certainly nothing special.
Prince of Persia - I ended up really liking this game. It's fun to play and nice to look at. It did feel a little repetitive by the end, but it's a great new direction for one of my favorite franchises.
Dead Space - A competant blend of Bioshock and Resident Evil 4 with a bit of it's own identity mixed in. I hoped the game would be more frightening but enemies are thrown at you so relentlessly that the tension never has a chance to build.

Anyway, what are you playing? What was your favorite game last year?