Showing posts from May, 2011

Reving up my DIY Mojo

Whew, it was a crazy busy weekend of accompanying our guests from Seattle to several cool local attractions to give them a good taste (often literally) of the Veneto here in Italy. It has been lots of fun, but I haven't had much time for other projects. I DID get to work on a commission piece for Trey Causey's Wierd Adventures. I've pretty much completed the pencils so I'll send those off tonight so Trey can see what I've been up to before I start the inking work. I've got a few of my own projects that I'd like to work on before I head out to GENCON. I'm seriously thinking about begining a rather daunting DIY challenge as well. I'm a techie as well as an artist but I feel like my tech-fu is getting a bit rusty (I'm more on the IT Security management side of things than the hands on tech stuff these days). In order to facilitate getting my tech chops back up to par AND benefit my artistic skills, I'm thinking of building a Linux from Sc

Back from Bavaria

I just got back from Garmisch, Germany today. I gotta tell you, I've been in love with the Bavarian Alps since I lived in Nuremburg as a teen. The area has a very dramatic and romantic feel that one can cetainly see where Wagner got his inspiration from. However, it is of course great to be back home in Bella Italia. I had hoped to be able to accomplish some artwork while I was gone, but alas, I accomplished no such feat. Instead, I spent my days listening to some very enlightening Information Security seminars and spent the evenings enjoying the German cuisine. I did recieve my copies of Vornheim and LotFP Grind House before leaving so I read those as well as my copy of a very decidedly non-old school Eclipse Phase (which is a fantastic Sci-Fi transhuman horror setting even if I find myself a bit befudled by the rules - perhaps adapting the setting to Stars Without Number would be more to my taste). I also got a chance to enjoy my Robin of Sherwood DVDs. My wife doesn'

Older Map/Birthday Project: Diceless Roleplay/pseudo LARP

Whew, I just finished off a set of commision pieces and am about to move on to another project. After I finish doing a project, I like to go back and look through my projects to see how I've evolved over time. Looking back through my project pictures, I came across some pictures for Bear's Fifth birthday (wow, was that really two year's ago?!?!). He wanted a knight themed birthday complete with a quest. I desinged the quest and the map. At the end of the quest, I knighted the kids. It was a lot of fun and gets me itching to do some more fun maps. I actually cut the large map up into various sections, rolled them up like scrolls and they found each new piece as they fulfilled the various quest segments. Several Years ago, Daisey made me a really cool Green Man costume that I wore as the "Green Knight" to guide the kids on the quest. Here's some photos of that "project". I've got one more commission piece to finish up and then I'm goi

Light Posting for the next week and a half or so

A lot going on with Team Bingham as we have friends in town from Seattle and I've got to go to a conference in Germany next week so my posting will be sparse. I'm almost done with my latest batch of commissions and am thinking about some of my side projects. I'm getting pretty psyched about recieving my copies of Vornheim and Lamentations of the Flame Princess Grindhouse Edition in the mail. I did one illustration for the grind house for the malefic eye which you can see below:

Been Illin'

As in sick. Bear, Rosa and I all are sick and feeling a bit rough around the edges. Poor Daisey is harried trying to take care of all of the sickos whilst we have company coming in from Seattle tomorrow and she is trying to finish her online finals tonight for her master's program! Fortunaqtely, Rosa and I are feeling a bit better and Daisey's mom is staying with us for a bit so that relieaves some of the pressure. I've got some catching up to do on artwork but I'm pretty much on track. Once this set of commissions is over, I'm trying to think of what the next project will be. I've got a few things in mind. Probably I'll get back to work on Polstrus Lev and Basalt Keep with some other ideas floating around as well.

Sticking my thumb in the eye of the Beholder.

Stefan Poag posted today about a WotC contest (I'm not really sure if it was a contest, maybe a sort of WotC artists jam?) in which several artists do their own take a a Wayne Reynold's beholder painting. Stefan had the incredibly interesting idea that some of the artists in the OSR should maybe do their own take. You know what, I'm so down with that. I'm hoping more folks will also join in. What better way to show the playfulness and creativity of the OSR than by joining in (oh I know - there will be a few naysayers out there with their Eeyore like glumness and negativity but screw em). I've got a couple of commissions to finish up but I'm going to do this. Here's a copy of the picture in question: I'm going to even try to get my son Bear in on the act (it's been to long since I've posted his art here). Maybe if Daisey isn't too overwhelmed with school, she'll even color it. It' be a fun family project. At any rate, I en

Best of Breed

Dan Proctor of Goblinoid Games (Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, etc) announced that he has secured the rights to Time Master RPG. I'm only periphrially aware of Time Master and don't know much about it. I think that this is a cool development from what I can tell and from what little I know of the system, but it does leave me wondering, what systems should be brought back? I'm sure there are some exellent older games that suffered from lack of promotion/distribution back in the day and many not so worthy systems that got a fair bit of attion due to advertisement. I like the fact that Dan has done quite a bit to bring support back for older games (and I think he has done a great job of it). But do we have enough DIY toolkits out there already to model most of the settings/genre out there? What's missing? Old West shootouts like Boot Hill? Maybe, but I seem to recall someone working on that. I'm a big fan of TSR's Marver Superheroes FASERIP system. For m

On RPG Art: Keep on Drawing (or painting, or digitizing, or printmaking) in the Free world

The topic of the moment in the blogosphere seems to be on the role of art in gamebooks. This topic tends to come up from time to time on the forums and on the blogs. This latest wave originated with James M. over at Grognardia and you can read it here . Stefan Poag offers further commentary on his blog here , Matt Finch also further expounds upon this topic in his blog here , along with N. Wright at Lawful Indiferent and most recently James Raggi . As an artist that pretty much solely works for small press gamebook companies, I felt that it was only fitting that I chimed in. I think some very interesting points have been made on the topic, especially by Stefan Poag and Matt Finch. It is funny to me how many folks claim that they like low art/no art game books or prefer B&W over color as it help them fill in the details themselves. Frankly, as we should all know, it is really a matter of taste. The role of an RPG book is to convey rules or a setting. Art should complement

A man ( and a mother) gotta eat!

Since we've been invited to hang out with our Italian landlords for mother's day, I decided to do my own mother's day feast today. My mother-in-law is staying with us for the next six months while Daisey works on her graduate degree. It's actually working out quite well. At any rate, this is where the pork products part of my blog byline comes in. I love to grill. Really. It's probably one of my favorite activities. So, I'm putting on some pork ribs, Italian sausage, pollenta and pork cutlets tonight. My grill accompaniment is a prosecco/aperol spritz and Delta Green Countdown with a mix of The Misfits/The Cramps/The Young Werewolves on the iPod. Here's some pictures done with my retro camera app on my phone to set the mood ;).

Oh, the HORROR!!

I've been on a bit of a horror themed rock kick lately. Bands like The Young Werewolves and The Drakest of the Hillside Thickets really have been getting a lot of airtime on my iPod lately. Rue Morgue, the horror magazine has recently released a free compilation of horror themed rock bands in thier second anthology Hymns from the House of Horror Volume II. I find that while not every band is to my taste, their is definitely a wide selection to choose from. I've even found a few new favorites like Kreeps and the Von Drats. I highly encourage everyone to go check it out . For free, you sure as heck can't beat the cost. And who knows, you may find some new favorites while your at it!

Up to no good

So, the countdown to GENCON is on! I am registered for the Hotel an rental car. Now, I just need to finish up the last of the B&W artwork for Expeditious Retreat Press' tournament module. I'm looking forward to meeting some folks and playing some games. I've got some more artwork lined up that I'm really looking forward to doing. It's been a very productive year for me artistically. So much so that I've put all of my own personal RPG projects aside for the time being. I'll get back to them when I have some downtime, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying working on other people's projects. Not to mention I feel a bit more motivated to actually follow through on projects for other folks than I tend to on my own. I think that is mostly because I tend to revise stuff a million times and then just end up never getting it out there because I'm not satisfied. The typical artist mentality - there is no such thing as finished art, only abandoned

Time to stop kidding myself

OK, I think I've mentioned it before, but I'm currently without a gaming group. I've often attributed this to a lack of gamers, but I'm realizing there is a pool of gamers out here. The real problem is lack of a hugely precious resource on my part - TIME. I've never hidden the fact that I'm a gamer and lately, I've even advertised it to several suitably geeky soldiers and civilians on post. Most of them (actually I think all of them) seem to really dig the idea of playing an old school D&D game. I think that's awesome. However, as with so many things, I just don't know how to squeeze in the time to my schedule. Being a full time IT professional and devoted father and husband (not to mention aspiring artist!) leaves me with very little time. But, I feel that I have a great opportunity here to bring old school gaming to the masses (military types have always been a fertile ground for gamers) and should not squander it. So, I have this qu

Registering for GENCON Events

So, I've made my hotel and rental car reservations. Now I am registering for events. I am actually a bit overwhelmed since this is my first time going, I'm not sure what to expect. I am wanting to get some gaming in as well as hit a few seminars. Actually, I mostly just want to meet people, toss around some dice and have a few beers and lotsa laughs. I'm pretty excited but also a bit nervous that I'll just end up loitering around a few booths and then going back to the hotel to watch some TV and do some art.

Another look at the Obsidian Sands of Syncrates cover

Yesterday I posted the color finished front cover for the Obsidian Sands of Syncrates cover. I figured I'd post the B&W original so that you can see some of the process involved and just how much of a team Daisey and I are when it comes to doing the color works. It all starts from the art direction. Everyone tends to approach this a little different, but usually it takes the shape of a verbal sketch of the cene to be depicted and a size of the overall drawing. For this particular piece, Joe Browning uses cover images that are sized 5" x 7.5". You can visit the descriptive text on Joe's blog here . Some folks are very veribose and meticulous in their verbal depictions, others are very sparse. I think Joe's strikes a nice balance in that he frames a scene but gives me a lot of leverage in using my artistic vision to visually depict the scene. Next, I'll usually pull out my sketchbook and do a rough thumbnail sketch. For this image, I roughed it o