Lance W. Card designs book covers as well as illustrating books. Bet you didn’t know that. Here’s proof in the cover for The Cold Room by Dene Low (visit her website here: http://www.denelow.com).
April 3, 2013 in Art Review
When browsing the internet you can come across a lot of crap. As a matter-of-fact, it becomes very difficult to be objective and open to the concept of the freedom of art as expression. There are are a number of people who would likely argue that the paint being splattered on canvas and then a body pressed up against it is worth the $70,000 some foolish rich person would pay for it. We aren’t those people. So, it was with relish that we came across the glorious work of Noah Bradley when we were browsing today.
In Noah’s own words, “I’m a concept artist, illustrator, and landscape painter.” We’d have to say he’s being rather modest. Perhaps he should edit the line to present more like this: I am so that all may marvel at my work. I am so that people don’t have to conceptualize as I’m the epitome of the concept artist. I am the illustration of an illustrator. I create landscapes and environments which must mean I am a god. I am so that this may all be.” Maybe that’s a little too much, but we’d buy it for a dollar.
Check out some of his work and you’ll see what we mean. He seems to approach every piece as though it is his life’s work, and is paid dividends for his efforts. His brilliant use of color is nearly flawless and his shadow play is that of a master conductor with the Berlin Symphony. With the work titled “For All That could Have Been” he takes us to a moment just before the complete destruction of the world; and it is beautiful.
We can practically feel the still before the blast wave, and if you look at the posture of the people gathered about the dispair is palpable. The mood if very heavy, and even though our interpretation of the scene is likely not what was intended, that’s what speaks to us.
Then, we’re taken to another part of the world of Noah Bradley’s talent with “Moat.” We feel like a pilgrim at the end of the road looking upon the giant wonder that is the fortress, and we’re waiting for the giant drawbridge to lower so we can go in and see the pinnacle of our existence. Of course, if you aren’t into completing your life quest it could also be a formidable view for someone with the intent to invade. Then the moat wouldn’t be the only thing we’d be worried about.
The clouds are really the most impressive part of this piece if you were to ask us. Even if you weren’t going to ask, we’d share because that’s what art critics do. We’re like that, you know? Anyway, back to the artwork: take a look at the backlighting in the clouds, the rich golden color is remeniscent of the Master’s use of warmth, and the foreground just balances it all out with those tiny little people staring up at the majestic monolithic fortress preparing to eat them.
When we showed Noah’s artwork to Lance W. Card he was seriously impressed. He said it made him want to dive back into some of the paintings he has planned and to hell with responsibility. Of course, we can’t condone such behavior as we’re quite certain that Lance’s wife would hunt us down and slay us…or imprison us in the fortress surrounded by the moat in Noah’s picture.
February 28, 2013 in Art Review
When we perused Ross Tran’s gallery we were more than a little impressed. He reminded us of Lance W. Card in the way that he has a lot of sketches in the works, and the richness of his colors, shadows, and lighting just makes the imagery pop. Walk through his world like we did and you’ll need to make sure you pack for every occasion. Talk about versatile! This bloke doesn’t just sit down and paint the same ol’ story repeatedly. He feels each and every piece out. He resides in the realm of pixel-painted perfection that he’s splashing on the canvas.
When Lance W. Card reviewed his work, he smiled broadly and began pointing out details like a kid in a candy shop. He was delighted to find a fellow digital artist that loves to paint for the sake of bringing things to life, trying new things, and not being afraid to think outside of the box. Check out Ross Tran’s work at his blog or look at the work he has on Deviant Art.
January 20, 2013 in Lance W. Card's Art
We’re proud to announce that we can now showcase the only religious artwork by Lance W. Card available to date. Yes. That’s correct. We’ve just uploaded three pictures of Jesus the Christ that Lance has completed over the last year and a half. While all of these works of art have been done in pencil, there has been recent rumors that Lance may be entertaining the idea of starting on some paintings. Perhaps this departure from his usual fantasy art will be a refreshing expansion that many more people will enjoy, so stick around and see what he comes up with. For now, you can see the three pieces in the Portfolio section of the site.
Lance is a devout follower of Jesus Christ. Were you to ask his wife what her initial description of him was, it would have contained the word “monk” in it. He listens pretty much solely to contemporary Christian rock where he favors such bands and artists such as Casting Crowns, Third Day, the David Crowder Band, Ashes Remain, Building 429, Jeremy Camp, Brandon Heath, Fireflight, Francesca Battistelli, Kutless, Matthew West, Mercy Me, Natalie Grant, and many more. He listens to KLOVE radio (klove.com), and is more than happy to promote and participate in good work.
December 14, 2012 in Art Review
This, fans of fantasy, is old school color mixed with WAR’s style. Most people who are familiar with the genre of fantasy art know who WAR is. Wayne Reynolds dominates the Dungeons & Dragons pictorials for the past decade or so. Do a search for Wizards of the Coast fantasy art and you’re likely to pull up Wayne “WAR” Reynolds’ work. Paizo Publishing, another RPG game publishing house, has turned to Alexey Aparin for what appears a similar style to that of Wayne Reynolds’. And the Russian illustrator does a pretty fine job of it if we do say so ourselves.
Alexey–or Mr. Aparin to you more formal folk–resides in Moscow, Russia. You may have gathered that from our previous statement concerning that very large country. His work is largely digital, and like Lance W. Card, he works with Photoshop (though he also touts having skills in Painter, and from the look of his portfolio he ain’t a liar). Look at his work and you’ll see a few common elements, not the least of which is his command of color. If there were a more dramatic piece of work than Collaps you’d be hard pressed to find it. The soldier with the sword and pistol is pulling a move we were under the impression that only Asian movie stars could do, and running over the top of the opposition while providing a full seven-course meal of lead and steel. The whole while he’s completely unimpressed by the camera that is sitting rather unmolested a midst the advancing germs, and in his dismissive way, his face is filled with the rage he feels at having his date with little ol’ Mrs. Smart-dresser behind him interrupted. Imagine the conversation that took place right before the gunfire started up.
“Hey, beautiful. Wanna skip this joint and grab a drink?”
“Look woman, I don’t take kindly to being picked up on in such an emasculating way. You wanna get a drink, I’m buying.”
She shrugs her shoulders and accepts his offer. Then…
“That doesn’t look like the bus to me.”
“That’s cause it ain’t, Princess. That’s a troop of rather large-headed government protesters.”
“Well, that just ticks me off. I told you not to call me girly names. Just cause you’re packing two guns and I only have one doesn’t make me any less of a man.”
“All right, Sugar. I’ll cool it.”
“That’s it! I’m going to shoot me some protesters! One with the lowest body count does the dishes.”
Now, that’s just the beginning of the whole thing. Later they married (he ended up doing the dishes–there’s just something about two guns that can kill way more than one), and their kids…whew-wee!
Anyway, do yourself a favor and check out Alexey’s work at http://belibr.com/.
November 29, 2012 in Art Review
Danny O’Connor’s work is liberating and deeply penetrating at the same time. Without knowing the individuals in the portraits, the viewer can get a real sense of who they are based off of the thoughtful use of line and color. There’s nearly a Jazz feel to each piece–Jazz mixed with grunge and urban decay. It is almost as though DOC (as the artist is known) is speaking of the degradation of society and culture within the subjects. He well represents the subject’s mood with the combination of positioning and color, and though each portrait is loose and free in appearance, the position of the lines to accent features, or present an additional thought, is obviously well-planned and executed.
O’Connor has presented alongside other well-known urban artists, and works in multiple mediums. His artwork includes comics, character design, graffiti, and portraits. Check out his site at http://docart.bigcartel.com/.
November 14, 2012 in Update
Perhaps it is something every artist does, or perhaps it is something that is proprietary to Lance, but he tends to look back on his art and pick it apart. It is usually good practice to remove the art he deems finished (at that moment) from his presence, or he’ll pick up the tools of his trade and continue “perfecting” it. Lance has said that the very nature of art is subjective to opinion, and he’s received many a compliment for a piece of art that he deems less than worthy of recognition. Of course, Lance has derisively compared Picasso’s work to that of a four-year old child, and is the first to admit that he’s got more of a negative opinion towards what some people call art than most. So, we can honestly take the criticism of he gives his artwork with a grain of salt.
Years ago, Lance worked for a game design company as their creative director. The kind of game design that the company did wasn’t your typical, modern time-waster. The company’s name is Lucid Raven Productions, LLC. (its website is still up, http://www.lucidraven.com), and the initial product offering was the award nominated game, Allegiance: War of Factions. The story behind the game and the forming of the company is quite interesting, and we’ll share it some other time, but for now we’re going to focus on the fact that Lance worked for them, and that’s where a lot of the artwork like the one in this post comes from.
When working for Lucid Raven Productions, Lance was required to recruit fantasy artists from around the globe to donate some of their artwork for nothing more than recognition, organize the submission of the fantasy art, implement the fantasy art into the card designs (Allegiance: War of Factions is a CCG, or collectible card game), and complete the lion’s share of the game’s art and design himself. As a result, he worked in smaller canvas sizes, and he used a very loose technique. They were subsequently able to print the game within a very short period of time after the company formed, and the initial offering was very well received by the public when they unveiled it at the Vegas convention. However, Lance Card was not very satisfied with the quality of his art due to the allowable time he had to work on each piece (at one point he was producing five of these images a day to stay on task), despite that those that played the game often referred to it as, “the game with the great art” before they had memorized its title. He’s determined to remedy this necessary oversight by spending some extra time now cleaning up the artwork, and adding the level of detail he’s more comfortable with. We were a little concerned about whether we’d see any of these revised pieces of art, but if the Bannion Rowens piece is any indication of what this effort will result in, we’re all for it. Anyone who wants to donate to the effort is welcome to provide Lance with Diet Dr. Pepper, and any Time you may have in surplus.
Bannion Rowens is a hero character belonging to the Veteran’s Guild, a political house filled with warriors and mercenaries. The artwork for the collectible card was a fan favorite even though the character of Bannion Rowens wasn’t extremely powerful in play. Of course, Lucid Raven Productions went to great pains to try and make sure the cards were all balanced and that there weren’t any overpowered cards like other CCG game design companies were prone to deliver.
Allegiance: War of Factions also offers a unique approach to game play that promotes player interaction, negotiations, alliance-forming, bartering, and trading as well as introducing a random element that sometimes required opponents to team up in order to defeat a greater danger. When Lance initially approached fantasy artists to donate their artwork to the game, he looked through online portfolios of young, up-and-coming fantasy artists, and selected a few of the finer ones to participate. Artists such as Christiaan Iken, Sarah Cloutier, Olga Bosserdt, John Girouard, and Patricia Anne McCarty to name a few. He describes the effort as stressful, but one of the most enjoyable jobs he’s ever held.
The idea behind concept art is that it is a way to help filmmakers visualize a storyline. This helps to establish the mood, environment, angles, and culture that the film is intending to portray. It can venture into emotion, and does a really good job of illustrating the desired end-result, but it is difficult to present to traditional audiences in a form they are used to seeing art–such as museums, and hanging on your neighbor’s wall.
The reason for this is quite simply that paintings that were created for film backgrounds were much too large, and storyboard and concept art wasn’t usually created in such a way as to promote public viewing. Even today, most concept art is created digitally due to the ease, and fluidity, of the medium. Some people still contend that digital art isn’t truly museum-worthy, but we won’t get into that with this post. Instead, we’re going to praise the Internet for making concept art more accessible to the general public so that everyone can appreciate it.
Recently, the Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, California put together a concept art gallery. The gallery showcases some amazing digital work that we’d otherwise be hard-pressed to find, let alone appreciate. So, here’s to you Riverside Art Museum!
We respectfully include some of the pieces of art that they’ve so kindly shared, and request that you wholly support this venture.
Exhibition: September 30, 2012 – January 10, 2013
Comments by Lance W. Card:
I am always impressed with the work of concept artists. They have a lot of pressure on them to portray the writer’s vision and do so in such a manner as to promote the best possible image of the movie. This art deserves to be on display, and more museums should recognize the digital art form as a modern medium. They should, in my opinion, make efforts to find ways to display the work, and even sell it, as they do traditional mediums.
October 30, 2012 in Update
We’ve completed the About Lance page with a little help from Lance’s beautiful wife, Julie. It is a tell-all expose that the tabloids would eat up, so don’t miss it! Who would have thought that there could be so much drama within one little information page about a rather “tame” and “retiring” artist?
October 29, 2012 in Update
Every artist has a portfolio, and Lance W. Card’s is available in full here. There’s fantasy art for CCGs (Collectible Card Games), RPGs (Role-Playing Games), character drawings, portraits, science fiction, fine and traditional art, religious art, cultural art, and even some design work. Feel free to peruse the artwork and leave comments, share with friends through social media, or link back to the website.