Saturday, September 17, 2016


Rewatched The Force Awakens, doodling, thinking about character. Thought it could've been cool if Rey struggled with anger. Her confrontation with Kylo could turn her off that path. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

September studies

Portraits, figures and some cosplayers. Pushing harder after all the other work from the ILM challenge came in. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

ILM Art Department Challenge

These were my submissions for the ILM Challenge, details of which can be found here!

The Moment


While on a secret mission to Bespin, Biggs got himself tangled up with a rogue Red Guard and the droid mercenary IG-88. 


After Han was rescued from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt, the team returns to the Millennium Falcon to regroup.


While Jabba was busy feeding prisoners to the Sarlacc, a few opportunists made a break for a better life. Max Rebo stole a skiff from the barge, picking up Malakili, the Rancor Trainer and Oola the Twi'lek


Boba Fett was sent to Yavin to kill Mon Mothma. He ultimately failed his mission when he underestimated her diplomatic prowess. 

The Ride

"The Turtle" 

I wanted to design a vehicle whose primary job was to showcase my favorite aspects of Star Wars: swashbuckling, peril, co-operation, and a dirty lived in world.

"The Revenge of Alderaan" 

Trench runs and exhaust ports are great, but I wanted to explore a more blunt, emotional statement. The Rebels recovered the largest remaining piece of Alderaan, and they're going to punch a revenge-hole.

The Job

"Cages Cut Open"

A brave Rebel cuts some wires, releasing the wild animal cages. The Rebels know what the Empire doesn't: that Wampas go after Tauntauns like sharks go after seals. They use the distraction to their advantage. 


The Wampas and Tauntauns are in a frenzy, cutting a path through the Empire's ranks. The Rebels use this to their advantage to gain ground. R2-D2 and C-3PO are caught right in the middle of the conflict. 

The Fighter is a 2-person craft, pilot and gunner like many star wars fighter craft. It can land on the ground by folding its fore-wings down. You can see in the reference that this is based on an upside down oil lamp.

The Carrier is mostly engine. It delivers the fighters to the lower atmosphere, flying overhead and dropping them like seeds. This ship is based off of a sideways Arabian tea/coffee pot.

The Starship is made up of Carrier ships, with a head and propulsion at the front and back. It's like a contained fleet, able to house as many Carriers as needed. This shape is meant to reflect a Hookah on its side.


The Danji are arriving in the cavernous, coral-like base of Sookah. They are exiting their ships and marching towards the nervous Rebels. Mon Mothma steps forward, meeting the Danji leader, who removes her helmet...


Here's my model sheet for Swana, with DD-3 on her wrist. She's based on Princess Yuki from Hidden Fortress, especially her eyebrows/eyes and her bamboo scepter/whip. It was a cool exercise to elaborate on the version of her from earlier.


He is very small, so I thought his primary task could be to "mind control" much bigger droids with various purposes (essentially making all droids his "swiss army knife" of abilities). I made him bronze to fit the Danji palette I've been working wit


Swana removes her outter cloak and reveals the plans for the second deathstar to Mon Mothma, R2 and Admiral Ackbar. The plans were stuck in the head of an Empire Droid (RA-7), but DD-3 could extract them. 


Swana uses her flexible wand to deflect the enemy's weapons in order to engage in hand-to-hand combat. While she fights, DD-3 takes control of nearby droids to support her. 


Swana tries to sleep, but DD-3 won't stop chasing R2 around the interior of her ship. 


Swana - Aren't you the pilot who did the Kessel Run in fifteen parsecs?
Han - Twelve!

I wanted to echo Swana and Hans conflict with the battle going on behind them.

"True Manu Grit" 

It's always fun to design characters that are clearly up to no good. From left to right is: Bar Maid with her six legs, half-droid bounty hunter Manu Grit, Uru, Yot, big red Crax, multi-armed Myx Dur in front, and spidery Tar Ken. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rendering practice

Figured it was time to practice some rendering again

Monday, August 29, 2016


Come on, Aragorn, get it together.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A half-elven thief, guest-drawn for my brother's youtube channel @rndfantasy.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Gehn and Atrus reach the subterranean city of D'ni. Just some fan art from the Myst book of Atrus.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Study update

Some lunch-hour figure drawings (with some portraits of other attendees).

Our technical animator Aaron Dibbs let us come draw his horses.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


I've been doing a lot of wolf studies lately and I thought it'd be a fun challenge to make an illustration that focused entirely on wolves. Anatomy and reference drawings are one thing, but trying to create characters and tell a story uses a different muscle entirely. Pretty simple, implied story moment using some broad archetypes. Turn out that when drawing wolves it's easy to slip into mythological territory. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Post-Montreal inspiration

I was fortunate enough to attend the Syn Studios "Gathering of Masters" in Montreal. Five days of talks, workshops, and hanging out with like-minded artists from all kinds of backgrounds. It was hugely inspiring to listen to James Gurney, Terryl Whitlach, Samantha Youssef, Raphael Lacoste, and many others. I've been home for two days and I can't stop drawing.

Right now I'm frantically running around drawing everything. Eventually i'll calm down and start focusing, but for now I'm like a humming bird with a pencil.

There are life drawings, animal drawings, anatomy studies, and even some airplanes (picking a subject I have little to no interest in and trying to lean into it).

Monday, May 30, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

League of Queens

Episode #205 - The League has tracked Maleficent (with Jafar and Trident in hand) to the Godmother's tomb. Belle has learned to control her transformations, Ariel now wields Excalibur, and Jasmine has finally been freed from her lamp. Can Cinderella lead them to victory before Maleficent acquires the final piece in her plan?

That Disneypocalypse image I made a while ago was fun. In a continued attempt to get back into the swing of doing personal work I thought it would be fun to revisit this idea. A few extra details:
-Cinderella's armor is glass because practicality is boring. 
-Ariel wears a large, purple octopus beak around her neck. 
-After being set free, Jasmine turned her lamp into a dagger in the hopes it could kill Jafar. 
-Maleficent bears the scars of being stabbed in the chest by an enchanted sword

Getting used to the new cintiq

Best way to do that is with fundamentals.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Reveling in my old motifs again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Something totally self-indulgent. Adventure shlock in Escapistopia.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Marvel variant covers

I had the opportunity to draw some variant covers for Marvel!

Weird World #1

New Avengers #6

Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill

2hr talk about concept art and process

My brother Tom Rhodes and I did a commentary track for my guest appearance on rndfantasy. We ended up covering a lot of ground on concept art, design, research and process.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


I knew I needed a refresher on muscle anatomy but tried going about it differently. I think I like this technique. I found some reference, drew some very light skeletons, then went muscle by muscle across all of them. So I would take red and draw ALL of the shoulders, then orange and draw all of the pectorals, etc... It helped me to focus on each muscle group and think about it in different perspectives and poses.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dune (now with some color)

(re-posting these with some flat colors thrown on)

I finally gave in to the siren song of Dune and was dashed upon the rocks like so many concept artists before me. There just isn't time to render these, but I’m reasonably pleased with the linework, so here they are!

Some context: I fell into a Dune-hole recently which started by stumbling across the INCREDIBLE art from what would have been Jodorowsky’s Dune film. That inspired me to re-watch the David Lynch movie again (one of my favorites). At that point, I had to read the book again. In the middle of my read-through, I watched a couple Tarsem Singh movies and my brain made a connection that I couldn’t shake loose:

I want a 4 hour Dune movie designed by Tarsem Singh’s crew (production designer, art director, costume designer, cinematographer, etc…)

So, in order to get that thought out of my brain, I took a clumsy swing at designing the cast of Dune through the lens of Tarsem Singh’s crew. To me, that meant making each character an operatic or theatrical expression of their role in the story. Visual storytelling cranked to eleven. 


I thought the Atreides  on Caladan should look “water rich”. I wanted to design a visual language that looked like it was born out of generations of ruling a tropical paradise.

Dr. Yueh – The diamond mark of his conditioning becomes a mask, but it’s not %100 effective so it doesn’t cover one eye.

Thufir Hawat – The Juice of Sapho is held in a small vial near his mouth, always near him. He may once have fit his ceremonial armor better, but he’s no less dangerous.

Gurney Halleck – Patrick Stewart was perfect in this role, but in the book he’s described as being a pretty ugly guy. He has blades all over him, and his clothing is tied down tightly for sparring.

Paul – He wears the Atreides Hawke at his breast, with one “red wing” cape over his shoulder. He is dressed for life on his water-rich homeland.

Reverend Mother Helen Gaius Mohiam – She carries branching staff to represent diverging bloodlines.  Her collar echoes the Emperor’s own crest. I wanted to design a motif for the Bene Gesserit with several meanings. Her hair is tonsured like a monk’s, but they wear a braided mohawk like a horses mane to make reference to their ongoing breeding program. They also wear fine chains connected to piercings from their eyes, ears and mouths. This is a visual representation of their constant focus on observation, listening and influence through speech.

Duke Leto – He is described as having a face like a bird of prey, so I exaggerated that. He wears the Atreides Hawke on his chest, with two red wing capes behind him.

The Lady Jessica – She has the Bene Gesserit hair (tonsured with a horses mane mowhawk) and piercings (connecting eyes, hears and mouth). She has a modified version of the Atreides Hawk crest, forming a more elegant cape. 


Feyd-Rautha – His build reflects his regular gladiatorial training. I wanted the Harkonnen’s to look like they hung around in their robes all day. I also gave them a consistent jewelry motif that was part viper-pit, part “plans within plans within plans” like a diagram of nefarious connections.

The Beast Rabban – He’s an animal, even less restrained than the Baron. You can see that it’s only a matter of time before he competes with the Baron for sheer scale. He’s adorned himself with cruel trinkets, and what may have once been luxurious furs have become rank tatters through neglect and abuse.

The Baron Vladimir Harkonnen - …yup.

Piter De Vris – Like Thufir Hawat, Piter keeps his Juice of Sahpo within regular sipping distance. His “rig” is built up into a flimsy collar, meant to look arrogant and hint at his aspirations to rule.

Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV – His royal armor is designed to reflect his paranoia (the same paranoia that inspired him to us the Harkonnens to crush the Atreides). Physical descriptions compare him to Duke Leto, so I wanted him to look like a lesser version of the Duke. His armor plates are all given to him by the various guilds and houses he rules.

Sardaukar – The Emperor’s elite soldiers. Their crests reflect the emperors, but are all built from reclaimed prison bars from their hellish prison-homeworld, Salusa Secondis. I wanted them to look completely opposite to the Fremen. They’re big, bulky, heavily armored. The glimpse of armor you can see was designed to look like it would react TERRIBLY to sand. 


To design the Fremen is to design the Stillsuit. To me, they were done perfectly in the David Lynch film, so I wanted to try to make a different statement.  Fremen don’t care that they smell awful, they accept the realities of their lives, so I wanted to design a suit that didn't shy away from its vulgar processes. It’s designed to process piss, shit and sweat into drinkable water. Seeing a person in their stillsuit should almost feel like seeing them naked.

Stilgar – Sturdy, reliable, and pretty much a surrogate father to Paul.

Muad’Dib – I kept it simple. His outfit is just a stillsuit and the red wing cape of the Atreides.

Chani – Just draping the stillsuit with something asymmetrical and soft.

Alia – She wears little red Atreides wings and a Gom Jabbar.

Great Mother Jessica – Her Bene Gesserit mane is exaggerated in a fabric crest. She holds the water of life in a bottle that isn't meant to be put down.