Dec 28, 2012

Loviatar #14

Sadly, Loviatar the fanzine has come to an end. Christian has just released the fourteenth and final issue of the zine. He'll be moving on to other gaming pastures. I didn't have much spare time to do a whole stack of art for this last issue, but the issue is going to be full of all kinds of maps and such, so it's going to be a great one anyway.

I did manage to put together a cover for it though...

This issue takes place in the world of Baldur's Gate. It is a sort of re-imagining of Loviatar #1, with more encounters, maps and details. Christian mentioned that he wasn't too happy with how the first issue came out, so #14 is him addressing that issue. I can't wait to read it!
For the final time, you can purchase your copy right here.

Dec 26, 2012

Dragon Hunter

Following my tradition of painting a picture for friend and family babies, here is a painting I made for my first nephew, Dylan Riley Penn.

It's all in acrylic, on an A4 sheet of card stock. This is my first real attempt at a fantasy painting. There were many lessons learned in the process of painting this piece. I have many, many lessons yet to learn.

Dec 23, 2012


Here's a little painting I did for my mother of our dearly missed family dog, Mugsy.

As I was painting this piece, I quickly realised that I have little experience with painting in acrylics. I'm happy enough with how this turned out though. It certainly looks like him. Onward and upward!

Nov 28, 2012

Elf token

I've started playing a bit of Magic the Gathering again lately, after many years of simply collecting cards by my favourite artists, namely Greg Staples, Kev Walker, Jim Murray, Larry MacDougall, Wayne Reynolds and a couple of others.
Back in 2002, I had a rocking little Elf Deck based around Elvish Vanguard, Heedless One and Wellwisher, which got me all the way to a massive Friday Night Magic final with old friend John Delaney. I can't quite recall what his deck was, but it involved lots and lots of creatures. In the last match, we were in a stalemate of epic proportions, neither of us willing to actually attack, but instead building up our defences and our life gaining capabilities, becoming a race to see who was on the most life at the end of the required time deadline. I ended up in the hundreds, John not far behind.
Anyway, with fond memories of that game, and that deck, I've started a new Elf Deck. It revolves around some of the old cards, as well as newer Elf cards such as Drove of Elves, Jagged-Scar Archers, Elvish Promenade and Gaea's Herald.
One thing that is different about Magic now than when I was regularly playing it is the prominence of Tokens. Several of the cards in my new deck have abilities including the creation of Elf Tokens. Now, there are proper Elf Tokens printed by Magic, but I got the thought that maybe I could make my own. I've been wanting to get some painting done recently, and I think this gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that.
So I'm going to paint an Elf, make up an Elf Token in Illustrator, then print it out.
I also thought that this would be a good one to show in various stages of progress. So here's the first sketch I made a few weeks ago at the Galway Pub Scrawl...

Rough #1
Okay, I've been back at it since this morning when I posted the above image. I've now got the figure 99% locked in. I threw a pen around the page just so that I can get a better idea of where the lines should be...
Figure final rough

As I said, it's 99% locked in. I'm not happy with a few bits here and there, such as the belt clasp and the wrist bands, so I'll probably change them on the actual page.
Next up is to put it in place on an A3 sheet in Photoshop and then print it out to be transferred to the board I'll be painting on. I use just a simple mounting board to paint on. It doesn't absorb the paint, it's silky smooth and cheap as chips. As far as transferring the printed out copy of the rough figure to the mounting board... I've tried a few things over the years. Carbon paper is a bloody nightmare! The marks don't erase and you'll invariably manage to get marks you don't want transferred. Nope, what I do now is just turn the printed copy over, get a really soft pencil and just start laying on the pencil where you need it using the side of the tip of the pencil. Then turn the paper over to its printed side, lay it on the board then draw over the rough. The pencil rubbings on the other side will transfer to the board only where you draw over it, i.e. on the lines you want. Simple!

So I'm going to do a really light transfer of the figure onto the board, then I'll start working on the background right on the board. See you for that soon.

Update: I've been a bit busy with other various projects over the last few days, so all I've managed to do with the Elf Token is a quick design of the actual card for the artwork to be inserted into. It took all of 10 minutes to do thanks to the wizardry of Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator.

The next couple of days look pretty busy with a gargoyle and a greek god, but hopefully a bit later in the week I'll find some time to lay some paint down.

Update 17.12.12  I've been rather busy with a bunch of other jobs of late, so I haven't been able to get back to the Elf Token other than transferring the image onto the board. I'm off on holiday tomorrow, and won't be back until the second week of January. A few new jobs are going to be starting up as soon as I get back, but I fully intend to dive right in with the Elf painting somehow as well. and I'll be sure to update this post as it progresses. Merry Christmas everyone, here's hoping it's spent with the ones you love and that 2013 brings much joy to all.

Nov 20, 2012

Kickstarter Goodness: Adventures Dark & Deep

As a freelance artist, I apply for a lot of art gigs that sound like fun things to be attached to. Not all of them go ahead, and some just seem to disappear. That's fine though, that's the nature of the beast.
But then, every now and then, a job comes along that really looks fantastic and the person at the center of it is commited to it all the way.
I got an email regarding just such a project this very morning. The concept is cool, the person is dead keen, and the payout will be to see my artwork in a nifty RPG sourcebook.
The project is called 'Adventures Dark and Deep' and is trademarked to Joseph Bloch, the guy behind it all. The fact that he's trademarked the name of the thing says a lot to me about his drive to see this succeed.
And the great news is, he's set it up as a Kickstarter campaign, with a very resonable target amount to be reached to see it published. I've seen plenty of similar campaigns that ask for ten times the amount Joseph is asking for, and it's no big shock that many of them fail to reach the target. But I would actually BE shocked if Adventures Dark and Deep does NOT reach its target.
But that does not mean you shouldn't contribute a few bucks to the project, because this project really does sound like a great idea to me. I'll be throwing some money its way, for sure.

So here's the link to the Kickstarter Campaign!
If the project does go ahead, I have been selected as one of the artists to provide pieces for the sourcebook. Joseph mentioned in his email that artists will be given 6-8 individual black & white pieces to do for it, which I really can't wait to sink my teeth into.

So, go donate some money to the project, it really is a worthy cause for all gamers alike.

Nov 3, 2012

Hansel & Gretel

Gotta love Galway Pub Scrawl! Our fearless leader, one Donal Fallon, had us take part in a little thing called Sketchtoberfest. Each participant had to go back to some piece or idea or concept from their past work that never got very far along and get some other participant to have a go at it.
As fate would have it, I got Donal's old idea, which was something to do with Hansel & Gretel. I thought about it for a while... I had ideas to make a modern twist on it, or a more horror twist to it, but in the end, I went back and read the story and did a traditional piece based on one of the scenes.

Here she is...

In other news, I've been creating some art for a new gaming company, which has kept me pretty busy of late. As soon as I'm allowed to post the artwork here, I will.


Oct 28, 2012

Loviatar Art for Sale!

For those of you that read Christian Walker's fantastic Loviatar zine, you may know that Christian is taking a leave of absence to help recharge his batteries a bit. This is entirely understandable. Christian puts a massive amount of effort into each and every issue of that zine, and it can take its toll.
I started producing artwork for Christian and the zine about a year ago, beginning with Loviatar #3. Initially, it wasn't at all clear whether I would continue to work on the zine past that issue, but thankfully, I did. In fact, I produced artwork of varying amounts for every issue since #3, all the way up to the current #13.

It's been a real joy to do, even if there was never any money involved for me, which I was totally fine with from day one. This gig has always been about honing my skills in a genre I have a strong love for, fantasy. And I think that the work I have produced for the zine is the best work I have ever done, especially the cover to Loviatar #9.

But anyways, I'll get to the point of this post...

I mentioned to Christian several months ago that I have all of this Loviatar artwork just sitting here, doing nothing. I always intended to make the art available for purchase at some point, I was just waiting for the right time. I think that time is now upon us. I figure that while Christian is having a breather, I'll fill that gaping void by pimping my stuff.

So I've put together all of the best artwork from the previous 11 issues of Loviatar into a fancy PDF with all of the pertinent information for each piece incuded.

Here it is -

Jay Penn's Loviatar Art FOR SALE

And there you have it. As it says on the last page of the document, you can contact me at if you'd like to purchase a piece or if you have any questions.

PLEASE NOTE: As of 3/11/12, the prices have been lowered to better represent their worth. Thanks to Bart Sears for the advice!

Oct 22, 2012

Klogg the Troll

A couple of days ago I took part in the foolish event that is the 24 hour Comic Day. For those of you not entirely sure what that is, it's basically when a bunch of folks who have nothing better to do with their time sit around a table with the goal of drawing an entire 24-page comic in 24 hours.

Yep, it's crazy.

Well, I did it this year. But with a twist.

I didn't really want to do a comic. So, instead, I wrote and drew an entire picture book in 24 hours. Kinda. It took a little longer than 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hours, I had all of the artwork done and about 3/4 of the writing done, so with formatting and finishing off the writing, it probably took 30 hours.

Here it is...
But honestly, it was a whole heap of fun to do. It was done in conjunction with Galway Pub Scrawl and took place at 091 Labs in Galway.
As a special request, if somebody could remember to convince me to not do it again next year, as it is ridiculously tiring, that would be greatly appreciated.

Sep 27, 2012

My first prints!!!!

Perhaps I am getting a little ahead of myself by doing this, but I've had some prints made up of the cover I did for Loviatar #9, featuring Morgan Stringman and his bow. It's probably the best single example of my pen and ink work.

So here's the print anyway...
Buy me or this arrow has your name on it.
And the deal is this, there is a very short run on them, only 25 individual prints. And they're for sale right now! I've set the price at US$10 a print, plus and extra couple of bucks for postage and handling, which will include the prints being shipped in those fancy envelopes that come with backing boards attached.

The print itself is A4 size (210 x 297mm, or 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches for the yanks.) It's printed on thick paper and the blacks are very nice.
So there's 25 prints up for grabs, at US$10 + US$2 for p&h. Each print will be signed and numbered by me too.

If by some small miracle there is a rush on the prints and I have more orders than I have prints to fill them, it is a case of first in best dressed... On your marks, get set, GO!!!

Oh, yeah, email me at if you'd like to buy a copy...

Sep 23, 2012

Clanthology is a go!

A couple of the guys from the Galway Pub Scrawl and I decided that we really must do a comic together at some point. So we did.

It made a debut a few nights ago at the Galway Cultural Night, where we exhibited some of our work as well at 091 Labs.
We are still waiting on a few more strips to come in before we get it properly bound and printed, and we have a logo and a few other things to work out, but it should be available soon. I'll be providing a free PDF of my 8-page contribution to the anthology a little while after the issue is out too.
But here's a sneak peak of some of the artwork I provided for the first issue...

More news on the anthology to follow!

Sep 19, 2012


I recently had the chance to get some colour on paper for a job. Here's the result...
Should have some more work to show very soon.

Sep 6, 2012

Loviatar #13

Hey all, I've been a bit quiet with the posting over the last month, but that is not due to me having nothing to show. Things are progressing nicely actually. I'm currently working on an illustrated story for a comic, and painting pictures for a card game too.
On top of that, I have my regularly gigs too, like Loviatar, #13 of which is out today. So here's what I did it for it. Firstly the cover...

And I did a couple of interior illustrations for it too...

Kevin Sorbo, or as close as I could get to him...

Alternate Earth Mona Lisa

With no fear of sounding like a broken record, you can go buy your copy of it right HERE!

Jul 31, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #31!!!!

Day 31 - Draw anything you like...

I had joked with Donal Fallon that I might draw a tiny dot in the middle of a piece of paper and then sign it, just so that I could be done with this 31 Day Drawing Challenge. As tempting as that was, it's not my style to come this far and then take the easy way out on the final day.
Then I was thinking of book-ending the challenge by finishing with another self-portrait, revealing how ravaged I am from 31 days of drawing in a row. But, nah... that's not my style either.
So I went with a little sketch of a Gnome instead...

This challenge HAS been tiring at times, but as I suspected at the beginning of the month, it has been hugely rewarding, both in it being great practice, and getting me out my comfort zone and making me draw things I would never have done otherwise.

Now for some sleep...

Jul 30, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #30

Day 30 - Draw a Gangster, a Pirate, a Knight or a Samurai...

I chose a Knight. And not just any Knight. King Arthur's nephew, Sir Gaiwan! And for those of you who play Skyrim, you'll no doubt recognise the name 'Anduin.'

Jul 29, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #29

Day 29 - Draw a page of doodles...

I used to doodle a heck of a lot. To the point where I never seemed to get any proper pieces finished. But those days are long gone. Now, I rarely have time to just doodle on a page, as there's usually illustrations to be done or folio pieces to work on. I prefer it this way!
A mere 2 days to go now...

Jul 28, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #28

Day 28 - Draw 4 images of a character aging...

I am by no means a computer gamer. Quite far from it, actually. I can go months and months without turning on a console, no problem.
But saying that, there are three game franchises I love entirely to death. The Fable games by Lionhead Studios, The Elder Scrolls games by Bethesda Studios, and the old Playstation 1 games called MediEvil. I'm batty about those games, for varying reasons...
Fable: I just love the entire feel of those games, they have a whimsical quality that suits my own views of the fantasy genre. And they're British! Which, to my mind at least, is the true home and source of Fantasy. The soundtracks by Russell Shaw are gorgeous too.
The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Skyrim are the best examples of open world rpg's out there. The scope and detail of them allows one to spend literally 100's of hours just exploring. Believe me, I've done it, 100's of hours... Again, the soundtracks are fantastic, some of the very best atmospheric orchestral pieces to be found, all by Jeremy Soule.
MediEvil: A really quirky couple of games, these. Imagine if Tim Burton was a game designer instead of a writer/director. MediEvil is what you would get. Once more, the music is brilliantly conceived.

Back with some doodles tomorrow.

Jul 27, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #27

Day 27 - Create an Abstract piece...

Abstract art is not usually a field I have any interest in, in fact, I barely consider it art! Granted, I can see the merit in an abstract piece if it is done interestingly and shows skill, but I have no time for the majority of it, especially those sorts of ones that have a massive canvas painted entirely in one colour and then given some pretentious name. I hate pretentious art...
Anyway, back to what I like more tomorrow. See you then.

Jul 26, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #26

Day 26 - Draw your Favourite Animal...

I've long held the mighty, yet much maligned, Otter as my favourite animal. I grew enamored with them after reading Tarka the Otter, Ring of Bright Water and several other books concerning them.
I've even adopted a few of them over the years, through my favourite charity organisation, the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF). On top of all of that, the children's book I am slowly writing revolves around two creatures, one of them an Otter. No prize for guessing what the other creature is...
Anywho, back again tomorrow, not many days to go now!

Jul 25, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #25

Day 35 - Design a Business Card...

I really should get some of these printed up.
There are some fantasticly inventive cards from my fellow Galway Pub Scrawlers over here, go check them out!

Jul 24, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #24

Day 24 - Draw a Monster...

I like messing around with fantasy racial archetypes. I like to take a certain element, characteristic or motivation and just turn it on its head.
So this guy is not your typical Goblin. He's huge, heavy-set, powerful, and weilds two club-like forearms, giving rise to his name - Clobber Gobber.
See you tomorrow!

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #23

Day 23 - Draw a Tarot Card...

I was assigned the Chariot to draw, and decided to go with a more stylistic approach than normal. It was quick and easy to do, and quite fun as well. I'll have the next piece ready tonight!

Jul 22, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #22

Day 22 - Design a Treehouse...

I initially thought of doing a treehouse surrounded by a moat, with all kinds of other defensive fortifications. But then I thought, "what about a Treehouse that moves!?!?!" It was a small mental hop, skip and a jump to having my Treehouse in a massive Ent. Totally unrealistic proportions, I know, but a man can dream, can't he?

Jul 21, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #21

Day 21 - Create an Album Cover...

Powderfinger are my favourite band. They're from Brisbane, Australia. They split up a few years back, after recording 7 albums and a bunch of EP's and plenty of B-Sides.
This album, 'Dream Days at the Hotel Existence,' features my all-time favourite song - 'Ballad of a Dead Man.'

Before I forget again, you can see all of the Galway Pub Scrawl gang's entries into this 31 Day Drawing Challenge right HERE!

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #20

Day 20 - Draw a season.

I couldn't resist the urge to Mucha-ify this piece with the fancy frame.
I love the work of Mucha, especially his later work. He had such a strong design sense, and his linework is some of the best to have ever existed, in my opinion.
Back again tomorrow.

Jul 20, 2012

Loviatar #12

And now for something completely different...Loviatar #12 is available for purchase today, so here's the artwork I created for it.
The cover -

A couple of interior illustrations -

This issue marks the 1st Anniversary of Loviatar, do yourself a favour, go buy your copy TODAY!

Jul 19, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #19

Day 19 - Draw the cover to your favourite book -

I initally wanted to have a go at a cover for Lloyd Alexander's 'Chronicles of Prydain,' as I adore those books, but then this image popped into my head for Patrick Rothfuss' unbelievably good book, 'The Name of the Wind.'
I didn't have nearly enough time to do it the justice I think it deserves and I planned for, but this challenge is all about getting the work done and moving on to the next.
So I'll be back tomorrow with yet another image.

Jul 18, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #18

Day 18 - Draw something orange...

Raynard, Mage Elite
To be fair, he's not quite your typical orange colour, but I went through a whole bunch of ideas before settling on a fox - Aquaman, an orange, an autumnal leaf, a squirrel...

Back with a hopefully cool piece tomorrow.

Jul 17, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #17

Day 17 - A Quick sketch...

I tend to draw a lot of things, perhaps too many things, from the side view. I'm conscious of this fact, and try not to do it, but there's something about the power of such a simple view that I love. It's not that I'm afraid of odd angles, or foreshortening, or anything like that, I think it's just a design aesthetic I prefer.
Anywho, back once more tomorrow.

Jul 16, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #16

Day 16 - Landscape/Scenery...

It was rather rainy today here, so my plan to go out and actually sit and paint a real landscape scene kinda got scuppered. So this one is just a quick fantasy setting. I'm not too happy with this one, to be honest. I still have a lot to learn with landscape painting, it seems...
Catcha on the moz.

Jul 15, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #15

Day 15 - A Faerie Tale.

I went looking through all of my various Faerie Tale books- Grimm, Anderson, Irish, English... And then decided to do a quick sketch of one of my own...

I follow the J. R. R. Tolkien definition of what a Faerie Tale is, which essentially means that if the story does not take place in Faerie, or contain denizens of Faerie, it ain't a Fairie Tale. So most of the popular 'Faerie Tales,' at least to Mr. Tolkien's and my mind, are not Faerie Tales at all, most of them are either Beast Fables or just simply 'tales.'

Anywho, 'The Elf with the Giant Nose' is a little moral story I came up with a while ago that will hopefully feature somewhere in the children's book I'm writing...

Jul 14, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #14

Day 14 - Outer Space.

For many years, Star Wars was the only space saga for me. Then Episodes 1 through 3 came out...
And then the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie came out. I had no interest in that universe up until that point, but that was a great movie.
But still, Empire and Return are better, in my view, so I just try and imagine that 1-3 never existed.
Back again tomorrow.

Jul 13, 2012

31 Day Drawing Challenge - Day #13

Day 13 - Favourite Mythical Creature.

I was initially going to go with an elf, but after further contemplation, I decided a Gnome is the winner.
My love of Gnomes began when I was probably 3 or 4, after I read Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet's seminal 'Gnomes' book. I can still vividly recall rushing out to the back garden and searching around the bases of all of the trees, looking for a little doorway to a Gnome dwelling. I guess that is where my interest in Faerie and the Fantastic began, all of those years ago...
I see Gnomes as essentially nature spirits, wardens of the woods, keepers of the forests. They work and live in the wild trees, protecting them, caring for them, tied to them.
I don't really agree with how they are often portrayed, be it in rpg's or on lawns. That's just not what a Gnome is to me...
Anywho, back again tomorrow for something about as far away as is possible from a deep, dark, Gnome-kept forest.