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Please,before you ask...

Journal Entry: Sun Jun 12, 2016, 12:14 AM
I get  inquiries and requests to do custom work from a lot of different sources. I just wanted to create this journal and pin it to my profile page so I don't have to respond to the same questions that I tend to get frequently.

Free Work
I get asked a lot, and I mean A LOT to do free work. While I'm no stranger to free work (Heck I donated close to 10 large paintings and prints to charities last year) and when I offer to paint without pay it's because it's a gift from me and it means something. Please don't ask me to do free work, if I see your project and want to donate my time to it I will approach you. I have never, ever EVER asked someone to do free work. I believe people are worthy of the payment based on the work they put into something. Free work is really something I choose to give on my own terms. You don't have to try and sell me your vision, project or dream and top it with I'll get great exposure. My work was in Vogue magazine, has been on TV shows several times. I had 30+ paintings at one time on a TV series, I've had several celebrities share my work on social media and none of this brought me anything. Exposure is great, but it doesn't pay the bills.


I also get asked a lot to work on these really large projects and people want quality art but at really low rates. Let me give you an example. I was asked by a group to do a fairly large painting with all these details and ideas, they wanted to know how much I'd charge. I told them well you're going to be out 100-150 before I even apply paint to canvas or Wacom pen to tablet. It will cost me that much in materials or to order the print. Your project sounds like it would take around 22 hours.  This painting is going to run you in the ballpark of $900. Their response was they wouldn't go any higher than 250. I said I understand you have a budget but I'd like to break this down for you.
You're asking me to work 22 hours with a budget of $250. 150 goes towards supplies/print, this leaves me 100 dollars.  You're paying $4.50/hour for a skill set not many have because while there are a lot of artists out there, they truly only make up a very small percentage of the work force. Does this sound fair to you?  Their response was they'd save up for it and get back to me.
Seriously folks, I'm not greedy and to be honest my rates are lower than most professionals, but I have to set a value on my work or else I'll be selling myself short.  Rates can't be decided with a set price unless if I was only doing cookie cutter paintings, which honestly I'm not going to do anymore unless it's my own thing. When I say cookie cutter I mean you'll get x amount if I only do line-art, you'll get x amount if I only do characters without background...etc. I am a painter, I'm pretty versatile in my work and you can get a pretty good idea of what I do in my gallery. I will listen to your project/idea and give you my best guess on the number of hours I'll spend on it and base my price on that. I'm finding this easier because each project is different. Some can be done in a few hours, some in two weeks. (I'm currently working on a 30 x 40 oil painting that's taking a week)  So if you like my work and you're willing to invest in your dream, please send me a message and I'd be happy to talk to you.

If you're approaching me with the intent of saying "I can't pay you much" then please, I don't want to waste your time, there are plenty of artists on DA that would love to work with what you're offering.

Can I use your work?:

I also get this question a lot, and there have been a number of times when people just take it anyway and use it without asking. Which by they way, isn't all. If you're sharing my work on your blog or any social media, you don't have to ask. As long as you're not removing my info and claiming it as your own I'm totally fine with you sharing it, who doesn't like free marketing?

If you have a project you're working on that is non profit and you'd like to use one of my images, please ask first. If you don't get a response here (which I'm not always on DA) please email me at coolart(at)stevegoad(dot)com and I will get back to you. Or look me up on Facebook and send me a PM.…  If you don't get a response from me based on YOUR time frame then by default the answer is no. :) Otherwise, please wait for a response.
There are commissioned work in my gallery that people have hired me to do of their custom character, so it wouldn't be nice to use their own character for something of yours. 

With that said I really do appreciate the kindness towards my work and for those that take the time to comment. I'm not always the best at responding to every message on DA so if you'd like to communicate reach out to me on Facebook or email me. Thanks all, take care.


  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Superman Is Real

Journal Entry: Sat Oct 3, 2015, 10:08 PM
 I recently was asked for my Superman artwork to be featured in a documentary called "Look To The Sky", the request was from Brett Culp who also created "Legends of the Knight". You can view this documentary on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu...etc, I have to say I was really impressed with the quality, music, stories and emotions the film stirred in me. It's definitely a good watch, it'll leave you thinking about what you're doing with your gifts and how you're helping those around you. We truly are bombarded with negativity in this world, so it's important to see the good to restore hope.
Superman by stevegoad

Legends of the Knight filmed in over 100 cities and raised $75,000 for charities that literally helped thousands of people. I'm honored to have my work shown in this next project of Brett's, I'm looking forward to seeing it and how it will affect people.

Please consider watchingi the trailer and sharing this project with everyone, help spread the word to get this project headed in the right direction.

Trailer to Look To The Sky:…

Info on Legends of the Knight:

Superman is Real!

Superman by alexanderstojanov Superman Confidential Cover by andyparkart superman by marconelor Superman - Sketch Card by JeffLafferty Christopher Reeve as Superman by MarkRaats SUPERMAN PARADISE LOST by reau Superman, by Jeff Stahl by JeffStahl Superman by GerryArthur J.J. Kirby's Superman by JPRcolor HEROIC SUPERMAN-MegaCon by JoeJusko SUPERMAN by CHUBETO Superman character Sheet by alejit0 Superman by RalviAriyan Superman: Bubble Trouble - 04 by TimLevins Superman v2015 by kimgobartolome Superman Kingdom Come by AshFodenCreations

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Watching: Justice League Unlimited
  • Playing: Mad Max on PC
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Howdy *Tips Hat*

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 18, 2015, 1:45 PM
There's been a lot going on this year with my artwork, I was in Vogue Magazine, licensed artwork to Cinemax on a show called Banshee, I received South Dakota's Artist of the year from "Exploring Tosca" magazine, and just recently my work is about to be featured on a documentary by Brett Culp titled "Look to the Sky".

I'm making small steps towards a better art career but I still feel at times I'm not doing enough, there's always another level of excellence in pretty much all that we do. Call it human nature I guess, I saw an illustration one time that defined this perfectly. It was of a woman standing at the peak of a mountain, she was so high you could see the circumference of the earth and she was still reaching up to the sky as if to grasp for more.

Making steps towards a better art career is fine and all but I'm to the point where I think about how does this really help those around me. It's something we should all ask ourselves, what are we doing to really make a positive difference in someone else's life. I truly believe our gifts weren't intended for us. Sure we can experience the rewards they may offer as a perk but in the bigger picture they were meant to do good for others. When asked to have my Superman painting in "Look to the Sky", I started watching videos about Brett Culp and what all they were doing. It's very inspiring stuff, they raised $75,000 for charities on their last project "Legends of the Knight", and that is exactly what I'm talking about. These people are using their gifts to benefit others. It's a thing of beauty and I'm honored to be a part of it....albeit a small part but a part none the less.…

If you're on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon..etc check out "Legends of the Knight", it's very inspiring stuff.

In Art matters I have unplugged from Digital work(just for a bit) and took up Charcoal. I have started selling prints world wide but want to offer something a little unique to those not wanting an open print. I'm planning on making a charcoal section on my site and offer the sale of original pieces of work. The last time I used charcoal was when I was a kid so I was a little nervous at starting something, so much has changed in the medium since the last time I used it. I never thought you could take charcoal powder, mix it with acetone and use a paint brush.
Have a great weekend all.

Unplugged by stevegoad  Charcoal Drawing WIP by stevegoad

I'm also making a point in promoting other artists with low page views here on DA that I believe deserve more. Don't just view the art shown here, visit their pages, follow them and show them support. Please check out these amazing artists and their charcoal works:

Mature Content

Absorbed by ManuelAdrianzen
Leopard Portrait Charcoal by ablaise 'Sara' by juddhoskins Tom by iamjoanna Audrey Hepburn 1953 by MVVR<da:thumb id="406727811"/> The joker by reniervivas666 Almost alone by Lefthand666 Take A Picture by FallThruStardust Barn Owl by AGillustration Sexy Wolverine Commission by xabigal-eyesx

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Watching: Justice League Unlimited
  • Playing: Mad Max on PC
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Interview with Ambient Design (ArtRage)

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 22, 2015, 1:12 PM
I was recently asked to be a featured artist for ArtRage, every painting done in this article was created with their product. This is a product I've used since the first release and will continue to use due to the way it mimics traditional mediums. You can view the interview here:…

A lot of people seem to shy away from this product for professional use from the $60 price tag. Which I find odd, because since when do we need to pay $500+ for something to produce professional work. I've seen amazing artists have complete art shows with artwork that were created with crayons. And how much are a large box of crayons, $4?

Don't let the price tag mislead you, this is a product for professional work. I'd like to thank Hannah, the ArtRage community manager, for choosing me as their next featured artist. I'm honored! It was fun going through my work and realizing just how often I use ArtRage, I could've easily added another 6-7 paintings to the article that were created with the program.

Check out some of the other ArtRAge Artists:

<da:thumb id="333422805"/> <da:thumb id="348891244"/>  RDJ as Holmes - ArtRage by LopezLorenzana <da:thumb id="278110472"/>  Opening Hibiscus Bloom by vanndra  Still Life with kvass. ArtRage by alartstudio  Urban Assassin (Speedpaint Study) by HarlequiNQB <da:thumb id="553943683"/> <da:thumb id="552693145"/>   Max by garrypfc  Shannon by AuberJean  Anne Hathaway - Interstellar by Saryetta86  RedditGetsDrawn for /u/ClamZamboni by defdac <da:thumb id="547394172"/>  Eider study by Renum63  Admiration by psycopix

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Watching: Justice League Unlimited
  • Playing: Saints Row IV, DCUO
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Wacom Alternative

Journal Entry: Fri May 16, 2014, 10:02 AM
My Intuos 5 tablet stopped working recently and I had a Huion H610 sitting on the shelf as a backup. When I purchased the Huion I couldn't even use it yet because they didn't support Windows 8, luckily at the demise of my Wacom I noticed the Win8 drivers were ready. I've been testing it out this past week and I must say it's definitely a solid choice for those on a budget and perfect to have as a backup tablet. (The last thing you want is to be down for a few days/weeks while you wait on your replacement)

1. Same pressure levels as a wacom
2. When drawing it has a nice textured feel like you're drawing on paper
3. Configurable express keys
4. Touch and non touch version. I personally dislike the touch tablets, it doesn't mesh with my painting style. Way too often when I'd go over a completed piece I'd find little dabs of paint from my hand/finger from accidentally touching the tablet.
5. The ability to turn the pen off. I personally find this a neat feature to click the pen and lay it on your tablet without it interfering with your normal mouse control.
6. Pen doesn't feel cheap like most battery pens.
7. Price: $50
8. I seem to be getting better sensitivity in certain programs like ArtRage, Paint Tool Sai and Painter

1. I've noticed when booting to windows the first time  sometimes the express keys don't work. I had this happen with the intuos as well and a reboot would fix this but with the Huion you just unplug the tablet and plug it back in to correct it.
2. Battery pen  NOTE: The Pro version pen doesn't require a battery.
3. No Eraser - Some might agree that this is a con but I never used the eraser on the Wacom pens so I don't miss it.

A couple of samples I've done with the Huion:

Eva Work In Progress... by stevegoad   Work in Progress.. by stevegoad  The Goldfish by stevegoad  Work in progress.. by stevegoad

I'm making it a habit to find artists with little exposure on their DA Page who definitely deserve it.
Under Appreciated Artists:

redhead by anna-lakisova  METAL LION SCULPTURE BY SeLCUK YILMAZ by selcukk  Sand Rider concept by Javoraj  Batman by danielmchavez  Alien head by MartinBailly  HuangMei by yangqi917  Lonely Ghost by Zoroko

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Watching: Justice League Unlimited
  • Playing: Saints Row IV, DCUO
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese


Journal Entry: Wed Apr 30, 2014, 8:12 PM
Stuff I'm working on by stevegoad

A couple of things I'm currently working on. The first is part of the "Christ Within" series, second and third are part of a movie inspired series and the last is just something I thought would be cool to do after seeing the following stock photo:
  Jump 21 by DaeStock

I just noticed I've been a member (on this account) for 4 years now and haven't even touched 100K page views. This doesn't really matter, I believe you have to stay true to yourself and create the things you enjoy to paint regardless of the popularity of it. This either means I'm painting things people don't really have an interest in or I'm not trying hard enough to get my stuff out there.  I have 3 blogs, a personal page,  13 print on demand services and galleries, twitter, tumblr, facebook, deviantart and google+. So it isn't like I'm not trying! :) The reason I bring this is up is because I think it's easy to fall into the trap of creating things you feel you should because they're trendy or popular in certain communities. I've seen some pretty amazing artists even here on DA that barely get any traffic and then there's a handful of artists that seem to get it all, but this is no different anywhere else we go is it? There are always going to be clicks. This is the reason from now on when I update my journal I'm going to look for artists that are under appreciated and share their work.

2000ad Necrophim by MrLeeCarter  concept art by wildcory1  Sun Dress by wildcory1  Troy  Volume 3 French comic book cover by JohnMcCambridge   Panthro! by SalvadorTrakal  Mother Russia by WoodardIllustration  Dragon Commander: Concept Art 05 by orogion  The Girl at the Cafe by finalmix13  Space Smuggler by yinteck

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Watching: Justice League Unlimited
  • Playing: Saints Row IV, DCUO
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Art Book

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 1, 2014, 4:44 PM
    Here’s a nice little preview of the book, the first 15 pages:…

    Front and Back Cover (Or in this case Back and Front)

    I’ve been wanting to create one of these for a while now. This is my first art book showcasing 30 full pages (close to 40 works) displaying various illustrations and paintings created in Oil, Acrylic and Digital mediums. I didn't want to put a lot of text in this book, I just said what I needed to say on the first page and the rest are my paintings. No text, no titles…just art.  I have to say it was nice creating something where my URL isn't plastered on every image.

    This book displays a nice variety of digital and traditional mediums, I challenge you to decide which piece was created in what medium.

    Page Samples

    Please share my work (not just on DA) to all your friends, it’s how artists get discovered by the sharing of others, I'll be forever grateful. I ask that you like my FB Fanpage if you would :),(…) I used to think asking people to like my fan page was weird/pushy but I realize now as artists we really need to promote ourselves. As a matter of fact if you'd like to leave your FB Fanpages here in this journal please do so and I will like them as well. Thank you for taking the time to look at my work, for the favorites and comments, it means a lot! Even though I am unable to respond to every fav or comment I just want to say I really appreciate it, more than you'll ever know.

    Take Care 

    A couple of things I'm currently working on:

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Watching: Justice League Unlimited
  • Playing: Saints Row IV, DCUO
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Time for an update I think

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 27, 2013, 7:57 PM
Couple of new items I'm currently working on:
In The Clouds WIP by stevegoad Conquered WIP by stevegoad

I know I'm bouncing between a lot of paintings here but I find I work better this way. Something I started the other night while watching Hell On Wheels. I'm also taking "The Good Path" a different direction, heck..might not even be called that anymore. :) I just wanted to focus on the warrior and lions. The chains are purely symbolic...

Give'em Hell WIP by stevegoad 
The Good Path WIP 3 by stevegoad

Hope everyone's Friday is going well! Just a few personal pieces I'm currently working on.

New WIP by stevegoad Dragon WIP by stevegoad Breaking The Mold WIP by stevegoad

Stay Happy and never stop creating!

Pretty bad at this journal thing aren't I? :) I figured it was time to replace the old one, let this one sit for 6 months and then maybe write another. HA! :)
So getting a DD is pretty awesome, thank you for all the comments and notes I've been receiving today I really appreciate it! I'm always pleasantly surprised when I get a DD, reading the nice responses from everyone is always a great way to make my day.

I've been busy with a few projects but was able to sketch some personal stuff:

The Good Path WIP by stevegoad
It's been a while since I've done artwork for myself so It was nice to sit down and just let the sketch evolve. What's the point in being an artist if I don't put my own ideas on canvas.  The concept behind this is not all paths are easy and chances are if it's worth anything it will be a challenge. There are always forces that will try and divert your direction, trip you up or even worse, create self doubt.

This is a good start but I plan on putting some additional content in the background.

Edit 8.30.2013
What is this? Another update...woah I better pace myself. :)
The Good Path WIP2 by stevegoad

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Watching: Justice League Unlimited
  • Playing: Saints Row IV, DCUO
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

A little disappointed...

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 20, 2013, 2:48 PM
I'll be honest, I am a little disappointed I didn't make the 25 semi-finalists, I really thought I had a chance with my entry. I'm a little confused on some of the entries as well, I thought we weren't supposed to use other artwork/renderings in the creation and wasn't there something in there about entries couldn't use stock photos? Ahh well, congrats on the last 25 semi finalists and good luck to them.

I'll showcase my work here, at least it'll make me feel a little better...sort of. :)  Ugh...kick me in the groin now please.

Tomb Raider - Contest Entry by stevegoad

I don't think I'll be entering anymore TR contests anytime soon, working hard on something to only fall short doesn't do much for my confidence. :) Ahh well, pick myself up and push forward.

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Playing: Borderlands 2
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Artwork to be featured on TV series Perception

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:01 AM
A few weeks back I was pleasantly surprised when the head of the art department of TNT's drama series "Perception" Teek Mach contacted me saying they'd like to feature my artwork on an upcoming episode that had a fake comic con set.  I could show any artwork as long as it wasn't anything like Marvel or DC characters. So I came up with the following pieces:
Perception Art by stevegoad

Be on the look out for them to be on Season 2, Episode 2 called "Alienation".  Some of these you might have seen before and some I altered a bit for copyright reasons but I also added a few new ones. Since the set will be a fake comic con, I tried to pick anything that would fall into the category of  Heroes, Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I told them if they needed a fake comic con artist to hand out fake autographs to fake fans to look me up! Ha!

I have been contacting anyone that is associated with the stock I've used in the creation or any commissions I've done to give them a heads up about the work being on TV. If I've missed anyone please let me know.

Special thanks goes to the following:

Tobias Buckell
ClarkesWorld Magazine
Dream Powered Games…

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Playing: Borderlands 2
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Continuation of supporting my roots

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 15, 2013, 1:56 AM
Another idea I started tonight to support my Vietnam heritage. Think I'll call this one "Rise". My father always reminds me I shouldn't forget to draw dragons since they're such a big part of my background. Never forget the advice given by the people who care about you, they could be precursors to your life.

Rise - WIP by stevegoad

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Playing: Borderlands 2
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

The Brush battle

Journal Entry: Sat Dec 8, 2012, 12:34 PM
Started adding some details to a project I put aside a while back.

The Guardian- Rough WIP by stevegoad

Lately I've been battling with brushes in the programs I use (Painter, PS,Sai,ArtRage) and I'm finally realizing that while custom brushes are great I shouldn't rely on them to do most of the work. I caught myself struggling in certain areas where the custom brush was limited instead of just using a simple brush and doing it myself. With this in mind, I'm using the pencil tool in Open Canvas 5.5e to do most of the work in this painting. To me, it's one of the best brushes I've used in regards of sketching, blending, and having a hard edge based on pen pressure.

I'm finding there's a lot more freedom in just focusing on the painting more as opposed to what texture/effect I can achieve with a brush.  

Using stock from Nastia Osipova to help with  the female.
29 by NastiaOsipovaStock

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Playing: Borderlands 2
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Tomb Raider Painting WIP

Journal Entry: Sat May 12, 2012, 11:32 PM
Update Nov 10, 2012:
I apologize for never completing this journal, I ran out of time and it ended up not even placing in the contest. That doesn't mean I can't finish it on my own time though. :) The original contest required the painting be done traditionally so I submitted it as a grey scale oil painting but, I've started adding color digitally. I was a little disappointed it didn't place but it's given me the opportunity to go back and correct my mistakes, maybe even make it a better painting than my original intent. I'll keep adding color, maybe even adding some tweaks digitally so I wont be posting anymore progress pics until it's done. I'm using Paint Tool Sai for coloring, seems to be the best method for adding color at the moment.

TR Painting Adding Color by stevegoad

I also apologize for not responding to all the messages and notes I've been receiving lately, I've been on some projects that have taken quite a bit of my time so I haven't been able to keep up on DA that much. A better way of communication with me would be emailing me from my website  Thank you for all the notes and messages, I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Original Journal

I have decided to enter in the Tomb Raider Contest on the official Edios forum competition(…), I'll do my best not to get all nerdy on you but I'm excited about this one. The requirement in this competition is the entry has to be made by hand. This means I'm breaking out the oil paint.

The winning piece will be displayed in the studio of Crystal Dynamics so I am putting my best foot forward with high hopes. I have already started and what I'd like to do is just keep adding to this journal with all the WIPs to share the process and maybe even answer some questions if one arises.

Canvas Size: 30"x40"x1 1/2"

Step 1
Before even starting a sketch I wanted to get a good idea in my head of what I'd like to paint so I started looking at the concept art and screenshots for Tomb Raider 9. I decided to base this painting on the cave scenes where people are hanging upside down from what looks like giant spider silk. (Haven't read the details of game yet, if there are any) There's also a lot of skulls and candles throughout the cave so I wanted to have those as well.  Sometimes if I'm having trouble visualizing I'll hop in Photoshop and do a lot of photo manipulation to help with layout and composition.

I also started looking up Tomb Raider comics and cos players to help me get some ideas and came across JennCroft. This gal base jumps off of skyscrapers and rock climbs and then for fun dresses up as Lara Croft, not to mention she looks like the new character in the up and coming Tomb Raider Reborn. Jenn and Superhero Photography(…) gave me permission to use one of her photos to help create the oil painting so I'm definitely excited!
Tomb Raider has always held a special place in my heart because it was the very first game Lori bought me as a surprise, this was at a time when games were just starting to get popular on the PC. It was pixelated, old generation graphics and I absolutely loved it. :) I have always been a fan of the heroine character or David and Goliath scenario because I have seen greatness like this in my lovely wife, at a time when most fall apart she stands strong.

TR painting Step1 by stevegoad Tomb Raider 2013 Rampage by JennCroft On certain subject matters I'll just grab a paintbrush and sketch on the canvas with paint and go from there, but since I'll be painting a person I'd prefer to get the anatomy and proportions correct. I've started with a simple sketch, I really do hate showing stuff at this stage because in reality it isn't even a good sketch, it's more of a guide so just the important areas are showing. I used a copic marker to create the sketch and will be coating it with Krylon Crystal Clear to seal it. This will allow me to apply paint over the sketch without it trying to blend with the oils and smear.

Step 3
TR Painting Step2 by stevegoad I have started to block in some areas in black and white, not really focusing on the fine details yet just filling in areas and establishing basic values.   There are two ways you can approach an oil painting and it's really up to you, in my opinion they both have pros and cons and one is no better than the other. The obvious way is to start with your colors  mixing/blending as you go and the other is to do the entire thing in black and white establishing all your values and detail, then using a glazing technique to apply color. I did the same glazing technique with the following painting Fruit Cup - Acrylic painting by stevegoad, believe it or not that painting started out in black and white.  If you're interested in learning more about this technique just simply google "Glazing with Liquin" or "Glazing with oils", there's a wealth of information on it. Some glaze with linseed oil but I try and stay away from it because it tends to yellow.

I personally like doing the black and white method because some paintings just look good that way, you also have the freedom to leave it or apply color later. Plus this allows you to focus on the key elements of any piece because let's face it, you could have perfect colors and one whacked out looking Lara Croft. In some cases you could apply just a small amount of color which is what I might do with this piece.

Materials I'm using at this point:
Ivroy Black and Titanium White by Winsor & Newton

Snap! flat brushes by Princeton. Their brushes are usually under 5 dollars a piece, I think it's a waste of money to spend 40 dollars on one paint brush. I realize you get what you paid for in a lot of things but come on, a paint brush? I use cheap brushes all the time and have tried these expensive brushes and I can't tell the difference. Some brushes have rough bristles and others have the nice white smooth synthetic bristles, which is usually my first choice.

Liquin original by Winsor & Netwon. This stuff is great, it speeds up drying time when you need it, creates the perfect consistency for smooth lines and is also used for glazing.

TR Painting Step2.2 by stevegoad So I'm still officially on "Step 3" LOL. I figure once I've blocked in the entire canvas then I'll move onto 4, there's a lot of canvas on this one so it's taking some time . Then I'll really start to refine the detailing and values a bit more. From the screenshots and concept art I've looked at those silk sacks have quite a bit of detail in them so it'll be fun adding all that stuff in, not to mention the details in the skulls too. :)

You know if you ever feel like you've plateaued with your digital art, pick up a paint brush and work with oils or acrylic. You'll soon realize how spoiled we really are with a tablet. I literally have to hold my breath to steady my hand on some of the brush strokes like on the ice axe. It's good exercise actually and quite rewarding to see the paint blend like you wish it would in Photoshop or Painter.
Another trick I've learned is take a long paintbrush in your other hand and press the handle against your wrist, it'll steady your hand just like it would if you're resting on the canvas. This works great for those used to having your hand resting on whatever you're drawing on. There are also tools such as… you can purchase that will do a better job. Some of the newer easels even have them built in to steady your hand, if I plan on doing a lot more oil painting I'll definitely pick one up.   

I had  a friend ask me why I chose oils on this piece and the best way I could answer that is in my experience Acrylic is perfect for shiny and metallic objects, even more so than oils and oils are perfect for anything organic. Acrylic has some nice mediums now for blending and the ability to slow the drying time but it still doesn't compare to the "wet on wet" blending of oils.

Step 4
TR Painting Step 4 by stevegoad Now that I've covered the majority of the canvas in paint  it's time to start bringing out the details. I'm still not satisfied with the overall values but for now it's a good start. That's the great thing about glazing is you can allow some dry time and then start glazing in darker values to really make it pop.

At this point I'll switch to a round brush and start dabbing details TR Painting Step 4.2 by stevegoad

then take a flat (dry) brush and blend. TR Painting Step 4.3 by stevegoad  

I'll continue to do this until I'm satisfied with the details.

Step 5
TR Painting Step 5 by stevegoad I didn't update a progress pic yesterday because sometimes I find it's a good thing to step away from a piece to get a fresh look. After doing this I decided to make an adjustment on Lara's bow. In the concept art the bow was larger like a longbow so I'd like to stay true to the concept. Making changes like this to an oil painting is a lot more forgiving than you might think. If you keep your layers thin and blend as you go without creating paint build up it's very easy to make drastic adjustments and the fact that we're in grey scale helps a great deal.
I am still using the same brushes and liquin, probably more so at this stage. You know how we're familiar working in layers with Photoshop? It's kind of the same thing at this stage. I use thin paint layers and keep building them on top of each other. The benefit of working on a large canvas is you can bounce around detailing different areas and by the time you've come full circle it's usually dry enough to add another layer. (using liquin that is)

TR Painting Step 6 by stevegoad It's getting pretty close to the deadline with this piece so I better start focusing on it a lot more. At this point I've started to use "Grey Deep" to help with glazing. This is where I believe the painting starts to pop. I'm focusing more on darks and lights and even made one last change on the lower left. I didn't like the weird angle of the skeleton strapped to the post so I added rubble and skulls. I believe I am finished with the revisions and will focus more on detailing.
TR Painting Step 6.1 by stevegoad You can tell the glazing is starting to bring out the glow of the candles, highlights on the skulls and even the haze in the background. I really liked how dirty Lara is in the concept art so I might just add a little more dirt and blood. :)

To be continued....

  • Listening to: Orignial Movie Scores
  • Playing: Borderlands 2
  • Eating: Thai and Vietnamese

Things you should never ask an Artist to do

Journal Entry: Sat May 5, 2012, 10:55 AM
I write this to not spark a debate or judgement, only to share my personal opinion and experience in hopes of benefiting you and offering insight to people thinking about hiring an artist.

Things you should never ask an Artist to do:
1. Free Work.
Do I really have to explain this one? :) You wouldn't walk into any other business offering a service and ask for free clothes or a burger right? No, you pay for them without question and they take a lot less creativity, time to make and cost a lot less. Why ask people to work for free on something you couldn't make yourself? If you believe in your vision, then I suggest find funding for it to pay the people doing the work for you. This goes for family as well, don't get me wrong, I love my family and enjoy doing something for them but it means so much more when I OFFER to do something for free than when it's expected. Let the artist decide whether or not they want to give their time for free without asking them, as a rule treat them with respect as you would a business and be prepared to pay.

2. Mimic another Artist's style.
Maybe there are a lot of people on the fence on this one but for me and from an artist's perspective it takes a while to develop our own style and look. We spend hours every day perfecting it, and it's an ongoing process, so why would we want to paint like someone else?? If you see an artist and like their work but it doesn't fit your style you're looking for, move on and find the right one. It's taken this long for me to figure out my own, why would I want to mimic someone else?

3. Fast Work.
We're all entitled to our own opinion on this but if you look at the mere logistics, is anything rushed of good quality? Would you rather have 10 flawed pieces that are knocked out in a short amount of time or 10 quality pieces that will pay off in the long run. Art is what we do, it's who we are...don't ask us to compromise the very thing that defines us.

4. Read Minds.
I've run into this quite a bit and the result is usually me redrawing something 10 different times before the client says "yeah that's it!". I realize it's challenging for some to communicate what's in their mind on paper, heck I run into the same thing, but there is one word that will remedy that very thing. References. Some of the best jobs I've done are people who use pictures, artwork samples, perspective shots, name it, anything to get their idea across. I don't care if you have to buy little action figures put them in a pose and use a digital camera to get the perspective you like, to me that's awesome. :) The more details and visuals you have on your idea makes it easier for the artist to conceptualize and execute it more effectively. Saves time and money for both sides.

5. Lower their rates.
To me this is in the same vein as asking for free work and borders the boundaries of compromise. There are some things you haggle in this life and some things you don't. If you're at a garage sale looking at an old toy with some damage here and there, haggle a way. A uniquely designed and original piece of work that takes weeks or months to complete, you do not. :)
I wish people would realize that an idea is only an idea but artwork solidifies it and plays a big part in the profit and popularity. Take care of the ones making your idea come to life that's bringing prosperity, it's an honorable thing to do.

6. Work for recognition.
As long as I have been an artist, I have never EVER had exposure pay my bills. Sure exposure is necessary, but there are a ton of different ways to market your own work on your own time without giving someone who doesn't appreciate the value of art a free ride. We pay our way in this life, they should too.

7. Can I pay you when the project starts to make a profit?
I have spent so much time and invested my own money based on an dream that belongs to someone else. I have yet to see a profit from these projects and it just leaves me with a "What the hell was I thinking?". Granted there have been some projects with some awesome people working on an idea I believed in as well and wanted to offer my time but again that was me offering my time as a gift.

I encourage you to look at it this way, what does the guy at the helm have anything to lose? You're the one doing all the work and not getting paid, he's the one coming up with the ideas based on your creativity and the one who will most likely come out on top regarding profit. You have much to lose, time spent on free projects could be time spent on paid work or even your own dream. The truth is people will use others that allow themselves to be used, respect yourselves enough to know your time and creativity is valuable and worth compensation.

I'll share a personal experience with you, I'll keep things on a generic level because I don't want to name call and point fingers because well, that just isn't cool. :)  I was approached by a company with an idea that I thought was awesome, they even had success with it in the past and had some big players interested in funding it. We had some big names ready to sign all we needed to do is produce, I believed in it so much I devoted 2 years of my time working on the project and invested $40,000 of my own money to enable me to work for free and cover other expenses while I worked. The deal was I would get paid when the company did. Well the company kept making changes to where it was doing more harm than good and to make things worse I found out I could've easily been paid during the 2 years I worked. I was in such disgust I walked away from the project and never looked back. It's my own fault for signing up, but the sad truth is in hindsight I allowed myself to be taken advantage of. What did I have to show for it? A shattered dream and no money. LOL It's why I've told myself I'll never sign up on a project where compensation is based on a gamble or on a later date, no matter how good it sounds. (Unless if it's my own dream of course) I respect the work I do enough to know I need to be compensated, if people truly believe in their vision they'll make things happen, appreciate the people under them and have a desire to compensate them.  

Anyway that's just my two cents. I am by no means the authority on this, I just felt like doing a journal that might help others think and to prevent them from getting sucked into an increasing trend where artists are underpaid and undervalued. Maybe this list will increase as I continue my path, who knows. :)

  • Playing: DC Universe Online/L4D2/Dragon Age 2

ClarkesWorld Magazine Issue67 Cover Art

Journal Entry: Wed Apr 11, 2012, 8:53 AM
I am really pleased to say that my piece "A Place To Ponder" made the cover art to ClarkesWorld Magazine's issue 67. I wanted to blog this because this marks the first artwork I've had on a magazine cover and hopefully more to come.

Issue 67 Clarkesworld Magazine cover by stevegoad

If you haven't checked out Clarkesworld Magazine yet, please do! Each issue contains fiction from new and established authors, they also do an annual publication of "Realms" which is a collection of previous magazines. Awesome stories and wonderful cover art from artists you've seen here on DA.

Special thanks to mizzd-stock for her stock that was used in the creation of this piece.

  • Playing: DC Universe Online/L4D2/Dragon Age 2

Using real paint as a color palette for digital

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 2, 2012, 1:41 PM
So starting out with traditional mediums I have always struggled with the color palette on most of the digital paint programs we use today. I think they're great as far "picking" colors but in reference to working with real paint vs digital there isn't a real structure on selecting and mixing. For instance you wouldn't use solid black for traditional paintings or mix white in with your paint to lighten a color, you would use other colors to mix to get better results.  I wont get into color mixing, you can find a wealth of information on this on the net.
The point I'm trying to make is color picking has always been kind of a pain for me, even if using a digital color palette with dabs of colors on a separate file it just isn't the same. I did some image searches for color palettes and found an image on a color palette of real paint and thought why not just use that as a color palette instead of trying to build a digital color palette based on it. I've been testing it and it actually works quite well for me because the natural light on the paint also provides an added bonus of highlights and darks for that color.
This works really well with programs like Painter and Artrage that "mimic" the color blending and mixing too. I know this isn't groundbreaking but I'm not sure why I haven't done this before.

Color Palette by stevegoad

If you're interested in trying the same image as a color palette I found it from the following blog.…

  • Playing: DC Universe Online/L4D2/Dragon Age 2

My Life isn't always about Art

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 19, 2012, 10:43 AM
Family by stevegoad

My wife lost her dad recently and it's been pretty hard on the family, anytime we want to remember and honor him we all get together and eat at his favorite place "Babes".  It's sad that he's gone but I'll never forget how packed the memorial service was, they had to remove walls to expand into the other rooms so everyone could sit. I think it speaks volumes on how many people Jim affected in such a positive way, there was barely enough room to fit everyone and they were laughing at some of the stuff he pulled that we shared during the service.
Yesterday was his Birthday so we got together and spent some time remembering him.

Death comes to us all but our actions will always be remembered.

  • Playing: DC Universe Online/L4D2/Dragon Age 2

Glimpse into the future

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 17, 2012, 2:00 PM
What does the future hold? Nobody knows and in a sense that's the best part, I mean if we could always see into the future there wouldn't be the excitement of the unknown. It's the unknown that pushes me, is it the fear of the unknown, no not really. It's the fact that I have zero clue of what it might be but yet I wake up every morning with an awesome woman by my side who believes in me, a  simple plan of becoming a better artist and high hopes of landing that dream job.  There's more to this simple plan if I allow it, I can break it down in 10 years with goals for each year but honestly, what may work for some doesn't necessarily mean it will work for me. Besides, all that planning makes me tired just thinking about it. The only thing I know to do is to keep painting, keep putting my stuff out there and try not to think about what I should've done differently or what might have been. A cousin of mine named Steven Goad (Ha what are the odds of that?) told me recently "I've learned I stumble a lot less moving forward when I don't keep looking behind me." There's so much truth to this! On that note, moving forward.

I've been focusing more on the things that inspire me to paint, here are two ideas I'm working on for my Imagekind account. I would really like to upload prints here on DA but until they start offering services for custom print sizes I'll stick with IK.

Samurai Print Idea by stevegoad    Rough Concept of next piece by stevegoad

Thanks to :iconelandria: for her stock I'm using to help me paint the woman in the red dress.

Hope you all have a nice weekend.

  • Playing: DC Universe Online/L4D2/Dragon Age 2

Time for a new journal I think

Journal Entry: Wed Feb 8, 2012, 2:00 PM
I had that last entry up for a while so I think it's time for a new one. I haven't been on DA enough to write new journals, been too busy trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Hmm, I'm pretty sure the answer is still an artist. :)

I started on a new piece last night:
Place To Ponder WIP by stevegoad

It would be great if there were such a place where large statues are at the base or near a waterfall, maybe there is and I just don't know about it? Would be a great place to relax and paint no doubt. I'm using stock for references on the statue and woman sitting from :iconmizzd-stock: , man I love DA stock.

You know when we go against the grain of who we are as a person it's a struggle, why should it be any different with our creativity? I think it's great to try new techniques and learn but if you have complete peace painting butterflies than human anatomy then more power to you and I encourage you to push forward in it. Follow the peace in life and in all that you do, it goes by too quickly to spend it in misery.

  • Playing: DC Universe Online/L4D2/Dragon Age 2

Howdy *Tips Hat*

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 27, 2011, 2:58 PM
Hello Everyone,
well where to begin... I apologize for not responding lately, I've been recovering from a few things. The good news is after 4 MRI's , 19 weeks of Chemotherapy, 3 surgeries and 4 weeks of recovery the pathology reports came back negative so I am officially in the clear. I can't thank my wife Lori enough for being by my side the entire time, she was with me at every visit , every chemo session and of course all the surgeries. Even after the main surgery when I couldn't move for 4 days she was there to roll me over just so I could relieve myself, one of the most humbling and yet loving experiences in our entire marriage. When the chips are down true colors shine in people and there has never been a doubt that my wife is the genuine article in good and bad times. I've been out of work for 9 months from all of this so she's had to carry the weight, I'm so proud to say she's my wife. 21 years together and still going strong. I'm 90% recovered (and still recovering) and the fact that I'm painting again is a huge victory, moving forward....

It's been a rough trip to say the least but I'm just glad to be able to pick up a pen and start painting again. Chemotherapy was really taking it's toll on me and I was having trouble painting, what used to take me 2 days to do would take me over 3 weeks of being frustrated and even then I'd have to walk away from it. My mind was in such a fog I was having difficulty coloring and detailing certain things so everything has been on hold.

I appreciate you guys being patient with me for the ones still waiting on their commissions (Ha if you're even waiting!) I have started up again and I have to tell you it feels good. Don't ever take the ability to be creative for granted because one day it could be taken away from you and that's a day of torture. You never truly appreciate things until they're gone...

OK so since I was having problems with color I have started these in black and white and will color them when I'm satisfied with the detail and tones:

City Of Heroes - Soulja by stevegoad Nick and Vox Wip by stevegoad Elven Archer study by stevegoad Armineh Portrait WIP by stevegoad

I'll close with this...

It's good to be back.

  • Playing: DC Universe Online/L4D2/Dragon Age 2