Thursday, January 13, 2011

First Last Unicorn sketches

Well, many years ago (I think 2004ish), I did this painting, as well as a number of pencil drawings that were intended for a book by Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn. It was going to be called The First Last Unicorn, because it had many chapters that were taken out of the final version of the book, but which were interesting in their own right and as stand-alone pieces seemed almost like self-contained short stories. These chapters, as well as a few other previously unpublished stories were going to comprise the volume.

Unfortunately, the project never was published and I didn't hear any news for a long time. In recent months there has been mutterings of reviving it, and while there is still no set release for those original paintings and drawings I did, Tachyon Publications will be releasing another edition of that book, which they have commisisoned me to do a different cover for. I'll be paintpaintpainting furiously the next couple days because it's a very short deadline (Monday, eek!)

Meanwhile, here's a peek into my sketchbook.

Some initial thumbnail scribbles for general composition.

More detailed unicorn scribblings.

More detailed dragon scribblings, and some birds.

The final rough sketch, all the pieces from those previous sketches combined and tweaked and resized and rotated in photoshop.


  1. It makes you aware that there is so much painstaking prep work to produce the final painting - all the more impressive. Love Love your art! Good luck with the project!

  2. I saw the end result on Deviant art, I wanted to ask: did you do this over before painting or did you print it out then paint?

    P.S., you probably hear this a lot . . . but I think your work is very inspirational, I have loved every single piece I have seen so far and I'm looking forward to looking at the rest once I get a stable internet connection! :)

  3. This: was the final sketch I did before painting.

  4. Thanks for the reply :)

    Yeah, I saw that! What I meant is: after designing your characters, did you combine them into a scene digitally or did you re-do the sketch from scratch?
    either way, its one of the most awesome things I have ever seen!

  5. The last sketch on this page was the digitally manipulated version. From that rough stage, I redraw it by hand with tracing paper to get it more refined.