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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celestial Gift - Holiday Promo

Just finished a brand-new shiny holiday promo image. I give you:

Celestial Gift

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spectrum 18 Book is Here!!!

I just received my beautiful complementary hardback copy of Spectrum 18 in the mail moments ago. Beautiful reproduction quality on my Golden Fish piece. TONS of wonderful fantasy and sci-fi work by the best in the field to oogle! Congratulations again to all of the awesome artists whose work got into this one too. =)



Friday, September 30, 2011

Snowmist and Update

So I realize that it's been a bit since my last update. For the past couple of months I've been working primarily on my own YA fantasy personal project called "Snowmist." I've been doing a number of concept pieces for it along with writing and planning. The concept I've chosen to share below is one of my favorites to date.

I'm also currently in negotiation stage for several exciting contracts, one quite extensive. So I will have much to keep me busy in the coming months!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cover Artist for Fantasy Magazine!

Yesterday, my Golden Fish piece went live as the August cover to Fantasy Magazine. Also in the issue is a fun interview they did with me. Below are a few of my favorite questions:

1) What can you tell us about the story behind "Golden Fish?"

This image came into my head one night as I tossed and turned trying to fall asleep... The waves, the fish, the boat, the lilies, the moon just kept rotating in my mind's eye. Finally, to appease my muse, I found a sketchbook and put the first sketch down on paper. Only then was I able to sleep. As another aside: I had just watched the "The Luminous Fish Effect” episode of Big Bang that evening, which, I have no doubt, was the starting seed that my imagination ran with.


4) You've said elsewhere that 95% of your art education happened outside of the classroom. What sort of things do you find yourself learning now, particularly with personal pieces?

Increasingly, it has become less about "getting better" ....and more and more about finding the heart of it all. Finding the "why" in the art I'm making. Thinking about the soul and storytelling of a piece. Learning to listen to my inner voice rather than drowning this out with critiques (from both my inner critic and others) about what I should change.


10) What keeps you coming back to fantastic art, both looking at it and making it?

There is a certain delight that comes from getting to visit (and re-visit) a childlike world of magic and wonder. It's the challenge and delight of telling a visual story that, to me, is truer than literal truth. It's getting to take these brief fleeting glimpses and imaginings and translate them so that others can see them too.

Click the image below to visit the Fantasy Magazine official site:


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LDiehl.com Site Re-Designed!

It had been a good solid year at least (two if you don't count the slight refresh I did last spring)... I fought the valiant fight -but, finally, I bowed to the pressures of re-design.

I wanted a site design that felt cleaner and lighter. I wanted to pare back the old bloated portfolio and divide it into more relevant categories. I also wanted to make a site/blog combination that felt like the same design. And, yes, I finally got rid of the splash page! =P

I'm happy with what I've arrived with, though I am sure there are still a few rough edges to refine. I'm especially happy with the snappiness of lightbox clone "lighterbox2" which I went with for portfolio image display.

Anyhow, do let me know what you think (and if you spot any errors!) =)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dandelion Sky

Done with this one! =)



I've also provided a high-res wallpaper (2560x1600) for download here: Dandelion Sky Wallpaper

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dandelion Sky

Just started a new summer promo/personal piece. I'm calling it 'Dandelion Sky' ...inspired a bit by Miyazaki movies, a bit by Ray Bradbury's book Dandelion Wine, and a whole lot by the feel of summer!

Much more to go: but I like the way it's shaping up!

(As you can see I also decided, after coloring the initial sketch, that this would make a really nice wide-format wallpaper.)





Monday, May 16, 2011

Alexander Character Portrait

Sharing a quick character concept/portrait I did of Lilly's little brother Alexander... for my ongoing River of Dreams graphic novel project. I actually finished this on Friday, but, as blogger was having hiccups then, I waited until now to post.

I also have a neat joint project coming down the pipe... which I will share further details about next post. =)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Moss Dragon - Final =)

After many many many hours more of work and re-envisioning... Two months "late" but who's counting? (I had my wedding in-between start and finish!)...I've arrived at a final painting of the Moss Dragon piece.

I love how closely it matches my original vision: warm morning sunlight, a cute little Irish gal, and dragon that looks so happy I can hear it purring. =) =) =)

Huge 'thank-yous' to my critique buddy illustrators, especially Mike Sass for his awesome paint-over toward the end!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Eternal Fire Map Final

And here we have the final map for Patrik's Magic of the Eternal Fire series. This was quite fun to work on and I am pleased with the way it turned out! Patrik was great to work with and I know his series will go far.

Now onward to my graphic novel! =)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eternal Fire Map

Why are words always cooler in another language? Especially words on maps...these in particular are Swedish. To me they sound fantasy already ;) As you may have guessed, I'm now working on the map for Patrik Bergström's Magic of the Eternal Fire series. Shading and more refinement to come...



Monday, May 2, 2011

Eternal Fire Chapter Heading

Here is the chapter heading for Magic of the Eternal Fire, which I just finished. This depicts a two-part arm bracelet, one for each of the children. This, along with the chapter number, will adorn each chapter of the book.

Next up I'm doing a map of this book's world.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Magic of the Eternal Fire - Final Cover

I just finished up the cover of Magic of the Eternal Fire for Patrik Bergström. I really like the way this one came out. The 'living fire' magic was a special challenge. Next up: working on a map and chapter heading(s) for Patrik.

In personal-art news: I've just revived and breathed a bit of new enthusiasm and life into my long time 'River of Dreams' project. I am hard at work expanding this story and fleshing out the world in which it takes place!

Also: this week I'm the featured illustrator on the wonderful VSS blog! You can read an interview with me HERE.




Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ever After

I mentioned that I got MARRIED a couple weeks ago to my sweetie Chris. Well, yesterday the official wedding photos arrived in the mail! Rob of Rob Grant Photography did a stunning job. Here are a few of my favorites:









Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Magic of the Eternal Fire - Color!

I got to do one of my favorite illustration bits today: work out a color-scheme. =)

Much care was taken on the greens chosen for the magic, its intensity, warm-cool balance, and making the wizard recede. I love how this has come together over the past few hours!

Many many hours of work to go until finished, of course, but very much looking forward to painting this one.




Monday, April 11, 2011

Magic of the Eternal Fire - Sketches

I just started a new cover for Patrik Bergström in Sweden. This is for a children fantasy chapter book/series that translates roughly to: The Magic of the Eternal Fire: Tim and Corinthia.

I'm quite excited about how this is turning out so-far and can't wait to start playing with color and light!








Friday, April 1, 2011

Tide of Avarice - Book! =)

So I just received a package in the mail from Mr. John Dahlgren in Switzerland with a beautiful printed copy of The Tides of Avarice!

In case you missed my previous post on the remaking of this cover, etc, you may follow this link: Here. The final printed book looks amazing. I especially love the embossing detail on the title text!

In other news: I made SPECTRUM 18 this year!!! Those of you who follow the industry know that this is a REALLY BIG deal. I am super-excited and very honored to have one of my works included alongside those of my illustration friends and idols =)









Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mawwidge!

Two days ago, on March 27th 2011, I married my sweetie Chris.

There was a light dusting of snow when we awoke that morning. Not enough to hinder any travel, just enough to make the ground pretty. It was quite appropriate in our eyes: in light of the blizzard in which we were engaged and my affinity for snow!

We held our ceremony and reception at The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek in Boyds, MD. It turned out to be the perfect venue for a wonderful day.

The setup crew of friends and family did an absolutely stellar job of transforming the room into cozy and magical setting, complete with roaring fire (the high was only 40 degrees that day!) and lovely heart-shaped woodland wreath over it.

The turn-out was amazing, at just under 100 in attendance it felt inclusive, yet quite intimate at the same time. The outpouring of support and love from our friends and family was incredibly touching. And nothing can put into words how wonderful it is to be married to Chris! =)

Below are a few photos of the rings I took the day after, as I was resting and playing around with Chris' camera. We are eagerly awaiting our Photographer's photos of the event! I will share our favorites when we have them!










Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tides of Avarice - Cover Remake

A few months back I worked with author John Dahlgren on two book covers. The first was a remake of Tides of Avarice, a piece I had originally created for him in 2007... The book had been since picked up by a Singaporean publisher and he needed the art updated and made into a wrap-cover format. It was quite a fun challenge to remake one of my own pieces in this manner! =)

New (amazon.com link):




New (image only):






2007 Version:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Moss Dragon - WIP4

Haven't forgotten about this piece. Today it underwent a bit of revision. Namely, I changed the woman to a much younger girl. It had been bugging me that this didn't quite fit into my children's art portfolio, making the character younger was the obvious solution =P

Also looking at TONS of photos of mossy forests around Ireland as inspiration. My goal is to have this one done for St. Patrick's Day -but we shall see! ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Princess and The Spaceman

In a little over two weeks I am marrying my wonderful fiancé Chris!!! =)

In honor of this: here is an image I created a couple months back (as a Christmas present) for him and our parents. It's a fantasy portrait of the two of us as kids! Me as a prairie princess wielding a golden paintbrush and him as a little boy wearing a tron-inspired suit...with a castle and rocket ship behind us respectively. The likenesses are referenced from old photos, and are pretty much spot-on =D






This is one of the 16"x24" canvas wrap prints from Costco. They turned out really nice!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Moss Dragon - WIP3

Made some more good progress on the 'Moss Dragon' piece today. I got a number of good critiques from my wave group yesterday evening. I found Cynthia's suggestion to go more "wide-angle" with the forest background especially helpful.

Also, trying to make the greens work in a more harmonious manner. I darkened and desaturated the background, shifting the hue, and adding bits of red-ish tint here and there. I do want this to be a primarily green piece, but I don't want it to feel like a war between greens! =P


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Moss Dragon - Sketch & Color Rough

Trying to get better about posting updates as-I-go for pieces (when I can). Today I started a new personal piece. The idea is an ancient moss-covered well in a magical forest. In this well lives a friendly "moss dragon" who enjoys sunning himself and having his chin scratched. =)

I've been listening to the Princess Mononoke soundtrack as I was working today ;)



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Deeper Darkness - Book Cover - Final

Actually finished this up a few days ago (though still awaiting confirmation of exact book dimensions before I send the author final files).

Much has happened since the grayscale painting. I've gone through many many different color options, tweaked a number of things, and actually sat down and painted each element in a finished fashion.

Quite please with how this one turned out! =)

Final Wrap Cover Painting:


Final with Title Text:


Color Rough:

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Deeper Darkness - Book Cover - Value Study

A ton of work yesterday on the grayscale "value study" for the Deeper Darkness cover.... so much so, that I was too zonkered to post it by the end of the work day! But here it is.

Today I play with color =)

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