Friday, August 8, 2008


Here is one I've squeezed in every now and then, a few minutes here a few minutes there...
In the past I would usually start and finish a painting in one sitting, but in the past I used to have a lot more free time. It's been interesting to come back to a painting every few days, it has it's benefits and drawbacks...

Here is the PSD if you are interested;
it's got lots of layers to show progress and much larger :)


  1. Hey Tom,
    glad to see you've found a little time for the blog again. That was so fascinating to see your process, I never realised you use so many layers (that must tax you PC a bit!)

    I found it interesting that you changed the person in the image, and I love his smiley face word balloon. The colours are lovely, but then it's you, so that's no surprise. :)

    What PS brushes are you using these days? Do you have any new ones to share? The old set you made over a year ago now has really helped my understanding of custom brushes, and almost always gets used when I'm painting my backgrounds!

    Thanks for sharing the file Tom, it's given me lots to think about.

  2. Hellooooooooo Mr. Dave! How are you?
    I usually use even more layers than that :O Generally I don't go back very often though it has saved me quite a bit of trouble from time to time. I just like being able to see a painting from start to finish sometimes and as an added benefit it allows me to share the process.

    I've been having fun with the word balloons lately, such a cheap focal point but it's an interesting way to affect the mood of a piece.

    As far as brushes, I've been using and really enjoying a mixture of Jaime Jones brushes as well as Whit Brachna's. They are so so good. Jaime posted his awhile back and Whit's come with his 2nd Environment video over at The brushes alone are worth the purchase but the information in the video is invaluable. Quit using my crappy brushes! Ack! Hehe.

    Glad you enjoyed the stuff my friend!

  3. it's so great to see your progression, growth and experimentations.
    you still using real paint here and there?

  4. You use more layers than that?!? Your PC/mac must be pretty good! I normally think I have too many layers if I approach 20, maybe I should rethink that after looking at your work, there are some benefits for having many layers.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the brushes, they're just amazing. I'll send you a proper email in a minute...

  5. Texahol: Thanks dude! I don't get enough traditional paints in for sure, I even had a portrait class at the local community college this past semester but I missed much of it. I am using pencil quite a bit more though, posted a ton of thumbnails on my sketchblog if you are interested. poop.

    Dave: Yeah, I dunno - there's really not much in the way of practical reasons to have so many layers. I generally flatten after awhile and save a different version each time. It's never really bothersome while working, but sometimes while saving and opening I can take a stroll around the block and still have time left over. I mean, good lord have you ever had a file big enough that it has it's own loading bar just to prepare itself to save? :(

  6. nice job on this blog.

    i will add a link from my blog to yours.

  7. yeah dude, I'm art-stalking you. I've been following your sketchpadofdoom blog. I learn a lot just from looking at your stuff. A lot of your recent stuff makes me want to do environments...but we all know how those turn out :P

  8. just followed your link from ca here...
    your environs really inspires me, especially the oil painterly style and the warmish palette what you use recently.

    congrats and all the best! :-)

    ps: caorg nz workshop?

  9. Tom!!! when are you going to release a freakin' art book? May I suggest the title be: Background Porn.

    The colors in this are insane, the I want to play a videogame that looks EXACTLY like this piece.

  10. nice update! I really enjoy your landscapes!

  11. Wow. I'm completely awed. This looks great - the colors are amazing and the landscape makes sense and flows together. Really beautiful stuff... I really don't know what else to say! Wish I could paint like that!

  12. Hehe, yeah I've experienced "Preparing to save" a few times on the first Kingfisher book, my PC was a bit old and the spreads were bigger than A3 with a good few layers. It used to take over ainute and a half every time! I was even getting lag on my brush strokes!

    Thanks god I upgraded!

  13. Jeez, I really must proof-read before posting!

  14. Hi Tom,
    Here from Argentina
    I saw your art in and I'm amazed about your light aplication.
    Please keep posting you really boost my inspiration! :D
    A question, can you recomend me an excersice to practice light/value.
    If you have some time check my blog, and trow me some hard critics :P

    Thanks for share your knowledge!

  15. gorgeous tom - one of your best palettes. I believe Sargent said something along the lines of how good drawing and painting could be learned and achieved through hard work, but a great sense of color is natural. You definitely have a great natural sense of color .

    That's my story. You rock :)

  16. Scotty: Thanks buddy! I've really been experimenting with color again for the first time in awhile. Though I think my approach to color is a natural intuitive one I don't think I was exactly born with it. I am constantly amazed and pleasantly surprsied at how much I have to learn about color. P.S. You rock!

    Juan Caruso: Thanks very much! A recommendation? Paint a lot and experiment with each painting. Do value studies, do monochromes - study other artists paintings and study photographs. Most importantly always think and analyze what you are doing and why. Even your mistakes are vital to success.

    David Cousens: Oddly enough I didn't catch any errors. I've really got to start compressing more :O

    Emma: And I wish I could do all the things you do so well :) Thanks for the kind words Emma!

    Abeoh!: Thanks very much!

    sp: Hummmmmm, dunno. I think I'd rather create a simple story and make a book? Hehe I like your title though! Tell my boss you want to play a videogame that looks like that would you? Keke.

    Mark: Thanks very much! Not sure about the NZ workshop, I probably won't make it. :\

    Texahol: Thanks Devin. Really happy to hear that you can learn from looking at this stuff. You should do environments if you want you sissy! Let me know if I can help.

    c.b. canga: Thanks very much senõr!

  17. One of the most gifted landscape,environment painters in the world ( in my eyes) Awesome stuff Tom. I need to watch tutorials!

  18. Really wonderful, you can feel the atmosphere.

  19. I'm digging your colour vibrations. Almost as though it's anti-local-colour...but not. Anyway, keep up the good work!

  20. I really feel like we are just seeing the very beginning of something fantastic with you. You are going to go real far like... how is that for a yearbook entry. watch out sparths and the likes

  21. TOM

    THANKS for your kind words! Sorry it took me so long to reply I'm finally back to my computer. Your work's always been so inspiring it's one of the reasons to my progress :) Keep up the good work and UPDATES.

  22. alina: Thank you kindly miss <3

    krahenbuhl: Ahh shucks buddy, too kind. You're a constant inspiration and I miss working on the same project as you. I need to bug you more, much more. <3
    eric orchard: Thanks dude! What's it feel like? Jello?

    marcobucci: Thanks dude! Anti local color, hmmmmm hmmmmmmmmm. I've been messing with color layers, they've really freed my thoughts up a bit.

    adam ford: Hahaha, yearbook. Really put a huge smile on my face dude, appeciate it. I need to bug you more for advice and critique - and to show me more of those Capoeira fighter backgrounds. Also, Sparth is really nice and awesome :)

    Carguin: Awwwwww, thanks girly. You need to update more too! You're not even in school right now :O What are you doing? Does it have anything to do with Castlevania? Huh?! When you graduate anyhow?

  23. Hi Tom :D i can comment on your blog now yay! (or maybe my memory fails me and i just couldnt find the comment button last time) loving all your new updates, and thanks for sharing psd for this one too

  24. Urk... So, where is the mysterious link to Cicinimos sexy brushes?! <3

    I do wonder though, you seem to do a really great job with simple looking brushes and that I find really inspiring - like blocks of colour / hardround come pallette knife look, theres not too much in the way of a whored texture brush look... which is something im aspiring to achieve, alas ive got a long fucking way to go!

    Keep doin what you do dude! <3

  25. Excelllento work! brother....

    great to see all those works and speedpaints...amazing works!
    why dont you post a video tut?

    it would be a wonderful inspiration!

    regards from India

  26. Awesome! Im always inspired by your stuff.

  27. You know I'm kidding about your name. I love you name!! Hehe. Update!!!!!

  28. I love your art works.
    WOW !!! Great~!!!
    I saw how you paint it~!
    I will watch your blog everyday!!!
    I will add a link from my blog to yours.

  29. Gorgeous colors on this. I really like how sketchy the whole piece is, yet how unified it ends up. Looks like something out of a dream...
    Thumbs Up!

  30. Go Tom! go Tom go! awesome work!


    John p.

  31. deadred: Yay! You can comment. Happy you are enjoying the show and the psd :) How have you been?

    jack: Uhhhh, in here somewhere:
    No matter what brush you use you still have to control your colors, shapes and edges. You could paint with the back end of a buick as long as you do that. Have fun painting :)

    Victoria: Vic! <3 How is the mouse treating you?! You have any IM? I want to hear about it! I wanna move to LA :(

    gulzar: Thank you kindly! I have a few video tutorials a couple posts back if you are interested. I plan on doing some more in the future too. Cheers!

    Billy George: No way! Glad you posted here, I'm continually impressed with your art. You should come back to the mouse, but come work for Avalanche now - I need to steal all your secrets!

    Carguin: Lies! I know you hate me! Ok I updated! Saw your entry in the Udon Street Fighter book today!

    maxer: Thanks very much dude! Glad you like! Been enjoying what you have to share on your blog as well!

    kyle cooper: Thanks dude!

    jpforjohnpark: Thank you kindly!

  32. "No matter what brush you use you still have to control your colors, shapes and edges. You could paint with the back end of a buick as long as you do that."

    So nice to hear that said! I've been sticking to simple brushes for a while and hell, i still love a squashed hardround more than other stuff!

    Awesome update btw.

  33. Great stuff, Tom! Thanks for uploading the PSD. It's always fascinating and eye-opening to see how people work.

    Keep up the great work.

    I've linked to your blog from mine for good measure!

    Cheers, Nick.

  34. Wow Amazing..................Great color............