Posts Tagged ‘art’

Occasionally I like to put up a few links to my Etsy store, and let everyone know what’s been going on. I’ll try to mark those posts clearly, so that people can skip over them if they choose to.

I haven’t been adding a lot of new items to the Greyed Out Etsy store lately, but I did renew a few items.
The Wilderland map sold, so it was renewed just yesterday.

As always, the Drawstring Bag section of the shop has a ton of options, everything from Freestanding Brown Suede dice bags to a variety of dice bags in colorful prints. I’ve even got a commercial up for the dice bags on Youtube.

If you’re interested in fantasy art, the Monster Skull might be a good choice… I based it off a hyena skull, but changed the proportions around a bit. There’s also a Skeletal Hand painted in acrylic on matte board.

Last but not least, my crooked houses.

This is just a small selection of the items I have listed, so please stop by and take a look. I also have a secret, unlisted coupon code – it’s 15% off your order when you enter THNXMUCH as your coupon. Pass the word along to friends, as well!


A veritable gallimaufry of topics.


The Artisan Dice Kickstarter has almost finished, and will almost certainly be done by the time you read this post. Originally asking for only $300, the campaign has exceeded all expectations, and is now at just over $80,000. It’s incredible. I emailed Charlie Brumfield, the guy who is running it and making all of these amazing wooden dice, and asked him if he would be interested in some of Greyed Out’s dice bags. He said yes, so I mailed him several, and they’re listed as part of some of the rewards levels. Being involved in the Kickstarter, even only very marginally as I am, is ridiculously exciting, and I really liked being able to see a project as cool as this one gain momentum. I’m really glad that it’s getting funded.

I’m posting another update to Airships of Marrakesh tomorrow, and I’m hoping to make it another 1,000 words or so. Stay tuned for that. I’ll try to post to my Twitter when the update goes live. (Find me at @greylikestorms) I’m excited about the project, and I’m thinking of delving into art with it as well, doing some thumbnails in a Moleskine and seeing if I can’t make a short comic out of Janus’ earlier adventure(s).

I’ve been working on Beast-09 the past few days, and I broke out my gesso and got to priming the Beast. He’s currently in 4 pieces – torso, legs, and arms. The arms will get put on last, since that lets me get into most nooks and crannies. I really like the model, and the pose ability, although I went with a fairly stock pose, nothing too action-oriented. Expect pictures as soon as he’s done, as well. The legs have been posted already, and I’m excited to see how the base will turn out once I have it fully painted. …on a random note, I literally just remembered that I wanted to try adding a back banner to Beast, and it completely slipped my mind until just now. I might have to dig through my remaining GW bitz tomorrow and see what I can come up with.

I’m also eyeing the Portable Warfare bags again – the Tactical Orange is very tempting, because it’s such an unusual color that it’s hard to miss, and stands out so much. The bag I threw together on the sewing machine to carry my foam trays is starting to show its age, and I’m afraid that one of these days it’s simply going to rip a shoulder strap and throw my miniatures across the concrete. I’d love to get a Portable Warfare bag with a full foam load-out, and those are priced reasonably at $85 for the load out I’m looking at, but even an empty one would be amazing. Unfortunately, it’s not an expense I can justify right now, so I just wanted to mention here that I sew some pretty cool dice bags, and have an Etsy store which can be found here. I have the Freestanding Drawstring Bag in Brown Suede up, and I can also make them in a smoky gray suede. If you’ve got a friend that needs a new dice bag, pass the word along! These hold a huge amount of dice, and by huge I’m talking upwards of 120 dice, provided that your collection includes some of the 12mm d6’s like mine does.

Tomorrow is going to be a writing/painting/sketching day, and I can’t wait. Thanks for reading!

Hello my dearest readers,


Tonight I have just a quick update, but lots of pictures.  I’ve been doing some character sketches in my moleskine for an idea I had for a story/comic/something.  It’s about a crew of wayward airship pirates and their quests to glory.  Well, it’s more than that.  But it’s going to be steampunk-ish, without being too over-the-top.


The tree above is something I did with watercolors, and I was surprised at how much fun I had doing it.  Normally I prefer acrylics over watercolors, but whatever I did this time seemed to work, and I’m really happy with how this came out.

I’m also planning to try doing some cartography work on leather, using acrylic paints to do some maps, perhaps of Westeros or other familiar fantasy places.  I recently saw a map on Tumblr done that way, and loved how it came out.

In the Etsy shop, I have a new dice bag available – the Freestanding Dice Bag in Suede.  I made one version in brown suede, and was ecstatic when it sold just a few hours after I listed it.  It’s been re-listed, and I plan to make a second version in the smoky gray suede to list as well.  Those pictures are shown below.



We’ve successfully moved into the new apartment, and the old place is no more.  Keys are handed in, and we are starting to unwind from what seemed like an eternity of moving boxes from one apartment to the next.  We own a lot of books, because we’re both literature-loving nerds, so there was a lot of heavy lifting involved.

The cats like the new place, and I think they’re still exploring and getting used to being in new spaces.  We’ve got almost everything set up the way we want it, except for a few things here and there.  The living room seems empty, but that’s because it’s hardwood floor, with a lot of space in the middle that’s begging to be filled with a rug when we can afford to pick one up.

I set up my desk today, which means that in the next few days I’ll be back to sketching and painting and working on dice bags.  I got supplies to start screen printing them, although I couldn’t find the right ink at Hobby Lobby, and will have to make a return trip for that.  To crowd source just a bit – do any of my readers have Photoshop skills?  I have a logo that I need modified just a little so that I can screen print it effectively, but I personally don’t have a copy of Photoshop.  It would probably take about 5 minutes of work for someone who knows what they are doing.

The plan right now is to start making dice bags with various roleplaying game related sayings on them, and I’ve posted on Reddit and gotten some great ideas for quotes.  Things like “Bag of Holding”, “Die Orc”, “May all your hits be crits”, and so on will soon be making an appearance on my dice bags.  If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them – they just have to fit on a 6″x7″ dice bag.  I could probably do custom bags as well, which would be a great option for birthday gifts.  Imagine a friend’s face as he opens his gift and finds a handmade dice bag custom printed with an in-joke specific to your group.


I’m a little behind on posting these here, I think.  I’m on 12/365 in my daily 365 Sketch Project.  No failures so far.


You can follow my Tumblr for daily updates – it’s a little easier for me to post the sketches there instead of here. is the address.  Thanks for reading!


A gallimaufry is defined as: a hodgepodge, jumble, or confused medley.

Today’s post will be somewhat like that, because I have no idea what I’ll be talking about.  It’s dark, and late, and my wife is working for another few hours.  I find that on days where she works the closing shift I always get somewhat morose and depressed after dark.  It doesn’t help that it gets dark at 5:30.
I’ve been working on more dice bags for my store.  This is a new design, made so that it stands up on the gaming table.  The bottom is a square or circle, which lets the bag stand on its own and means that it’s easy to reach in and grab the dice that you want, instead of having to fumble or spread your dice across the table. I really like this design, and the way the bags are made also makes them reversible, which means I can use two really cool but different fabrics to make them, and the buyer can simply turn whichever fabric he or she likes to the outside.  I’ll put up some pictures at the bottom of the post.
Speaking of store, Christmas is coming up and that means that Greyed Out is having a holiday sale.  Using the code HOLIDAYS15 will get you 15% off on your order.  I’m not sure what the shipping deadlines for Christmas are, but I’m happy to work with buyers to do a faster shipping method than my usual USPS Priority mail .
I haven’t been drawing much lately, and I regret that – I really should be drawing daily to improve.  I’ve heard that James Gurney, who writes and illustrates the Dinotopia books, sketches everywhere and almost any subject.  Which, to be honest, is a wonderful way to improve and keep up your skills.  He uses a large Moleskine Watercolour notebook, which is a great size for on-the-go sketching.  I’ve never used the Watercolour notebooks; I prefer the large Moleskine Sketchbook, but at some point I’d love to try out the Watercolour.
Unfortunately, I’ve come to the end of my current Moleskine – it has a single page left, at the very back next to the pocket.  I can’t afford to get a new one right now, but I think it will be on my Christmas list. They’re only $13 from the Book Depository website with free shipping, which is a great value.  I really like the large sketchbook Moleskine for doodling in, because it holds ink really well, and I also use it for journaling.  The 100 pages are enough to last almost a year, and the one I’ve just finished will be my third one done.
Kathryn and I picked up a small Christmas tree at Hobby Lobby the other day – it’s pretty cute, and stands only about three and a half feet tall.  It’s sitting next to the television.  Her mom is coming down to visit for Christmas, which is exciting – we don’t get to see her very much anymore due to her new job in San Francisco.
Gallimaufry!  I’m willing to try my hand at portraits and illustrations for a bit of extra Christmas cash.  I can do pets, people, Dungeons and Dragons character, whatever.  I can either create the art and then have it scanned, and email the finished jpeg, or I can ship out the original.  I don’t mind doing either.  Each illustration can be done in watercolor, acrylic paints, colored pencil, or black and white with regular pencils.  The largest I can do is 11″x14″.  They would be $40 each, $45 if you’d like the original shipped to you.  Contact me at greylikestorms(at)gmail(dot)com to discuss your preferences.
On to the pictures.  These are available in my Etsy store,

I was lucky enough to get hit with my twice-yearly cold/allergy thing a few days ago, so I’m not feeling particularly hot right now.  The past two days have been filled with lots of watery eyes, a runny nose, and general misery.  Today is better in that my nose and eyes aren’t watering, though now I’m in the coughing lots and lots stage.  That’s pretty much what I’ve been up to recently.  The weather has been weird; we’ve had weeks of highs in the 60’s, and suddenly we’re back at 75.  The end of this week we’re expecting temps in the 50’s during the day again and lows of mid-30’s at night.  Crazy.

My wife had her tests for gluten intolerance, so we’re going back to being primal, and I’m thrilled about it.  I’ve noticed a definite change between eating normally and eating primally.  Being primal really cuts down on hunger pangs, and I can eat a few almonds in the morning for breakfast, have a small salad for lunch, and be ready to have a big meal by dinner time.  On a conventional diet, I wake up starving, and have to eat far more often.  I also noticed the change in energy levels – while primal, I’m full of energy all day long, which is great.

We grabbed a 10-pound turkey for Thanksgiving, which I’m excited about – I’m used to working on Thanksgiving, thanks to my family’s restaurant, so it’s always nice to get a chance to enjoy the holiday and do actual holiday things instead of working in an industrial kitchen all day long.


Art-wise, I did the doodle below in my Moleskine.  I’m happy with it, and Kathryn says it looks very Dr. Seuss-like.  I may do a few for my Etsy.  Speaking of which, I haven’t had any sales lately, but I’d love to be able to ship out a few items for Christmas gifts – if you’re looking for gifts for that special someone, head over to and take a look.  I think all of my items are priced fairly, and within anyone’s budget.

It’s Tuesday, and I thought I’d go ahead and put up some links to fellow Etsy shops that might be a potential source of Christmas gifts. These are wonderful shops run by great people, so please be sure to check them out!

First up is Bumbleboo Handmades, which does illustrations, prints, and other small odds and ends.

Kecky and Jewelrenee also do illustrations and prints; Kecky is more focused on fantasy art while Jewelrenee does incredible watercolors of sea life, including octopi and great white sharks.

And last but not least, AntB does amazing pottery.

The past week or so has been filled with sketches and ideas.  I’m still trying to improve my skills, and that means drawing as much as possible.  Unfortunately, there’s always the interwebs, and that means distractions galore.  I spend a lot of time on Etsy, the Regretsy forums, miniature wargaming websites like Privateer Press, and illustration/art blogs.  However, I still have some images to show in today’s post.

I’m finding that I can get a little bit more work done when I’m away from my laptop altogether, and so I’ve occasionally been heading to Panera Bread in the early mornings to grab some coffee and sketch.  My wife often works an early shift, which means I can be at Panera from about 6:30 to 8:30 or 9am, when I catch public transit back home.  Panera Bread is a great venue, because they allow free refills on their coffee, and a small coffee is less than two dollars.  I’ll grab a coffee and then drink maybe 2 or 3 cups total over the time I’m there.  Not too bad, and right now it’s the only little pleasure I’m allowing myself when it comes to treats.  I know a lot of people grab coffee/lattes every day before work, which seems like a crazy amount of money to me, but I feel like $2 every week or so is worth the quiet sketching time.

What I’m currently working on is a storyboard for an idea I had regarding dwarves.  I have a few small thumbnail sketches worked out, and those will be posted below.  I’m playing with the idea of a greedy, out-for-gain group of dwarves holding a town hostage by blocking off the only exit roads.  It’s just a basic idea for now, but I’d love to explore it some more.  I’m not sure what direction I’ll take the final pieces in.  Karl Kerschl does a webcomic called The Abominable Charles Christopher, and he inks his works and then adds grey toned washes in Photoshop.  I lack Photoshop or a scanner, so I may have to do everything on paper.  We’ll see.

For my Etsy, I’m toying with the idea of doing some Halloween-themed items.  Unfortunately, everybody and their grandmother is jumping on the same scheme… which means it might be hard to jump out of the pack and get noticed regardless of what I do.  I did get a bat in a creepy mask painted up, and that will probably get photographed today.  I also have another small crooked house in the works, with a new roof design that I managed to stumble across on Pinterest, on a kid-sized gnome house.  I’m going to paint it up in fairy/dark colors and list it soon as well.  The hand-cut tiles look really great on it.

And now…. pictures!  Enjoy.  🙂

I’ve been absent for a few weeks, and they’ve been a bit busy.  The good news, though, is that I’ve been doing a lot of sketching.  That means that this is going to be largely a post consisting of iPhone pictures of those sketches, a bit of commentary, and a few bits of inspiration and what ifs.

I’ve been looking through my copy of Brian Froud’s Goblin Companion – a book that I’ve had for years and years now, but never really browsed through.  Some of the sketches below are inspired by Froud’s work from the Goblin book, or else they are copied from the book to try to improve my technique.  I’d like to think that I’m learning bits and bobs of technique from the books I’ve been looking over recently.

Several of the sketches are faces and costumes that I’ve done from memory, and yet others are inspired by the works of Justin Gerard(whom I mentioned in an earlier post).

Another great artist that I’ve just discovered is Paul Bonner, who does fantasy illustration of the best sort.  He just did a very long guest post on the Muddy Colors blog, describing his process on a wonderful painting that features dwarves and a great big upright beastie based loosely on a musk ox.

Direct link to the blog post here:

And now the big bunch of sketches:

…uploading images to WordPress is a pain in the butt.  Anyone have a faster way to do it?  I hope everyone enjoys the art post… I’ll try to be back sooner next time, so that I don’t have to go through such a lengthy image-inserting process again.  Whew!