Thursday, October 31, 2013


This is one of the easiest props you could want to make. Here's my tutorial at Hauntforum.

Dry Erase Madness 7


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dry Erase Madness 5

Dry Erase Madness 4

Thing 2 is six years old. About a year ago he created what he calls "Heart Monsters." Basically they are flying, heart-shaped, and ravenous. I loved the idea and included three of them in my Erebor poster. But he does NOT approve of my rendering of them as above, because of the veins.

From the hands of the young master:

He would like you to know that they can get EVEN BIGGER than this, and are sometimes cannibalistic.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dry Erase Madness 2

The oddest thing in the Indian Ocean is not the abundance of aquatic eggs, it's the unfortunate Monodontic Eel. It has but one tooth, eyestalks on the opposite end, and generally poor health.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dry Erase Madness 1


Day 1

Props in Progress

Done so little for Halloween this year...working on just a few captured specimens for the Witch Hunter's Barn.

These will be mandrake roots. I'll post pix when they are finished.

A few more pinned fairies on the corkboard, awaiting paint.

Misty Mountains Old

The Dwarven Song of Old Wealth. All 27 verses. In the halls of Erebor (The Lonely Mountain). 37x60. Words and runic alphabet by J.R.R. Tolkien. Illustration by M.K. Davis.

I had more details in mind for this one but as is typical these days, it was gathering dust on the drawing table. And hanging off of the drawing table! At five feet long and over three feet wide, it's honking big. But it perfectly occupies the wall over my stairwell. I had to tape a screwdriver to a bamboo cane to mount it.

The Tolkien atlas illustrates a much simpler, much more shallow Erebor. But where's the fun in that? I wanted a cutaway dungeon version more fitting for "hollow halls beneath the fells" in "places deep where dark things creep."

No attempt was made at consistency of scale or of even being reasonable with it, but what you probably can't see in this pic are many ladders, bridges, elevators, and tunnels. By the time I got to Smaug's heap, the notion of chalices and statuary in silhouette just didn't make sense anymore. But should I change my mind, I can always go back to it.

BIG THANKS to Mike Roberts for getting my initial layout printed on that wonderful paper. Don't know what it is but I wish I had a ton of it. It made a gorgeous clean print and has taken a lot of abuse without wrinkling or tearing.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Furlough is the Mother of Intervention

12 days into this furlough so far.  I s'pose it's time to seek supplemental employment. My portfolio at is now freshly redesigned with a great html5 template from html5up, and a responsive, cross-platform lightbox.

Also, and more fun, I finally made good use of the YargCade domain and uploaded 5 cool Flash games!

Hook'Em was an experiment that turned out to be one of the most useful things in the house when my boys were toddling. Seriously. Once you start it, all they use is the spacebar. The demo has only 2 of the 7 levels but if you chunk down the ten bucks for the full version, your younger kids will be occupied long enough for you to argue with Comcast, locate your sanity, maybe even shower. Guaranteed.

The full version also includes an Explore and Learn mode, which carefully explains to your little ones that they might not actually be able to pull in a whale with a rod and reel, and that some things are better left in the water.

Also a spacebar game, and nearly as attention-keeping as Hook'Em. In this case you get to choose between five sharks and basically eat everything you see. That's it. They love it. Clear a screen and if you carry a few things to the surface, a caged diver comes down. Ram his cage a few times and he soils his wetsuit. They LOVE that. Did I mention this is free?

Choose parts to mix and match your monster, then send it out to gather more parts. Sick. Free.

Broomstix is not aimed at kids. Help 13 witches fly to the rendezvous point without getting hit by bats or eaten by the Great Pumpkin. It is rated PG for cartoon nudity and mild language. Free demo. Full version is in the works.

Shoggoth is more of a toy. Eat things, avoid pain. My kids love it though. Free.