Fantasy is a very broad heading which covers any of my paintings which are not "historical" but can also cover historical fiction or science fiction without a fantastical or magical element.
I have done many oil paintings to illustrate elements from prolific model-maker and wargamer, Ian Allen's imagination. His stories from "Tales of the Golden Head" that became wargame scenarios were published in the "Classic Wargamers Journal" in 2010-11, and I was fortunate to be asked to illustrate them with drawings.
Ian and I went on to develop a firm friendship as I was lucky to have a happy knack of bringing to the page what he had in his mind. This has resulted in many thousands of pounds worth of commissions over the last 10 years and Ian probably has about 16 drawings and a dozen paintings by me decorating his house (along with his fascinating eclectic collection of military and civilian, often scratch-built, models).
Researching for reference for Ian's commissions led me down many paths which I had never anticipated and for which I am extremely grateful. We found we share a love for the fantasy paintings of Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell and their themes of powerful, yet seductive women and men have been very appealing. I found some of my live models were willing to assist with this genre and "The Huntress" and "It is thus......" are two examples. I'm really keen to do more of this type of fascinating subject if anyone cares to commission some.
"It is thus.....", taking place within a dark temple-like palace, gave a great excuse to research chiaroscuro techniques of dark and light, particularly inspired by Rembrandt's "The Night Watch".
The Ork Boss was inspired by a client's collection of Warhammer 40,000 Games Workshop miniatures and is a good example of how one can take a wargame or model setup and make it seem "real".
My inspiration for "how to paint what doesn't exist" is the wonderful American artist and illustrator, James Gurney.