This portrait of Mordenkainen envelopes so much of what I love about my career as an artist – from portraiture, to narrative storytelling, rendering of reflective surfaces, dramatic lighting effects, and most importantly conveying a sense of wonder and mystery. We may never know what the wizard was working upon as we interrupted his contemplative thoughts in his study, but we can be certain we will feel the wrath of his ire!
Ever since discovering Dungeons and Dragons in my youth, I have enjoyed the complexities, challenges, and excitement of role-playing the character class of wizards. This portrait represents the deep passion I have for gaming and the art creation infused within my youth around roleplaying. It was this wellspring I returned to again and again as this work evolved.
Reaching back deep into those wizardry gaming roots are a set of bookends I created during my hard-core D&D days, with one side a diorama composed with the elements from Grenadier’s ‘Wizard’s Room’ lead figurine miniature set. I loved to paint these miniatures, owning handfuls of the diverse sets produced, and enjoyed endless hours of enjoyment in use in our campaigns.
Due to the lack of access to proper art supplies as a young artist, all small details on these figurines were rendered and applied with sharpened toothpicks. I am happy to state those logistical hurdles are no longer a hinderance in my art creation now! I have long ago learned that proper tools are part of the pathway to creating masterful, professional works of art.