Wylie Beckert


instagram facebook twitter
follow me

contact me

New Work: The Journey Posted on 05 Nov 2014

illustration by Wylie Beckert: a girl on a dragon flies above a fantasy map populated by books and mythical creatures

The journey is marked by false turns, road outages, and distractions of all kinds waiting to lure the unwary traveller into peril. Which way to go? Fortunately, those who go before us occasionally leave signposts, bridges, and messages of warning. One foot in front of the other...

It's been a busy couple of months and, as usual, I can't yet share any of the exciting work things I've been up to (but they exist, honest!) Rather than allowing myself to fade into complete obscurity while I hammer away at my latest round of ever-looming deadlines, I've been spending my scanty downtime prepping surfaces for some new traditional media work, idly planning a few personal projects for next year, and of course jumping on the occasional art contest.

illustration by Wylie Beckert: a girl on a dragon flies above a fantasy map populated by books and mythical creatures

Distractions everywhere!

This piece was prompted by the Artistic Journey contest over at DeviantArt - who could resist the lure of those deceptively bland, coloring-book-style templates?

It was a bit of a challenge to force a sense of three-dimensionality onto an incredibly flat and squiggly road, but I did manage to create enough depth to fit a troll underneath; sadly, all laws of perspective and reason were cast by the wayside in the process.

illustration by Wylie Beckert: a girl on a dragon flies above a fantasy map populated by books and mythical creatures

I fell back on toned paper for the underdrawing - it was a nice break from the more painstaking pencil drawings I've been doing for commissioned & traditional work lately; while it isn't ideal for my current coloring process, toned paper (used with a combo of pencil and white charcoal) seems to make for more polished stand-alone drawings.

sketch by Wylie Beckert: a girl on a dragon flies above a fantasy map populated by books and mythical creatures

The underdrawing, 11x17" on toned paper

The final image is colored digitally (process tutorial to come soon, time and energy permitting); my color choices on this one (Brown! Yellow-brown! Greenish yellow-brown!) will, presumably, surprise no one.

illustration by Wylie Beckert: a girl on a dragon flies above a fantasy map populated by books and mythical creatures


The ArtOrder Artists Series launch Posted on 20 Oct 2014

artorder shop banner
Huge, awesome news - today marks the launch of the ArtOrder Artists Series! If you haven't heard of this project already, it's an ongoing series of limited-edition prints, curated by art director Jon Schindehette and featuring the artwork of a whole roster of awesome artists.

I'm honored to be the featured artist for the launch - limited edition prints of my painting Colder Wind are now available in the ArtOrder store, and are being offered for pre-sale at 20% off this week only.

If you were at Illuxcon this year, you may have already seen a few of the early-stage poster proofs that Jon was toting around. These are some really nice large-scale limited editions - signed, numbered, nice paper, the whole deal. The image is one of my current favorites - painted straight out of an intensely inspiring week at Illustration Master Class, it's the first piece in which I finally got the hang of my traditional media process (documented in more depth HERE).

Wylie Beckert: Colder Wind limited edition art print.

I can't say enough good things about this project; Jon's really gone out of his way to secure some great artists and wring amazing work out of them - and with good reason. The ArtOrder Artists Series is different from any other opportunity for fantasy artists out there today - it's based around, in Jon's words, "support of the arts...and the artists." Artwork is commissioned for AOAS on the basis of a profit sharing program - where the artist gets to reap the majority of the profits, and retain all rights to their work.

In an industry that is often the subject of finger-wagging for its draconian treatment of artists, a project like this one - designed with the artists in mind - is a breath if fresh air, and I'm hoping that its commercial success will be a step towards redefining the terms and hiring practices our market considers "standard."

If you've been admiring Colder Wind from afar, please consider checking out this print series! You can find the product page over at the ArtOrder store, and more background information on the Artists Series here.

And, if you're an artist and love the idea behind this program as much as I do, please consider helping to spread the word.


Month of Fear - Demons Within Posted on 16 Oct 2014

banshee digital illustration
Another challenge for Month of Fear: "Demons Within." It's acrylic ink over pencil & white charcoal on toned paper (below), finished out with some slapdash digital color (above). Adding it to the pile of Things That Need Oil Paint.

...and what's that you ask? Are prints available? Oh yes they are.

demon acrylic ink underpainting

The underpainting.

I've been posting some progress shots of my Month of Fear pieces (along with whatever other non-NDA projects I'm working on) to my Instagram feed. You ARE following me on Instagram... aren't you?


View on Instagram


Month of Fear - Banshee Posted on 02 Oct 2014

banshee digital illustration
Month of Fear is on! Artist Kristina Carroll has once again rounded up a herd of illustrators for a series of weekly art challenges all October long.

My piece for this week's challenge ("Things That Go Bump") is a banshee; it's a 16 x 21.5" pencil drawing with some perfunctory digital tinting added. I'm thinking of revisiting this one as an oil painting (or at very least a more finished-out digital version), but at the moment my drawing board is thoroughly buried in commissioned work and so it will have to wait.

banshee pencil sketch

The pencil art in progress.


New Work: Tam Lin (traditional media) Posted on 23 Sep 2014

oil painting by artist Wylie Beckert - an illustration of the legend of Tam Lin.
I am a pathological recycler, especially when it comes to art. While it's always exciting to tackle a new idea, the amount of planning I like to put into the early stages of an image can make the process prohibitively time-consuming for personal work (which is always a struggle to squeeze in among the projects that pay the rent). Revisiting my older work strikes a nice balance - I get to apply new skills, knowledge, and media to a piece without the looming uncertainty that comes with planning a whole new concept from the ground up.

My latest painting is one such recycled idea. My original take on the Tam Lin legend was a digital piece, created back in February for the Month of Love blog. The pencil underdrawing was small - around 8x10" - and the painting was pretty rushed; at the time I created it, it was my favorite piece, but nonetheless it had a few problems, and I always intended to revisit it. Since I've been trying to get into doing more traditional media work, I ended up tackling the new version in acrylic and oils, and on a much larger scale (around 18x24".)

side by side comparison - two versions of my Tam Lin painting

On the left: digital, February 2014. On the right, acrylic and oil, September 2014.

This was a pretty complete overhaul, since I knew I didn't want to create an exact replica (because really, who wants to paint the same thing twice?) so I played with the poses, the scale, and the decorative elements of the flowing cloak and the background. I started more or less from scratch - new pencil underdrawing and all.

pencil underdrawing for my Tam Lin oil painting
After sinking 20-odd hours into the pencil underdrawing for this piece, wild horses couldn't have compelled me to put a brush to it. As usual, my local giclee printers came to the rescue, reproducing the sketch onto tinted paper which I then mounted on illustration board. I used white charcoal pencil to heighten the drawing and add fine details, then layered acrylic inks, colored pencil, and oil paint to build up the final image.

pencil underdrawing for my Tam Lin oil painting

Working over a reproduction of my pencil sketch.

I was glad to have the recent traditional-media experience of working on my Cold Wind and Colder Wind paintings - I learned quite a bit over the course of both paintings, and things went a little more smoothly this time around. I documented the whole process pretty exhaustively, so a blow-by-blow breakdown of the piece (and maybe even a video!) will be coming in the near future.

I'll leave the final judgement on which version is the "better" one to the viewer; each piece has certain aspects I like, and certain other aspects that will continue to haunt me (although probably not enough to compel me to paint a third version). Either way, it was a fun project to take on and I don't regret the extra time I put in on this one.

Wylie Beckert's finished Tam Lin oil painting, surrounded by the raw materials.
My working process, my style, and the quality of work I'm able to produce has evolved considerably in the past year, and as a result I'm left with a number of pieces which, while I still love them dearly, are no longer relevant to where I'm headed with my art. It's left me wondering which piece I'll be revisiting next.Whispers, I've got my eye on you...


<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Next >>


New Work: The Journey

05 Nov 2014
The ArtOrder Artists Series launch

20 Oct 2014
Month of Fear - Demons Within

16 Oct 2014
Month of Fear - Banshee

02 Oct 2014
New Work: Tam Lin (traditional media)

23 Sep 2014
New Work: Colder Wind

16 Sep 2014
New Work: Bottle Quest

12 Sep 2014
Tiny Art Compilation

06 Aug 2014
Illustration Master Class 2014: Cold Wind

07 Jul 2014
New Work: Y&R Beijing/Penguin Audiobooks

20 Jun 2014