THE HULK… riding a lion???


Yes my friends, all things are possible if you are the Hulk.  At the request of my very close roommate (oh and fiance) she suggested I should do a painting of The Hulk.  But of course not just any rendition of the Hulk, but he must also be riding a lion… because hes the hulk, he can do what he wants.  So since her birthday was coming up, and all my other plans went down faster than Megatron at the end of Transformers, I decided I would undertake this massive undertaking… with the undertaker? haha ANYWAYS here was my process!

First as will all good drawings you start with a sketch.  Of course i dont have the foresight to actually take a picture of a sketch so we will skip that part.  Then I go hunting, and of course since we are drawing the hulk, I of course use my own body as a reference…

Hulky Reference

Hulky Reference

There, now that you are all satisfied by the hulky ness, we move onto the first real drawing of the art piece, and the finalized sketch that I went with.

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Pretty sweet yeah?  Alright so time to get down to business.  So after this lovely drawing was completed, it was time to start with color.  Luckly the Hulk is green, so its pretty easy to decide on that, but I didn’t quite know what else, so of course I went with purple, because it goes well with green I felt, and then would go well with the Yellowish color i was thinking of doing for the lion.

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So I got really excited while painting the hulk and forgot to take an in-progress… sorry about that.  Anywho here we go on an image spree of the rest of the hulkyness.


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So I honeslty didnt know what to do for a background.  I was pondering may things, like the African plains, or some New York city street, but then I thought, what could the hulk possibly be doing while riding a lion?  The answer was obviously destroying a harmless brick wall… So I did.

And here is basically how it all came out!


Tell me what you think guys!



Pisgah Covered Bridge

Ok so this time I have a post for the WIPS of my painting of the Pisgah Covered Bridge.  When I was younger, my family and I went to many covered bridges.  My mom has a real liking of them and I never passed up a chance to get close to water (yeah im odd).  Anyways one of my favorites that I remember going to was the Pisgah Covered Bridge.  So I decided to paint it and then give it as a present to my mom for her birthday (awesome artist son right!?).  So here goes the creative process of this work.

First I worked from a picture my mom took long ago.  I unfortunately don’t have a digital version of that picture, but you can google to find some images of the bridge.  I started off with a real nice, light, and detailed line drawing of the bridge. I then started right away with the wood work on the bridge.

Bridge 1

I used a combination of Prussian Blue and Chinese Orange watercolors to achieve the nice aged wood look.  It is all about layers in my work.  I start with the dark layers, putting a light base where they will be.  Then I put more layers on them and the next darkest areas.  I keep laying washes of blues and oranges to get the colors just right and add that bit of randomness that is in the old wood.

I then started on the water.

Bridge 2

Normally the bridge didn’t have this much water under it, but hey this is my painting so I did what I wanted.  Once again all about slow adding of layers to build up value and color.

Bridge 3

Started adding grass.  I would end up constantly adding more and more texture and layers to the grass throughout the entire painting process.

Bridge 4

Added the roof and tress.  I removed a lot of the unsightly marks of time from the bridge, but left the natural effects of time.  I heard the bridge used to be red but I have always known it as this so I kept with its true color, just minus the graffiti.

Bridge 5

Ok now we are getting somewhere!  first wash of trees put in and the rest of the river.  Unfortunately this is a turning point in the painting.  I really liked it at this point, but since the very beginning I had planned on putting leaves in the foreground of the painting with acrylic paint.  This gave me a lot of trouble as I was not as experienced at this.  I had a really hard time, and ended up have to do some serious fixing on the piece because I put too much to fast and almost covered up the bridge!  Luckily I did manage to fix it but I still feel it isn’t quite as good as it was before the foreground leaves.

Bridge 6

The more finished picture coming soon!


Well I have started work on a new dinosaur drawing.  Technically its a marine reptile but its the same catagory of drawing.  It is of a Tylosaurus.  I did the first sketch of him, and some color work up the other day and now im going to do a finished art piece of him.  My plan is to use aquaboard for the first time to see how that goes, I got a steal on it from hobby lobby!  I think they are getting rid of it, so I bought them out.  Any ways, here is what I have done with a little bit of a view of my work station for the sketch and color comp work.

Grand Cities Art Fest

Booth 2aAlright, so I know it’s been like a month since the Grand Cities Art Fest in Grandforks, but I honestly have not had time until now to make any sort of post on it!  So overall the show went pretty well for me.  I met a lot of awesome people, talked with a lot of people, and saw some cool art.  I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s comments and feedback on a lot of my art pieces.  I also sold some original artworks that makes be a bit sad to see go but I guess that’s the way it goes at these art shows (little bit of a Blue Oyster Cult reference there).



My booth set up went really well, and worked perfectly.  The display went up real easy, and on Saturday we had some pretty gusty winds and it had NO problem with them.  I felt my booth looked really good and I really enjoyed being there, so next year I may have to try it again!  On Sunday it rained almost all day, but it was a light drizzle so that’s no big deal.  It was actually nice because the smaller crowd let me meet and talk to a lot of really cool people.


The Making of Amargasaurus

Alright so Prehistoric times makes calls for dinosaur art pieces to post in their magazine.  He does not pay but hey its free publication and I so do enjoy a little excuse to do some dino drawings from time to time.  Naturally when the call was for the ever so awesome looking Amargasaurus, I was all but to excited to start the work.  I did some serious research this time into my dinosaurs overall build and anatomy.  I checked out several skeleton reconstructions online and other artists interpretations.  I also checked out the muscle structure of both Giraffes and Elephants.  With this in mind I decided to go a bit of a different rout with the dino. First of all, I wanted two of them, secondly I wanted them to not be from a profile but looking at the view.  So I started with my sketch:

I was pretty happy with the sketches, they showed nice perspective and detail in the sail features on the necks.  I then redrew the sketches onto a 20×30″ illustration board.  I masked off the dinosaurs and started with the sky and background:
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Now time for the Dinos!  I used references from Iguanas and Alligators for the skin and coloration.  Its amazing how well the iguana worked for this one!  Go ahead and look them up and you would see why!
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Then Finally, the finishing touches!  Adding a bit of airbrush to the sun, some sand and lighting effects, white highlights, all the fun stuff you get to do at the end.  The final result:

What!? Who is this James Skinner?

Welcome to James Skinner’s artistic homepage of fanciful imagery.  A portal to all things artsy by me and of interest to me.

Currently I am a High School art teacher at Williston High School way up in the North lands of the country in North Dakota.  Since we have snow nine months out of the year here one tends to have time during our “winters” to work on art, and that is what I do.  If you are interested on this site you will find enough fantasy images that fulfill the passage of time over the winters of my beautiful state of North Dakota.

When I am not out shoveling the drive way or enjoying the few rays of sunshine of the summer, I am available to do illustration work, concept design, and other miscellaneous art endeavors.


Some Works Coming!

Alright so I have like 4 or so projects in the works. (really they have been in the works for awhile I just keep starting new ones) So my plan is to get them up here for you all to see soon. One is a dragon slayer, another is a good old figure work, a new piece of paleoart, and maybe some dancers. Hopefully a lot of finished work coming in the future along with some other new ones.
Here is a little peek at some stuff,

Until then I am hoping to do more Paleoart and some figure work in the future.  I may even try and venture outside of my comfort zone a little bit so we shall see.

Triple Goddess, Serpent’s Stare

Would you like a little insight into the making of one of my favorite pieces I have done??? Well your in luck because I just so happen to have a little bit of a in progress viewing of one of my Triple Goddesses!

Serpent’s Stare was actually the first one of the three painted, and is by far the youngest looking one of them all.  When I first started it was all about the skin.  I felt her skin should by my first step since it was the lightest and furthest back part of her body.  I really feel this was one of my first big breaks in eye painting and delicate skin tones.  After that it was all about the fabric, and weather or not I could get the look I wanted. To be honest the lace did not come out quite as well as I had hoped but it was alright

 Then it was onto the snake and the hair.  Now I had a really good time painting the hair and had little to no issues with it.  But the snake was a different story.  Scales are hard!  I learned that they are not random but are arranged in a very geometric style and if I didnt do that they looked really cheep and clumsy.  Also the overall shape of the snake with the diamonds and the lay of it over here was a challenge and I feel i succeeded in some parts more than other but I was happy with it at the time.
After the snake I added the back ground colors and elements to really make the orange pop and give the whole piece its complimentary color scheme.  I have to say that while painting this piece it was my favorite thing to do and I was SUPER excited to see the end project.  I felt it was by far my best piece up to that date and was ecstatic to have such a nice painting.  Overall the around 40 hours of work was well worth it.
Watercolor 15"X22"
Serpent’s Stare  15″X22″ Watercolor

What!? Who is this James Skinner?

Hello and welcome to my little neck of the internet.  If this is your first time seeing my work then GREAT/Awesome, here is a link to my gallery website Link, and my facebook page link.  On my blog here I will be talking about artsy type stuff that I find cool, new things that are happening in my world of art, and general posts of things that I have done with some WIP involved. 

As my lady in the woods beckons you deeper into the unknown mist please follow me here on my little adventure that is the life of an art teacher and artist in the great state of North Dakota!