Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Hello and welcome stranger,

Sometimes its hard to be productive. Last Monday I spent half a working day figuring out how to make an animated gif, so I can make my deviantart avatar blink... yes very useful, and time well spent indeed. You can impressed by all the blinking glory on my DA page. I also finshed this:
of which I am quite fond. I also finished this:

Currently though i am working on some Black n White stuff for my friends at Telsukita.
Its a great fanzine, from Spain. Normally I am not to big on working for fanzines, but my folio desperately needed some bnw pieces, and they are mates, so what can you do? Expect these in a month or so when the mag is printed.

Also working on the 2.0 version of my website, but its slow going. Webdesign was never my forté.



all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Friday, 31 July 2009


Howdy y'all,

As some of you have complained I have stopped updating the old blog, rest assured though weekly blogging will be comencing relatively soon. Basically Blogger and I dont see eye to eye on the matter of pictures. I cant seem to upload any clickable ones. Sure I can hyperlink and all that, but not clickable thumnails essentially. Unless I can figure it out soon, ill move this blog to an other provider (since showing of illos is sortof important to an artist..).

What I've been up to:

-I've entered the Artorder Vampire bnw contest, which was a great refresher in my Pen n Ink skills check out the result here
-I've entered the Artorder Earthquake Dragon contest, which resulted in some great feedback. Check out the result here
-I've entered the Artorder Drow vs Mindflayer Cover contest, the jury is still out on that one, but I face some serious competition. I am updating the piece to fit in my folio, but check out the version I entered here
-I am toying with Deviant Art's new portfolio option, check it out here
-I finally received some price enquiries from a couple of companies, one a pretty sizeable contender. Hope it all works out, I am enthused as hell.
-Finished a couple of personal comissions, brought in some nice bucks. I'll upload 'em when I have the time, al in traditional media, so they need a 'lil digital love, before they are presentable.
-Started a semi-weekly sketchbook on my DA page, finished two so far check em out here

see all of you nice folks next week ;-)

all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Ralph, Keith and practice

Welcome back Internet people,

You know, writing e-mails is pretty hard work in my humble opinion, well enquiry e-mails at least. I have inmense trouble with gauging how i come across in text. Certainly because of the language barrier (i hail from the Netherlands). I like to think i can hold up a decent conversation in English, I also worked in the UK for a stint, which helps, but with written communication you just never know. With converstations, you can check people's bodylanguage for understanding and their pitch for their general mood. Maybe i should invest in a course in written English or something.
What is also causing me slight trouble is the fact that i am still unpublished, and quite unsure to try and hide it, or mention it clear in the initial email traffic. My gut feeling is stating it loud n clear, but when putting such bold thoughts to digital paper, It always seems to come out wrong. To AD's (or artists) reading this: any pointers are greatly apreciated. My own pointer to starting artists: Never send out emails at 2 am, tired over enthusiastic artist make stupid mistakes. I made a very emberassing one, that may well haunt me for a couple of years.

You'll be pleased to know that the ranting stops from this point onwards:

I have put some projects on hold (dont worry if you are a paying client this wont affect yoursI have far to little of you to start cancelling on ye) to practice my hybrid skills. Like I yapped about before, combining acryllic/watercolou paintings with digital overpainting seems to really be my schtick. The eventual goal is to create a method of painting that I am comfortable with, has the smoothness to apeal to a widerange of audiances but the texture and weight of a traditional painting. In effect using photoshop to speed up the difficlut elements of my beloved acrylic paintings.
Pictured below is a new version of a painting I did two years before, and below that it´s previous incarnation.

Various elements have changed as ye can see. I fixed the right arm becuase it looked like a club, I also changed the size and rendering of the wisps, mixing up the sizes to create more depth. This ofcourse has nothing to do with digital painting, I should have gotten it right the first time round. The lighting has become a whole lot more dramatic ofcourse, something i feel I can achieve a whole lot faster and better in photoshop. As a quick test it was more effective than I initially expected... I expect more tests like these in the future. Have to give a shout out to Ralph Horsley, I really like his aproach to acrylic painting, enough that I must be careful not to copy him...

I also talked about emulating Keith Thompson´s style as practice. This is the result:

I dont like the resulting rendering too much. I did learn quite a few things about layers, and what you can achieve with areally tight pencil phase, as opposed to my customary loose scribbles. I did like the design of the bot, something I would have scrapped as too odd, if I never came across Keith´s work. He truly demonstrates the beauty of odd designs.
I have one last self plug. I plan to something for this compo. Hope I can get it finished. So if you are a member of the community, and you like my entry, why not vote for me?

catch you all next time.
p.s. Never the one to indulge in self promotion: Nick Egberts is looking for new clients. You can find samples of his work on and . If you are interested feel free to send him an email at
all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Dear Internet people,

Well I am back, Edinburgh was, well, awesome. We stayed at a hotel on Waterloo Place, which right beside Old Town and within striking distance of the cities manyfold tourist sights which include: a vulcano in the center of the town, underground tunnels/ruins, a plethora of churches and some creepy graveyards... All in all very inspiring.
I have finished some more artorder contest pieces. I am going to take a small break from the compos for a small comission, and because I am busy wrapping up the paperwork side of starting up a business. Also I shall start a second marketing push, and I shall be sending many e-mails to unsuspecting (and a couple of suspecting) Art Directors (this is a subliminal message: hire Nick hire Nick hire Nick.). What was that? I dont know what you mean..... Hire nick

Still busy on the big piece, I talked about a couple of weeks ago. Almost ready to share some tasters with you guys. I am also busy studying the art of Keith Thompson. Visionary stuff, and his method seems very efficient, and is widely documented in a wide range of articles, dvd's and books.
all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Monday, 25 May 2009

another holiday

Sorry for the lack of updates these last two weeks. Your going to have to wait tad longer unfortunately I am of for a nice holiday to Edinburgh till next saturday.

Friday, 8 May 2009

children's book?...

Dear internet people,

The results of the Boll Deevil contest are in! I entered this:
There was definately some fierce competition, a lot of industry veterans as some young guns (like me). Instead being mercilessy gunned down by the big guns, I fared better then I expected!
I got in to the honorable mentions (basically in the last 8, out of 52 entries), and they had this to
Nick Egberts - Everyone loved the humorous "horror" image. Gotta love the
expression on the Boll Deevil! Voted "Most Likely to win a Children's Book

I was well pleased with the end result, though the text Jon wrote got me wondering. I did approach the giant bug subject with a touch of mirth (the encapsulated dog and sleeping gown) and I always regarded my own style as stylised, textured, a bit whimsical perhaps, and quite detailed. I never tought "children's book suitable" though. I am sure a children's book publisher would never print said piece (in holland we might, we are quite odd), there is certainly a lesson to be learned here. People (and certainly AD's) look art a painting quite differently than it's maker does. I thought I already learned this, but the extent of it surprised me.

I need to keep this mind during my next project. It's gonna be a huge battle scene where five protagonists square off against a load of undead, while the sun is setting. i'll do it fully in photoshop, and its going to be about 14''x40". The idea is that it is supposed to be the crown to my sword n sorcery portfolio, after which Ill submit my work to the lovely folks at Wizard. I would be great if they were my first real clients. I dont believe in this hokey of starting with small €10,- gigs and slowly worming my way to the top. Drive and determination should prove just as useful!

That's all the self indulgent babble of the day folks, catch you all next week.

kind regards,


p.s. If you have the time check out the artorder blog next tuesday (about noon Pacific time)for the results of the next concept compo.

all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Ostrich and I

Dear internet people,

In previous installments talked about concept contests, well I finshed another piece for the Artorder Blog:

I finished this in about one work day. Very fast, for me at least. I've spent a couple of days in the country (Limburg, a (the only) hilly region of the Netherlands), which gave me tonnes of inspiration and motivation.. Illustrators spend a lot of time inside, and it easy to forget the energy the outdoors can bring.

Its 2009 people, its high time that we get affordable tablet laptops with a 20 hour batteries. Its bad enough that we dont have laser guns or flying cars....

Thats it for today, I am off enjoying the last bits of my dayjob holiday...



all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Dear Interweb,

I'll be out of office for two days (The 30th of april and 1st of May), as it's Queen's day in Holland and I intend to spend it lounging in the country. Three cheers for the Queen: Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!



all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Friday, 24 April 2009

interweb haunts

Dear Interwebs,

Don't you just love those concept art challenges that seem to be all the rage these days? I certainly do. They really help you to gauge the comepetition, and help you deliver on time. If you are unpublished, like me, it is also a great way to raise your profile a bit.

Most famous are the ones on and

A while back the good people at forums have pointed me in the direction of Jon Schindehette's excellent Artorder blog . Jon is an AD at Wizards of the coast, and he host a concept competition every Tuesday. This is what I made for the compo last time:

This weeks assignment comes with an extra incentive to apply your self: a comssion for Dragon magazine. The assignment is to turn the cute boll weevil (a bug of some esteem) in a 15 feet monster.... This is what I have so far(subject to change):

tons of enjoyment was had on this piece, painting gross bugs is always fun. Even more fun was had when I explained the critterd to my darling wife: "It sends its throbbing tentacles through the window. Grasping around until it feels a warm limb. It then yanks the screaming unfortunate out of its bead. If its hungry, it might at this point bite of a limp and devour it on the spot. Then it incapsulates the still living victim in glowing mucus to slowly suffocate. The victims share a dual role as tasty snack and ballast"..... Its usually just after these episodes, that my better half suggests a vase with flowers for my next painting....

until next time.



p.s. If you want better resolution on the images or just take a stroll through my digital galleries check out, well, my digital gallery...

all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise

Saturday, 18 April 2009

the lure of the digital.

Hello and welcome back!

I like to paint. I really, really like to paint. I like measuring and cutting the artboard. I like to smother said artboard in gesso. Most of all, I like to take a huge brush and start blocking in color.
There is really quite something soothing and meditative about the process, especially so the first couple of hours you spent on a painting.

In stark contrast with this delightful zen state is the startup fase of digital painting, I dont find this relaxing one bit. Waiting for programs to boot. Checking your mail because your neurotic and since you are behind your pc anyway. Rearanging the keyboard, tablet and such, so they just right.

Before this is perceived as a rant, let me explain further.

Lately as my digital skill is catching up to my traditional, I keep finding reasons to paint digital instead of traditional. My subconcious will trow up hurdles like: "Lighting effects are much easier in phothjoshop" or "this concept needs to be finished on sunday, digital can get you there much faster". I think is the logical part of my brain, and it seem to be at war with the rest of me. And its actually winning (it must has huge tanks) ,a first I must say. Probably the result of me perceiving painting and drawing as a possible means of providing for the family. Scary isn't it?

What sparked all this reflection on brainwar was this picture:
Which I have since turned into this:

As you can see, the beginnings of colour on the first version is almost an excuse for paint. Like the dabs of pigment are imbaressed to be there, the whiteness of the paper mocking it for its unconvincing appearance. I really sped to go digital here, and I cant specifially explain why. The piece turned out the better for it as well. Dare I say it, I even enjoyed painting it. Maybe the oddness of painting digital does wear off...

have a verry nice weekend nice Interweb people, and until next time.



p.s. If you want better resolution on the images or just take a stroll through my digital galleries check out, well, my digital gallery...

all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Friday, 10 April 2009


Well hello and welcome back Audiance!

People often ask about my painting process, while certainly nothing special, it seems to phase some.

Like a lot of people I start my paintings with a pencil. After a couple of thumbnails, I start my final (really detailed) pencil on paper or artboard. On paper when I intend to take it quickly to digital, and artboard when doing backgrounds, or when I am just doing digital effects. After I either scan it in or have it photographed, I usually finish the piece in Photoshop.
The idea behind this is, that I start in my comfort zone; traditional paint (usually acrylic) and try to take advantage of the texture 'n life that is easily obtained in this way. I then finish up digitally so that the image that winds up on my screen is the image I intended. There is nothing quite as irritating as to spend hours painting some magical effect or subtle watercolor effect, only to have it anihilated by the digitising process. So i guess you can kinda describe me as a control freak....

an example:
The first image is exactly how it came out of my scanner, though i've cropped it and ajusted the levels. The second image is the finished version. I handled the subtle lighting colour balancing digitally because afore mentioned control issues. I also cut up the original and stuck it back together slighty different; the torso is pulled back a bit, I tilted the head a bit, and changed the legs a bit. Finally added foreground ellements and reworked the face, so it doesn't look like plastic. A bigger version of this piece can be found here.

sketches of the day:
Thats it for today.... If you have any questions tegarding this Blog or anything really, send 'em to


Nick Egberts

all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Ego Chippin'

Why welcome Audiance! Back for more eh?
Buisiness cards are really cheap these days. Hurray for the Interwebs I must say. Its like €20,- for 250 quality cards printed on decent stock. Conversely (and bizarely in my mind) stationary is really friggin expensive. The looong trek to freelance super (duper) stardom is filed with surprises apperantly. I mean its like paper with you adress n logo printed on it...

I also sent out a couple of enquiries to Paizo and Green Ronin, both companies that make awesome products. I have to admit though, starting things was never really my forté. Writing to people you never met, asking for a gig scary stuff.... I am also afraid this uncertainty shines through. There is no sense in shying away though, and the only way to de-sensitize my self is to keep at it!

I finished the piece I talked about last time:

and another from the folio:

all images in this blog are (c)2005-2009 Nick Egberts unless noted specifcally otherwise.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

so yeah blogging...

Welcome to my blog,

The name's Nick, but you probably already figured that out. This is my first blog, so bear with me if things are a little off. Today I started work on to pieces, my portfolio has a definate lack of vignettes, sometimes called spot illustrations. So these should hopefully remedy this. The first is a traditional piece in acryllic, and the second is this:

A Behemoth of Final Fantasy fame (about 60% complete). Making a big purple dog moster look awesome is good practice, and so is making it fully in Photoshop. Acrylic is still my strong point, but diversity and flexibility seem to be the name of the freelancing game.

Sent my work to Catalyst Games, and got some really great feedback from AD Brent Evans. Great guy. It is always useful to get feedback from potential clients, or anyone who looks at your work with an different eye.

lets finish up with an image (see, its part of my cunning plan Audiance. I am slowly working my way into your subconcious, until the entire Interwebs is stuffed to the brim with Nick Egberts memes (the horror).

all images in this blog are (c) 2005-2009 Nick Egberts, unless noted specifically otherwise.