Seventh Cartographic Effort

I used Photoshop and Illustrator exclusively to make this map.  I tried my hand at heraldry and creating a whirlpool on this map.  Feedback welcome!



This started as an inked 8.5"x11" sheet of paper scanned into Photoshop.  Some of the labeling was done in Illustrator, but almost everything else is Photoshop.

I did not use any templates or brush sets; everything including the castle icons are created from scratch.  A lot of inspiration from the cartographer's guild, Jared Blando's, "How To Draw Fantasy Art & ROG Maps" book, and WASD20's YouTube channel.

Map of Ardernaas Smaller.png

Fourth Attempt at a Fantasy Map Created Using Photoshop

This started as a hand drawn map with the rest of the elements being added in using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.  I'm pretty new to Photoshop, so it was easier to do much of the artwork in Illustrator and just cut and paste it all into the Photoshop project in a series of layers.  Lots of inspiration from tutorials on YouTube from WASD20, Helen Bradley, et al. and from Jared Blando's, "How To Draw Fantasy Map & RPG Maps."


Third Attempt at a Fantasy Map in Photoshop

Here were the steps involved. 1) hand drawn map inked on a standard 8.5 x 11" paper. 2) Labeling and decorative elements added in Adobe Illustrator. 3) Following an outstanding tutorial by Marty Geller at Blue Lightning TV here:



Feedback appreciated.


Second Attempt at Photoshop MapMaking

After a lot of tutorials, online advice and a lot of trial and error, I've completed a second cartographic endeavor in Adobe Photoshop.  I started with an inked map as a base, painted the map in Photoshop and finished the details like the border and fancy banner in Adobe Illustrator.


Geopolitics and Wargames

I'll be using a world politics simulator in my geopolitics class involving the fictional world of "Politica" created by Professor Brock F. Tessman.  I created this fancy advert to get the students' creative wargaming juices going.  Reading through Dr. Tessman's rules and scenarios, it looks like nuclear weapons, oil, and war are likely to be big parts of the simulation.

I had made a few of the icons in previous projects, but really pulled a lot together over about six hours to produce this in some of my spare time.  I used both Adobe Illustrator and Microsoft Powerpoint to create the final image seen here.

Politica Wargame Advert.jpg

Featured Artist: Richard Zielenkiewicz, aka "Monsieur Z"

I'm a big fan of Richard Zielenkiewicz's artwork, and decided to try reproducing one of his pieces in Adobe Illustrator, similar to the way I free handed a United Airlines piece by Joseph Binder last year.  Monsieur Z's artwork is well known in the advertising world, and has often been described as edgy, retro, and even swanky.  Colorful, cartoonish characteristics abound, often with a dash of whimsy thrown in.  Below is a side-by-side comparison of his original masterpiece next to my reproduction.

Monsieur Z and My Reproduction.jpg

Eight Years in Colorado

Hard to believe, but we are approaching eight years living in Colorado.  It was quite a trade-off sacrificing a military career for maintaining a high quality of life for my family.  I can't help playing the "What if" game now and then, and wondering how things could have gone differently.  But none of my alternative scenarios would have had us having this much outdoor time and such good friends.  Thanks Colorado!


Saturday Satire: Flag Color Representation Parodies

Another Saturday; another irresistible meme.  This time it is "Flag Color Representation Parodies," which exploded across the interwebs this week on places like reddit and

My satirical examples are below and all created in Powerpoint.  My European Union Flag is trending on right now and currently has over 5,000 views.  Enjoy!

A Harry Potter Reading Room Befitting a Wizard or a Muggle

After nearly a year, and working around an overseas deployment, we are calling our Harry Potter reading room complete!  Besides being furnished in a Gryffindor Common Room style, (including a Lumos/Nox light switch, stuffed Hedwig Owl and a 9&3/4 pillow), this reading room also features much of my Harry Potter artwork created in Adobe Illustrator and Microsoft Powerpoint, (most of it in 20" X 30" posters.)  It also comes with a Marauder's Map tapestry, House Gryffindor banner, and of course a Harry Potter collector's steamer trunk and two wands from Ollivander's wand shop!  Let us know what you think!

Just in Time for Tornado Season......

Hello everyone!  It has been a whirlwind few weeks returning from a year long deployment abroad and being thrown into the middle of a busy semester teaching a new course back at the "home 'drome."

In between adjusting to being back with family and working around dozens of projects I had put on hold for the deployment, I managed to complete one of my goals from 2015; becoming a trained SKYWARN weather spotter for the National Weather Service!