P.G. Holyfield

UPDATE: On August 20th 2014, at 11:20pm, P.G. Holyfield — author of Murder at Avedon Hill — lost his very short battle with cancer. Rest in peace, Patrick. http://www.gofundme.com/pgfund -----


A couple days ago we were told our friend, author and podcaster, P.G. Holyfield was fighting an extremely aggressive form of cancer. As in, please hurry up and send him your messages, time may be terribly limited to do so. It happened incredibly fast, from him not feeling well in July, to, well, this.


I write this as we are visiting the UK for the second time. The first time my mother was fighting cancer, and unbeknownst to us, only had a couple more months. I only mention this because memory is so tied to place. Where were you when... This is such a terrible disease that needs a cure. Scratch that, all terrible diseases need cures.


Patrick is a wonderful author, and if you haven't read his novel, "Murder at Avedon Hill" (also available as an audiobook) I highly recommend this brilliant fantasy mystery that truly and delightfully surprised me at the end. It has, and will remain, in a place of honor on my bookshelf. Thank you, Patrick, for such a great story. I know I've told you before, but it deserves repeating.


Patrick also is a prolific podcaster, who has lent his voice to many productions as well as his own creations, such as Beyond the Wall, and Consumption podcasts.


I'm honored that Patrick had chosen me to illustrate so many of his creative endeavors, and to call him a friend. Thank you, Patrick. I'm glad I was able to work with you. It's always pleasure, even with the color thing. :)


If you'd like to help out Patrick's family with the inevitable piles of hospital bills for Patrick to be as comfortable as possible for the time he has, and to help out his three girls, a fund is available here: http://www.gofundme.com/pgfund

MaAH Illustration: Doppin


Initial digital sketch.


Beginning to ink the piece digitally.


Final image.

Yesterday, P.G. Holyfield released some exciting news about his novel, Murder at Avedon Hill. It's going to be published though Dragon Moon Press.  As a fan of the story (and friend of the author) I couldn't be happier for Patrick. As I've said upon numerous occasions, it's a wonderful story and it deserves any and all recognition it receives. So, big congrats! I can hardly wait for its new release. You can see the official press release here. He also released a special announcement episode, here.


I was going to wait to post this image when the corresponding episode of MaAH was released, but with the recent good news, I figured now was as good a time as any.

Patrick asked me a while ago if I would be interested in doing another image for one of the last chapters. I, of course, jumped at the suggestion. The image itself was left open to whatever scene I wanted to do. After refreshing myself on the events of the applicable chapters, I sent a few ideas off to Patrick. From that correspondence we decided on this image (as to prevent any major spoilers of the plot).

For this illustration I decided to do the whole thing digitally. This method worked well for the last MaAH illustration I did, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to expand my digital art skills.

The first image is a rough concept sketch for what I had in mind. That was approved. I then moved on to the inking.  The great thing about working digitally, I found, was that if I made a mistake at any point, I could easily redo or adjust the image. In this case, I found that I had placed the arm in an awkward position.  I also noticed that the eye position was a bit off. So, I just moved everything around a bit until I was satisfied.

For coloring I shaded with sharp lines of different color shades rather than doing a blended shading. The only reason for this was that I hadn't really used that technique much and wanted more experience. Plus, I like the look. I also changed the color of the ink for the spirits from the original black to a light blue. This was done using a clipping mask layer (in Photoshop) under the ink layer. During the coloring of the spirits, I also found they needed more detail, so I added some swirls and additional line details. To get the spirits to look transparent, I filled them with color on a separate layer, then reduced the opacity of the layer.

The hardest part of the coloring, oddly enough, was the background. I was having trouble getting a texture and color that I really liked. After adding several textured layers and tweaking the color settings, I finally found a combination that I liked, while also matching the described scene in the story.

MaAH Illustration: Gloria's Last Moments

Gloria’s Last Moments This is a recent illustration I did for P.G. Holyfield's story, Murder at Avedon Hill as accompaniment to chapter 35. If you haven't already checked out this wonderful fantasy novel, you really should. The audio version is free via the MaAH website or Podiobooks. The print version is also available for purchase.


I worked this piece from a small sketch I did in my sketchbook. I scanned the sketch into photoshop then went over it with some digital inking. The background is a fabric texture I had laying around. It took me a while to get the perspective right. Everything then got colored, blood got smeared and spattered, and then I applied one more layer of texture over the top.