Tag Archives: work-in-progress

The time has come…

…indeed, ’tis come, my friends, to talk of many things…

Alright, peeps, it’s time to finally start opening up about this project I’ve worked on for the last four and a half years. We finished the writing of it back in May. (And yes, it took a while. But it was worth it. I think you’ll love it.)

It’s for kids ages 8-12, roughly 30,000 words (relatively short), and I plan on illustrating it as heavily as possible!

(So great to be back on my home turf of illustration. Writing was a totally new experience. But I’m grateful to have the basics under my belt, and we’ll be doing more stories as time goes on.)

The novel is about a young spider. You’ll find out more over the next few months.

Today I finished putting together the 3D model photo reference for the book cover. Check it out!

Westly - Cover Jacket - 3D Photo Reference

Cover Jacket – 3D Photo Reference

This is the first 3D model I’ve done in well over a decade, and the second one in my life. All I have to say is, WOW, now that I know how to do it, creating photo reference is dramatically easier.

There’s still a number of things that I’d rather do with live photo reference for now—such as moss and texture.

Watch it live!

The book cover painting is happening live via my account at livestream.com throughout the next ten or fifteen days. Either tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll break out the paint brush.

Sign up on my Twitter account or Facebook Page for updates on the times.



Click to go to my Livestream account

Click to go to my Livestream account

Online Store is Up and Running

Christ's Hands - Pencil Study

So, I’m asked all the time why I don’t sell my art…
The answer: ‘Cause it’s all created digitally!

But, starting today, that’s about to change, and I’m offering free shipping to whatever brave soul(s) want to test out my online store.


(That’s about $10 bucks off)

The piece above is titled, “Behold, My Hands,” referenced from Isaiah 49:10.

It is the original pencil study that was created for a separate painting.

Livestreaming a work-in-progress painting

I’m livestreaming a work-in-progress painting. Feel free to stop by and say ‘hello!’

This image below is where the painting is now. Still a ways to go, but it’s coming along.

Here’s the link to the livestream.com site: http://bit.ly/1cfe51C

(In thirty days that link will expire, as the site routinely cleans its archives)

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 10.18.55 PM

Faerie Auditions – Faerietank Part 5

Note to new readers: You are invited to participate! This is part of a work-in-progress painting of a faerietank (a fish tank, but with faeries instead). You don’t need any other background info to start; just read through the instructions, vote on the images, and leave feedback in the comments. If you would like to see where it all began, click here.

Okay everyone, we’ve come this far, and now it’s time to make the toughest decisions.

First, here’s our finalized thumbnail drawing:

Faerietank finalized thumbnail

Posted by Bryan Beus – Artist and Author on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Now, we have a dozen or so different options available for the faeries and you get to decide who makes the cut, and who does not. Voting closes at midnight MST on November 22 (Thanksgiving).

There are six spots available for which the faeries are competing:

Faerietank faerie map

Posted by Bryan Beus – Artist and Author on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A – Playing in the bubbles in front of the foliage.

B – Behind the hill, either hiding or looking pretty

C – Sucking on the glass at front

D – Drinking ambrosia from the fountain

E – Exploring the castle

F – Peering above the surface


For each spot there’s two or three contestants.

Voting is simple. Use the ballots just below each image to select the ones you’d like to see.

At the end, if you have an extra minute and you’d like to participate further (and I’d love it if you do), leave me your thoughts in the comments section.


Let’s get started:


Exhibit A:

Playing in the bubbles in front of the foliage.

Posted by Bryan Beus – Artist and Author on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poll Closed
Final Result:
Faerie #1 – 20 votes
Faerie #2 – 4 votes
Faerie #3 – 9 votes



Exhibit B:

Hiding behind the hill.

Posted by Bryan Beus – Artist and Author on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poll Closed
Final Result:
Faerie #1 – 3 votes
Faerie #2 – 23 votes



Exhibit C:

The suckerfaeries.

Posted by Bryan Beus – Artist and Author on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poll Closed
Final Result:
Faerie #1 – 22 votes
Faerie #2 – 3 votes



Exhibit D:

Drinking ambrosia at the fountain.

Posted by Bryan Beus – Artist and Author on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poll Closed
Final Result:
Faerie #1 – 11 votes
Faerie #2 – 21 votes
Faerie #3 – 5 votes



Exhibit E:

Exploring the castle.

Posted by Bryan Beus – Artist and Author on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poll Closed
Final Result:
Faerie #1 – 10 votes
Faerie #2 – 9 votes
Faerie #3 – 11 votes



Exhibit F:

Peering above the surface.

Posted by Bryan Beus – Artist and Author on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poll Closed
Final Result:
Faerie #1 – 12 votes
Faerie #2 – 18 votes


Some suggested talking points for comments (feel free to copy/paste this into your actual comment for reference)

• How is the thumbnail working as a whole? 

• If you were walking through a gallery and saw this, would you stop and look?

• Do you think there ought to be more foliage? Less foliage?

• How much do you think the foliage should resemble a forest vs a coral reef?

• If you could describe the painting in one word, what would it be?

• Any other thoughts?


Thank you for voting. I look forward to finding out which ones we’ll see in the final.

Also, if you’re enjoying this, please share it with your friends on facebook, twitter, and elsewhere else:)

Faerietank – Part 3

Note: if you’re just now tuning in to this project, click here to find out where it all began.

What kind of painting about a faerietank would be complete without a trip to the local aquarium?

No trip!

Last Thursday, on the way back from a visit with my editor about my novel in the grand old metropolis of Salt Lake City, I stopped by The Living Planet Aquarium for an afternoon of sketching.

One thing that I love about places like this is that they’re usually run by teenagers—who are always up for an artist to come through and never grumpily turn away his sketching chair at the door. They only charged me the price of doing a drawing for them!!!:) Win-win! Woohoo!

Once I got inside, the first thing I did was follow the kids. I can’t help it.

They led me straight to the petting tank.

I touched a leopard shark. =D

Then we went to the octopus tank. Octopi require darkness, which meant that I couldn’t take photos (and, sadly, as I was on an unplanned trip I didn’t bring my regular camera equipment, only my iPod native).

Imagine looking into an eight-foot high, ultraviolet-blue tank in which you can’t see anything but a few deep-purple limestone rocks. A human hand suddenly slips down through the silver surface above. It’s holding a piece of fish.

One of the rocks on the bottom of the tank begins to stretch, and it continues stretching and stretching—revealing white sucker cups, bright pink tentacles, and beetle-black eyes—until it reaches a full six-feet in length. That’s almost as tall as I am, and that’s how huge this octopus was—only, he can also squish himself into a two-liter soda bottle, if he feels like it.

The pieces of fish being dropped into the water meant we had arrived right during feeding time. Awesome.

Turns out that when octopi grab their food with the tips of their tentacles they don’t pull it straightway into their beaks. Instead, like an assembly line passing a piece of machinery, they pass it down from one set of suction cups to the next until it reaches about halfway, and then pull it in.


After staring for awhile I finally began wandering around.

I don’t bother taking photos or sketching the first time through on trips like this. I just like to be there and appreciate it. I find it so amazing when people can capture a bit of the magic that exists out in nature and bring it back for the rest of the world to see in a bottle (or in a fish tank).

After I made it around once I took out my iPod and began photographing everything. I knew that my iPod wouldn’t take photos with enough resolution for me to use for painting reference; I just wanted a record of what I saw so that I could go find better reference later, if needed.

Look how beautiful this texture is:

It’s hard to pull away from watching fish like these laze their way back and forth through the water, but eventually the call to draw can take over.

In a quiet corner  I set about in my sketchbook (well, kind of quiet—I later realized I had sat down in front of one of those ‘press this button to hear the [ultra-loud animal] speak’ displays).

I didn’t yet want to make any observations of what I was in front of me. I just wanted to fill up all the pages with whatever was floating around in my mind after seeing so many things.

Several hours flew by before I suddenly sensed the approach of closing time, so I hurriedly put my sketchbook away and crossed to the other side of the aquarium.

There was a tank with a moody kind of lighting I thought was interesting, and I wanted to get a quick idea of how light moves through water. Once I set up my chair I pulled out my laptop, plugged in my wacom tablet (a digital device that translates drawing movements into brush strokes on the computer), and started sketching.

I ended up having only a few minutes before another teenager came through with a shop-broom and kindly told me it was time to leave—he did give me an extra minute or two, though:)

It’s interesting how in the photo of this tank above the camera brightens everything automatically and loses all the misty effect. This is why I think it’s more fun to go out and see things for ourselves.

Having cleaned up my stuff I came back home and threw it all into my sketchbin.

Tonight, I pulled all my concepts and observations together (including some google searches of Chinese architecture—for the castle and aqueduct) to make the final thumbnail (the last part of the ultra-rough stage), and here it is: