Yesterday was the last class of the semester at CCA where I've been teaching adjunct, the students presented their capstone projects which were virtual experiences made in Unreal. All the projects were fantastic, the students did a great job. Congrats to all, you learned so much in such a short period of time! A few pics!
Saturday, December 2, 2023
Growing up in Montreal, I was surrounded by French media, so I'm pleased the first translation of my Megastructure book is into French. Got my copy today, they did a fantastic job. Some art here from myself, Col Price, Andy Proctor, and Ken Fairclough
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Here's a bunch of new spaceship doodles for the month of November. Check out my new sketchbook to see over 100 spaceship doodles: https://amazon.com/Neil-Blevins-Sketchbook-Vol-Spaceships/dp/B0CJ43Z89J/
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023
Monday, November 20, 2023
Brand new Megastructure painting, a new view of an old favorite, the Alderson Disk. A giant platter (like a Compact Disc) with an outer radius equivalent to the orbit of Jupiter. The sun is located in the hole at the center of the disk.
Monday, November 13, 2023
Here's a demo of drawing one of my spaceship doodles with traditional ink and paper, similar to the doodles in my new sketchbook. Let's all take a digital break and get back to some old-school penmanship!
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
To celebrate the release of the french edition of my Megastructures book, I'll be releasing some brand new net-exclusive megastructure paintings.
A Polyhedral Habitat would be a space colony consisting of several O’Neill Cylinders attached together to form a larger structure, much like struts forming a children’s jungle gym. The colony as a whole would not rotate to create spin gravity, but each cylinder would rotate along its axis like a standalone cylinder. The tips of the individual cylinders would be attached to adjoining cylinders by joints called knuckles. The knuckles would not rotate and, because of that, would have no gravity inside.
Thursday, November 2, 2023
To my french speaking followers: Les Editions Mnemos in France will be releasing a French language edition of my book "Megastructures: The Visual Encyclopedia" on Nov 8th. A big thanks to the team for the translation, you can preorder here: https://www.amazon.fr/M%C3%A9gastructures-Neil-Blevins/dp/2382670940/
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Here's a bunch of new spaceship doodles for the month of October. See these and over a hundred more in my new sketchbook: https://amazon.com/Neil-Blevins-Sketchbook-Vol-Spaceships/dp/B0CJ43Z89J/
Monday, October 30, 2023
Had a great time at Lightbox Expo 2023 First thanks to the students who came by for a portfolio review. And big thanks to everyone who came to my talk on creating art bibles. It was a full house, I am truly overwhelmed with your support. And from your questions I have some good ideas on how I can focus the talk even further in the future. And plenty of great chats in the hallways with old Pixar friends and other industry vets. Thanks everyone, hope to see you next year.
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Friday, October 20, 2023
Monday, October 9, 2023
Monday, October 2, 2023
From my Lith Universe, Therion is a small planet in a distant part of the galaxy, a vast desert covered in perpetual mist. But it is the home to one of the artifacts, dubbed "The Towers Of Therion", builders unknown, purpose unknown.
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
As well as attending Lightbox Expo 2023, I'll also be doing portfolio reviews and giving a talk on "Creating An Art Bible for a Fictional Universe." Come by and say hi, and go here http://lightboxexpo.com for the complete schedule of talks and panels!
Friday, September 22, 2023
People who bought "Neil Blevins Sketchbook Vol 1: Spaceships" on Monday are receiving their books. Love seeing them in the wild, thanks so much for the support! Grab a copy today:
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
A closer look at some of the pages from my new book "Neil Blevins Sketchbook Vol 1: Spaceships", print edition available here: https://amazon.com/Neil-Blevins-Sketchbook-Vol-Spaceships/dp/B0CJ43Z89J/ Thanks so much to the people who've already bought a copy!
Monday, September 18, 2023
"Neil Blevins Sketchbook Vol 1: Spaceships" has been released!
Physical copy here:
Digital copy here:
And to my international friends, the physical copy should also be available on many local amazon marketplaces, so feel free to visit your country's amazon marketplace online and search for Neil Blevins, it'll save you shipping time and money.
To everyone who buys a copy, thank you so much for the support, hope you enjoy it!
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Announcing my third book, "Neil Blevins Sketchbook Vol 1: Spaceships", a softcover sketchbook of my pen & ink spaceship drawings. 64 pages, 8.25" x 8.25", 119 spaceship doodles from the past 6 years!
As many of you know, I started getting back into traditional pen & ink drawings in 2017 during Inktober, and have basically been hooked ever since. I love digital work, but there's something so satisfying about the low tech of paper and a pen, a simple stroke of ink can carry so much information and personality.
As with many of you, the advances of Generative AI have been an existential crisis for me. Putting aside questions of career for a moment, if a computer can make nice polished digital paintings, what point is there in me making them? Is there any personal joy left in producing this sort of work? Any satisfaction? Will there be an audience, or will we all choke in a deluge of generated imagery, making it impossible to find what truly connects with us? I feel doing these pen and ink drawings is a part of my process for answering these questions. It is a way to reconnect with my roots, with my early joy of creating. Yes, Generative AI will eventually be good at making lifelike drawings that will certainly flood social media, but there's something about going to a convention, and someone right there in front of you is making you a commission, you see their mind and soul going onto that paper, you know they have touched that surface and are giving you a little piece of themselves. Every mistake is a reminder that we're all human, every successful line a symphony. While I doubt I can make a career of fostering that connection with the audience, the attempt at making those types of human connections is why we're all doing this in the first place, right?
As a second more practical reason for doing this book, I'm trying a little experiment. My second book "Megastructures, the Visual Encyclopedia" was printed using Offset Printing. The reason to use this process is because it makes paintings look gorgeous. The downside is you have to pre-print your books, which is a big upfront expense, and shipping the books myself world wide is even more prohibitively expensive. So this book is printed on demand by KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). So no pre-printing 1000 copies, shipping is cheap due to Amazon's shipping system, and for pen and ink drawings, the quality is excellent, I doubt Offset printing could make it look any better. I won't do all future books this way, for anything painting heavy Offset is the only option, but I'm testing the waters on how easy it is to print some of my future books using the print on demand method if the particular artwork is compatible with the process.
So if you've been following me on social media for the past 6 years and seeing my spaceship doodles, here's a chance to own a collection of the ones I feel are my most successful. As 2 bonuses, the book also includes a discussion of my tools and process, and has a few drawing vs final paintings in the rear of the book. Neil Blevins Sketchbook, Vol 1: Spaceships is scheduled to be released Sept 12th 2023, and I hope you pick up a copy. If the little experiment is successful, I suspect a vol 2 won't be too far behind.
Monday, September 4, 2023
Thursday, August 31, 2023
Monday, August 28, 2023
Maybe more of a PSA than an art tutorial, but super important for students and people working in teams, please give me 3 minutes of your time as I try to convince you to "Always Use A Scale Reference When Modeling In 3D" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HErClZeffKg
Monday, August 21, 2023
Thursday, August 17, 2023
Today's ThrowbackThursday is my tribute to the form of the mushroom. As well as reminding us of nature, the tall tower mixed with the flat top is just a striking well balanced compositional shape, & can become anything from rock formations to scifi skyscrapers