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16429 Lost Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA, 91387
United States


Drawing from the visual worlds of science and nature, the human figure, the grand tradition of American illustration, Japanese scroll paintings and woodblock prints, fantasy illustration, and great artists of Europe, Elliott’s work strikes the viewer at first with a powerful tableau and draws them in to experience the subtlety and beauty within. Beyond the pictorial impact of his work, themes personal to him such as body image, environmental preservation, and social and psychological repression weave themselves throughout his work.

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Filtering by Tag: Creative Process

Portrait painting of Erin at San Diego Comic-con 2013

Craig Elliott

I spent 2 days doing portraits of some of my friends at at Comic-con San Diego 2013 this year. Here I am painting Erin Montemurro's portrait.   

Erin made this brilliant costume based on the cover of my art book and my painting "Music". needless to say, Erin and her costume was a hit all over the con!

 Craig Elliott painting portraitCraig Elliott painting portrait












Craig Elliott painting portrait

"Music" Pinup painting beginning stages

Craig Elliott


In the first image is a color sketch I have done on top of the drawing from the last post- I just scan the drawing and paint over in photoshop until I get the colors I am looking for. You need a good printer to use this technique for traditional painting. This is because the printout has to be exactly the same as the sketch on the monitor, or it is of no use.



Here I have transferred the drawing to my painting surface. I am painting on Rives BFK paper that has been gessoed white, and then a wash of brown oil has been applied and allowed to dry. I do the drawing in hard colored pencil, and then start to block in the shadows with oil.  



Gallery Nucleus Presents: Poster Peepshow: The Art of the Pin up

Craig Elliott

I'll be in this show along with many other amazing artists!  Olivia, Dean Yeagle, Bill Presing and Robh Ruppel to name a few. I would go even if I wasn't in the show.  

I'll be posting some stages of the creation the painting for this show. keep your eyes peeled. Here is a sketch to start you off:


Gallery Nucleus Presents:
Poster Peepshow: The Art of the Pin up

February 05, 2011 – February 28, 2011
Opening Reception: February 05, 2011(7 pm - 11 pm)

Alhambra, CA – The pin up girl is sweet, yet equally a seductress, flirty as well as sexy, naïve but secretly naughty.
She embodies sensuality, youth, fun, and pleasure. Men and women alike have admired her for nearly 100 years. The
pin up girl could be found on the covers and centerfolds of thousands of magazines, calendars, ad campaigns,
and even decorated WWII war crafts; thereby, pin up art has become an integral part of Americana.
“Poster Peepshow” celebrates the pin up girl by featuring original artwork by contemporary artists and
pays homage to pin up masters such as George Petty, Gil Elvgren, and Alberto Vargas. Over the past decade it has
become impossible to ignore the growing popularity to recapture the nostalgia of pin up glamour. We are pleased to
contribute to the culture’s growing appreciation through this exhibition. 

Nathan Cabrera
Marcelo Dadolce
Olivia De Berardinis
Craig Elliott
Jenny Gase-Baker
Keron Grant
Shane Glines
Oren Haskins
Lawrence Noble
Ryuichi Ogino
Bill Pressing
Rockin’ Jelly Bean
Robh Ruppel
Marguerite Sauvage
Jim Silke
Francis Vallejo
Barnaby Ward
Dean Yeagle

Rolf Armstrong
Al Buell
Art Frahm
Al Moore
K.O. Munson 

Olivia De Berardinis Book Signing: 6pm- 7pm
Free Live Figure Drawing featuring the Suicide Girls

Lenora Claire
Julie Newmar 

Grapefruit Moon Gallery
Suicide Girls
Sort This Out Cellars 


For more information, please see:

Contact: and

I went to Scotland... Or did I?

Craig Elliott

Last night and this morning I did a little world travelling.  On the internet that is.  There are a fascinating number of public webcams pointed at pretty places all around the world.  Paris, Alaska, New York Africa, Etc.  I thought that these cameras would make a fun way to watch light and color change in these distant lands.  Below are my first experimants of a town square in Scotland.  This is "The Cross" in Kilmarnok Scotland around 6 am (the cooler painting) and later around 5pm (the strongly light one). These took about 20-30 minutes each and are sketched in one brush with no pressure sensitivity in Photoshop. 

Learning about color

Craig Elliott

I recently commented to a friend of mine that I had painted a particular building in Pasadena many times to practice color.  I was designing the Disney film Enchanted at the time and could see the top of this beautiful Old Town Pasadena building all day from my desk (the one that houses Louise's Trattoria for those of you  who live there) I thought I would post these sketches for you to see how simple this kind of sketch should be when you are only concerned with understanding and learning how color behaves. I am not concerened with accurate edges or details of any kind.  I just want to record the basic color and vlaue relationships that I am observing.  As I collect these kinds of sketches I file them by lighting situation and reopen them and sample the colors when I am painting a film design from my imagination!

In this sketch, the building clearly faces west on the light side as the sun is setting.  The warmth of the light is caused by the sunlight having to go through more atmsphere when it is setting and losing some of the cool end of the spectrum.  The cool side of the building and clouds is influenced by the sky mainly.  In the case of the building, other buildings (and the ground) are also adding reflected light that is hitting the subject building.



Here, the situation is clearly a night scene with light cloud cover in the sky.  The warm lights of the restaurants and shops lights the building from the bottom.  This light falls off quite quickly, as the man-made lights are not that powerful.  Towards the top of the building cooler moonlight mixes with the warm lights to make a sort of geenish grey light.  The moonlight also colors the shadow side of the of white building's walls.  One of my favorite features of the sky here is the lack of differention in the clouds in terms of value- the clouds are really just a different (greyer and greener) color than the sky.


The light side of the clouds and building in this sketch is a much more balanced and full spectrum light. You can see that the clouds are "actually" white and the building is "actaully" painted a slightly warm white.  The shadow sides are lit from the dome of the sky and thusly that light is the color I have painted the sky here.




Here is another end- of -day (or "golden hour") color sketch.  In this case, another building is casting a shadow on the lower half of main building, creating a nice mood.  The shadows are all much greyer in this case than they might normally becaue the sky had pretty heavy patches of grey clouds, greying out the blue light of the sky dome. 






New Orleans Burlesque Festival poster

Craig Elliott

Final Poster

New Orleans Burlesque Festival founder Rick Delaup commissioned me to create the official New Orleans Burlesque Festival 2010 poster. This beautiful limited-edition art poster depicts a striptease dancer performing to a live jazz band. To create the original painting, I used oil and pencil on Rives BFK cotton paper. The size of the original work is 20” x 32”.  

Visit Rick's blog or the festival website to read more! 



Warcraft Card -Offering to the Nether

Craig Elliott

This card started as a shadow power card, and came out as you see it here.  The Orc was originally clad in less clothing, but I was asked  to add more and more clothes as I worked on it! I rather like the more atmospheric thumbnails that I did, but Blizzard wanted more detail. 
Thumbnail Sketch, 4" x 7" Graphite on paperFirst Illustration without armor
Final painting, DigitalFinal Card as Printed

Warcraft potion card

Craig Elliott

The second card I did for the Warcraft card game set Scourgewar, is titled "Mighty Shadow Protection Potion."  Here is an image of some sketches, and 2 of the final versions of the painting.  This is a digital painting in Photoshop.


Sketch on paper in pastel and Prismacolor pencil, 10" x 10" Final painting, digital The final warcraft card as printed!

Warcraft Card -Crimson Cranium Crusher

Craig Elliott

Blizzard has finally released the 4 cards I painted last year in the set called Scourgewar, as part of their wildly popular trading card game based on The World of Warcraft MMORG.

Ill be posting the sketches and process leading up to these cards in the next few weeks. Here is the first card called "Crimson Cranium Crusher" -Great name, Blizzard!  

Crimson Cranium Crusher sketch, Watercolor and Prismacolor pencil on Rives BFK 9" x12" Crimson Cranium Crusher sketch, Watercolor and Prismacolor pencil on Rives BFK 1.5" x1.5"













Crimson Cranium Crusher sketch, Graphite on Cotton Bristol 5" x 5" Crimson Cranium Crusher, Alternate Finish, Digital 





Crimson Cranium Crusher, Printed Card © Blizzard Entertainment







Here, in the final card, the hand is changed in hue to a blue to match the creature and composed in the frame of the card.