Sunday, December 28, 2008

John Carter of Mars

Here is Julie working on the last stages of a painting based on ERB's John Carter, a private commission from a friend of ours. We are taking turns in our usual unplanned way, There is no "you do this and I do that". One of us just takes over when the other is ready to stop. At the end of the day the only important thing is to divide the working time as evenly as we can and to have lots of fun!
The drawing below is the preliminary sketch for two of the white apes in the right half of the painting.


Friday, December 19, 2008

John Carter of Mars

We did this drawing as a private commission. One of the most fun and exciting things about working on fantasy art is the FANTASY part! The story of John Carter of Mars is such a blast. To do our research for this piece, we borrowed a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "The Gods of Mars & The Warlord of Mars" from our own
Dave Palumbo who has an especially beautiful edition that has the cover art as well as interior illustrations by Frank Frazetta. What a story! If you haven't read these stories yet, better get to it!
--Boris and Julie

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flying Wolf

A flying wolf? Why not! This painting is just getting started, but I thought it would be fun to show you part of it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Heavy Metal Magazine Tarot

Our latest installment of Tarot cards is in the January issue of Heavy Metal Magazine!
Nine of Pentacles by Julie Bell
King of Swords by Boris Vallejo
Page of Wands by Anthony Palumbo

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Red Rider

Here's a drawing we did together that we just finished. Now back to work on the next thing!

Julie and Boris

Friday, December 5, 2008

Small Works show in Philadelphia

Opening tonight, there is a fantastic selection of Small Works up on the walls at The Artist's House on N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia. They've got paintings, drawings, and sculptures from 35 different artists. We love to go to shows like this where you get glimpses of so many different styles of working. Seeing good original art is the best kind of brain food for an artist--always inspiring! Makes you want to go home and paint!

Randi by David Palumbo

Olga by Anthony Palumbo

Self Portrait by Anthony Palumbo

Randi 2 by David Palumbo

David Palumbo, Lorraine Reisenbach (owner of The Artist's House Gallery), and Anthony Palumbo

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Biker Girl Drawing

In putting together material for our newest book, The Ultimate Illustrations: The Drawings of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (published by Anova Books and Harper Collins, text by Anthony Palumbo, scheduled for release in the Spring of 2009), we needed to fill a spot with a new drawing, so we figured that the people who follow our blog should be the first to see it!
There is something fun and exciting about having a mission where you don't have time to think about it too much, you just have to get down to work and do it. Save all that procrastination energy for a later date. I guess it's like double procrastination and it cancels itself out! Never thought of that before.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Personal Art

Every since I turned professional I have been talking about doing paintings now and then just for myself. The idea of painting something just for fun is both amazingly appealing and incredibly terrifying, so I mostly talk about it. However, several years ago, when I first met my Julie, she showed me a drawing that she had done long before she became a pro herself. I was so impressed with the strength of her drawing that I decided to do a painting based on her sketch (with her permission, of course) The result fell way short of the power of the original drawing. Here are both versions, hers, bold and powerful, mine, professional but lacking in drama.

Since then, almost twenty years later, I have done a couple of other pieces "just for fun". Here are two more of those. Some day I will do more, I am sure.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Portrait of My Father

I did this painting as a birthday present to my father, Milton Bell, who is a highly respected architect in Texas. He has designed many landmark buildings including the US Embassy in Mexico City and the Texas Energy Museum. I chose to paint him at work at his drawing board because, well, I think it's just his most comfortable spot in the whole world. In fact, it's possible that he may be genetically linked to his drawing board.
Inspired by our sons' gallery paintings, I wanted to experiment with a looser style of painting than my usual fantasy art style. I recommend to other artists to try out different styles if for no other reason than the psychological. It feels so funny! It's good to explore and stretch yourself.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Hajime Sorayama Show

Last night at the Opera Gallery in New York City, we were privileged to attend the opening of an exhibit by the seriously great artist, Hajime Sorayama. His work is a huge inspiration to each and every one of us and meeting him in person was an amazing experience. He's as down-to-earth, gracious, and friendly as a man can be!
Hajime Sorayama, Julie, David Palumbo, Anthony Palumbo, and Boris

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Illuxcon, 2 days after

Well, if you weren't at Illuxcon this past weekend, you missed a pretty good time and a unique opportunity to see tons and tons of beautiful fantasy paintings, drawings, and sculptures by some of the best artists in the business.  Here are pictures of some of the fun(Left to Right and then down) View from the second floor, David Palumbo during a painting demonstration, Patrick Jones, David's table, Michael Whelan, John Jude Palencar, dinner at El Campesino in Altoona, Justin Sweet.  
Dave Seeley's corner, Julie with sculpted figure by Tom Kuebler, Boris with sculpted mask by Jordu Schell, Jordu with a sculpture that he traded us for a sketch!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Going to Illuxcon!

Tomorrow we're heading out to the great city of Altoona, PA to attend the first Illuxcon, a convention devoted entirely to fantasy art.  It was invented and put together by Pat and Jeannie Wilshire, obviously two of the most devoted fantasy art fans ever!  We're going to have tons of original art on display as well as panel discussions and painting demonstrations.  Plus, as always, we're going to have tons of fun.  But then, we always take our fun with us wherever we go.
So, we're leaving you with these winged ponies gorging themselves on organic, trans fat free tortilla chips as food for thought.  
To all of you who will be with us in Altoona, see you soon!

Boris and Julie

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

From My Nasty Sketch book

I have always enjoyed doing cartooning just for the fun of it. Most of the time I do them on napkins or envelopes, so I don't usually keep them. Many years ago, 1979 to be precise, I decided to do a full book of the nasty cartoons that often come from my sick head to my even sicker pen, and then they get tossed into the garbage bin for obvious reasons. After the initial drawings, priorities pushed aside the project. Anyway, here are two of those.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Peter Workman's Birthday party

Peter Workman of Workman Publishing (the folks who publish our calendar every year) had a birthday recently and we were invited.  The party was aboard a really cool yacht in the East River in New York and we cruised all around the city from a viewpoint we'd never seen before. We were all sitting around eating cake and listening to a live Dixieland jazz band and someone said, "Wow! The Statue of Liberty!" We thought, "oh, we've seen it before, but let's go take a look anyway." But, whoa! We were really close and at night with all the lights on it, it was truly breathtaking. Really gorgeous.  And huge, too.  That is one huge statue.

Boris, Peter Workman, Regina Pereira, Julie, Suzanne Rafer

Workman Publishing has published Boris' annual calendar for 29 consecutive years now (think about that!). Julie signed on to the calendar in tandem with Boris in 2000. Suzanne Rafer has been the art director since 1983 (25 years!).  It's definitely our favorite project every year to paint 13 paintings of exactly what we love to paint--beautiful, heroic people in fantasy settings doing magical things.
Happy birthday, Peter!  We love you!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jesse Springer Spaniel

This is a portrait of my sister Suzanne's dog, Jesse, that I've done for her surprise birthday present. She always maintains that he has a strong resemblance to Antonio Banderas. I know that she is totally in love with Jesse and certainly has at least a crush on Antonio Banderas, so I hope I've captured whatever it is she sees in this painting!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vampire's Kiss

I did this painting nearly thirty years ago. It has always been one of my most popular works , but recently, for some reason we have been receiving more orders for prints of this one than usual. In addition we have also received a number of questions about the meaning of the painting. So, to answer those that have wondered, my thought is that the painting represents that in love there is here and there a little drop of pain. Just enough to remind us that we are human beings. So there you have it.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Just for Fun!

These are two 60's covers from memory lane.
I had so much fun doing those comic covers! Much more so than doing barbeque grills and refrigerators!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie Poster

We thought you would get a kick out of seeing some of the preparatory work we did for our Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie poster.  Here is the first rough sketch:

And here is the second, more finished sketch:

And, of course, reference pictures! David Palumbo posed for Master Shake, Anthony Palumbo posed for Frylock, and Boris posed for Meatwad:

And, ta daa! The finished painting

Julie and Boris

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some of the work we did at the barn

We're working on our calendar for 2010 (That sounds so futuristic, right?). So here's a preview. We'll put up some pictures of what everybody else was working on in a later post.

Julie and Boris

Placemat Art at Lunch

Firing up the crayons!

A pretty girl in Paris by Rebecca Guay

Portrait of Boris and David by Anthony Palumbo

Some intricate mandalas by Irene Gallo

A devilish collaboration by Scott Fischer and Greg Manchess


Pumpkin faces

It was brought up by one of us that the combination of carving pumpkins in the fall in a barn in New England was kind of outrageously cliche, but it sure was fun!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some Barn Moments

Irene Gallo climbed up really, really high in the barn regardless of the fact that there were screeching bats as well as serious evidence of mice,
and Scott Fischer brought an amazing robot that he built.

Julie and Rebecca Guay looking like sisters,
Arkady Rothman hanging out,
and Dave Sealy talking painting with Anthony Palumbo.

Cristina and Uno Dos Santos

Happy moments in our hike to the waterfalls before we broke off into small groups on the way back and got a little bit lost in the woods.  We felt like we were in an episode of "Lost".  
Julie overlooking a breathtaking open vista on the left.  In the group shot are (L to R) Greg Manchess, Scott Fischer, David Palumbo, Dan Dos Santos, Lars Grant West, Dave Sealy, Irene Gallo, Steve Stroud, and Anthony Palumbo.

Did you know that you can melt beer bottles in a campfire? It happened right here.