strange bedfellows

strange bedfellows

There are several interesting and varied characters in The Raven by Sylvain Reynard, but none seem to have as complicated and ever-changing relationship as William and Aoibhe. No matter the situation, there always seems to be an undercurrent of constant instability. Are they allies on the same side, or is William just keeping his enemies close? Do they have a true connection or are they just convenient liasons? Just when you think you have more of a clue, circumstances change.

The complexity of their relationship was clearly on display when a weary William returns to Palazzo Riccardi aiming for a quiet moment to contemplate and meditate on recent events. But Aoibhe had other ideas in mind. (I must admit that even though I know that ‘Aoibhe’ is pronounced ‘Eva,’ I can’t quite stop hearing it in my head exactly as it’s spelled!)

Ever since I read this portion in the book, I had a clear image of how I pictured the two of them in this particular scene. So I thought I would finally attempt to depict it in an illo!

What made this interaction between them most interesting, is that the body language and facial expressions described during the scene seemed to suggest that Aoibhe believed she was controlling the situation and feeling quite confident. But as the scene progressed, that was clearly not the case…



category: illustration, The Florentine Series

50 days…

fifty shades darker unrated dvd

Just got word from #OfficialFifty that in 50 days you can bring home the #FiftyShadesDarker Unrated with Deleted and Extended Scenes and an All-New Sneak Peek of Fifty Shades Freed. You can get it on Digital HD April 25 and Blu-ray & DVD May 9! (International release dates to be announced soon!)

Here’s a little more info about it:

In addition to the original theatrical version, also included is a new unrated version with over 13 minutes not seen in theaters. The Fifty Shades Darker Unrated Edition on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD also includes over 30 minutes of never-before-seen bonus content, including cast interviews, behind-the-scenes features, and a peek at what lies ahead in the upcoming Fifty Shades Freed!


  • • A Darker Direction – Director James Foley explains how his vision had to meet with fans’ expectations.
  • • New Threats – An introduction to some new, dark and threatening characters, including Jack Hyde, Leila and, of course, Elena Lincoln – aka Mrs. Robinson!
  • • The Masquerade – This featurette about one of the film’s most iconic scenes — the masquerade benefit event at Grey Mansion — explores the production design and costumes and goes behind-the-scenes with the filmmakers and main cast members.
  • • Intimate With Darker – An intense look and discussion about the intimate, sensual and provocative world of Fifty Shades Darker, including a visit to the Red Room and, of course, the new “toys!”


  • • Deleted Scenes
  • • A Tease to Fifty Shades FreedA tease to the next Fifty Shades film.
  • • Writing Darker – Author E.L. James and screenwriter Niall Leonard trace back the history of the book and introduce viewers to the much darker story and its adaptation to the big screen.
  • • Dark Reunion – The filmmakers and cast members discuss being reunited for this second film, and where we find Ana, Christian and their friends.

To pre-order your copy, just click HERE!

…and in the meantime, here’s the trailer for Fifty Shades Darker Unrated:

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category: Fifty Shades of Grey

steamy picture

steamy picture

Since it’s not only Valentine’s Day, but also the opening week of Fifty Shades Darker in theaters, I thought I would create an illo inspired by both!

In the books, as well as the movies, the shower proves to be a rather popular destination for Christian and Ana. 😉 There were moments of tenderness, sadness, revelations and confessions as well as passion. But I thought I would attempt to illustrate a more simple and sweet moment between the two of them.

Perhaps before celebrating Valentine’s Day with a romantic evening out, they both decide on a shower before getting ready. Initially, there is nothing really out of the ordinary, surprisingly. Just your average shower (meaning there are no shenanigans…yet.)

But as the steam begins to build, Christian gets an idea to get their Valentine’s festivities off to a sweet start. Reaching past an unknowing Ana, he slowly and carefully begins to draw on the steamy shower glass with his fingertip, while tenderly giving her a kiss on the head. Now wondering what he is up to, she turns just in time to see Christian finishing one simple and perfect heart.

Always deeply touched when Christian surprises her with such affectionate gestures, I can only imagine that what happens next will cause them to become a bit late getting ready and making their restaurant reservations on time. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!



category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration

fifty shades darker giveaway winner

fifty shades darker giveaway winner

Thanks so much to everyone that took the time to stop in and enter the #OfficialFifty #FiftyShadesDarker giveaway!

The winner of a prize package of a Fifty Shades Darker Shirt, Vanity Bag and Lip Balm (all provided courtesy of Universal Pictures) is:

Rocío Guerrero Galindo

Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your prize package!

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category: Fifty Shades of Grey

new clip and a look inside…

Watch a new #FiftyShadesDarker ‘Date Night’ clip plus a special inside look at the movie, all courtesy of #OfficialFifty! Enjoy 🙂

Date Night:

A Look Inside:

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category: Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty shades darker giveaway

To add to the excitement surrounding the upcoming release of Fifty Shades Darker in theaters February 10, all #OfficialFifty members (including myself) have a great giveaway to offer all of you!

fifty shades darker prizes

One (1) winner will receive: a Fifty Shades Darker Shirt, Vanity Bag and Lip Balm. All courtesy of Universal Pictures!

**This giveaway is open worldwide!**

Simply comment on this post by Friday, February 10, 2017 at 11:59pm PT! Your full name and email address are required to qualify to enter.
(Don’t worry–the comment form won’t show your email address when you post your comment. But I do need a way to contact you!) Be sure to provide a working email address or an alternate winner will be chosen.

note: comments must be approved by the site administrator before it posts on the site (in order to prevent spam.) So comments may not appear immediately after you post.

One entry per email address, please! The winner will be chosen at random from all qualified entries received, and will be contacted by 2p PT on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Again, please make sure to supply a valid email address. If there is no response within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be selected.

Be sure to follow #OfficialFifty on all social media to find other #OfficialFifty members also offering this wonderful #FiftyShadesDarker giveaway! You are free to enter as many of the contests as you wish!

Good luck to everyone! 😀


category: Fifty Shades of Grey

3…2…1… speedpaint video

Just as I was about to begin painting my recent illo to help celebrate the new year, I decided to record myself adding color to the sketch.

Here is an (extremely) sped up look (I wish I could paint this quickly in real time!):

If you’ve never visited my YouTube channel, I hope you’ll take a moment and check out a few other videos I’ve done in the past. Please subscribe if you enjoy what you see there!

Thanks 🙂


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category: illustration, miscellaneous, speedpaint

new extended trailer

A new extended #fiftyshadesdarker trailer has been released, featuring “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” by Zayn | Taylor Swift! You can watch it below, courtesy of #officialfifty!

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category: Fifty Shades of Grey



Happy New Year!

Just thought I’d paint a quickie piece in time for New Year’s Day. Last year my illo featured headless bodies, so I thought this time I’d use (semi) bodiless heads! 😉

Wishing you all a very healthy and happy 2017!



category: illustration, miscellaneous

grand entrance

grand entrance

While never one to dwell on her appearance or give much thought to dressing up, Ana is quite surprised, yet pleased, reviewing her reflection after getting ready for a masquerade ball, in Fifty Shades Darker. As if experiencing an out of body experience, she almost doesn’t recognize her own reflection.

This was all thanks to some stunning wardrobe choices by Personal Shopper extraordinaire, Caroline Acton, her recently styled hair and a tiny bit of makeup. However, Christian’s earlier, and unexpected added accessory to her outfit made her use of blush quite unnecessary. 😉

Now all ready to go, she sets off in search of her date for the evening. I decided to create an illo showing what it might have looked like to Ana as she happens upon a group that is stunned into silence upon seeing her.

Christian is deep in conversation with Taylor and three other men with his back to Ana as she enters. But once her presence quickly registers on the mens’ faces in different forms of surprise and deep appreciation of her beauty (and a bit of pride and happiness from Taylor), he can’t help but take notice. He quickly turns and is equally stunned and pleased seeing her standing before him. Even though he had just seen her while she was getting ready, and knew what she would be wearing, it didn’t compare to seeing her there in her entire ensemble. He was captivated–even though she felt quite embarrassed by their attention and stood awkwardly before them.

But at the same time, Ana was also quite stunned and pleased upon seeing Christian in his full tuxedo. So the feelings were quite mutual. 🙂

Christian greets Ana and expresses to her what his gaze had already communicated. At this point it’s clear that the meeting is over and Taylor and the men give the couple some privacy. After a quick glass of champagne, and receiving another (yet quite important) accessory for the masquerade ball, the two soon head off on their way to quite an interesting and event-filled evening…



category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration