Evergreen Files: UPDATE


Still making progress on the second book in the series: Counterplay. In the meantime I will be making chapters available on my website. These can be accessed as pages in the dropdown menu on the home page of this website.

Today I have added the Prologue for The Evergreen Gambit  HERE and the prologue to Counterplay HERE.


Still looking at a spring release of Counterplay on Amazon. Fingers crossed!


Evergreen Files: Counterplay

Evergreen Files Counterplay cover

I am making steady on the sequel to The Evergreen Gambit. The working title is Counterplay. I still have some scenes to work out, but the outline is done and the (never ending) editing process has begun.

I’ve changed the cover and title several times already. Hopefully, this is the final cover edition.  Still, thank goodness for Photoshop if I do change my mind again. It makes life so much easier for writers.

This sequel addresses some questions that were left as unfinished mysteries in the first novel. Why was it so important for Eliot to be at the Sochi Olympics?  Why was Eliot spending so much time communicating with his ex-wife, Alyona Hubba? Why did it all have to do with Russian politics?

Continue reading “Evergreen Files: Counterplay”

Art For Non-Artists: Painting People Quickly – Postscript


Just a quick addendum to the last post I put up earlier today.

Here is another example of using blobs of color to create the illusion of a form of a person. Illustrations are more like hints of picture rather than an actual photograph.  It’s just a digital paintbrush and a few squiggly lines. The reader’s imagination will fill in the rest.

Also, digital art is cheaper and easier to fix than using real paint. I still love to use real paints, but I don’t have a lot of time to pursue that hobby.

This is another example of the same techniques described in my earlier post HERE.

For more posts for Non-Artists, go here.




Art For Non-Artists: Painting People Quickly

When you are a non-artist, painting people seems very scary, but with a little effort you can create impressions of people fairly easily.

One easy method is to use the letters M and W as a starting point. I spent a little time practicing putting the letters together with a paint brush tool I produced the image below. After getting two MW combinations I liked, I added a couple blobs for their heads, extended the legs and added a stroke or two for arms.


It really works – they do look like a short, wide man and a tall, skinny man in a tux or or black suit in silhouette.

I used Wacom’s Bamboo Tablet and Artrage software. (There are some very useful tutorial links at the Artrage website to get you started using all the tools available.)

I do like to use Artrage to sketch because I can easily erase mistakes or lines I don’t like. However, pen and paper does teach you to stop overcorrecting so it’s good to practice with both.

After I created my MW men, I added a layer under them with the paint roller. You can see both layers in the top right hand corner of this screen shot.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 22.11.37

and here are the two layers merged together:




Here’s the image put through a Photoshop gradient:


Using the techniques above (and a little more time and study of proportions) I created a more complicated image for The Year of the Numen. As you can see, it’s not an artistic masterpiece, but it does look humanoid and I think it has some charm and mystery about it. It will do for an illustration of the story I want to tell.


To think it all started with a M and a W!

I do have to admit that it helps to have an artist’s manikin or to know a little bit about proportions. There are many resources out there to aid the beginning artist (or non-artist doodler) and I have one recommendation at the end of this post.

If you want to learn more about using blobs of color to create people, then I recommend this book below.  Many of the techniques discussed are for advanced artists, but for the beginner it’s worth spending time looking it over to get a sense of how we see color and images in paintings.

Who knows? If one plays with color long enough, even a non-artist can create people.

For more posts for Non-Artists, click here.

Keep doodling!