Back when I was still designing and illustrating for the giftware industry, I had been asked by Willitts/Dept.56 if I would create some paintings based on a few Ebony Visions figurines created by Thomas Blackshear. Thomas was, at the time, very busy painting some portraits for the Vatican and hadn’t the time to create the paintings himself.
I had only met Thomas, back in the 90s, a few times in Chicago, at the International Collectibles Exhibition, which was to the collectible industry what the San Diego Comic Con is to the comics industry. It was an enormous convention. I was there with Cast Art, signing prints, buttons, figurines and whatever other knick-knacks or ephemera collectors wanted me to sign.
What you see here is a lo-res of a digital comp I did prior to executing one of the original paintings. Unfortunately, Willits/Dept.56 would not allow me to keep my original artwork. That was too bad, because I usually don’t part with originals, but that was part of my contract with them. Thomas is an incredibly talented Christian artist and a really nice guy, and I’m fortunate to have even worked with him.