Another 10,000 Strokes

I told you, the muse is sudden & insistent!

I guess I wanted to go nuts making a zillion tiny hatch marks again. There’s something very (pardon the word) meditative about it. You have to balance discipline (don’t vary the size of the strokes, alter the angle & density of the marks, AVOID PATTERNS) and an empty mind (don’t trace, don’t fix every apparent mistake, AVOID PATTERNS).

I love this kind of art: finely textured, sort of halfway between realism & abstract, and a little obsessive. I also like it when merely a glimpse is represented. Perhaps I’ll create another scenic vignette soon to further embody these values. First I gotta finish this little guy up, though.

This is the image I used as a basis for the drawing. You can see I’m more inspired by than adhering to Nature’s ‘original’. I use the photograph to draft very basic textural zones in pencil, then refer to it for some preliminary advice. After a while, I put it away and concentrate more on what I’m trying to achieve.

My daughter & I found this nice moss on our walk through Allegheny Cemetery this morning. It was a gorgeous day!

Turkey Tails

Every so often I get the desire to create something other than minis and little miniature environments. I always heed this call, but it usually only lasts for a short time. In any event, the muse whispered in my ear a few days ago and I’ve put all my energies into drawing some nice turkey tail mushrooms growing on a mossy tree.

It was a very fun exercise in texture. This is the sort of thing I like to draw, just little funny things like mushrooms and moss and humble bits of nature. I love the way they erupt into and onto the world, coloring it, disguising it, and giving it a new personality. I wish I could draw impressive scenes filled with excitement and so on, but I never seem to be inspired in that direction. Especially in art, I like quiet things, things that are easily overlooked. I probably get this from my mom.

My mother has become a very fine and enthusiastic photographer in her retirement. She has a great eye and sends me awesome reference work/inspiration all the time. Whenever she walks through the woods near my family’s cabin, she always keeps a lookout for any small wonders. Many of the images I’ve used around ToadChapel are hers. It’s always fun to trade creative insights & intuitions with my mom. She encourages me in whatever I do. She’s the best.

For anybody interested in the process, I used Sakura microns & Copic markers.


This drawing is for sale. If you are interested in purchasing it or another of my pieces, contact me for details.


Many small gods are worshiped in this place.  One neglects them at her peril.

At all hours, when the toadscribes are not around, they accomplish many things great and small.


So what do the small gods make?  Good question.


This was on the forge today.  Some of it is nearly done.  Some is merely growing into something in the village – if you can even call it that – of ToadChapel.

The ToadForge houses the very Anvil of the Toad, where she who is Toad and he who is mouse create the order of the world.

You can always see what the small gods have wrought, but rarely will you catch them in action.  When they seize upon a fragment of our world, the fickle but powerful small gods tumble themselves into it violently, tearing at the fundamental structure of reality, undermining the laws we know in small ways.


But the small gods do not only make things.

4Dwarf Raider

They unmake things as well.


They love surprises.


The small gods are the spirits of my imagination.

8S.Shog. Well.jpg

The small gods set things in motion, change them, distort them.  From many sources unreality expands, shards of a story that sometimes seems to surge in the fires of the Forge.


I am not an expert.  The purpose of ToadChapel is about discovery.  Here you may listen and look for the signs of the small gods at work.

Welcome to ToadChapel

Welcome to ToadChapel. I’m not sure what will grow here, only that something might. ToadChapel is for worldbuilding. Hopefully, ToadChapel will grow into a world.


I began painting miniatures and building scenes a few years ago. I started gaming long before that, then I quit, then I found that love again. I used to write fiction, and I date my awakening as a reader to my first encounter with The Hobbit. I have a lot of other interests too, which I’m sure you’ll learn if you choose to visit ToadChapel often.

ToadChapel might become a part of something larger, or something else. I have some idea of what ToadChapel is, and I want to make it here.  I hope you help me explore this strange place.