Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Fairy and Her Steed

Here's the new piece I teased in the last post. I took a new approach to color here and I like where it's going. Admittedly though, the bulge in the snakes body where it emerges from the grass is too subtle.

Fariy and Her Steed by Rob Rey -
Oil, 18 x 24 inches
(Click Images to Zoom)
Fairy and Her Steed detail by Rob Rey -
Fairy and Her Steed detail by Rob Rey -

As the holidays are approaching,
now's a great time to see this print and many others
at my Etsy store!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Illuxcon Sneak Preview

Here's a peek of a new painting that will be making it's debut at Illuxcon this weekend! Come see it in person, or you'll have to wait until next week to see the full image.

Fairy and Her Steed detail by Rob Rey -

Also, making their exhibiting debut will be Wind Power and Satyrs at Dusk. 
I hope to see you there!
Wind Farm by Rob Rey -
Satyrs at Dusk by Rob Rey -

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Jessica by Rob Rey -
Oil, 11 x 14 inches

In just two weeks I'll be exhibiting at Illuxcon in Pennsylvania. It's the place to be for traditional fantasy art. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Video: Painting Wind

I've created a video so you can watch the process of creating my latest painting, Wind! In the video I quickly flip through the rough, preliminary planning stages and then you can watch me paint the whole piece in stop-motion. This is the first video I've ever made and isn't really meant to be an instructional video, but hopefully it's fun to watch the process. It compresses many weeks of planning and about ten days of painting time into three and a half minutes. I usually work section to section because it allows me to work "wet into wet" as much as possible without the paint drying.

I recommend clicking the little gear at the bottom of the video to upgrade to HD quality and watching it full screen to see the details of what's going on.

Thanks for watching! If you like it, please give it a thumbs up on youtube and share it on facebook or other social media.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wind Farm

This is the first of what I hope to turn into a series of paintings based on energy sources. I hope this piece contributes, in some small way, to enthusiasm for clean energy and other dialogue about solutions to big problems. If you like this image and would like to help spread enthusiasm for clean energy, prints are available in two sizes at my Etsy Shop.

I also encourage anyone supportive of clean energy to visit the Department of Energy's Green Power Network to find out if there is a supplier of clean energy in your area. Many people don't even realize that they can easily sign up to purchase their electricity from clean sources for a near negligible increase in price.

Wind Farm by Rob Rey -
Oil, 18 x 24 inches

Click the full image above or the detail views below to zoom.
Wind Farm detail by Rob Rey - robreyart.comWind Farm detail by Rob Rey -

Friday, August 17, 2012


Tasha by Rob Rey -
Oil, 11 x 14 inches

Glimmer at the Waters Edge by Rob Rey -
I've recently been notified that my painting "Glimmer at the Water's Edge" has been accepted to the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition! The show will open September 29th in Bennigton, VT, at the Bennington Center for the Arts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Roark, Part Two

Roark by Rob Rey -
Oil, 11 x 14 inches
(click to zoom)

You may remember my last painting of Roark in a knit cap and long hair that I posted back in March. Well, he shaved his head and he hardly looks like the same person.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Ali by Rob Rey -
Oil, 11 x 14 inches

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Etiquette of Drawing in Public

Persistent followers of my blog know that I often get my drawing practice while visiting my local coffee shop. I am often asked if I have frequent encounters with angry drawing subjects demanding to know why I'm staring at them, but the truth is I've never had anyone get upset. I've only been met with curiosity and enthusiasm.  The secret is... don't act like a creep! This sounds simple, and in practice it is, but it takes some thought to understand it from your subjects perspective.

Number one, don't hide and don't hide your drawing. It may seem counter intuitive when you don't want your subject to be aware that they are being drawn (since this can make them assume a less natural and more self-conscious pose) but acting secretive equals acting creepy. Be open, be friendly. You don't have to tell your subject that your drawing them, but if they happen to come over or walk by, don't cover up your drawing . Show it to them if you like or just make it easy to see so they know what you're doing.

Number two, don't be distracting. This is the most common mistake artists make when drawing in public. They put their sketchbook flat on the cafe table and continuously bob their head up and down between subject and sketch. Movement in our periphery vision catches our attention, especially when it's followed by a face looking at us. So just as the left side of the animated image in your periphery vision (below) is distracting you from reading this, the artist distracts their subject with constant movement and draws the subject's attention to the fact that they are being stared at. Solution: find some way to situate your drawing surface and the subject in or near the same field of vision so that the only thing you have to move is your eyes. This is different from being secretive. It's a matter of common courtesy to avoid being distracting.

Don't be distracting to your subject!

Even using this method, I am sometimes "caught." I glace back up from my sketch to have my gaze met head on by the subject before the drawing is finished. Not wanting to disturb them from their pose, I change the direction of my glances to something else nearby for three or four glances. This is usually enough to make them think I'm actually drawing something else. When they go back to what they were doing I continue my drawing. Then when I'm done, I leave it out on the table for them to see if they decide to come investigate with a walk-by; sometimes we have a conversation.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Satyrs at Dusk

Here's the final image I created for the children's poetry book, Chocolate Chips & Rocket Ships. The poem I illustrated is called Twilight. The Kickstarter page is in it's final days now and still needs a lot of help.
Satyrs at Dusk by Rob Rey -
Oil, 18 x 24 inches
(click to zoom)

I'm now back now from the Oil Painter's of America National Show in Evergreen, Co. I had a great time, met some wonderful people and enjoyed seeing the exceptional work by everyone in the show. It'll be up until July 21st if your headed that way!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rudy Cheeks

Something of a local celebrity in newspapers/radio/music, Rudy Cheeks's nick name reflects his surprisingly magenta skin tones. Amazing colors to try to capture.

Oil, 11 x 14 inches

I'm off to Evergreen, Colorado for the weekend where I'll be attending the opening of the Oil Painters of America National Juried Exhibit of Traditional Oils. My painting, Ukulele, is included in the exhibit. If your in the Denver/Evergreen area come say hi and see the show!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Satyr in Progress

Here's a sneak preview of piece I'm currently working on. It's for a book of children's poetry called Chocolate Chips & Rocket Ships.

Friday, June 1, 2012


Oil, 9 x 12 inches

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Crissy by Rob Rey -
Oil, 9 x 12 inches

I've just received word that my painting "Elegant Enigma" has been awarded an honorable mention in the Oil Painters of America Spring Online Showcase! I am honored to be among the winners which you can see here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Zane by Rob Rey -
Oil, 9 x 12 inches

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Kate Huntington runs the portrait group that I paint these portraits at every week.

Oil, 9 x 12 inches

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012


Roark by Rob Rey -
Oil, 9 x 12 inches

Also, more good news! This Illustration for Dungeons & Dragons' Dragon Magazine has been accepted to Spectrum 19, the annual best of contemporary fantastic art. I am honored to be included.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Commission and the OPA National Show!

Here is a private commission that I finished recently. The client requested a performance magic themed painting so I created this piece of a magician producing a dove, inspired by some of J. C. Leyendecker's arrow collar illustrations from the last century. I think I'll call it "Grand Illusion."
Grand Illusion by Rob Rey -
Oil, 16 x 20 inches 
(click to zoom) 

Ukulele by Rob Rey -
Also, I've just been notified that my painting, Ukulele, has been accepted to the Oil Painters of America 21st Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils! The show will take place from June 22nd - July 21st at Evergreen Fine Art Gallery in Evergreen, Colorado.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


My friend and musician, Amanda Penecale, came to visit a while back. While she sat on my couch in the window light playing a few songs on her ukulele, I couldn't help but take the opportunity to plan a painting. For the full experience, go take a listen to her music here!

Ukulele by Rob Rey -
Oil, 18 x 24 inches
(click to zoom)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Oil, 9 x 12 inches

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Yet another portrait from the weekly sessions. I've been doing these for almost four years now and it has taught me so many important lessons. There is always something to learn and I feel like I've found something new recently that this portrait is a pretty good example of.

Michael by Rob Rey -
Oil, 9 x 12 inches

Friday, January 20, 2012


Oil, 9 x 12 inches

I recently heard from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles about the Illustration West 50 competition. Tangled Thoughts (right, and also in the last post) was accepted to the Gallery category and The Haunting Presence (left) was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Entertainment category! I am honored again to be included in another great competition.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Happy new year to you!
It's off to good start, for me. I'm honored to have recently been chosen by the selection jury of IlluXcon, the annual symposium of fantastic art, to be an exhibiting artist at the event this coming November of 2012! I'll join a formidable list of 60 of the top talents working with traditional media in the field of fantastic art. If you haven't been to the show before I highly recommend it, but don't wait until November to decide. Tickets are limited and it's limited size it what makes it such a amazingly concentrated group of talent and cheerful comradery.

Oil, 11 x 14 inches