The Pit – from start to finish

I’ve been working on a new piece and documenting my process with my shiny new camera! I’m learning the camera/editing as I go, so some of these are a bit low-quality, but here’s a good look at how I paint:

Here’s the final image:

I’ve got 3 top-secret assignments to do in the next couple of weeks, but stay tuned for my next personal painting, a cover for my sample comic “Upstream”!

The completed map!

Hello everyone! I have completed my map of a fictional island. I had so much fun creating this, I really wanted to paint a place that I would like to explore. While working on it, I found it helpful to imagine the story of a character from the trading town of Cold Harbour who goes on a journey through these lands. It was a fantastic exercise in design and painting environments, and I would love to do more maps in the future.

First, some process videos:

You can see more process shots on my instagram, @smalyon

And here’s the final! Click for a higher res image:

serena malyon illustration map fantasy rpg

Thanks for checking out my work! Not sure what my next personal work will be, but I’m hoping to do more information design. Maybe something educational next time, we’ll see!

Little Jack Frost

I haven’t updated this blog in a little while, but I’ll post a couple more updates with all of the exciting news and progress shots that I’ve accumulated. I’ve been working on a time consuming commission this past month, but I’ve started doing little paintings in my spare time. This is going to be a series of original paintings that illustrate fairy tales and myths, the paintings will be up for sale in a couple of weeks. This guy is “Little Jack Frost” and will act as my holiday card.

serena malyon illustration childrens book jack frost fairy tale winter christmas

Witches’ Sabbath

serena malyon illustration witches sabbath month of fear 2015 devil demons witches

This one nearly didn’t make it! I another commission to work on last week, leaving me just 3 days to do this! It was really rushed, and a lot of this was designed on the fly. I jumped straight from the thumbnail to the final drawing; I hadnt planned on painting a goat-like devil, it just sort of happened. Originally it was a ghost, but I suppose a coven of witches summoning Lucifer was more dramatic. I think its kind of funny that I’m quite a cheery, mild-mannered person, but if you look through my portfolio you’ll see all sorts of dark or creepy paintings.

This painting is best observed while listening to Ghost’s “Ritual“.

Month of Fear week 1: Wormtongue

month of fear serena malyon illustration grima wormtongue lord of the rings

The lovely Kristina Carroll has invited me to take part in this years Month of Fear, where artists do a painting a week based on a topic. This weeks topic was “Villains”; I chose Grima Wormtongue from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Originally I was going to do a portrait of the great and powerful Saruman the White (which still may happen one day), but then I remembered Wormtongue.

Over the years I’ve regarded The Lord of the Rings’ Grima Wormtongue as one of the most intriguing characters of the series. Grotesque and unloved, weak and cowardly at his core, he betrays his homeland for the promise of power. Upon seeing the Uruk army at Isenguard, a tear runs down his cheek – Is it awe or regret? When he kills Saruman – Is it revenge for how he’s been treated, or is it his attempt at redemption?

So this is my take on Grima Wormtongue. Pathetic and sniveling while dooming the world of men.


Portraits from IMC 2015

Since returning from IMC 2015, I’ve working on little thank you cards for some of the instructors at the workshop. I painted them for all of the faculty who I got to know, or who heavily influenced me that week. I also painted them for the guests who gave me portfolio reviews, all of which were extremely helpful. I feel terribly guilty for not including everyone in this, so I’m very sorry if you’re not one of the portraits. I certainly appreciated all of the faculty and guests who came in, and I look forward to seeing you all again.

Here’s how it works: for all of the instructors, I merged (bastardized) their styles with my own, which is why many of these won’t look like my usual work. The portfolio review guests got their portraits in my usual style.

*There are one or two of these that I had to copy directly from photographs, apologies to the original photographers. These are (obviously) not for sale and are just meant as personalized thank yous.

Rebecca Guay

Rebecca Guay


Allen Spiegel


Greg Manchess


Irene Gallo


Jon Schindehette

Greg Ruth

Greg Ruth


Scott Fischer – no starfish, extra starch


Donato Giancola – sorry about this one


Dan Dos Santos


Lauren Panepinto


Mike Mignola