Category Archives: Art Portfolio

New Year, New Purpose

Coral by Karen Gadient, 2013

Coral – Digital watercolor of vibrant ocean coral. Created with Corel Painter.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. – Aristotle

I’m now offering some of my artwork as prints (canvas, acrylic, metal, and paper). This one was the most recent addition, but you’ll find many from my November marathon there. As I blog throughout the year, I’ll mention which pieces were also added to the gallery. I’ll keep a link on the portfolio tab of my blog.

So, I’m busy painting. Which is making me happy.

I hope you’re all having a happy start to 2014 too. :)


Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Blogging, Color, Creativity, Decisions, Digital Artwork, Ideas, KarPaiTwenMo, Life, Nature, Ocean, Painting, Printing, Quotes, Sea, Seascape

Deep Orbit

Deep Orbit - Painting by Karen Gadient

I’ve been spending more time painting since my mother passed away. Because it gives me comfort, much of my artwork—now, more than ever—focuses on sea or space. This one is an abstract meant to be from a window of a starship… although it could also just as easily be from the view of an underwater craft.

Although I often tend to splash around heaps of kaleidoscopic color, this one is heavy on blue. Blue was my mother’s favorite color, never one of my own—but that’s changing, just like so many things in my world.


Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Family, Imagination, Nature, Painting, Sea, Space


Illuminathia. She started out as portrait art, but caffeine gave her superpowers.

Illuminathia by Karen Gadient 2013


Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Freelance, Graphic Design, Imagination, Painting, Portrait, Sketchbook

Mother Universe

Poster artwork. It’s a little bit psychedelic. Had some fun creating this one.

Mother Universe


Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Graphic Design, Imagination, Poster, Sketchbook, Space

Design: “Prismal”

Design: Prismal. By Karen Gadient, 2012

Prismal: design created with stock photos and digital painting. Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. First as the design itself, second as a book cover (just for fun).


Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Book Cover Design, Digital Artwork, Graphic Design, Sketchbook

Debris Dreams: Print Cover

Finally sharing the full cover for Debris Dreams, which will be out this month. Written by David Colby and published by Candlemark & Gleam. Book cover design and illustration by yours truly. The print cover shows you the wraparound design that was not shown in the front cover reveal on SF Signal.

Please consider supporting the Kickstarter and you can get lots of goodies!

And yes, this the same author with the awesome book trailer!

Click the image to see a larger version.

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Filed under Art Portfolio, Book Cover Design, Books, Graphic Design, Publishing, Science Fiction

Book Cover Design

Summer 2012 book cover design by Karen Gadient

These are some of the book covers that I did over the summer.

Cho Ku Rei was originally a 16×20″ poster that I created using Bryce and Photoshop. The others were done with stock photography. Larger versions and other work can be seen by clicking the image to go to my portfolio.

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Filed under Art Portfolio, Book Cover Design, Digital Artwork, Freelance, Graphic Design, Publishing

Spirits of Trees

Hamadryad - Aigeiros - Nymph of the Poplar

Since I didn’t go rambling on about Greek mythology for the letter ‘G’ in my alphabetical posts, I’m sharing another one of my favorite mythological beings for the letter ‘H’: the dryad—specifically the hamadryad.

Dryads are nymphs that live in trees. Tree spirits. Hamadryads are bonded to a tree and live and die with their tree. There are many types of dryads.

This artwork represents one of the eight daughters of Hamadryas: Aigeiros, whose tree is the black poplar. It was done in honor of a dear friend of mine who taught me about the beautiful and loyal souls of trees.

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Friendship, Mythology

Cover Reveal: Debris Dreams

Debris Dreams by David Colby - SF Signal
And here we have it: the cover reveal for Debris Dreams by David Colby, published by Candlemark & Gleam. I did the cover design and illustration. Old-school sci-fi style. Although you can’t see the wrap-around on this version, the framework is a heads-up display that continues along the spine and creates the copy area for the back as well. Fantastic story. Can’t wait until everyone can read it. Visit SF Signal for the synopsis and ways to get a free copy of the book!

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Book Cover Design, Books, Graphic Design, Publishing, Science Fiction, Space

Song of the Furies

Artwork inspired by the Furies.

I created artwork for the letter ‘F’ this week. My inspiration is taken from Aeschylus’ Eumenides (you can read it at that link)—also known as the Furies.

From Wikipedia: In Greek mythology the Erinyes (Ἐρινύες, pl. of Ἐρινύς, Erinys; literally “the avengers”) from Greek ἐρίνειν ” pursue, persecute”—sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses” (Greek χθόνιαι θεαί)—were female chthonic deities of vengeance.

Erinyes corresponds to the Furies or Dirae in Roman mythology.

My inspiration isn’t exactly random. I’d recently been thinking of a performance I’d recorded off PBS over twenty years ago (with a VCR—remember those?). It was Sir Peter Hall’s version: Aeschylus: The Oresteia, performed at Britain’s Royal National Theatre. Done with masks, piercing notes, chanting and lyrics, it stuck in my mind. As a theatre major later, I always thought, “Oh hey, we should do a Greek tragedy with MASKS!” but it never happened.

All the same, the part with the Furies always stuck with me the most. Sometimes we can feel like we’re being pursued by our mistakes (although most of us don’t have murder on our hands). In Sir Peter Hall’s version, the Furies had red hair and gaping mouths. Bit scary! My version is more on the lovely side—but don’t be fooled: she has fangs beyond those lips. *grins* Then, don’t we all?

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Digital Artwork, History, Mythology, Sketchbook, Theatre

Digital Sketchbook 8.16

Something's Fishy

Just playing around. Created in Photoshop and Corel Painter.

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Digital Artwork, Sketchbook

Technology for Artists

Technology for the artist: at your fingertips

‘C’ is a letter that I can make a long list for, but I might go around again with alphabetical posting, so today I’ve chosen the subject of technology and artists.

And each geeky-artist thing will conveniently start with ‘C’.

First, I put my portfolio back online. It’s got a page at the top of this blog, but it’s hosted by a portfolio service called Crevado. It’s a sharp way to showcase your work, and it’s free for a basic account.

Now, I just have add more to it. Bit at a time…

Second ‘C’ is for Corel’s iPad app: Cinco. This app has done wonders for my ergonomically challenged workflow. I have a first-generation iPad and this app hasn’t crashed on me yet. Rare, that. Cinco syncs with Painter and allows quick Minority Report-style access to your favorite Painter tools. Cinco adds to the functionality of my (old but lovable) art tablet and keeps my hands off the (usually pain-inducing) keyboard.

Less pain = WIN. Bonus that it’s also fun.

Best way to see what Cinco does is to watch the video on Corel’s site. Right now the app is free, but they’ll eventually charge for it.

Entirely my opinions and no one paid/bribed me to review anything.

Ooh, wait. I have one last ‘C’—a wishlist entry: the Cintiq by Wacom. Interactive pen displays. Draw right on the screen. Gorgeous things. *swoon*

As I mentioned, I have an older tablet. 12″ x 12″ Intuos. Yep, the first version. This tablet has been my friend for the last decade and I’ll be crushed when it finally dies. Hopefully, it won’t; maybe not ever. But if I need a new tablet, I’ll be eyeing the Cintiq. Eyeing for sure—affording?—not so much!

If you’re an artist: what are your favorite tools when you work digitally?
What invention do you wish for?

Silly invention wish:
I’d like a desk-hologram model similar to Princess Leia’s hologram message in Star Wars, only not her but whatever figure I need for life drawing. In color, and not just human models, but everything else—from cats to dragons! Yeah.

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Career, Freelance, Technology

Books and Covers

Debris Dreams - Earth and Moon cropped image.

Despite not having my art portfolio back online—that will be another post—I’m choosing to talk about book covers as I stay with my alphabetical postings.

I’m fortunate to be the cover designer of a fantastic book called Debris Dreams by David Colby, published by Candlemark & Gleam.

Debris Dreams is a realistic space-opera/military Young Adult novel about a multiracial lesbian teen living on a space station who gets drafted into a war between Lunar citizens and spacers/Earthers. She’s stranded in space, forced to join the marines, and quickly has to learn military discipline, how to kill, how to lead, and how to disobey orders when they’re about to, oh, kill everyone in horrible ways. All the while, dealing with the fact that, because of a terrorist act that started the war, she will not be able to go to Earth for at least twenty years—and therefore, may not actually see her Earther girlfriend ever. It’s thoughtful, scientifically sound, and heartbreakingly romantic.

For more: check out the site and read the sample chapter (the cover design isn’t up there yet). Download the faction logos—also designed by yours truly.

There, a little self-promotion. *nods* I’m not one to usually do that.
But, seriously… it’s a great book. Release date is November 2012.


Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Books, Freelance, Ideas, Science, Science Fiction, Space

Alternate Versions

I write science fiction, and read plenty of it too. My favorite places are always alternate worlds or timelines. I love the idea of there being many versions of something, whether it be the universe or a single being.

As an illustrator, I create one portrait first and foremost. However, I always take time to play with the concept before deciding on how the final should look. Even once I have a finished piece, I’ll try different effects on it to see what happens.

This is the fantastic part of digital art over traditional (not that I don’t love to play with real paint and ink too)—not just the undo button but the vast array of color-play, texture, filters, and brushes that can be tested on a design.

Experimentation and exploration. It makes work fun.

Reydesra - Alternate Versions


Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Graphic Design, Imagination, Multiverse, Portrait, Science Fiction, Sketchbook

Matchbox Girls

Candlemark & Gleam continues to delight me with their dedication to fantastika and Chrysoula Tzavelas’ novel Matchbox Girls has been my latest infatuation.

There are many great reviews out there, offering words to convince you to read this book… but I’ll give you a visual pitch—the poster, which I was commissioned to create as an pre-order extra. My hope is that it will get you curious about the tale behind it. Click the image to see a larger, more readable, version. You can check out Matchbox Girls at the author’s landing page.

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Books, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Freelance, Graphic Design, Portrait, Poster, Printing, Publishing

Fly Into Fire

Fly Into Fire—Susan Jane Bigelow’s fantastic sequel to Broken—was released today. The story is a perfect blend of science fiction and superhero worlds. Lots of risk and adventure, friendship and love… all with a cast of characters you’d want to meet in person if you could.

And lucky me!—I’ve had the honor of spending more time with three of the characters, illustrating their portraits [below] for a series of ‘wanted’ posters that were offered as a pre-order bonus.

Both books are published by innovative publisher Candlemark & Gleam. You can get your copies at their website, as well as from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Fly Into Fire Character Portraits

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Books, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Freelance, Graphic Design, Portrait, Poster, Printing, Publishing, Science Fiction

Sketchbook 12.11 #1

“Sketchbook portrait 12.11 1

Portrait sketch created in Corel Painter.

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Journal, Painting, Portrait, Sketchbook

Painting fiction into life

Painting of a character from my NaNoWriMo novel for 2011

I’m currently working on my NaNoWriMo novel (or novella, if I actually stop at 50,000 words). I’m writing a near-future/alternate-universe sci-fi tale. I’ve noticed some of you create your book cover as inspiration as you write. Instead of a cover, I decided to paint one of my lead characters as I imagine her so far.

Good luck to those of you doing NaNoWriMo this year!

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Filed under Art, Art Portfolio, Creativity, Imagination, Sketchbook, Writing