Welcome to the Encroaching Wilds

     The expansive civilizations of mankind are long fallen and forgotten, a victim of their own hubris.  As arcane fallout soaks the land, the centuries and millennia pass by. The world gives rise to new and unique creatures. Magic works in tandem with natural selection, and mana-touched species thrive alongside their natural counterparts.

     With humanity functionally extinct, the wilderness creeps in, overtaking and reclaiming all of man’s achievements from the smallest of villages to the sprawling, once-grand city states.   Familiar animals, fantastic beasts, and magic-spawned aberrations are the rulers of this new age, unhindered by mankind.  

Welcome to The Encroaching Wilds.

"Thieves" 11x14, Graphite and white charcoal on toned paper

“Thieves” 11×14, Graphite and white charcoal on toned paper

     Welcome, and thanks for stopping by. I’m Tom Babbey, the artist behind “The Encroaching Wilds” project.  This blog will catalogue and track my progress through this personal project of mine.  Primarily, the blog will cover the process behind my images as I create them, following each piece as it goes from thumbnail concept, to drawing, to color comp, and on to the final painting.  Everything you see on this blog will be made with traditional media; thumbnails will be done in my sketchbook, color comps in gouache, and the final pieces in oils.  The end goal will be ten oil paintings, several vignette illustrations and numerous drawings, all collected and offered to you, the readers and followers of this blog, in a book.

     At face value, I’m tackling this project because I love to paint, I love monsters, and I love wildlife.  It’s my love for wildlife in particular that led me to conceive this project.  There’s a certain magic and wonder that exists in our natural world, a magic that I feel is taken for granted far too often.  We’re desensitized to just how special a creature’s adaptations for survival are.  I hope, by approaching fantasy creatures and monsters with a naturalist’s eye, that I can bring the viewer to rediscover some of the magic that exists in our own natural world.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy your trip into The Encroaching Wilds.