Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Silver Thorns: A Surreal Medieval Fantasy Portrait Painting

Silver Thorns

Medieval fantasy digital portrait painting 2015

From the Jungle
a foreign world
an ancient dream.

Silver Thorns crown her presence
mark her authority
speak her accomplishment.

 From a dark past, she finds a new light.

From an untamed existence, she finds order.

This mysterious portrait of a beautiful barbarian queen was created with Corel Painter 2015, Adobe Photoshop CS6, and a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet using a combination of digital painting and photo manipulation. Click here to see an example of my creation process.

Based on the photography of Ojjla

Gallery quality giclée fine art prints and merchandise are available at Society6

Framed prints from Society6 by Justin Gedak
Framed Prints

iPhone cased from Society6 by Justin Gedak
iPhone Cases

Wall Tapestry from Society6 by Justin Gedak
Wall Tapestries

Throw pillow from Society6 by Justin Gedak
Throw Pillows

Clock from society6 by Justin Gedak

Sunday, April 26, 2015

War Paint: A Surreal Medieval Fantasy Portrait Painting

War Paint

Medieval Fantasy Digital Portrait Painting by
Justin Gedak

Fear is an illusion
Failure does not exist
To surrender is to die.

Her tears have been shed, and her eyes are now clear.

War Paint marks her purpose
Defines her destiny
Defies your truth.

This mysterious portrait of a female barbarian warrior was created with Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop, and a Wacom Pro tablet using a combination of digital painting and photo manipulation.

Based on the photography of Lora Palmer (LonelyPierot)
Model: Lora Palmer

Gallery quality giclée fine art prints and merchandise are available at Society6

Laptop Skins from Society6
Laptop Skins

T-shirts from Society6

iPhone and Samsung Cases from Society6
iPhone and Samsung Cases

Tote Bags from Society6
Tote Bags

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Unclean: A Gothic Warrior


Digital painting of a gothic warrior 2015

Slowly sinking into the world of the below, she feels the darkness inviting her. Enchanting her wounded heart. Seducing her battered soul.

Yet somehow, she manages to stay afloat. Somehow she maintains a grasp on reality.

She feels so unclean. Stained by the tortures from others. Marked by her violent past.

Yet still she endeavors. 

A gothic warrior who refuses defeat.

A lonely soldier insisting on survival.

This surreal digital portrait painting of a beautiful and mysterious gothic warrior was created with Corel Painter 2015, Adobe Photoshop CS6, and a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet using a combination of digital painting and photo manipulation.

Based on the photography of Magda Lindblom

Gallery quality giclée fine art prints and merchandise are available at Society6

Wall tapestry from Society6
Wall Tapestries

Framed art print by Justin Gedak from Society6
Framed Art Prints

iPhone Case by Justin Gedak from Society6
iPhone Cases

Laptop skin by Justin Gedak from Society6
Laptop Skins

Duvet cover by Justin Gedak from Society6
Duvet Covers

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Walking Through Fog: First Nations Portrait

First Nations portrait painting of a Native American Indian woman

Walking Through Fog

Surreal First Nations portrait painting 2015

Walking slowly, she ponders over the complexities of future decisions. 

The fog surrounding her lingers in a ghostly stillness, almost as if crowding in to hear her troubled thoughts.

There is a quiet peacefulness to this smokey atmosphere. Crisp, yet soft. Current, yet ancient.

What awaits her once the fog settles?

What hope does a new day bring?

Portrait of a Native American girl

This digital portrait painting of a First Nation's girl was created with Corel Painter 2015, Adobe Photoshop CS6, and a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet using a combination of digital painting and photo manipulation.

Based on the photography of Mils1408

Portrait of an Indian girl

Portrait created with Corel Painter

Gallery quality giclée fine art prints and merchandise are available at Society6

Tote bags from Society6
Tote Bags

iPhone and Samsung Cases from Society6
iPhone and Samsung Cases

Clocks from Society6

Laptop Skins from Society6
Laptop Skins

Mugs from Society6

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sneak Peak at "Secret in the Barn" Book Two in the Dagabual Series


This is just a little sneak peak of the first chapter of "Secret in the Barn" the sequel to "From Strange Waters"

It's been sitting on my computer for years now, and I've finally started going through it again. I'm about half done writing the book, but I'd love to hear any feedback on what you think of these first few pages.

Chapter One:

The Stranger


There was a ugly mood to the old woman’s faded eyes. Baleful, and out of place against her pleasant smile, like snow falling on a summer day over a partially buried corpse, or an ocean of blood rising up from a field of daisies. Something wrong. Something which went deeper than her kind words and timid movements. A mood which spoke of dark intentions moving slowly and silently in the blackness of her thoughts. Cruel desires wanting to spill out like shrivelled maggots over the clean image she was trying to portray. The image she was almost succeeding to portray. 
        “She’s gone now,” the old woman said softly from behind the jail cell bars, “and you know where, don’t you, girly.”
        Winifred Kelley stayed quiet at first, still taken back by how different the woman’s eyes were to her facial expressions. 
        “I,” she started, and then stopped.
        “You know, girly.”
        “Yes,” Wini nodded, “I think that I do.”
        “And I know.” This time her smile was sly for just a brief moment, before turning back to that pleasant mask. She ran a finger along the bars, the sound dry. “I know where you are going. I’ve seen your future.”
        My future, Wini thought, scared for the first time in years. The realization of fear made her heart shrink, a withering sorrow. 
        What am I even doing here? 
        “The secret in the barn will save you from this place.”
        “What secret.”
        “You know.” 
        Another smile. Sickening somehow.
        “What about my secret,” Wini whispered, “how will it save me?”
        “Bring me a cob of corn, and the future of being saved is yours.”
        The old woman sank back into the shadows of her jail cell, the darkness smothering her features like black oil. No sounds came from the other cells; the rest of the prisoners were probably dead. Executions had been becoming more numerous recently. 
        Wini heard footsteps–probably the little town’s only real guard–and ran in the opposite direction, her bare feet cold against the stone floor. She fled up the stairs, out the trap door, and into the chilling air of early morning. Although it was the start of winter, the leaves of the old oaks scattering the courtyard were still burnt oranges and deep blood-reds, as if they had refused to succumb to the season‘s merciless demands. They were colours which made her feel safe somehow, in a silly way. All grown up, and still she had such childish notions. Yes, even after everything that happened, the child was still alive inside her. Maybe wounded, sick, and alone, but still alive.
        She touched the scar running down her face, the foreign reminder of the dark deeds done to her. She could still feel the bad people’s hands on her. Exploring her. Hurting her. Changing her. 
        “Corn,” she whispered, thinking of her secret in the barn suddenly.
She had the strange feeling that this had all happened before. It was almost as if she could see the next page of her life about to turn over and reveal itself. It was a horrible feeling. The fear of the future was sometimes worse than the fear of the past. The fear of growing old and alone. The fear of never escaping. The realization that regardless of how bad things could be, they could always get worse.
        But her secret would save her from this place.
        She knew it. 
        Wini closed the trap doors as quietly as she could, and turned to make her way home. She walked slowly through the courtyard of old oaks, letting her thoughts and inner desires move this way and that, letting them have thoughts and desires of their own, giving them freedom. Doing so meant she didn’t have to think of the bad things. It was like letting dark little birds out of a rusted cage, absentmindedly not paying attention to where they escaped to.
        This side of the village was a place she rarely visited. It was too close to the graveyard, the place mother should have been buried. Mother had been a part of this little town, Wallace, just as much as the others laid to rest had been, but because of her reputation as a white witch they had bled her and then burnt her. The elders had denied her, and so Wini hated them. She hated the graveyard, as well as the corpses buried within it. She hated everything about Wallace. Regardless of her lack of faith in the gods, she prayed every day for the town's demise. Her beliefs were more like mother’s had been. Organic and practical. Real. However, when it came to her hatred for this place, rationality was irrelevant. She would pray to any god. She would sell her soul, the payment in return that the citizens of this place would go on for all eternity in agony.
        It was mother the old woman referred to when saying she’s gone now. Mother had been gone for a long time, but now even her feeling was gone. Her presence and energy were no more. Gone forever now, to the world of the dead. Wini had woken up this morning with that feeling. She had known the day would come eventually, and now that is was upon her, she didn’t know what to do. She felt lost. 
        “Gone forever,” she whispered.
        As Wini passed the graves behind the crooked fence, she felt the bad thoughts wanting to coming back, standing in the distance of her other memories like curious shadows with ill intentions. She took slow, deep breathes, trying not to panic, forcing herself to be strong, to be less like father, and more like mother.
        Four small temples made of dirty stones stood at the graveyard’s entrance, like guards almost, not letting any of the dead souls leave or enter this place of rest. Statues were perched at the foot of each of the temples. The creator’s four messengers: The bear, the fox, the turtle, and the owl. Others believed that these were the spirits which brought prayers to the Wish Giver, the one who stole its powers from the creator itself to bestow mercy on the less fortunate.
        The creator was said to be blind, and unable to control what or when it created. It was the lesser gods who made the rules, and the laws. The lesser gods who controlled the order of things, the creator a slave in its own way. 
        Wini found herself drawn to the temples now, walking towards them slowly and cautiously. Silently. Their entrances were dark holes, like single soulless eyes staring up from someplace ancient. She stepped up towards the temple with the turtle statue. Pestasius, the messenger god of perseverance. She knelt before it. Touched its small round face, running her finger across its large wide eyes. 
        She began to sing: 
        “Where secrets were told, I sold my soul.
        Where beggars drown, I was never found.
        Help me stay alive.
        Help me make it through.
        Pestasius, thy old friend.
        I sold my soul where secrets were told.
        I was never found while the beggars down.”
        It was a song out of mother’s old book of poems, one of which didn’t make much sense to Wini. Mother had come across it as a young woman, before living in Wallace. Plucked it from the ruins of a half-burnt caravan far to the east of here where trade routes had still made exchanges with the dark skinned tribes of Fellekose.
        Although her mother was Fellekon, Wini looked more like her father, blonde hair, and pale skin. One of the Tates, the people who branched off of those living in the smooth Bietin mountains, as to make homes in the abandoned cities littering the mountain’s edge. 
        “I need to stay strong just a little bit longer,” she whispered. 
        Just a little bit longer.
        Enough time to escape. 


Refusing to venture any closer to town, she headed south after the graveyard, cutting through the Leison’s property. Whenever she did have to go to town–which was rare–she always felt a nausea rise up in her stomach. Usually when she got home from such visit’s she would throw up. Town was where the bad men had changed her.
        She pushed those thoughts aside again as she waded through the Leison‘s ripened field of barley. 
        After crossing the Leison’s pasture, the pathway leading home was mostly dirt, and very thin, tall brown grass spilling over it in dry waves. Behind her the smooth mountains rose up from the edge of Wallace in awkward stretches, but ahead her the view of Fellekose was broad and open. She scanned that distant horizon expecting to see something. Again that feeling of everything happening before stirred inside her, and she really did expect to see something in those fields.
        Something, but what?
        What did she expect?
        Truly, she didn’t know. Just something. 
        The wind coming down from the mountains was steady, not too overpowering, but still managing to blow chunks of her blond hair out towards the plains. It made it feel as if the place were trying to swallow her up, trying to suck her in and steal her away forever. Normally she would have enjoyed such a feeling–the escaping freedom–but now her secret in father’s barn tied her a little closer to reality.
        She believed the old woman about how the secret would save her. She knew the secret would save her, would bring Wallace’s demise. The secret was hope. Was the future. Her future.
        Wini and her father lived on the property which was furthest from town–a fact Wini felt very fortunate for. It was just past the south-western corner of Wallace, the opposite side of where the prison, graveyard, and tower was. 
        She stared off into the Fellekon parries again, longing for release and escape. What was she looking for? There was a sensation that she should know, but she didn’t. She felt lost. Alone. Unsure. 


The house that father built was short and wide with a peaked roof of hay. The windows were large and round, but the doorway and porch were narrow and square. The barn was in the distance, but she refused to put her attention in that direction. Not yet. There were other issues to deal with first. 
        She came up from behind the house, hoping father wouldn’t see or hear her. The cellar door was open. Very Strange. Sneaking up beside it, she tried listening in, hoping father wasn’t in there. No sound came out. Good. She climbed down the ladder, dust mimicking her every step. 
        No, this can’t be, she thought once her feet touched ground, fear squirming in her mind.
        The light falling down into the entrance was feint, but enough to see that the cellar was empty. The corn that father had harvested was gone.
        Wini wasn’t sure what to think of this. Why would father empty out the cellar? How could she have not noticed?
        Quickly she went outside, circled the rest of the house, and found the front door wide open. She searched the house‘s small rooms, and could not find father. It made no sense. Father was predictable. This was not like him.
        Panic and dread suddenly swelled up in her throat, and she walked outside slowly. 
        She needed corn. 
        She needed…
        Wini moved careful down the steps, her thoughts cold. What if father was in trouble? What if they had found out about her secret, and blamed father? It was in a way his secret too. He had helped. 
        Her thoughts jumped slightly when she turned to the side of the house where mother’s rose garden had been, and her worries about father faded. The garden was overgrown in a tangle of half dried weeds. A few crimson flowers still managed to peer up from the misery of what was once a beautiful garden, like silent warriors refusing defeat. It reflected how Wini felt now, her soul dying in a place she did not want to be. Rooted in a home gone sour. Jaded. Abused. Scared. Broken. 
        She entered the archway, and broke off one of the roses, the thorns snagging into her fingertips, drawing blood.
        She stared at the blood a moment. 
        "The corn is more important than father," she whispered.
        Somehow she knew he was in trouble, but she didn’t care. Staring at the battered rose laying against her bloodied fingers, she realized this now. Nothing else mattered. She needed corn.


Father’s cornfield was barren, but Wini walked out into it anyways. Why was this happening now of all times? Why would the corn be gone? She stared off at the barn in the distance, almost afraid to even look at it, afraid that it might too be gone. It wasn’t though. It stood there like a dark spec. Like a black star lighting the cold day with hope. With a future. 
        She looked out into the distance, towards Fellekose again, knowing this time what she was looking for. There had been wolves lurking in the distant planes for some time now, slowly coming closer one day, and then moving further the next. 
        They were gone now though. 
        Why had she just remembered them now?


There was only one place to check for corn now: the barn. There was a second cellar in the barn. Maybe father was at the barn too, guarding her secret. 
        Childish notions. Silly. Sad and pathetic. 
        The thoughts swirled, and made her dizzy. 
        She ventured towards the barn, fear pounding in her battered heart like a dark storm. The closer she got to the barn, the more she understood why she was afraid. The more she knew. The more she…
        The barn was different than it should be. Horrifying. 
        There were no windows on any of the walls. It was as if there were never any windows, and there was only one door. A large door covered in moss and tiny ferns. Not a barn door. Some other door. Locked.
        She began to scream.

For anyone wanting to read the first book, it's available at and