Relative Perspective WIP Update #9

Next up? I’m working on the middle to foreground main images. This has been a very long time! I’m glad to see it’s finally coming together. First element in, three to four to go. I’m anxious to finish it now! I hope you like the update!

Relative Perspective WIP Update #8

I was able to make some progress on the mountains! This was a major sticking point before. This time I really like the results! I was very apprehensive about adding the snow.

I had a couple of reworks. Then half way through the previous one I hit the right technique.

So I restarted once again. I was able to really get good details, this time.

So I give you snow covered mountains! I actually would love to go hiking there!

Next I’ll be working on the middle and foreground. This thing might actually get finished in the near future!

Relative Perspective WIP Update #7

I finally have some updates on this project to share with you!

I’ve got screenshots of my progress! It’s been good having this tablet. The freedom to take my work anywhere and some really great tools. I’m still learning it’s limits but it’s been very helpful!

I’m debating on putting snow in the mountains. I’ll put them on a separate layer so I can change them if it doesn’t work out. The details are coming out very nice! There’s still a lot to do but the scene is setting up pretty good! I’ll post more proper progression photos next time.

New for the New Year 2018

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your holidays! Hopefully you have plans for something great this year! 

I’ve got a new project that will need your help! More about how that will work in the upcoming posts! I hope to roll parts of it out in stages this year. I’ve been sneaking out images of the plan, recently. It’s focused around the fantasy self-portraits I posted before and some creature drawings. Like this Lupine-Naga:

For now, here’s to many great things for you in this New Year! 

An Artist’s Journey

I’m trying a different direction with the posts I will be putting here. This and the following posts under this title will share parts of my world. What helped to create the artist in me? Why am I driven to create? What has influenced and inspired me to do these things? What do I like to create?

As an artist, it’s important that my work find you guys and others like you. I want to share the things I imagine with everyone. There are so many people, places and things to show you.

But before that I should do a better job of introducing myself and sharing why this is such an important thing. My name is Richard Thaxton. In my Bio I explain about the reason why I chose the name XT Illos. The oldest being that an “X” was the way most people who couldn’t read or write would mark their signature.

Due to differing processes in training kids to read early on in school, many of my classmates and myself did not learn how to read properly. The new pilot program was not continued when we were transferred back to our original group the next year. This is where my choice to express myself visually took roots and grew. Even though I took an advance placement test in middle school and scored 11th to College level, I struggled with reading a lot all the way through high school. In the first quarter of college I taught myself to read.

I’ve been drawing for a long time. As a kid, I would try to reproduce small images of art that came in catalogs into larger pencil and colored pencil drawings. I got pretty good at catching the details. My favorites were the old tall sailing ships, pirate ships and different animals.

I was and still am a avid cartoon junkie which of course includes anime! Those and the live action dramas would keep me glued to the TV on Saturday mornings or the theater, when we could go. Many films about great works really mesmerized me. Some of my early favorites were Kimba the White Lion, Ultraman, Speed Racer, King Kong, Godzilla, Star Trek, Tarzan, the Seven Voyages of Sinbad, the Land That Time Forgot, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Wolfman.

There was lots of influences all around. there was lots of primers for the creativity to start flowing in my imagination. One day in high school a friend shared a book with me that really set things into motion. It was by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the John Carter series A Princess of Mars. This story and the artworks by Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta was the final push. I was enchanted and felt driven to learn how to tell stories with my art.

It’s been a long road from then until I could properly relate what I was seeing in my imagination. Lots of frustrating attempts in the beginning. As I would practice and study the things I was attempting to create I began to pick up more details. I took art in middle and high school. I also took classes in college for art both fine and commercial. One day I decided to give story illustration a try but that’s a story next time.

I don’t have any examples of my old work because of them being lost in a storage fire. I will drop in older pencil sketches, design processes and finished art that has not been seen since most of them were published.

“Wack” 16in x 20in Oil on Illo Board 1995


Possible Project BuildingĀ 

I’ve been taking some sessions on crowd funding. I have a project that I’ve wanted to do for a while. It involves gargoyles, sort of. I’ve been working on a few sketches. This is the latest one. It’s a modified turkey vulture skull that I drew.

It will go along with these two sketches  I posted previously.

The other sketch I’m still working on. I’ll add it here once it’s done. I hope everyone’s day has been fantastic! 

W. I. P. – Illustrating Studies #1

I’ve been building a set of studies for a new illustration project. I felt it was be good to share my results here with you. It all started with the self portrait/fantasy portrait sketches I posted recently. I’ll post them again here:

First Contact No Text.jpg

The end goal is the upcoming project that they will be appearing in.

Its all part of the study I’ve been working on to better refine my illustrating techniques.

Here is an example of a marble study that I’m researching:

Marble Study 1.jpg

(Marble sample is from Pinterest and saved there by

I’ll add more examples as I’m developing each part of the project. Now it’s time to get back to work creating!