Why do you need a Cameo Anderson pet portrait?


1. A painting by Cameo shows others how much you love your pet
2. A painting by Cameo reminds you how much you love(d) your pet
3. A painting by Cameo keeps the happy memory of your pet alive long after your pet has gone
4. A painting by Cameo can be used as proof of ownership if your pet is ever lost/stolen (Mine, especially, as I specialize in extreme detail and realism)
5. A painting is by Cameo mood enhancing – especially if the subject is someone you love. Look at yours and smile.
6. A painting by Cameo adds just one more special connection to the relationship you have with your pet
7. A painting by Cameo given as a gift adds a special connection to the relationship between you and someone you care about.
8. A painting by Cameo is a wonderful addition to home decor. Enhance your office, too. You have total control of the colors used in the piece so that it will match whatever special place you have set aside for a piece of fine art.
9. A painting is a luxury and owning commissioned painting is not something everyone can do. Stand out among your friends with your own original work of art!
10. A painting can honor a deserving soul. Pets often (especially those who were rescues) save the lives of the humans who adopt them in one way or another. Artwork is a wonderful homage to greatness.
11. Show your pet your love – my cats are particularly interested in the murals I have painted around the house. They often sit and watch me paint the walls. Animals do notice art. Of course, they are like people, and have varying levels of interest and understanding but I’m just confident they’d ask you for a Cameo if they could!

Commissioning and owning a piece of fine art is a fun, one of a kind experience that not everyone can enjoy. Whether you order or not, I appreciate your visit to my online gallery. Feel free to stop by and enjoy my work anytime. Kind words mean a great deal to an artist. Continue reading

Give to fill your heart, not your pocket book.

Donating art to charity is argued about regularly by artists of all kinds. I can tell you that, as an artist who has donated over 100 works to charity, you should donate art because you want to benefit the cause. Don’t do it to get a profit or exposure. In most cases, it doesn’t bring a lot of new eyes to my work and I don’t make any profit. It costs me nothing but time, though, and I can help more animals find homes, get medical help and other care, that I never could have done if I only donated cash.

That said, my first artwork donation to Hero the Husky launched my entire pet portrait career. I had one really big win. But I can’t predict where another artist might find an opportunity like that. If you’re going to give your time and talent to a cause, do it out of the goodness of your heart and let your support and love be it’s own reward. If you get more “likes” on your facebook page, a commission or two, or some publicity for your work than consider it a nice bonus. This, of course, is just my opinion. I’m going to keep giving as long as I have time and resources to do so because with a few brush strokes I can fill an empty food bowl and that makes me feel great. Chow down, shelter dogs!


A husky sits alone outside with big sad blue eyes.

This snow dog wants you to know that purebreds and puppies are adoptable, not just mutts. Adopt. Don't shop.


Flighty Artist

It’s no secret that I like things that fly. This painting of a falconer and her bird is one of my favorite pieces. It probably took longer than almost any of my other works to complete because I had not painted a falcon prior to this. I had to study a lot of images. Falcon and Falconer - a formal painting

A young falconer and her bird explore an ancient sport

The New Cameo Anderson Website

I am updating this blog (which I originally focused on character development for writers and artists as it relates to science fiction), to become the all-around go-to place for buying my artwork.

You will find information on how to order:
Pet Portraits
Character Designs
(People portrait section coming soon)

Idiosyncrasies or Idiocies?

So you want a unique character but you’re having a hard time figuring out how to design it because everything’s been done? What can you do to make your characters stand out? This one is taking on a new meaning when it comes to designing Scene Dogs (google them to see what I mean but I will show some modest examples here of some creative new characters).

Scene Dog Character Set (c) ShadownChaosforevr.deviantart.com
Colorful Scene Dogs illustrate outlandish character traits

Some have chosen to invent new eye colors, hair colors & skin colors. Others have chosen to use piercings, sparkles, tats, deformities, outlandish costumes or new twists on old favorites (like wings on the head instead of on the back because now wings on your back are boring). Since every conceivable eye color and bi-eyed combination has been thought up and used, we now have artists doing characters with eyes that are three different colors at once!

Sometimes, this stuff is realistic. I myself have one green eye and one gray/blue eye where you can’t even see the pupil really.

So how far is too far? That’s something each artist has to decide for themselves. It depends on who and what you’re designing the character for. If you just want something cute to stick on your online art gallery, well, there really are no limits. If you want your character to appear in a serious series then you might not want neon pink eyes and a bionic ear – or maybe you would! 🙂

If you’re giving your character weird parts and eye colors just because you want to give them weird parts and eye colors or only becuase you want to make sure him/her is original, you may want to think a little bit more before you make a final decision. But, if your character’s outlandish colors/exaggerated traits/bionic parts serve an important purpose to the story then you might be on the right track.

Continuity in character sets

Okay, have you ever played that game “Which of these does not belong”? In that game you are presented with a set of words or images and you have to identify the common link between them which will lead you to the odd one out – the one that does not belong.
The cartoon dog all the way on the end is totally different than the other 3 pets.
This is not a mistake that professional game/movie/comic/character designers typically make – but it is one that beginners do frequently.

Sometimes it works to have one character that is strikingly different from all of the rest of the characters in a set. Sometimes it absolutely fails. To further confuse the issue, there is, as with most art related subjects, an element of subjectivity to this.

What concerns are there? If one character has different proportions from another it can suggest that the character is a different age (A bigger head suggests a child, for example). So, unless you intend to suggest a character is a different age/species by altering their proportions, then it is best to follow the rules you have created for your set so that people are not confused.

Having characters that look like they were all drawn by different artists is also typically a no-no. If you have one character drawn with thick black lines and finished with cell shading next to a character with thin colored lines and soft shading it might look like you ran out of money on your project and had to hire a different artist. It also doesn’t work well from a design prospective. It messes up the balance/chi/juju/continuity/whole-ness/feng shuei of your project – however you want to phrase it. Just throws things off. It would severely annoy someone with OCD and it doesn’t look particularly professional. If you don’t care, or have a good reason to do it, then it might work but this is rare.

Finding professional examples of this is nearly impossible. If you find one, feel free to submit it to me. I can only think of one right off: Kai Leng from Mass Effect 3 (awesome RPG from BioWare)

The whole game looks and feels like a modern star wars – and the worlds/characters are almost as well developed as those in the SW universe. Then, out of nowhere, comes this super flat (writing wise, though he is pretty thin, too) assassin who looks and acts like some 10 year old boy’s anime-ninja alter-ego. It’s almost embarrassing how badly written he is (mostly because he is quite stereotypical, cheesy, overdone). The rest of the characters look so unique and developed (even some that don’t get a lot of screen time manage to feel round in spite of it). Kai is very hard to take seriously and I hated every interaction with him. I couldn’t wait for my chance to kill that little design failure.

Mismatch that works:

If you have many artists working on your project and you can’t find a style they all can match, here are some things you can do about it:

1. Have one artist do all the sketches, one do all the inking, one do all the coloring, and one do all the shading – or some variation of this so that everything still meshes.

2. Have one artist do all of the work for certain sets (like one artist does the first level world/creatures/items and a second artist does all of the work for level 2 so that everything is congruous within those levels).

3. Don’t make anything match. I have below an example of this tactic and how it works:

This site has a neat ‘scrapbook’ feel and contains art done by probably over 100 different artists with totally different styles. I know because I am one of them! The game is designed to appeal to creative types and has something for everybody (whether you like simple and cute, absolutely ridiculous, hideously ugly or majorly mechanical). The worlds and items are completely unique from one another, too, not just the creature and character designs. It works because everything is so different. It’s not just a few out of place pieces of art.

Simple Sells

You might not judge a book by its cover (Though I do regularly – I generally only pick up books with nicely illustrated front covers) but a character’s appearance can/does tell you a lot. It is an obvious and important consideration in character design. In this post I’m going to talk about simple character designs and why they work.

Cordy, Sackboy, Toadstool, Bob & Moogle comparision.

These simple game characters work well because they are appealing (cute lol) and because their design reflects their role in the game. Most of these characters are from puzzle games with fairly simple plots. Their simple design does not distract from the game play. Games with this type of character tend to be more about what you’re doing than who you interact with. Cordy (Cordy – a popular game for mobile devices), Sackboy (Little Big Planet), Toadstool (Super Mario Brothers) & Bob (Puzzle Bobble). You may have noticed I left the last guy out. That’s because his case is a little different.

#5, The “Moogle”, comes from the Final Fantasy series, which is a complex game that deals a lot with character interaction. Its world is equally complex. But the Moogle serves simple functions (to save your game, for example) and its design reflects that. It is one of the most doodled/tattooed characters from that entire series.

Some of these characters have a little more going on than is immediately obvious (Cordy, for example, has little mechanical doohickeys & the original Sackboy has a detailed texture overlay), but they can all be simplified into a big circle for a head & a smaller circle for the body. There is a lot of ’roundness’ in all of these character designs that adds to the appeal factor.

Game characters can get even simpler than that (Pacman & Kirby, for example). Simple characters are also common as company mascots and logos because they are easy to identify which makes them highly marketable. They also cost less to print which makes for good merchandising possibilities (Think “Angry Birds”).

How simple is too simple? Even stick men have their place in character design. Characters can really make a game (again, think Angry Birds. It’s similar to “Worms: Armageddon” in terms of game play but Angry Birds has many more fans and tons of merchandise. The poor worms really got the popularity shaft and it is likely because they lack the charm of the birds.


New Address
This site is now www.sporepalace.com! This will make it easier for everyone to find my blog.

New Facebook Page

I have finally setup a professional facebook page. This will feature my pet portrait paintings and animal rescue work as well as illustrations, personal projects, art just for fun, and whatever else I might not put up on my sci-fi focused blog.
A very old image of Bucky O'Hare I did before I could draw.
P.S. : I currently have 5 pieces of written work awaiting results (some contests, some professional submissions, all science fiction).

Poison Ivy

What Have I been up to? Well, the following are some of the highlights:

I completed a logo for an elementary school in New Jersey. I may be doing a Skype session with the kids at an assembly to talk about it (I don’t know if I’ll be talking about art in general or how I designed their mascot – we’ll see what they ask me, I guess!).

I entered 3 short stories into the American Short Fiction contest. Each story was under 1,000 words (I think the shortest was 400 words total). The first one is about tradition and has a surprising, slightly creepy ending. The second, my science fiction entry, is a speculative piece on commercialism, lazy teenagers and the next step in technological evolution. This story is unique in that it only contains dialog: there is not a single line of narrative. The third story is more of a fantasy piece about the surprising things children can inherit from parents. You may thing twice about getting tattoos. 🙂

I have an article about finding your inner child and the benefits of doing so currently submitted to Slate and Style. I used to subscribe to this magazine and I think there’s something extra special about being published in publications that hold a personal interest to an author 🙂 I also have a short piece, The Change, submitted to East Of The Web, an online collection of short stories.

My sister has created a piece of wearable art I will be modeling (only because she’s my sister) at an upcoming art show. It’s made of recycled materials (as that is the theme of this particular show) and is a comment on the media’s effect on a person. See pictures and info here: Desiree Joy: Visual Artist/Animator

A good friend of mine, JJ, Graduated with a BA, got some book cover jobs, set up an unreal tournament server – oh yeah, and I got poison ivy rash. o.o

Mister Twister - Designed by me for DAC



Here is a book cover candidate for Anna’s story. There are some things I really like, such as how much you can learn about the characters from this image. There are some things I don’t like, the weathersphere isn’t exactly how I picture it and Raigma is a little too messy looking in the full view. Mostly, however, this image is a win for me adn I am proud to present it to you. It represents 10 hours of work with photoshop 7 and wacom intuos2 tablet and pen.

Anna McKenna, Bailey Jacobs, Raigma.