I admit that when I check out a new artist's work, I'm initially drawn to character design. I love to see the emotion infused in well executed face or the surprising anatomy of a brand new monster. But it's always exciting to see concept artists and illustrators who pairs their talent for creating new characters (or reimagining old favorites) with a flair for capturing the light and space of environments both natural and fantastical. Vince Aparo is one of those artists, rendering serene Japanese forests, colorful floating islands, Wild West steampunks and some fun bits of fanart.
You may recall Aparo's delightful Patriots vs. Giants illustration, which recast the most recent Super Bowl showdown with superheroes and villains. Many of Aparo's characters are influenced by cartoons and video games, but his environment paintings draw from both fiction and real life. You can see Aparo's portfolio on his Carbonmade site, but I'm rather partial to his blog, where he posts tons of sketches and is drawing his way through the alphabet. T is for Tinker; U is for Uruk-hai; V is for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.