Saturday, May 31, 2008

It's A Mad House! A Mad House!

Just a panel from page 24, panel 4 of PERILS ON PLANET X #2. Still plugging away. Two pages to go and a plan to have them done by Monday. Page 25 tomorrow and page 26 tomorrow and Monday. Then I have half the book to ink. I'm pretty happy that I managed to pencil this page today. My day started by waking up 3 or 4 times during the night in the hotel, finally just getting up at 5:30 am & getting breakfast in the hotel, putting in 4 hours of Lab art (and that was a BIG piece of work), driving 1.5 hours home and then getting to work on this page and then finishing it at 8:30pm. Pretty darn productive day. Now it's time to watch last nights episode of Battlestar Galactica. Darn Hampton Inn didn't get the SciFi channel.

Friday, May 30, 2008

On The Road Again

Todays theme fits todays activities. I am going out of town for a couple of Lab gigs. I will be back tomorrow. So with traveling on my mind, I thought I would share a couple of pieces I did just recently. I do a lot of work for a Life Coach. He needs a wide variety of artwork for his business and the two pieces above are a good example. I did both of these based on an RV and trailer he is purchasing. None of the decals are done yet, but this artwork will be the starting point for it. The road sign is part of a promotion he will be doing. There are several signs with different US cities on them. This is all vector based artwork done in Adobe Illustrator.
Gotta load up the car and get going. Happy Friday everyone! 

Thursday, May 29, 2008


In a world populated by the true TIKI once worshipped on Earth, comes a space traveler who will learn to truly party! This summer, the Tiki Gods have found a way back to Earth and they have one heck of a huikilau planned for human kind. Starring Rose McGowan and an all-star cast lead by Danny DeVito, Seth Green, Christopher Lee and Deep Roy. Rated PG-13. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Growth and Cost Control

It was a full day at the Labs today. Helping a company identify areas that they can grow revenue and control costs. It's a tough time for a lot of businesses right now but this one is lucky in that the goals they are trying to achieve are possible without a lot of pain. It was a hard working group of about 75 people. I filled 5 boards, including this final piece to represent some of the main ideas that made the cut. And as always, these are completely done on the fly. No prepping can be done and no sketching it out first. Do or don't here.
Cute pin-up girl tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Temptation in color

Just time enough to ink and color her today. Came out a bit more "sweet" looking than the sketch. But that's okay, many times the temptress looks like she is working it too hard anyway. My feeling is she shouldn't really have to. :) Ink and watercolor on 11" x  17" Canson Bristol Board. Tomorrow is a full day at the Labs doing my whiteboard art for 75 people. Should be fun. That means everyone might be subjected to whiteboard art for tomorrows post. Unless I squeeze in a sketch somewhere. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

Temptation sketch

Just a quick sketch today. Pencil on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. This has been a good three day weekend. Actually took the weekend off and did some fun things. Been a while since I have done that. Back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Death in Autumn

Here she is inked and painted. I wanted to draw her a bit different than others. I went a little more "mod" with her hair and clothes. And skipped the usual skulls or black background that is normally done. Thus, (I like to use the word "thus" at least once a week) the falling leaves design. Plus it is a nice bright background to make her stand out. This is done in ink and watercolor on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board.

I have been toying with putting the latest pieces on eBay. Since I am not going to anymore conventions this year, I am starting to get a nice little stack of artwork. I will post here if and when I do put these up for sale in case anyone is interested. I hope everyone in the US is enjoying the long weekend. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Death becomes her

Just a little morning sketch. I am actually going to take the weekend off. Not from the blog, just from work. This piece features the DC Comics character, Death, and I will probably ink and color her before the weekend is over. She is penciled on 11"x 17" Canson Bristol Board.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Starfire in Color!

Should have been sleeping and working but instead I decided to ink and color this. :) Ink and watercolor on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. Happy Friday everyone. Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Just a quick roughed out sketch for inking later. Loooong day, no painting, just time to sketch a bit during lunch. This is my take on Starfire from DCs Titans. Pencil on 11 x 17 bristol board. Good night.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Process: Dreadbaby 3a. Painting

Some more color added today. There were some big areas to fill. The way to do that without leaving bands of brush strokes is to load your brush with the water/paint color, tip your board just enough so that when you start at the top of an area with your brush, you slowly chase the paint down the board. Not tipping it too much keeps the water/paint mixture in place so as you move down the area you fill it evenly. As long as you have enough paint loaded in the brush. I also tested picking out the paint on her arms for highlights. This was done with clean water and a clean brush. Work the water lightly over the area and either pick up the paint/water that is loosen from the board with a dry brush or towel. Worked well. I know it's been a slow process. I thought about doing this all at once and post parts of it over a week, but I do want to stay as real-time as possible. So that means, working on her when I can. Oh, and am I the only one who just noticed I never painted her right thigh with a skin tone? Oops!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Here comes the judge

The title for this post is a reference to an old song by Shorty Long in 1968. Thats a long time ago. Almost as long is me not being called for jury duty. For the 27 years of my adult life I have never had a summons. Until a couple of weeks ago. No excuse was good enough for them so today I went through the long process of sitting around waiting with dozens of strangers in a form of reverse lotto, waiting to be called. Reverse because you don't want your number to come up. After being called on the first round and sitting through the 2.5 hour process of being asked if I could be fair and impartial in a second degree attempted murder trial, I was not picked. Whew! Back to the big room and the strangers for more waiting. Other groups came and went but not me. Finally released and got home in time to get ready to watch my daughter play viola in a school Orchestra concert. So not productive today. So just a sketch. Back to work tomorrow. Oh, and Dakota was incredible in the concert. Made the rest of the day fade away. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Process: Dreadbaby 3. Painting

I wanted to get some color on her today because tomorrow is going to be rough. There are outside forces at work, trying to derail my 365 day goal. More about that tomorrow, I hope.

Something I completely forgot about when I started this: I don't have everything I need for airbrushing. I usually rent a CO2 tank, hook up a regulator I have and I'm on my way. But since moving I just never got around to renting a tank. So I am doing this by hand and brush. Normally I spray the colors, just kind of blocking them in. I don't use any guides so the color tends to overspray in other areas. I like that. I am using gouache as my medium of choice here. Gouache is an opaque watercolor. And unlike acrylic, I can remove color with water and a brush or paper towel. Very important to the process I use. Also important, the paint is still transparent enough for the pencils to show through. This is just the first layer of paint for her skin. There will be a few more layers to build up color to where I want it. We still have a ways to go. I will see if I can shoot some photos to go along with this too.

Since I have never done a tutorial and because for the most part I am self taught, I will probably miss an explanation or two. If you have questions, just shoot them to me and I will try to come up with an answer. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Return to Eden

I have returned to the Bahamas project once again. This is a site map I just finished for the project. This was an add on to the original job. It was my idea to incorporate the images that I did before in order to give the viewer an idea of where those locations are. The map was done entirely in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, working from the elevation plan provided by an architect company in Nassau. I think the actual site has the roads cleared now, so other than that, none of this exists now.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

We interupt the Process to bring you this...

This is a couple of panels from PERILS ON PLANET X that I did this morning. Isn't a 4 armed flying vampire ape just one of the creepiest and fun ideas in a while? You can thank writer Chris Mills for that one. This page has one more panel to finish it off. Maybe tomorrow. So why didn't I paint and continue the process of Dreadbaby? Well, I went and bought a new Apple 24" iMac, with maxed out ram at the Apple Store today and have been getting everything set up on it. I really needed it too. My 733mhz G4 is 7-8 years old, and while it does great with 80% of what I do, that 20% is making up more and more of my work these days. So it was time. Now I am just waiting for Adobe CS3 (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.) to get here on Wednesday and I will be flying high. :) So I hope I didn't disappoint anyone and that everyone is having a good weekend.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Process: Dreadbaby - 2. Color Test

At this point, I have scanned the pencil rendered art and made a few copies of it on a single page. Before having a computer, and more importantly a Wacom Tablet, I would photocopy the art and use markers, color pencils or whatever was handy to do color comps. I still have some old comps from covers I have done. Now it's much easier. On these four copies, I am just throwing colors together to see what stands out. Whatever I decide on at this point will not translate directly to the painting though. Digital and traditional medium colors don't come out exactly the same. This is just to get ideas. There are things I like in each one of these. The tough part is narrowing it down. I don't do too many comps because I could easily get bogged down in choices. So these are it. One interesting thing came up though. While I was working on the rendering, the term Love Pirate came to me and I came up with the little flag. I can't recall seeing that before or hearing the name. So I Googled it and sure enough there is a band called Love Pirate. I thought I was being so original. Oh well.

The fun part is next: Painting! To be continued.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Process: Dreadbaby - 1a. Value Rendering

On the left is yesterdays image, on the right is todays finished piece. I put them next to each other for comparison. What I have done since the first image is finish rendering all the lights and the darks and various planes of her face and body. This was done using a few different methods. One is using the side of the pencil lead with light strokes to build up the dark areas. Light areas are the white of the paper and graphite being smudged a bit to get a soft look. I never want to push too hard on the pencils because I don't want to create grooves in the board and if I try to build up the dark areas too quickly I can crush the tooth (texture) of the board/paper and that dark area has a shiny finish to it. If there were areas that have absolute black, I would do that with paint. The next step will be doing a couple of digital color comps to try some color schemes. To be continued.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Process: Dreadbaby - 1. Value Rendering

We are revisiting a recent post in order to show a process I sometimes use to paint. While it's not Earth-Shattering, I hope everyone will enjoy it. I can't promise that it will continue each day but I will tag it so you will be able to catch it at your leisure.

The initial sketch was the beginning. The sketch was then projected on to a piece of Stathmore Water Color board using an opaque projector. It was enlarged during this process as well. I traced my line art on to the new board using a 2H pencil. One completed I then started rendering the light and shadows as well as reinforcing the lines. The idea of this underdrawing is to make the pencil values do the heavy lifting when I paint. In the finished painting the pencils will still be visible. There is more to do in this stage but I thought this is a good example to show parts that are rendered versus parts that are not. To be continued.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Princess of Mars in living color

It has been a very productive few days. Finished the revisions of a very big and important job. Will hear tomorrow if any other changes are needed before heading to press on Thursday. Signed a million DIARY OF NIGHT postcard size prints. Not a million really, just looked like it. And tonight after a late dinner I did the above. Based on a sketch I posted here a while back. This is done in ink, watercolor, and acrylic on 11" x 15" 140 lb, Strathmore cold press watercolor block. My scanner made it look brighter and more saturated than the original so I desaturated it a bit. Got it looking the same as the original but then I post it and it looks duller than the original. Oy! I can't think of the last time I painted something using traditional mediums. I think I needed to bust loose a bit. I really have a ton of work to do but sometimes you just got to take a couple of hours after a 12 hour day and do something for yourself. :) I also wanted to do something different for the blog. It's been a lot of misc. sketches and business illustrations lately. Don't want anyone to get bored. :) Good night all!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pencil fun again

Here's a quick piece from this morning. Deadline looming on Wednesday. Miles to go before we rest. Back to work. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fun with a Prismcolor Pencil

Yesterdays post was a drawing done in graphite and rubbed with my fingers to get some nice gray tone effects. Highlights were picked out with a kneaded erasure. I was asked by Gary if the same effect could be done with color pencils. I haven't tried before so the idea got my interest. So thanks to Gary, here ya go. Now for the details. This was difficult to do. Most of my color pencils were too hard and did not smear. I switched to Primacolor Soft Lead pencils and I did get it to blend but I did have to use a paper towel. The pencils are too waxy and don't break down the same as graphite. I also had to use a piece of bristol board as opposed to my sketchbook in order to have more texture on the paper. Lifting out color was more difficult as well. The erasure would take up either too little or too much. There wasn't much in between. I think using pastels would be the medium to do this sort of effect in color. Still, I like trying new approaches to creating art and it was a good experience. Thanks for the suggestion Gary!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fun with a Pencil

Todays title is actually the title of a Andrew Loomis art instruction book but the sketch today was inspired by illustrator Robert McGinnis. I'm not an expert of his work, I have been aware of it for years though. Recently I have been collecting his book cover images to use as my desktop. The women he painted were always strong, cool, sultry and sexy. But it is the strength I think is sexy. The women looked tough as nails in so many covers I have seen. Even when playing the seductress. If you are not familiar with his work, goggle his name and look at the images you find. You won't be sorry. Todays piece was done in pencil in my sketchbook. With a whole lot of rubbing my fingers over the graphite and then lifting the highlights with a kneaded erasure. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. :) 

Friday, May 9, 2008

Do you believe in magic?

A little Zatanna sketch today from my sketchbook. I used to own the original art for a complete Zatanna backup story from Adventure Comics with art by Dick Giordano. I parted with it a few years back and I still regret it. The pages were beautiful as you can imagine. Ah well. Here she is in a slight variation of her original costume. Pencil in the sketchbook. About 35 minutes. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Naughty & Nice

I have two today. I was playing with this idea of a devil girl lit from below. Just wasn't working out but in the interest of showing the good with the bad on this blog, I decided to post it. That said...
since the "bad" was going to be represented, I figured "good" needed equal time. Came up with a theme for the post without even trying. :) Weekend is almost here folks!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe...

It's more art from that wacky text book. :) Sorry, just feeling silly. Tired too. Up at 5:30 to get some work done before a Lab event at 8:30 for the United Way. That ended at 12 noon and then drove an hour to Sarasota for a client project. Got home at 6:30. So here is some more text book art. All of these were done in pencil with Photoshop colors. I think I will be done with the book by Friday. Whew!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New Sketchbook!

I like a new sketchbook. And since I started this blog I have been going through pages rather quickly in my old sketchbook. So today starts a new book and this is the first page. Not working backwards in this one so far. :) With all that said, I also hate a new sketchbook. Not mine. Others. For example, when someone comes to me at a convention and has a book. And. It's. Brand. New. So the sketch I do will be the first one everyone sees when they open the book for a long time. Unless I screw up and they tear it out. :)  The only worse situation is when they have an Adam Hughes or a Mark Schultz sketch that I am to follow. sigh. I like MY new sketchbook. :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dangerously Straight

Todays title comes from my daughters shampoo bottle. I guess no curls are allowed. :) This is just a little sketch I did today. Didn't have the energy for much more. Though I really like her face. Today was tough as I was working with 1.5 hours of sleep. Going to bed at 4:30am and getting up at 6am is not much fun. Had to make up for the time spent going to Vero Beach and back for the Erin Hunter signing. But I'm over the hump on the project I was working on. So with some luck I will be able to work on PERILS ON PLANET X tomorrow. At least get a couple of panels penciled. Maybe that will be tomorrows post!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pillow Fight!

I like to explore themes when I am doing pin-up art. Especially when I started with CILM. Devil Girls, Mermaids, Cupid Girls, Fairies, and others have been run though my head and on to paper. Sometimes I take suggestions as to what people want to see. But for me lately it's been pillows. I have posted two other ideas recently and now here is another. In this, the viewer is the one having a pillow fight with our girl and she is about to lower the boom on you. The dog and cat are just there for the ride and may enjoy being bounced on the bed. I like the energy in this one and I will be working her up to a full finished piece. Color pencil in my sketchbook. Thanks for looking.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Leaving the Bahamas

This is the last piece of art for the real estate development project I have been working on. This is drawn in ink, scanned and colored in Photoshop. Scanned watercolor paper for texture. Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bahama Concept Art 2

Here's another piece from the development in the Bahamas. I am doing the concept art for this property. As of right now, the streets have been cleared and I think some of the property pads are done. This piece illustrates an intersection in the development and some of the features that will be, well, uh, featured. None of this is there now and I have nothing be the idea of it to work with. That said, here is the process. The top was the first rough I did and the second piece is the color comp for it. Unfortunately, it showed too many amenities. The pool, tennis courts and the club house are not there and may be the last to be done. Nothing is final about it. So we went into a different direction and I did two other roughs and color comps. Each one not showing any  structures, just the roundabout in the center of the intersection and some grass. Not to exciting. So we went back to the initial design, made a few changes and the bottom one is the result. The biggest change was the clubhouse across the street is a single story building now. The roughs were done in pencil with Photoshop colors. The final at the bottom was done using a Micron ink pen and Photoshop colors with a scan of watercolor paper behind it all for texture.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Flowers

Just a quick one today folks. Just finished the Neuroscience book. I hope, anyway. Though there has been two passes at the art, there might still be some revisions. But the bulk is done. I still have two paintings to put some time into tonight. The goal is to get far enough ahead so we can take our daughter to meet her favorite writer, Erin Hunter of the WARRIORS series of books. Ms. Hunter will be in Vero Beach, Florida Sunday for a signing. So we are making the trek across the state to the east coast. Should be fun. But I've got work to do before that. :) Todays sketch is from the sketchbook. Color pencil and Photoshop. A play on the "April showers bring May flowers" line. Would have liked to fill up the page with flowers. Maybe if I finish it...