Tuesday, June 30, 2009

HeroesCon - The Show That Won't End!!!

A couple of pieces from HeroesCon have shown up. First up, Apparition from the Legion of Super-Heroes for Karen. She sent this digital photo a few days ago and I am just now getting to it. This was done in her sketchbook. Thanks Karen!
Next up, a piece I had forgotten about. I started this in my hotel room on Friday night of the show. It was to be finished for the auction on Saturday. But I was exhausted and didn't have the energy to paint it. Plus in my tired state, I wasn't sure I like it. I put it away and ended up donating a painted Poison Ivy piece instead. While unpacking some stuff, Huntress shows up. It's not bad after all. I may just paint it anyway. This is 15" x 20" on illustration board.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Emma Frost vs Ms. Marvel - Process and Finish

This was a unique commission in which the final would look like a fight poster/flyer. That involves a lot of text. Something that I was very excited to do because I knew it would enhance the final art and help with the look we were going for. I have already posted the initial sketch and have shown much by way of figure and painting process so I thought I would show the lettering process.

Below I have printed out the text I designed for the art. I had scanned my finished pencils into Photoshop and sized it to the final board dimensions. This enabled me to put the text at the right size. No guessing needed. I place the print out over the area I wanted the text to be and then slide a sheet of graphite transfer paper between the printout and the board. Tape it down so it doesn't move, and then proceed to use a pen and a ruler to "draw" each letter. You can see in the photo where I am lifting the graphite paper and the printout, the text has been transfered. I did the top and then the bottom separately.
Now that everything is on the board I can start painting. I am not worried about paint going over the letters because the graphite will not lift up. In fact, the acrylic paint seals it to the board. I am working the figures and the background back and forth. There is an atomic explosion for the background but I am not using that as a dramatic light source. Instead I am going more for a graphic look, not a literal one. And atomic light source would wash it all out. :)
Each letter was either painted and/or inked. This was a long process but in the end I think it works. Adding the name of the person commissioning this piece as the promoter of this smack-down makes the art that much more personal.
The final art is mixed media on a 15" x 20" sheet of Cresent Hot Press Watercolor Board. Thanks to Ben for this fun and challenging commission!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sketchbook Sunday

Today I have been working diligently on the Emma Frost vs Ms. Marvel commission piece. It's a big one, 15" x 20". The tough part was transferring all the text that makes it look like a fight poster. Oy! :) It's coming along nicely and I have been taking digital photos of my progress for posting here later. I need to have it done by Tuesday so look for it then.

In the meantime, here are some sketches I am working on for CILM. The "Rinse, Lather, Repeat" gal you have seen. The others are just works in progress. I like the left two but don't know what to do with the right one. All were done with blue Col-Erase pencil in my sketchbook.

Got to head to the airport shortly, luckily only 5 miles away, to pick up Dakota. She comes back home after spending 2.5 weeks with her Mamaw. It will be good to have her home. We missed her and frankly, it's been too quiet around here. I don't hear the sounds of a 13-year old girl texting all the time and it's strange. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rinse, lather, repeat!

Hey look, it's another post! Two in one day! :)
I am finally working on some pin-ups for my next batch for CILM. Hopefully they haven't forgotten me. I usually have a theme for the batch of six, but I think this time I will just do whatever I feel like when I feel it. So today we start with a bathing beauty done in watercolors on 11" x 15" 140lb Strathmore Watercolor paper. Even though what I paint and draw would be more in line with what Playboy shows and tame by internet comparisons, I have still added some digital bubbles to cover certain areas. I'm sure you can guess where. Don't want to corrupt anyone. :)

I hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday. And depending where you are on this planet, the first day of Summer begins today or tomorrow, so enjoy!

HeroesCon - Post Game - Extra Innings

Another sketch from HeroesCon dropped in via an email from John and I thought I would share it. Dawnstar from The Legion of Super-Heroes in her classic outfit. Thanks for the commission John, I always have fun visiting my old pals in The Legion. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

HeroesCon - Post Game 4: Wrap Up

This is the second post for June 26. Make sure you scroll down for an earlier post of artwork from HeroesCon 2009.

Here are the last five sketches from HeroesCon. Yup, five. I had thought I only had four until another came attached in an email. Again, thanks to everyone who commissioned a sketch before and during the show.

First up is Tigra. This was a quick sketch I did in color pencils for the Ladd kids. The Ladds are one of the nicest families you could ever meet. And their kids are incredible! I thank them for making me part of their HeroesCon Family.

Desire of the Endless for Herman. He had this idea in his head and asked if I could do it. After doing the rough in a blue Col-Erase pencil, I really didn't want to ink it. I think it would have lost something. So I just finished it in color pencil in his sketchbook. This original is really small. About 5"x5".
Lori Lemaris for Royce. I did this one twice. I penciled a nice figure but it was missing something. It wasn't until later that I realized what was needed. I redrew Lori and using my iPhone, I found some reference of Wayne Boring's version of Superman/Clark Kent. Adding a "kiss" on the framed photo of Clark was the final touch. (Btw, Lori's lipstick and the kiss on the photo is red on the original)
A Phantom Lady for Little John!
And a Scarlet Witch for Alan!
There were more sketches but I didn't get shots or scans of them. There was a Dawnstar for John, a All-Star Superwoman for a different John, a Devil Girl for Herman and a ton of head sketches. If you go to the Comic Art Fans website and do a search of my name, you will find some pieces already have been posted.

That wraps it up. I hope everyone enjoyed the sketch review. My next show will be in Orlando at the Mini-MegaCon in August. It is only a two-day show and I will be setting up an advance sketch list once again. I will announce it a couple of weeks before the show.

HeroesCon - Post Game 3

Here are four more sketches from HeroesCon last weekend. This week has blown by and it's hard to believe that a week ago today I was at the Westin Hotel getting ready for the show. I suppose I could drag out all the sketches for another week or so but I already have a backlog of art to post and I don't want to get too far behind. Thanks to everyone who commissioned a sketch, before and during the show. Here we go...

First up, SHAZAM!, a classic Mary Marvel for Pat.

A Lady Blackhawk for Ed. Keep 'em flying boys!

A Black Canary and a Zatanna for Eric. The guy loves the fishnet, and who can blame him. :)

Make sure you check for part 2 of this final HeroesCon sketch review.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

HeroesCon - Post Game 2

Late post today folks. I did a painting I plan to share but I was also watching a 9 hour download of high resolution convention sketches. These images are here thanks to DIARY OF NIGHT creator/writer Will Allred. Everybody give him a round of applause.
These two sketches were done for Rob Ledfords sketchbook. The top one is Lar of Opar from Tarzan. I don't know anything about the character but Rob gave me a few things to think about in order to create this image. Below is one of my favorite subjects to draw: The characters from Mars books. John Carter and Dejah Thoris. I went with a fighting Dejah this time instead of the reclining Dejah. :) Thanks Rob!
Since the files took so long to download and I had to prepare them for posting, I only grabbed two. Be here tomorrow when I post eight more images to finish up the HeroesCon Post Game. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This was a piece I was supposed to be done before HeroesCon for "Patman". But when I didn't get it done, I figured I would do it at the con. While at the show, I got a little gun shy. I have never painted at a show and much like the newbie convention artist who has a tough time doing sketches, I found I was a little anxious about painting. Forgetting a couple of things I needed didn't help. Pat said no problem, I could get it to him later. And here we are.
I took some photos of the different stages for fun. The pencil rough (left), tighter pencils on the board (middle), and the underpainting in acrylic (right). The final art below is finished in watercolors on 12" x 16" 200lb watercolor paper.

Thanks for the commission and for waiting Pat!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Friday Night Fight! - Commission Process

I am gearing up to create a commission piece for Ben. He had the cool idea of pitting Emma Frost against Ms. Marvel in an image resembling a UFC: Fight Night style poster. Initially Ben was just going for the characters but after a bit of discussion we came up with adding the lettering. This will be explosive folks! Get your tickets NOW! :)

These two ideas are done in color pencils from my sketchbook.

Monday, June 22, 2009

HeroesCon - Post Game 1

I got home this morning at 5am, after a 10 hour drive, which was after a full day at the convention. To say I am tired is putting it mildly. I managed to get into bed by 6am, but at 8:30, my dentist called to confirm my cleaning appointment for tomorrow. Well, that ruined any chance of sleeping now. After some chores and lunch with Deena, I collapsed again on the bed for a couple of hours. But I am still tired. Whew!

Above is another sketch done at HeroesCon last weekend. This was done for Kevin in his sketchbook. I will have more sketches to share starting tomorrow. Will Allred, writer of DIARY OF NIGHT, had brought his scanner and was a scanning madman. He will be sending me more images when he makes it back home.
And speaking of home, here was mine this last weekend. It was a great weekend, as HeroesCon always is every year. The staff, the guests and the attendees make the show a real pleasure. I'm already looking forward to 2010!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

HeroesCon - Alan Scott & Alan Scott

This is ink and markers on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.
This is ink and markers on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

HeroesCon - X-23 & Pixie

First, a shout out to my mom, today is her birthday! Happy Birthday Mom, we love you!

This is ink on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.
This is ink on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.

Friday, June 19, 2009

HeroesCon - Sub-Mariner & Dr. Fate

This is ink on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.

This is ink and markers on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pre-HeroesCon - The Beast

I am packing to head out the door for the long drive to Orlando first, to pick up artist Joe Pekar, and then onward to Charlotte. I won't be posting commentary for each day but there will be art! And who wants to read what I have to say anyway? :) I will be posting from the show on Twitter so I you want to you can follow me at www.Twitter.com/genegonzales.

Today we have the Beast from Marvels X-Men and Avengers in his classic blue furry version. This is ink on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gonzo Art Studio is LIVE

I have a new site I want to announce: GonzoArtStudio

Over a year and a half ago I moved most, if not all my pin-up art off of my site at www.genegonzales.com. The reason, I was picking up quite a few new clients and I felt I should separate the comics/pin-ups from the business illustration. No one ever complained but there were comments about my "sexy drawings" in meetings that I would rather not have been discussing right then. So that is how this blog came about. A place to put the "sexy drawings" and comic related work until I could get an additional site ready. It took a long time. I bought the domain last year and was trying to figure out what software to build the site in since GoLive (the only program I knew) was now gone. And since I had no desire to learn any coding (of which my daughter, the CSS and HTML expert gives me a hard time about) I needed a WYSIWYG type program.

Then came Square Space. A great company that no only has the tools for me to build my site quickly and easily but they also host it. I found them through many of the tech podcasts that I listen to. Basically every reviewer I trust had nothing but GREAT things to say about the service and tools. If you need to build a site, host a blog, etc. I recommend you try their free trial account. No credit cards or obligation.

At GonzoArtStudio you will find my pin-up and comic work. None of that silly business stuff. It's pretty bare bones (no pun intended) right now but I will be adding more artwork over the next few weeks. This blog will continue as it always has but I will be moving the entire thing, archives and all, over to the new site soon.

I hope everyone checks out the site and enjoys their stay there.

Superman & The Daily Planet

Today is a busy day so I wanted to get this posted early. I finished this up last night but didn't scan it until this morning. This commissioned by Royce. He has asked for various Superman Family characters over the years but I don't think I had drawn the big guy for him. So here it is. This was done using ink, color pencils and pastels on 11" x 17" Canson Mi-Teintes paper. Thanks to Royce for this commission!
Now for some process stuff I don't think I have shown before. Below is a screenshot of my desktop with Adobe Illustrator open. Once I had the Superman figure down, I worked on the Daily Planet building. After scanning my rough sketch into Photoshop, I placed the sketch in Illustrator. Using some perspective lines made with a pen tool, I began to draw out the building. I also built the Daily Planet globe and lettering. When I was happy with the results, the Superman sketch was laid over the building for placement. I sized the building up and printed that on 11" x 17" copy paper. Slap it on the light table, transfer the drawing, ink, color, and there you have it. All of this could have been done on paper, but this saves time for me. And all my perspective lines and buildings get saved for some future use.
Check back later this afternoon for an announcement. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen

Royce requested Jimmy Olsen and his Superman signal watch. I thought it would be fun to add the big red "S" swooping by to stop whatever danger Jimmy witnessed. This is the first time I have been asked to draw Jimmy, but since Jimmy does have red hair and freckles, it made sense that Royce asked for him. ;) This is ink on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board. Thanks Royce!

SCOOP just did a little mention of my new sketchbook on today's post. Check it out here: Scoop.

The Vendor Client Relationship - In Real World Situations

I promise not to make a habit of posting videos unless they are directly related to my work, but this one was too good to pass up. I cannot tell you how many times I have had variations of these conversations over the years.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Huntress - Finished

Here is the finished image. Ink, color pencils and some acrylic on 11" x 17" Canson Mi-Teintes paper. Thanks Erica for this commission. You can pick it up at my table this weekend at HeroesCon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I'm doing this Huntress pin-up for Erica to be picked up at HeroesCon later this week. I thought I would show some steps of the progress. At the top is the rough I did on a piece of copy paper. That rough is 4" wide x 6" tall. The exact size that my opaque projector uses. Once I transfered the rough in pencil to an 11" x 17" sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes paper, I then inked it. Next step will be adding the color to the piece.

If the inked image looks uneven in contrast, it's because I just took a digital photo of it. I will scan the final when it is done.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tango minus Cash

This is a quick sketch done for Craig Zablo. He asked for a Sly Stallone headshot in my new sketchbook and here it is. I will have it for you at HeroesCon, Craig. Thanks!

I was originally going to draw Weaver, the character Stallone voiced in ANTZ, but opted instead for Sly from TANGO & CASH. A movie Deena loves and I really enjoy. It doesn't take itself too seriously and it has a young Teri Hatcher as an exotic dancer. How can you go wrong with that?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Phantom Girl

I was a bit busy today. Both with work and trying to come up with a great "gangsta" look. While getting the work done was successful, the new look wasn't. Oh well.

Today I did this Phantom Girl sketch in my sketchbook and decided to slap some quick color on it. I have a request from Karen for a Phantom Girl sketch, but not this costume. (Don't worry Karen) :) I like this outfit and while the character was on my mind I thought I would draw her.

I hope everyone has a good weekend. Drop by if you get bored. Peace out. (Ugh. I can't pull it off)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Black Canary

I decided to mix it up a bit and color another pin-up for conventions. Which then reminded me that I need to come up with something for the art auction at HeroesCon! I need to put my thinking cap on for that one. This is ink with colors in Photoshop. But you knew that already, didn't 'cha.

In other news, I put my daughter Dakota on a plane to Tennessee this morning. She is staying with my mom for the next two and a half weeks. Those two are like peas in a pod when they are together so I know they will both have a good time. During that time it's just Deena and I. So tonight are going to see a Clearwater Threshers baseball game. Always fun to do that. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sketchbook Wednesday

Just some roughs I did in my sketchbook. I think some of these would qualify as a finished convention sketch by some. Not for me though. :) There will be quite a few sketchbook days between now and next Thursday. I hope no one minds.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Scooby Doo's Velma!

This piece owes more to Linda Carellini (Velma in the Scooby Doo movies) than it does to the cartoon Velma. But hey, Velma was hot in the movie! This is Lan's request for his HeroesCon sketch. Thanks to Lan for the commission and for letting me share it early with everyone.

This is ink on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sketchbook Monday

Just some sketches today. Some from last week, some from the weekend and a few from today. All of these sketches have something in common in that they are all ideas I am working on from the early sketch list. One of which was completed today. And I'm not saying which one though. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

All-Star Superman Family

Both of these pieces were done on the front page of the two hardcover volumes of All-Star Superman. I had done the art in the front of two other books for Joe last month and he was happy enough with those that he asked for these to be done. These two presented some challenges that the other two books didn't. Ink lines would show up unless it was laid down a couple of times and even then I couldn't get a rich black. Even the texture worked differently with the color pencils. The only guess I have is the dyes used on this darker paper affected the texture and absorbency differently than it did on the light blue and the red paper I worked on before. While it was a challenge, I think they turned out good. I have included the pencil roughs from my sketch book for comparison. Because you only get one shot when working in a book, I tried to get the drawing down as tight as I needed it. Because I don't know how the paper will react to erasing, I don't want to be running an eraser all over it if I can avoid it.

Thanks again to Joe for these two commissions. I hope everyone has enjoyed the weekend!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

HeroesCon Advance Sketch List Reminder

The Early Sketch List has been very popular, thanks to everyone! Just a quick reminder though, if you asked to be put on the list but haven't told me what you want, please let me know as soon as possible. I don't need to know what character (though that is good to), just what you want as far as the medium: inked sketch, a Canson piece, or a painting. This helps me plan the time so I can take on more or so I don't take on too much.


Objects in Space

I was recommended for a job by my good friend Tom Fleming. A marketing agency in Los Angeles was looking for someone to create comic art for their revamped website. They wanted a Roy Lichtensein kind of look, which was based on the comics of the 1950s and 1960s. Since their site went live yesterday, I figure I could shate the final art I did for them.

I provided roughs for each item and as they were approved, I then inked them. The client and I agreed that we didn't think they should look too slick, something that can happen creating the artwork digitally. And they needed native Adobe Illustrator(AI) files for their website developer. So after inking, I scanned the art and brought it into AI and used the Live Trace function from the Object drop down menu. Live Trace took pixel based art and turned it into vector art. Live Trace is not perfect, but the simpler the artwork, the better the results. Since all of this art was pretty clean and simple line work, there was very, very little tweaking. I then colored the art in AI and used a halftone effect to get that old comic printing look. Not pictured here are the word balloons and sound effect words I created for them.

It was great to work with this client. They had a clear direction of the look and was open to what I would create for them. And they were pleased with the final art. Always a good thing. :)

Here is a link for their site. If you click on the ABOUT page and then click PEOPLE, you will see how I turned some of folks there into comic characters. Also, make sure you stay on a page long enough to see some of the floating objects in space. Click on those too. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

BATMAN! - Steps & Missteps

Today we have the Dark Knight. Batman was commissioned by Brian, who has a serious obsession with Gotham and all of it's inhabitants. :) This was done in ink and color pencils on an 11" x 17" sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes paper. Thanks Brian, it's always a pleasure to visit Gotham City with you!
I think I have covered the steps before, but maybe not with photos. Below is the finished inked artwork, before I started in with the color pencils. I wanted a sense of urgency in the pose that I would strengthen with the environment as I worked. With the color pencils I am establishing the areas that are both darker and lighter than the paper itself. I decided early on that I wanted to have two light sources that are not in the image. Batman is on a rainy street and I thought some light from some neon signs behind/above him would be reflecting off his body and the rain slick asphalt. So the greens and purple/reds are mixed in. Rain was done with a ruler and two different colors of pencil and ink. I bumped up the ripples with ink as a last step.
Those were the steps for the final art, now for the missteps. Sometimes things don't go smoothly. When that happens I try to work through it. Sometimes the best work comes from getting lost and finding your way through the mess. This time it wasn't so drastic. My initial idea was inspired by the BATMAN tv show opening credits but modernized. So I drew the top left pose real rough. After I tightened it I transfered it to the Canson paper then inked it. While I liked the rough, the finished inks lacked something. So I redrew the image, thinking the drawing was the problem (bottom left), transfered to another sheet of Canson paper, inked it and again, I wasn't happy with it. Third time is the charm. I gave up on the pose and came up with something new.
I guess the point here is work though the problems as much as possible. You might not get it to work but you will probably learn from it. I did. :)