Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sketchbook Wednesday

Just a quick post tonight. Still have work to do. Sorry I am posting a lot of quick sketches and not much text. I would have liked to have something special to post for #1000, but no time. I got a pretty full workload right now and a day and a half was kind of lost in productivity A/C issues and a storm knocking out power last night. All that just compounds the problem. I hope to get caught up over the weekend.

This is Post #1000

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Doom Patrol

Just a little something I did this afternoon after the A/C situation was fixed. It was in the low 80s in my studio before the service person came and fixed the A/C. Not a good time. So once I cooled off I drew this on a scrap piece of paper after I had a late lunch.

I'm behind a bit on what I needed to get done, the heat wasn't agreeable for productivity, so it will be a late one tonight.

This is Post #999

Monday, June 28, 2010


We haven't had a gray paper piece in a while soooo, today's selection was suggested by Brian. A lot of sweat was produced making this piece. Not because of difficulty, but because my A/C stopped working sometime in the afternoon and I didn't notice until it was already pretty warm. Sitting in front of two monitors, two computers, and drawing table lamps heat up my studio pretty quick. The A/C going out starts to really cook it. Service comes tomorrow. Whew!

This is Post #998

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Planet Fall

Just for fun, here is a little digital painting I did this morning before heading out for most of the day. This was in my head for quite a while. I almost made it exactly how I saw it in my head too.

This is Post #997

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sketchbook Saturday

I finally finished up the project that was on my computer for a few weeks and I'm working on a commission. Since the commission isn't done, I can't show it. But what I can show is the page I did in my sketchbook this afternoon while I sat by/in the pool with Deena drinking Sangrias. :) It was a good day. :)

Hope yours is going well.

This is Post #996

Friday, June 25, 2010

Challengers of the Unknown

This is little something I played with over the last week or so. This wasn't a difficult piece, it's just that when you only work on it a few minutes at a time, it takes a while. I love the idea of the Challengers of the Unknown. Four guys who should be dead, and are living on borrowed time. Now they live life to the fullest and tackles all kinds of challenges. I have several original pages from the run in Super-Team Family. Jim Sherman was the artist on those pages. Being a fan of the Challs and Sherman makes those pages pretty darn special to me. Those could only be topped by Jim Sherman Legion pages! (Remember that at Christmas and my birthday) ;)

So this is just my take on the Challengers and their mountain headquarters. Below left is the first sketches I did weeks ago while waiting for Dakota at the orthodontist. On the right is the finished inks from another page. From there I scanned it and put it in Adobe Illustrator. Digital inks and colors were done there, then brought into Photoshop for the last touches. I added some digital noise to the final art just for some texture. Gets rid of the slickness. All in all I am happy with the piece.

Have a good weekend everyone.

This is Post #995

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sketchbook Thursday

Just some random headshots in my sketchbook done as I was waiting for a file to save at different times of the day. I am working hard to get that project done tomorrow. And it looks very, very likely. Whew!

Good news is I did pick up the job doing illustrations for a higher education grammar book I mentioned last week. Finished the roughs for the first three chapters and sent them off yesterday. Those were needed by the composition house to place in the sample chapters. Sample chapters are done so the editorial group can see the book design with actual elements. Normally there are some changes but nothing to drastic. After that the work has to be done at a very rapid pace. :)

This is Post #994

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


It's kind of funny how I did this today. I had the paper and the paints sitting to one side while I worked on my computer on a very large file. Every time I saved the work, it would take a few minutes, so I picked up the paper and worked on this. Never waste a moment. :)

This was done with pencil and watercolor on an 9" x 12" 140lb sheet of Arches Cold Press Watercolor Paper.

This is Post #993

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rocket Girl - Finish

Paint just dried on this one. She is done in Golden Fluid Acrylics on an 11" x 17" sheet of Aches 140lb Hot Press Watercolor Paper.

Sorry to make this short, there is a massive lightning storm and torrential rain right over us. :)

This is Post #992

Monday, June 21, 2010

Just Another Sketchbook Monday!

Whenever I use that title for a post, I always think of the Bangles singing Manic Monday. (Written by Prince, in case you didn't know)

I haven't had time to do anything other than this little sketch during lunch. I find the visual of a woman wearing her man's dress shirt appealing. When it came time for the hair and face, I thought of Grace Kelly Not going for a likeness here, just the inspiration. If you have never seen Grace Kelly in a movie, you really should check her out Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart. She was a beauty folks.

This was done in a new sketchbook that I am trying out today. It is a 9" x 12" pad of 70lb Canson Drawing Paper. It has a really nice surface that the Col-Erase pencil took to but still erased nice and clean when I wanted it to. When drawing over an area I erased, the tooth of the paper held up nicely. Very nice paper. I'm going to have some fun working on it.

This is Post #991

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rocket Girl - Process 2

Quick progress photo today. I have built up a bit of color over the values I developed the other day. Not really working much today. Completely forgot it was Father's Day. D'oH! It's also my Mom's birthday today! So happy birthday Mom and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

This is Post #990

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rocket Girl - Process

I started my work day at 7am and just now stopping. While working I have had this piece sitting next to me with paint, brushes and water handy. While the file saves I paint. Yes, it takes that long. Right now I am just establishing values with Paynes Gray fluid acrylic. Not done yet but I still thought I would share.

I think Gary asked me what I am up to these days and while I can't go into any details on some projects I can still mention them.

On my commission list right now is a Catwoman Canson Cutie for Comix Book Gurl. I am working up a quote for a pair of fun Legion related commissions that I will talk about if they come to pass.

I am still doing work for DC Licensing and really enjoying it. I have had one project on my desktop for them for weeks now and it is such a big, memory intensive file, and so much detail I can only work on it a bit at a time. It's been a challenge. I don't know what I can share about these projects but I am going to be safe and leave it at that. Now that the movie is out, I can probably mention that I worked on some art for the JONAH HEX movie. It was a really quick turn around project about a month ago. I was told it would probably be for the opening credits but I don't know for sure.

I should be starting on some artwork for a higher education book by July. I have worked on this series of books before but that was several years ago. Newer editions and new art needed. There are several in the series so with any luck this will be a long term project.

Regarding comic book projects, I was asked by JC Vaughn to step in and do the art for a horror story he wrote. The artist that was going to do it had to bow out and I am happy to step in and help. I will be doing full traditional art chores and traditional lettering on this one. And doing gray tone washes. I am shooting for a look like something out of Eerie magazine. I opted to hand letter the boards too for that classic comic book page. That has to be done by October. I believe the title will be coming out from Moonstone, but I don't have all the details right now.

Still waiting on a project that I have been assured it will happen. A few years ago I did a project for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They want to do another one and have been working out the details in-house for a year now. Last email was in May and I was told the final script revision is being addressed by those who need to see it. Patience is a big part of freelancing. :)

Then of course I have all my other clients that I do graphic design work and small illustration projects. These are small businesses that I have been working with for more than a decade. There is always something coming in from those sources. And I will be working with a friend on the redesign of his company site. A road map for a portal, if you will.

Creator Owned Projects:
Sally Volt: Space Jungle Girl - On hold. Revamping it. Get back to it when I can.
HERC - Characters designed and first story arc written. Need to draw.
Unnamed Gonzales/Vaughn project - Bible for project written. Outline done. Main characters developed.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. But that should bring everyone up to date. Oh, forgot to add, I do this daily art blog. Maybe you have seen it. :)

This is Post #989

Friday, June 18, 2010


This is a sketch I have been working on for the last week. Takes a while if I only work on it a few minutes at a time. Finally got it to a point that I could do a color comp in Photoshop. Though I had planned on painting this, the drawing itself is done on a sheet of hot pressed watercolor paper, I might do it digital. Not sure yet.

Today marks 900 consecutive days of posting to this blog. (It is 900, right Royce?) I've had more posts than that but I am counting days, not posts. When I bought new business cards, I added the blog to the cards. For the first time in print I referred to this as my "daily" sketch blog. Talk about trying to jinx it. :)

At the Pittsburgh ComiCon I was telling someone at my table about this blog and how it came about. They were impressed and supportive. They wished me luck and left. Someone near by heard the conversation and asked if it was really a daily blog. I said yes. Then for some reason he started to belittle my efforts here in a very passive/aggressive way. The exact words escape me right now but the condescending tone stayed with me. I don't know why he took such issue with me doing a daily blog. It never made sense. Even more strange is why he felt he needed to put down what I am doing here. I just don't get it. Thinking back on the times that I have seen him, I realize that he has always had this tone and rude demeanor. Not sure it's with everyone, but always with me. Oh well.

Someone recently asked me what I will do when I hit 1000 days. I don't have an answer. As I have stated before, I started this as a one year experiment and hoped I could do at least three straight months. I really don't have a plan beyond the day to day of this. It's just become part of my daily life and not any real effort to do so it's not like I need to take a break. I guess we will all have to wait and see.

I do know that this blog wouldn't have lasted this long with all of you. Thanks everyone.

Tomorrow: Day 901 and just what the heck is Gene up to these days?

This is Post #988

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Joker

"I know you haven't heard this one before 'cause it will kill you..."

This is Post #987

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Island Nights

Just a little quickie drawing in my sketchbook and some Photoshop colors. It's been a while since we have visited this trio so I thought we should drop in on them to see what they are up to. More of the same it seems. These three don't seem to have a care in the world. Unlike them...I'm gonna have some dinner and get back to work.

This is Post #986

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Metal Men

I've had the Metal Men on my mind since HeroesCon. Joe Pekar and I had a discussion about the characters on the way back from the convention. I know, pretty exciting stuff. We both have our own thoughts about how they have been presented and how we both think they should be presented. Our views weren't too far off from each others, but for this piece I stayed close to the original source. With my own twist of course. The line art was done in ink in my sketchbook while sitting at the orthodontist office this evening and the color was done in Photoshop.

Today was one of those Days from Hell. Internet problems were the pain in my backside today. In an attempt of process of elimination I purchased a new router, hoping that was the cause of the connection being dropped. The router was almost 4 years old and passed it's lifespan, as I understand it. But then the new router caused it's own issues that would mimic the original problem. So the only help was the Linksys Chat Line for support. Yeah, Chat Line on sporadic internet connection. See the problem? Though the three different people were helpful when I could chat with them, ultimately it came down to them calling me and helping me load the new firmware for the router. The firmware just came out last week. So far the router seems to be doing it's part. Tomorrow the modem will be replaced, lines outside checked again, and hopefully there won't be anymore hiccups. Productivity today: About 10% of what it should have been. Oh yeah, and it was tax day. Sigh.

This is Post #985

Monday, June 14, 2010


Never know when I will lose my connection so here is a quick post of the piece I worked on a little bit at a time today. Internet woes once again and on Wednesday they are bringing me yet another new modem. They even tried to up sale me on my internet service. Don't know what they were thinking, buying more doesn't make it run any better. Sigh.

I will update everyone about my projects in the next day or two. Until then...

This is Post #984

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Silver Banshee

I hope everyone has enjoyed the weekend. For today we have the Silver Banshee as suggested by Alex.

This is Post #983

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Polaris - Canson Cutie

Just a quick post today to share the commission I finished for Jon. Polaris of the X-Men. Jon specifically asked for this costume, one that was only used in one issue I believe, but still a fun one. Thanks for the commission Jon!

This is Post #982

Friday, June 11, 2010

Abe Sapien

The good thing about getting up earlier than normal is I get to post earlier than normal. :)

One of my favorite comics and movies is HELLBOY. While I have done sketches of Hellboy, I have never tried drawing his fellow BPRD agent Abe Sapien. Until now.

I hope everyone has a good weekend. Get some rest, have some fun, but don't do anything I wouldn't do! I'll be here all weekend folks, try the tuna, I hear it's good.

This is Post #981

Thursday, June 10, 2010

HeroesCon 2010 - Post Game Wrap Up

Thanks to Diary of Night writer/creator Will Allred and his trusty scanner that he set up at the convention, we have the last of the sketches done at the show. Thanks again Will!

The top left was requested by Little John. A nice mash up of DCs Emerald Empress and Marvels Ms. Marvel.

Top right: A classic Lois Lane vs Lana Lang cat fight was Royce's request. For some reason that piece gave me trouble from the start. There is always one at every show, and this was it. I had done thumbnails of it at home, did a decent rough, got to the show and started over because it didn't look right. Then I got it right but while inking Lana's hair, I was chatting and not paying attention, I inked part of Lana's hair black. Then I started and finished the last one. Whew!

Middle left is Enchantress for my new friend from the UK, Ashley. Ashley and his buddies are from the UK. I'm happy I got the chance to chat with him and one of his friends for a while.

Middle right is Atuma and Phoenix from Marvel's Atlantis Attacks story line. I am not familiar with the story or the Atuma character, but was giving refs to help me out. The toughest thing about doing this sketch was hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Kindergarten Cop saying "It's not a tumor" in the way only Arnold can say it.

And last but not least, a request from Sandra for Namor and Betty Dean from the 1950s era of Namor's adventures. She said it was an interesting time for the stories. Namor would have suits on half the time and get calls from the Navy or Coast Guard for help. He would change and be on his way. Fun times it would seem! She wanted him in a nice suit with Billy Dean and I was happy to do it.

That's all the sketches from the show. I hope you enjoyed seeing them. Thanks again to everyone who commissioned them and kept me busy and off the streets. :)

This is Post #980

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I don't think anyone suggested The Demon, but I thought I would take a crack at him.

This was a full day of catching up. Still. I typically have a busy schedule and I am gearing up for an extremely busy summer. To do a convention takes a couple of weeks of getting ready before the show and a few days to recover. I rarely get sick after a show these days since I started taking extra precautions, but a show can still wear me out. So coming back to work that was still on my desk from the previous week AND having three or four fires to put out has kept me moving. It gets even crazier when you add in that I had contracts to sign for another project starting at the end of the month and I needed to quote a job Tuesday for series of illustrations for a higher education text book that I only found out about on Friday afternoon.

On the fun side, I am finishing up a commission for Jon this weekend. He has been extremely patient as the  self imposed due date for his commission fell in the week of HeroesCon. Also, I will be starting another Canson Cutie commission some time after that. And I heard from another person that knows how to get my attention to do a couple of commissions: Ask me to draw the Legion. :) That is still in the talking stage but it would be a fun one. Okay, back to work!

This is Post #979

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I should have some more pieces from HeroesCon to share this week but in the meantime I still have a list of characters that I would like to do on gray paper. These pieces have been very popular, especially at HeroesCon, but more importantly they have been fun for me. I sometimes have a need to break up what would be my normal work style by doing something different. That's how I ended up working in fluid acrylics, Canson paper, and digital painting. All things I will go back to, but for now, the gray paper is intriguing me.

Darkseid was a natural for this medium. But I did add the red to the eye just to set off his look. The red was added digitally in case I was sorry I added it. There just isn't an "undo" button when dealing with analog mediums. :)

This is Post #978

Monday, June 7, 2010

HeroesCon 2010 - Post Game 1

I'm running a little slow today. HeroesCon ended at 6pm yesterday and Joe Pekar and I were on the road by 6:30. We drove a while and then picked up a quick bite to eat and loaded up on Red Bull and Mtn. Dew. Normally I like to drive as non-stop as possible, but there was a need to keep getting more caffeine as the long drive continued. It took 8.5 hours to get Joe home and then another 2 hours of driving for me to get home at 5am. I managed to sleep for a couple of hours and then I had to get started on work. Whew.

But who cares about that??? Let's look at some more sketches!

First up is a Cheshire for Shane. I have to admit that it was Diary of Night writer Will Allred's idea for me to pull out the red acrylic paint for the blood. Good Will Calling. And thanks Shane, glad you liked it.

A thank you to Ben for commissioning Desire, of The Endless. Again with the red paint.

And a Wonder Woman for Leigh rounds out this batch. Thanks Leigh!

As always the show was a lot of fun. Joe Pekar was set up to my left and Big John Beatty and Craig Zablo were to my right. No one was going to mess with our tables with this crew around. :)

The area behind my table became a rest stop for a bunch of nice folks. Of course Will Allred was there, sharing the table. But then we would have Will's lovely wife Stacy and their boys stop by from time to time. Patrick would sit with me for a while and shoot the breeze. Little John and his lovely wife Patricia would hang out from time to time. Patricia and I would talk about old Southern California places we both knew and grew up near. Pat Sun, Super Photog would be around there too when he wasn't documenting the convention. Royce (Yes, Little John, there is a Royce Thrower), his brother Eric dropped by from time to time along with "couch crasher" Anthony. Royce had to stop by quite a bit just to see what version of his sketch I was on. Tracy stopped by a couple of times to visit but his son Logan didn't make it this year. Always great to see Tracy and I hope Logan makes it next year. Erica dropped by to pick up Catman and chat a bit. Though she only dropped by once, it was great to see her.

One of the really cool things this last weekend was my best friend Tom Fleming came to HeroesCon for the first time. This is not Tom Fleming, the artist, but Tom Fleming, comic art fan/dealer and owner of He brought along his friend John. I've met John before and it was great to hang out with him and Tom at the show and in the evenings. Tom brought along a stack of  original art from the 1970s DC romance comics and the three of us, along with Patrick, tried to identify the artists. There were no credits on them or in any on-line data base. Almost like a game show.

I know I am forgetting some folks and I apologize. The brain is a terrible thing and mine is gone right now. As soon as Will finishes the drive home to Arkansas and emails me the scans he did of several more sketches, I will post them. So lets all wish Will and his family a safe trip home. :)

So, more tomorrow.

One Important Note: I did a sketch for Chris, whose last name I did not get. I need him to contact me. The sketch I did for him was of Marvel's Valkyrie. I'm hoping he visits this blog but if not, if anyone knows him, ask him to email me. Thanks!

This is Post #977

Sunday, June 6, 2010

HeroesCon 2010 - Day Three

Final day of the show folks, and we have three more to share. First two up are Phantom Girl and Wildfire for Michael. I like Michael's taste in Legionnaires! 

And it just wouldn't be a convention without getting the chance to draw my Kryptonian, Supergirl! This one is for Royce!

Thanks to Michael and Royce for the commissions. I will have more to share over the next few days. And I will post more of my thoughts about the show. Thanks to everyone who dropped by my table to say hi. More tomorrow!

This is Post #976

Saturday, June 5, 2010

HeroesCon 2010 - Day Two

Three more pieces to share from HeroesCon 2010!

First up for Rick is a Bomb Queen done in mixed media on a sheet of 11" x 17" Red Canson Paper.

Next up is Catman for Erica! This was also done in mixed media on Canson Paper.

And finally we have Dejah Thoris for Rob's sketchbook!
Thanks to Rick, Erica and Rob for the commissions. More tomorrow folks. I have a feeling this could go extra innings!

This is Post #775

Friday, June 4, 2010

HeroesCon 2010 - Day One

Three pieces from HeroesCon today for the Thrower brothers. The Rocket Girl and Lara Croft are for Eric. The Perry White is for Royce. Thanks guys!

All three pieces are ink on 11" x 17" Strathmore Bristol Board.

This is Post #974

Thursday, June 3, 2010


And Batgirl gets the last piece of gray paper I have. I thought I could get some locally but no go. So I will take a trip to an art store in Charlotte with the hope of finding more for the show.

I am hitting the road very shortly and I'm really looking forward to HeroesCon!

This is Post #973

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Big Barda

I wasn't planning on doing a Big Barda piece so soon but there were several requests for one and it seemed fitting to follow Mister Miracle with her. I will not be doing an Oberon, so don't even ask. :)

I will be heading out for HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC tomorrow morning. Looking forward to seeing everyone. I will probably be hanging out a bit in the bar/lounge in the Westin tomorrow night. Maybe I will see some of you there?

This is Post #972

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mister Miracle

It's gonna take an escape artist to get me out of the chains that bind me to the studio! So much work to do before I leave town. Whew! I don't remember who suggested Mister Miracle, sorry. But I loved the idea and wanted to do something different, but I didn't know what until this morning. And even then I wasn't able to do this piece until this evening.

I discovered Mister Miracle when Marshall Rogers drew the book for about 10 minutes in the 1970s. From there I started picking up the Kirby issues. Never did read the entire run, but I have always liked Mister Miracle, Big Barda and Oberon.

Back to work.

This is Post #971