As I thought, the burn out I was experiencing the last couple of days just had to be worked out. Today I worked on person projects. I did two more pages of my own comic and roughed out this Black Widow for painting tomorrow. My creator owned project has four pages done. When I get twelve pages done I will launch. I know I have been talking about this for what seems like forever, and I apologize. Creating everything myself in my "spare" time is tough. And I often have the problem of too many ideas. Not good ideas, just ideas. Weeding through them can take it's toll on creativity.
This rough is done with terra cotta Col-Erase pencil on an 11" x 17" sheet of Arches Cold Press Watercolor Board.
Today was the first day in a very long time that I didn't have any work (other than invoicing) to do. Jobs are still active, I'm just in the weird time when everything is out waiting for revisions/feedback. Good thing too because I am burned out. And the best thing for burn out is to continue to draw. I've been struggling the last couple of days and it's just a matter of working through it. I've been here before and it doesn't take long to get on the other side of it. So today I just sketched in my sketchbook, working out ideas that need to be worked out. :)
The title of this post isn't completely accurate. But one of the definitions of tabula rasa is "An absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals". And an absence of a goal is what I have posted. I had this pose in my head without any idea of who or what it would be. Poison Ivy? Enchantress? Dejah Thoris? I still don't know and I am stuck. This happens from time to time. I have a drawer full of half baked (or quarter baked in some cases) ideas that never come out for completion. But still I put down the idea in hopes it will tell me what to do with it.
But not tonight. :)
This is terra cotta Col-Erase pencil on an 11" x 17" sheet of Arches Cold Press Water Color board.
I just started reading the first trade of Vertigo's FABLES and thought I would try to paint one of the characters. I don't know the character well enough from reading, so I could only go by images I have seen. Much like doing a commission for someone of a character I don't really know. Hopefully this rings a bit true. Watercolor on an 8" x 10" sheet of Arches Cold Press watercolor board.
Normally I get work done before I start playing, but this morning I wanted to paint. I knew if I tried to work while thinking about the fun time later, I wouldn't be very productive. So I played first and now I will work. Kind of like having dessert first. Life is short. :)
This is done in watercolor on an 8" x 10" piece of Arches Cold Press watercolor board.
I've got a couple of mixed pieces today. First is a sketch I did at the Pittsburgh ComiCon back in March (?). I did this for Richard and he was kind enough to send me a scan. This is Alanis from the comic Neverminds. I hadn't see the character before but I really loved her design and her look. I had fun with it. Thanks for sending me the scan Richard! Feel free to add a link to your website in the comments so everyone can find your books.
I had a very full day today. Not necessarily work. You can see more about my mid-day break over on my Posterous blog. As a result I didn't have a lot of time to paint Zatanna. But here is a progress shot for now.
After two weeks of mostly digital work, I have been wanting to get messy with a real medium. Finishing the inks on the Dream Girl piece and doing the Mary Marvel watercolor sketch were ways of breaking the digital habit, as it were.
Today's post is something I painted this afternoon. I sketched it out using a terra cotta Col-Erase pencil on an 8" x 10" piece of Arches Cold Press Watercolor board. My paints are Holbein Artist Water Color. There is a big difference in using really good paper and paints, versus not so good paper and paints. Much like having the right tools for the job. If you don't, the process can be laborious. If you do, the process is fun and easy. This was a fun and easy process. The board I painted on was cut from a 16" x 20" board, so I have a few more pieces to play with over the next few days. With any luck I will find time to do some more paintings for fun.
As you may have noticed I have changed up the look of the blog. As part of that change, I am going to post the art larger than I had been posting. If I don't like the look of it over the next few days, I may change it back. I felt the blog needed a change, it had been the same for almost two years. The only drawback is I wish the old formats would stay archived. It would be fun to see all the old stuff in the old layouts and color schemes. Oh well.
Dream Girl was requested by Royce (in his almost never ending quest to get each of the Legionnaires in their original costumes) at HeroesCon, but I put it off until I could do it at home. I have done a number of these for Royce and wanted to keep a consistent look to them. Since the others were done in studio, I wanted Dream Girl to be done this way too. Royce was fine with that and two weeks after the show, I finally finished it. Thanks for the commission and your patience Royce!
I will be posting something later today but when this arrived last night, I wanted to post it by itself. This is another piece from HeroesCon. I did this for Patrick and he sent me a scan last night. Pat asked for a Huntress and left it open for me to do which ever version I wanted. So I went back to the beginning and used Joe Staton's original version as my inspiration. Thanks for the commission and for sending me this scan Pat!
Just a quick watercolor sketch of Mary Marvel done on 8" x 12", 200# cold press watercolor paper. About 30-45 minutes from start to finish. I did this at the end of the day so I was doing this with very tired eyes and brain. It's been a grueling couple of weeks since HeroesCon but I made it through and I think things will lighten up a bit over the next few weeks.
Before I start droning on about other stuff, let's take a moment to wish my mom a very Happy Birthday! She drops by here everyday to see what I am up to so I know she will see this.
Happy Birthday Mom, we love you!
Today was a very productive day. I finished up a project I have been working on since October of last year and I finished up the second half of the pencils for the work I am doing for the U.S. Health Department (A project I was first approached with about 2 years and 2 weeks ago). A very good day. Today's post was drawn in my sketchbook in blue Col-Erase pencil while I was uploading a bunch of files. I took the pencil art into Photoshop, adjusted the pencil color and started painting. This is just a detail of a larger image. I didn't finish the rest of it and I probably won't. This was just killing time and playing around. I like how it came out though.
Today has been a busy day. First I got some work done in the morning before heading to Tropicana Field to watch the Rays vs the Marlins. Rays won by the way. We had seats in the second row next to the low wall, behind first base and next to the dug out. Great time and loved, loved, loved the seats! I will post photos to my Posterous account for those that might be interested in seeing photos from the game. Now it's blog time and then back to work.
While I probably shouldn't share complete panels of art from one of my commercial projects, I thought it would be fine to show you some faces. Faces can be tricky if you have to draw members of a family and you are making it all up. This story revolves around a hispanic family, aunt, uncle, grandparents, parents, siblings and cousins. So trying to keep a consistent look to the family and have them look related can be a chore. Of the faces posted above, only the bottom middle face isn't in the family. He is a doctor. Also important to note that he is also hispanic. I thought I might make this a contest for everyone to guess who is NOT a family member, but I was afraid my ego might not handle everyone guessing the wrong faces. :)
Happy Fathers Day to all the dads that visit this blog.
Another HeroesCon sketch made it through to me the other day. Eric was kind enough to send me a scan of the Jeannie art I did for him at HeroesCon. One of the pieces I forgot to take a picture of before I handed it over. Thanks Eric!
And it's been another day of work, work, work. I am going to take tomorrow afternoon off. My lovely wife Deena was given tickets to the Rays game and we are sitting next to first base, right next to the Rays dugout. It will be to our left and and we will be able to see right in. Too bad for Deena that Carlos Pena is no longer with the Rays. :)
Below is a doodle and a panel I was working out today for a job. Fun, fun, fun! Now back to work!
Work, work, work, sketch for blog, work, work, saw Green Lantern, work. And how was your day?
While I worked today, I listened to the latest episode of Nerd Girls Eye View podcast. If you haven't listen to this podcast, I recommend you check it out by clicking the link. The ladies of the show are funny, charming and love comics. Spazzy (aka Comix Book Gurl) is one of the three ladies on the show and the latest episode is about comic art and collecting. Spazzy mentions your's truly and has some very kind words about me and my work. She even calls me out about my Starbucks addiction! All three have a big list of artists they mention that you may have never heard of, but are worth checking out. So give it a listen, I'm pretty sure you will be back for more. And thanks again Spazzy! :)
Another sketchbook day. I am covered up with work for the next week so there will probably be more of these during that time. I sketched this while eating lunch, then added color in Photoshop just before posting.
This costume intrigued me when I saw it. So I doodled it in my sketchbook to see how it worked and tossed some color at it in Photoshop. It looks a little like an updated design from the Mike Sekowsky run of Supergirl in Adventure Comics.
I finished this piece today. Done in watercolor and ink on a sheet of 11" x 17" 400 series Stathmore Bristol Board. She is for sale so if anyone is interested let me know.
Speaking of art for sale, I am looking into a shop site that I can post art for sale. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know. Only if you have actually used it or purchased from it. That would be most helpful.
Okay, time to fire up the grill. Those swordfish steaks are not going to jump out of the marinade, grill themselves and cover themselves in a mango salsa without some help. :)
Just a little sketchbook rough of something I am finishing up. Since coming back from HeroesCon I have hit the ground running. Work, work and more work. Not overwhelming, just steady. Should keep me busy between now and mid July. And then hopefully more work after that.
It seems strange the convention season is over for me just as it is starting up in full swing. I don't know how others can do a dozen shows a year. Some seem to enjoy it, some seem to be pretty grumpy about it. I enjoy the shows but man, I come back tired. :)
Taking the evening off to go see X-Men First Class. I'm looking forward to it! I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!
Another round of pieces from last weekends HeroesCon. When I forget to take pictures, I forget how many pieces I actually do at a show. There are still more out there (I Dream of Jeannie for Eric is one in particular) but these are the last I have found or that have been sent to me. If any more come in I will post them with the daily stuff. On to the pieces...
Above is Darth Talon. I am not familiar with the expanded Star Wars universe. Just know the six movies and a bad Christmas Special. But when Gary asked for a painting of the character I thought it would be fun. Then I got to the hotel room and really looked at all the tattoos/markings on her body and thought "What the heck was I thinking?". :) In the end I am glad I did it because it was fun. Gary left it wide open for me to create the piece and he seemed to like the final results. This is a bad photo that I tried to clean up. If I get a scan of this piece, I will post again later. This was done in acrylic.
Chris and Toni hit me up with Misty Knight and Colleen Wing as an inked piece. They told me to have fun with it and I did! Chris was nice enough to send me a scan since my photo was terrible. Thanks again Chris, and remember this is for Toni's collection. ;-)
Nara from ExoSquad is for Eli! I have never watched the show but from what he told me about it I would probably like it. Must look for it on NetFlix. This was done in acrylic.
Vampirella is a character I have not drawn in a long time. But she is always fun to revisit. And thanks to Don's request for her, I did. :)
Thanks again to all of them for the commissions and conversations. And thanks to Don and Eli for posting the art on the CAF site otherwise I wouldn't have them here.
And last but not least, this was a surprise request. Bill commissioned a geisha swordswoman for himself at HeroesCon and when his friend Gloria saw it on my blog, she contacted me to do a second one as a gift for Bill. Oh, Gloria is in the Philippines. That makes it the longest distance request for my HeroesCon sketch list. To say that Bill was surprised to pick this one up would be an understatement. He never saw it coming. :)
As in years past I have more sketches than I can possibly post during a convention. So here we are with the first of the post con posts. :)
First up is Li'l Frankie Castle. This came about when Sam saw my Li'l Etrigan and Li'l Creeper and said that the Punisher would be a fun one. Then I said "Yeah, with uzi water pistols". And we were off.
Next up is Kim Possible and Shego for Joe.
This is Dave's jam piece that he had me draw Sandman and layout the rest for other artists to contribute. I used the Giant Size X-Men #1 as my inspiration. Though I did Sandman (and the layout) at MegaCon 2010, I did add the ripped paper art below Spider-Man at HeroesCon 2011. :) Dave had the piece finished at this show and I thought I would share it here.
I do not watch the Venture Bros. cartoons so I am not really familiar with this character. But doing cheesecake doesn't necessarily require familiarity. This is Dr. Mrs. The Monarch for Chris.
There will be more posts as scans are sent to me. And I hope that Chris and Toni, who commissioned a Daughters of the Dragon piece, see this blog and send me a scan of the art. I was so happy with that piece but my photo is total garbage. I also neglected to take a picture of the Barbara Gordon Batgirl painting I did for the auction. Oy.
The convention was a blast. It was nice having a few extra chairs handy so that folks like Big Pat, Little Pat, Little John, Patwicia, Lan, and many others could sit with me and chat. And provide much needed breaks for me by watching my table. Little John and Royce (with the help of Craig) managed to pull an excellent prank on me too. So there was good times all around. Everyone here should start making plans for HeroesCon 2012! And I mean, everyone. (That means you too Spazzy!)
Here is a mixed pair. First up is Aquaman for Mark. I've always been a fan of Aquaman. And Aquaman was my first work for DC way back in the last century. :) It's always nice to visit with him, thanks Mark!
This piece was commissioned by Lan. He wanted a fangirl reading comics and surrounded by comics, toys, etc. Pretty much left it up to me past the glasses, t-shirt, panties and knee socks. ;) This was really a lot of fun to do. Thanks Lan!
Little John requested something really fun. He asked if I would be interested in doing a Shazam/Isis Hour ad-type image, similar to the ads in comics for the CBS Saturday Morning line up back in the 1970s. Well I ran with it and did a complete mock up of an ad as if the shows were coming back. :)
This literal cat fight was the idea of Shannon. At first I was not sure how to really have them going at it and then the simple circle shape came to mind. The idea of them tumbling over and over, blasting each other with power ring and heat vision and using their claws came to mind. The rest was easy. Thanks Shannon for a bit of a challenge and a very fun commission!
Just some doodles today from the sketchbook and modified in Photoshop. I've been too busy getting ready to head to Charlotte for HeroesCon to much of anything else. Still have to finish a few things before I call it a night. Whew!