Friday, February 29, 2008

Island Girl 01 - Line Art

Finished the inks on the first island girl piece. See the rough here. A few changes were made as I did this. I dropped the foreground tree because it was blocking the girl and she needs to be front and center for a CILM piece. Keeping the girl separate from the other elements of the piece is important. Some folks just want the girl, some want the whole piece. I'm pleased with how she came out though. I will post a color version when it is done. 

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Space Woman

This was just for fun. I have a really full day ahead of me and wanted to loosen up quickly. Seems to have worked. :) This was done with color pencils in my sketchbook.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Scarlet Witch

Sometimes a sketch just speaks to you. I was doodling the one on the left while in the waiting room at the eye doctor, looking forward to a battery of tests that would probably kill any productiveness for the day. After dinner I was looking at the sketch and immediately saw the Scarlet Witch in the face. I redrew it on the same page and made it Wanda. TaDa!

I think the first face looks better, but thats the way it goes. This was all done with color pencils in my sketchbook. About an hour total time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What a day for a sketch day

Today was just random warm up sketching while listening to the news. The news had nothing to do with the subject matter, it was just background noise. I tend to listen to a lot of podcasts while I work. Mostly tech related with a bit of comic book/artist thrown in. I even listen to the Superman radio show from the 1940s. A newer addition to my listening pleasure is Freelance Radio. There are usually four people in a round table discussion related to freelancing. One is a copy writer, and the other three are graphic designers. A lot of good information and advise on the show. They are at:
I just made a change on my website regarding commissions. I will begin taking commissions on April 1st. I've had the list closed for a long time but I think it's time to open it up again. : )

Monday, February 25, 2008

Flight Suit

Another Sally Volt concept piece for today. This was all I had time for this morning. Besides sending out a quote on a job and some character sketches, I had a gig at the Labs doing my whiteboard art for 300 participants. Whew!

This was done in my sketchbook with Photoshop colors added. One hour or maybe a little less.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Who is Sally Volt?

Something below looks a little threatening. Here's a quick sketch from my sketchbook. A little warm-up for the work I have ahead of me today. I am doing samples for a publishing company and will be trying to get their house style down. So far they like my first pass, but as expected there is some tweaking to be done. And because of the Confidentiality Agreement, I can't share anything. So you are stuck with my character (developed with writer J.C. Vaughn) hanging on by a vine instead. : )

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mary Jane

Just a little MJ sketch today. Colored pencil in my sketchbook with Photoshop colors and background. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jungle Girl color sketch

I have a project that I would like to do when I have some time. (Hmm, that was a punch line without a joke.) So from time to time I pick up various papers and try painting something on them to test the absorbency and the texture. This is one of those tests. I sketched it out on a 7" x 8" board with a Prismacolor Verithin Terra Cotta color pencil and then went in with water color. The paper just soaked up the water so quickly there wasn't much time to move the color or blend. That won't work at all. On a separate piece I tried out my ink on it and that holds up nicely. The search continues for the right paper though. Over all this took about an hour or a little less.

The project I would like to do is a weekly sunday adventure strip for the web. The trick is I want to pencil, and paint it in traditional mediums. Each strip would be on a 16"x 20" board. And all the lettering would be done on the board. That could be a nice looking original piece of artwork, provided I could pull it off. 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Head to head comparison

Just another head sketch today. Thought I would show the before & after in case anyone would find it interesting. I finished another page of the job I am doing with Jim Shooter. I need to get another one done tomorrow. I am hoping to get a couple of pages done this weekend for PERILS ON PLANET X . Good thing I took last Sunday off otherwise I might not have had a day off this month. This piece was done in my sketchbook using color pencils with some Photoshop colors added.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Here is my first attempt at a bad guy from PERILS ON PLANET X. He hangs out with those flying vampire apes. I'm sure he will change a bit as I get ready to include him at the end of issue 2. This is a color pencil sketch in my sketchbook with some Photoshop touches.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Big Eyes

Spent the day doing my business illustration gig at the Labs. The client is a major contractor developing the various computers/navigation/systems, etc. for the Orion space program. This is the space program that will take over when the shuttles are retired in 2010. Orion goes back to Apollo in its look. A multi-stage rocket carrying up to 6 astronauts in a capsule. It even has the three parachute reentry. Very cool day. Part two of the event is tomorrow.

This sketch was done for the fun of it. I just felt like drawing and this is what appeared on the page. This is done in color pencil and a little white acrylic paint in my sketchbook. Some color was added in Photoshop too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Textbook studies

Since I spent the day doing artwork I cannot show because of a non-disclosure agreement, I figure now would be a good time to show another area of my work. For more than a decade I've done illustration work for primary and higher education text books. While not as sexy as comics or pin-ups, it does pay quite well. Better than comics almost every time. All of this art was created digitally, either in Photoshop or Illustrator. Or a combination of both.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Roller Fall

This is the rough sketch for another piece I will probably post to CILM. Since there is such an interest in the process, I will try to post each stage as I progress to the finished piece.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I work on quite a few comic projects that don't get seen in the mainstream comic market. I've shown the comic for the U.S. Health and Human Services I did. I done a few for toy lines that have been produced and some that haven't. This project is one of those that won't be seen in your local comic book store. I can't talk about it yet but I can use it as an example of one of the ways I work. This is a 4 panel comic strip. Above are two panels from one of the strips. There is nothing ground breaking here as far as the process goes, but since I always like to see how other artists get from rough to finish I thought I would share too. The main character is the blond. The stories revolve around her and two of her friends. One friend is in the upper left. That was a concept piece to develop her look. The other girl was on my sketchbook page a couple of days ago. So far all eight strips I have done have featured the blond. The others will be joining her soon. I handle the complete art package for this job: pencils, inks, colors and lettering.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Out for a stroll

Spent the day penciling a page for the comic "SEVEN", written by Jim Shooter and then switched gears and did a second pass at a logo design I am doing for another client. Busy day. Here's one from the sketchbook. Just a nice girl taking her big six legged lizard for a walk. I hope she brought some poop bags to clean up after him.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flying Vampire Apes

This started as a quick pencil sketch. I inked it pretty quickly with a marker brush, scanned it and colored it in Photoshop. The reason for flying vampire apes? Well in the second issue we introduce these winged blood thirsty simian-like creatures. But wait, isn't the winged vampire apes of Planet X supposed to have FOUR arms? Two upper ones that flap the wings??? Yes they do. And this one doesn't. Oops. I was all done with the piece (and my lunch) when I noticed my mistake. Still fun to do though.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I haven't posted some rough sketches in a while so that's what we have today. The snake head was done to work out a creature for PERILS ON PLANET X. The woman in the skirt was early design for a client. I'm sure anyone who knows the Fantastic Four can figure out which one would be a figure for Invisible Woman. Sketching is a very important part of my work. It's not always done in a book. Large Post-Its, scrap paper, copy paper, whatever is lying around gets drawn on around here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Another piece that I had no idea where it was going. I drew the figure in Photoshop and started painting. The dress went on at some point and then the wings. After that a flaming sword had to be drawn. That was obvious. This was done off and on during the day for fun. All in all probably an hour on it tops. Completely created in Photoshop.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Green Eyes

I didn't do any warm up sketches today. But I did do this after dinner tonight. Just to play with color for a while. Digitally painting is great. Experimentation is so easy. You do something you don't like or if you go down a road that is not working out, you just back up. No mess. You still need to know a bit about painting but anyone can jump in and try this. I use a Wacom Tablet for most everything I do on the computer. My daughter just got the Wacom Bamboo and she loves painting in Photoshop and Painter now. It was difficult to use a mouse. Like painting with a brick. Wacom has a beautiful tablet called the Cintiq 20WSX. It is a 20" wide screen tablet you draw on. It cost $1,999.00. One day..."sigh".

This took about 45 minutes from pencil start to Photoshop painted.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

This sketch came out of nowhere. I had the pose in mind but didn't know what to do with it. I thought about making it Marvel's Black Widow or some other established character but went a different way. Still, this is a tough woman. Make sure you are on her good side. : )

This was about 20-30 minutes, pencil in my sketchbook. Photoshop color background to make her pop off the white page.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Princess Of Xylos

Today's sketch is a relaxed Princess Odyri from PERILS ON PLANET X. I had a very productive day, two penciled pages. Not too bad. But then there are 9 more pages to pencil. Writer Chris Mills and I decided to expand the story from 22 pages to 26. Why? Well, more story pages for the reader. We decided that was more interesting than a bunch of pin-ups from various artists. Don't get me wrong, I like to see pin-ups, but we are competing with hundreds of other books for readers. Since we don't have ad space like Marvel or DC, we could just use those pages for story instead of filler. Of course this means more work for the same amount of pay. And as a creator-owned product, I bet you can figure out how much pay that is. ; )

Friday, February 8, 2008

Surfer Girl

Busy day at the Labs sketching on white boards for hours. But I managed to do a little quickie idea of an island girl on a long board with a crabby passenger. Color pencil, ink brush marker and Photoshop color.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tiki Lust

Today I decided to revisit the island girl theme for my next batch of art for CILM. A little warm up sketch done this morning after 2 hours of sleep. The tiki needs a little help but I think the girl is working out pretty good. I penciled a second page for POPX last night with the help of a little insomnia. It's amazing how productive one can be if they don't sleep. Of course there is always a chance of errors because your mind isn't as sharp as it would be with a good nights sleep. Of course there is always a chance of errors because your mind isn't as sharp as it would be with a good nights sleep. ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Busy day today, too tired to write. Managed to get a page of pencils for Perils On Planet X done in spite of everything else. No time for warm ups today. Just jumped right in. The above is from large panel of our heroes narrowly escaping death and destruction again. Donovan Hawke is the man!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

...Bermuda, Bahama, Come On Pretty Mama...

Thanks to the Beach Boys for today's title. This is one project I am currently working on. I was approached by a company to produce three paintings for a new home development on Long Island, Bahamas. I think the island is an hour flight from Nassau and it is appropriately named. Very long and skinny. Something like 4 miles wide at its widest by 60 miles long. There are 68 lots for sale and they are on a hillside overlooking the water. The second floor of each home will see over the tops of the home in front of it. Pretty cool.

This is one of the color comps I have done for the client. This image shows the entry to the development and a club house. It was done in pencil on copy paper, scanned and placed on a scan of watercolor paper (for texture) and painted in Photoshop. Anyone interested in buying a lot, I recommend #68. And as an incentive, buy a lot and I will do a free sketch for you. :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sky Doll

A little while ago Marvel Comics announced that they entered into an agreement with Sobeil Productions in France to produce English language versions of some of Sobeil's popular comic albums. This is exciting news to me. SKY DOLL will be the first book released. I have the French version of the books and I just look at the pretty pictures. I found out that Heavy Metal did an English version in their magazine and I picked it up. I thought I got most of the story from just the pictures, until I read the translation and learned I missed a lot of the subtleties. I hope Marvel prints the books in the same format that the French do, larger than our graphic novels. I know I will be buying them again.

I first discovered SKY DOLL by accident. While bouncing around from artist site to artist site, I came across a site for SKY DOLL. It was barely functional but the art on the first page caught my attention. I waited for a long time to find out what the site was about. I don't think it was ever finished. But then I found the books through Stuart Ng Books. They have so many great books and so many artists I had never heard of. So I dropped a small fortune on a stack of various European graphic novels and have been addicted ever since. Check out the Stuart Ng site for yourself. Tell them I sent you. Won't mean anything I'm sure, but I have always wanted to say that.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

PERILS ON PLANET X warm up sketch

Just a little warm-up sketch of Donovan Hawke and Princess Odyri in danger of something sinister with bat wings. Penciled in my sketchbook with some color in Photoshop. Make sure you check out writer Chris Mill's production blog right here. There will be a site devoted to the upcoming series sometime this month too.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Legion of Super-Heroes

The Legion of Super-Heroes are my favorite characters. I discovered them in the back-up stories in Superboy. I had no idea who they were at first but they blew me away. I spent a lot of time and money getting every appearance of the group through the various titles they were published in. Curt Swan was my favorite Legion artist. Well, favorite artist, really. But the magic time period for me was the Dave Cockrum and then Mike Grell issues. James Sherman's run is almost up there with them too. I don't read any of the new Legion books though. I just like to revisit with the Legion I met when I was 8.

Light Lass and Timber Wolf drawn in pencil from my sketchbook.

Friday, February 1, 2008

In your satin tights, fighting for your rights...

And the old red, white and blue. Sigh. They just don't write theme songs like that anymore.

This Wonder Woman sketch came about because my wife and I were recalling old TV theme songs and music. My Favorite Martian lead to Courtship of Eddie's Father, to The Brady Kids (cartoon) to Wonder Woman. Don't ask how we went from Eddie's Father to the Brady's to Wonder Woman, I have no idea. But Diana of Paradise Island ended up in the sketchbook today. Pencils with Photoshop colors.