Thursday, July 31, 2008

Business Solutions Maps

Today was a day of writing quotes for two jobs, confirming a new job, conference calls and writing emails. By the time 5:30 came around, I realized I had nothing done. Not too productive but sometimes the business end of freelancing demands some attention. I just got the approval a few days back to show the art I am posting today. I held off posting it as not to interrupt the pin-ups, but with no pin-ups today...

I was contracted by Solutions House of Tarpon Springs, Florida to create this map. Solutions House had become aware of my work at The Collaborative Labs and brought me in on this project. This artwork was created in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS3. It was created at the actual print size of 36" x 60" at 300 dpi. In CMYK. This was a big file. Most elements were created separately in one file and then pasted into the master. It made it a bit more manageable. Still I have over 60 layers in Illustrator when everything was done. The final maps were printed on a very thick vinyl.

The map represents the fictional county of Serene, Florida. When used with the supporting materials, (a guide book, chips, dice, instruction cards, etc.) and a facilitator, a group of 4-6 people play out civic planning scenarios. This was used for a series of "town hall" meetings in Sarasota County. The community was invited to go through the process of planning the future of a fictional county. At each of the events we would have 4-6 people at one of the 10-20 tables playing out the game. Other related activities followed. It really gave people the idea of what it's like to try to meet the needs and desires of the community. Not so easy. And it gave them a chance to prioritize what is really important to them in their community. It was a very successful endeavor.

Solutions House has been a pleasure to work with. And I'm working with them again. This time for a private corporation in Pittsburgh. I don't know if I will ever be able to show the work. I can tell you it is same physical size as this piece but much, much, much more complex. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Today's post is the last of the BOMBSHELLS. This is Sun Girl, another character I am not familiar with but definitely fun to draw. Thank again to Michael for all three of the Bombshell Girls! This was completed in ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board.

In other news: The shipping boxes arrived this morning! Artwork went out this afternoon and more tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


This the second of three BOMBSHELL pieces for Michael. I am not familiar with Yankee Girl, but she was still fun to draw. The theme helped too. As always, this is ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. Thanks for another fun commission Michael. One more to go and I think I will be walking on sunshine with that one. ;)

In other news, I spent the day in the Labs today doing my white board thang. I was a little rusty because I haven't been doing too many gigs lately. But I got my groove going and it all came out okay. I also got the OK to show one of the BIG JOBS, so if there is a day I am not able to finish a pin-up, I will post it. I still have five more pin-ups to complete before my deadline of August 8th. I'm doing fine as far as the schedule goes though I still haven't received my shipping boxes. Sigh. And can you believe this is the 212th post for the year? Whew!

Monday, July 28, 2008


This is the first of the three BOMBSHELLS. It's a cool theme and a lot of fun. Each piece will have a tag line that goes with that particular heroine. Such as "The Cat's Meow" for Kitten, sidekick/crime fighting partner of Cat-Man. This is inked on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. Thanks to Michael for this commission!

On a side note, I am falling behind on shipping artwork. I ran out of Priority Mail boxes and all of the Post Offices in the area do not have any in stock. I normally order them on-line, and did this time, but there was a delay. I am hoping they will arrive this week. If not, I will be forced to buy boxes for shipping. Either way I wanted everyone to know the situation. Thanks for everyone's understanding.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scarlet Witch

Marvel Comics' Scarlet Witch is up today. I don't follow Marvel Comics all that much but from the news sites, it seems that Wanda has done some pretty bad stuff. lately And she is one of the good gals! I read the Avengers back when John Byrne was drawing it the first time around and that's the Scarlet Witch I know. Even if she went a little Dark Scarlet in that story. :)

This is inked on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. Thanks Eric for this second commission!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Power Girl

Today's post is Power Girl. Eric requested something similar to a Power Girl piece I posted a week or so ago so here she is.

I've always liked the original concept of her being the cousin of the Earth-2 Superman. They both left Krypton at the same time as babies, but her ship took longer to make the journey. She was in a sort of suspended animation and aged slowly. So by the time she got to Earth, she was in her early 20s and Superman was in his 60s or 70s and retired. She was always feistier than her Earth-1 counterpart, Supergirl. Something that carries on today. The funny thing is her breast size. There's a story behind it that everyone knows by now. Every reader noticed Power Girl was much bustier than any other character out there but it wasn't until the last few years that there were references and jokes made about it in the comics themselves. Notably in a story drawn by Amanda Conner a while back. Funny stuff.

This piece is inked on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. Thanks again Eric!

Friday, July 25, 2008


I don't get many requests for Lois Lane-Kent, so that made this fun. It's tricky too. No identifying costume means you have to come up with something so she isn't just any brunette. And if you look in any of the monthly books, there is hardly a consistency in her looks from one artist to another. So, here is my interpretation. Though after the 1970s Supergirl yesterday, I was tempted to draw Lois with her short "bob" hairstyle with bell bottoms from the 1970s. ;) This one is number 11 of 20. We are still ahead of schedule. As always, this is done in ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. Thanks again to Royce for this commission!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SUPERGIRL in hot pants!

My favorite version of Supergirl is todays post. Though I started looking at comics at a pretty young age, I usually think of 1970 as the time I really started reading them. It was around this time that I found Adventure Comics featuring Supergirl. Solo stories of the "Maid of Might". (I didn't make that up).
At that time Supergirl would have a different costume every month. Mike Sekowsky was writing and drawing the book, maybe editing it too, I don't know. Mike always had an eye for hip fashion of the day and he brought that to Supergirl. Other designs were submitted by readers. Some were good, some, not so much.
The costume pictured here is the one most people remember. I don't know who designed it, but it was first drawn by Bob Oksner in Adventure Comics #410. They still experimented with different costumes for a few more issues, but they came back to this one. How could any fanboy complain about the hot pants costume? Topping the deal was Oksner being able to draw the cutest girls in comics. His Supergirl flew with a grace that hadn't been seen before or since. Art Saaf, the other artist sharing drawing duties on Supergirl, was also known for drawing cute females with impossibly long legs. It was a good time to be a Supergirl fan. :)
This was done in ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board for our own Royce Thrower. Thanks again Royce!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kitty Pryde - X-Men

Today's offering is one of my favorite X-Men, Kitty Pryde in a variation of the classic team uniform. This is another from the sketch auction list. Ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. Thanks again to Steven for the commission!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Todays post is the latest piece from the Conventionless, Convention Sketch Auction. This Huntress pin-up is done in ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. 8 down and 12 to go on the list. Still just a bit ahead of schedule too. Thanks again to Brian for the Bat-Commissions!

Monday, July 21, 2008


This is the first time I have drawn the new Batwoman. Though it doesn't show in a black and white illustration, her bat shield, gloves, boots and the inside of her cape are red. It makes a nice and different contrast from some of the other Bat-character colors of blue, gray and black. This is done in ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board. Thanks for the commission Brian!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Another commission of a personal character. Jyn-Na has super strength with some shape shifting abilities as well. Sample art seemed to represent a pretty happy character that is physically impressive, so I went with that. :) Thanks again for the commission Robert! Ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


From the sketch list is THUNDERBIRD. I get a few commissions for characters created by people for role playing games or just a character they came up for fun. This one was fun to do, especially the wings. Thanks for the commission Robert! Tomorrow will be another of his creations. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes

Today's post is a two in one from the commission auction list. Tyroc and Light Lass, members of the Legion of Super-Heroes from the time I was a reader, way back in the early to mid 1970s. This is done with ink on 11"x 17" Canson bristol board.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Another commission from the sketch auction. Supergirl is one of my favorites to draw so I am glad she was requested. Thanks Stephen!

I am not doing the sketches in any order other than what I feel like drawing. The reason is this, if I don't feel like drawing, for example, Supergirl, it might not be my best effort. So if I do the one that is interesting to me at that moment, I dig in. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


This is the first of the auctions sketches to be completed. Batman ready to kick some butt. Thanks to Brian for the commission! This piece is ink on 11"x 17" bristol board.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Black Cat - Finished

This was actually finished yesterday, late afternoon. I was going to post it yesterday, but opted for a collage of convention sketches for the auction. Which by the way has been a big success, thanks to everyone who has purchased a sketch or three. :) I will begin posting the sketches this week as I get them done. But for today, we have the above painting. This Black Cat painting was done in watercolor on 10" x 15" Canson watercolor paper.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Conventionless Convention Sketches on eBay!

I am offering 20 inked convention style sketches on eBay for the next 5 days. (or when we hit 20, whichever comes first. Below is a small sample of past convention sketches. Details are on eBay right here. Or you can search for my auction using my eBay seller name: gene_gonzales.

Black Cat in the rough

Early post for today. I have a full list of artwork ahead of me. This is a rough for a Black Cat pin-up I am working on. When finished it will be painted. I hope to transfer the drawing to watercolor paper tonight. This was done with a light blue Col-erase pencil on 11" x 17" copy paper.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Power Girl - Finished

Here she is all inked up and ready to rumble. This was completed in ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board.

Ebay news: In the next day or two I am going to put up an auction for sketches. I call it my "Conventionless, Convention Sketch Auction". I did this a few years back and it was fun. I figure I will take 15 requests and do one a day through the end of the month. Posting the art as I go. I draw everyday for the blog, I figure this was a good way to get some fresh ideas. If anyone reading this blog is interested, just check back here Monday and Tuesday. I'm not sure what day I will put it up but I will post about it here first.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Power Girl - In progress

This is a pin-up I started to day and didn't finish inking. Still, it's fun to see a work in progress. This is DC Comics Power Girl getting ready to bust some heads after being shot at. Doesn't hurt her of course, but she does find it rude. At this stage you can still see the construction lines along with some of the inked lines.

In other news, I recently opened an account with Comic Art Fans. I am posting several pieces of artwork there. To visit, just click this link. If you do a search of my name there, you will see a lot of my work in quite a few collectors galleries. I think some of them date back as far as 10 years. Whew!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wonder Woman

I really liked Darwyn Cooke's designs for Wonder Woman in THE NEW FRONTIER. And I love the fact that she was taller than Superman. Great stuff! This is WW in her war outfit from the book but done in my style. This is done with a 2B pencil on 11" x 17" Canson bristol board. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sketchbook Thursday again

Spent most of the day working on Deena's Tiki Room mural. Almost done with two walls. The other two walls will mostly be foliage so I'm not far from finishing. Todays post is from the sketchbook. These were done over the last two days. I was trying out some new color marker brushes on a couple of these and found I like them. Probably be doing more with them on a finished piece. Pencils and ink brushes in my sketchbook.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dejah Thoris - Princess of Mars

Short post today. This is just a quick sketch for a piece I will finish later. I wanted to do a Dejah Thoris action piece for a change. Most of the time she is just lying around looking sexy. Not that there is anything wrong with that. :) This was completely done in Photoshop.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hot Fudge Sundae - Process

This is the last piece of art for my July package from CILM. Today I decided to work a little differently. I like to mix it up in order to challenge myself from time to time.
I did my initial sketch in my sketchbook in blue pencil. I opted not to ink it. Instead, I scanned it and then brought it into Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator is a vector program. In the simplest terms,  you have to make the shapes and fill them in order to create the art. Photoshop on the other hand is a pixel based art program. You "paint" the pixels. There is an advantage to doing vector versus pixel that I will explain in a moment. So, the image on the left is my sketch on a layer under my work layer. I had to outline each sketch line and fill with a color. I am making my bold and thin lines this way. In Photoshop I would just paint the lines, much like using a brush and ink in the real world. 
The middle image above has the outlines complete. I filled everything (legs, clothes, etc.) with a base color and then copied and pasted the image into Photoshop. From there I started establishing highlights and shadows. When that was done, I started over and repeated the process with the background. When it was completed I brought that into PS and put it on a layer behind the girl. Touched it up, adjusted the saturation, cropped and saved. Below is the final art.
I could have done everything in Illustrator if I chose to. It would have looked slightly different because of color shifts between the two programs, but still would have been fine. The advantage to doing the art in a vector program is that you can enlarge the art as big as you want. A two inch by 2 inch piece could be enlarged to 20 feet by 20 feet or more, if you want. I believe the way they explain it is a vector program fills the area mathematically. While in PS, if you paint 10 pixels and you enlarge them, the program doesn't enlarge the pixels, it can't, it just adds them, guessing what the colors should be. Thats why if you enlarge a PS image or photo, it gets blurry. There are ways around it but this will suffice for the point I am making about the two programs. I hope it makes sense. There are others that can explain it better the me. Hope I didn't bore anyone. :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fainting Couch with Cats

A short post today. This is a new piece for the next batch for CILM. Ink on 11" x 17" Canson Bristol Board with colors in Photoshop. Hope everyone had a good Monday.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Plastic Man Saves Bettie Page - Process

I just finished this today and the person who commissioned it has allowed me to share the process. His ideas are always fun and I enjoy working on them. For those of you who are sensitive to bare breasts or do not approve or enjoy cheesecake artwork, this is not for you. See you tomorrow if you come back. Meanwhile if Tour B will follow me we will proceed. :)

The concept here is a newspaper photo showing Plastic Man saving Bettie Page from a thief who tried to steal her mink stole in a unnamed 1950s New York City nightclub. Below is the initial sketch I did. It was approved so I moved on to doing sketches of Bettie and Plastic Man.

After warm-up sketches, I did a tight pencil drawing of the piece. This is done in pencil on 8.5" x 11" copy paper. At this stage I have everything I need. But we both thought that Plastic Man's face wasn't shown enough with the bulging eyes, so we opted for the big grin look instead.
I then enlarged my pencil drawing in Photoshop to the actual size I would be doing the finished art, 16" x 20". I printed it out the image on two pieces of 11" x 17" paper on my Epson Photo 2200 printer. I taped the two pieces together and light boxed the line work onto a piece of 4-ply Strathmore Bristol Board. Then came the inking. I used a very watered down ink for this. Because it was to be in gray tones, like a newspaper photo, I didn't want the harsh black outlines. (The lines look a lot darker below because I had to adjust the contrast so you can see the pencils and the inks.) The inking was done with a brush.
I didn't outline the band in the background. I felt it would pull them into the foreground too much. Instead I established them with washes of gray. The washes of gray were done using watercolor. I feel I have a better control of the values with watercolor than I would with watered down ink. Below I am getting my darkest darks and my whitest whites (the paper) established. This way I get a clearer vision of the shades in between.
I continue working the grays to add more depth to the piece. The band is right were I want them in terms of value and the people coming down the stairs at the top right worked out too. I continue to build the darks until I am satisfied. With the piece done, I set some type on my iMac to fit the bottom area I left open. I print out the text and transfer it to the board with my light box using a black colored pencil.
I then sign the bottom right with my name and copyright. After it dries, I scan it and send the image in an email. If everything is good, I will put it between two pieces of masonite and ship it out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Sally once again makes it to the blog. SALLY VOLT - SPACE JUNGLE GIRL is the creation of myself and writer J.C. Vaughn. She has been around for about 5 years but not much has been done with her. We see her as a sunday adventure strip that takes a wide variety of genres, tosses them into the blender and makes a nice frozen concoction for a summer day. J.C. has written about 15 episodes and sometime this month I will get started on the first one. I'm still playing around with the format of the originals but right now I am gearing up to do the strips on 16" x 20" boards. Inked, hand lettered and colored right on the originals. They will have the look of the old original sunday strips, minus the glue stains. Yeah, only big ideas here, folks. This piece is done in pencil on 11" x 17" Strathmore 500 series 2-ply Bristol Board.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Lost City of Lygosis - Inks

I posted this panel in it's pencil version back in April. I just finished the inks for the page this panel is on so I figured it would be a chance to compare. I can hardly wait to see what the colorist does with this.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Inked another page of POPX today and I thought I would share it here. Our hero is in his flight gear for the first time on this page. Yeah sure, he wore it on the first page of the first issue, but that was just a photo shoot, not an actual story page. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hanging on by a thread

Like yesterday's post, this was a sketch I posted here a while back. Today I had the chance to tight up the drawing and paint it. This is done on 11" x  14" Strathmore 4 ply Bristol Board. The medium is watercolors with a bit of colored ink.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

3 Second Rule

So I missed the fact that this year has 366 days, not 365. Today is actually my half-way point for the year of consecutive art posts. Cue the fanfare!
I posted the sketch and color comp for this piece a while back. It was titled 5 Second Rule. Now it's titled 3 Second Rule. Seems there is some debate about the exact time one has in which they can pick up dropped food and safely eat it. Today was incredibly productive: Designed 5 promotion pieces for a client, finished the pencils to the Plastic Man/Bettie Page commission (scanned and sent for approval) inked a page of PERILS ON PLANET X #2, and inked and digitally colored this piece for the next batch of art going to CILM. All in all, a good day. Thanks for dropping by. :)