Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I hope everyone has a safe and fun celebration tonight. Thanks for hanging with me here for the last three years. More fun and art coming in 2011, I hope you continue to hang around. :)

This is Post #1182

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Red Dress - Pixel Art 2

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just a quick piece I threw together while I sat at Barnes and Noble tonight. I was still working when Dakota wanted to go so I grabbed my sketchbook and did this in the cafe area. I slapped some color on it when we got back and here it is. Now I need to get back to work. :)

This is Post #1181

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Red Dress - Pixel Art

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I drew this in my sketchbook with a #2 pencil then colored it in Photoshop CS5. This is a style I would like to develop and refine. I like the pencil lines showing through and the roughness that this approach brings. Yesterday's post, done in Adobe Illustrator CS5,  was slick and graphic. This is messy and has energy. In PS CS5, I used brushes to create the textures I wanted. Changing the opacity and flow of a brush can create different textures and blends of colors. Something you can't do in AI without a lot of tweaking. I can create the nice graphic lines of AI in PS using the pen tool. But then I would be back to a flat line weight or a preset line weight effect.

I've never been a one or the other kind of artist in that I like both programs for what they do best. I would rather use PS to get the light/color effects than try to mimic it in AI. For something bold and graphic, I will go right to AI. And for really cool stuff, mix them in a shaker and pour over four olives in a chilled martini glass. Oops, that's not a program, that's a drink waiting for me right now.

This is Post #1180

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Red Dress - Vector Art

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just a little something I whipped up today in Adobe Illustrator CS5. I wanted to try out a tool that is new to this version of AI. Before the pen tool only gave you a single line weight, no thick or thin variations. But now there is a width expanding tool. After putting down the initial line, I can click on it and adjust the thickness of the line anywhere I want. I can adjust both sides of the line, or just one side. If you look at the right leg of the girl above, you can really see the variation of line thickness. This could be a very important tool for me.

After I finished adjusting the line weight, I colored the piece in AI using Live Paint, then exported into Photoshop CS5 to make a jpg of it for the blog.

This is Post #1179

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sketchbook Monday - Batman

Batman © DC Comics

I have been worked in Adobe Illustrator from 7am until 8:30pm with only a 30 minute break for some dinner and a Starbucks run a little earlier. So when I finished with what I planned on doing today, and finished with all that vector work, I felt like slapping some paint around. I took this picture with my iPhone because the paint was still wet and I was too lazy to look for our Canon G9 camera. This really isn't a very good piece but it helped me loosen up. And that was it's purpose. Never let it be said that I am afraid to show the bad stuff here  :)

This is Post #1178

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rainbow Seahorses FTW!

 Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I showed bits of this above artwork when it was in progress. This was commissioned by my friends Tom & Anne Marie for their daughter Katie. The image incorporates a very long and fun series of nicknames they have for Katie. This was a lot of fun to do and I really feel honored they asked me to do this. Thanks Tom and Anne! (This was done in color pencil and fluid acrylic.)

And for fun, here is a piece they commissioned for their other daughter Shelby. This was done way back in 2002. After all these years it was very cool to see the painting hanging in Shelby's room when I visited them last year. Yup, very cool indeed. :) (This one was done in gouache.)

Lilo and Stitch © Disney

This is Post #1177

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I had hoped to finish this piece for Christmas, but it just didn't happen. I hope everyone had a great day!

This is Post #1176

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sketchbook Friday - Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

More doodles today. I put aside work for a bit to try out a new brush pen I picked up. This is the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I like this better than the other Pentel brushes I picked up a couple of months ago. And I really liked those. This is nice because the tip feels a bit firmer. And the pen itself feels a bit more sturdy. I also like the ink in this one better. It dries quicker and is a nice deep black. I will be using this one along with the other one more in the future to see how they hold up.

This is Post #1175

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sketchbook Thursday - Mary Marvel

Mary Marvel © DC Comics

According to the SUPER DC CALENDAR for 1976, today is Billy and Mary Batson's birthday. So today's sketchbook features Mary Batson's alter ego Mary Marvel.

This is Post #1174

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sketchbook Wednesday - Polar Boy

Polar Boy © DC Comics

Once again it's a sketchbook day, but today I drew my inspiration from the SUPER DC CALENDAR of 1976! (Which works day for day perfectly as a 2010 calendar). According to the calendar today is the birthday of Polar Boy, leader of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. That group of heroes that didn't make it in the Legion for one reason or another. But then Polar Boy is the "little sub that could" in that he eventually became a Legionnaire and if I remember right, their leader. So lift a frosty mug to Polar Boy today!

This is Post #1173

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Big day of illustration goodness for my commercial clients so it's just another sketchbook Tuesday.

This is Post #1172

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tiki #3 - Turnaround

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I believe I have finalized the look of Tiki #3. I have been looking a lot of Tiki designs and find that most do not have much in the way of carvings on the back. Which does make things easier for me. :)

This is Post #1171

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sketchbook Sunday – Tiki #3

Art © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just some tiki goodness for this cold & rainy Sunday afternoon. He doesn't have a name yet, so for now he is #3. :)

Back to work now. :)

This is Post #1170

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sketchbook Saturday – Moon Girl and Co.

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I have officially started working on my own project. But you will not be seeing any of the story until I get enough episodes in the can. Which might be near the end of February. I haven't determined the frequency of posting the episodes. It will be either once or twice a week. But I have time to figure that out. In the meantime I will probably continue to tease with images and designs like the one above. :)

This is Post #1169

Friday, December 17, 2010

Non-Quadruped Submersible Equine - Detail

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Since I showed the sketches of seahorses a couple of days ago, I thought I would show a detail of the painting I finished today. This area is only 3.5 inches tall. The entire image is 11"x 17"painted with fluid acrylics and color pencils. I will be able to show the whole image in a week or so. :)

This is Post #1168

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yes Virginia, it is another Sketchbook Thursday

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Hang in there folks. I should be able to do something other than doodle soon. :)

(Actually I am drawing and painting my behind off, but I just can't show any of the art. "sigh")

This is Post #1167

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sketchbook Wednesday

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Another sketchbook post. I am working on something that involved me learning the basic structure of a sea horse. There are many different types of sea horses but I went with the iconic image. I will be able to show the piece this is for sometime after Christmas.

This is Post #1166

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Sorry folks, it's another Sketchbook Tuesday. Not much time for anything after a full day of working (6:30am - 5pm) and tonight another concert performance by Dakota at her high school. Busy day for all of us.

Braving the cold tonight wasn't much fun either. I know there are people up north that are getting hammered hard by the snow and cold. That area gets it in some degree every winter. But I bet you wouldn't think we would have a low of 28° here in Florida. Yup, that's our forecast tonight. Not quite the Sun Coast living I signed up for. :)

Stay warm and safe everyone!

This is Post #1165

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sketchbook Monday

Art and concepts © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I only had time for some sketching today. More Easter Island heads. Working out size and movement. And individual features. Fun to do really. I normally fill my evenings with stuff like this or commissions. But the next two nights are music performance nights for our daughter, so I am cramming as much as I can into a 10 hour day instead of a 12-14. :)

This is Post #1164

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sketchbook Sunday

Ratchet & Clank © Sony Computer Entertainment

More play today folks. I know I will be paying for it later, but it has been needed. The only thing I did today was sketch this in my sketchbook while taking a break from a Ratchet and Clank game. It's hard to just look at a screen and draw, so it's pretty rough. I'm pretty happy with Ratchet considering I only put about 10 minutes into drawing him. Clank (the robot head in the upper right) is really off model though. :)

Monday is looming. I hope everyone had a good weekend!

This is Post #1163

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sketchy Business

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I'm playing today folks. But that didn't stop me from sketching this on a sheet of watercolor paper. The line art is unfinished, but I will finish it sometime and then paint it. But today, I just playing. :)

This is Post #1162

Friday, December 10, 2010

Big Trouble

Artwork & Concept © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Heads up team! Looks like this evil is head and shoulders above anything else you have faced. Work together, keep your heads and you will come out ahead!

Sorry. (I should leave the puns to Royce)

Have a good weekend everyone!

This is Post #1161

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Santa Elf & Frosty - Finished

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I took some time tonight to slap some paint on this one. I did this piece for fun. I really would like to paint Santa Elf #3 & #4 from a few days ago. I have no idea why though. Maybe it's the Christmas Spirit.

Naaaah. :)

This was done in color pencils and fluid acrylics on an 11" x 17" sheet of bristol board.

This is Post #1160

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The White Witch - Canson Cutie

The White Witch © DC Comics

Here is the first of five Legion of Super-Heroes related Canson Cuties I am doing for Michael. All five will be based on the Curt Swan/Adventure Comics era of the Legion. First up is The White Witch. Her sister is the Legionnaire Dream Girl.

Though the White Witch wasn't a Legionnaire at the time of this incarnation, she did assist them in one of their biggest two part stories. This story included (maybe) all of the Legion, including Supergirl, the Legion of Substitute Heroes, flashbacks to Krypton, the introduction of the Devil's Dozen, included a wink and a nod to Spider-Man, predicted the death of Ferro Lad, the Legion of Super-Pets, Smallville, Lightning Lad getting a new arm, Bouncing Boy's power restored, Matter-Eater Lad cured from a ailment he got in an earlier two parter, a teen age Mister Mxyzptlk, and the return of Star Boy and Dream Girl to the Legion ranks. A story that included characterization in 47 pages. I think all that would take 36 issues these days. And some of those sub-plots would be forgotten. :)

Thanks to Michael for this commission. This was done in ink, color pencil and fluid acrylics on an 11" x 17" sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes paper.

This is Post #1159

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Santa Elf & Frosty

 Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Today I had the opportunity to do some drawing for fun. Above is another elf piece that I have put on a final board for painting. Something I will probably do tomorrow. Below is the rough I did in my sketchbook this morning.

 Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I have also started the color on the Legion of Super-Heroes White Witch Canson Cutie commission. It's coming out quite nicely. But I ran out of white Prismacolor pencils! I am heading out tonight to buy more. I will probably finish White Witch by tomorrow afternoon.

This is Post #1158

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa Elf 4

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I'm still on a elf kick. Tis the season folks. And they are fun and quick to draw when I only have a few minutes at a time a day. I slapped some color on this one in Photoshop.

Tomorrow I present some work to a client and will get feedback on Thursday. I don't expect much in the way of revisions so I will be going to final work shortly after that. So tomorrow afternoon I will be working on those Legion Canson pieces again. And that's gonna be fun! :)

This is Post #1157

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa Elf 3 - Rough

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Today was a full day of work, but I managed to sketch this out. This is my second attempt at this pose and I'm really happy with it. This is what yesterday's post should have looked like if I hadn't gone off course. :)

Now I just need to find time to paint it before December 25, 2011. ;)

This is Post #1156

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Santa Elf 2 - Rough

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I have Tuesday deadline hanging over me and I'm working through the weekend. But I did this in between scanning and saving files. It was something I was going to paint. At first I was happy with it, but later, well, not so much. The piece itself is fine, but it isn't cartoony enough. Something happened in the drawing process and I went the wrong way. Ah well, try again tomorrow. :)

This is Post #1155

Friday, December 3, 2010

Santa Elf

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just one of Santa's helpers for today folks. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

This is Post #1154

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Aquaman © DC Comics

I had a lot of catching up to do after my whirlwind trip Tuesday and Wednesday. Getting up a 5am helps with that. I managed to get most things back up to speed but not much energy for everything. Wednesday was such a big brainstorming day that my brain turned to mush. So before getting back into any artwork that "matters", I thought that I would just do something fun and quick. Something to get the juices going again. And this is what came about. And while I might be in the minority, I like Aquaman. At least the one I grew up with. I don't know what is going on with the guy now. :)

This was done in Tuscan Red Col-Erase pencil, fluid acrylics and color Pitt Brush pens on a 11" x 17" of bristol board.

This is Post #1153

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Superman © DC Comics

Finally home. Had a good trip but I am exhausted. Whew!

After drawing the Dark Knight yesterday, I just had to draw the Man of Tomorrow, didn't I? More fun with an 11" x 14" sheet of Canson paper and some ink and paint. I really like this profile. Especially the curl in his hair. Fun stuff. :)

This is Post #1152

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Batman © DC Comics

Just playing around with a 11" x 14" sheet of Canson Paper and some various mediums. Nice to just scribble sometimes. :)

This is Post #1151

Monday, November 29, 2010

Canson Cutie - Dream Girl (rough)

Dream Girl © DC Comics

Here is the second set of roughs I have done for the series of Legion Canson pieces I am doing. Dream Girl is the subject here, sister of yesterday's post of White Witch. Once again, this pieces will feature Legionnaires from the Curt Swan/Adventure Comics era. Which is a favorite era for me. Of yesterdays poses, "B" was selected and for Dream Girl, "C" is the one. Fun stuff ahead!

This is Post #1150

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Canson Cutie - White Witch (rough)

White Witch © DC Comics

I have been commissioned to do five Canson pieces featuring Legionnaires from the Curt Swan/Adventure Comics era. Yeah, I jumped all over that one. :) Above are the sketch ideas for the White Witch. I don't know if any of these ideas will be used, but it is a jumping off point.

In other news, earlier today I finished the first round art for a large project. It's not due until tomorrow but I like being ahead of schedule. Tomorrow morning I will give it one more look and send it to all of the people that need to see it. Then I will be out of town discussing the art in person on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since I will be flying I will have to choose between the nude photo booth or getting felt up. Friendly skies, eh? ;)

And lastly I had a bit of a scare. I went to my site and it wasn't there. Just a parked under construction page. Seems my domain registrar was using an email address I haven't used in about 10 years to notify me that my fees were due. It's pretty dumb because when I logged on to their site, my account information is up to date with my Florida contact info. I quickly paid the renew fee, contacted them and managed to get the site back up in a few hours. I know there are several other people that would like to have that domain and I'm lucky no one noticed it was available over the last five days. So my original site is back up and running and all is well. Except that I need to change registrars and need to do it soon.

This is Post #1149

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sketchbook Saturday

Zatanna © DC Comics

Another sketch for today. I have been working all day with a Monday morning deadline looming. Just got some more caffeine and I'm back at it. I won't be down to the wire with the work. I don't generally work that way. It will be done sometime early tomorrow. But I like to have the time after a project is "finished" to put it away and revisit it later. Any needed tweaks will stand out when I do that.

Okay, break time is over.

This is Post #1148

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sketchbook Friday

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just another sketchbook Friday folks. Hope your shopping day was a productive one. :)

This is Post #1147

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I wanted to get this up earlier but work and food got in the way. :)

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving, for tomorrow we shop!

This is Post #1146

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Moon Girl

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I'm going to be working some long hours over the next four days, so I took a couple of hours off this evening to paint for fun. I think it's been a while since I painted anything in traditional mediums and this was a lot of fun to do. But it will be back to work early tomorrow.

This was done with color pencils and fluid acrylics on 10" x 15" sheet of Canson Montval Watercolor paper.

This is Post #1145

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Digital Painting Practice — Pin-up

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just a digital sketch for today. I was playing with my digital line work and decided to slap some color on it. Sorry I haven't gone into any descriptions of my process or what I am attempting to do. I've had some really long hours lately and if I wait until the end of the day to post, I am just too wiped out for words. My brain is only working on lower levels. Simple thoughts like "Fire bad. Tree pretty." (Points if you get that reference without using a search engine).

Things will calm down a bit by the end of next week. I am working on a hard deadline of Sunday night. Job going to a printer in Arkansas for proofing copy on Monday. Flying to Arkansas on Tuesday, meetings Wednesday morning and then a lunch meeting. Fly back late afternoon Wednesday. It won't calm down by much as I have a new job starting next week and more illustrations needed for the yet another book in the series of grammar books I've been working on. Oh, and then there are always revisions. :) But it won't be as hectic. I'm not complaining at all, mind you. If fact I am very, very, very grateful for the work. It's nice to do what I love for a living. That is something I never lose sight of. :)

This is Post #1144

Monday, November 22, 2010


Batman © DC Comics

Just playing around with a piece of Canson paper today while giving my eyes a break from the big ol' monitor.

Okay, back to work.

This is Post #1143

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Digital Penciling - Color

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just a little bit of additional color added to this piece. Not much time for anything else today. The weekend was full of family and work. Going into this week I will be completely slammed until the following Monday. I'm exhausted thinking about it. Whew.

This is Post #1142

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Any Landing You Can Walk Away From?

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

This is just a quick sketch of a idea. I drew it in my sketchbook and slapped some color on it in Photoshop.

This Post #1141

Friday, November 19, 2010

Black Canary

Black Canary © DC Comics

I had this in my mind for a couple of days and finally put it down on paper, digital "paper" as it were. Just a fun exercise with color and shapes done entirely in Photoshop.

Have a good weekend everyone. :)

This is Post #1140

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mr.Tawny - Canson Portrait

Mr. Tawny © DC Comics

I'm a big fan of the Fawcett Comics run of Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. When I had a comic collection, I owned quite a few Mary Marvel, Wow Comics, Whiz Comics, Marvel Family, and Captain Marvel Adventures. And most of the early run of SHAZAM! that DC Comics published in the 1970s. The Marvel Family had some really fun supporting characters including our subject today, Mr. Tawny, the talking tiger. And yes, Mr. Tawny predates Tony the Tiger.

Mr Tawny first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #79 in 1947. Created by Otto Binder and C. C. Beck. (Otto Binder also co-created the Legion of Super-Heroes years later. Funny how this blog almost always comes back to the Legion.) So with Mr. Tawny, they placed a funny animal character in the middle of a super-hero comic. And it works. Several of those stories were reprinted in the SHAZAM! 100 Page Giants in the 1970s. Not cheap but they are a fun read.

This piece was something I was playing with today that ended up becoming a fully realized Canson piece. Not planned, but I'm happy with it. And it marks the first time I have drawn Mr. Tawny.

This was done in ink and color pencil on an 11" x 17" sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes paper.

This is Post #1139

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Digital Penciling

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just trying some digital penciling using the Conte Pencil brush in Photoshop. I like the texture of the line. I put some basic color to this piece that I will try to finish up later.

This is Post #1138

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday - Canson Paper Sketches

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

More sketching of some familiar looking guys. The sketches above were done on a sheet of Canson paper using Col-Erase pencils and white acrylic. Some of the color was done in Photoshop. I am trying different approaches for how I draw. I really would like to work on my own projects but I am not very interested in inking everything. There are several european comics that I follow that seem to print straight from pencils. Tight pencils that have been colored in a neutral shade. There are no stark black lines on anything and it looks really nice. I like the roughness and energy of pencils. Ah well, until I have time to actually devote to my own stuff, I will continue to play.

I have picked up another big project from a terrific client that will be a bit of a rush. I am working on one project for the same client and this one will tie into it a bit. I will be flying to Arkansas the first week of December and possibly late January as part of all this work. Needless to say, I will be pretty slammed through the first week of January.

My commission list is closed until February. I have taken on five Canson pieces and that fills my list. Whew! But these are going to be really, really fun!

This is Post #1137

Monday, November 15, 2010

And now for something different...

I've wanted to share these for a while and since the movie is out on dvd and Blu-Ray I figured it would be okay to share with all of you now.

Back in the spring, I was asked to join a small team of artists working for DC Licensing to do artwork for the JONAH HEX movie. I haven't seen the movie but I believe these were to be used for the opening credits. I was given very, very rough sketches done by Eduardo Risso and instructed to ink them in Adobe Illustrator, matching his style and using my best judgement to finish areas not sketched in. I poured through a lot of his work, studying what he does and why. And here are results of three of six that I did.

Another challenge to these pieces is that various elements had to be done on separate layers. For example, in the first one, I had to do the trees in the foreground in one layer, Hex and the horse in another, and the background in yet another layer. But here is the tricky part, everything you cannot see that is blocked by the foreground trees still had to be drawn out. This is where some pieces got trickier than others but it also gave the studio the chance to do limited animation with each piece.

It was a quick turnaround project and I did six of them. I'm pleased that the only change I was asked to make was to make the grass in the top image a bit fuller. My first pass at the grass didn't look as good.

Jonah Hex © DC Comics

It was a fun and I hope to be involved with more projects like this one.

New artwork tomorrow.

This is Post #1136