Wednesday, December 3, 2008

To be published or not to be...

Finally got the chance to do a comic book series. Got halfway through issue 2 and the series was suddenly put on hold. Indefinitely. Business issues. Hey, who's NOT having business issues in this economy? They still want to do it, which is good, but people have to make a living, me being people, so who knows if our schedules will match up again. Anyway, they released a Zero issue, previewing the first eight pages of issue 1, so I'm sharing the black and white pages here. Hopefully you'll see the whole thing someday: The CORPS!, published by Devil's Due and written by Rick Remender.

Happy drawing.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Work and fun

Wow, time does like to fly doesn't it? It doesn't seem like my last post was so long ago. I suppose I've been a little busy.

First up: a piece that I had started but haven't gotten around to finishing yet. I've got way too many stories like that. Subject matter is a Naboo fighter pilot. Gotta finish the background then to color the whole thing... someday.

Next: a few frames from some recent work. Not the most exciting subject matter on earth, but I enjoy the coloring process. Learning to use color theory well is a challenge for me but I love it. I try to minimize my line art and let the colors do the bulk of the work, informing the image with form, depth, and mood.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More Progression Fun

OK, not really, but this is another pose that I came up with while doing the last set of drawings. I didn't feel that it fit in at the time, but I liked it a lot so I found a little time this past weekend to give it a go.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Sitting everyday and staring at your own drawings, it can be difficult at times to feel as though you're making any progression as an artist. I know a lot of artists are like myself: always looking for the faults in their own work. We tend to be our own worst critic. Shuffling through some old stuff recently I came across a drawing I had done around five to six years ago. It was horrible and I couldn't understand how I could have drawn it without noticing all of the problems with it, so I decided then and there to give it another try. Had I had managed to get any better between then and now? I had drawn the first one from my head, so I would do the new one the same way. I guess it was my way of regulating the 'test'.

Starting from the beginning, here's the horrid piece of graphic flinging that started the whole thing:

Next up is the first of the new sketches, just trying to lay everything into place. It's better, but it's not great.

Clean it up and it starts to look acceptable. I am, of course, still not happy with it.

I happen to be a tall person who used to be quite skinny, so I think that a lot of the people I draw turn out that way, including the above sketch, so I redid it, shooting for a slightly shorter person, or at least a more robust person (whatever the heck 'robust' is supposed to mean).

Again I think it's a little better but the pose in general is quite stiff and there's no sex appeal whatsoever, so that's when you have to bite the bullet, trash the pose that's not working, and start over.

Now I finally like what I'm seeing. I cleaned this one up and inked the final version.

Personally I think I like the sketch version of this better, but it was still a good exercise and proved that I have managed to grow at least a tiny little bit in the last five plus years. I hope that three or four years from now I will again look at this last piece, see it for the horror that it is, and be able to do it that much better yet again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a Week!!!

Well, there's distractions and there's disTRACTions. So last Tuesday I was awoken by pain in my left knee at like 5:30 in the morning. It was swollen and just feeling something awful, so Elena took me to the doctor's office who in turn sent me to a knee specialist. The knee specialist took one look at it and took out a syringe.

What? You don't like where this is going? Heh, me neither.

One syringe of bloody puss later and I'm off to the hospital for minor surgery the next day. Talk about sneaking up on a guy. The culprit? Staff infection in my knee, specifically the bursa sack that lies on top of the kneecap. How did it happen? No clue. Doctors don't have a clue either, so it's just one of those things. What can I say? "Cleanliness is next to godliness", that's one thing I could say. Or have heard said. I think I'm starting to believe it.

As of today, six days after surgery, I'm walking on my own again, which is good because crutches get old really fast. No art today, but I could post a photo of my knee if you want...

Oh, and have you ever heard of a PICC line? That's an IV type line that they stick into a major vein in your upper arm. The catheter goes up your arm, around the shoulder and into the chest, stopping right next to your heart. Sticking out of your arm you've got 4 inches or so of line that you attach things to, like syringes with medicines in them. I've got one of those. I have to take mondo-powerful antibiotics (in liquid form) every day through that line. If all goes well that should come out this Friday or Saturday, at which time I get downgraded to antibiotic pills.

If you wind up in a place where you have to go through this, I recommend having a loving spouse and a good pain-killing prescription by your side. I'm not really into drugs or any such vices, but there's a time and place for everything. I am, however, really really into the loving spouse thing. I think 'always' is the time and place for that one. :-) I know, I know, lovey-mushy stuff is gross, but I could go back to talking in detail about the knee, the bloody puss, and the two and a half inch slit down the front of my knee...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Grinding it Out

Sometimes there's just not any room left for those fun little side projects that help to satisfy the soul. Those times can be stressful and can take their toll on any 'commercial' artist, but that's the way life works and when you arrive at one of those places you've just got to hunker down and weather them. I try to find something in each job I do for me to enjoy. It's not always easy, but I do what I can. And if it's too hard? And I get all stressed out? And start acting like a moron? That's where my wife steps in and lets me know just how moronic, stressed out, and difficult I'm being. Then she scratches my back and makes me a snack and the world is set right again. I'm probably overdue to buy her some flowers...

So here's some of the current non-soul-satisfying-but-pays-the-bills work that I'm zinging through with grace and ease (hahaha!)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Neither Man Nor Hat (I gotta move on to a new subject line)

More hollywood likenesses. Oh joy. This first one is another oldie but not quite goldie. I want to color it at some point but have no idea when I might possibly find the time. I'm such a spazzoid attention deficit junkie when it comes to art - I give my total focus to one thing for a day or three, then suddenly switch to some other thing for a few days, then another and another. It's tiresome. I've got like fifty thousand things that are "in progress". What the hay!? It keeps life from getting boring I suppose...

The second two images are from another of my spazzoid brain's projects. I have wanted to do my own version of a Rocketeer movie poster for a long time now, say 10 years or more. It would make a good portfolio piece for me - if I ever finish it. So for anyone familiar with the Rocketeer, I give you Cliff Secord and Neville Sinclair. These were done utilizing some of my more recent tricks (all of which I shall keep in my magic hat for now - not that it's too hard to figure out). Happy drawing!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Man, No Hat

I wanted to do a whole slew of Indy drawings but time, as usual, demands I do the work that pays the bills first. I'd say I need to win the lottery, but I never play so it wouldn't do me much good.

Several months ago me and the wife were packing up a ton of stuff/junk/crap/stuff in an attempt to try and eventually put our house on the market. I know, who cares, but in the process I came across some old drawings I did that were going to be used for a mock Star Wars book cover. Oh the things I've wanted/meant to draw over the years... Anyway, I wouldn't use them now, but I figured why not post them here, so even though it's not Indy, It's Han, and that's close enough for today.

I think these likenesses are close at best. The way I used to get good reference was to pause my VHS copy of a film, take a picture of the TV with a camera on a tripod, then use the resulting print. This really isn't a great way to do things, let me tell you. Old television sets have a curved screen, so right off the bat your image is going to be warped. The quality of any VHS sourced image is questionable at best; that's strike two. Factor in the reality that the camera can never be perfectly straight in front of the tube and you've got yourself even more warpage. Strike three. And as if three strikes weren't enough, using an artograph to project the photo print onto a table, which I'm sure are never aligned perfectly either, really does you in. So to get any kind of resemblance out of that process is a mild achievement. I've got much better tricks now and someday I'll get my ADHD brain around to producing those covers. Maybe...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

More More Hat

This one is older and has been on my website for years, but I've been a little busy so until I get more sketches done, this'll do.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Hat

Saw a new trailer for Indy 4 on Friday and thought it looked like a lot of fun. I was there to help add to the box office total for Iron Man, which I've been waiting for as a movie since I was about 8 I think. Thumbs up.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Man in the Hat!

Yup, the man in the hat is almost back. Is it strange, all these icons from childhood and adolescent times, making their way back onto the silver screen?

That depends. Are you talking about franchises in television or film? If it's TV then hell yes! Seriously, what's next? A Hogan's Heroes movie!? Don't get me wrong: I loved Hogan's Heroes, but somehow I don't think it would really fit into our current military situation. A bunch of American pilots held prisoner in an Iraqi prison, escaping into the desert to do what exactly? Help the locals rebuild their homes? Or maybe turn it around: have a bunch of Iraqi prisioners in Guantanamo Bay, escaping at night to help the local Cubans smuggle their cigars onto US bound ships.

Or maybe the Beverly Hillbillies! It would be great except for every self-proclaimed hillbilly in the country suing the film for defamation of character. Now Gilligan's Island... I'm still holding my breath for that film. It's sure to be undergoing a treatment any day now. Maybe Jonny Depp will play Gilligan...

As for Spielberg and Lucas, not so strange. It's just the same guys doing what they've always done. Are they different now than when they were younger? Of course, but not so different as they are the same. Might the new Indy flick waft into your consciousness with a big ol' nose-holding stinkola? Sure, but probably not. I assume it'll be a lot like most adventure flicks these days: some corny stuff, some eye-rolling moments, and a lot of funny, way cool looking, over-the-top fun. It's a ride, that's all, and I plan on tapping into my childhood and enjoying said ride for all it's worth. Color me a sucker, but I'll leave my cynicism at the door.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The time: ancient history. Me? A kid. Opinion of golf: silly; certainly not a sport. Jump forward to my early 20's. I get to play a few times with a couple of friends. Maybe all of three times, and never more than 9 holes. The experience was fun but you'd have to jump forward another eight or nine years before I would grip a club again. Never watched it on television during that time. Nor before. Maybe my dad would fall asleep on the couch while entertaining the idea of watching it. Maybe I would catch glimpses of it as I passed through with friends. Or girls. Or both. Or neither. Then, my bachelor party. A few friends and I gathered for a full 18 holes. We had a couple of carts and luckily Johnny Knoxville had yet to show just how much fun you can really have with one of those things. So we were only mildly annoying out on the course. We let plenty of people play though, had a ton of laughs, especially when one of my friends got frustrated. We were merciless. Still I had no intentions of ever really getting into the game.

Then Dan Panosian, the Urban Barbarian, got involved with a comic strip for Sports Illustrated through Marvel Comics (written by Chris Eliopoulos). Dan the muscle bound destroyer-of-worlds made it look easy:

Golf still wouldn't have shown up on my radar except that Dan had to bow out (obviously too popular and in demand in other arenas) and he graciously suggested handing over the drawing duties to me. Luckily the fine folks at Marvel said OK, so I wasted no time into making a mess of things (colors by Chris Sotomayer, edits by Nick Lowe):

Suddenly I'm drawing people playing golf, which leads to me watching it regularly on the ol' boob tube. I gotta wrap my mind around what I'm doing, right? I gotta know who these people are that I'm drawing and what in god's name they're really doing. The strip only lasts for a year and a half, but as if the enjoyment of drawing it weren't enough, I got hooked on the game.

Birthday money last year: spent on a cheap starter set of golf clubs. Got some balls from a used Sporting Goods store (that's where I get all my balls; it's the place to go for affordable balls). Buy "Golf For Dummies" by Gary McCord (former pro who you'll find on CBS nowadays). Springtime arrives and I start frequenting the driving range. Any ball that actually goes more than 25 feet usually careens way off into the nets on the right side of the range. I get a couple of chances to play 9 holes. Ugly. Fun, but ugly. Then winter hits. I live in the Chicago area, so winter means no golf. I grew up in the south where that's not necessarily the case. Now, Chicago. I love the windy city but man o man do I hate the winters. No need to elaborate.

Finally. Finally! FINALLY!! Spring 2008 decides to show it's little head. I've got tons of work to be doing (which I'm plenty thankful for), but find it difficult to remain indoors. I'll be working late hours now to pay for my lack of discipline, but it's completely worth it. I head out today for the driving ranges. Only been once so far this spring. The course, however, is practically empty. Now why would I just go to the driving range when there's an entire course calling out to be used? I gave into temptation, ponied up for 9 holes, and after playing golf less than 10 times in my whole life I get my first birdie. I could die happy. Yes, I know it's completely silly, but it's truth. And no lessons other than that book, which I'm still only a quarter of the way through. I haven't even finished reading about how to swing the damned club yet, but I cannot wait.

The point of all this? No point. Just me obsessing. It must be the weather. Oh, Gary McCord? Great book! I would definitely recommend it. If only I had known as a kid that I would end up loving the game so much. Drawing? Yeah, it's a true passion for me, but I watch TV and I think those golf people get paid better. Somehow I don't think Bob Ross and Tiger Woods live in the same neighborhood. Oh well, I still love what I do, but I'll dream of golf while sitting here drawing...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another sketch

One more sketch that I felt worth throwing some ink on. I just used a Pitt brush pen on top of the pencils in my sketchbook.

These sketches all come from finding interesting pics in magazines, ones that for one reason or another have something of interest for me to study. I like sketching but sometimes feel that the time used there could be used to work on finished pieces. I know that there's a real benefit to just sketching (and doing it often) but when I'm doing other work for pay I'm having to split a finite amount of time between sketching and starting to build a new portfolio. It's always a struggle for me to figure out how best to use my time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Holy Toledo! Here we go again, Buckaroo.

Yes, it's been more than a year and a quarter since I last posted. On my previous blog, that is. For what it's worth i didn't really draw much during that period (let's just say I was distracted), but I'm back in the saddle and hoping to actually get a little serious about this whole drawing thing.

For that reason I'm sort of starting over. The old blog is still around but I wanted a fresh start, so here it is.

When you draw for a living you do whatever pays the bills for a large portion of that time and believe you me, I'm no exception. I am going to try, however, to move the work that I do more towards the things that I'm actually interested in. Don't get me wrong, if I'm getting paid to draw it, I'm interested. The truth, however, is that some things are more fun to draw than others. So here's to the fun stuff and to fitting it in as much as possible.

First off, however, are a couple of sketches to sort of get my dormant drawing brain back into gear. I'm working on some paying jobs at the moment but I'm trying to find an hour or so each day (or more if I feel I can justify it, or if I'm overwhelmed with the desire to procrastinate) to just draw whatever my heart desires. I've got some ideas for building a new portfolio but to start with I've just got to get into the groove again. These are my first efforts.

Thanks for peeping.