Monday, October 27, 2008

Carnaval stuff ...

I've worked here and there on developing my short comic but work and life decisions have been keeping me extra busy these last few weeks.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants

Wow, thank you all for so much feedback. One person asked me how I developed my color sense and that's a funny question to me because color is hard for me and I feel right in the middle of developing it still. A few years back I realized that my color work was very weak because I'd spent all my time drawing and not thinking of color and light so since then I've made it a point to grow. It's as simple and as complicated as that. It's simple in that you just have to want it because if you do you'll start studying art that succeeds where you fail and trying it out yourself, driven forward by your desire to succeed as well. It's complicated in that there is no formula that I know of. I just bumble forward in the dark, grasping firmly to the rocks I feel and discarding the loose handholds, if that analogy makes sense. It feels odd to get complimented on an area I feel so inadequate in. You should look at a friend of mine instead, she has an amazing color sense (shelly wan). Look at legends like Paul Lasaine, study what they do.

Another person asked me how I draw in photoshop and I'm afraid I don't have an answer for that besides, "I just do." Maybe it's that the wacom feels natural to me. I've never had a problem with the disconnect between drawing on the tablet and looking at the monitor but I know a lot of people do. I don't know. Sorry.

Here are some sketches that Harper Collins asked me to do. Fingers crossed :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Warden

Thanks guys again for the feedback. I do my work in Photoshop for those interested. I still draw in my paper sketchbook but I rarely post that work up here. Anyway, here's this weeks sketch.

Comic thumbnails

So here are some thumbnails for my comic, quick sketches to help me define the camera POV. I'm working on how to introduce the readers to the story. You know, what do you see first and how do you see it type of thing. It has text that accompanies it too but I'll share that when the pages are on their way to being finished.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Plugged In

Sketch for this week. I've been working on my short comic most of the time. Thanks for all the feedback that I get on this blog. I appreciate it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

River of Tears

As a young boy I lived far from here at the base of a very large mountain. From the peaks of the mountain a river flowed down into our valley. A saltwater river. The elders said that at the top of the mountain was a tower and in it sat a princess who wept day and night, waiting for her prince to come rescue her. Until that happens her tears will flow down the mountain and through our valley.

Ya Tom, the texture is a bit gimmicky. For those that asked it's just the stupid texturizer filter with some pattern loaded in. I bet there's a way to make it look more natural ...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Urban Jungle

Another silly warmup sketch because I want to be a good painter someday. Somebody mentioned ArtRage which I'm totally going to purchase but I'm using photoshop right now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Enchanted: The Story of How We Met

Color Block-In
Value Block-In

So I wrapped this piece up as you can see. Alas, yet again my artwork failed to live up to the hopes I had in the beginning. However, this piece went much smoother and faster and is in my estimation a much better piece technically than my last so I'm excited to have finished it and excited to move on. I'm going to submit this and the last illustration (the kids on the tank) to Spectrum this year and hope they make it in. We'll see. They take submissions around December I think. So anyway, this piece is about and inspired by my wife and the word that best describes how I feel about her: Enchanted. I'm going to tell my children when they're older that this is how their mother and I met and that they come from royal fairy blood. So that's it for finished stand-alone illustrations for a while. I'm moving back to my comic and the occasional sketches so stay posted. Next comic con I'll have a publication with my comic and some sketches and paintings in it thanks to the magic of internet publishing. I'm gonna try a few venues out. Lulu sounds promising. I'll also be selling some prints. Ok, until the next post!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Enchanted progress ...

I've been working on this enchanted idea on and off for another month, sketching out different things as I search for a good angle on the story. I wanted my composition to be good this time so I took a break and worked on some composition studies as well in my spare time. Guys like Dean Cornwell and Juarez Mercado really help me out and I'll do quick line drawings and then value drawings from their work. The above image is the final drawing I'm working on painting now.

Sketch that finally got me really excited.

Sketch I almost went with.

I played around with the idea of critters being enchanted by her instead of a guy.

Color comp for a previous sketch.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I've been trying out some different brushes and techniques in an attempt to bring value to my sketches. I'd like to start thinking in light and dark before I finish a drawing so that the painting step isn't such a big leap from the sketch. In addition to just fooling around in my sketchbook I started sketching for a new illustration I'm doing called 'Enchanted'. I have a post down below with my first sketch for it. I've just been working out the story and figures at this point. I'd like to plan this one better because the last one I did I feel is held together by shoe-string and bubblegum, if that makes sense.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sketching away ...

Thanks for the comments everybody. I had a couple of technical questions so I'll answer them here. I usually sketch in photoshop or on paper and I always paint in photoshop. Today's batch of sketches were drawn in photoshop. The demo I'm doing this saturday will be in photoshop and I'll be sure to post up what I go over. Somebody asked what size I work and that really depends on the piece or sketch. I always set my canvas to 300 dpi and then pick a size that feels appropriate, as small as 2"x3" to as big as 11"x17". About the same sizes I'd create on paper. I don't go bigger because the computers I use don't handle it well and I've found that I can make prints look ok at double that size, and that's plenty big enough for illustration.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Enchanted pool

So I found out the demo I'm doing at the Art Institute of San Diego filled up rather quickly but it was also only for students of the school. However, if this goes well they've offered to have me do another for the public soon after. I hope this goes well. On another note I'm very excited because I've had some very cool opportunities arise, but I won't speak of those here. Suffice to say I feel rather blessed because I surely haven't done anything to deserve the life my maker's given me. I guarantee you that. But you know what? If God took it all away I'd still be blessed because I'd still have life in Him, and that lasts forever. All this here will eventually turn to dust.

I'm trying to be like one of my bosses with this new post but I failed. He's just too good for me to equal. But that only makes me push harder!

Somebody asked what 'advanced drawing' is in regards to the demo I was asked to do and to tell you the truth I have no idea. I think they spin it as an advanced drawing workshop to sell it as something above and beyond what the students are getting on a daily basis at the school. Helps sell tickets I'm guessing.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

2 more ...

Top one is a study of the film Atonement and the bottom is a sword fight by firelight.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Yet again ...

Another abstract sketch up top and an abstract color/light study from the film Cold Mountain on bottom.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Even more ...

Yes. Even more. Keeping it abstract is helping me focus on color and composition. There's nothing else to get caught up in. I'm finding that I spend more time on the subtleties of color when I do these. I don't have to worry about the drawing, or anything literal for that matter. I take that back. The color I'm trying to achieve is very literal. If you look back a couple of posts at my cartoon guy getting shocked you'll see the palette is fantasy eye candy. Nothing you'd find in nature, where as I'm hoping these palettes bring a literal and tangible sensation to mind. Even amidst the abstraction I can feel the cool morning dew and the sliver of warmth coming up over the horizon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


The Art Institute of San Diego has asked me to host an advanced drawing workshop for it's students and it looks like I'll be doing it May 24th. Don't hold me to that yet. I think it's only open to students but I'm not sure. I know there's a charge for it. I've never done anything like this so I'll make sure to prepare good. It's going to be weird. Hope I draw good that day. I hope it's not like giving a speech in front of class. I hated speech class. I like to teach though, so it should be fine. And like I said, I'll prepare. I've already got a basic game plan. This sketch is related to my next illustration.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Just a sketch for today. I've got an idea for my next illustration in mind and I've just barely begun sketching. Thanks for all the kind words and helpful critiques on my last illustration!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fagin's Lot

I'm calling it done. My process was less than ideal. I think it could have been more organic and thus faster. I'm estimating this took me five work days from initial sketch to finish. How do I feel about it? It doesn't work like I was hoping. I'm not very happy with my composition. I like the arrangement of elements but the whole shot itself just isn't very interesting to me. I didn't see that in my sketch. Doh! There are elements here and there that work better than the whole to me. What do you think? Time for the next piece ...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Progress 3 ...

I spent some time last night working on this again. I need to mull over the three options below before I move forward. Not sure how I feel yet ...