Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I almost lost it.

My spray bottle that is. It's been so arid here in AZ so all your watercolor workings go dry much too quickly.  I picked up a simple tip from wetcanvas.com and that is to use a little mist bottle to spray over pans and palates that I'm working on and it works great!

I'm sure everyone already knows thai trick, but I thought i'd share. 

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spooner - The right answer

Just a Reminder...

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY is this weekend, Saturday, May 3rd.

What is Free Comic Book Day, you ask?
Check it out: All you need to know about Free Comic Book Day and more!

Spooner - What is Love?

Pet Shop Boy

This needs lots more animals on the cover, but this is the mockup.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Elements

Mystic Woods Page Spread

The goal of this project, if it moves forward, is to create Beginner Reader comics for older kids.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mystic Woods

Mockup for a developing project.
The black doesn't quite work.

Rain. Not just rain, But RAIN.

I would have probably liked this even a bit darker and with more raindrops, but sheesh, you have to stop at some point, right?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Food Court Musical

I love the Improve Anywhere guys. If you're like me, you've wondered what life would be like if everyday folks broke out spontaneously into song...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Denny Colt

My take on the Spirit. Inspired by the old Indiana Jones posters. Just messing around, hoping I'll accidentally create a masterpiece.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Big Bad Wolf

It's not easy to draw an old idea in a new way.

I kept trying but I had to be able to show the wolf and the pig, who were facing opposite directions.

Anyways, it was fun but didn't quite get there.

I think it would have been more fun and easier to do a scene with the second pig.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

She's got Betty Rubble eyes

I've always been interested in the problem of creating life-like eyes in CGI humans. No matter how good the overall figure is, the eyes are always dead and the believability factor is lost. I don't know the reason for this, but I do know that I can add a couple of simple highlights to the eyes and it makes a world of difference.

There's something else, too, but I can't place my finger on it. Is it the fact that the eye moves almost imperceptively about 24 times per second? That part of the eye is translucent? The use of the muscles around the eye? I don't know. It is a difficult thing, and even master painters often don't do well with the eyes. If you want believable characters, though, whether it is Spooner or the Hulk, ya gotta get the eyes right. Eyes and hands are the two most important features to know well, I believe.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Have at thee Thrice!

Per Stacy's suggestion, lopped off the feet. Also made it fit a more standard format.

I tried a couple different things with this. The color was washed out because I first did it in sepia pencil and couldn't balance the contrast when adding color. Went back again and tried brightening things up.
For reference I used a statue, again, having to create a color image from a colorless one.

Have at thee Again!

Stuck again...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Have at thee!

New Meghan Rose Books!

I illustrated both of the latest Meghan Rose books, written by the wonderfully talented Lori Z. Scott and published by Standard Publications.

The Meghan Rose book series just keeps getting better and better. Lori has done a terrific job!

You can order them from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I catch myself doing this while on the phone.

Swirly swirls. I've filled up whole pages. It's very therapeutic. 

I'll have to also post swirls done during an angry conversation (I don't have many of those)

Work for Hire

Works for Hire generally refer to creative work done within the scope of an artist’s or author’s employment or as a contribution to a collective effort such as moviemaking. Without an agreement to the contrary, works produced for others by a “freelancer” (in other words, an independent contractor) remain the property of the freelancer. Unfortunately there are increasing attempts by some art buyers to force freelancers to sign work-for-hire contracts. This is an extremely bad idea for an artist because it means the art buyer gets the copyright in the work as though the buyer did the work and not the artist. Furthermore, if the artist uses some portion of his work in another piece he could be sued for copying himself. There is no reason for a freelance artist to ever sign a work-for-hire contract unless the money is very, VERY, GOOD! Otherwise, the dangers far outweigh the advantages to his personal career, and allowing cheap art buyers to believe they can get away with this is injurious to the field in general. The freelancer, of course, can consider any number of non-exclusive licensing arrangements with others, provided that the freelancer does not make the mistake of entering into a subsequent license with one party which violates or contradicts the provisions of a prior license to another. The freelancer would do well to consult with an attorney on licensing arrangements.

Full Article

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Little Bit of Spooner & Roxanne

These are from one week where I did all the strips in a vertical format. I suppose it was asking a lot to get readers to crane their necks to read one lopsided strip on the page, but it was fun, anyways.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

The 1 hour Tshirt.

Many of us "artists" get last minute requests to do tshirt designs for family/friends etc. I have avoided recently the pro-bono full day of torture trying to remember things from graphic design class by using an ancient copy of adobe streamline (a vector output program) and throwing photos into it.  Then toying around with it in photoshop. 

Yes. basically we will all be replaced by monkeys someday. 

Friday, April 4, 2008


My attempt at painting Martin Luther King, Jr.
Painting in color while working from a black & white photo can be a little difficult. Done in ArtRage2. I like the way Art Rage has a "reference" option, which allows you to have a reference photo on screen. Still, getting a good likeness is not my strong suit.
I kinda like the way the colors turned out. I tried to put in a hint of movement. I feel like I should have cropped it around the middle of the left hand, as that hand seems to have become the focal point. Or maybe it should be darkened, more shadowy.
I always run across some issue that I just don't know how to solve.
At any rate, Brother Martin rocked!

SCBWI Contest

This was my 9-year-old son's entry in the SCBWI illustration contest, The Finish Line.

This was my entry in the writing contest, The Great Race.

The eight steam engines roared toward the finish line, dark smoke billowing out and obscuring the tracks behind them. In Engine Number 3, Jackson pushed the throttle forward. "Full steam ahead!" he cried. The trains' wheels scraped and screamed against the metal rails. The spectators hollered and urged on their favorites. The race couldn't be any closer! In a flurry the winner snapped through the finish line ribbon... Engine Number 3!

Alas, we did not win. I think Ethan should have taken first place, personally.

Maybe I should have changed a few words here and there...

The eight piglets roared toward the finish line, dark smoke billowing from their jet packs and blinding the wolves behind them. Piglet Number 3, Jackson, pushed his throttle forward. "Full steam ahead!" he cried. The pigs' jet packs roared and screamed through the trees. The forest spectators hollered and urged on their favorites. The race couldn't be any closer! In a flurry the winner snapped through the finish line ribbon... Piglet Number 3!

Never go with the first draft!

Rhino Girl

I'm not sure how much further I'm gonna take this, but... just a drawing to get me going this morning.

Worked a little more on the Rhino Girl drawing. Probably won't take it much further, unless it's to really weirdify it. Done in ArtRage 2.

Okay, I weirded it out a little bit.

Happy Birthday Stacy!

A Couple of Late-Night Sketches

Playing the banjo...

An old guy I saw at the DMV earlier this week...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Card

Tomorrow is my birthday.
Click here to find out where you can send PRESENTS to!

Ahem! Anyway....

I usually make a card for my twin brother.
The cards are always my "Stacy and Tracy" characters which will star in their own MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR comic strip coming soon to a newspaper near you .... ahem! Again, anyway....

Happy Birthday, Tracy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Snack Attack

Here's a couple of pieces of the artwork I did for a "Ready-To-Read" book called "Snack Attack," written by Stephen Krensky and published by Simon & Schuster.

It hits bookstores this month, available in Paperback and Library Binding.

Click here to order from Amazon.com

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback and Library Binding: 32 pages
Publisher: Aladdin / Simon & Schuster (April 22, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416902384
ISBN-13: 978-1416902386
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 4.8 x 0.1 inches

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Warm-Up Drawing

I did this warm-up drawing last week.
I've been doing a lot of reading on Beatrix Potter and re-reading her books.
I think it was also sparked by drawing the Easter Bunny and seeing Richard Thompson's awesome Easter Bunny piece.

Calvin and Hobbes Goes Manga

Calvin and Hobbes, the popular comic strip by cartoonist Bill Watterson, is scheduled to be re-launched in newspapers around the world this summer, but with a twist: Calvin and Hobbes are going Manga.

Universal Press Syndicate comics editor John Glynn said, "We have been trying to get Bill to start doing Calvin again for years. He always said he wasn't interested. But then we introduced him to (Japanese cartoonist) Yuki Yoshiro, and everything just started clicking."

The new Calvin and Hobbes is expected to debut in over one thousand newspapers this summer, the largest number ever by any comic strip. Bill Watterson plans to continue writing the comic, with Yuki Yoshiro taking over the art chores. Watterson, known for being reclusive, was not available for comment.

Universal Press Syndicate, an Andrews McMeel Universal company, is the world's largest independent syndicate and provides syndication for a number of lifestyle and opinion columns, comics, and various other content. Some of the most popular columns include Dear Abby, Ann Coulter, Roger Ebert, William F. Buckley and News of the Weird.

Obama Caricature

New Caricature of Obama. Something is telling me I should be getting lots of practice in.