Friday, December 18, 2009

Semester finale!!!

So I just had my painting IV crit today. It went well, and all i have to say is...

I painted a big Dick.

Entitled "Dick Has Ways Of Making You Talk".

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Black and White" -The Process

The first of 60 pages is complete! Actually, it might end up being shorter than 60 pages (God willing). Jared, the writer, is going to go over the script again and maybe give it a rewrite in spots. Hopefully it'll reduce my work load.

Upon looking over pages and pages of drawings it was nice to reflect on how the whole process took shape. It all started with reading Jared's 60 page script several times to get a good feel for the characters. Then of course designing the characters followed that. The design stage was probably the most challenging part for me. I almost felt like I had to relearn how to draw. After a few years of drawing caricatures and cartoony illustrations, I had to get back into a more realistic style with accurate anatomy and gestures. After the character designs were completed, I started going through the script again to do thumbnails for each page of the graphic novel. They started off pretty rough, but were refined as I went along.

The process from there starts to get a bit more exciting (well for me at least).

Carter character design

Rico character design

Devil character design

Here's the rough for page 1. Initially I had started to do these just with a pencil and paper, but I think it may have worked better for me to do it in photoshop (which is shown above.) From here I blew it up to 11"x14". This is standard procedure in the comic book industry. After the final image is completed, it gets shrunk down to print size. In this case print size was planned on being 8.5"x11" while comic books generally are a tad smaller.

After I blew it up, I printed it off and traced it onto bristol board. It's called the pencil stage, and its the point where any final revisions are made. The drawing gets tightened up. The pencil artist is a very important position in the whole process for comic books (the pencil artist, inker and color artist are often not the same person). Depending on if the penciler and inker are the same person, sometimes the pencil drawing can be a little looser and less detailed.

The inking stage is a lot of fun for me. This also a very crucial point, but more on a technical level rather than conceptual or compositional level (this was all figured out at the pencil stage). After the inks are done, all the pencil lines are erased and the ink drawing gets scanned in. Then the photoshop fun begins...

After many hours have already been invested by now, the tediousness of painting in photoshop can be a little draining. Never-the-less, you can start to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and if you stick it out, you'll end up with a finished page.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Comic book progress

It seems that with every stage of this darn thing, I realize how big of an undertaking this project has been and will continue to be. Granted I think I'm getting a little faster at laying out and drawing the pages. Still, its quite a labor intensive project.

Below is the first page and it's almost done. I just threw the text in to get a rough idea of what the completed page will look like. I've got to touch up the coloring a bit, then clean up some other areas.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Karzai illustration in progress part deux

Well here he is again. Its almost done. I thought I might throw it up here just for poops and giggles.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Black and White Update

I've been taking a short break from the "Black and White" graphic novel to work on a few illustration projects. Below is a Christmas card illustration. I decided to try it going completely digitally. I started with a pencil drawing, then started painting over the top of it. It's starting to take shape, and I'm enjoying the process.

He're's the roughs for page 1 of "Black and White." I started working it out traditionally with pencil and paper, but I thought I'd try it out in photoshop as well. It's working pretty well especially for making revisions and fine tuning. From here, I'll blow it up to about 11x14, trace and tighten the drawing on bristol board, then finally ink it. Long process, but allows for more and more corrections at every stage eventually producing a good strong drawing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

President Karzai in progress

I think I finally made a breakthrough with my Wacom and Photoshop. This is a section of an illustration of good ol' Presidents Obama and Afghani Karzai. I'm starting to get much more comfortable with painting in Photoshop. It's taken some time, but finding local and arbitrary colors isn't always that easy in photoshop for some reason.

On a side note, it always surprises me how much quality an image loses when saving a file as a jpeg rather than psd. file.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Some finished-ish work

Finished piece about gay marriage in Maine

This was an old drawing I did in life drawing that I started to digitize the other day. I've got a lot of tones roughed in, but there's a lot of work yet to be done ie. smoothing out her steroid induced abs.

I did my first all digital editorial cartoon. Yay for me for spending over an hour on something that would have taken me 5 minutes with a pen.

And finally a digital sketch of the lovely Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Here's a few sketches.

Just a caricature sketch of Melissa. I think I caught a little bit of a likeness, but I'm far from pleased with it. If she'll be patient enough, I'll give it another try sometime.

Sketches from open life drawing

This is a work in progress illustration in about Maine repealing it's gay marriage laws. What a bummer. This one is in pen and ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sketches: Al Gore and Luggage Thief

Here's a couple of sketches. The top one is of a man that was arrested for stealing luggage from the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. After the police raided his home, over 1000 bags of luggage were found. Here's an article about it. Its pretty funny. Below that is a drawing of Al Gore. I've never really been a fan of him. He's kind of a money grubbing eco-whore. I think all of his investments in green technologies and other earth friendly stuff is great, but when he reaps massive profits from such companies, it really begs the question if his heart is in the right place. He's been lobbying for government support in green technologies, those that he's invested in, and thusly stands to make a substantial amount of money.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I ran across this cool site: where you can do a sketch right on their site, and it records it for you. I just did these quick 5 minute doodles, but I have a feeling it will be a good distraction from other chores for the next couple days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Digitized work.

As I've said before, I was rather skeptical about creating digital art. Not so much that artists can't create some amazing work in Photoshop, Corel Painter, etc. etc. but more that at the end of the day, I prefer to have one tactile and original piece. Anyway, painting in Photoshop is starting to grow on me the more I use my Wacom. Below are a few quick, and I emphasize quick sketches.

30-40 minute painting.

30 min pose at open life drawing last night.

10 minute foot study at open life drawing

30-40 min "mug shot" haha get it!

Lame jokes aside, I can't write off the Wacom just yet. It's good fun, and the best part is, there's no fuss, no muss.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Balloon Boy

Here's a sketch of balloon boy Falcon Heene. Hoax or not, I find the story to be ridiculously hilarious.

I did this with my newish Wacom Intuous in Photoshop. It's a lot of fun to sketch with, but I still have yet to do a really polished digital painting. I guess I'm still feeling it out a bit, and am still hesitant to invest too much time in the digital media.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Black and White

Black and White is a comic book that I'm collaborating on with one of my best friends from high school. He's a TV, Radio, and Film major with a creative writing minor at UW-O. Anyway, he wrote this movie script that we are now turning into a comic book. The short synopsis for the story goes as follows:

A horde of creatures have escaped from Heaven and Hell. God and The Devil, female roommates, recruit two mortals, a cop and a criminal, to retrieve and/or execute these creatures and bring them back to where they belong.

There's more to it, but that'll to for now. Below are some sketches of each character. One thing that I found very frustrating was trying to draw a convincing face/head without the use of a reference. Pounding though tons of drawings of skulls and very basic planer heads has helped immensely. Another cause of much frustration has been trying to draw a character consistently with different expressions and angles. It's been challenging, but I feel that with every page I fill with sketches, they get better.

The Devil




Up next is roughing out some storyboards and basic layouts for the comic. The script is 60 pages long, so its going to be a chore to organize the whole thing into thumbnails and what not.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bernie "The Invincible" Madoff

Here's a quick shot of an in progress illustration of Bernie Madoff. As much as most people hate him, I'm pretty amazed by him. The sort of Ponzi scheme that he got away with for so long, and the shear magnitude of the heist is so incredible that it's hard to really fathom what kind of person he really is. Never-the-less, I'll talk more about the piece when its done.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sketch dump!

Here's a couple doodles. I've got a lot more from this semester that haven't been scanned in yet. The first, of course is Alfred Hitchcock. He's got a great face, and I think I'll try taking another stab at him sometime. The other sketches are some memory sketches of skulls. I think I'm starting to get the hang of drawing them from memory somewhat convincingly. (after drawing millions of them from skull models, you'd think eventually I could do it from memory)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not at all like riding a bike.

I've been drawing at the open life drawing sessions every week, and I'll just say that I was way out of practice. I noticed a lot of lost dexterity and lack of patience in my drawings starting out. But the last two sessions have gone a lot better. I've been trying to work on nailing down proportions, good line weight and value variation, accurate musculature, and accurate values. Most of the poses have been pretty short, rarely over 30 minutes so the value studies are a little harder to come by.

This was an hour pose from last week. There are a few good things going on, but I don't think the value really strengthened the drawing at all. In some areas it makes the forms confusing.

These two are from last week as well. One is a 10 minute pose and the other was 15 or 20.

Here I was just playing around during the 5 minute warm up drawings. All were done in 5 min. except the bottom facial study which was 10.

20 min. pose

30 min. pose

This last one was 45 minutes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Inspirations, Influences, and Aspirations Part 2

The other day I stumbled across this blog and thought I might share. Artist/illustrator Matt Zitman posted a substantial collection of figure drawings. The drawings are much more caricature than our anatomically accurate, academic type drawings. Never-the-less, his drawings are beautiful. There's something really funny about his exaggerations, but he still displays a well rounded understanding of the body. In class, Amy often stresses the importance of exaggerating certain features i.e. curves of the spine, the long axis of the femur etc. Of course Matt takes that to a much greater extreme, but I think his drawings are a good example of really capturing the pose and form of the model. Below are a couple drawings from his blog.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inspirations, Influences, and Aspirations Part 1

One of my biggest inspirations the last couple years has been illustrator Hermann Mejia. Although Mejia does a lot of work for Mad Magazine, don't disregard him as an amazing painter, draftsman, and all around cool artist. One thing that struck me about Mejia, aside from his hilarious and grotesque caricatures, is his watercolor paintings. They are so loose yet controlled, something that I've been struggling with ever since I picked up my first set of Crayola watercolors when I was in grade school. His mastery of the medium is apparent when looking over all his illustrations. In addition to watercolors, he plays around with a fair amount of mixed media which I find the most interesting.

Every character that Mejia creates is so dynamic and original. Sam Viviano, art director of Mad Magazine, told my manager, who in turn told me how Mejia actually brought a real casket into his studio to fully capture a seemingly unimportant prop for one of his MAD movie parodies. It's that sort of attention to detail that I'd like to incorporate more into my work.

I strongly suggest that everyone check out his website and prepare to be blown away: Hermann Mejia

Below are a varied selection of his works.