Thursday, December 29, 2011

Very belated Merry Christmas

I won't lie, I was done with my deadlines around December 13th, and after that I was mostly just doing the usually Christmas-y stuff as well as playing video games. As a result, I had completely forgotten to update this and even forgot to post a Merry Christmas greeting. Sorry about that. Anyway, here's the web version of the card we sent out this year.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A small semi-random update.

It's been about a month so I guess it's time for yet another update.. I don't really have too much of substance to post about right now, but as of this writing, I'm at a LAN party with not sleep over the past day. So I'm taking a break form the gaming to upload some images that I've worked on this past month or so.

You already seen the drawing I did for Sheila's Interlude" story and the pencils for her second story. Here's the inks for the second story. I'm not 100% satisfied with it. It's better, but I guess in the end, I KNOW someone else could ink it better. Also.. I know someone else could ink it worse so .. ya know. I'll deal.

I've already got some roughs down for the third fourth and fifth stories.

Here's a doodle I did when I didn't feel like working. Again, not perfect and this photo is pretty blurry as it was shot from my camera phone. I'll scan a better version later..

And finally, here's the pumpkin that I did for Halloween. I'm normally not a fan of on-camera flash, but this kinda adds to it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Friday! Small update

Happy Friday! You know what Friday means right?

Jack-all to us freelancers (am I right guys?). Anyway, not a whole lot has happened here. Over the past week, I inked the drawing for "Interlude". There are some things I like about it and some things I don't. The shadows in the water could have been done a lot better for one. I also missed a few things from the pencils. I'm not really an inker.. I can do a passable job, but others would do a much better job with it. Still, it turned out decently. It's also the first really finished looking image that I've done in quite a while.

Also, I penciled the second image for the book. It's a drawing based on the story "the Book of Horrible Stories." This one isn't as creepy, but I think the overall image is cleaner and should be easier to ink.

This was actually two very rough doodles that I assembled together in Photoshop and then printed a blueline copy.

And here's the final pencils after tightening it up.
One day I'm hoping to be able to keep the pencils looser and just do the finalized work in inks, but right now I'm basically trying to keep it as idiot-proof as possible. Especially when the idiot is myself :P.

On a non-art-related note.. tomorrow I'll be going to my cousins to play Magic: The Gathering for the first time since I was in high school. Basically the last time I played it, I was about half the age I am now. Scary. At one point, I thought the game was a fad that would die off, but it's got staying power and the artwork they have on there now is pretty kick-ass. So I guess this is kind of art-related.

Also. I'm old.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And another month goes by...

Hey all. Sorry for the lack of updates. Things have gotten a bit busy since the last update. I had to wrap up the color recon for the second half of Marvel Masterworks Thor Vol 11 (release date March 14th 2012). It's been a slightly more forgiving schedule than some of the others in the past, but it still wasn't really anything I'd call relaxing. Still, I managed to get it done with lots of coffee and Stargate Atlantis streaming off netflix to the second monitor.

So what's new? Not much yet really. I'm working on trying to get back up to snuff in the drawing department. Our good friend Raf Nieves managed to talk me into braving the frightful waters of comic book drawing, so with any luck we should be putting something out... at some point. I've only gotten as far as a couple character sketches so far though.

On a similar note, I pre-ordered a Wacom Inkling. I know it's risky being an early adopter but it looks like a fun device to have for when I'm just sketching on the go.

In the meantime, Sheila will be assembling and putting out another book at some point and asked me to do some drawing for it. I've only done the pencils to one image, but it actually turned out pretty decent... But in an attempt to make it seem like I have more content than I REALLY have of the site... I'm adding a few prelim sketches.

The story involved a person swimming through a lake of dead. I started out with the sketch on the right but later decided it might be better to move the character up to have a better view of what's under the surface.
I then scribbled out a pose I liked for the girl and then did some very rough figures of the dead.

Then I scanned and enlarged it, repositioned the figure, converted to blueline (the lines were actually lighter than this file. I just darkened it so it's easier to see) and printed it out on a larger sheet of paper.
Then I  pretty much fumbled around until I ended up with this image. I might get rid of the sheet of paper in the upper right corner or at least rework it. Not too sure yet since at first glance it could potentially look like she was reaching for a shark fin.

So there it is.

Monday, August 15, 2011

So Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con was this past weekend...

I seriously expected it to suck. We weren't able to attend the past couple of years since we were in St. Louis doing inventory. Almost every person we talked to have said the previous Wizard Worlds in Chicago have been terrible. So this year we decided to buy a weekend pass ( since we couldn't find any of the free pro registrations that they used to have) and braced ourselves for the worst.

It was actually pretty fun. We're just attendees, so we can't speak of sales or profits for the people actually working there, but from my point of view, the place looked pretty hopping. There wasn't much in the way of company representation though. Marvel, DC, Image, etc... no presence there. But Artist's Alley was HUGE. We got to stop by and visit all our usual friends so it was a fun time of catching up and BSing.

Anywho, our friends Dan Dougherty and Raf Nieves released their third issue of Bob Howard, Plumber of the Unknown. They were nice enough to let me contribute a pin-up for it. The drawing was done a little while back but I kinda sat on it until after the book's release. I can finally show it now. Unfortunately, as time passes I realize I like it less than when I first did it. All the rough edges and flaws kinda pop out now... but that's life. Live and learn right?

So here's a step by step of it all.

Very rough sketch done in photoshop.
I blew up the sketch and printed it out in blueline then worked out the pencil details a bit more.
Then I slapped some ink on it and scanned it in.
Tweaked the threshold and cleaned up stray specs.
And finally greyscaled it up and tried to separate things a bit better. Then I emailed it off and went back to the day job :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Sunday!

It's not really, but hopefully yours is going great! Nothing really new here, just dropping in a Sunday drawing.

Friday, July 1, 2011

What's great about dinner with a big group of friends?

Why, the excellent company and dinner conversations of course!


No. That ain't it. What's really nice is that there's usually so many items ordered that it results in the kitchen taking a little bit longer getting the food out to our table. Why would that be a good thing? Well, I try to squeeze in some drawing time between ordering and eating a lot. If there's 2 or 3 of us, I can't usually get much done. If there's 4 or more, I usually get at least enough time to draw at least a complete figure. Plus it gives me something to do when everyone's talking about who scored touchdowns in the 13th inning of last night's hockey meet. You crazy kids and your sporting stories.

Anywho, Here's a page out of the sketchbook from the past two nights. The figure on the right was drawn this past Wednesday at Mimi's Cafe. The figure on the left was tonight was at Rock Bottom Brewery. There were 6 of us there today so I got a little more time to play around with things. Why did I bother naming the places that I went to? No clue, but it felt relevant.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Midday sketch

My motivation towards work today has been slightly lacking so I spent a little bit of the early day drawing. Here's Pug Cerberus. I know it's been done before, but hell I like pugs. Plus, a pug with three heads on one body would be three times the cuteness without any increase in poop!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A few sketches from over the weekend

I hadn't planned on putting up a blog post today, but since I actually did a few sketches over the weekend, I figured "Why the hell not?" It's a bit all over the place today, but what else is new right? First up is a page of some doodles of Bob from Bob Howard Plumber of the Unknown, a comic put out by out good friends Raf Nieves and Dan Dougherty. They're currently looking for pin-ups for issue 3 of the book so I wanted to try and get a better feel for the look of the guy before coming up with an actual pin-up drawing. I still haven settled o which style I like best yet.

 Next up is a drawing I did in Sheila's notebook while we waited for the pizza to arrive. I forgot to bring my sketchbook and pencil with me so I borrowed her nub of pencil and her journal and drew in the back of it (I didn't want to take up any pages that could actually be used for her writing). Oddly, we didn't order any mushrooms on our pizza. We got a pizza with sausage, jalapeno, giardiniera and a garlic crust for those who were curious.
 This one was just done mostly with the side of a pencil because I was trying to sharpen the tip of it. Heh.
 This one... I don't know. It was the end of the day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

So I wrapped up a deadline last Saturday..

and instead of jumping right into drawing again like I had originally planned, I ended spending most of it decompressing a little bit. I know, bad me. Seriously though, I'm STILL trying to catch up on sleep. Even in the complete absence of deadlines, I'm still unable to sleep for 8 hours.

But enough of all that. I did manage to draw a little. I found that when I try to sit at the drawing table or set aside time to draw, I choke now. No idea why, but my mind blanks out. So, for the time being I'm just trying to draw when I can. Sketches while I wait for food to cook, or when I'm waiting in xbox live for the other players to be ready. The end goal is that I get comfortable enough to be able to draw on command, but who knows. Here's a couple pages out of the sketchbook. It's a little all over the place.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Back from the dead hopefully.

Hey all. Sorry for being away so long. I've been busy knocking out Golden Age Marvel Comics Volume 6. It was a bit of a bumpy ride, but with Sheila's help I managed to make the deadline.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get more drawing and messing around in the weeks to come. Initial plans are to try and get a pinup done for Bob Howard, Plumber of the Unknown. I'll still have the Masterworks stuff to work on, but I've been assured that the upcoming stuff I'm working will give me some room to breathe.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Still alive!

Well, another week has gone by and no updates. Sorry about that. I've been trying to catch up/stay on pace with my work so that hasn't left me as much time to draw. I did manage to doodle a little, but not much.

 It's only two sketches so I can't call it a sketch dump or even a mini-dump. I guess sketch dumpling would be more numerically and ethnically appropriate.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A squirrel goes bad

When I buy art books and collected comics, my favorite sections are usually the sketchbook or the process sections. At times, I may not even like the final piece, but I do like looking at how the artist got to that point.

I know I wanted to take a break from work and try drawing something, but I didn't really have any idea what. The FCBD event at Evil Squirrel Comics was still fresh in the mind and so I decided to putz around and make an evil squirrel. This isn't a "how to". I can basically count the number of times I've tried to paint on one hand. I've done quite a few things wrong and some things I don't like either, but it's just a look at how things went whenever I remembered to save the image as a new file.

Squirrel transformation
This basically the doodling phase of it. I started with that upper left one which still kinda looked like a squirrel, then I ended up in the lower right one. I actually like the feel of that lower right sketch more than I like the final product. There's a certain amusing energy and personality that I lost or changed on the way to the final product. Some artist are really good at retaining that energy, but I'm obviously not at that point yet.

So I cut and pasted the image and stretched it out a tad because I wanted to ditch the cuteness of it a little. That was probably a mistake in the end, but I do tend to think taller when I think evil. Probably because I'm so short in real life.

 I slapped a new layer on top and start to paint over things and work out the shapes.
Adding in details and trying to work out the lighting a bit.
I then added in the Mortal Kombat-ish flying green skulls. You know, because it's easier to tell who the bad guys are when they either shoot out or suck out green glowing skulls/souls. I also tried working out the background shapes a bit more.

I finish it up by adding some lighting to the background trees and throw in some fog.Yup. Skulls and fog. No cliches there! :P

And that's pretty much that. Nothing spectacular, but for now I feel like I'm learning and getting a little bit more comfortable so there's at least that benefit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

If I only had a brain..

.. then I'd come up with a better title than that. So I sat down to do some practice drawing again, but as often is the case, nothing came to mind. Fortunately, I remembered the scarecrow mask (not the Batman villain) that I made for last years Halloween costume. With nothing else better in mind to work with,  I started doodling some scarecrow silhouettes and hope that something would hit me. This is pretty much all I came up with, but hey at least I got some practice time in.

I liked the last one so I decided to work with that a little more. I basically just cut and paste the torso of that one and enlarged to play around with.

This ended being  the result. It's not a finished or refined drawing and was never meant to be. It's basically me just wandering aimlessly in the digital painting world and trying to learn something as I go along. Hopefully once I get better I can come back and do more of a finished piece.

So that was Free Comic Book Day 2011

This past weekend was this years Free Comic Book Day. For those of you not aware of the existence, FCBD is basically the one day a year where people can go into participating shops and get their pick form a selection of free comics. It usually comes around the weekend of a big movie release (usually superhero). I'm not sure if that was always the case, but it works well since people are still riding the high of the big budget movie and are more likely to head to a comic shop to read more stories involving their new favorite superhero.

But enough of that background stuff. Let's start over-ish. This weekend we went to Evil Squirrel Comics for their FCBD event. This was our local shop back when we lived in Rogers Park. Prior to living there, I had never bothered with a pull-box since I read comics in collected form, but that all changed when I popped into the shop. Shawn the owner is just plain awesome. He's a super-friendly guy and loads of fun to BS with. Picture comic-book buy on the Simpsons but opposite. Anyway, I wanted to support the local shop and have an excuse to stop by every week so there it was. Of course, now we live in Tinley Park, so it's no longer local and we can't stop there every week, but we still try to stop by there every few months just to see Shawn.  The future of this shop is a little unknown right now and it may or may not be around much longer, so Shawn and Decapitated Dan Royer made an awesome push to pull in people. Now, you'd think with the possible closing that it'd be all doom and gloom there but you'd be wrong. The place was packed that day and at times it seemed more like party than a shop. It also made me realize how badly it would suck if the store had to close down. We may not be there all the time, but I think the area is definitely better for having Shawn and his store there. It really does help to break that negative stereotype that often keep people out of the shops. If you're ever in the area you should stop in there.

Evil Squirrel Comics
6928 N Glenwood Ave
Chicago, IL 60626

Tues- Sat 12 PM - 8 PM
Sun 12 PM - 4 PM

I did a terrible job taking photos. It was pretty busy there and I was also BSing with Raf Nieves (*thunk* that's the a name dropped with the weight of Mjolnir (and that's a reference to capitalize on the increased familiarity due to movie release.)) a lot when not buying everything in sight.

Oh, I will have a drawing related post later today, I just wanted to let this ramble-fest chill by itself for a while.


Brian manning the register

Amy, Tony and Shawn

Sheila and Amy

Raf and Decapitated Dan

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Well, it sure didn't take me long to fall behind on this thing did it?

Wow, a week already.

So here's the thing. When it comes to work, we're on a two week cycle. What that usually amounts to is me working not as hard during the first part of the two weeks, and then doing nothing but work for the second half while I try and do a mad sprint to the pay cycle. "Why I don't you just work harder during the first week so you can have an easier second week?' you ask. Because I'm an idiot.

But yeah, last week was me trying to get back into my groove with Golden Age recon work. Human Torch and Sub-Mariner stuff.. blargh. Color recons on golden age fire and water are probably the things I hate most out of any of the interior work. I can't use that escuse for today though. Today I was playing Portal 2 which is awesome.

Anywho, here' are a couple of sketches/doodles. The rock troll thing was drawn while waiting for food at Chili's. The old man is me practicing and trying to work out a look for something I want to try working on.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A little blasphemy for your Easter Sunday.

Hey all (all 7 of you). It's been a few days since the last update and even more since the last drawing. I'm over at the family's for Easter and decided to take some time to do a little sketch. I think everyone knows by now that I tend to keep things light and possibly offensive though not maliciously so. Regardless, here's a little Easter doodle to celebrate the biggest baddest zombie there ever was on his very special day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

And sometimes for no reason at all, I photograph my toys.

So I bought the Killzone 3 Helghast edition when Amazon had a sale and it arrived today. I know very little about the game or the premise since I haven't really played the series, but I always liked the visuals. Anywho, this edition came with a pretty neat looking figure inside so I decided to play around with the old camera and take a couple of photos with it. No reason at all for it really, just something to do.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sometimes I wonder why I bother waking up.

Well, it's been a few days since I've tried jumping back into the whole work regiment and the results haven't been great so far. For the most part, and easy-going schedule usually has me do about 5 pages of recon work a day. A few weeks back when it was peak deadline crunch I was hovering closer to 9-11. So far this week, I've been doing about 2 and a half per day. That's pretty weak. Granted it's Golden Age stuff which seems to get pretty crazy and goofy with the colors at times, but that's still some sad progress.

Ideally, I'd like to avoid spending ALL day working. A 9-to-5 day for 5 days a week schedule is basically an impossibility for anyone who freelances (you guys know what I'm talking about). But I'd love to wind it down to 10 hours per day for 7 days a week? That's reasonable. That would give me much more time to draw, play video games and watch an occasional movie or two. But, first and foremost, my ass needs to get faster on this Golden Age work.

So today, I did this doodle. I have no idea who it is. There is not story or background behind, I just wanted to mess around with a more cartoony style today. I ain't getting paid for it, I'll do what I want dammit! :P