Monday, February 27, 2006

Sharks VS The Jets

This piece is a commission I just recently finished (approx. 10"x15"--Sumi ink on Bristol). I don't believe I would have ever drawn either the Predators or Aliens had it not been for this commission, so I really had a fun time doing this.
Below is the original thumbnail I did (4 1/2"x 7"--brush pens on Bristol).

If you're inerested in a commission feel free to email me by going to the "about me" section of this blog. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes! And a 60GB video iPod!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Robot in City

From the sketchbook...

Watch out!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Beneath Black Boughs...

This is an illustration for a chapbook my friend Cullen Bunn wrote.
It also marks my first time using my new Wacom tablet to color/tone with. It certainly made it a lot easier--I think I'm in love.
(Note: this post was written over a week ago--I only just now got around to posting it. I've also since gone on to color the previously posted Q&C cover using the aforementioned Wacom tablet. I still love it.)

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Cover Process: Queen & Country #30 Pt. 2

Here it is, the final colored version of Queen & Country #30. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I always love working with the guys at Oni because the give the artist all kinds of room to do what feels right to them. I gave them one sketch and they said "Do it!", and that was it. If only all jobs were that easy.
I think I've got three more covers to do for Q&C--I'll be sure to throw them up here as they come along.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Cover Process: Queen & Country #30

As always, click on image to enlarge.

1) Thumbnails

2) Pencils done on a sheet of copy paper (8 1/2"x 11")

3) Then I blow up the pencils to apprx. 8"x 12" (still, smaller than many artists work at) and lightbox them onto Bristol (in this case Smooth but I usually prefer Vellum finish for interiors). I don't have a scan of just the tight pencils, but, the next closest thing is the above image, which shows the part of the image that I used Sakura's Pigma Micron Pens on.

4) The rest was done with a #2 round sable brush and Sumi Ink.

5) Here's the final inked version of the cover (I filled the blacks in Photoshop).

Tomorrow I'll post the final colored version.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"Transplants", the Good Guys

This is the companion piece to a post from a couple weeks ago. Whereas those were the baddies--these are our protagonists.
I only just now got around to drawing it.
Have I ever mentioned that group shots and posed character designs/sketches are my absolute least favourite thing to draw. I really hate it. I'm getting ready to work on another pitch with the same writer and I've proposed a slightly different approach to doing the character sketches. Whenever we get a little further into that project I'll be sure to share them here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Sketchbook

I just bought a new sketchbook yesterday and I'm starting to break it in. The previous post is a colored version of a sketch from the first page. This is the second page of the sketchbook. I'm just starting to flesh out a world and a skeleton of an idea for a story--that's what you're seeing here and in this previous post. It may not seem like much but when I draw and think about story it creates a sense memory for me so that every time I look at said drawing it conjures back the ideas I had while creating it. Does that make sense? I've had other artists tell me similar things before.
An extension of that is when I can sometimes remember which song, news story, or phone conversation I may have been having when I drew a particular page or panel. The mind's a funny thing.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Danse Macabre

There's no rhyme or reason to this--I just drew it for the heck of it. It was just another excuse to play with my brush pens.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Here's the Thing...

It was decided last night in our comic sketch group (St. Louis Drawing Club) that our impromptu sketch of the week would be "The Thing", from the Fantastic Four. My first sketch here is a sad, self-hating Thing based on the lumpy rock form he took in the early Fantastic Four comics.

This following image is the more contemporary version of the thing drawn in a little more cartoony style. I had a lot of fun using my Faber-Castell PITT Brush Pen for both of these drawings. I also used a colored PITT Brush Pen for the first image. I recommend these to any illustrator for use in sketching. There great for fast, yet lush, sketching.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Damned Portrait #02

I'm going to periodically post these "portraits" of odd looking characters that occupy or may occupy the world of The Damned. As I've mentioned before The Damned is a project that I'm working on with my writer friend Cullen Bunn and it's due out in October from Oni Press. Outside of these sketches I don't intend to over-saturate this blog with art related to this book. That will come later. I'm sure in the month or two prior you will be absolutely inundated with all things Damned, to the point where you may beg mercy. Until then...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Go Figure

Last night I attended a Figure Drawing group for the first time. I'd been wanting to draw from nude models for a while now (it's been about ten yrs since I've done so) but I thought my only option would be to take a course at the local community college. I didn't like that I idea because it ain't cheap and I also didn't want to feel beholden to a class schedule due to my odd working habits. It would suck to pay all that money and only attend half of the classes. Anyway, this group is perfect for me, they meet twice a week, it's six dollars a session, and they meet just a mile from my apartment. The group is sponsored by the St. Louis Artist's Guild and their building is this small mansion that's almost 200 years old set in a park. The third floor studio is the perfect environ for this kid of work.

I was surprised to see the group as full as it was. There were about 20 folks there and you can come and go as you please. I was afraid that it'd be, like, me and two old women in a room with a naked model--Im very glad it wasn't that intimate.
I didn't bring any newsprint or charcaol in case I did feel a need to make a hasty retreat. So, I just had my sketchbook and a bag of pens and pencils. None of the tools were ideal but it was fun, while doing my pen sketches, to try and deal with light and shadow using hatching. I'l probably try that again sometime but right now I'm real anxious to get back in there and push some charcoal around. If there's anyway I can scan those large images when done then I'll be sure to post them here.

This session was also interesting because there were two models instead of just one. Apparently, it was the female models first time. I found that fascinating--how do you get to the age of 40 or so and decide that you would like to pose in the nude in front of a bunch of strangers? I couldn't help but let my mind wander during the session and think about what might be going on in her life, what path she was walking, that brought her there that night. I spent the whole of that session creating little stories for her.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

This Would Look Nice In My Garden...

Just an image I had in my head while I was driving around yesterday thinking of story ideas. Can't really tell you what I have in mind here--it's all still very unformed. Also, I wasn't trying to ape Mignola on that gargoyle above--it just came out that way. He kinda has the market cornered as far as statuary goes doesn't he?
Yesterday I saw the trailer for the movie Silent Hill. I loved it! I also have to say that I have never felt so strongly that something had leaped right out of my brain onto a movie screen. There were several images that could've come directly from my sketchbook. Kudos to whoever the director is and the art department. I've never played the video game before--I'll have to check it out one of these days.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Suit Makes the Monster

Monsters, animals, and otherwise freaky lookin' guys in suits and hats have long appealed to me. The above sketch is indicative of that. It's a long ways off yet, but in October of this year I'll be doing a book for Oni Press with my friend Cullen Bunn called The Damned. It's genesis is due in great part to my need to scratch that monster-in-a-suit itch. More on that project in the coming months.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Real" People Watching

About 90% of the people pictured here are based on people I was observing today at the coffee shop. It's not vey often that I draw people I see in public--I'm usually just making up faces. I felt like I was really getting on a roll here but I had to stop so that I can clean up and get to my friend's Super Bowl party. Why can't inspiration and motivation come at more convenient times?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Imaginary People Watching

This is just a page I was sketching on today while at the local coffee establishment. Wasn't feeling particularly inspired and it shows. Unfortunately, I was trying to be inspired and that is something that is very hard to orchestrate. Usually, a mocha, a comfy chair, and a sketchbook are a winning combo for me but not today. Probably should've put on my headphones.

When I'm trying to brainstorm and develop new ideas I usually just start with a page like this. I'll just begin drawing faces until they start to "speak" to me (not literally). It's like people watching--you'll see an interesting person and you can't help but imagine their life and their story. After I come across a interesting character on my page I'll begin to extrapolate environments and worlds and so on from there. If it's a good idea it'll just snowball from there. A lot of the time I'll hit a dead end and then run across the notes months later and be able to come at it again with a fresh point of view. Some of my favorite ideas have developed that way.

I'll give the coffee shop another shot in the next week and post any sketches I do here.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Last night I joined a group of local comic enthusiasts and artists for their weekly "Comic Night". They've just recently started a blog posting their sketches from comic night. Last night we decided it would be fun to have a theme for these sketches and somebody threw out "Q*Bert" as a suggestion. It was pretty interesting because none of us had any reference but also a little frightening how well some of us could recall the old Atari game. Anyway, above is my contribution and you can check out this new blog here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I ran across this sketch I'd done on a notecard a while back and decided to scan and color it. I think this would make a really great painting or fully realized illustration.
Below, the pre-colored original.

(On my monitor it this one is about actual size).