Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Evolution of the King of the Sarlacc Pit redux

Don't play Hungry, Hungry Hippos with this guy. He'll win everytime!

It's been a few days since my last posting, as I've been a busy, busy boy as of late. Got a call from the author of the book I've been illustrating on Monday, saying that he and the publisher had a different idea regarding the design of the back cover which I had turned in about a week or so prior. They wanted to feature another piece that I'd digitally painted in a pretty simplistic way a while back, which to be quite honest, was the extent of my ability with Photoshop at the time (Not that I'm brilliant now or anything, but I'm definitely a lot better!).

I'd never really intended the painting to see print, especially in the state it was in, but if they wanted to use it I had my work cut out for me! I was never 100% happy with the first paint job - I felt he needed a lot more contrast & pop, and I needed to make him more painterly as opposed to something that resembled watercolors over pencil. I spent a big chunk of Monday, yesterday, and today getting him from the basic painting to the finish, and the rest of the day working on layouts. Finally finished the 3rd version of the cover about 9:30 tonight and sent it off. =)

Once we see print I'll have to post up my layouts for the covers, and not just the raw art. I really like how they came out, but I guess they'll have to stay secret for a little while longer. LOL

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two-Face, the second time around...

I love Two-Face. I think he's a fantastic, tragic villain, and I wish that he got used even more. We'll forget about Joel Schumacher's evil, evil Batman Forever, though. It was The Dark Knight that inspired my first big (and successful) piece since my car accident. My hands were working better, but I was so rusty from not drawing for so long on top of all the neurological damage and I could work for such short little bursts of time, that the drawing took me almost 6 months to finish.

Fast forward to 2011 with a lot of practice under my belt, doing the best stuff I had done in YEARS, and I really wanted to revisit that first drawing, and see what I could do with the subject matter. I have to say, I'm pretty damn happy with the results. =D

I posted my pencils the other day, which took me about an hour. The painting took me about 5 hours on & off over 2 days in Photoshop CS3.

Friday, March 25, 2011

CHEW set to take a bite out of Showtime - tastes like victory.

Read this. NOW.

Big news today - CHEW, one of the most awesome current comics out on the shelves has been picked up for a series on Showtime, hopefully insuring that it won't be dumbed down by its move to a different medium.

The pilot script was penned by Eureka scribes Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer, and set to be directed by  Stephen Hopkins (Californication). 

For those not in the know, CHEW is the story of FDA agent and cibopath Tony Chu, who has the ability to psychically read any object that he eats and immediately know its complete history. In this parallel USA, the FDA is the highest law enforcement authority in the country after a mass pandemic of poultry flu wiped out a huge chunk of the population. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say more other than this is one of the most original, brilliantly written and funny books on the shelves right now, and you owe it to yourself to check it out.

More FRINGE on the horizon!

Oh yay! I think I just made a Walternate in my pants...

Good news for any of you Fringe-a-holics out there like me - the show has been renewed for a fourth season! Things were a little dicey even earlier this week when reports of poor ratings from the network moving the show to Friday nights, commonly thought of as the death knell for anything remotely cool, caused the nerd-o-verse to rumble with rumors of Fringe's impending cancellation.

Perhaps Friday nights are just shitty for Joss Whedon. LOL

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hi-Def trailer for Captain America : The First Avenger makes me want to shield sling!

Finally! I was starting to get worried that something was terribly wrong with the Captain America movie. We'd seen a little action and some stills, but that was about it. I had heard through the rumblings in the nerd-o-verse that we were supposed to get a full length trailer at the Superbowl, and was sorely disappointed at the lack thereof.

Well, fellow Cap fans, your wait is over, and damn this looks good! I hope this next round of Marvel movies can live up to the great expectations.

Sketch o'the Day...Two-Face!

Harvey Dent, at your service...

Did this one on & off during my first playtest of Carmine tonight. I want to say I put a solid 45 min to an hour of work into it into it over the course of 3 hours or so. You know how game night is...couldn't concentrate on a drawing, even if you wanted to - especially when learning a new game system! LOL

This is bit of a revisit of the first piece that I finished once I could really draw again after my accident. I really wanted to give this another go, if only to see how much I've grown as an artist over the last couple years of working at it. Now I want to ink him and damn if I don't want to grab some markers and put some tone down at the very least. =)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back Cover Done!

I got the back cover copy text a couple days ago for Carmine, and spent a day cobbling together the individual pieces that I built in Illustrator. Got it done last night, and sent it off to the publisher. Of course, I received back edits on the copy text this morning, and realized, like an idiot, I had ultimately saved all my work from the previous day as a uneditable PDF. *sigh*

Anyway, spent this morning rebuilding the cover, but damn if it didn't come out looking nice! I'll make sure to post it up once I'm able. =D

Ben Grimm colored

Knocked this out this morning as a quickie. Took me about 20-30 min to paint in Photoshop.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sketch o'the Day...

Don't know why, but I've had the Thing from FF stuck in my head for a couple days. Had to knock this out today. 30-40 min in ballpoint.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No, I'm Howlin' for YOU!

This is seriously the coolest music video I've ever seen. The level of style and badassery just blows my brain-tube! Goddamnit, I wish they would make this...

Ah well, at least I got the joy that is Machete last year, and I still have Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch coming up. =D Can't wait!

Sketches o'the Day...

Here's a couple that I did today. I knocked this first one out before my regular RPG group this evening. I took a anatomical study/creature design that I hated, and salvaged it into a bust of Colossus from the X-Men. Played with several pens that I unearthed after gathering my supplies from the studio. India ink, Copic brush pens, Sakura opaque white ink pen, toned in Photoshop.
In Mother Russia, steroids inject YOU.
Second one I did during the game tonight and is a drawing of my long standing Rifts character, who I got to knock the rust off of tonight after a triumphant return to our alpha campaign. I taunted a pantheon of gods. It makes me happy. =) Anyway, I present Cymrian the elf, with a rapier tongue and a predilection for calling people, places & things "asshole".

Well, mister mighty warrior thunder god guy, that hammer is compensating for things lacking down below beneath smelly, sweaty bearskin, yes?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Studio dismantling...

So, I need to go pick up a gang of gear from the old studio today. Tai was able to get a big chunk of the stuff dismantled and laid out yesterday, and I'll be moving my things out over the next week or so. Currently working on getting a small studio space of my own, since it seems that I can't be at the house solo and still be productive LOL. Too many distrtactions!!! =)

We'll still be working on the occasional project together, but won't be sharing a physical space anymore. It all works out since we're both looking for part-time gigs to pay the bills, and are exploring different directions in terms of our respective artwork at this point anyway.

New directions. Fun times.

Super 8 looks crazy good

Just caught this trailer up on Topless Robot, and had to share myself. This is shaping up to look like an homage to the awesomeness of the '80 kid group movie, i.e. Goonies and the like.

God knows I'm a J.J. Abrams fan (with the exception of Lost), so I'll give anything of his a shot. He hasn't disappointed yet (again, with the exception of Lost), so I'm pretty sure I'll be hanging out in line opening night, just hoping against hope that a giant monster might send the Space Needle careening right through the loud ass group of teenagers right behind me..

Friday, March 11, 2011

Greatly Considering Copics...

So ECCC was an awesome event and the source of many an epiphany in regards to my art. I've been wanting to make the break into color for a while now and  have tried out some different brands of markers in the past, and just wasn't happy with the results.

Several of the artists that I talked to just couldn't say enough good stuff about their Copic markers. I've known gangs of artists who swear by them, but have only dabbled years ago with the original style - which I wasn't crazy about. The thing that really caught my eye this year were the style of Copics that have a flexible brush nib (Copic Sketch, I believe). I watched Jim Cheung work with his for a couple days running, and damn if he didn't get amazing results & blending.

Now I completely understand that getting these isn't going to make me become automatically masterful of the world of marker art, but they seem like solid, high quality tools that will let me lay down color the way that I want (even if they ARE bloody expensive as balls).

Any thoughts/suggestions?

YAY for the Crossgen reboot!

Just finished reading Sigil #1 from the merry folks at Marvel, and god forbid, I'm impressed. Most of the folks who are aware of my comic book addiction, know that I got into Crossgen while is was fading away (especially Way of the Rat & Ruse), and only had a chance to read the trades that they decided to print, picked up from the occasional used bookstore. Given that they didn't really ever reprint the entire stories as they were in single issue form, I never really got to catch the endings of several of the key storylines. Disney acquired the corpse and the rights to the titles, and promptly let the line whimper and fade.

Cover to Sigil #1
Fast forward to 2011 and Disney, with it's acquisition of Marvel last year, decided to give the green light to a reboot, with the first 2 titles being Sigil & Ruse! Mike Carey did the writing chores on Sigil, and he was able to do what most writers can't - hook me inside of 20 pages. I know Carey's a genius, Lucifer & Hellblazer among other things speak to that, but I'm always worried when a publisher tries to rehash a solid property. In this case I shouldn't have worried. I don't want to give anything away, but it starts with modern teen angst, a girl who's lost her mom, and continues to have strange dreams involving the Sigil, and ends on a pirate ship in the 17th century. I can't wait for more.

Ruse should be coming back shortly (with the original creative team!), and if it's nearly as good as Sigil, I'll glady be a new Crossgen acolyte. Go pick this up before Crossgen dies again from a lack of interest, it's well worth the read.

FIRST!!!!1 (Gods, that's bloody cliche, but I've always secretly wanted to do it anyway...)

Hey out there. I have to admit it's a little weird and daunting to actually be starting a blog, given that well, it's a little late to just be jumping on that bandwagon. I had it stuck in my head that it was a lot harder to put one of these bloody things together than it actually is anymore, in fact it's a little freaky how easy it is to publish one's thoughts/musings/mental diarrhea up on the web.

Anyway, I've decided that it's time to really take my career as an artist about as seriously as I can at this point, and that means drawing as much as possible. I'm working on getting a new workspace since the current studio isn't viable anymore and is in the process of being dismantled.

Trying to build up speed, since I'm generally notoriously slow, but I feel like I've had a chance to clear out some of those mental blocks and have been doing a fair amount of quick sketching whenever time would allow. Also, I've had a chance to put some of what I picked up at the con into action, but in terms of drawing and digital painting. I've always had issues getting my digital paintings to pop, but have had some decent progress this week. Here are the last couple day's worth...

Repaint of a piece originally done for the Carmine RPG.  Lovecraft FTW!

and in color.

1 hour Red Robin sketch done in the comic book store.

Rogue sketch for my friend. Took me about 30 minutes to get this out, but then I kept going back to correct little things here and there for another 30. 

30 minute Robocop done from memory. Haven't seen the movie in years, but it left an indelible impression in my young mind LOL. I'm sure details are wrong, but what can you do?

20 minute anatomy study with ballpoint pen. Been a while since I really pored over the minutiae of the human body, and I really want to get it all solidly in place, mentally speaking. This will be the first of many, I'm sure

Thanks a lot for taking a look, and any comments or critiques are certainly welcome. I'll keep posting things up as I finish them, and will try to keep this as well updated as my deviantart page ( or my facebook.