Here is a quick sketch done in Painter X based on a photo. I am not really sure where I was going or what I was trying to do with this..... I think I was trying to capture a certain amount of energy visually and yet keep the mark making under control. Not sure if I achieved that, but it was a good lesson and I definitely took something away from making this image.
I was archiving some of the old files on my work computer the other day, and I stumbled upon some old imagery of the Coors Brewing Company. I have acquired many historic photos over the years for numerous jobs and assignments that I have worked on. The one image that really stood out and peaked my interest was the photo of Adolf Coors himself. I have always wanted to do something with this image. I have always been fascinated by the look of the man, his clothing, attitude and the style the photo was taken.
I thought that this would be an excellent image to try out my newly learned skills in Corel Painter X. This image took about 2 days to complete. I started off by painting the image in a neutral grey-scale. I then took the image into Photoshop and started isolating the image and adding color. I am pretty happy with the likeness and the mood of the painting itself. I have gone back and forth on whether I have made Adolf look to serious in the portrait. Sometime in the future, I might have to revisit this image and adjust the color and soften the detail around his eyes to make this portrait a little more personable.
As you can see with the image above, I have finally painted a still life. I have not attempted to draw or paint one of these since my days in college. I found a nice simple shot on the internet and did this simple attempt. I have always been an illustrator/cartoonist at heart and I seemed to feel that the idea of a making a still life was not as interesting as creating a portrait, or a caricature, or illustrating the storytelling devices on the comic book page. To me, creating a still life was a good exercise in value and composition. That was it. This was the type of exercise that was thrown at the eager college student when he really wanted to draw or paint something that was exciting, sexy or scary.... I was never taught or had in the back of my mind that a still life could be taken to level to be a wonderful work of art. In art history, I saw so many slides of bowls of fruit, drapery and glasses of wine, that I think I was "over exposed" to the beauty and art that can be achieved when creating a still life. This is a good example where focus and education, influence you where you end up taking your art.
In college, I had illustrator/cartoonist so stuck in my brain, that I never deviated away from that path. Fortunately, I have made a really good career with those skills...... Now, because I am in such a deadline oriented profession, I have not taken the time to concentrate on the other avenues outside of what I do. I am proud to say that I have finally recognized this and am now working to change it.
I have been really inspired as of late, since I discovered that one of my old High School friends, Christopher Thornock has been keeping a blog about his art. Chris and I used to draw a lot together and I have been really amazed by what I have been seeing and reading. I do remember Chis as an excellent drawer, but the subject matter he drew was very different when compared to what he is creating now. Please go to his blog and see what he has been painting. I am sure you will walk away as amazed and inspired as I have been.
P.S. I kept this painting in the Halloween theme by throwing something a little extra in the composition.
I finally decided to attempt another self-portrait...... This image is based on a photo that I took last night with a flashlight as my only source of light. This was completely rendered in neutrals and then colored in Photoshop. I have always thought that a self-portrait can be very self-indulgent, but since the intent of a self-portrait is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the artist, they can be fun and interesting to do. I do like the moodiness of this image and I feel that it is very appropriate for this time of year with Halloween being only three days away. Maybe, I will try a more light-hearted version when it is time for Christmas.
I started another illustration this morning and I thought that I would show a detail of where I am with it so far........ This part of the image might change once I get around to solving the illustration as a whole. I am really happy so far with the expressiveness of the marks and tone of the image. It is interesting to illustrate these images in a neutral tone and then doing the color work in Photoshop as a separate layer. This allows me to have greater control of the image and adjust where necessary. This technique is very similar to layering with glazes when doing a traditional painting. I will try and update this image as I go along (if I don't get bored with it first.......).
Here is the updated image.
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I was really surprised where this illustration ended up. I knew I was going to create a zombie, but I wasn't really sure what kind. I guess it is alright that I ended up with a female zombie still in her bathrobe. I am guessing she became one of the walking dead sometime after breakfast, before the kids almost made it to school.
Here is another illustration to keep with the Halloween theme. This morning I decided to break in my brand new Wacom tablet and paint the head of the lovely Kaws x Pushead companion. I have visited this same toy before, but this is the first time I have done a painting of it. I am pretty happy with how it turned out, but it amazes me how much more I have to learn and practice when it comes to all of the possibilities that a Wacom tablet has to offer.
Keeping in the spirit of Halloween, here is an illustration of a skull. This skull is not your everyday skull, it is actually the head of a "Skullwing", a Japanese vinyl fight figure toy. This illustration really started out as a quick exercise in laying down values, but it ended up becoming more realized than I originally planned.
Here is a companion illustration to the "Frankenstein Monster" I painted last week. This is the vampire character played by Lon Chaney Sr. from the lost silent film "London After Midnight". I thought that it would be fun to keep a Halloween theme with my illustrations until the end of the month.
Sorry, that it has been a while since I last posted. Things have been busy for me....... Work, finding a new truck, work and life in general have really taken me over....
Today is my Boston Terrier Dauber's 8th birthday. When I finally decided to find a dog to join my family, I was going back and forth between a Bulldog, Boston Terrier and a Pug. I am very fascinated by the "flat" face characteristic that all of these breeds have. I did a lot of research into which dog would be the best for me. I finally settled on the Boston Terrier breed since the breeding of these dogs has the least amount of hereditary problems and that they are too damn cute.
I then decided to name my little guy "Dauber".
dauber: n. 1. The act or a stroke of daubing. 2. A soft adhesive coating material such as plaster, grease, or mud. 3. Matter daubed on. 4. A crude, amateurish painting or picture.
Dauber really has been a very big part of my life for the past 7 years. Although I don't get to see him during the week as much as I would like, the weekends are always fun and full of games of fetch and tag. Dayber has a birthday coming up this month and there will definitely be a party for him of some sort. It will include a brand new frisbee for him to chew on.
Recently, I have been messing around with the program Corel Painter X. This morning I decided to "daub" out a pic of my little guy. You can see the results above. This image probably took about 30-45 minutes to do. So far this painting program has been pretty cool, but I do have a long way to go before I know it as well as I know Photoshop. I will forever be a Photoshop guy, but I am sure that this program will crossover well into that platform.
While driving home from work last night, I was unfortunately involved in a 4 car accident. Traffic was a little heavier on the side streets due to all of the DNC road closures. I was hit from behind by an older model truck traveling around 45 mph. The collision caused a chain reaction, and ended up hitting the car in front of me. The car I hit ended up hitting the car in front of him. Fortunately, no one was severely injured and all of the crumple zones on all of the vehicles did what they were supposed to do.
I still feel a little banged up today.... thank goodness I was wearing a seat belt or I think things could have been much worse........
Below are the pics of the accident I took with my cell phone.
I sure hope my truck can be fixed..... I really love that truck.
Since the DNC is in town and those overly popular Obama "Change" campaign posters are hanging on every wall and light pole, I thought I would offer up a version of my own..........
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After working on this, I kind of wish that I was working as a political cartoonist again. There is always so much material to draw from when the DNC and RNC are going on. It actually makes it really easy to do your job.
Remember, if you want Socialism and Taxes. Vote Obama in '08
Sorry, no art today...... I have to apologize that it has been a while since I posted. I have been so busy with other things in my life that this blog fell off of my list of the important things that I need to do.
Today, I turn 40 and I am now officially old. If I live to be 80 years old, I have now lived half of my life...... pretty depressing, if you look at everything as being half empty........ when I was a kid I sure didn't picture turning 40 years old to be like how I feel right now. I imagined that I would be more "grown up" and having a more "mature" outlook at life. What is weird is that I still feel like I am 18 years old and ready to take on the world..........
Below are some pictures from when I was a baby. My Mother did an excellent job saving all of my baby pictures, cards and clothes for me. I always enjoy looking through all of that stuff. It is interesting to think about what I remember about that stuff. Is what I remember what actually happened? or is what I remember what someone told as I was growing up?
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The card that was attached to my basket in the baby room at the hospital. I really like the illustration on this card. Very well done.
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This photo was taken by the hospital photographer on the day after I was born.
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This picture of the family was taken 9 days after I was born at 1100 South Farifax in Denver. Look at how pretty my Mom is (look at that tan!), and how handsome my Dad is, and how cute my Sister is......... I wonder why I was crying with all of these beautiful people around me....... maybe it was gas......
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I believe that this photo was taken at my Grammy's house in October of 1968. That is my sister I am sitting with. I think this was the last time we actually smiled at each other.... or maybe I am smiling because I had gas...... :)
I guess you are only as old as you feel, and today I sure don't feel like I turned 40....
Back in November 2007, I was contacted by an old friend/client to come up with a design for a new line of pet toys he was considering manufacturing. There were a number of animals that they were interested in making, but it was decided that the Raccoon image would be the best animal to sell into the investors.
I was very excited to work on this project since this is definitely the type of drawing that is perfect for me to do. After penciling a few rough ideas, I decided to do one sketch comprising all of the different options that this toy would have.
I really hoped that this pet toy line would have been realized. Unfortunately, the investors weren't very keen on the idea of a line of "Road Kill" pet toys and the idea ended there.
A few months back I illustrated this image for the Coors surfboard promotion. This illustration was a little easier than some of the other illustrations I have done in the past. All of the work putting together the concept, sketches, and style guides were all ready decided upon before I was hired to illustrate. This makes it easier for me since I do not have to do all of the grunt work before I am able to start on the illustration. My Art Director did an excellent job pulling this together and selling this visual to the client.
This illustration has a little bit of traditional drawing and computer. This file ended up being quite large with a whole lot of layers.
I am pretty happy with the final look of this illustration. I think it does a pretty good job bringing to life what had been sold to the client.
Unfortunately, I have yet to see one of these boards in person........
During the downtime between all of the creative projects I am working on, I still make a strong effort to practice and expand my artistic skills. I have really been interested in image manipulation lately. I am always looking for good images to practice on. I like this type of work since there is no deadline and it helps me get better with my everyday work.
The image above is a random image I found on the internet and I thought it would be a good exercise in photo restoration. I really enjoyed the challenges this photo presented to me. After a couple hours of work, I think that I have taken the image as far as I could without losing the "look and feel" of the original photograph.
I haven't had a chance to post anything interesting lately due to my heavy workload and my lack of inspiration. Lately, I have been exhausting all of my creative juices on my projects at work and it has really been taking a toll on my personal work.
My regular morning ritual is to make coffee, listen to news radio over the internet and check all of my favorite blogs and news websites. I then try and do a couple of warm up drawings to prepare me for my day...... since I have been feeling so uninspired artwise lately, I have been having trouble with the warm up drawings, so I have been forcing myself to sketch wherever and whenever I can.
Today's scribble was drawn on the glass surface of my computer desk. Nothing that impressive, but it was a small step towards chipping away at that huge wall that has been blocking my creativity.
I have been working really hard on a couple of different photo retouch assignments and I decided I needed to take a break and this drawing was the result of my time well spent.
So, since I seem to be only working in photoshop as of late, and not doing much traditional drawing. I have been trying to sketch as much as possible so my drawing skills do not become rusty.
The sketch above was inspired by the Japanese Ultraman character "Garamon", and the wonderful Spumco character, "Stimpy". I have been revisiting all of those old Ren and Stimpy cartoons that I enjoyed so much while I was in college. It is amazing that they still inspire me today just as much as they did way back then.
If you are at all interested in Garamon, please check out Michael Nordstom's blog Garamania!. It is a great source of well researched info and pictures for all things Garamon.
I was cleaning out some old files today and stumbled upon these four illustrations. These were done for Inquest gaming magazine for a feature called "What If? Far Side of Magic" back in 2002. Basically I was asked to illustrate the Inquest staff's ideas for their own Magic the Gathering gaming cards. The image above has the original rough sketches that I sent in for approval on the left, on the right you will see I had to make a few changes for the final illustrations.
Here is a list of the descriptions I was given when I was asked to do the illustrations:
1. There’s a card called Thriss, Nantuko Primus (I’ll send it to you). This is a powerful praying mantiss type creature. We’re turning it into: Priss, Nantuko Crossdresser. Illo has a Thriss-like creature wearing pink ballerina dress, lipstick, a purse etc... looking very feminine.
2. There’s a card called Border Patrol (I could send it but it’s not a useful reference). We’re turning it into: Mexican Border Patrol. Illo has two guys in sombreros sleeping next to a fence, wall or gate of some kind. A huge dragon is walking right by.
3. There are several cards depicting a class of creatures called Treefolk. They’re big humanoid trees (I have a great reference I can send). Our card is Inbred Treefolk. Illo has two of these tree creatures wearing ratty overalls, buck teeth, one has a banjo, etc… Basically treefolk meets hillbillies.
4. There’s a card called Nantuko Monastery. Our take on it is called Nantuko Mensroom. Illo is of three bathroom stalls with only the feet of the creatures visible. One set of feet belongs to an elephant, one to a skeleton and one to a Cephalid (I’ll send a reference but basically a four-tentacled squid). There’s some graffiti on the outside of the stalls but on the door of the middle stall there’s a big red circle with a line through the middle (the international road symbol for prohibited) with the word Spelljacking in the middle.
These illustrations were really fun for me to do. Since I have never really been much of a painter, I decided that I would do very tight pencil renderings of the images and then simulate a "painted" look by coloring them in Photoshop. I think that the look and feel of these illustrations came out very unique and was able to pass as an actual illustration used for these gaming cards.
Unfortunately, this ended up being one of the last jobs I did for Wizard Magazine (and their sister publications), before I moved on to pursue my short career in Law Enforcement full time.
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While cleaning up my studio this morning and dealing with the pain from my sinus surgery that I had on Friday, I came across my Father's Senior High School photo and thought that I would sit down and see if I could draw a decent likeness of him...... It has always been a real challenge for me to capture a likeness and draw a decent portrait. It is even harder for me when I know the person and I am trying to capture a likeness that does the person justice and does not offend them. I always put too much pressure on myself when drawing people that I know and love. That pressure takes all of the fun out of drawing portraits and because of that I do not draw them very often. Recently, I have decided to make a conscious effort to draw more portraits and not worry about who I am drawing and just focus on the basic fundamentals of structure and form when I am drawing a portrait. If the basic fundamentals are there, a likeness should not be hard to achieve. This drawing of my Father represents my first step in this direction.... Although I did not capture a dead on likeness, it was good practice and can only lead towards getting better. I am planning on updating the blog on my progress as I attempt to do more portrait drawing in the future.
The Dallas division of the company I work for was having a submission contest for some really cool prizes over at the Slurpee website. They were about to launch phase 2 of the new and improved Slurpee web site and needed new content. So they put out a company wide call for creatives to contribute content to the site so that it did not look bare. There were all kind of categories you could contribute to such as: "The Spoon Straw", "Brain Freeze", "Slurpee Drinking", "Slurpee and Granny", "Your Special Mix", etc........ The entries could be anything from photos, video and even poetry.
I contributed the lovely drawing above to the "Suggest a Flava" category. I of course had to suggest a "Pickle" flavor.
Here are the original pencil and ink drawings of Wolverine on the Crapper I created for Wizard Magazine. I really haven't thought about this version of the drawing for quite a long time, I really wasn't sure if I had still kept this art in my archives. So, tonight I decided to do a little digging around in my art pile to see if I could find it. After about a half-an-hour of searching, I was able to find both the pencil drawing and the ink drawing......
When I drew this version of Wolverine, I was so sure that Wizard was going to use it, I went from pencils to inks and then to color without getting editorial approval. To my amazement, Wizard wanted something completely different, a more calm, exhausted and worn out from taking a dump Wolverine..... I was a little disappointed that they did not want to use this version because I thought this version had a little more humor and action in it.... reluctantly, I went back to the drawing board and came up with the version you see in the "Wizard Magazine #200" post below.
Many years ago..... about 1998 or 1999, I was hired to illustrate various comic illustrations for Wizard Magazine. I was usually called upon to illustrate the more "humorous" comic illustrations to run with their articles or features, I was also called upon to illustrate a lot of Pokemon characters (let me tell you, there were a lot of them) for their sister magazine "IN Power".
A couple of months ago, I was contacted and interviewed by Wizard Magazine for a feature they were going to be running in their 200th issue. This feature was about the best artwork they had ever commissioned for their magazine. I was honored to have three of my illustrations choosen for the feature. Below are the three images that they picked. Also, pictured below is the Kevin Smith illustration with glasses that I had originally submitted first to Wizard. I thought that the image with the glasses captured the likeness more than without the glasses. But the editors at Wizard disagreed, and I was directed to remove the glasses for the article.
I have talked about the "Wolverine on the Crapper" and the "Bugs and Homer" boxing illustration in my past blog postings, so I won't go into detail about those here.....
I really miss doing those illustrations for Wizard Magazine, I had a great time drawing the popular characters in many odd and funny situations. I am also very proud of the fact that I am one of the few that has actually gotten paid for drawing Wolverine taking a shit.
I grew up in Denver, went to High School in Utah then graduated from College in Denver. Started my art career right out of High School. For the last 19 years I have worked in many aspects of the comic art and illustration field. I have worked for Disney, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Chaos! Comics, Image, Wizard Magazine and Dark Horse. I am currently working for an advertising company doing illustration, design and photo re-touching.
I am married to a very beautiful Japanese woman. I have one wonderful Boston Terrier, named Dauber.