Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pixie haircut girl

I've been practicing sketching lately, been inspired to put pencil to paper and draw some girls.  Trying to not repeat mistakes, but actually improve everything from shaping and line to how I hold and control the pencil.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Details, details...

The spec for this art called for a girl on the beach looking at an ominous storm cloud, disappointed that she won't be able to surf.  The project was single-color (blackline) and needed a quick turnaround.
This is what i drew, not too shabby.  The feedback was that her suit was too skimpy and she was too "mature."  Fair enough, this is for a K-4 textbook, after all.

So here's the update...made her face look younger, her body less curvy, and her suit a bit more athletic (I thought I did!)
In the end, this version was published. Went back to the original face, but kept the body less curvy. The two-piece had to go, even the neckline was moved up. I think the change from standing to seated on a beachtowel was to emphasize the fact that the cloud would cover the sun--no sunbathing. If I'd had more time, the surfboard would have been replaced with a beach umbrella.  In the end, a more universal image than just being a surfer, probably a bit more effective.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Or something like that.  Meeting sketch.

Friday, November 2, 2012

King Sweetums the Barbarian (FINAL!)

Here it is, in all it's uncensored-vector glory!  Glad to finally have it done, or let's say I'm telling myself "It's done!"  Sweetums the Barbarian-King and 3 of his Deja Thoris-type topless slave girls.

You can check around my blog for the creation of the original, traditional version of this piece, the sketches and some of the vector WIP.  I tried to show some of my progress.
Now I hear that Ahnold is going to do another Conan movie, "King Conan"!  Bring it on, old man!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tree of Life (finished)

 Couldn't make up my mind on the background colors, but I'm leaning toward brown, not purple.  Though that is a nice purple...
But yeah, it's done.  From what I can tell from the report of the blog tracker the sketch for this gets the most hits, because people are looking for tattoo tree designs.  Cool.  Drop me a line if my drawin' is being permanently carved into your FLESH!  (it is Halloween tonight...)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vector-Grunge-Burst Background

I don't know what you'd call it.  Something a little different...

Well, different for me--I see this kind of design background a lot!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Acid-Green Alien Symmetrical-Robot Pilot(s)

Another character, developed at the same time I was working on the game (but not for it, because I liked the sketch too much and decided I'd rather keep it.)
I like the symmetry of the piece and I've been trying to think of a way to develop some kind of symmetrical background.  It could also make a cool quick animation, where the body of the robot suit opens to reveal the little guys piloting inside, moving levers and pedals, and all the green lights and glows.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Radioactive Astronaut

I worked up a few characters for a game recently, these guys didn't make the cut, but are cool all the same.  The final art will be a 2-color print: black, of course, and a nice acidic "OverKill" green spot color.   The idea here was not really an astronaut per se, but a technician or someone in a hazard suit who had been irradiated to the point of becoming a being of energy, or vapor.  Like that ectoplasmic German dude from Hellboy...Johann Kraus, right?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Had a good thing going here, then I ran out of paper!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

King Sweetums 3

The sky has been giving me trouble in this piece.  Actually, the background in general has...should have planned the whole thing out before I started drawing--again.
I tried to take inspiration for the clouds from one of Frazetta's classic Conan paintings.  It's hard to pull it off in vector, it needs to be consistent with the rest of the piece but has to try to convey the drama of the inspiration.  What I've got here is better than what I started with, but it may get re-drawn again.
At a friend's suggestion I went back and re-drew all the pikes, spears and axes at the back of the throne to be individual.  I'd asked for his critique and he said they all looked the same, and that jumped out at him.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sweetums the Barbarian 2

I'm continuing to work on this piece, it's taking a long time but there's no deadline on a personal piece so no worries.  Just trying to keep the detail consistent throughout, trying to decide how much detail it really needs...when you can work on the computer you can zoom in so far that you can draw details that won't even show up, and most people won't see.
So how much shine needs to be in the girls' jewelry?  How much stuffing needs to be coming out of Kermit's head?  How much texture do I put on Gonzo's skull?  These are the pressing questions this piece brings up!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vector "King Sweetums"

A few months ago I had a painting in an art show, the theme of which was "The Muppets", and I attempted to draw the monster Sweetums as a Frazetta-Conan-type barbarian, complete with topless slave girls.  Well, I did it using ink, watercolor, and colored pencils, but it didn't turn out as nice as I'd hoped.  I thought it would be a nice break to go back to traditional analog media, but it wasn't.  It just reminded me how out of practice I am, and how unforgiving those techniques can be!

So I'm taking the drawing, for my own experience and enjoyment, and re-creating it in Illustrator, my daily medium.  I am starting to be convinced that while I can pine away for "traditional" painting, I just don't do it anymore!  I am learning to like what I get from vectors, the clean lines and everything is editable, and of course the undo keystroke alone is worth going digital.

So this time around...I'm a lot faster in vector, and there's also no show deadline this time, so I can really develop some detail, the real trick here will be finding the right balance, and not over-doing one section and then having to remove elements or bring everything else up to the same level.  Right now I'm just blocking things in and trying not to isolate colors but have things be consistent throughout by holding to a tight palette of (mostly) of warm tones.  I actually like the flat, graphic nature of vector art, so I'm not too concerned with a lot of gradients, blends, feathering, stuff like that.  (I guess I'm a dinosaur in the Illustrator world who learned to like what it could do before transparency was an option! and I'm okay with that.)

So I'd like to post a few articles on my progress with this piece.  The original watercolor, and it's development, is here if you care to compare: "King Sweetums"

Friday, May 4, 2012

At the Dark End of the Street....

One of my personal musical favorites...there's more to this soul brother than "When A Man Loves a Woman."
His Kermit-the-frog-styled dulcet tones, songs of love and loss, got me and a friend through many late nights of work...
Thought he deserved some street-art stencil-type appreciation.  
Achieve total Percification!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

T-shirts in action!

I created a t-shirt design for our trip to Thailand to visit the House of Love orphanage this year.  I was very pleased with the image (you can see some preliminary and final art here) and it was well-received by everyone over there, too!  Here's a few of my friends modeling the shirts...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Death Park!

Here's one in a series of amusement park drawings I completed recently for animation.  This is not the final, but once I had it all drawn-out in full-color I decided to try a version that was just silhouettes with ominous colors.  I prefer this version, but it was not the one used in the final product.

I've had a few people tell me "Looks like Cedar Point!"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I think that was his name...
I had to draw a robot for one of the math books I worked on last year, doodle-style, so I based him on one of those weird old robots from the seemingly inappropriately-named "Maxx Steele" line of toys from the 80's.  They were kinda "inaction" figures--not a lot of articulation--but they did have gimmicks like crusher arms and hidden compartments and a suction cup base.  This dude's faceplate would pop up to reveal some lasers or something.
Inspiration comes from weird places, like the recesses of forgotten aspects of your childhood, for sure.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

HOL Thailand

I'm getting ready to go back to Thailand soon!  Last year's trip was great, a lot of fun, and this year should be even better!  I like working with the kids at the House of Love orphanage, we are going to do a summer camp this year, and I am going to teach some art. I created a design for the t-shirts for the camp: a scooter, which is a plentiful sight in Chang Mai, and a girl holding up 2 fingers with a cute smile.  I don't know why they do the hand-thing in all pictures, but it works...
Here's the final color image.  That's my friend Suttee hanging on for dear life.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tree of Life WIP

The sketch for this piece gets the most hits, far more than anything else on this blog, so I decided to take it to final. So far, so good....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Paintball team logo

Years ago, I played paintball with a group of guys.  We'd split into teams, and boys being boys, the team names were based in locker room humor.  
Here's a patch I made for our team.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mindblastin' MODOK Madness

I'm very happy to have a fun little piece posted on the blog March MODOK Madness!  Every March these guys post MODOK-based art of ALL kinds (instead of basketball stuff) and I've always been a fan of the weirdest villain in the Marvel Universe.  Check them out!!!

Daphne Pin-up

Here's a pin-up of Daphne from Scooby-Doo in the back of the Mystery Machine.  I had some female figure studies I took one into Illustrator and somehow I ended up with this.  She was originally on a big pillow but it wasn't planned to be her.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you, I always had a thing for Daphne, she holds her own with other cartoon girls like Josie and her band.  I guess dreams can come true in the back of the Mystery Machine!  ;-)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TIKI waterpark

I had to do an illustration of a waterpark, and this is one of the sketches I liked.  The final design was much more generic, but this one I liked.  Not sure how it would work practically, but it looks like fun.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This one is for my wife, it's about her favorite cat.


RIP Amy Winehouse
Maru, you are not alone

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby Bea

What a weird baby!  Some Photoshop work, for fun. 
Be careful who you share your pictures with!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Well, I've got the final vector image done, and I'm pretty happy with it.  I like the black, blue and green color scheme, and I seem to really click with the vignette image on white background.  I'd like to do a large, banner-size printout of this (and other pieces I've done over the years) and have a nice little art show.  Maybe 2012 is my year!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

WIP: Hawg-Goblin

Working on this old sketch, doing a final vector piece...It's looking pretty good!