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November 6, 2012

Leo

Whipped this up a couple nights ago. I'm loving the idea of Leo moving towards the traditions of a Samurai, or perhaps getting interested in Bushido. Earlier I was toying around with the idea of him in his later years (40's or 50's) but then I got to thinking it'd be cool to do a version of him in his prime. I might go through and do a few more (gotta have a Raph) but I must admit I enjoyed the ragged feel of the older turtles a bit more. That said, they're hella fun to draw no matter what age I'm working with so it's safe to say the TMNT will make another appearance soon.

October 31, 2012

EPS Commissions

I wrapped these up a while ago, but I hate to post things here before the people who've commissioned me receive their prints so I figured I'd wait for a while before popping them on here. Then I got distracted with the whole Edmonton Expo thing (which was awesome!) and am just now getting back to them.


These are two of the commissions that I got out of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. An officer from the Edmonton Police Service contacted me via email and after a few messages back and forth we were in business. I started these with a few rough color sketches for the client (we'll call him John) to pick through. Once he let me know his preferences I began to build the finished pieces. Unfortunately I ran into a fair amount of difficulty, not with the pieces but with my computer, during their creation. At one point during the process I as down for over a week while my machine was being diagnosed (bad memory sectors). That and a few other issues extended the process much longer than I had originally anticipated, but John was always positive and understanding when I messaged him, and I've got to say that I really appreciated it. I had a ton of fun working on these, and John was one of the best clients I've ever had, making for a great experience overall. He was even nice enough to swing by my booth at the Edmonton Expo to visit, and give me a swag bag! So now I've got an EPS t-shirt, pin and crest... pretty badass eh?

All in all one of the cooler opportunities that I've had and I wanted to make sure I took the time to share it. 

October 26, 2012

Batman Beyond



I watched the show a while back and really enjoyed it, so when I was roughing up ideas for my black background series I was excited to include Mr. McGinnis. He didn't make the first round of pics ( I like to have a few different pieces on the go simultaneously) but he was too promising to ignore for long. I've also got a Venom piece on the go, but at the moment I feel like I've hit a wall on it, so I've started roughing up the next round of characters that I'd like to tackle.

October 23, 2012

The Post Con Post

Attended the first Edmonton Expo this weekend and I've gotta say I had a fantastic time! It was the first out of town con that I've ever done, and it certainly left me wanting more. I met a lot of great people, and actually had the chance to converse with a few of them which was a refreshing change of pace. On top of that, both of the experiments that I tried for this con were definite successes (new prints, originals for sale). I did find that I'll need to develop a new "under the table" system though as having my prints stashed in 2 separate boxes piled atop each other made for several clumsy moments. Aside from that though, it was a great time and I'm already looking forward to next year.

Here's a look at a few sketches from the con. Unfortunately I have a bad habit of remembering to take photo's of my work after handing it to its new owner and so this is all I have to show for my efforts.




There was also a pretty cool Iron Spider, a Black Cat and a few more turtles... but you'll just have to take my work for it. If anyone out there picked up a sketch from me during the Edmonton Expo and you don't see it here I'd really appreciate a scan or photo so that I can share it here.

October 19, 2012

Surfs Up!

The cold that I've been fighting is just starting to pass, so I'm going to keep this very brief in the hopes that another good nights sleep will officially heal me. I've had this Surfer sitting on my table for quite a while now and finally got around to putting some time into finishing it. I think I could take it further (and perhaps I will), but for now I'm pleased to be able to cross another Req-a-Sketch off the list.

Also, I put together a digital portfolio over the last few days but I'm still working out where to post it on the site. For now I'll link it here as a test, and hopefully find a home for it soon.

October 17, 2012

T-Minus 3 Days!

And I'm getting sick. I'm going to try to blast it away with meds and whatever rest I can manage to get over the next few days, but I'm in prep mode right now and I can't really afford to spend much time lazing around. That all said, the prints for this show are really coming together, the sketches I've been working on have been a ton of fun and I'm really excited to get out and chat with some like minded geeks.

Speaking of sketches, I had planned to scan a few in tonight to show off, but the cord to my scanner is currently strung across my studio so as to make up for the now dead wifi connection from my printer (printer>scanner when in prep mode, sorry folks) so you're going to have to make due with a few shots from the iPad. Hope you like 'em!





October 16, 2012

Expo Ramp Up

Less than a week away and I'm getting pretty excited. I'm trying a few new things with this con and I'm very curious to see how they turn out. One of those new things is a portfolio of original art (sketches, inked works and even markered pieces) that I've been putting together over the last month or so. I've got some scans of the pieces at various degrees of completion and wanted to share with you fine folks. Hope you like 'em, I'll be posting everyday between now and the con (Oct 20), so make sure to check back often!





September 19, 2012

TMNT


Spent some time over the last few days watching Turtle movies and drawing Turtle sketches. I'm having a lot of fun with 'em, and now that I've added a few greens to my marker collection I'm looking forward to working some color into them.

Been a little worried though that I was focusing too much on Turtles and that especially for my sketches I needed to open up, so I've also started some League of Legends sketches that I'll be posting here as I wrap them up. LoL has some amazing art, and it's been getting better every month. I took some time to download a batch of the character profile pics and will be studying them for the next couple of weeks to see what I can learn. Even better, they've made available recordings of the artist creating each piece. Great color, dynamic poses, simple backgrounds... I friggin love these things

September 14, 2012

Sketch Dump!

I've been working away on various things over the last couple of weeks, but haven't really felt comfortable posting any of it. Part of the reason behind that is that a lot of what I have is at a mid point, and I figured I'd wrap it up soon and then post the finished product. Others pieces are for personal projects that are in such an early stage that talking about them just isn't an easy thing to do because I don't really know what it is I'm trying to say yet.

On the flip side, they're still cool drawings, so why not pop them on here?





So there you go. A quick peek into some of the stuff I've been up to the last week or so. I'll be trying my markers out on the TMNT/Superhero pieces soon, so don't be shocked if they appear again in a few days. As for the group up top, I'd love to dive into that idea more right away, but I've other commitments that need to come first... With any luck I can start devoting some serious time to them in November, and see where things go from there.

September 4, 2012

Cap sketch

Picked up a few Copic markers over the last month and finally had a chance to really put them to the test tonight. Had to do a little digital editing on this once I was done, but for the most part I think it turned out quite well. The markers are awesome and to those who are debating the investment I'd have to say their worth it. I'm looking forward to filling out the collection that I have with a few warm tones, but for the most part I think I've got what I need.

Hope you guys are into this kind of thing, because I'd like to get a handle on it between now and the next con, which means you'll likely see a lot more of it in the coming months.

-Dave

August 7, 2012

Storm

I've been feeling pretty jazzed with the drawing lately, so I thought I'd take Storm off the Req-a-sketch list. I did a hurried version of this a couple minutes before bed in a hotel somewhere in Utah, planning to get back to it once I returned home. Of course, once home, I promptly tucked the sketchbook that I had taken with me into a drawer and forgot about it (why use paper when you have a shiny computer, right?) until just recently. Pulled it out a couple days ago and finally got some time tonight to see where I could take it.

Clearly I took some  liberties with the character design, running off the idea that Ororo the weather shaping mutant was worshiped as a goddess by her tribe while growing up, and imagining where that might take her were she to have stayed. I played a lot with perspective here, and I'm pretty happy with the results. Hopefully it's something I'll be able to do more of in the near future.

In other, likely interesting to no one but me, news... I do believe I've made an official edit to my signature. As you can see in the above pic, I added the year underneath my little scribble, and I'm quite liking the way it looks. I used to put dates of some kind or another on my work ages ago, before I had really settled on a signature of any kind, and it's something that proves quite valuable. At times when you feel like you've hit a wall and just aren't growing as an artist, it's important to be able to take a quick look into your past to see where you came from, and understand your development as a function not just of effort and skill, but of time as well.

Aaaaand that's it for me. It's almost time for my wife to get up and head off to work, which means it's far past the time when I should have packed it in...

G'night! 

August 6, 2012

DD



I'm taking a lot longer with these than I'd like to admit (they're supposed to be quick, loose, and experimental) but I'm consistently pleased with the results, so I can't chastise myself too much. Spent between 3 - 5 hours on this one, which is about twice as much as I'd hoped. The goal here was to nail the expression, but I found myself spending a lot of time working, and then re-working, the lighting of the brow and the space around the horns. In the end though, I'm gonna claim success (largely so that I can move on guilt free), and ignore the fight for attention going on between the eyes and the rim lighting of his head.

Moving right along!

July 31, 2012

Topical, No?



Not that I've actually seen the new movie mind you, Nolan's interpretation just doesn't do it for me, so it's not something I'm going to rush out to see. I am experimenting with shadowy painting though, and you don't get much more "shadowy" than the Bat.

This one's pretty minimal, but I really liked the way the face turned out, as well as some of the strokes. Could use a bit more substance in the lower section though.

I'm flipping back to spending time on the commissions I've got sitting on my desk, so it'll probably be a few days until the next one of these hits. That said, I'm having a blast with them, so maybe I'll find some time.

July 30, 2012

Punisher


Playing around with this new brush and I thought I'd do a series of these black back paintings. This Punisher is the one that followed Spidey, and I've got a Batman in the wings, along with a Daredevil and a Black Panther coming next. I'll probably cap myself at 13 pieces, so if there's any that you'd really love to see let me know and I'll consider popping it on the list. I'd really like to get some female characters in, but currently can't think of any past Black Cat and Catwoman.

As for this piece in particular, I had a lot of fun working on the face (what you can see of it anyways) as I've never painted skin before. I've read a bit about it in ImagineFX and online and had a bit of an idea about what I wanted to do (like trying to suggest pores in the skin), but it's still very much a first attempt. I quite like how quickly these come out, though to be honest I spent a lot more time making correction with Punisher that I'd like to admit. Bats came out damn fast though, and I'm hoping the same will go for the rest.

Fingers crossed!

July 23, 2012

Here comes the Spider-maaaaaannnnnn!

Picked up a digital painting tutorial from DART a couple days ago and whipped this up while experimenting with the brushes that were included with the download. I'm pretty floored with the way the brushes work, and will likely be deconstructing/rebuilding them for weeks to come. I'd like to get handle on this style so that I can use it for the next Red Cape piece.

While I was setting things up over at CAF I found that they run a monthly sketch group, and conveniently enough this months challenge is "Spider-man, Batman, or both", so I'll be posting this there as well. I don't know what the other topics have been (there's no list that I can find) but I'm going to assume that I'll be tempted to take part each month. Fingers crossed that it leads to some great new art!

July 18, 2012

It's not pretty, but it was fun


Fiddled with some color today, and thought I would post the result. I also thought it would be fun to do a side by side comparison of the original Black Cat piece along with the Zombie themed one...

And that wraps up my weekends dalliances. Tomorrow it's back to working on commissions, so I doubt I'll find the time to post anything. That said, I've still got quite a few pieces one the back burner, so there will definitely be a few more updates before the week is out.

Until then!

-Dave

July 17, 2012

Unattractive Undeath

Finishing this has been on my "to do" list for quite some time now. Originally it was planned as a special edition print for the Calgary Expo of 2011 (George Romero being a guest that year). Unfortunately the whole zombie theme fell apart as I was forced to focus on other pieces, and then moved on when I heard that Romero had injured himself and wouldn't be making it to the show. I've been hankering to get back to Sketchbook Pro to do some inking lately though, and thought that this would be a decent way to scratch that itch.

As for the piece itself, the idea behind it was to take a fairly hyper-sexualized image and make it as vile and repulsive as possible. At the time I had intended on building visual tricks into it, drawing the eye to some of the more repulsive areas in the hopes of giving the viewer little horrifying surprises. Coming back to it now I was far more interested in playing with ink again, and having the opportunity to focus on some texturing, that I disregarded the original plan and simply dove into the piece.

In other news, I've begun to post my work on some of the myriad gallery sites that I visit from time to time. I've had a Deviant art page languishing for a while now (Expo 2012 updates coming soon), but what's got me excited at the moment is Comic Art Fans, and my listing within it. Being able to track how many impressions each image gets is really helpful when you're looking for a bit of a morale boost, or a gauge for what work is drawing the most interest. There's nothing up there that hasn't already been posted here (and I have no plans to begin separating what work is posted where) but I thought it was worth mentioning. I'd like to spend some time over the next few weeks filling out the gallery there, and then building similar galleries on other sites. I won't spend too much time focusing on it, but don't be surprised if links start to pop up a bit more frequently.

-David

July 16, 2012

Castle Crashers FTW!

I've been meaning to do a Castle Crashers piece for quite a while now due to it being such an amazing game. I haven't spent much time with it lately, but when I was playing it a few months ago I was having a blast! On top of being super fun, it's got a great look to it, and some pretty slick animation. It'd be nice to get some time to go back in and do some proper inking on this one, but for now it's going to stay as it is. It's one of the first times I've colored a sketch (instead of a piece with finished linework) and I must say that I'd like to make a habit of it. Experimentation is a requisite to really understanding a medium, and it's something that I've avoided with color as I felt that only finished pieces "deserved" that kind of treatment. 

With any luck this shift in attitude with lead to some great learning experiences over the next few months, possibly even funnelling into some of the comics work I have planned for the future (perhaps even the near future).

July 14, 2012

Sketches for a Sketch blog

Now that I've finally got a second site up and running I feel like it's time to reconsider the function of this blog. Originally it was host to sketches and fun challenges posed between friends. Then it grew to be host to pretty much anything I did, with a focus on professional, finished pieces. With time (and some constant cajoling from friends) I decided to build a separate pro site, that would act as host to my finished works, and would serve me as a digital portfolio. With that site up and running, this blog has become redundant, and so I feel it needs to be re-imagined. My plan is to liken it to the special features one finds on a DvD or BluRay... a behind-the-scenes look at my studio practice filled with rough sketches and blurbs about my daily life. Ideally this will mean more posts more often, as I won't have to worry quite so much about what appears on the blog.

To start things, here are some sketches of Leonardo from the "Last Brother" story I was tinkering with earlier.


Mockingbird



I haven't posted anything about the commissions from the con because I wanted to make sure that things were kept between myself and my clients until such time that the piece was finalized. Now that I've delivered Mockingbird into the hands of the one who requested her, I feel much more comfortable posting some images here.

At top is the final version of the piece. It was developed as a companion to the Hawkeye print that I was selling this year (this character is his wife in the comics). Below are some of the sketches done while working on the piece, as well as a version with both Hawkeye and Mockingbird together.




June 17, 2012

The Last Ninja Turtle


Been working away on commissions from the con and so I haven't had a ton of time to play in my sketchbook. That said, I took a trip down to Utah with my wife a few weeks ago, and while we were driving around I started musing about what the last story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be like. At first I wondered who the last remaining turtle would be. It seemed obvious that it would be Leonardo, but that didn't appeal to me at all. A little more consideration and I realized that it had to be Raphael. Raphael who was always so full of vitriol and rage. I'd pick things up mid story, with Splinter assassinated by the Foot, and Donatello and Michaelangelo killed in battle. The ever present tension between Leonardo and Raphael would have died with their brothers, and they would be methodically working their way towards a final showdown with Shredder. And then Leo would fall. From there it'd be a lot of gory bloodshed as Raphael tore his way to the heart of the Foot clan, and finally ended Shredder.

June 16, 2012

Quick Study


Came up with the idea for a Taskmaster story a few months ago, and figured I'd play around with character designs while I was warming up this week. I was thinking that Taskmaster is kind of a lost character at the moment. He's popped up quite a bit in the last few years, so someone at Marvel must like him, but it seems to me that they haven't found the right way to handle him yet. Taskmaster was developed as a minion trainer... he runs a school where he trains mercenaries who then look for work in the criminal underworld. This makes absolutely no sense to me, as his only power is Photographic Reflexes, the ability to learn to do something just from watching it. For example he saw Captain America throw his shield once, and is now able to replicate that throw whenever he wishes. This, to me, suggests that being a teacher would be incredibly frustrating as something that he can learn in an instant would require years of training for his students. It'd be like asking Quicksilver to watch over a seniors home.

Enter Quick Study, an orphan with abilities similar to those of old Tasky, but with a few extras on top like an abnormally high IQ and an interest in home made weapons. I'd go with a 6 issue mini that focuses on Quick Study. He starts off doing his own thing, trying to take down small time crooks, gang bangers and other common villains. He's managed to replicate Spider-man's web shooters and is doing his best to put together a high tech costume with limited funds. Then he hooks up with Taskmaster (who's been assigned to check the kid out), who convinces Quick Study to join him in a crime spree. They hit banks, gov't facilities, and even Stark tower setting him against the likes of Spider-man, Daredevil and then building to a big team fight against whatever incarnation of the Avengers is out there these days. In the end you reveal to readers that the crime spree was just an easy way to get heroes to show up, giving Quick Study the resources he needs to learn from, while also giving Taskmaster a chance to really judge how the kid is performing. Quick Study's inventiveness would keep him fresh, as he'd be constantly incorporating new powers and abilities from other characters from throughout the Marvel U.

May 12, 2012

Req-A-Sketch



Holy crap is it hard to make something look big without throwing in a human body, or something recognizable from human culture (ie a building). Random organic/naturally occurring shapes just don't do the trick.

For those who may have missed it, this would be the Colossal Grey Terror. Here's the request:

Hi, I would like to request a sketch of a Magic card drawing.

The card details are as follows:
Name of card: The Colossal Grey Terror.
Cost: 4 colorless mana, 3 green mana, 1 white mana
Card type: Creature - Cat
Abilities: Reach, Forest-walk, Plains- walk, Mountain-walk,
place 9 regenerate counters on card when cast. Remove one after each regenerate.

Quote: "No tree can withstand the power of a cats sharpened claws" Power: 8/8 Thanks, Jenn

You'll note that I ignored the vast majority of the details here. It's something that I wrestled with for quite a while. When I first took a crack at it I spent over an hour trying to build the body of the card. Placing in mana symbols and endeavouring to make it look just like a real magic card. That was a giant pain in my ass. In the future I'll be enforcing my "sketched in an hour or less" rule, to ensure that I don't distract myself too much from other projects. Hopefully that will help push me to be faster so that I can get something like this done a couple days after getting the request, instead of several months later.

Up next is a 2 week vacation, so I won't be posting anything close to finished work until next month. That said, I'll be trying to blow through as many sketches as I can so check back to see what I've come up with.

PS, Big thanks to Jenn for being so insanely patient. I feel a little guilty about not delivering a finished piece given how long it's been, but I think it best to move on to other requests. Hopefully she'll give me another shot soon... I've got a lot a cat reference kicking around now and I'd hate for it to go to waste ;)


May 4, 2012

Conan

Trying to catch up on some of the sketches and such that I had planned to do in the past. I seemed to have skipped the colossal grey terror by accident (I'll get to it next!) and have landed in post apocalyptic Conan territory. Hope you like!


May 3, 2012

Angont

Ramping up for the con, and the con itself, has really pushed me into work mode as of late. Between that and all the positive feedback I've been receiving lately, I'm pretty jazzed to keep my nose to the grind stone and see what else I can do.

And so I'll be trying to catch up on the weekly creature designs over the next little while, as well as tackling several other projects. I'll try to keep you all up to date as I move forward. For now, the Angont!



 I've put together a loooong list of things I'd like to spend some time on (and yes, req-a-sketch is on there) so look forward to seeing a lot more from me in the near future. That said, I'll be reining myself in in terms of time spent on each piece. I found that I was losing hours and hours to what were supposed to be simple sketches, and it was becoming a problem. So for now I'll be trying to stick to the hour mark... ish.

Check back soon for my thoughts on the con. 

April 26, 2012

AVENGERS!

Finally done with the Avengers... Maybe. I'd still like to do a team pic, or maybe just a Coulson/Fury one, but for now I need a bit of a break. It's been a ton of fun, and just looking at the work I can see that I came a long way over the course of the project. Hulk and Thor were a blast, and I think I'll be returning to Thor soon. Might even try my hand at some straight up digital painting with him.





Pretty damn happy with the way these 2 turned out. It took a long time though, and a few hard decisions in terms of trying new directions with the piece, but it all worked out in the end.






April 24, 2012

Some Assembly Required

Not much to say lately as I've been burning the candle at both ends trying to prep for the CCEE. I'll make a point of posting a thorough update sometime next week, but for now you'll just have to settle for more Avengers prints.




Didn't deviate much while working on these two. I had an idea in mind and just kept mashing away at it until I felt like I was making progress. Sadly that means there's really nothing in the thumbs for me to come back to.





April 17, 2012

So Far So Good...

Just wanted to give everyone a look at some of the stuff I'm bringing to the con. I fought a lot with Captain America, but eventually got to something that worked for me. I had a lot of fun running through options though, and looking back I think there's a few pics that I'd enjoy taking further.









March 27, 2012

The Con is Coming!


I submitted this at the beginning of the month for the Make a Wish foundation Art Book that the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo puts out each year. Still haven't heard back about it, but I'll keep you all posted.

And for those who are interested, here's a quick breakdown of the process I went through to get to the final piece.



I've also been keeping busy working on a series of Avengers prints, in anticipation of the movie. I'll post those over the coming weeks, ramping up as we get closer to the con.