March 27, 2013

I... am too tired to think of a title

Spent a little time coloring this and am really enjoying it. I think I could easily lose myself working on this piece, trying to bring it up to a polished level. Sadly that's not really something I have a lot of time for at the moment, but with any luck I'll pull it (or another like this) off before the con hits. I'd really like to see how a smaller, less expensive piece works at my table.


I made a drawing for you. I doubt it's exactly what you had in mind, but I had some fun with it and I hope that comes through. I don't have a proper title for it though, so I'd like to ask you fine readers to give me a hand with it. Off the top of my head I was thinking "Yum"... but I feel like we can do better.

Hit up the comments if you've got suggestions.

March 22, 2013


Trying to push myself in a couple different directions lately, so I spent some time tonight working on this. Last year I added 5.5x17 (11x17 cut down the middle) prints to my table priced at $10 a pop, and found that they sold very well. So this year I'm considering 5.66x11 (11x17 cut in horizontal thirds) as the final price point for my table, giving me $5 prints, $10 prints, and then my usual $15 prints (full 11x17). I'm not sure if it's really something people are after, but I think it'd be worth testing out to see if there's much interest. I had a lot of fun working with the 11x17/2 pieces as I was able to put together a set of rules to govern what kind of illustration I would allow (the black background painterly character studies). It helped to get me working out of my comfort zone and lead in a direction I'm really happy with. As such I'm going to be doing something similar with these new pieces. The 11x17/3 will all be landscape format illustrations where the environments play a major role. Right now I'm just sketching out random ideas, collecting them and then I'll see what's worth developing later on so these are just the tip of the iceberg. However, I've found that I'm censoring my posts quite a bit lately (deciding that what I've been doing isn't interesting enough/cool enough/new enough), so I wanted to try to pry myself open again and just post about the things I've been working on. Clearly this Spider-man piece is far from finished, but it took me a while to get the perspective and then figure out that I couldn't make every building rectangular in shape, so this is what I've got.

Unfortunately this experiment likely won't be live for the Calgary Expo as I've got a ton of other work that I'd like to prep for that, but Edmonton Expo was where I tested the last additions I made to my table and so I'm pleased enough to keep that symmetry going.

Below is a really quick sketch that I did based off of a photo I found in my reference archive. Sadly I can't be more specific than that as I have no idea where it came from, but it got me throwing color around and for me that was enough.

Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to make a request, it's always fun to see what you guys can come up with.

March 20, 2013

Quick catch up

Superman is complete, and the Trinity piece is getting pretty close. I'm debating the colors on it at the moment, but so far I'm enjoying the process. I got lost in the inking last week, and so I'm pretty happy to be on this side of that.

I've also been sacrificing sleep a bit too frequently, so I'm going to keep this brief so that I can go to bed.


March 16, 2013

A Week at Once

Whew! Been pounding away at a few different pieces this week, but the vast majority of my time has been spent trying to wrap up Superman, which is nearing completion. Right now I'd like to spend a bit of time tweaking the boot, and then I think it'll finally be done. I've also rebuilt the Trinity piece, taking it from a mock up to proper size and then going through and inking it. Currently I feel like it's falling apart on me, but I've got a few ideas on how to get it back where I want it. Hopefully I'll turn it around in the next couple of days.

I noticed a bit of tunnel vision occurring over the last week, with hours disappearing into Trinity and little else being accomplished, so I pulled up Batman and started cleaning it up and rebuilding it as well. I'm going to try to limit my time on it as I feel like I'm getting lost in some of these paintings and I can't afford to devote such a huge amount of time to individual pieces if I want to get everything done for the expo. Not to say I'm unhappy with the work I've been doing, I'm actually quite pleased with my progress as an artist lately, and very happy to have another way of working to rely on. I find digital painting to be a really satisfying way to work, and it's quickly becoming my preferred method. As such I tried taking a more painterly approach with TMNT keeping things pretty loose and spontaneous while using what I've been learning to try to kick it up a notch. I didn't make it past Leo, but it definitely changed the feel of the piece.

Finally, I've been working on a side project with Mr. Markin, and part of the project requires some character design. I'm not too worried yet about final designs, so what I've produced is the equivalent of quick scribbles in a note book. Just enough info to carry the idea that I had while working on it, but little to no iteration, and so nothing I would consider finished. I'm looking forward to revealing the nature of the project, but unfortunately I doubt I'll be able to get there before the expo. Too many things on the go, and for now expo prep has to take priority...

Thanks for stopping by!

March 8, 2013

Can't... Stop... Composing...

Been feeling a little burned out after focusing so hard on the Red Cape image last week so I've just been  moving back and forth between different pieces. I also picked up a new Wacom pen, and have really been enjoying it. Over the last few months I've found that if I push myself too hard my wrist starts to get rather sore, and my entire hand quickly follows. After last week I was ending each day not because I was done, but because I couldn't properly hold the tablet pen anymore, and it was causing me a great deal of pain to try. While comparing my sketching pencils with my pen it dawned on me that the grip pen that comes standard with the intuos 4 is oddly large (wide). After a little research I learned that the problem is fairly common, and that an easy solution was to pick up the Wacom Classic pen. So I did (man I love Amazon). Since it arrived on Wednesday I've been testing it out and I've gotta say it feels way better. My hand isn't nearly as sore after an evening of drawing, and I find it to be a more natural experience, much more in line with holding a pencil or brush pen than the other pen was.

As for the Turtles here, I was having so much fun testing out the new pen that I inked this up start to finish Wednesday night and then colored it Thursday afternoon. I've been dabbling with different compositions for a while now, but haven't really landed on anything I like, so you may see a few more before I start to take things to a more finished level. That said please let me know if you see anything that you're a fan of, as I'm finding this one to be a bit tricky.

March 6, 2013


Needed a night off from "professional work" so I decided to play around with some old character designs. I'd really like to cut down the time it takes me to get from beginning to end on a piece, so I'm trying to stay open to different modes of working. Eventually I'd like to develop a painterly style that I can use to mock up pieces in minutes instead of hours. As such I tried to keep these most recent attempts very loose and quick. I used my inking brush to start things off, which was a nice change of pace. Pretty much everything I've worked on for months now has been built with a soft brush with tweaks to it's opacity and such. It's a fantastic brush that excels at a lot of things, but linework is not one of them. I've missed throwing down full blacks, but I couldn't go the whole night without breaking out the other brush to test out some color. 

March 4, 2013

Catching Up

Finally finished and submitted my piece for the Calgary Expo Art Book, but I haven't picked the next one to take to completion. For now I'm bouncing around a few different pieces making small changes here and there.

 For now it's all stuff that I've posted before, but tweaked (or in process) and tightened in the hopes of ending up with a finished, printable piece. For Cyclops and Batman Beyond my foremost concern is readability. The originals look great on my monitor, but when saved as jpegs they muddy up to be quite a bit darker. It's not a big deal, as long as that doesn't happen to the prints as well (haven't had a chance to test print anything yet).

 As for Venom, I've been playing around with this piece every year, trying to take it to what I had originally imagined when it was first created. I'm not going to pound too many hours into, but it's been fun to see what I can accomplish with it as the years go by.

I've also been putting a bit of time into my DC stuff, as I definitely want to have these characters represented at my table this year. Superman is getting close (though it's been close for a while now), I've got to put some time into the water tower in the bottom right, push the lighting, give the cape some love, and maybe fiddle with the wheat field a bit more, but it's all very close to done. Green Arrow on the other hand is just getting started. I think the pose could use some work, and I'm still debating the classic costume vs new one from the show. I'm more concerned with the other DC characters for now, so I don't know if I'll be able to wrap this for the con.

And that pretty much sums up what I've been working on this last week. I'm also putting hours into the commission that I posted earlier, but I don't think that will show up again here until I've finished it. Currently I'm fighting with the perspective of the cityscape in the background, so it's not all that exciting anyways. Hopefully this makes up a bit for missing out on posting last week. I don't think that'll be a problem again at least until we're closer to con time (looming deadlines tend to distract me from posting here). 

Thanks for looking!