Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well here's a little something...

Hope everyone is ready for the new year, because I know I'm not. January 1st always feels like an approaching Monday to me.

Does anyone remember the Goat comic I talked about some months ago? (I just checked and can't believe that was in May!!!) Well this is page three of a short story. I inked this awhile back as I was listening to a football game (I don't recommend that) and I feel I've learned a bit since. Below that is the old character and color test.

And would you believe me if I said I've had a graphic novel story idea developing since college? Six years of work is finally starting to come together... characters, plots, subplots, action, and most importantly to me, humor. Sketches of the various characters are hidden throughout my latest entries. I've even gone so far as to purchase a website domain name, so am I serious about this? Yessiree Bob!

A new year is coming folks. Let's have a bright outlook and go get 'em!!! (grimace)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas!

In case I don't make it back before the holidays, here's a quick sketch from this afternoon.
Have a very Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Art and Links, or... Links to Great Art!

The Tree is up, and the Vince Guaraldi CD is on repeat, spreading Charlie Brown Christmas music throughout the house. I really wish I had something to show right now, but I haven't been too happy with personal sketches lately. I don't think I'm every happy at all come to think of it, except at that moment when I have an idea, and rush for pencil and paper. After that I struggle and bumble along and employ every trick I know to make it look as good as I can. Creative process I guess.

The images here are old, except for the Santa girl. I thought about not posting her since I had a complaint (not exactly) that my girls were sometimes too hot. I don't know what they're talking about...

moving on...

Anyone who knows me, knows that animation is tops on my favorites list - particularly pencil tests. I love character sketches that show movement, which is something every good illustration should have. And thank heaven for the internet, because I easily found some! (Warning: I am running the risk that you will leave my blog and not return for the rest of the day, there are so many cool things over there... Check out the blog links below to see more.)

One blog features the art of Glen Keane. The video below is a thumbnail animation, at least I think that's what the pros would call it. Heck I don't know the terms, who am I kidding! I've watched it about six times and the expressions achieved by using merely a few lines floors me.

And here's da links...

The Art of Glen Keane, by Raul Andres

Pencil Test Depot, by Jamaal Bradley

And just because it's a precious well of inspiration:
Harald Siepermann's portfolio

I'm going to get some good stuff here soon folks. Some of my latest posts have been a little "blah!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winter Weather, Paints, and Portfolio Updates

Trying to put a few layers on my latest painting before I start on my next book. I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of this holiday season. Thanksgiving was terrific for me, and my family and I are really looking forward to Christmas. Below is a work in progress of the newly appointed Archbishop of Mobile, the Most Reverend Thomas Rodi. I've worked on it for two days now and have made some pretty good headway. These are the preliminary layers... lots of detail to come.

Here is a small oil study from a few weeks ago I painted for future reference. I went so far as to make a couple sculptures for this one to help with the lighting. Unfortunately they didn't turn out very well but they did serve their purpose.

And if you get a chance, check out my updated portfolio over at Shannon Associates. Most of the peices added I have shared here already, but there are some black and white illustrations from the Last of the Mohicans that are new.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I have a blog?

No seriously... It's been difficult getting my thoughts down as I've been devoted to my art heavily these last few weeks. I'm up to my eyeballs in paintings - oil studies and roughs. It's the first time in awhile that I've had success, or at least fun, painting with oils. I've expanded my palette by several colors which I think has made an improvement.

And I know if I don't start posting more, I shouldn't be surprised if I have no visitors at all to this blog! So here are some insanely diverse sketches. Many irons in the fire right now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Last of the Mohicans

It's tough finding time to blog these days. In this post are a few of my illustrations from the book The Last of the Mohicans. It will be available January 2010 through Magic Wagon, a division of the ABDO Group or your educational wholesaler.

The book offered a great opportunity for some rather dramatic images.

I like how the angles turned out in this one. Originally I was going to have the party viewed completely from the side, and was about a quarter of the way into it when I had the idea for this composition. It was worth the extra work to change it.

This was the second illustration I worked on (finished it right before I went to the beach a couple months ago) and is one of my favorites - I love the tension and Cora's rigid posture. She's not taking any guff!

Over the next few weeks I'll share more illustrations and some of the roughs and prelim sketches. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Colonel Mustard I Presume

Several weekends ago, I took a trip to the beach with family. Overall it wasn't bad, but I came back more tired than ever. While at the condo, we played a few rounds of the board game Clue. It was the first time my brothers had ever played it and they caught on rather quickly. Andrew however seemed to have the notorious problem of rolling ones and twos, making his trek across the board slow and arduous. Each time he played as Colonel Mustard, and I had the idea for this painting (still unfinished). He is known for giving people "that look." Below is an example of how game conversation would often go.

Colonel Mustard: I believe the crime was committed by Miss Scarlet with theeeeee.... Revolver!

Professor Plum: Where?

Colonel Mustard: In the leg.

Mr. Green: He means what room?!

Colonel Mustard: In the Conversationary.

Professor Plum: You mean the Conservatory?

As for the painting, there are about three layers on the face. Probably could use a few more but I've already spent more time on it than I thought I would.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Here is a small head sculpture made using Super Sculpey. I started it a few weeks ago and for what seemed like an eternity, she sat there bald and earless (creepy) until I finished her today.

The model was based on my sketches in the colonial post from two months ago, and was a big help while working on the book. Some of you may remember the male head maquette I made last year. These are great to have around when you can't get that sketch just right.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

yo birdie

I painted this last night for a charity auction that is to be held Thursday. Talk about last minute! But it was my fault. The proceeds will go to help a local hospice.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Work in progress

Just to post something quick. It already feels like it should be Friday... long week ahead.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Coming Soon...

Don't give up on me folks. I've been a real bum for not posting, I know. The last three weeks have been spent finishing up illustrations for a book coming out in a few months. More on that later.

Here is a quick sketch I did experimenting with different techniques.

New artwork is on its way. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Foot Study

There's a lot I could say about this quick oil study I did last night. Like how I had to eat 5 pickles to have a jar for my brush cleaner. Very sad!

I was reading Saturday about different color palettes over at Matthew D. Innis' blog, and after looking at all the beautiful work collected there, I had to bring out the oils. To answer the question some of you asked, digital painting is not the same as the real thing. Mixing the oils and preparing the canvas is an experience all to itself, and I love it (when I feel the painting has good results). Also James Gurney mentioned over at his blog in a 2007 post the benefits of painting from the masters.

This study is from Bouguereau's The Bohemian, as seen on the cover of the book below. There is room for improvement, but that's the whole reason for the study! I feel like I learned something from this exercise and look forward to trying it again sometime soon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gator Labels

Working through yet another weekend. I'll catch up one day! These two "festive" gators were done for some packaging labels. Originally they were to be vector, but the client wanted to go for a more realistic effect.

You know what I'm going to do? I've got a plan! Every birthday from here on out will be my eighteenth birthday, and I'll simply ignore time. When I die, I'll be eighteen and everyone will say "he lived his short life to it's fullest!"

Seriously, do we live long enough to accomplish the many things we want to achieve? If you are one of those people who do, I salute you.

Stay tuned. More to come!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Colonial America

Over the last few weeks I've been researching 18th century America for a new project I'm currently working on. The images in this post are a few resulting character studies. Hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Study Shows...

This rough digital painting is based on new scientific evidence showing that some dinosaurs were friendly, and looked the part. [citation needed] A few prehistoric reptiles showed a "kind demeanor" and "gentle disposition" which was often confused for lack of intelligence. I mean, who could be scared of this guy?

For over three weeks I've been wanting to play with my new Intuos 4 pad (which underwent neat design changes by Wacom since my December post). It's difficult for me to use the tablet when drawing directly into the computer, but it is great for digital painting. The buttons are now on one side and the pad is ambidextrous.

Oh and the painting program was Photoshop. The layers can be seen below.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Arrivederci Roma

In finishing a few projects, I've recently had the pleasure of once again seeing my work in color. Drawing roughs and sketches so long I thought I would never paint again! I can't show any of it here but I do have a few old pieces to post. The following painting was from a brief trip to Rome in the Summer of 2003.

I would love to go back, but the city that really captured my heart during my short stay was Assisi. Such a beautiful place (less graffiti and more rolling hills)! My photo album was misplaced during a house remodel so unfortunately, no photographs at this time.

And I'll throw this in too. Above is a quick compilation of roughs, character studies, and facial expressions. Some of these are a few months old, and looking at them now, I think were inspired by various Golden Book artists. Gustaf Tenggren is one that I do recall. I need to dig through my old references again.

Here are a few cool links from ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive:

Tenggren - Little Trapper
Genesis of the Golden Book Style

Oh and thanks to all those contacting me through Facebook. I haven't been faithful posting there either, but will try to put more up in the near future. Life has been fun and this Summer has been even better!

More coming soon!

Friday, June 26, 2009

circa 1920

Above are recently drawn character studies (and my attempt at 20's fashion). No details about it now - just these sketches.