Monday, December 17, 2007

CVTS Complete

The word EXHAUSTED is a gross over simplification for the way I feel.
While only a fool illustrator will complain about too much work I feel justified in saying all I want for Christmas is rest.
With the CVTS job complete I have a full load with CityBEAT and then a book cover in Jan as well as other UC freelance.
I am craving to get back to my book and believe it will be FEb. before I am able.

Here are the 16 Docs I did. I am happy with two.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Current Work

Other than my usual CityBeat work my last month and next few months will be occupied with 2 clients, CTVS and UC.
While I won't necessarily put these in my portfolio I do think they are well executed pieces. I now have to learn how to speed up the process and manage my timelines. Long deadlines are troublesome things to manage. My fleeting moments will be occupied by trying to complete and image for Spetrum and on the 2 graphic novels. The fall and winter months are always very productive for me and this one so far is no exception.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Spectrum 14

This Fall is going to be very busy for me.

Spectrum 14 finally arrived and the book looks great.
It is much larger this year due to the Concept art category that was added. While I only got one piece in I feel a great honor and gratitude to be listed among many artist that I admire and the industries best.

However there now is a sense of urgency as the next Spectrum deadline is coming up in January.

As far as current workload is concerned I am book solid and sleep will have to sit on the bench for a while. I am overloaded with the Big head little body stuff so for now the graphic novels and other non-immediate generating cash flow pursuits are also on hold till February. I'll post some of the editorial and gift stuff I have been working on this week.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Too Long

It has been entirely too long since I posted anything. So what have I been up to? The answer is mostly layout stuff on 36DD and script writing. I have come to the conclusion I have to finish something short and quick. The shame of the matter is I can post all these thumbnails that I have been working on but until the pages are finish they will look like chicken scratch. So I am going to see if I can finish a single comic by Jan. 1st.
I should have some solid pages by the end of November for Mid-Ohio to show around. November will also be very busy with a CTVS job I have. I will have a month to illustrate 16 portraits for gifts. Plus I am setting up a few posters to sell at Mid Ohio. Bawidamann has gracious decide to give me a little room at his table.

I also had an interview this month, which took a few days to complete and look forward to posting some images when the magazine comes out. Spectrum should be out this month so I can't wait to see my copy of that, as this is the 1st time I got in. Other agendas have been the Halloween party. This party will take up the rest of the month just to plan and set up so I will be AFK till well after the 20th. And I have been spending fleeting moments on my character design of Vlad for Eternity.

So here’s Vlad midway. Some eternity thumbnail layouts to finished page comparisons and finally (2 of the 22) 36DD layout pages. These will proably look like nonsense but I assure they make sense in my mind.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

DV Process

To save for memory as well as to inform anyone interested, here are some layer samples to show how I constructed the room. This process of creating the room took 95% of the time on this project. 5% was spent on the figures, which is completely the opposite from how I usually work.

The Rockwell on the wall was an actual copy I did while at school in oils/acrylics. Compared to the original you can see how weak a copy it was but due to its size it served its function.

The floor, any woodwork, and the frame where create by looking at my floor. Then I drew the grain in graphite separately and scanned it. Made a grid for the floorboards in Photoshop. Then filled each board with a different pattern from the ones I just drew. Behind this I added the watercolor image for texture and value. I then went in and shifted the value slightly for each board and flattened all the layers.
Combining the stamped texture with the watercolor background created the stucco walls.
There are variations of trial and error here taking advantage of the entire layer settings in Photoshop but that is the general idea.

So in truth for the most part it was done but human hands and compiled and color by computer. I find it odd then how the final image looks so CGI. Regardless I now have a hard wood surface should I ever need it again. I have been creating and compiling a library of textures and backgrounds to save time in the creation of my book. I think these will definitely be used again.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Final CityBeat-Domestic Violence

This was a somewhat strenuous process but a good lesson. The larger cover I am showing here is not the one that will run in CityBeat.
I turned in an earlier version (which I think Sean did a pretty good job with) then after the deadline without the stress I reworked some of my problem areas. While I don't believe this to be one of my strongest pieces I do feel I accomplished much while working on it. One of my weakest area in my craft has been dynamic lighting- while this is no Caravaggio it is a starting point for me, which forced me to deal with issues I fear inadequate in.

Monday, September 3, 2007

CityBeat Photo Layout

This is a useful tool I found in college. After my thumbnails I create photo ref. layouts. In school I would do this by cutting photocopies - Lord be praised for Photoshop. This may not solve all my problems but it definetly helps me address issues ( lighting,design, composition) before I ever touch board. The next step is to print out each layer of the image- child- walls- base board- floor and get a line drawing. Then after i scan each piece alone I combine the finished art in mutiple layers to form the layout I have pre-designed.

Progress Update- 3:25 a.m

While I did manage to get my calendar updated and my creation board created. I also have now finshed 3 zombie survial quizes ( In which i survived them all - OK so I'm a loser) but have yet to start my layout. Ughhh. Maybe some food or TV.. sleep????
Umm Ya I'm going to bed after I eat and watch tv. Set the OLe alarm for 6:30 a.m.


Random Photo for your viewing pleasure-

Start of CityBeat Cover- Domestic Violence

Was informed of job 2 Fridays ago. I got the general info. But was in a holding pattern until story was finalized. Came up with working concept with AD. That same day then the following Sunday shot reference of child in hopes that this was the direction we were going. On Wed. got the OK to proceed with cover. Thurs. Friday. Sat. -created wedding video then rehearsal/diner and finally wedding. Shot more reference of the adult figures tonight around 12 a.m. It's now 1:48 a.m. and I am officially starting the layout. Final draft is due Tuesday time unknown 12-4 pm. with the final line drawing tomorrow around noon.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Here are some doodles, thumbs, studies. Listening to CWG- Loved the message at first but starting to get skeptical of the messengers intent as with all such information.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

E mail Extravaganza

So the bulk of today was spent sending out the Buffy image to all the contacts I have made either thru email or myspace or just blind submissions. I have already had one response which is more than I usually hope for and I am aware now more than ever how important it is to really dedicate myself to my book before the contacts go cold.


Monday, July 30, 2007

What have I done with my week?


I bought a 9x12 WACOM tablet.
Ryan other's agreed at the illustration lunch that it is an essential time saver plus more control but I have grown found of my mouse. They said it would take a week to get used to the pen tool and that I would never use a mouse again, at this point I doubt it. It’s a cool new technology but I hate change when I have an efficient system already working- time will tell.

Stake Out

Now that Buffy is complete I am waiting for The A.D.s to come back from San Diego Comic-Con to email them the image. Most return on Tuesday or Wednesday so that is when I will send it. I will also plaster it on the fan Buffy site. Completing the work was never hard for me, it has always been this sending out and begging for attention part that sucks about the business but it is a necessary one. If they don’t see the work they can’t buy it. On a positive note there is a Slay-A-thon in Chicago that asked to sell the image as a print to raise money for the Make-A-Wish-Foundation. Apparently the person running the event saw Stake Out on DievantArt but I had to inform them it was self-promotion and they would have to obtain the rights from Dark Horse or Mr. Whedon.

San Diego Comic-Con 2007

I am seriously bummed that I could not go to San Diego. Especially with all the nice offers from people to have me at their place and actually pay for my tickets. The reason was simply I didn’t have enough new relevant art that would garner me new jobs so I decided to stay home, work hard, and save money. I must remember this feeling throughout this next year so I am prepared for 2008. I am determined to actually be an exhibitor at the next con. On a high note Bawidamann just called and he did awesome this year!

HellBlazer Start

So what work have I actually been able to accomplish, not much. I did work all Friday night but with little to show for it. Here is my thumbnail. My concept is pretty fun. I got the idea from the Rockwell image- The Golden Rule. Comic artist have been coping this image of stacking people/class photo for years (Kingdom Come Cover for exp.) I used to have this image over my desk while reading some Hellblazers and the idea of what would be John Constantine’s Golden Rule. I still haven’t come up with a good tag line for that yet but it got the ball rolling. I saw John in the middle surrounded by all his enemy’s that he has betrayed or sent to hell surround him in the center with the Devil at his side. The Muslim man in the white robe to me was Papa Midnight holding his headless sister. The little girl holding the rosary was the first soul of the little girl John lost to Hell. You get the idea. For the readers of Hellblazer I think the final image will be pretty cool especially when you are familiar with the original painting.

The real problem I am having is the likeness and shadows.

The HellBlazer images are full of black inked dark shadows. So making all the different light sources as well as Mignola shadow work will be a real challenge.

The other thing is no one draws John Constantine the same. I redrew this damned head fifty times. I remember the original inspiration was Sting but he doesn’t really look like that at all these days. I think I need to add some shadows and more forehead. I think this one will take some time but I really want to finish it soon so I can get back to the book, which is my focus.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Completed Cover

Almost Done

Here is pretty close to the final. I got few tweaks to make. I have to get some feedback from other artists but its 5a.m and time to call it a night. Got thru Order of the Phoenix and started half-Blood last night. Will be time to start the HellBlazer piece soon then back to the book.

Color Buffy

Here's the color on Buffy. Also included is a possible layout. Composition still needs alot of work.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What might have been.

Again, with the CityBeat cover its just a matter of time that is the real issue. I love working for them. The art director rocks and I actually like the rapid deadlines; I just think some of the concepts and execution could be much more developed with more time. As a result I usually have a lot of covers that are very average and this is no exception.

With that said the deadlines are part of the challenge of working for a weekly paper and I work better under the gun.
On the positive side it doesn't leave any time to bawidamann (overwork then ruin) a piece.
For those of you who are curious about what an assignment I get looks like, here is how this cover played out.
I was given this assignment Thursday. This was the basic concept I got in an email:

Wanna do next week's cover? cool. glad you do.
cover: need by tuesday morning in full (11am). rough some time monday. idea is a turn of the century (not the most recent century) industrial revolution style sweatshop look. it's XXXXX and they're not following orders to improve there factory conditions so people are loosing limbs and dying on unsafe equipment. thanks.

I did the research and thumbnailed it Thurs. night. Sent in thumbnail Friday in the am. I had to wait till end of day Monday for approval from the editorial staff. While waiting I shot reference as if it was approved.

The child got cut and so did the severe injuries.

Worked Monday 10 pm till deadline Tuesday at 11 am on final ( 1:30hr sleep /30 mins for food). Only had 30 mins for coloring and it shows.

Wasted Summer 7/18/07

Here is some CityBeat freelance from March-early July.
Most of these spring/summer months were dedicated to moving and getting the house and the studio together. Before we moved I was on an incredible high from getting into Spectrum 14. This high was lost as frustration took over as most of my time was spent elsewhere.
My goal with this blog is to get back on track.

Here is the only art I produced over those months and most is so-so at best. Most are done in a matter of a day or two and some even just a few hours.
I did however learn some useful brush option in Photoshop so I suppose it wasn't a total waste.

Weekly Art- 7/18/07

Weekly Art- An exercise in Mediocrity Updated 7/18/07

In an attempt to be more effective and productive I am going to post and update a weekly
Blog. This will track for me the work that I do day to day. Most of the work will be amazingly mediocre if not just total crap. This will be every thing from sketches, thumbnails, black and whites, to a few colored images. It will also have some in progress things I am working on from time to time.

This motivational kick in ass came from this guy so if you want to see some good art after you are done wadding through my crap go here:

We all have at least 100,000 bad drawings inside of us. The sooner we get them out and onto paper, the sooner we'll get to the good ones buried deep within. (unknown)

These are some stronger images I currently have before we have to looks at months of the crap to come.

Weekly Art- An exercise in Mediocrity Updated 7/18/07