Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Post 258

Had to sneak in one last image! 2008 was a big year for me in many many ways, it led to me really taking charge of my life and making things happen, it led to me choosing the direction I want to take my career(s), and talking to friends I haven't heard from in years. Sure, there has been a lot of stress and pain, but that comes with emotional growth. I feel like I'm actually becoming an adult!

I have to say, this blog has been one of my proudest revelations of 2008. I've been putting up art for years, secretly yearning to have people actually see it, and actually like it. One of those situations where you tell yourself you don't care, but you can't avoid letting it get to you when you know nobody is looking at it. But it changed for me, there's probably at least 20 people that actually look at my blog now!!!!! Ultimately, it started with Craig, he's been such a great friend and supporter! He kept me posting during times when I felt like just forgetting about putting any work up, and for that I thank him, he's kept me motivated to get better and keep a consistent schedule.

Other people I need to thank are Doug Wagner, for being an amazing friend and going through the most stressful month of my life in Zuda. In the same vein, Luan for lettering and keeping me sane during October. Both Luan and Jake helped break me out of my shell and start attending conventions, in a little over a year, we've done pretty well for ourselves in the local scene. Jake and Luan have become some of the best friends I've ever had in my life, and I always hope I'm as good of a friend in return.

I have to thank my 'brother' in NY, Chris DiBari for being there this year, and every year we've been friends. The first time I talked to him was because of a chat on a messageboard and we became friends quickly. I just wish that I lived closer to NY!

I have to thank my friends here in TX that I've made this year, especially Kristian Donaldson, David Hopkins, Nick Derington, ArtLoveMagic, and the many friends I've made at local conventions. I really appreciate the fans here in Texas because they've really been supportive this year and encouraged me to keep going with comic art.

I also got to meet some of my heroes from when I first considered actually setting foot in the comic industry. Invincible was the book that really got me excited to go to the store, and not only oogle the art, but also actually read the story and enjoy it. It taught me about pacing, the birds...AND the bees, and even some general life skills...not exaggerating (maybe a little)! But I got to meet Robert Kirkman at CAPE (the FCBD celebration here in Dallas) and he is one of the most engaging people I've ever seen (outside of Dick Valentine from Electric Six). Robert is like a big brother, he can jokingly pick on you and make you feel like a million bucks in a matter of minutes. I got to do some paintings for him, and for Cory Walker, which blew my mind! Robert introduced me to Cory Walker, and Nate Bellegarde at Baltimore, which made the trip worth it for me (since obviously the convention itself didn't net me much monetarily). I just hope I didn't scare the guys too bad, it was a great experience to meet them, and hopefully get to talk to them more in the future!

I want to thank ArtLoveMagic for encouraging me to get back into painting with acrylics. It's opened up my world, and I can't wait to do more in 2009!

There are so many people that really made this year special for me, and I want to do my best to make 2009 even better...the first step is actually getting some work published...but I'm working on that...hopefully this new year will be the one! I've at least got a couple pin-ups coming out!

Again, I appreciate you all, and want to thank you for your support, and please keep coming back, asking great questions, leaving comments, I love it!

Have a Happy New Year, be safe, and lets really make some great work in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post 257

Almost time for 2009, I wanted to squeeze in a couple new things before the new year ends. Did these as sketches at the end of the day. I'm hard at work on some sequential pages, so that's why I haven't been updating too much recently. I have really learned a lot recently and I'm putting it into these pages, I'm really excited to see them finished, the general flow of them is really energetic and reads well.

Anyway, I had this big dialogue set up in my head to write, but now it's the end of the day, and I'm just plain too tired to get it down right now...maybe tomorrow before the new year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Post 256

Been busy with prepping for Christmas and working on some sequentials...more than some, quite a bit actually. But here's some new stuff for you. The picture of meat is a Christmas ode to the directorial mastery in the area of meat by David Cronenberg. Took the picture with my D60...I assure you, it was delicious outside of the disturbing photograph!

Question: what did anybody else eat for their Christmas meal? I know I'm not alone in the big family get together meal.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Post 255

I pay close attention to how I do things, especially in recent times how I hold my pens and pencils, and how certain effects can be attributed to the manner in which the fingers are placed. I used to use my index, middle AND ring finger held along the side of writing utensils to write and draw, which produced unsure lines and tired out my hand. I fought my teachers in elementary because I thought I was being smart and that it was more comfortable. I had never held the pencil even NEAR what they hoped to see, with only the index and middle accompanying the thumb. A few weeks ago out of the blue I decided to, and my pictures have been better, my writing has become better, and my inking has improved as well! Even with this, I continue to make adjustments, and yesterday I had a mini breakthrough in terms of keeping my ring finger and pinky flat against the paper while the middle finger slightly holds the pen/pencil and rests a bit on the writing surface. The other two are generally in normal positions, the index fingernail faces upward and touches near the nip of a pen/pencil. I know this sounds confusing, but either way it gives much more support, and helps with creating smoother lines in a consistent manner.

The point of this is, question your work habits. If I had been asking myself the right questions, I feel that my art would have improved years ago, and I would be a totally different artist. Look at the way you hold your drawing utencils, think about your approach to creation, question exactly what you like about the specific work of artists. But that is the true basis for artistic improvement. Ultimately, it's not how much you paid for art media that determines how good you are. You can do nearly the same thing with a 2 dollar Loew Cornell brush as a 60 dollar Windsor & Newton sable brush. It's in your ability to adjust, compensate, and ultimately execute.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Post 254

Here is an updated version with some side design elements. Did this since Jake said he wanted a print of this so that the dimensions will fit better in print format and we can avoid any sort of image stretching.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Post 253

CHRISTMAS VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 weeks of fun! The top picture was drawn, etc. in CS4. The sketches are randomness, and last night I felt like drawing some random DC characters. I don't draw them too much. Too much research for my taste, lots of background info, and if you screw up on costuming then there isn't much freedom with diehard fans. So, a rare chance to see me draw these characters...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Post 252

Things have been all sorts of busy recently, but I guess that's what you can expect around the time of the holidays! Almost to a 2 week vacation, so then I can get really working on a project, so my sketch time will be cut down. I've got a few things that I should be starting soon...then again, I've said that before...but this time I've got some actually reliable writers on the job...ones that live in this state that I can yell at by standing outside their places! Plus, they respect me as an ARTIST, not as an ODDITY! So yeah, 2009 should hopefully be a year with more sequentials produced and or published than any previous year...or it could be a year of me creating a huge stack of unpublished pages that get sent to my art dealer Paolo...but I really hope for the published part, it's kind of the only reason for me to do comics right now.

So, you were probably wondering when I'd get to talking about the picture. My friend Ryan asked me at WW:TX to do a drawing of Toki smashing Lavona Succuboso over the head with a bottle in the Season 2 finale of Metalocalypse. So, I'm bad with directions, sometimes when somebody says draw...I paint, sometimes when I paint, I draw, so it all works out. I'd been searching for my set of Holbein (yes, I just name dropped, but if you've used these, you'd understand) gouaches. I also busted out the dagger brush that I got at a craft store and wow does it work like a dream for gouache! I also used some prismacolor for some finishing touches, and some photoshop to mock up what I wanted to do tomorrow after work.

Anyway, time to get some sleep!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Post 251

I sent this off to Kirkman in hopes that I can get a pin-up published in Invincible. I think this might be my 4th or 5th try over the years. All my other attempts were back when Invincible was first becoming popular and I'm sure that thousands of e-mails were streaming in, so my pin-ups more than likely got lost in the pile. I really love Invincible, have since it first came out when i was in college. It really changed what I thought about comics and my approach to drawing. After my first meeting and portfolio review (looking at my sketchbook) with Stelfreeze I got into the mode of finding a style of my own, and of course, you look around and see what things play to your strong suits. At the time, when drawing without reference, I had those horrible jagged lines, but I decided I wanted to get some smooth flowing lines like Cory Walker's and at the time I was looking at stuff on Penciljack so guys like Nate of course, John Devilman, and Travel Foreman. Their work really got me thinking about how much fun they seemed to have drawing, and it inspired me to experiment. Something that I haven't stopped doing, but in the past year or so I've gotten out of testing the limits to a more controlled approach.

So, here's hoping this gets published!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Post 250

More randomness out of the Marvel Handbook...

Plus, some rare pencil sketches! This is what my sketches look like nowadays, I rough it in, and tighten up with single line strokes of pencil. I've been getting out of my slump and back to form with some more confident lines. FYI, most of my original pages now have lots of sketches on the back, so you get a little more for your money. I don't do it on purpose, it's just convenient.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Post 249

Playing around with traditional techniques and media with ink and some white paint. Then I keep working on use of colors, overlays, etc.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Post 248

I'll tell you, I normally get hit hard by the winter doldrums in terms of artist's block around the time of Thanksgiving. A little block gets in my head that makes it hard to produce art. This year I just kept fighting, and rather than let it linger throughout the next few months, I can't let it win!!!! There is so much opportunity to make piles of art. So here are some things I made once I broke free after a few full pages of sketches.

The thing that makes this season hard is that I question what I'm doing. So I worked through it and realized I can't let myself question what I'm doing, it ruins the just can't interrupt the flow!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Post 247

Random fun during sketch time...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Post 246

Sorry it's been a while, as I'm guessing most people can understand, last week was busy! I spent most of the week cleaning, getting things ready for Thanksgiving, then Black Friday shopping on Amazon.

I've now got CS4, it's fantastic, already a ton of the things that irked me on CS2 are appearing to have been resolved. Drawing with the Cintiq finally works (the third pic was my first attempt). The top image is a pin-up that'll be in the last issue of Brit (#12).

Getting the Christmas cards printed through Can't wait to see how they come out. There is more to the design (interior, back), but I don't want to spoil everything.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Post 245

Pink mat board fun!!! Got some Molotow Burner markers, and I have to say I REALLY like the fine point ones! The white is actually opaque, if not a bit tempermental when getting started up...but hey, I'll deal with it for true opaque! But yeah, just had a little fun free drawing with them today.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Post 244

Haven't drawn Cable in a long time. I thought this would be fun, he's got a lot of 'stuff' to draw, and you can really go a lot of different directions with the character. For the background, I used a flat brush and did a dry brush technique. To get the full effect of it, you really need to see the original in person!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Post 243

Another test. I stress, no Ref used, just having fun here. Prismacolor and Kuretake no.7 pen. Tons of fun doing this stuff, I'd just never do it for sequentials due to the shading.

Post 242

I had posted the colored version of Thundra a few days ago. But I had taken a picture during the penciling stages with my new camera just to document it and be artsy fartsy with some focus. Plus, you get to see some of my pencils for once.

Here's a block print that I painted today. I did the black lines with speedball ink on a linoleum block, then went in with some acrylics. I used BFK as the paper, so it's silky smooth!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Post 241

Combining a few various techniques for a test.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Post 239

Playing around with a different line approach and coloring techniques. I think I've got a handle on most of it now, so further experiments will look more refined!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So, my friends Sam and Neal (not Sam Neil from Jurassic Park) were designers/animators for the show Frisky Dingo, but after season 2 they decided to go with a spinoff with the Xtacles, Awesome X's robot suit wearing kill force! I'll tell you, I loved seeing this, outside of Venture Brothers it's been a while since I've seen something new on Adult Swim that I love...I mean Squidbillies...really?! But this show is hillarious, and more importantly, it's on tomorrow evening, and much like the Zuda competition, it needs viewership in order to survive. So turn your tvs on to Adult Swim at 12 am Eastern, 11 Central and you'll have a ton of fun!

Seriously, tell all your friends to watch, I really want them to keep making more episodes!

Here's some clips!

Post 237

The show last night was pretty great...ELECTRIC SIX WAS AMAZING!!! So, Jake and I got there pretty early, saw the first band, I think they were called Lions. They were entertaining in that they all were quirky. I would have called them "Billy Goat and the Palsy Mummies." The lead singer literally looked like a goat, and spit to a hillarious degree! He spat on his bass guitarist at least twice, once in the face, and once on the shoulder. He wasn't aiming, it just went all over the place. Too loud to hear what they were even saying.

Then came Local H, I was excited about seeing Local H at first, because I loved Bound for the Floor...but we listened, thought maybe we were thinking of another band...nope, right band, they just DIDN'T PLAY THE SONG THEY"RE MOST FAMOUS FOR!!!! Plus, waaaaaaaaaay too loud in a screechy way.

So finally we get to the main event, they hit the stage, and Dick Valentine's wearing capes...capeS...and it's showtime...SHOWTIME!!! They had some talking between songs, awesome dancing, and SOLO!!!!! There was a fake marriage proposal, push-ups, and they went out after 13 songs. Then we waited around, and kept cheering for encore...and they OBLIGED WITH 4 MORE SONGS!!! They mixed in the great hits with ones from the new cd, which I picked up there and it's outstanding!

Either way, had tons of fun, and I need to get some sleep!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


So, gonna' go to see Electric Six at the Granada Theater tomorrow with my fellow Electric Six fan Jake! We're going to go and just geek out, I'll tell you, this is the first show I've been to in years, so here's hoping things go well!

Post 235=CRap (Con-Recap)

So, just adding on a few more images here, some more of my commissions, and the Mystique, which I did for the Heroes4Heroes auction. The money went to a great cause, so that makes me feel good. But I was sad to see it go, I was really happy with the color application on this, and it was the last to get taken off of the bidding block wasn't the last to finish, but that's the way things go sometimes...

Got pics of Boulet rockin' the board. I ended up providing boards to 3 people and supplies throughout the convention to a ton of folks. So either I was ultra prepared, or they were super un-prepared...a question that will linger, but I guess it's probably that I just brought way too much crap. I'll have to adjust that by the time of Staple! or DCC (if the Gaijin guys go).

Also, a picture of Nick going crazy with his Superman, I watched him putting the finishing touches on while the bidding was going on. I learn a lot from watching him work, he's just got so much confidence in his lines!

Either way, fantastic convention, and I can't thank everyone who came by the table enough!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Post 234+Weekend=Money?

I'm going to break this re-cap into a couple pieces. First off, awesome convention! WW:TX rocked my socks off! We started off Friday pretty slowly as can be expected, but had a lot of fun. Did a few sketches, the usual format, but had a lot of people telling me they'd be back, and in the past I wouldn't take much from that, but the people REALLY CAME BACK!!!! I was psyched, so by day two, I started painting commissions. Luan started it off, and it really drew in a lot of interested people. We're so used to live arting at this point that we really love painting in front of people.

More than anything, I'm happy that all of the Space Gun Kru had a great time, respect-wise and financially as well. I met a lot of great people that were into my style, and more importantly understood what I was going for. I think that's why I went so crazy with the commissions. When I'm around nice people with interesting conversation, I'm really motivated to go that extra mile.

Day 2 I barely stood up, I was constantly working on commissions and making sales. This is evidenced by the fact that Luan couldn't make it out walking the convention floor except once on Saturday heh heh!

I was extremely excited by seeing friends actually make it out. My best friend from all the way back in middle school made it out to the show, and hopefully I was able to show him a good time. It's been years since he made it to a convention. Some friends (Russell and Laura) I met through my brother made it out as well, not only to the show but the charity auction (to be spoken about in the next post) as well. Also my friend Jamel made it to both shows and even got to do some live art. He's really talented peeps, and he got to do the critique circuit at the show and I hope feels like he got some good advice. I know that's how I started off.

On day one I was sad guys like Kody and Kristian (the esteemed Mr. Donaldson was busy at I can excuse it ;) didn't make it out, but I got to talk for a few hours on Sunday with Nick Derington. I'm not going to even front...I RESPECT AND ADMIRE THIS MAN!!! I've made some friends over the past year that have a mix of a retro style with European sensibilities and a vast understanding of storytelling, and Nick is among the best! I spent a ton of time pouring over his work, out of respect, I won't mention anything, but I will say that the future of comics looks great as long as Nick's working!

I also was super happy that Paul made it out and I saw him on Saturday. We got to talk about things, and really it hit home, because he's been through the things I'm just going through now, and has always been really supportive and helpful to me.

I know it may sound corny, but following the ridiculous pagentry of Zuda you can strip things down to what is most important in your life, and the people that are most important. I talked to so many people that make me feel blessed, because they were so supportive about the whole Zuda process. They were there for me the whole time, and I can't thank them enough! Number one on my list is David Hopkins. He is a fantastic friend and so amazingly giving. He even gave us a great meal of home grilled burgers on the first night, but he was such a great supporter of Hammer Sound. Joe Eisma as well, one of the funniest men I know in Paul Milligan, David Rodriguez and Mike Lagocki from ArtLoveMagic, Josh Boulet, and what I found to be a TON of folks. I have to say thanks again to all of you!!!

Okay, enough for part one, I'll put together part two a little later, with more art and pictures!!! Sorry for all the links, but it helps you understand who I'm talking about, and why I love these folks so much!!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Post 233=Conventions and Pinups...

So, tomorrow means I'm at Wizard World TX with the Space Gun Kru!

As you can see from the map above, we're over in artist's alley, in some ways kinda sad we aren't against the wall where we could paint stuff, then again, we're painting Saturday, and I need to pace myself! Either way, I'll have TONS of paintings priced to sell, sketchbooks, sketches, prints, and if you're nice enough I might just show you some of my originals (those aren't for sale right now)! Either way, stop by, say hi, rub some salt in the Zuda wounds, whatev'!

Now, you might have thought I was going to forget about explaining the pinup above...shame on you! Well, my awesome buddy/brother in arts Kristian was nice enough to have me do a pinup in the re-release of his groundbreaking (IMHO) book Supermarket. I can't begin to tell you how much this meant to me, as well as how much fun I had with it!

Anyway, I gotta' get ready for tomorrow, so seriously, stop by if you're in the Arlington area tomorrow and we can chat a bit!