Saturday, January 30, 2010


Here is the latest color comp... I just sketched this up in painter. Trying to maintain a loose touch with this piece. I like where it's headed but I think it still needs some detail. The giant looks a little plain. I am working on maybe some new greeblies for him--visual detail/elements. We;ll see. Anyway, I'll post more as I move towards the final piece. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Okay, not a finished illustration but a concept... I am working on doing some new pieces for the old portfolio and I very much am steering towards a fantasy focus with some of the new pieces. I love fantasy art and I happen to think that some of the best illustrators working today are fantasy illustrators (but that's another post altogether).

The process... First, I made a rinky dink model in Lightwave which I placed in a basic environment with some basic lighting. I am not looking to get too dramatic. I just want to give a sense of space and perspective. I just need a wireframe set to work on.

Then, I import the basic wireframe sketch into Painter and then draw/sketch on a separate layer set to multiply--so I can see "through" the layer beneath. I don't do this often but creating simple "sets" in a 3D program can help me work out problems with composition, placement as well as provide a more believable structure to work with. There are dangers to using this technique however. It can sometimes make the illustration look flat and almost TOO believable in how the objects are placed. It is still necessary to apply some "flair" to the elements to give them a little more character. I did this because I wanted to really mess around with the perspective a bit.

This is another sketch I did... You can still see some of the model underneath... Looking at this now, I see that I have a pretty good start but I need to refine the building AND the giant a little more. They need a lot more character. He needs to look a lot more like a big petulent baby and the woman below needs to be set in the scene better so that she stands out a little more. Still, I am pretty happy thus far. Stay tuned folks!

Friday, January 15, 2010


I changed the color of the cricket to stand out a little more... I think it works better but I need to look at it a little more. Anyway, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Okay... So I spent some time the other day messing around with this image--in an attempt to try and combine wet media and digital elements. One problem... My studio where I do most of my painting hasn't gotten above 40 degrees in the past two weeks. I made a valiant effort at starting a painting yesterday but ultimately decided that, for now, I'd have a lash at doing this completely digital.

You see, the problem I have been having is that most of my digital work looks too polished and, well, flat. My sketches and pen work seem to be very vibrant and energetic--but when I attempt to render one of those sketches in color, it seems to go limp. So, I am still struggling with how to bring the same energy and organic quality to my full color illustrations that exists in my sketch and line work...

I don't know... I mean, I am very happy with the result here but I still can push it a little more I think. Or maybe I need to just own up to the act that I am just a draftsman and not a painter?? No... I am not willing to throw in that towel just yet. I'll figure it out...

Anyway, here I treated this just as I would a watercolor. I started with a tight pencil sketch and then slowly added washy layers of color starting from the background and working back to front. The last areas to work on would be where I finally add the lighter highlighted areas--which, were I working in wet media, I would just add with guache or acrylics.

Really though... I am continually frustrated because I don't really feel like I am comfortable or confident enough in any media... I am trying to break this tendency to be tentative. The upside is that, drawing every day is making me better at all of it. It really is a muscle that has to be exercised. Now, if only I could burn calories by drawing...

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Jumping out a little early on this week's Illustration Friday topic...

For gentlemen like me--that is, those that find men's fashion "confining," I think this might have some particular significance.


This is a new piece I am about to start on. It was born out of many of doodles done at preschool board meetings where I serve as the health and safety chair. Let's just say they can run a little long. Anyway, I have been pushing this idea around in my head for a while--even from about four years ago when I did an illustration of a little bot looking at an ant. I don't know why, but I am fascinated by the story possibilities involving tiny robots and insects.

My plan is to render the final image in guache/watercolors. We'll see what happens. Currently, it is way too bleedin' cold to even be in my studio so I am moving the whole painting operation inside. It's funny, I think I have been crutching on digital software to create these images lately. Why? Because it's 1. Faster 2. Easier to make changes. 3. Cheaper 4. Easier to publish. Still, I have seen some illustrators get some fantastic results from combining wet media and digital media. Again, we'll see. I am interested to see the results myself.