Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Window

A blizzard blew in on Monday and blanketed the city in snow. I'm at home, discouraged that I haven't real drawn anything in the better part of a week, and was just so captivated by this view outside of my studio window, that I just felt compelled to drop everything and put this image on paper.

I got a little more adventurous with the Photoshop colors than I have before, using gradients and transparencies. There may not be as dynamic or have as much happening as a lot of my other illustrations, but it felt good to do something different for a change and I had a lot of fun with it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Squirrels Gone Wild!!!

I did some practice on my ability to draw animals in hopes of appealing to the children's illustration market. Being that it is winter in Michigan, the squirrels are coming up to the door looking for handouts, so I had plenty of reference and inspiration this time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Santa Parade Float

I painted the background and text for Midland Christian School's float for the annual Santa Parade. Check it out.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Who was that Concealed Griddle Treat Anyway?

Yeah, they can show you some of my latest escapades.

Such as my gallery of work on display at "The Pancake Bandits",
My Thanks to them for posting my "Totally Rad Vintage/Detailed Illustrations".

Also, one of my favorite comic strips "My Cage" by Ed Power and Melissa DeJesus, ran its last strip yesterday, after three years in newspaper syndication. The creators used their creative outlet as an opportunity to thank their fans. Many, including myself, were mentioned by name.

You're Welcome Ed and Mel. At least you know that Erik is spelled with a "K".

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pets in Bed

Two new illustrations I did for about pets in bed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Horror of Dracula

In preparation for Halloween, I had the opportunity to catch up on the early Hammer Horror movies. I grew up on the Universal Studios Horror movies, and have a close place in my heart (as my movie review blog will attest) that will always be my first choice for a late night scary movie, but I did admire how Hammer presented the famed monsters rather differently, and found myself rather enamored with Christopher Lee's expressive face in his role as Count Dracula.

Curiously, Dracula looks kinda like Ras Al Ghul from the Batman comics, I wonder if Neal Adams was inspired by such films.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Piggy and The Waterfall

I learned of a pen and ink drawing contest for the local garden park just shy of week before the deadline I knew I had to make a quick turnaround. So I worked hours of the day and night to guarantee these would be done in time. It really felt like I was back in school again (a feeling both good and bad) when it came to working such a close deadline. Here are the results.

Waterfall. Self Explainitory. It was just something I thought would make for a decent composition.

Piggy. A bronze sculpture of a pig in a clearing in a cornfield, which in this early August autumn was starting to decay. I couldn't help but look at his expression, as if he were looking up and above his crumbling surroundings and to something distant that we might never know.

Brush Practice Portraits

I recently purchased some new Winsor Newton sable brushes and they have been working wonders for me. I tried practicing by starting with something I was familiar with; faces. I tried my had at the male leads from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the highly expressive Tuco from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."


Trees have always been a challenge for me, until not too long ago I realized I was going about it all wrong.

I got up early (7 am in the summer) and observed how the light from the sun cast shadows on the leaves and helped give the tree a distinct shape rather than just being a bunch of stray branches darting out every which way.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wiseau Serious?

Honoring the biggest clown in cinema history: Tommy Wiseau. I was inspired by the controversy surrounding the removal of the Nostalgia Critic's review of Wiseau's film "The Room" from and I just got to wondering how a man who made quite possibly the greatest comedy of the decade (which is what he now claims the film is supposed to be in follow up interviews) could lack a sense of humor, especially given how his pasty eurotrash appearance is a tube of lipstick away from being the Joker, which led me to make the cheesiest pun on his name and spoofing the film's now iconic poster:

Coming Soon in 3-D !!!

An illustration based on the rise in popularity in 3-D movies, comparing how they were then as a exciting gimmick, and now when its an overabundant gimmick thats gotten real old, real fast.

Evening Expo

Illustration I did for

I should hope the moral of the story is made obvious by the additional caption.

Greeting Cards

Greeting cards I've drawn for my friends and family for the past few years.

(Image of a birthday cake on fire)
"Hope your birthday isn't a bust!"

A birthday card I drew for my brother this past month. I got real excited over the cheesy pun, and put it together really fast.

"You can wait another year for your jetpack."
A card I drew for my dad's fiftieth birthday, inspired by the atomic age culture of the 1950s and 60s that he would have grown up with, and the promise of jet packs and rocketships. Includes references to Major Matt Mason, Forbidden Planet, Lost in Space and the art of Flash Gordon illustrator Al Williamson.

"Party like its 25 Million B.C. !"

A birthday card I drew for my friend Bernadette Cartensen. The joke is that it was her 21st birthday and her initials are B.C. so that gave me an excuse to draw dinosaurs and watch old Ray Harryhausen movies for reference.

"Choose Wisely. Happy Birthday."

A card I drew for my brother's birthday last year. Caricatures of the leads from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". My brother was born in the same month as "Last Crusade"'s original release and he doesn't always practice common sense, so I was trying to be fun as well as convey a heartfelt message.

"You're my ray of sunshine!"

I drew this as a anniversary card, but I had a terrible cold at the time and was spending all my time resting on the couch watching episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Scooby-Doo", distorting my already weird sense of humor.

"Hands off my candy! Happy Halloween."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dream Theater

Apologies for the lack of post since graduation, but now that I'm finished with school artistic projects have been rather few and far between and my more personal endevours have fallen by the wayside as I hunt for employment. This piece is something that I put together as part of a contest for Sleep Care Inc, looking for illustrations for their website.

The illustration is meant to represent common or reoccurring dreams and how we experience them in our heads as we cannot experience in real life much as we would go to a movie theater to escape into another world. This was an excellent exercise in three point perspective which I had been meaning to freshen up on for some time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


This past weekend I graduated from the
Columbus College of Art and Design with my Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts-Illustration. As you can tell by this picture, the weather was absolutely beautiful much to my own amazement given how it rained every day the previous week, and the rain has been coming down heavily since Sunday, so we had one good day for graduation. Thank God for small miracles.

While seeing the sun was quite a surprise, I was particularly surprised when I saw that the compilation book for Comic Book Illustration class had my artwork on the (back) cover. Several of my sketches and my "Pete Peril" story were reprinted, and it looks good reprinted.

I'll be staying in the area while I work on padding out my portfolio and work on sending out promotional material to various groups and companies in hopes of finding a job. There are some potential freelance opportunities on the horizon, so I'm optimistic. Subscribe for updates!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Daylight in the Moonlight

Some of my viewers will remember my earlier piece "Little Daylight". While it was an impressive accomplishment for me in terms of scale, it was a very busy composition. Thankfully I was able to find the time to lay down some cool tones to create the nighttime feel and it makes for a considerable improvement.

I also want to say thanks to my friend Kirsten for all manner of helpful advice when it came to choosing colors.

Dex Deadfall: Astronaut Archelogist!

A name courtesy of the Action Hero Name Generator, Dex is inspired by the great science fiction art of the past; Al Williamson , Wally Wood, and Frank Frazetta in particular.

Being the last project for the semester it feels a bit rushed in terms of composition and looks very busy. At least I had the opportunity to play with Photoshop colors alongside my traditional brush and ink.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pete Peril

With the school year winding down I have a handful of projects to update. First is this two page original comic I've been working on for my Comic Book Illustration class. "Pete Peril" is inspired by the iconic opening to "Raiders of the Lost Ark", involving looking for lost treasure inside a ruinous cave. Like most of my work there is a noticeable chiaroscuro style.

In order to brush up on my visual storytelling skills I looked for inspiration in Hal Foster's old "Tarzan" comic strips (Thanks Golden Age Comic Book Stories!)Pete himself is an ace pilot and his appearance is based on various characters from Milton Caniff's "Terry and the Pirates". Wealthy heiress and old flame Ann Weatherbee follows Pete on this quest for a mystic gem.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Raiders In Casablanca

"Casablanca" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" are two of my favorite movies and when I was given an assignment that involved mixing two movies together to make a poster, these two immediately leaped to mind. The two films have so many similarities. Indy was heavy influnced by Humphrey Bogart's various "tough guy" roles, while the weasely Arnold Toht was based on Peter Lorre's more villainous parts. Both involved running into an old flame in a bar as well as combating Nazis.

I tried to set this up as sort of a "what if" Raiders of the Lost Ark was shot during its setting in the 1930s.

Humphrey Bogart as Dr. Henry Jones Junior
Ingrid Bergman as Marion Ravenwood
Claude Rains as Rene Belloq
Sydney Greenstreet as Sallah
Peter Lorre as Arnold Toht
Conrad Veidt as Colenel Dietrich

Pen and Brush with Ink mixed with graphite to create a unique grayscale feel.

Frankenstein's Monster

I'm fan of the Universal studios monster movies, particularly the Frankenstein franchise. I had the chance to rewatch these movies over the Christmas break and while looking for an opportunity to test out my new brushes, I decided to create my own version of the monster. While I was inspired by Karolff's portray, I made an effort to looking at his picture while drawing. Although I did reference his sheepskin jacket from "Son of Frankenstein", just because it was such unique texture. I went on apply some flat colors in Photoshop. I think it adds a considerable pop.

Secret Agent Man

Based of the Johnny Rivers song of the same name. I tried to play up the "Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow" line which this Film Noir scenario with a Bogie-style hero cornered in a dark alley by his pursuer .

Done with a brush and a bottle of ink, with a little bit of graphite for the foggy streets.

Little Daylight

This project was a labor of love that I started back in October. It is a proposed page for the children's book "Little Daylight" by George McDonald, who was a mentor to C.S. Lewis. The story involves a princess named Daylight, who cursed by a witch to sleep during the day, awaking only at night. But not only that, but her health waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon. She is healthy and energetic at the full moon, but sickly and in immense pain when the sky is black. In true fairy tale fashion, only true love's first kiss can break the spell.

The Prince, escaping from his own war-torn country into the enchanted forest where the Princess dances in the light of the full moon. The prince has heard stories of the forest being inhabited by all manner of creatures that lure men to their deaths, and believes that the princess may be some sort of sprite, and draws his sword in caution.

Done in Pen and Ink, looking at Franklin Booth and Arthur Rackham for inspiration. Russian Ballet was particular helpful for composing the Princess and her drapery dance. While it is quite an accomplishment for me in terms of detail and scale, it is rather busy, I'm planning on adding some color with Photoshop this summer.

Arthur and The Ravens

This was an illustration I did back in September for a series of trading cards based on folklore and mythology. It based off the story that when King Arthur died he was reborn as a raven, and as long as their of ravens in the Tower of London, Britain can never be defeated, which is why it is considered bad luck to any who harms a raven.

The image itself with done in pen and ink, with a bit of grayscale markers to help with value. This is also the first time I've experimented with Photoshop colors. As for the composition I looked at a lot of works by Howard Pyle ,who illustrated much of King Arthur's epics as well as Arthur Rackham, who has a whimsical style that lends itself well to fairy tales.
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