Saturday, December 22, 2012

Angels on the Airwaves

This is the cover for a Christmas card I sent out to some of my college friends and artistic peers this season. (Hopefully all recipients have gotten it by now) Facebook and the internet are great communication tools and all, but I feel like I've lost touch with a number of fun and influential as a result of the growing years and miles. I figured this would be a good way to reconnect, let people know how to reach me, let them know what I've been up to and planning on doing in the next year and find out what they've been doing too, etc.

I'm hoping for a spark in establishing a stronger community and maybe even build some traffic for this very blog.

I had been cooking up the notion of doing the cards since Thanksgiving time, but it took me quite a while to come up with an idea for the cover. I was shooting for a "scene" like something out of the old Saturday Evening Post covers, but wanted to avoid Santa imagery, feeling it would come off as trite. That and I already did Santa for Sleep Care last year. In the end, I fell back onto my strengths; heavy darks and a mid century period setting.

Here are some of the works I found particularly inspiring. Consider them your online stocking stuffers!


Edit: And wouldn't you know it, after everything is all done, that when I discover an image that I have never seen before that looks almost identical to the end result. Go figure.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Deja Vu: Santa Surprise

NC Wyeth vs. Norman Rockwell

Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! I think its great when you can see the clear influence on another artist's sleeve like this.

While I've posted about such similarities before, there are people who have been doing it a lot longer and more throughly.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Myth Riders

Just an idea I've been cooking up since Halloween. Long time viewers will know that I love surreal juxtapositions of pop culture characters; Tommy Wiseau and The Joker, Rick Blaine and Indiana Jones, Andy Griffith and Optimus Prime, The Doctor and Zardoz, etc. On Halloween night I cooked up this idea of a crossover between The Headless Horseman and Lady Godiva, playing on their status as legendary, near-mythical, horse riders and contrasting the large black Horseman horse against the Lady's gentle white equine.

I spent about three weeks since this doodling compositional ideas to get to this point (and taking a crash course in drawing horses too) Unfortunately for all the effort I expended I'm not satisfied enough with the project to continue it just yet. I couldn't really decide if they were racing, flirting, just passing by or what. Not to mention Lady Godiva's lack of clothing and how to creatively conceal it and still be identifiable was causing problems with generating a legible composition.

So yeah, this ones going on the discard pile unless I can come up with some new solution to turn this idea into an illustration. Any thoughts?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Care Package ... OF DOOM!

Here's a little something I've been working on for the past week. We're sending a care package to my cousin and Dad thought it would be great if I could draw a dragon on the opposite side of the box. Dragons are a bit outside of my wheelhouse, so it took me a while to practice sketching one out to my satisfaction.

The practice run on seen here is a bit different from the finished product. Well, the scent that the Sharpie produced a particularly powerful wallop that I hadn't anticipated, so after the dizzying headaches subsided, I had decided that perhaps the background details weren't as important as finishing the actual dragon itself.

Next time I'm going back to either pencil or ink. Hopefully that'll be soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Whoops! Wrong Way 'Round

It came to my attention recently that I had misread the directions on the contest entry I had done for Superhero Cocoa. To be fair, their "X wearing Y's costume" instructions were easy to get mixed up.
So here is the new vision of Aisha Campbell, the second Mighty Morphin' Yellow Power Ranger dressed as Lyra Walters, the second She-Hulk. Seems fitting I suppose. Given the topsy turvy nature of this mix up I even mirror-reversed the original pose I had done.

This was actually something of a good experience. Once I got over the physcological hurdle of "getting this done for a deadline" with the last one, I really had a chance to play, and have some fun experimenting with some different brush textures on this one with its contrast in stiff leather and soft skin over hard muscle.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lyra Walters as the Yellow Power Ranger

This is my entry for the Halloween Bash Contest for Superhero Cocoa featuring Lyra Walters, The Savage She-Hulk, (not to be confused with Jennifer Walters, the Sensational She-Hulk) as The Mighty Morphin' Yellow Power Ranger.


Here is a glimpse at my process, starting with the rough pencils to finished the inks. 

I started out with a sketch, were you can see I was emphasizing the plainer structure of the figure. The second sketch I flipped around because I thought it made for a better pose and tried to build up her muscles (she is a She-Hulk after all) However, by the time I got to start applying the inks, I de-emphasized her six-pack abdomen because I didn't want her to look like the stereotypical "spray paint spandex" of superhero comics, instead trying to go for something that actually resembled cloth. Though I did increase the size of her bicep just to remind you of her super strength.

Its kinda fun to look back on how this all came together and I'd be interested to see if any of the commenters have an opinion on what I should have kept or if I should have lost certain things or now that you can see were I'm coming from, perhaps I should have gone in a different direction. 

Give me your thoughts people!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Elephant in the Room

An editorial cartoon for Worldwide Biomedical Charitable Services about the World Health Organization's  dependency on donated equipment. The elephant was fun to draw, I just wish I'd been able to give him more space.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool Comic Cover

My latest commission for Kal and his blog "Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool". The cover features a lot of things that he loves; comic book covers from the 70s, outer space adventuring, Lasers, Jetpacks, Selena Gomez and his cat, Admiral Fluffy, all attacking the deadly cephalopod menace!

This was a real joy of a project to take on since it proclaims my own love for old comics, but also gave me a chance to real dig through my archives and find all manner of crazy inspirational images. The works of Wally Wood were particularly influential. Here are a few examples to give you an idea were I was coming from with my thought process.


Looking back, it seems like this could be seen as a more refined version of my old college piece, "Dex Deadfall: Astronaut Archeologist". I guess the influence followed me all these years later.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

MODOK Facepalm

My own twisted take on a classic de-motivational poster, this one starring Marvel Comic's favorite Cephalothorax, M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing!) Yet another instance of my trademark juxapostions of two oddball elements from popular culture.

It was quite a challenge figuring out how to get his tiny little twig arms to work let me tell you!

For those of you unfamilar with MODOK, heres a quick glimpse of him in action:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Drawing in the Dark

I was at a friend's house for dinner last night where I tried drawing the other attendees. The open buffet table meant that everyone was getting up, getting food and sitting down in different chairs depending on which side of the room was having the more interesting conversation. This was considerably frustrating, but an unexpected opportunity arose when we settled in to watch a movie. While everyone sat reasonably still, it was pitch black, say for the couple sitting near the back were they were illuminated by the hallway light. The result is this unique caravaggio sketch.

I've got some projects in the pipeline that I'm close to finishing that I hope to share soon so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Deficit Debbie

Ordinarily I don't like to be too political with my work, but I just couldn't turn down the opportunity to draw this political cartoon commission about Michigan State Representative Debbie Stabenow and her spending habits.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fantastic Four: Fashion Forward Final!

Hey Guys! Thank you to everyone who contributed their suggestions towards my entry for Project Rooftop's Fantastic Four: Fashion Forward contest. So low and behold, here is my new look for Marvel's Cosmic Quartet:

A big thank you goes out to Brian Kane for his invaluable suggestion about altering the logo. I was quite proud of my design which used the letter "F" turned on its side to create the number "4" as well, but his  recommendation of intersecting the two, opened all sorts of possibilities with positive and negative space, not to mention made the whole thing more compact. Not to mention it kind of looks like a cross between the Facebook "F" (with the white character in a blue box) and the Apple Logo with a piece removed from the whole and repositioned on top.

This was a lot of fun for me, and hope you enjoy as well.

Yes. I can illustrate for you. I'm a traditional illustrator and can help you achieve your goals through art. Learn how to work with me at 

Friday, July 20, 2012

First Glimpse for Fashion Forward

Greetings Fellow Artists! Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I've been occupied by a handful of small projects lately that have been competing for my attention. The recent heatwave and a house with no air conditioning hasn't helped much either.

As much as I like to be a showman, and present my projects when they're finished, I thought I'd provide a sneak peek at the projects thats been consuming my time for the past couple weeks.

Lately, I've been working on an entry for Project Rooftop's "Fantastic Four: Fashion Forward" Contest.
Basically I'm looking to redesign the classic costumes of Marvel's First Family their fifty plus years in print!

Heres a rough idea of what I've developing for my submission

For me the Fantastic Four have been explorers and adventurers rather than urban crimefighters, so I came up with this idea for a cross between Star Trek and Super Sentai uniforms. I figured that since the FF would be first response to giant monster attacks or anything weird or science related in New York that their uniforms should have an easily identifiable top portion. When people see those white collar/shoulders they know that help is on the way. Also there new logo is on the right just above breast level.

These suits do not contain the increasing popular stitch lines, because I just don't like to draw them, and I especially wouldn't if I had to draw them on tight deadlines. Plus I always figured Reed Richards' unstable molecule suits that allow their clothes to adapt to their powers would be unique in their nature so that they can be manufactured to fit the wearer and not have the need to sew different pieces together. The only break in the suits that you can see here is the zipper that allows Sue to adjust her skirt for comfort as well as mobility.

In the final drawing I should probably address that there is are zippers running along the back of the suit as well as on the backs of the gloves and boots. A belt buckle will also be located from behind, because the contest is called "Fashion Forward", so I figure that utility should be in the back. haha.

With the contest deadline in less than two weeks, I thought I'd put out feelers on first impressions and thoughts on how I might be able to improve on these designs. I know I want redraw Reed and Sue actually using their powers, but from a design perspective I'm concerned that my ideas haven't fallen far from enough from the tree. I stuck with the FF's White and Blue color scheme from the '80s because they are calm and reassuring colors, representing the team's position as a more idealistic corner of the Marvel Universe, however I still seem to be sticking pretty close to the classic/simple collar-belt-gloves-boots design. 

Would padded knees and elbows be a help or a hinderance to their look? Would they look better with running shoes rather than boots? Should Reed even wear a belt or boots since he body's stretch powers don't limit him to a traditional psychical structure?

I'm starting to get a narrowed imagination, looking at this project by myself for so long and put it you dear viewers, what would suggest I do to improve and truly make Marvel mine?

Closing as the Man himself did, Excelsior True Believers!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Study Sketches

Once again its time to test my skills in quick gesture and observational drawing, courtesy of the lingering and mingling at the end of the Bible Study that I attend.


Notice how Jared's face gradually becomes more chiseled with each drawing.

Kyle appears more awake and attentive now that he knows he is being drawn.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Halloween Help

Dear Friends, Followers and Fellow Artists,

Recently I've been working on a project to add to my portfolio in order to make my work more appealing to children's publishers by including work that includes children in some way. This is my latest project, an image of a group of young trick-or-treaters dressed as "morally gray" characters (witch, pirate, devil) being given candy by a middle aged resident dressed as an angel. While the devil gets his treat, pirate peers into witch's cauldron, believing she received better treats.

I've been tinkering with this idea for a while now and was fairly certain I knew which compostion was best, but thought I could take advantage of Social Networking Technology to get a fresh perspective from other fertile and creative minds.

Any input; comments or critiques, that you could provide would be most helpful!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I've seen a number of scanned sketchbook pages on DeviantArt called "Sketchdumps" to let viewers know what you're doing between projects. While I think the name is a bit off putting, heres a sample of some more of my warm up sketches from this past week for your enjoyment.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Go Gokaiger!

In order to keep my figure drawing skills sharp, I usually warm up with daily gesture drawings. Since the start of the year I've switched from sketching models in photos to watching episodes of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (which will hopefully be coming stateside as "Power Rangers: Pirates" soon)

The series features a multitude of various characters in skin tight colorful costumes leaping, running, kicking, punching etc. Its very much like watching a live action comic book, and briefly pausing the action allows me to reference cool action poses. Its been a great exercise in speed, proportions, rhythm and even lighting.

I've been wanting to post sketches for some time now, but I always kept putting it off, so what you'll be getting is some of the better samplings. Looking over them recently just shows the kind of improvements that I've made, albeit subtly, in a relatively brief amount of time. Let me know what you think and perhaps I'll post some of my other daily scribbles in the near future.


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