Friday, October 4, 2013

Monster Contest

So recently, I've entered 2 contests. One is the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of the Future contest. I have to wait a bit to see how that goes but I got my entires sent off before the deadline. We'll see how that goes.

I also entered a monster contest at, which is a site where you can buy artist's work on various items like ipod cases, t-shirts etc. This was the image I submitted to the contest.

I had a lot of fun and learned a lot from doing this one. I had to start it over because the original composition and design were pretty bad and thus only had 3 days to complete it. That's a new record for me. 

Sadly, this image did not make it to the finals of the contest to be voted on for the big prize but I can't be mad at him. He got a lot of attention for me being very new to the online store and I hope to get more in the future. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Dream Diver

Hello again. This has been a good and busy couple of days for me. I finished two projects in short order and I think both turned out well enough. Also, they were in mediums I don't work with as much as I used to which was a lot of fun.

I cannot remember the last piece I did that was simple pencil and ink on paper. I really can't. I've been painting and working digitally for so long that I just hadn't done it. The sci-fi contest I'm planning on entering seemed like a good excuse. If the tech looks a bit familiar it's because this is another Dream Walker like this fellow: 

Admittedly, this guy is slightly more advanced in his tech. I felt like trying to really push the science fiction feel a bit more and there we go. 

I was originally content to leave this alone at just pencils. It would have been fine I think. But, alas I heard the siren song of the Digital Devil and so this is what the finished version looks like. 

I was much looser in some ways with this project. I'm not sure why or if the results are work going for again but it doesn't matter, it felt great to capture some of the joy of working again and not having to be quite as serious as I normally am. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sci-Fi city process

I thought I'd share the process for the most recent piece for anyone who's interested. It's really not all that involved but here it is. Like most things it starts with a thumbnail.

I did several thumbnails before getting to this general image. It still ended up tweaked a bit before the finished version but it also had the added benefit of being color studies. I did some studying on lighting based on this video: Here. I highly recommend it. The video was a great bit for studying. 

Next is the watercolor. I didn't scan it in at the underpainting stage but this is what it looked like when the watercolor was finished. 

I really enjoy this process but the initial scanning of an image is always a bit rough on it. It requires lots of tweaking of curves and levels to try to get it to look right and even when you do it's often still less than you'd want. Finally using multiply layers in photoshop I pump up the shadows and colors until they more closely match the color comp. I then use screen and lighten layers to get the appropriate lighting effects. 

So there you go and there you have it. If you want to see someone who's REALLY good at this technique you can find him Here. That's a link to an illustrator named Justin Gerard. I learned the technique by stalking his blog pretty hard and he's MUCH better at using this method, among others, than I am. You should go take a look. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Science fiction Mountain city

It's been a long time since I did anything sci-fi and it's been longer since I did anything in my watercolor and digital method. I decided to use this as a chance to work on my lighting as well. I think that later I'll do a post detailing the creation of this one from sketch to finish later but for now I'm happy with what I learned from this one. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Hey folks. It's been awhile but I've not been idle. I've been working on a number of things.

Recently an old acquaintance of mine contacted me and we got to talking. She's been doing T-shirt work for the last couple of years and since I've been working with a small T-shirt start up for a little while now I decided to give it a try myself. I'll be entering the contests for several T-shirt sites soon. A lack of money for some things has prevented me getting a few of the verification things handled but that's changing soon.

For now I'd like to share one of the first designs I'm planning on sending in. Would YOU wear this as a shirt?

Now the shirt would be offered in a couple colors but I think it looks best on darker colored shirts. I'll be making some notes of it when I start submitting it to contests and we'll see what happens. I had a lot of fun working in a way I don't normally but that can be printed on shirts and I think I learned a lot that I can carry over if I keep practicing with this.

Now because I couldn't leave well enough alone and I was working on a promotional item at the same time I thought this might work for it some how. I needed something for the cover and my stuff doesn't work quite as well as I'd hoped. I need to work more on balancing text since most of my work doesn't at the moment.

I created another version that is closer to my normal methodology.

It'll go on the cover of my promo item and for a project that I worked on relatively quickly (took about 2 days so maybe closer to 12 hours as opposed to the 30+ I can put into stuff)

Long story short doing this whole Medusa 2 ways thing was fun. However, it's not actually how I'd portray the character if I were doing it in a way similar to my mythical creature series. I'll have to get around to doing her in that vein at some point. 

Hope you all enjoy.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Business cards

Well as I said I'm working on promotional stuff and part of that is business cards. The hard part for this is selecting an image. I decided to crop one of my best images: my sea serpent but I can't decide whether to use the color version or the black and white. Here they are side by side.

I could use some help making the final decision on which of these becomes my new business card. This is the first impression people are going to have of my work so I'd like it to be a good one. Let me know your thoughts. Also, if you think a different image would be better please let me know. 

I really can't leave well enough alone. Deciding that perhaps I should play some more before deciding on a final card I ended up with two more ideas. 

And thus the indecisiveness continues. I like both of these in that they play a little better to people's initial ideas about what a business card looks like... which is also why I dislike them. They feel too safe.  I could, and probably should, play with text placement some more first but I'm tired, pulling out my hair and needed to be in bed 2 hours ago. 

Okay I'm really going to bed now I promise. Monkeyed with the text on the angel and the Centaur cards. 

Okay, going to bed for real now. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Portfolio

Alright, the time has come. I'm planning on putting the final portfolio together before I send out my new stuff to start looking for work. Here are the images that will go into this and any promotional material I send out. Let me know if you think anything isn't up to par or needs to be removed.

That's ten images in the order I plan on presenting them. I'm curious to see how people react so let me know if there are any images you think aren't strong enough, any images you think should be here that aren't or anything that could be changed in the ordering of them. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Chain Breaker Angel Completed

I can't help it, this one makes me grin a little bit. I started this piece to celebrate something and it felt wonderful to make art from that place. Not from just wanting to, not from a need for a portfolio piece, but from just being HAPPY. I'd been suffering from a bit of depression from a job I absolutely hated and when I quit it felt like the smoke just kind of cleared and this piece started to form. I'd like to use it for a science fiction contest I wanted to enter... but I'm not sure it's overtly Sci-Fi enough. I need to think on it. 

I'll admit, this one's also a bit of a self portrait.

Also, those wings were a nightmare to paint. 


So I wanted a few fantasy tropes in my portfolio I don't have yet. One of them is the femme fatale but since I can't do just that I decided on an assassin. Everyone loves assassins... okay maybe not everyone!

This lady was both a joy and a nightmare to paint and I think she earned her place in the portfolio. I spent a long time on her face and hair. I knew going in how I needed to do it... sort of. Okay that's a lie, I knew more about how I was going to get the stone texture behind her than I did how I was going to do her face and hair. I can take what I learned and use it later though. 

The sketches for this are an adventure of their own as they were tweaked and modified a bit as time went on. 


As you can probably see, the eyes were wonky in the sketch. So glad I fixed that problem. Digital painting is kind of great for letting you fix things like when you draw a hand too large or have the eyes skewed a bit too much.

That's all for this time. Come back in the future to see more images. It's almost time for the new promotional material to be made and I don't hesitate to say I'm excited.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Hello to anyone actually watching this blog. I've been busy but I'm officially back and I have work to show. I was working on shoring up what I felt were some of my shortcomings and I still am. I'll be maintaining this and a second blog which is essentially an internet sketchbook called Go Figure. Seriously, go check it out sometime.

However, the skills I've been working on are meaningless if I don't use them so for the next several days I'll be sharing a few of the pieces I've finished recently. First up is one that I posted a sketch of awhile back. Remember this guy?

Definitely doesn't look like much does he? 

Well he became something. This is going to be a piece for a contest I've wanted to enter for some time now and he's ready. Here ladies and gentlemen is my Dreamwalker. 

He's all done and hopping rocks.

This was fun and I learned a lot from it but more importantly I think I got some really good practice with my anatomy drawing on this one. Also got to play in a more science fiction realm. Something I don't do often but will be doing more of. I feel like I can push that more (plus it's an excuse to read and watch some space operas and who doesn't like space operas.)


Hopefully anyone watching enjoys this. I look forward to sharing more. All of these will be up in my other internet locations soon as well though. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Here there be Dragons

Can you tell I'm trying to make up for a long absence? I needed to remind myself how to paint a bit since it's been so long since I actually got my hands dirty and here's what I did as a reminder.

Admittedly, it's not super awesome but as a reminder it did what it was supposed to do and I'm actually quite glad I did it. Though I admit to not being able to resist a couple of minor digital touch ups here and there. 

Chainbreaker Angel

Since we're getting back into the swing of things around here I thought I'd do a couple of posts detailing what's currently being developed. I've got three pieces going and one that's finished and I'll share a little bit later.

First up though is a piece I'm working on that'll be the third and final piece I need to enter a contest I've known about for years but finally have the guts to go ahead and do it. It's called Chainbreaker Angel

I've got high hopes for this guy. The anatomy feels like some of my strongest and it fits the 
science-ficion theme of the contest. Admittedly it's straddling the line a bit I think but the piece looks enough like a techno-organic hybrid I think it'll qualify. More than that though this piece was started as kind of a celebration of my coming out of a pretty bad depression. The pencil drawing isn't quite as tight as I normally like but I'm less worried about that than usual for some reason. Call it youthful optimism. 

Check back to see this one when he's done. 

Bowen Redux

Hey guys, how's it going? Another long gap between posts but I hope that's going to change soon. I've got multiple things in the works and I'm looking forward to sharing them. The practice studies are coming along and creating improvement and I'm slowly reaching a point where I feel like I can start shopping work around without feeling grotesquely embarrassed. I'm even getting my hands dirty again and doing some real world painting. I was beginning to forget how much I missed having actual PHYSICAL art sitting around my room. Anyway, here's a color comp for one of the acrylic pieces I've got planned.

But first a bit of history. Who remembers this guy?

That was Bowen, a personal planeswalker of mine that admittedly, was okay at the time of his creation but I'm no longer satisfied with him. However, someone on Deviant art liked him and wanted to use him as a proxy planeswalker. Problem is that this horizontal piece doesn't really work for the Planeswalker card frame as Wizards of the Coast uses it. He ended up having to stretch it and make it look... well uglier than it already was. I decided to try and do something about that so I can have a better piece for my portfolio AND so this guy can have a nice looking planeswalker. 

Here's the color sketch for it. 

I feel a lot better about numerous things with this Bowen. Everything from the pose to the anatomy to the color scheme feels better than last time. I've got the underpainting done IRL and I'll start putting paint on him soon. I look forward to sharing him with you all when he's finished. 

Monday, April 1, 2013


Hey folks. I don't know if anyone out in the world has been checking out this blog and wondering what was going on but if so I'm sorry for the unreasonable hiatus. I've had A LOT going on.

Some of it personal stuff I don't want to get into here but here's the big stuff.

1. Working my normal jobs has sucked A TON of life out of me and it's been really hard to draw. So much so that I'm working on leaving both. I've got something in the works and if I can get that job I'll leave both of the ones I'm in now. I DO NOT want to continue much longer as I am.

2. I got a VERY rude post on another site about two months ago now. It sent me into a tailspin of self doubt for a couple of days even while I was doing something about it. I admittedly let it effect me far more than it should have and it killed a lot of my willingness to work on personal work. It caused something else, however, that leads to point 3.

3. I started a new blog to improve my figure drawing and some other skills. The blog is called
 Go Figure  and you should TOTALLY check it out. It's sort of like a digital sketchbook for artistic development, primarily with one of my weaker areas, drawing the figure. It's been good for me and helped me improve but it's taken the focus away from this place. I'm working on changing that again.

4. There's a group I've been working with called Danger Schmanger. They're a pretty awesome group that are dedicated to improving St. Louis (my hometown) through T-Shirts and activism. Pretty cool right? Anyway check them out at their facebook page: HERE. I've been doing a lot of work for them (so they're technically my first client. Note to self I need to make a client list page) but stuff that is so drastically different from my normal stuff I don't really want to post it here. Though I will say it's great to be out of my comfort zone. You can see the infographic I designed for them at their website: HERE. And while you're at it buy a T-Shirt or twenty.

Alright enough excuses. You came here to see pictures. I don't have any of those to show off, at least, none that are finished. However, I've got thumbnails. Stuff that's going to be worked on soon.

We're going to start with someone you might remember. A Kappa. I was NEVER satisfied with the image. Design or compositionally. So I decided that it gets a redo (reboots are all the rage). 

You all remember Oberra right? I know she's only one of my favorite OC's to talk about but I don't feel my last image did her justice. I've decided she's going to be the vessel for me practicing for that battle scene I want with lots of figures. I'm going to use her to show the moment after a battle. Yeah, she kicked ALOT of fanny here. Going to have to draw each character individually and composite this together. So it will take a while but it'll be worth it. Essentially a reboot in the making for the first Oberra piece in my gallery. 

I know this doesn't look like much yet (it's a thumbnail) but It's a dream walker. My idea is someone who uses technology to travel into someone's dreams and help them with psychological problems. So some Sci-Fantasy stuff. 

This one isn't as much a thumbnail as a preparatory sketch. I've always called art a type of magic and a mage that played off of that concept has always been interesting to me so I wanted to play with the concept. After spending almost two months on NOTHING BUT FIGURE DRAWING, I think I'm ready to tackle the concept at last. Head needs a bit of work (a slight enlargement I think) but I think it's just about ready. 

Wow that was a lot. Sorry for the really long post but I promise, more and shorter posts coming. Catch ya later. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Developments and Environments

Well hello again folks. So right now it's snowing pretty heavily in my current locale and I've got time off with nowhere I need to be. That means I get to focus on what I do: making pictures YAY!

So, today I started a tumblr today. Since nobody
 really seems to comment here I thought perhaps my audience could be expanded through a Tumblr.

Anyway, I thought I'd share these piece here and on the tumblr. They're a bit older but they're still some fun images. This is especially true because I haven't done a ton of landscapes or environments.  
This first one is the most recent and actually served as the inspiration to create a piece that actually showed up on here earlier. Asimov's Realm. That's right... this was done first but ended up on here later. As a very wise madman once said, "Time is not a strict linear series of cause and effect."

These two are significantly earlier and they were early experiments in watercolor and digital. They were so much fun to do they're pretty much the reason I keep working that way.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mermaid Completed

Well at long last I got the chance to return to my mythical creature project and I feel like it was worth the wait because this turned out about as well as I'd hoped. Learned a lot and got another piece for my portfolio. Mission accomplished.