Thursday, August 30, 2012

bills, bills, bills

sung by destiny's child

don't u hate it when ur lookin for money in the mail but instead u get a bill?? sigh. that's why i've got that song looping in my head.

at any rate, here's what's on my desk today. still working on this Storm piece but i'm hoping to finish it tomorrow. had some pressing projects that needed doing so she was swept off to the side for a while. i plan on adding lightning in her hands, don't u worry. she's not just making obscene hand gestures.

also finished this up for someone that asked for a commission at Otakon.  yes yes i know, Otakon was weeks ago! luckily he's either forgotten or really really patient cuz he hasn't emailed to yell at me about it yet. i legitimately got overwhelmed after the con! at any rate, i finally got around to doing it today. it's pretty much a black and white commission but i added the purple cuz he asked for it. (it's of his original character who is half black/half asian.) i used copic pens (black) and markers (pale lilac, warm grays, and cool grays) and my new favorite Uni-ball white gel pen (gosh i love this thing). he asked for sexy, i hope i delivered. and off it goes in the mail!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

don't panic

sung by coldplay

March of Dimes charity set - 5Finity Productions

DC New 52 set - Cryptozoic Entertainment

The Walking Dead Comic set - Cryptozoic Entertainment

The Walking Dead Comic set - Cryptozoic Entertainment

i just realized i haven't posted my sketchcards that i've completed lately. not really because i forgot, it's just that we have to wait so long after we complete it to be allowed to post them. i've started with the most recent ones.

the Princess Leia ones are for the March of Dimes charity auction. the guys from 5Finity Productions do it every year and they basically put up the cards on ebay to raise money for March of Dimes. last year i did some DC super ladies and a set of Disney villains. this year i only did 3 and i've decided to try my new disney style on it. i chose princess leia cuz i'm hoping they would attract more folks to buy it and therefore raise more money. once they put it up, i'll post a link for those interested in helping the good cause.

the DC New 52 set and the Walking Dead Comic set are both for Cryptozoic. i was really excited to work on both sets when they asked. i love the Walking Dead show more than the comic, but this was specifically for the comic and we weren't allowed to use anything from the show. and though i'm not a huge fan of the New 52 reboot of the DC universe, i was just excited to be working on actual DC Comics products. =)
for the 4 Walking Dead cards that are by themselves, these were the samples we were supposed to give before we were allowed to work on the rest of the set. with those, i actually tried an ink wash over the whole card with this brown ink. that's why it looks all dirty-like. i liked it though. it gave the cards a grittiness to them.

but here it is, i'm stating it now. i'm pretty much going to stop doing sketchcards. they were fun in the beginning and were a great way to do some official licensed products. but with the monthly Fanboys vs Zombies books and other outside projects, i feel it's time to take a step back from doing them. the amount of time it takes me to draw a single card versus the compensation i get just aren't adding up. i really enjoy working with 5Finity Productions and i'll probably continue to do some sets for them, but i'll be getting extra picky about which ones i want to do. and i'll continue to do the charity sets for them each year. (of course, this is granting that they continue to ask me.) just gotta start some new chapters in life. =)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

young forever

sung by Jay-Z feat. Mr. Hudson

first sketch
second sketch

i had this idea rolling around my head for days for a friend's baby shower greeting card. unfortunately, the sequence of some folks' lives don't follow this pattern but theirs did so they were the perfect candidate. i really wanted to go with my newfound Disney-inspired art style. this set, in particular, was heavily inspired by Brittney Lee. i met her at San Diego CC this year. she was one of the people doing portfolio reviews for Disney animation that weekend but she also had a small press booth selling her work. very sweet lady. i believe she worked on the soon-to-be-released "Wreck It Ralph" Pixar/Disney film. i picked up her artbook called Confetti and it's been such a great reference.
i started with the two sketches above and pretty much redrew them in Photoshop. (even though, in hindsight, i think Illustrator woulda been a better fit for this particular piece. but by the time i realized that, it was already too far gone.) i basically kept the same faces for all three illustrations but i changed their hair and clothes and props. i wanted to keep those basic colors from their wedding for all 3 pieces and it worked out pretty good. its pretty neat that the "red" on his Captain America shirt is the same pink as her lipstick and dress. ah color theory, u amaze me all the time.

final art
anyways, what was originally just a card turned into an 8x10 piece that i framed for them. they seemed to love it, their families seemed to love it, and that's all i can ever ask for. mission accomplished!

Friday, August 24, 2012


sung by dev

i've been doing some sketching before getting to work lately, especially when i'm about to do something that isn't exactly "fun." as a full-time artist, my work is inherently pretty fun in general. but as with any artist, when it's time to work on something u have to do instead of want to do, it's not fun. not that i'm complaining! anyways, i use my sketching to try out new looks and whatnot. lately i've had the pleasure of doodling a couple of  my friends and this is the latest of those. amazingly enough, this actually kinda looks like her, which is weird considering how cartoony it is. i've just never been good at making people look like them unless it was a portrait. i leave caricatures to theFranchize. =) these make me wanna do more! i swear i haven't drawn this much in a sketchbook since i was in high school. (which i will never share publicly because goodness gracious those are terrible to look back at.)

another fun thing i need to share - i got my dog's portrait in the mail the other day! i can't even tell u how excited i was about it when it came. i did this a year ago. i used Illustrator to basically draw my dog Chauncy. but i really wanted to go with this Warhol look cuz i love all the colors. i'm not really a fan of those Warhol-inspired stuffs online where all they do is take ur photo and put photoshop filters on top. i wanted it to look more illustrated. so i did it myself! anyways, the one i printed for myself at Kinkos at 16x20, someone bought it from me at a Pet Expo we did in Virginia. i was very flattered that they wanted a personal piece in their home so i gladly sold it to them. but i was kinda bummed cuz it was mine. BUT NOW, i got one printed for myself at a big 24x30, this time on canvas! (heck, i woulda gone bigger if i thought we had wall space for it.) managed to get a Groupon and what was supposed to cost about $200 only cost $70 altogether. winning! i got it from it arrived in just a week and it looked great! i highly recommend.

Monday, August 13, 2012

that's my b----

[by kanye west & jay-z]

here's what i'm cookin up right now in between inking these Fanboys vs Zombies pages. i'm looking to have this done by Baltimore Con.

this is a new Harley Quinn that i drew right after my artist block. i plan on having it fit inside a mucha-esque border much like the Poison Ivy that i did before. that way, they'll be a set! and since i took a little bit of liberties in the Poison Ivy design, i did the same here. hardcore fans of Harley may not appreciate that her hair is out but i don't really like drawing that jester headgear she normally wears. and this slight alteration to her outfit is inspired by a photo i saw on deviant of a circus lady. anyways, hopefully people won't mind the slight modification to her outfit.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

dirty dancer

[song by usher ft enrique iglesias]

i've been dealing with a lot of artist's block for over a week now but i think i've finally broken through it yesterday. thank goodness! if anyone's ever experienced a true artist block, it's quite a depressing time, especially if u rely heavily on ur art to do work. =/ but i'm feeling much better now. it took studying Bill Presing art and an entire day of classic Disney songs to break me out of it.

[just a note, if u haven't heard of Bill Presing, chances are u've seen his stuff anyways. he's worked for Disney/Pixar and did stuff for Warner Bros. as well. his art is amazing! one thing i'm extremely grateful for SDCC is that i was surrounded by great art and the availability of artbooks that i could take home with me to keep the creative juices flowing. can't get that on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, i promise u.]

so the image above is a study of Presing's work. i've had a few people ask what the secret is to drawing better and i've told each and every one of them to study someone's work that they truly enjoy. draw what they draw and u'll start to understand why they make the decisions they make. (well, that and learn basic anatomy. they don't have to be doctors, just know where stuff goes.) i used to do that in the beginning and that's how i learned what i do. but as of late, i haven't been following my own advice. so, i am finally heeding my own words and that's what i did.

from doing a few sketches of that, i went into drawing a friend of mine. she recently did a personal photo shoot for her hubby and she shared what i can only assume are the more tame pics on facebook. she's a lovely lady and she works out, a lot. basically, she's a brickhouse. =P anyways, i applied my studies to doodle her from one of those pictures and the result is what u see above. i gotta say, i'm pretty happy with it.

Monday, August 6, 2012


listening to florence + the machine

the title of this entry is from this piece of art right above my computer drawn by Erik Jones. i really love his paintings and always amazes me how huge they are. his ladies are always gorgeous but yet grungy/gritty. the "Faith Love" is a tattoo on one of these pieces. i was trying to think of something to title this post and i looked up and that's what i saw. the above is a shot of my half of our lab. tough not to be inspired being surrounded by amazing stuffs.

once again, Otakon was an amazing show for us. if it wasn't for that durned lottery thing of getting into artist alley, we would do this show all the time. but i just love doing anime cons. on a personal level, i fell in love with anime cons before comic cons so i like going to them anyways. but as a person on the other side of the table, being an artist in artist alley at anime cons are so fantastic. the attendees are just so genuinely excited about the art! some may call it geeking out, i think it's unrestrained excitement. the crowd is generally younger and therefore more open to appreciating new things. don't get me wrong, i still love doing comic cons. but for the most part, the comic fans are older and they like what they like. so if u don't fit into what they like, they don't usually give u the time of day. big example, Heroes Con this year was a lot like that. artists that have been in the game for a long time like George Perez, Frank Cho, Mark Brooks, and Adam Hughes always have the most off-the-hook lines. but anime shows, the love is spread all around.

this is a collage of commissions i did at the show. very grateful to everyone that came by and spent their hard-earned dollars on artwork from us. lets us know we're doing something right. next year, i'm making it my goal to have buttons for sale. cuz gosh darned, i love the buttons that everyone comes up with and i wanna do my own! now if i can only make $200 to buy a button maker...

this is a collage of some of the cosplayers there. as always, there are tons of cosplayers at this con. these were the only ones i was able to take. we were really busy during the con and i never even got into the Dealer's room the entire weekend. (a blessing in disguise, i'm sure.) always amazing to see what folks come up with. and despite the terrible stuff that went down in Colorado, and even the scare we had locally in Crofton, MD where an idiot dressed up as Joker at the Batman showing and tried to shoot up the place, i'm glad it didn't stop people from doing amazing cosplays. though, my self-preservation instincts would've liked better security checks in and around the convention center to check that people's weapons were fake. but i guess we're asking too much.

all in all, great fun, great reception from fans, and i got to see my friend that i only ever see like once a year. =)