Sunday, 27 February 2011

Transmetropolitan Art Book - Colours

And this is how I coloured the piece.

Hope it's to your liking and all of you grab a copy of the book when it's available.


99 Thor Heads 23

Thor looks sad.
But Thunder Gods do not get sad.



Saturday, 26 February 2011

Transmetropolitan Art Book -- Inks

Ink on 2-ply Strathmore Plate Bristol.

I still don't do enough of the "traditional" colours under inks so I always end up trying to paint where most everything was already handled by the rendering.  Need more practice!

Also - -didn't like the signature on this one do I deleted it and redid it digitally.

99 Thor Heads 22

Did Norse golfers yell "Thor"!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Transmetropolitan Art Book -- pencils

Just got the go ahead to post my contribution for the Transmetropolitan Art Book.

There was a moratorium on posting finished art prior to the fundraising ending, so I was good to post everything earlier.  No biggie.

I've decided to stretch it out a bit anyway.  Above are the pencils for the piece.  I reread all my Transmet issues prior to starting and the issue that really stuck with me was #9 with Spider (literally) stomping around a series of Reservations that not only preserve culture but history as well.  I scribbled off a list of different historical periods and places and decided on Classical Rome.  While digging up reference Frank Frazetta's great Seven Romans painting showed up and that was that.

I drew the pencils on 14x17" bond paper -- they're looser that my usual pencils as I'm trying to draw more while inking to make things more spontaneous and energetic.

99 Thor Heads 21

I like this one in spite of the helmet (and thus his head) being too small -- probably not as noticeable because it's cropped.

Digression:  next time you're watching interviews on TV pay attention to the camera cropping.  Bald men are usually shot so the top of their heads are closer to the top or actually cropped by the top of the screen.

Transmetropolitan Art Book Sneak Peek - Colours

It's all done -- nearly had to pull two all-nighters.

Soon as I get the word that it's okay I'll post the whole thing.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

99 Thor Heads Thorsday 19 and 20

It's Thorsday and that means two Thor sketch cards!

I'll start slipping the Marvel Beginnings cards next week, BTW.

Transmetropolitan Art Book Sneak Peek - Inks

Just have colours to wrap later today and she's done!


Transmetropolitan Art Book Sneak Peek

Here's a peek at a small portion of the piece on my table I'm working on for the TRANSMETROPOLITAN art book.  Actually -- it's a pic from quite a bit earlier in the process from where I'm at now.

It's turned into a bit of a Frank Frazetta tribute as well as a bit of a tip on which was one of my favourite issues of the series.

It's all for a good cause(s) -- read more about it here.

Not sure when it would be best to show the whole finished piece, so i might string along a few more in progress shots well after it's all done.


Tuesday, 22 February 2011


I'm certain everyone reading this blog knows there's a Thor movie coming.  Heck, the reason Upperdeck (the company I've done all those sketch cards for) is even doing a card set is merchandising for the film.  Thor will look like this in the movie:
Damn -- this boy's pretty!

I really doubt the Vikings saw Thor like that.  In the stories he was a furious brawler and drinker.  He championed the stuff that people in polite society would tut-tut over and decry as the habits of the lower classes.

I dunno that a real Viking would have been impressed if Thor showed up and looked like Chris Hemsworth.  In fact, I think he'd be downright disappointed.

To paraphrase Mickey from ROCKY, they'd want a guy who looks like he could eat lightning and crap thunder, drink a whole village under the table and lay the smack down on a swarm of frost giants.  All at the same time.

A little more like the warm-up drawing I did earlier -- but taller and smells more like goats.

99 Thor Heads 17

I- is that a Thor sketch card?

Why yes, it is a Thor sketch card!


Monday, 21 February 2011

99 Thor Heads 16

It's Family day here in Ontario, which, for most people is a day of rest, is the usual day of work in the studio for me.  However, since what I do is draw made-up stuff all the time it probably isn't really considered work by most people anyway.

Oh, well.

Happy Family Day!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

99 Thor Heads 15

Gotta wonder at the alternate history we'd have if the Norse religions won out.

Being a Thor worshiper would be the best!  Getting drunk as hell every Thorsday, picking fights with taller guys and nutting 'em with hammers so they couldn't fight back.  Not showing up for work on Friday would have to be cool with your boss since it''s a religious thing.  Face it, it's the sort of thing us atheists would go along with just because it'd be way more fun than any of the other ones out there.

Damn, a Minnesota Vikings/NY Giants game would be like X-mas!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Drawing The 12-point Ellipse

Below is one of the sets of handouts I gave my games students yesterday as a supplement to the perspective they learned in another class last semester.  Like the line-weight documents I shared last week, I'm presenting these without the attendant lecture and white board demonstration so it's best for people who already know enough about 1,2 and 3-perspective to draw a square on any plane.

I know several people who can easily freehand ellipses while sketching and that's often good enough, but this method has served me well when the ellipses have to be accurate or freehand drawing isn't working well.
Old joke:
After a night of drunken revelry Thor is rudely awoken by naked and disheveled woman in the bed beside him, "Hey!  Wake up!"

"Wake up?" The thunder god grumbles, "I am Thor!"

"You're thor?  Hah, I'm tho thor I can hardly pith!"


(tho thorry)

Friday, 18 February 2011

99 Thor Heads 13

Why is Thor crying?

Perhaps those are tears of relief over how AMAZING the new Thor trailer is!


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

99 Thor Heads 10

At one point I was considering of doing a 5-second animation of Thor looking around with each card representing about 1/20th of a second - or a frame of traditional animation and then scanning them in and assembling them into the short video.

Then I regained my sanity.

Warren Ellis is. . . .

. . .older today.

Celebratory speed painting to start my workday.
Photoshop/Painter around 1 hour.

Monday, 14 February 2011

99 Thor Heads 08

It should be apparent by now I'm a fan of Olivier Coipel's Thor design -- which I think owes a tip of the hat to Walt Simonson's take.  For me certain characters only look right when they have the same facial structure as the work by the artist I most identify drawing them.  I only think a drawing of the Hulk I'm working on is on the right track if there's some resemblance to Keown's Hulk, Silvestri's Wolverine, same with Neal Adam's Superman, and a number of other iconic characters.  Luckily I have some facility with likenesses so it isn't too difficult to use the features from another artist's like a model sheet and start incorporating the character's likeness into whatever "style"  I'm applying.

In the old days -- not sure if they're wholly good or bad, really -- Marvel and DC had in-house art departments that made sure all the characters they published were on model.  This had the good effect of Superman always looking like the same Superman -- as if it was always the same actor portraying the role.  It also had the disturbing effect of putting Curt Swan-style Superman faces on Jack Kirby bodies in a Jack Kirby world.

Today we have a situation where every artist is almost left to their own devices on how a character looks outside of getting the costume generally correct.  Part of this probably has to do with character designs degrading to the point where they're almost always just a front and back view of the character showing the costume.  Couple that with the number of artists who essentially draw the same male and female figures and rely on costumes and hear colour for the reader to tell them apart.

It's be interesting to see more developed character design kits and model sheets for not only the costume but the actual proportions and facial features and see how that plays out across the field.  I think most artists would like to have that level of preproduction work on hand before drawing a book. instead of looking at previous issues and making a guess.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

99 Thor Heads 07

Something really interesting must be happening to the left of the cards since he keeps looking there!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

99 Thor Heads 06

Hey!  It's not another profile.  Cherish the 3/4 slightly overhead view as the profile views make up the majority of the cards.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Simplified Line Weight for Drawing

I made the following handout for my 1st year students.  It supplements a lecture and white board demonstration of a few elements, but I thought there's enough info on its own to make it worth sharing as is.  In many ways it's LINE WEIGHT FOR DUMMIES as it doesn't come with the full theory and explanation behind it.  It's kind of a Mister Miyagi approach;  do this and eventually you'll know Karate.  Or something like that.

99 Thor Heads 05

Five down, 94 to go!


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Cthulhu Commission

Private commission.

ink on 11x14" 2-ply Bristol

Not Thor, but still a god.

I was going to render this in Copics, but decided pen and ink were more appropriate to the subject.

 "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

99 Thor Heads Thorsday

Another pair in what will be a very long series of Thor profiles -- either from the right or left side.  I understand that this could get boring quite quickly so I anticipate alternating with the Marvel Beginnings cards as soon as they get approved (early March) as well as the APs as I do them.  This should start overlapping with the Captain America set eventually.  The rest of February will be Thor every day and twice on Thursday.

Look here for info on commissioning on of the artist proof cards from the Upper Deck sets.

I'll be posting other art when I'm allowed to share it as well.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Thor and Marvel Beginnings Artist Proofs

As with every other set, Upper Deck provides a number of limited Artist Proof sketch cards to those contributing to a new set.  I've got nine each from the Thor and Marvel Beginnings set; five portrait and four landscape format, each with a foil-stamped AP in the bottom right corner.

I'm offering these as commissions these full colour limited edition cards for 75.00 each with the Marvel Universe character of your choice.  These cards do have to be approved by Marvel; no smoking, drinking, gore, nudity, Nazis, zombie versions of the characters, or characters only licensed by Marvel.


99 Thor Heads 02

I drew all of these with a .7 HB mechanical pencil, inked with a .7 V7 Pilot pen and the grey was a C5 Copic Ciao marker.  Occasionally a broader tip black marker or a C3 Ciao Copic would get picked up and used.
With so little time to get these done I ended up with a real pressure to get at least 6 of these done every time I had a spare hour, which meant things like erasing had to go unless really needed. Or kneaded -- I used a kneaded eraser to lighten the pencil lines a few times as well.

Bad pun, there -- sorry.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

99 Thor Heads 01

The THOR film is coming and Upper Deck is doing a card set which includes sketch cards from a gazillion artists including 99 of them by me.

I was caught a little flat-footed by the number -- previously I'd be asked how many I wanted to do.  I got them before Christmas but put them off to January.  January ended up being a nightmare of household disasters (flood, fire, dog almost dying and MORE!), so they all got done at the last minute.  I'd already decided that I was going to just draw Thor head shots and none of the puzzle sets. I saw a young casual collector open an Iron Man 2 pack and get a piece that was essentially all black with a few lines.  He wasn't too happy.

Just doing Thor was an easy call -- I've a pile of Marvel Beginnings cards to do and I'll be able to draw all the different marvel character's I'd like there.

As I did with the IM2 cards I'm going to post one of them a day until I run out.  By that point I'll be able to start sharing the Marvel Beginnings, followed by the Captain America cards with the 10 full colour Bettie Page sketch cards I did for Versicolor's upcoming set.

I already have the APs for Thor and Marvel Beginnings on hand and I'm open for commisions.  Each card full color for 75$ each. The standard Marvel sketch card rules apply (no smoking, drinking, gore, nudity, nazis, zombie characters, etc.).

You can see previous APs here.  Some of the cards from IRON MAN 2 are still available.

See you tomorrow.