Thursday 1 January 2015

Goodbye 2014

Goodbye 2014.

A great many things have started to change in 2014 and will result in a very different world and life for me in 2015.

Come this spring, I’ll be living on my own.  A change that’s long overdue, which will likely result in a domino-effect of related changes in my life. I’ll be travelling onward, and, as happens when you are in motion, things get left behind.

For the last seven years I’ve started off the annum with a zombie drawing.  It started with my deciding a blog was a thing to have.  I used Blogger and kept that going  strongly until this year.  That ends now.  I expect the blog I started seven years ago will be left as is as I move on as well.  Consider the winged death I quickly put together today  a farewell to dead things to announce the new year.

I think it’s time to shed the shambling, mindless zombie for something more in line with how I want to leave that behind.  Zombies are mindless and shambling, dead things.  Feeding on the living and contributing nothing new.  In hindsight, that was a horrible choice to start out each new year, but it may have represented part of where I saw myself.  

So I drew Death.  

In the Tarot, Death symbolises change.  2015, if nothing else, will be full of change.  The easiest thing to change is what I draw to start the new year.

Perhaps the first new piece will be something as fantastical - -dragons, wizards, witches, gods… .  Not certain yet which direction I’ll go other than forward.

In moving forward I expect I’ll still do some of the old things, perhaps in new ways.  I’ll make new discoveries and new mistakes and, as a result, hopefully become a better person and artist.

I hope you all will be companions on this journey.

Happy new year, everyone.  

May 2015 be full of joy, adventure, and wondrous mystery.  May you find respite from troubles and shelter from the storms.  May you find renewed pleasure in what you already have, and discover happiness in unexpected places. May your woes lessen and your burdens be lightened.  May you give and receive love freely.  And may you awake every day looking forward to everything it brings and lay your head down at night satisfied with what you accomplished.

~Richard Pace

I will post a new link here to wherever I decide to blog going forward as a final post, when that decision is made.

Sunday 31 August 2014

Fanexpo 2014 Sketch Wrap

All the sketches I have pictures of in one spot as well as all the social media links where I post in one group.

The Silver Surfer and Darkseid were for the Hero Initiative Wake Up and Draw promotion.  They will be auctioned at a later, as-yet undetermined date.  The Mr. Freeze and Frozen Captain America were a part of my Ice Bucket challenge response and the monies for those (and a few to be completed) will go to ALS research.

I had a great time at the convention and loved seeing so many friends, both new and old.


Friday 25 July 2014

Batman Day 2014

Batman Day was two days back, but, in my world, Batman works best on his own schedule.  So. . . .

Pen and ink on 11x17" Eon Plate Finish Art Board


Monday 21 July 2014

James Garner - Inktense Pencils

James Garner
Derwent Inktense pencils on 11x15” Arches cold press water colour paper.

I think I’ll have to create a chart or small book for the Inktense pencils — the colour shift can be really surprising.  The brick coloured Chilli Red shifted to a really saturated cherry colour after the water was added. This is the third piece I’ve done with just the inktense pencils, so I expect I’m still at the bottom of the learning curve, but I really enjoy the medium and the process of learning it.

To be honest, by guessing the colour results and using a spray bottle the way I am, I’m forcing a certain randomness into the result, but I think the higher risk of failure makes for a more exciting learning process.


Monday 7 July 2014

The Inktense Hulk

I've recently fallen in love with Derwent's Inktense water soluble pencils (see last entry).  Still in the passionate but fumbling around to find out what feels right and works best part of the relationship.  Alternated dry drawing and washes with a spray mister and waterbrush.  The Strathmore mixed media paper surface was starting to lose cohesion on the third wash, so I know the limits of that paper, but the inktense pigment held up wonderfully.  So much so I ordered the  72 colour set.

I suspect, like watercolours, the pigment will work best the less its mixed, so a broader range of colours and values should allow me to do more and more interesting things.

Few experiments I want to try going forward:

  1. sprinkle finely ground inktense pigment into a flooded surface
  2. use it as an under-painting of a sort - it's mostly waterproof after it first dries, so other water media over top should experience bleed, but I'm thinking of using transparent gesso over it then paint back over with acrylics or oils.
  3. I wouldn't mind trying to do a short comic story with this media.
  4. I've an idea for a series of urban-themed nudes I've been nursing for a while, but I didn't want to do them in oils or digitally.  This might be the approach I'll take.

Friday 4 July 2014

Bettie 2014

Bettie 2014

Derwent Inktense water-soluble pencils on 140lb. 24x32cm cold press watercolour paper.

I flooded the page with watercolour from a squeeze bottle, which had some interesting effects, but I think I'll dig out a spray bottle for the next experiment.

WIP below:

I'd just used the Inktence pencils for some sketch cards and the multi-media sketch below (done at McDonalds while waiting for the brakes to be fixed on my car).  I'd bought some more inktense pencils and Liquitex paint markers for lack of bringing work with me to the mechanic.

I expect I'll be doing more work with both media going forward.


Thursday 19 June 2014

CGMagazine June 2014 Cover

This is the copy-free artwork for the cover of the June 2014 issue of CGMagazine.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Dr Sketchy's June 6, 2014

Highlights from my sketches at Dr, Sketchy's at The Round.  Dolly Berlin and Chow Mein were great models.  The last sketch is a camera pic of the piece I gave Chow.

I won a real cool book in one of the contests, too.


Thursday 5 June 2014


Another D&D character I'll never get around to playing.

Lacey is an instantly unnerving presence, particularly for a halfling.  She stares, is a 'close talker', prone to smiling when one shouldn't, and talks about alternate career paths not taken, particularly morbid or wholly fictitious jobs involving cutting people or animals.  She describes her current career as an "adventuring problem solver", suggesting a broad range of skills involving locks and traps, but specializing in stabbing people when they least expect it.

She never talks about where she's from or her family of origin and it's suspected Lacey Raight isn't her real name.


Tuesday 27 May 2014

Rodorik Shalebottom

Needed to do something 'other' tonight as a distraction from complicated production and inking, and my thoughts turned toward the pending release of the new D&D.  Since I no longer play, I can only dream of what characters I'd come up with.

Here's one:
Rodorik Shalebottom.  Third son of the patriarch of the Shalebottom clan in the Pungent Hills, he has chosen the life of an "adventurer" instead of following in the family tradition of midden pit excavation.  His childhood years spent in the forests near his home and penchant to bringing home small mammals hidden in his trousers made him "too natural" for his kin, so he's not really missed by any of his kin.

He makes his way in the world as a sometime sellsword and obtainer of "lost" treasures. He's made frequent mention of his desire to study under a druid, "Just enough to get an animal companion like a ferret.  Something I wouldn't have to worry about biting too hard or ripping out the fronts of my britches."


Monday 5 May 2014

Looking Strong and Sexy

The target audience for Maxim or Playboy is men, so I don't have an issue with their content, but we keep being told the audience for Marvel and DC books is for men AND woman.

Using real life as an example, woman can can look like they can throw (or take) a punch and still be damn sexy.


Thursday 24 April 2014

Life Drawing session 1

Scanned some life drawings from a while back and jammed them together in one image.


Tuesday 22 April 2014

Hellboy Pamcakes Commission

People love their Hellboy and Hellboy loves his pamcakes!

coloured pencil and ink on 12x16 Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper


Sunday 6 April 2014

White-ink Pen Tests

Was at the local art supply store (Curry's) earlier and discovered they carried Uni-Ball Signo white gel pens.  I've ordered them previously from Jetpens after hearing how great they were and was not disappointed in the least, so I had to grab a couple.  The text and design is slightly different on the ones I grabbed locally -- no Japanese characters, the body on the Japanese model is all clear, the English one is frosted white.

I decided to test them to see if they were any differences other than the language.  As I started to set up the test, I realised I could share the results, so I added the Sharpie Poster-Paint white marker into the mix.  I also use Pilikan Graphic White with a brush in the studio as well as the Pentel Correction Pen, but both are so different in use or application than these tools that I left them out.

I set up a variety of inks, leaving out both India and acrylic inks, which are also studio tools -- I generally use these sort of pens at cons, so thought it best to try them on the inks I'd also be using in that situation.

Overall, I'd say it looks like the Japanese and English pens are identical.  The Signo pens have a slight edge on the Sharpie as it seems to absorb into the Copic and G-Tec slightly more.  All three do well on water-based  and waterproof inks.

Hope this useful!

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Hellboy development work

Some people really like the occasional look at the process.  I was tidying the studio and crumpling the piles of layout bond that accumulate and realised there was stuff worth scanning and sharing.  Some of the material was already too crumpled to scan well, but the remainder.

I generally start everything with a pile of sketches of the main characters get to get the look into my hands.  Then I usually do 10-20 thumbnail sketches of layout ideas -- often with a thick pencil or marker to keep details from slowing me down.  I reduce the thumbs to two or three 'good' ideas, then do three or more pencil sketches developing those and then run with my favourite.  I then do sketches of the 'parts' of the image - -foreground, background and figures can often all be on their own pieces of paper.  Sometimes they're drawn at a comfortable size instead of a similar size to how they'll fit on the image -- tiny figures might be drawn 200% larger to better capture form and gesture. for example.  The lot gets scanned, manipulated, cleaned up and assembled in Photoshop.  The result isn't what I would have considered finished pencils a few years ago, I save about 25% of the finishing in the drawing for the inks so i'm not just tediously tracing over my pencils.  I convert the image to 22% Cyan and print it out on the art board.  The rest is ink and white paint.

Monday 31 March 2014

Hellboy's 20th!

Put this together to join in the celebrations for Hellboy's 20th Anniversary month.  I mangled my hand a bit last week at the gym, so this took wayyyyyy longer than it should, but managed to get it in on the last day!

Despite a very different approach to drawing, Mike's been a major influence as a cartoonist and how I look at the industry.

I don't know about you, but I'm more than looking forward to seeing what he brings us over the next 20 years!

Sunday 23 March 2014

Venom Commission

Venom commission.

ink and white paint on 11x17" bristol.


Hellboy Day

Yesterday was Hellboy day!

I started a drawing, but didn't finish it yet, but I realised I have a few HB drawings sitting around already, so I could share those  in the meanwhile.

Threw flat colours under a quick pencil sketch:

Grey copics on bristol:

Did a few 2.5x3.5"  sketchcards - like the top left one the most.

Pencil sketch -- inspired by some Facebook comment

Ink on bristol -- for Hellboy's birthday last year. 

It's great seeing how broad the love and support for Mike's creation has grown over the last 20 years.


Saturday 15 March 2014

Freyr and Freya

Freyr and Freya from Perna Studios's upcoming Mythology II card set.

This piece is actually being made into two base cards for the set.