Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wrapping paper

Hey there!

I drew my own wrapping paper last year so, I thought I would do it again this year. Here's what I did, all digital, all on the cintiq.

Maybe this will become a tradition?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Anatomy of a Christmas Card... light on the anatomy.

So, I finally finished this year's Christmas Card. I had a pretty clear idea in my head what I wanted to do this year so, it didn't take me very many thumbnails to get what I wanted.

I just did pencils this year. Not sure why. Wish I made the drawing a little looser, feels kinda tight. I wish I could do looser drawings, nail what I'm going after quickly.

And, the final image. I originally went for more traditional colours on the girl, my idea being that this was kind of a RED RIDING HOOD situation (at least, that's what inspired the card.) Red Jacket and flesh colour ended up being pretty boring, so I went with a greyed down purple, suddenly I was happier.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Doodles of doodles

Work doodles on big paper with story notes on the back. *Sigh*... good times.

I might be getting fascinated with drawing Vikings. Three of them showed up on this page.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More birthdays

Shout out to Matt, today's his 30th b-day!!! Here's some wrapping paper for recent b-days and Matt's b-day card. The card is all traditional, the wrapping paper was done on the Cintiq.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I got nothin'

Yeah um, this is kind of well, uh... it's nothing new. I was just doodling on the cintiq and this is what happened. I'll post something better next week.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Back to business

Not the best week so far...

I think this guy may be behind this whole rabbit thing...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rabbit head

Sometimes rabbits come out of your head.

Sometimes, I watch too much FLCL...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006


Sometimes I draw punchlines without the set up.

A drawing for my buddy's b-day. You should all go over to his BLOG right now and wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006


I would wish you all a good weekend, but the zombie monkeys are coming, so it's probably not going to be that great of a weekend. Protect your brain! I hear they have trouble chewing through hockey helmets and tank armor.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Post more GIRLS!!!

Quick little doodle I did with a ball point pen. No scanner at home so, I took a photo.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sketchcrawl 11

Technology is rising for the revolution and we are all DOOMED! My computer, in fact ALL computers, decided to perform a mini revolt on me this weekend. Nothing worked, things crashed, files failed, things wouldn't burn, etc. They're planning something BIG and I was just the test subject. It's the beginning of the robot uprising and I hope you're all prepared. Better learn how to use that abacas again, 'cause your calculator wants to eat your brain or, turn you into a giant battery/power source Matrix style. I won't even tell you what your computer wants to do to you.

That said, it was nice to escape the evil clutches of technology and participate in SKETCHCRAWL 11 in Sausalito. A grand time was had by all, and there was a lot of us. I was a little more prolific this time, but still, not nearly as much as I had hoped.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Making time for Sketching

Work has been a battle lately. Differing opinions mixed with more writing than drawing has left my brain a little fried. I haven't had much drive to get back to the drawing board to do some work for myself. Too bad really since I find that working on your own stuff softens the blow of having to deal with work based decisions that you don't necessarily agree with.

Or, I'm just a big whiner...

'Nuff about that. So, I finally just sat down and had a little alone time for me and my sketchbook. Some nice wine, perhaps even a little inappropriate touching. Have I said too much?

See? THIS is the crap I write when the brain is working at half capacity.


Back to the drawing. I finally took some time to draw for myself.

The first one started out as a quick study for a panel in a short comic story that I'm planning. It turned into something different (mainly the tree) than what I intended, but I think this shows me that what I want to do will work. As an added bonus, apparently this paper is a tad transparent so, if you put your face REALLY close to the screen, and squint, you might see some ghost images of monkey drawings from the next page.

This other tiny sketch was a doodle for a much bigger idea. A story I would VERY much like to tell some day... as soon as I figure out how to tell it. Until then, a little teaser...

Monday, August 21, 2006


Here is number two in that series of floating stone figures. They were all supposed to be full colour paintings, but I have become obsessed with charcoal thanks to my buddy Craig...

It's a lot bigger (about 21" x 9") than this image shows.

It's alright, I guess not bad for my first attempt at this technique that we learned from Simon Varela (check out his amazing work in the Art of Finding Nemo book) back in the ol' Fox Animation days.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Things to come

More than a month passes and this is all I have to show for it?

The battles of work have been keeping me from focusing on my own work. I'm hoping to break that chain very soon. Until then here are a few thumbnails of things to come. Hopefully I will post again soon.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Let's Celebrate!!!

Wow, over a month since I last posted. This poor, neglected blog. I will attempt to post more frequently, the job has just been very consuming lately. Big story changes, fixes etc. I find even when I get home, it's still taking up most of my brain space. Gotta figure out how to access that other 90% of unused space.

Any ways, I noticed I missed a bit of a milestone, this place hit 10000 hits, in fact it seems to have surpassed 11000 now. Who'd a thunk it huh? Well, to the ten people that have each visited this tiny blog 1100 times each, I thank you.

Oh yeah, the painting. I do have a couple more on the board (one I am doing step by step photos for) but they're taking FOREVER to finish. Until then, above this post you'll see the card I painted for my girlfriend's birthday. As you can see, there is a HEAVY Joe Sorren influence, so much so, that I think most of my "style" (other than the hands) was lost. I did this one pretty quick, about three hours. I didn't have much time to spend on it so, it's pretty loose. I'm pretty happy with the outcome, I feel I'm gaining a little more control over the acrylics, and I pick up a new technique or two with each painting I attempt. Technique, or maybe more of an approach... oh, I don't know.

Okay, back to work. Hope everyone is good and that they're looking forward to the weekend.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Head in a jar

*sigh* Heads in Jars... too much Mignola on the brain I guess. I actually have a whole story idea where floating heads in jars are a big part of it. Someday, I'll draw that bad boy, or make a movie, or something. Until then, I get to sneak little paintings of them in on the weekend.

This is a painting for the guy in the previous post... his wedding present if you will. Isn't this a great wedding gift? Who needs silverware when you can have some sort of caricature of your head floating in a jar in space!? Maybe this will take off, I'll be swamped with absurd wedding gift requests, and I'll be able to quit my day job and become a full time painter. Yeah, you're right, it'll never happen. Guess I better get back to my boards.

Oh hey look, it's the original sketch. Looks a little different from the final huh? Yeah, that happens. Okay, well have a nice day.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wedded Bliss

Here I go again neglecting my little ol' blog... I'm trying to be better about this and get back to a proper, more regular schedule of posting work. Big changes at the day job that have left me with a fun new project but, a lot more responsibility. I find I go home and obsess over what I can do to make the movie better instead of giving my brain a break and working on some of my own stuff. I have a couple of paintings in the owrks that I hope to post as soon as I finish them. Until then, here's a little rush job. Need to find that balance.

A buddy back in the AZ is getting hitched and they wanted me to do an image for the top of the wedding cake. You see, this is for a radio thing, that's why it's kinda cheesy. I wish I had more time to do something cooler. Hopefully the painting I'm doing will make up for the lameness that is this image.

Everybody doing alright? Okay, good.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

SKetchcrawl 9 WOO HOO!

Well, Sketchcrawl 9 has come and gone and it was GOOD times. Great to see everyone again.

Hiking the hills of San Fran was a lot of fun with many inspiring views. I continued my what's becoming a tradition of doing a very detailed sketch to start things off. It turned out alright, but I think scared me off of any other intense studies once I saw all of the GORGEOUS architectural detail of the Palace of Fine Arts.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Crossed Wires

Blogger won't let me upload images so we'll give this other method a try. Here goes...

This is a LOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGG post, so you might want to bring some sort of sports drink if you start feeling depleted part way through.

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So, I'm not cool enough (or well known) to be involved in all of those cool group shows they have at certain galleries in L.A. Well, recently there was a contest to enter a piece that could end up in the I AM 8- BIT show. I figured that this might be a fun thing to do. It also helped that as soon as I read about it, I had an idea for a painting immediately. That almost NEVER happens.

The painting above is what I submitted. It is called Crossed Wires; hopefully the title makes sense since it's Mario eating a ghost from Pac-Man. It is acrylic on illustration board (cold press) and the size is 8 ½” x 10 ¼”.

Early on in the process I contemplated doing a step by step with photos for the ol’ blog. I thought it might be interesting to get how I’m approaching painting lately down on paper, but then I thought better of it. Painting, although VERY relaxing I find requires a massive amount of thought, focus, and concentration on my behalf and I feared that if I kept breaking to snap photos, that I would break that and the thing would suck.

Instead, I’ll still verbally go through what I did to make this painting, there just won’t be a lot of pictures to go along with it.

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First, I threw down a bunch of different ideas. I have a block of Courtyard Marriott notepaper at work and whenever I had a free moment, or during lunch, I would try some sketches. Since I wanted to try my own take on Mario’s design, you can see that I was playing with that WHILE I was working on the composition. I don’t usually do this, but I thought I had a decent idea of where I wanted to go. As you can see, not really... The only thing you can see is that I knew I wanted Mario to be one overall shape, instead of a group of shapes pieced together. A slightly more graphic approach to design than I normally would do.

You might also see that I was trying to incorporate some design elements from the Pac-Man game board into the composition. Ultimately, I felt this was taking focus away from the simplicity of the image and composition I was trying to achieve so, I abandoned it for the bg you see in the final painting.

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After all of this, I did the final sketch that you see above. I decided to simplify the action and made the pose a little more static than Mario pouncing on the ghost. I thought this communicated what’s going on MUCH clearer. I also like to throw down some quick tones and lighting, just to get an idea of how that will work in the final.

I then make a photocopy, cut my illustration board to the size I want (the board is bigger than the image in this one since I like to have a little boarder for the matte to lie over top if I decide to frame it. This way, I don’t lose any image when it’s framed.) I take the photocopy, place a piece of graphite transfer paper behind it, and use a metal scribe to transfer the drawing to the illustration board. Once that’s done, I clean up the board with my kneaded eraser (the board always picks up a little excess graphite) and then I do my last pass at the drawing, making any last minute fixes to the drawing. Too many times I have started a painting with a poorly conceived or executed drawing and had to scrap the painting because it sucks. I’ve found this method, although repetitive, gives me a certain amount of quality control.

I then take some frisket masking paper (a sticky clear film) and cover the drawing with it. I then cut off the excess, leaving only the drawing masked.

Now for the fun part, I just sit there and stare at the drawing. I find with painting I need to know EXACTLY what I’m going to do, before I do it so, I stare, for a long time. I go through every step of the painting in my head. I imagine how I will approach the background, then what colours I’ll use for the figures. What techniques will I use for certain areas? Sponge? Dry brush? Dead marmoset? Once I feel confident that I know exactly what it is I want to do, only then do I break out the paints. Sometimes this can take days, as I constantly think about it and problem solve in the back of my head while I do other things. It’s sort of like storyboarding for me, once I start, I can’t stop thinking about it.

This serves a duel purpose, it gives me the confidence of knowing exactly where I want to be but at the same time, allows me to deal with and appreciate the happy accidents that happen during painting. Since I know where I need to go next, I can know whether this splash here, or this weird brush stroke there will work with what I want to do. Most of the time, my favorite parts of paintings come form these little “accidents.”

So, now the paint hits the board. I mix all of my colours with acrylic matte medium to cut down on the glossiness of the paint. Sometimes acrylics can get a bit shiny and plastic looking, which I don’t like so, I like to make the paints a little more matte, closer to gouache. I just pour some on my palette and mix it with whatever colours I’m mixing. This also adds volume to the paint, so you use less paint in general. Although be warned, it does thin the paint a bit, making it more transparent so, use it with this in mind. Good for glazing.

The board is a bit wet, but not much water. I then put in some of the lighter background areas followed by getting darker and darker. While the paint is still wet I use a badger brush (blender brush) and soften some of the transitions while trying to keep some of the brushstrokes at the same time.

When that’s dry, I then use a sponge to help the transitions from light to dark as well as give the background some texture. After that I take a toothbrush and make some really dark and really light spatters again, to help with texture for the background.

After that’s dried, I then remove the frisket on the characters, and begin painting that. I paint both characters in flat, mid-tone colours. Flesh tone, his red shirt, blue pants, eyes, blue ghost etc.

Now I start adding the darker areas in shadow. Faking the light where I need to in order to help separate elements and make them “pop.” On Mario’s hat and on his nose, I used a sponge for the darks. I masked the surrounding area with removable tape and then just knock in some darks and some lights for the nose highlight as well.) This is a technique I ripped off of Bill Wray in his painting tutorial found in an issue of DRAW magazine. I thought it looked cool, and again, gives some nice texture to the painting. The rest of the shadow areas are done using paint thinned with a little more matte medium and in many cases, I tried to use more a dry brush technique. For his whisker area I pulled some of the paint off with a paper towel to try and give it a little different texture.

After that is all done, I then go in with a thin long brush and do all of the line work. This really pulls the final painting together. Some of the line work was done during the dry brush phase, just because I get impatient with waiting to see how things are going to look.

During the whole process, I have the orig. drawing right there, and I constantly reference back to it, making sure I’m staying on track. You can see this one got a little too close from the splashes of blue on the sketch.

Final little touch ups and I’m done. This would make more sense if I took pictures of the phases. Maybe when I get a little more confident with painting.

A lot of the time when painting, I’ll screw up early on and then fight the painting the rest of the way, trying to save it from the suck factory. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail disastrously; this is the first painting I have ever done where that didn’t happen. I was happy with how each phase went. I definitely got lucky this time.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Wow, I've been busy... BUSY NEGLECTING THIS BLOG!!! Lots of stuff going on and this time it was the blog that got a bit lost in the chaos. Since I last posted my car was stolen, recovered, and poorly "fixed" by the dealer. Insurance has been fun. Work has been quite busy as well. I have been designing characters and posters for future films and, I wish I could post something because some of the designs I think are the best I've ever done. Hopefully, my design skills can continue to improve.

Also in the last month I have learned that due to my visa status (I'm Canadian) I am not allowed to make a book. Well, I could self publish one, but I couldn't sell it because my visa is employer specific, which means I can only make money from them. I was really bummed out with this news as I think I had a potentially interesting twist on a way to present a selection of stories and sketches. I will still work on it, and when I get a green card and can finally publish something, the book will just be that much bigger. With even more art for you to laugh and make fun of. If it takes long enough, you may even be able to use it to heat your house in the winter. Burn baby burn. Huh?

Any ways, I'm working on a painting right now, but it isn't quite finished yet. I hope to post that by the end of the week. Until then, how about this.

The painting above I did last spring for one of my best friend's wedding. This spawned an idea that I want to explore more, and below you will find a selection of sketches for further paintings with these big stone figures. A lot of the times I'm asked what a certain painting I've done means. Something that certain sectors of the art community are obsessed with. I don't really like to say, mainly because I am more interested in what other people interpret the painting to be about. I prefer to think more in terms of story any ways and one is forming with this set of paintings. More on that later. Any ways. I hope to begin painting more regularly. After painting a poster at works and working on my current painting, I've really caught the bug. I've never done a series of painting before... should be interesting... hopefully a progression will become apparent in the execution of them. I hope to become a better painter.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Red Head

Well, over on THE DRAWINGBOARD this month's Girls drawing jam is redheads. Go check it out, there has been some really nice work done so far. I noticed that every drawing was of a really nice, pretty, sane looking girl. Now, I'm not one for stereotypes, but every redheaded girl I have met has been NUTS. I mean crazy. This is just my experience. I'm sure there are some very nice, normal redheaded girls out there, so don't send any hatemail my way. I believe that you exist, I just haven't met you.

Here's what the pencils looked like for this...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my buddy Scott's birthday, here's the drawing I did for him.

He shaves his head, but that still doesn't really explain this drawing...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Missed it again!!!

Well, another sketchcrawl has come and gone and yet again, I missed it. I have a good reason though this time, I went on a mini weekend vacation to Monterey!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an amazing place. The otters are probably the top attraction, and can you blame them? They're not just cute little faces, they have a lot of personality as well. Some great ham actors even. This was a good trip for me since this is the first sea otters I have seen up close and in living, breathing colour. Very helpful when the movie you're working on is about otters!

The various Jellyfish tanks are full of gorgeous yet deadly glowing jellyfish. Okay, they aren't all deadly, but they're in the very least painful. The way they light the interiors of the tanks makes these creatures glow. It's pretty mesmerizing to just watch them float within the blue infinity.

Some good people watching at the aquarium as well.

Eventually we had to leave the aquarium and explore the gorgeous coast line.

Gave me a chance to try some different things. Not everything was successful, but it never is.