Sunday, July 31, 2011

All good things come to an end...

All right for the last 6 days I've been talking up this big reveal, so before I go on and on...

Thundercats Finale - 025

Click on Image for Larger View!

I hatched this plan a week or two ago, that I could do a thumbnail sketch of a potential Thundercats cover. All the cats in their cool poses and Mumm-ra all ominous above. Then take each Cat and draw out their figure as a separate sketch for my daily sketches. Then combine them together for the final cover.

Luckily Mark Roberts was on hand to color these up for me as we went along each day.
I've had a blast getting these in as Mark would finish them for me. Everyone, Please take a moment to check out his Deviant art site and see what he has been working on! Fantastic work, I can't thank him enough!

Today isn't a regular sketch, but I'm counting the time it took to compile this all. The feedback I've gotten on my art sales is that they might like the drawings I do, even the character a lot but don't want to pay so much for the original. That's cool, and so it's why I'm offering these colored versions as prints.

Email me with the subject "the character's name" or "Thundercats" for the group shot
All Prints are 11x17 Inches
 The Group print is $15, Shipping is $5
The single character prints are $10
(Flat Rate shipping, however many you get)

I was chatting with my wife and had realized how much fun I've had this week. I love my job, but I've rarely had the chance to draw something for me, just for the fun of it without someone needing the art for a deadline. I forgot how cool that can be, and satisfying. It's what I had hoped doing this sketch challenge would become for me, so I'm glad it seems to be working that way. My other goal for doing the challenge would be just that, to challenge myself. Each day I get my script, I read it, visualize it and then pencil it out. Page after page. I had gotten into a rut of the same process, the same materials the same approach to art. Im hoping to expand that and experiment with this challenge. It's going to be baby steps at first, simply because that's what I'm used to. But I hope by the end of this I've gotten better, faster and have a wider range with my art.

One Month down, 11 more to go....whew.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

And then there were two...

Alright...I'm sorry to say it, but these characters are my least favorite Thundercats. Next to Snarf, they were the worst thing about the show. I see why they had to be there, but it just seemed like every show needed those two little kids to tag along and not be good enough. Generally they go where they shouldn't have gone and then the rest of the group has to go save them.

The only two things I like about these characters:

1- Their Hoverboards rocked, and I wish I had one
2- Their names together are KitKat  and I love that candy bar.

Thundercats - Wily Kit and Wily Kat - 024

This sketch isn't really for sale unless someone is begging to own art of these two goof-offs. I know the sketch quality is lower than the others, and it's because I had drawn them MUCH smaller. It will all make sense tomorrow.  Be sure to check out tomorrow's
 HUGE Thundercats Week Reveal!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ancient Spirits of Evil!!!

Of all the cartoon bad guys of the 80's, for me atleast, Mumm-Ra takes the cake! Skeletor, was pretty cruel, Megatron was classically arrogant, Cobra Commander couldn't say retreat fast enough though he had good plans, the one thing these guys all had in common was that they lost EVERY week. Mumm-Ra included had a pretty bad track record, seriously I don't know who they were kidding (I guess their minions).

Still what set Mumm-Ra apart was that he had some serious power, and he had the transformation. He went from a powerfully manipulative, old mummy to freakin' Mumm-Ra the ever living!  That was one of the best animated sequences of the 80's seeing him go from the weak old fogey to that Bad dude!

I always like the good guys best, but Mumm-Ra was pretty cool to watch. I gotta give him that.

Thundercats- Mumm-Ra - 023

Original Art for Sale - $60 + $6 shipping
11x17 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Mumm-Ra" to

*quick side note the new Thundercats cartoon WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! more on that later.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thundercats Hoooooaaaa!

Lion-O is the "man" well, or cat...or whatever he's cool. As I've been drawing these this week, I'm thinking of who I like the best and why. I always liked the leaders growing up (Lion-O, Optimus Prime, Leonardo, He-Man, etc..) So I think for that reason alone Lion-O was always my favorite. He had the coolest weapon, and I would put it out there that the "Sword of Omens" is the coolest weapon of the 80's. Any other suggestions....

Like I said with Tygra, I liked his design and abilities the best, but I was always rooting for that leader character. I like that Lion-O was flawed as a leader because of his youth and inexperience. He was a little arrogant and headstrong, but that appealed to us youth at the time. Now I go back and watch the show and I think, man Lion-O is being a punk! but thats just cause Im getting older now. Ah well.

This sketch took longer, and is acutally the size of my Convention commissions. It has to do with the suprise at the end of the week, but it also acounts for the higher cost for the original art.

Thundercats Week - Lion-O -022

Original art for sale - $90 +$6 Shipping
11x17 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Lion-O" to

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thundercats are Loose...!

Panthro = Rad Ninja cat with nunchucks

the end.

ThunderCats Panthro - 021

9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Panthro" to

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hear the Magic, Hear the Roar...

Tygra- my man!  Tygra is my second favorite Thundercat, but it's sooooo neck and neck with Panthro it's hard to even say. Still his ability to become invisible along with the whip is some of the coolest abilities. More than that, I love his look the most. So over all character he might be second, but his design is my favorite. What I like most about his character is he seemed the wisest of the Thundercats. Like that great second in command that is older and wiser than the young leader in so many war movies. He's happy to serve and does the best he can in advising the General.

Another piece to the puzzle for the big Thundercats suprise at the end!

Thundercats Tygra - 020

9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Tygra" to

Monday, July 25, 2011

This was a themed week that I simply couldn't wait to do, so I had to put it in the first month of the sketch challenge.  Thundercats was HUGE for me growing up, one of my top 5 cartoons ever. Each day this week I will do a sketch of one of the Thundercats, then you will get a suprise on the last day to see how all these sketches match up!

Also, the timing of this themed week couldn't be better. Thundercats is relaunching a new cartoon on Cartoon Network this coming Fri. night at 8pm EST .  From everything I've seen on the trailers, this looks to have a scale way beyond what the original show explored. Many of the same characters, though redesigned a touch, will be there in the first few episodes. So to kick it off we'll start with my son's favorite Thundercat....

Thundercats Cheetara - 019

Original Art for Sale - $60 + $6 shipping
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Cheetara" to

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Well, so this was supposed to be a gift to my son who loves Green Lantern. GL was the 3rd superhero toy he had ever gotten and been his favorite for almost half his life. Sure that's only 2 years, but it's still saying something. When I asked my daughter what she wanted, of course it was the Strawberry Shortcake that I posted a few days ago. When I asked my son he told me he wanted 3 Green Lanterns, Poozer (who is actually Kilowog, but he calls him Poozer), Green Lantern (actually Hal Jordan, the main DC comics Green Lantern) and Fin head (who is actually Tomar in the GL books)

So I got started tonight and eagerly showed him how my drawing was coming along after I had penciled it in and started inking it. He saw it and after a pause said, eh it's okay, but where is Robot Green Lantern (or Stel)......and why aren't they flying?

Well, attempt #1 at a drawing for my son to hang on his wall is a FAIL. His loss is your gain, this sketch is definitely for sale. oy.

Green Lantern Corps - 018

Original Art for Sale - SOLD
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "GL Corps" to

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Storm Shadow vs....any guesses?

Snake Eyes of course. Quick post so I dont get behind. I have another fun one coming up for my son! Im excited about it.

Snake Eyes Vs. Storm Shadow - 017
Original art NFS

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm Batman!

I've had two requests for Batman on my suggested list. A Gaslight version of Batman and a 1960's TV version of Batman. heh. I like drawing the character, but I had to keep both on because they were so different than the normal version.

I haven't read Batman by Gaslight, which is a graphic novel of an alternate version of batman set in the past. This is a variation of that costume which sets him more of a western/ gaslight version.

For the sketch, I've been wanting to do toned paper sketches for a long time. This is the first chance I've had to try it out. I know I got a long way to go, but it will be a cool chance to experiment with it. I didnt have anything decent for the white, so I used my son's white crayon. Im going to have to find something better, but it will do for now as long as he doesn't need it.

Gaslight Batman - 016

9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Batman" to

Thursday, July 21, 2011

By the Power of BattlePug...I have the POWER!!!

Okay, if you haven't seen this web comic by Mike Norton you are simply missing out. He started this weekly comic strip back in Feb this year and has consistently built up this great story so far.

Now Im going to be honest, Pug's are crazy looking dogs. And I dont even want to know the sounds and smells that would come from an elephant sized one. Still, the way this story fits in that classic barbarian story against that ridiculous wall-eyed looking pup is pretty awesome.

So swing by Mike's site and give it a look. If you enjoy it, there's a donate button on the side where you can show your support for such a great story!

BattlePug - 015

Another way to support Battlepug, Original art for sale $60
Proceeds from this sketch will be donated to Mike's site!
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "BattlePug" to

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Always Learnin'

Quick post today just to stay on target. I do like Captain Britain though I haven't read much with him in it. I wanted to take the chance to do some figure drawing studies. This still took 30 min. or so but it was informed drawing, instead of a quicker gestural approach.

Back to pages!

Captain Britain - 014

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gassassinated.....Altair a.k.a. Silent but Deadly

So today's sketch is Altair from the video game Assassin's Creed. I played the first level of the first game (there are now 3 I think). It was flippin' amazing. I quickly realized I would spend waaaaaay too much time on it and set it aside. It's sad how I play enough of a game to realize how cool it is, but I know how easy it would be for me to get behind on my work if I played too much XBox. I barely play, and it's usually when my 5 year old son wants to play Ultimate Alliance, or a Street Fighter game.

However, since I've had the game, I have always wanted to draw this character. The designs and backgrounds are astounding with each version that has come out. So it was fun to finally take a stab at the character. It's not exactly what I had in mind, but fun to do none the less. I hope to get the chance to draw him again someday.  This sketch took about 45 min. but I'll round down for the art if anyone is interested.

Altair Assassin's Creed - 013

Original Art for Sale - $30 + $6 shipping
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Altair" to

Monday, July 18, 2011

If I hear the word "BerryFest" one more time...

So now for something completely different, heh.  Along with taking in nearly 500 character suggestions from people online and a few local friends, my wife encouraged me to make sure my two kids had a say in who I would draw.

We'll start with my almost 3 year old daughter. I streamed one of the newer Strawberry Shortcake movies on Netflix and after that, man was she hooked. Of course when I asked her what she would like, good ole' Strawberry Shortcake was her only choice.

Too bad I asked her a little over a month ago. Since then if she wants to hang out in my studio I put in old He-Man cartoons and now she just runs around the house yelling, "By the POWER of GRAYSKULL! I HAVE THE POWER!"

Amazing how much awesome can happen in a matter of a month. Still I think she'll like this sketch I did, and we'll frame it up for her room. Later on in the year when I draw He-man I might set one aside for her then too! Daddy's little girl and all.

Strawberry Shortcake - 012

To chat about the sketch real quick. I learned about the concept of "drawing on model", or drawing like someone else for animation or licenced properties, in school. I've only had to do it professionally on a few projects. Obviously this isn't my normal style of drawing or typical subject matter. But it's a valuable asset to show you can do when looking for work. Mostly this was a chance to break out my markers and start organizing them and getting used to them again. This was should have been quicker for me, but I spent most of the time finding what marker I wanted to use. I think this should speed up down the road. This sketch took me about 60 min. but I easily spent 30-40 min. just going through markers. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Harry Potter Week -Harry and Hedwig

Wrapping up my first themed week with this Harry Potter sketch.
I've always pictured Harry as this younger version when he was 12 or 13. Even as he gets older in the books, this is how I see him in my mind as I read. The Christmas/ winter scenes at Hogwarts are also my favorite. Not sure why, but I think because of the visuals of the snow and it's contrast to the architecture and black robes of the students.

This is my first 90 min. sketch and it's probably obvious most of that time was spent on the Hogwarts background. I actually really enjoy that kind of detail, but this was a great exercise for me to loosen up. I know this might look detailed, but for me I really had to let go and not rule everything out exactly. I think it's a weird OCD thing with me. So free handing architecture (gasp*) was a great challenge in this sketch. I also wanted to contrast all the line in the background with more suggested shapes with the figures. Because I took the time to draw all the lines in on the architecture, it helps make the figures stand out when I leave out the lines that would define them. i.e. the top of Hedwig's wing.  Also I wanted to focus on the composition and play with positive and negative space.... blah, blah, blah.

I dont know if that interests anyone, but for me it was a worthwhile sketch for the day. And I just barely got it in on time again. Im going to have to get back on an earlier schedule, these sketches are supposed to be relaxing compared to my deadlines. But lately that midnight hour is creeping in on me.

Harry Potter Week - Harry and Hedwig - 011

Original art - NFS

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter Week -Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

Hands down my favorite character in the Harry Potter series. I always loved the gentle wisdom, and the way Dumbledore took the time to nurture Harry. Especially in the first 2 books, Dumbledore took the time to try to teach Harry to become a better person. He was always encouraging kindness, and bravery.

In the movies, my wife is probably sick of hearing me repeat this, but I am a huge fan of Richard Harris. I think his portrayal of Dumbledore is spot on. He emotes both gentleness and strength, with that touch of wit. I think Michael Gambon has certainly grown into the roll throughout the movies, and I found finally with the 6th movie I wasn't distracted by his version of Dumbledore.

For more info on this guy, this is a pretty exhaustive background of Dumbledore. It's pretty cool to see how in depth people have fleshed out his character and background.

With this sketch, I was eager to do it. I've been out of town all week, I just got back today and had to scramble to get this all done to hit my day. But here ya go. I spent longer on this one to make sure I had it the way I was envisioning it before I started. So for the first one this week I spent 60 min. on this. I thought it interesting that he might be holding the prophesy orb here, from Order of the Phoenix.

Harry Potter Week - Professor Albus Dumbledore - 010

9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Dumbledore" to

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter Week- Severus Snape

Snape, I think hands down the best character of the book. He is the turning point for nearly every plot twist in the series. Again I wasn't staying true to the movie versions, but man I do like Alan Rickman for this role. He nailed it, and an outstanding job for the casting director and costume designer for them to cement this character so visually.

The sketch, I wanted to keep it mostly black on the figure. Balance the composition a bit, but mostly focus on his face. It would be easy to make him look the villian, but I find I actually pity the character than am afraid of him or root for him in the series. I tried to carry that in his face and especially the eyes.

Fun to do, again I wish I had more time to develop the drawing, but keeping them at 30 min. has been an instructive challenge this week.

Harry Potter Week - Severus Snape - 009

Original Art for Sale - $30
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Snape" to

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter Week- Lucius Malfoy

I've always really liked the Lucius Malfoy character as played in the movies. Jason Isaacs is the actor that plays the role, and man does he make a great bad guy! Again, once I saw him act as Malfoy, from then on I heard his voice as the character in the book and would picture him that way.

My sketch today is more of a charicature of Malfoy. Just a quick sketch, and if I had a chance to do a full commission on this some day I can see exactly how I would do it in my head. But my time constraints didnt allow me the chance now.

Still I think it's neat to play around with these characters and them not have to be an exact depiction of the movie actors versions.

Harry Potter Week - Lucius Malfoy - 008

Original Art for Sale - $30
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Malfoy" to

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Potter Week- Dobby

Our 3rd installment of Harry Potter week, the free house elf Dobby. I gotta be honest...Dobby took a while to grow on me. I pretty much hated him in the 2nd book Chamber of Secrets. But sure enough, by the time he met his end (spoiler alert) it was a sad thing to see him go. I think some of my favorite stuff about Dobby is how the other house elves at Hogwarts treated him as a weirdo. But I liked his character that he wanted to be his own way and wasn't ashamed of it.

So here ya go, simple lines with spot blacks. Then with a little marker rendering over it. I had this just as a pencil sketch at first and was going to keep it that way, but put about 15-20 min. more into it. I have a hard time leaving something alone that feels unfinished. That's something I will have to get over eventually with these daily sketches.

Harry Potter Week - Dobby -007

As a side note- I wish I had a more appropriate character for the "007" sketch. As cool as Dobby became, Im pretty sure he isn't as cool as James Bond. I win the poor planning award!

9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Dobby" to

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Harry Potter Week- Rubeus Hagrid

For the second installment of Harry Potter week we have the ever lovin'  Rubeus Hagrid.  For me Hagrid really came to life in the movies. I liked him in the books, but as soon as I saw Robbie Coletrain in the movie, that became Hagrid in my mind. Since then I couldn't help but hear his voice and see his portrayal of Hagrid with each new book.  One of my favorite characters for sure.

Harry Potter Week - Rubeus Hagrid - 006

As far as the sketch goes, I went with a looser ink line. I used a brush pen for nearly all of it. Some areas I like, some I can see the potential if I kept at it. Fun to do though, and a good 30 min exercise.

9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Hagrid" to

Monday, July 11, 2011

Harry Potter Week- MadEye Moody

Alright folks, to kick off a countdown to the final movie, this week will be a Harry Potter themed sketch-a-thon!

I was a little late to the game reading the Harry Potter books. I started with book 4, The Goblet of Fire.  I read that book with my wife, and since then as each book came out we would read it aloud together taking turns on chapters until the book was done. Often while I was working or just in the evenings before we went to bed. So I kind of jumped around a bit, reading book 4, and then going back and reading books 1-3. That might be a big part of why book #4 was one of my favorites, and also why I like the MadEye Moody character so much.

I was always a little sad to think we never got to spend much time in the books getting to know the "real" MadEye, but he was still an interesting contrast to the rest of the Order.

With these sketches Im trying a variety of styles and Im trying to keep them down to only 30 min. for these first few. I might take longer on the characters later on in the week.

Harry Potter Week- MadEye Moody- 005

Original Art for Sale - $30
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "MadEye Moody" to

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cooky Kabuki

Today's sketch is the character Kabuki from David Mack's created comic book series. You can check out his site here with a list of the books and the character. 

Kabuki - 004
This was another commission I had to get done and having Kabuki on my list is a great way for me to get through some of these. 

*The pose is vaguely influenced by a Ed Benes sketch I had seen a long time ago. I think it's just of a girl character grabbing a sword, I can't remember when or where I saw it though, but I guess it made an impression. If this rings a bell with anyone let me know, I'd like to see that sketch again.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"It's like Shakespeare, but with lots more punching"...

Oh how I have been waiting to draw these characters! I absolutely love Nextwave. Written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Stuart Immonem, this book was a new kind of superhero book for me. So absurdly funny, and the visual story telling kept me hooked all the way through.

It's 12 issues of pure awesome. If you haven't read Nextwave, please do your self a favor and pick it up. I had penciled this out in about 30 min. but I couldn't leave it there. I wanted to see it look more finished. Im going to have to get over that compulsion though if I have any hope of staying on track with quick sketches. But I was interested in working with little to no rendering and leaving the figures open or more cartoonish. I've always been impressed with Immonem's ability to change his style completely with any project. It was a fun experiment to mimic the style and it helped show me where I could loosen up a bit in places myself.

I had the idea for the composition immediately. Spoofing  the classic Charlie's Angels pose seemed like a given. If I had time to color this up I would give it a total 70's feel.

Quick side note: this was also a theme for the group sketchblog Im a part of called Periodic Heroes.
You can check that out here!

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. - 003
Original art for sale - $60
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Nextwave" to

Friday, July 8, 2011

The day after yesterday...

That sounds so ominous...but it's basically just common sense. Still I wanted to take the time to say THANKS to all those that came by my blog yesterday! Many of you posted comments here and on facebook wishing me a happy birthday, and I really do appreciate it. I had a great day that I got to spend with my family and even got some work done late.

I dont have too many of these, but instead of a quick warm up yesterday I finished inking a commission. Snake Eyes is on my list of characters, so officially this counts. Though I will probably draw him again fighting someone else during GI JOE week, or the ever elusive Ninja week.

Lets take a minute and digest that....

I will be devoting a full week to Ninjas in the upcoming year. You'll have to keep your eyes peeled though, they have a tendency for sneekiness.

This commission was for Travis Ellisor, a guy who contacted me online a while back and has an ongoing theme of the Legion of Superheroes character "Karate Kid" VS.... other characters. He tries to find artists whom he likes how they do whatever character they may be known for. Snake Eyes in my case, and I was very flattered to become part of his elite collection.

Karate Kid Vs. Snake Eyes - 002

You can find his gallery of Karate Kid's here!

Also as a heads up. I will either post a new sketch of the day during the 12 am-3am time period as I finish up my work day, or in the afternoon when I start my work day. So it may seem scattered a bit, but that's my life. It also may seem that new posts come quickly, if for instance I also posted tonight after midnight for tomorrows sketch. Then again it might seem like they can be far apart if I posted tonight around midnight, but didn't post again until the afternoon on Sun.

One final addendum or notice on the rules. I generally avoid working on Sunday as a matter of principle, get time with my family and focus on church. If I do a Sunday drawing I will donate those sketches to various charity auctions. I have a few already lined up for the year. Typically I will try and do an extra one on Sat or during the week, to avoid even doing recreational work. Just fyi.

Thanks for all the support you yahoos!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

WTFun it's my Birthday!

Wheeeee, so to get this started right, Today July 7th 2011, will mark day 1 in this year long sketch challenge.

Rules of the sketch challenge:

  • I have compiled a list of 366 characters ("Robert", you exclaim ,"Don't you know there are only 365 days in a year!?" and to that I say "It's Leap Year, so in your face!") 
  • All the names on the list have been suggested by someone else. While I did narrow it down from the near 500 characters I was given. (with Matt's help, thanks Matt you rock)
  • Each daily warm up sketch will be timed and take 30-60-or 90 min. After which the timer goes off and Im done. On to the rest of my day's work.
  • These daily sketches will be made available to purchase if you are interested. Simply email me with the name of the character in the subject line.  i.e "Jolly Green Giant sketch" sent to 
  • At the end of the day I will pick an email at random, if there is more than one, and email you to notify you that the sketch is available to purchase. 
  • The price of the sketch will be the same amount in $ as the time I spend on the sketch. This is a flat rate, that will not change throughout the year. A 30 min. sketch will be available to purchase for $30 and so on. Simply add $6 for shipping and handling, and it will be mailed off asap.
  • I will not be taking commissions this year, the only other way to get a sketch or commission from me will be to watch the blog for the characters you might be interested in. 
  • Once a sketch is sold, I will edit the blog to make it known. 

Alright, so to commemorate the challenge I start the day with the one and only ...

Captain America- 001
(60 Min)

9x12 Ink on Bristol Board With Marker.
To Purchase, email subject "Captain America" to

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's what's on the inside that counts...

I get asked a lot if I use photo reference with my work. That's a mixed answer because I do use photos for specific items in a story. But I dont use reference on my people or figure work. And that's even a little bit of a lie.

First off, typically I will read through a script and underline or highlight everything I don't know how to draw off the top of my head. I then go and find some kind of visual reference or photo that will give me a better description. I talked about this some already when I posted about environments and researching.

For my figure work though, I have taken quite a few figure drawing classes. Then at S.C.A.D. (the Savannah College of Art and Design) I had a very intense figure construction class with professor Paul Hudson. This guy is simply a modern master, in every sense of the term. In his class we were given 3 foot medical skeletons and then proceeded to draw and then sculpt every muscle of the body onto the skeleton, then draw it again. We were tested on their medical names and placement. It was a very indepth study on the skeletal and muscular structure of the human body. I liked the class so much I took it twice when I had an available elective.

Now it's one thing to know this stuff, and quite another to draw it accurately and apply it to my work. Through years of practice I've gotten to where I am now. I know I still have a long way to go, and constantly make mistakes.

In general, I build up my figures using basic forms for the head, rib cage and pelvis. Those give me the landmarks to then place the limbs and musculature over it all proportionally. But it all starts with knowing whats underneath.

I avoid taking direct photographic reference because, while accurate, I feel it looses a bit of dynamics and life in the drawings. If I ever use reference for a figure its for a specific hand gesture, facial expression or dramatic lighting on a face. I get that reference by just doing it in the mirror and taking a picture of my reflection with my phone. I can then look at my phone for the specific lighting or pose that I need.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Color that up fool!

In the coming year's sketch challenge, I want to take the chance to experiment and try new kinds of materials for my art. With comics, you get set on a regular schedule, often it's tight, and you pencil away. It's very easy to get in a rut or become comfortable doing the same thing every day with the same materials. Also because I work in gray or just black and white I dont get the opportunity to explore much color. So Im looking forward to that.

Here are just a couple examples of a marker colored commission.

Cobra Commander

Hellcat from Marvel Comics

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th Folks!

Happy 4th of July people! 

I cant make it a long post today, got a lot goin' on. Not too many people have seen this, though it's an older drawing. I did this as a convention sketch ...well it started out as one. They asked for a Tunnel Rat, a GI Joe character, that I've rarely been able to draw in the book. I immediately thought of this and pictured it exactly in my head. So, instead of just doing a sketch I drew it out the way I was visualizing it and before I knew it, I basically had drawn this as a cover for the guy. 

Well, it was his lucky day. It's still one of my favorite GI Joe commissions that I've done because it really captures the character and his specialty in the Joe-verse.

Jason Smith had Clayton Brown ink the commission!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Side by Side...

At conventions there is a growing trend in sketch collecting. Publishers will print new titles with a blank cover, which allows artists to draw and make a custom cover to the book. I've probably drawn on 30-40 of these at least. At first I despised it because the cover stock was very difficult to draw on, and if you inked it, often your drawing would smear. Over the last couple of years, the cover paper has refined and become much more artist friendly. 
Also, I've very rarely drawn any cover recreations. Actually just one before this, and it was an exact recreation. I generally prefer not to, it's not that I have an overwhelming objection to it, but I just have an appreciation for the original. I don't even feel I can add anything to that, so what is the point. 

In this case someone asked me specifically to recreate the cover to GI Joe #46. I loved this cover ever since I had seen it. Knowing Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow's history and seeing them together, with all the anticipation of what might happen in the book. Simply an outstanding cover by Mike Zeck. 

As a fan, I thought it would be fun to pay homage to this classic image. I wasn't intending to go line for line on this. In fact I drew most of it from memory in the hotel room of a couple of buddies at SuperShow last Spring. When I place them side by side you can see all the difference, but I think it was fun to do in my style.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Snakes on a...Frame?

So I won't ever get over how funny it is to see an edited version of "Snakes on a Plane" The movie is still terrible, but it's a priceless moment when you hear the dubbed over Samuel L. Jackson yelling " I'm sick and tired of these Monkey Fighting Snakes on this Monday to Friday Plane!"

In honor of the comic series I'm currently drawing I thought I would throw a few Snake Eyes sketches your way.

On a blank cover to Death of Captain America comic for Marvel

Another sketch on a blank Captain America book.

Before the fight...

During the fight...
and after the fight. 

All cover sketches for Issue #17 (above)

Commission for someone that became the cover to #9 of GI JOE for IDW

If Snake Eyes were drawn during the renaissance. 

Daily warm up sketches, sometime SE will pop up.

Promo piece for the Graham Crackers Comics stores in Chicago, IL

This bad boy started it all! Issue #0 GI JOE  for IDW

I had to make sure I kept all his gear straight, so I took the initiative to do turnarounds early on.
This is still one of the favorite prints I sell at shows. 

This was the first drawing I did for IDW. I turned in this character design along with 5 others and got the job.

I told you I did a ton of Snake Eyes drawings. These are just a few of him alone, I dont have scans of nearly all the sketches I've done at conventions. Still, I never get tired of drawing this dude.