Sunday, March 17, 2013

Trinquette Challenge - Week of March 12th

Finished the WIP I posted a few days ago. I don't color often, so this was a challenge.. Still a lot I feel I could fix, but I need to move onto something new. I've included the final line art as well.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

80's themed

I've been listening to Kavinsky so much lately that I have 80's on the brain. So I drew a fellow from the 80's during lunch, and then gave him more of an 80's touch with a Members Only jacket and shades.

There's no plan of making this into a dress up game. Sorry.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Trinquette Challenge WIP

A WIP for this week's Trinquette Challenge.

Kinda just making up her outfit on the go... some weird skeletal shaped decorations so far.. I dunno lol. We'll see how it turns out. Hoping to get the line work done tomorrow and then onto coloring.

Not enough time to do all the things I'd like to do in a day. While getting a good night's rest, of course. Yeah, I'm not that kind of artist. Sue me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Trinquette Challenge 2

I had a little extra time, so I entered the Trinquette challenge again, yesterday. I've recently been making/trying out new brushes in photoshop and wanted to try them out on this. I'm not proud of how it came out, but it was good practice in becoming familiar with the brushes. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thank you, JW!

Wow, very special thanks to Yuko and Ananth of Johnny Wander! You guys have sent way more traffic my way than my blog has ever seen! I'm glad you enjoyed my comic enough to share it with everyone :). For anyone who may have decided to follow my updates on this blog or any of my other social outlets, thank you for your support! I will update as frequently as possible with some new art that you will hopefully enjoy. Thank you again, Johnny Wander crew, and thank you to my new followers :)

You can find me on twitter, tumblr, etc. on the links to the right -->

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Nothing is exaggerated.

Remember how I said something funny happen while meeting Yuko and Ananth? Well, here's my quick comic of it. Not sure if it does the event justice, but I thought it was fitting. Also, I haven't drawn cartoony in awhile.

I realize with the blogger image viewer, some of these might be hard to see. Here are direct links to see them full size:

Monday, March 4, 2013

ECCC Day 3

It was the last day of the con, I had to wrap things up. Meet a few more people, make some final purchases, and try to time everything accordingly. The whole weekend I had been looking for Ryan Ottley. Ryan is the current artist on "Invincible," and took over after Cory Walker left the project. Seeing as how Invincible is one of my favorite comics, he's definitely one of my favorite artists in the comicbook field. Ryan has a good eye for detail and line quality, both of which go hand in hand to create very cutting edge and dramatic sequences. Also, his 2-page spreads are unlike anything I've ever seen. With every illustrated punch, kick, and explosion- you literally feel it! So yes, he's awesome, and is legitimately a super nice guy. I visit his booth every year to chat, buy a commission, or just browse through his original drawings. Well, unlike past years, he was only present at his table for short times. It made it harder for people to see him, but it was great that it gave him more time to experience the con as an attendee. I managed to catch Ryan as soon as he got to his booth, and asked him to sign some of my new Invincible trades. Chatted for a bit, praised him like I always do, and wished him a good final day at the con. Perhaps next year I'll ask him to do another commission for me :).

While walking about the convention, Lisa spotted our friend Alberto Ruiz. Alberto runs an awesome book publishing company with a very specific purpose: to help give exposure to talented artists who don't have the means or connections to do otherwise. In other words, it's built from kindness and a love for art. Lisa and I met Alberto at ECCC years ago, and we tend to see him at least once a year at one con or another. At CTN 2011, we ran into Alberto, who let us in on what goes on behind the scenes of his company. To put it simple, it's non-profit. And Alberto does a majority of the work himself. Meaning he puts the books together, gets them printed, shipped to storage, sold, and sent out to customers... With his own hands. He said that people often have the impression that he must be raking in the dough with all the books he sells, but really, there isn't a monetary gain. But rather a way of exposure for artists and the opportunity to have a book published showcasing their art. It's a great idea, and a great way to support artists, especially in this kind of industry, which can be very cut-throat. Alberto is also a very talented artist himself, who has a good eye for good art. His style of art consists of exaggeration and abstract shapes that, together, make for great eye candy. It's always fun to talk with him, as he has a wacky sense of humor and is overall a very nice and honest person.
But as I was saying, we ran into Alberto sitting at a booth, which was being shared by two artists who have had their books published by Alberto. He kindly offered Lisa and I to sit in the booth with him, but seeing as it wasn't his booth,  I was unsure about it at first. The guys there (Wade Schin and Andrew Wilson) didn't seem to mind, (though I hope we really weren't too much of a burden..) and actually entertained/humored us with their talking with Alberto. Somehow the conversation went really weird and Andrew began explaining his in-depth knowledge on duck penises.. which in the beginning we were like wha...? but by the end, were like whoa.... that's crazy! Very educational, really. Haha, but penis-talk aside, Alberto caught up with Lisa and I since it had been over a year since we last saw him. He then brought up the drawing I had done for his weekly drawing challenge he does on his facebook page. Although he has been doing it for months now, I have only entered once, and he was wondering why I haven't been contributing more since he thought I did a great job on it! Hearing Alberto say good things about my work was very exciting and flattering. It made me want to push myself harder in improving my skill and taking on more challenging art tasks. So yes, I feel motivated, and I'm going to do my best to enter his competition weekly. Before we said our goodbyes, Lisa and I got to check out all the brand new art books he'll be selling in the coming week. All of which, top notch stuff, and again, very inspiring and motivating for myself to work harder and try and get a book put together by, hopefully, the end of the year.
You can check out all the books Alberto has published through: or

Nearing the end of the con, Lisa, myself, and my two co-workers Jacob and Sean, visited their buddy Russel Roehling and his wife Julie, who were sharing a table in artist alley. Russel attended the Art Institute of Seattle, as the rest of us had. In my last years at that school, I recall seeing Russel every now and then, but I never got to know him. He was good friends with Jacob when he was a student there a few years before myself, so Jacob introduced us. Russel has made it big, as he's currently the artist of the comic book series "Wasteland", which I had heard of before through Jacob, but unfortunately have not had the chance to check out yet. After flipping through Russel's original pages, I immediately loved his art. What stood out most to me was his use of contrast, and composition. They're all very beautiful pages, which made me shocked, when I saw that he was selling them at such a low price... but despite this, he wasn't getting too many people interested in buying them. Madness, we all thought! To help support Russel, Jacob, Sean and I each purchased one of his original pages. And to be honest, it's one of the best pieces of comic art I own. I love the establishing shot, as well as the characters, their composition, and the contrast. I'll definitely be checking out Wasteland soon, as I'm eager to see more!

An original page from "Wasteland", drawn by Russel Roehling

As the con ended, I went back to Cory Walker's booth to pick up a commission I had asked him to do on Friday. He was adding the final touches on it and was very apologetic about it not being done sooner. But to be honest, I didn't mind. As an artist, I know how time consuming drawings can get, and I can't even pretend to imagine how hectic drawing at a convention could be, especially when you're constantly meeting and talking to people. But the end result was great. I had asked him to draw Allen the Alien from Invincible, and it had turned out amazing! I honestly couldn't ask for anything better. After thanking Cory one last time, we set out and headed home, ready to crash after a busy, tiring, but exciting weekend!

Allen the Alien from "Invincible", drawn by Cory Walker

Thanks for reading these journal entries. It really is a challenge for me since I don't really have much to say, which is funny because I used to be a frequent livejournal user... But I just don't have the time to talk in length about everything like I used to, and honestly, have lost interest in doing so. But this weekend merited it. More entries like this will come again. Rarely, but surely. But until then, let's get back to posting art. I've spent at least 2-3 hours a night writing these posts (seriously), I need to catch up on everything else. Yikes! Thanks again!

To close, here's some awesome merchandise Lisa and I got!

Star Wars - Jaina Solo, by Kotobukiya

Adventure Time - Fionna and Cake plushies, signed by character designer Natasha Allegri

Sunday, March 3, 2013

ECCC Day 2

Where to start... Day 2 and 3 were amazing. Day 1 was only the beginning of the greatness that was to come. I met more artists I admire, caught up with old friends, and overall, had an inspirational and motivating experience.

Saturday started with me running up to the celebrity autograph room. I had with me my toy DeLorean from Back to the Future, with the hopes that I wouldn't be turned away from getting in line for Christopher Lloyd's autograph. Back to the Future will always be a big part of my childhood. Before I ever owned the VHS copies of the trilogy, my family would go to Blockbuster every week, and BTTF I - III were some of my most rented movies. My parents soon remedied this by buying me all the movies, which still never stopped me from watching them over and over, though I'm sure my parents were happy they didn't have to spend anymore money on the same movies over and over! Doc Brown was my first introduction to Christopher Lloyd, soon to follow was Uncle Fester, and the frightening Judge Doom! But when I think of Lloyd, Doc Brown is always the first character to come to mind.
As I entered the autograph room, I found that Christopher Lloyd's line wasn't very long, so it was no problem getting to meet him. I've met celebrities in the past through ECCC, but none as surreal as meeting Christopher Lloyd. I shook his hand and told him the story of how he helped shape my childhood, which I'm sure he's heard thousands of times, but the grin on his face never faded and was just so sincere. He signed my DeLorean, and it wasn't until I began walking away that I realized that I had in fact met one of my childhood heroes. It's truly a great feeling and experience, and I think Mr. Lloyd is even more amazing than I did before. That pretty much concluded my time in the autograph room. From then on, I continued my trek through the convention, eager to find out what was to come next.

My toy DeLorean signed by Lea Thompson and Christopher Lloyd

Lisa and I visited our friend, Tony, whom we went to school with. Tony has a table in the artist alley every year at ECCC and we are returning customers of his each year. Tony and I have a run-on trend involving the subject matter in which I ask him to draw. I'm not sure how it all started, but every year, I request from him, as he expects from me, something weird. Past examples include Channing Tatum dressed in a Batman-type armored Peter Pan outfit, in reference to the news that Channing Tatum was considered as the star role of a Peter Pan reboot, titled "Peter Pan Begins." Get the joke? Another request involved Christian Bale wearing a sombrero and throwing a giant taco. This was in reference to the meme in 2008, where Christian Bale was being interviewed by a hispanic woman, who referred to him as "SeƱor Bale." I'll let you do the math on how the internet ran with that.
I feel like I'm getting a little more tame with my requests as of late, but I still try to make them wacky and fun. This year I asked Tony to draw Hulk and Spiderman playing a game of volleyball, with Spidey on Hulks shoulders, therefore being an unstoppable force! Lisa asked Tony to draw Hawkeye in a birds nest! What a fitting place for him to be, no? The end result is nothing short of spectacular, and I'm glad Tony has fun with these and is a good sport about it :).

Spiderman: "Nothing stands in the way of the Spider-Hulk!"

Near the end of the day, we stopped by Fiona Staples' table, where she was doing signings and sketches. Fiona Staples is the artist on the comic book "Saga", which is a fresh, strange, and adventurous read! If you haven't picked up the first trade, I'd suggest doing so, especially since it's so affordable! Sadly, there aren't a large number of females who have struck it big in the comics industry, which is unfortunate because I see more and more talent spring up every year. So it's always exciting to learn of a new female artist or writer climbing their way up, and Fiona Staples is one of them. What I love about her art is how natural she makes her pen strokes. She's able to make her strokes look defined with ease, with the end result having a sketchy but refined feel to it. With all the artists I admire, it's always tough meeting them and trying to talk with them, on my part. I love meeting new artists, and I love talking about comics, style, technique, and art in general with all of them! But every time I get to meet the "the pros" I always feel socially awkward.. I introduced myself to Fiona and mentioned that I was a local artist working in the game industry. A little bit of small talk in relation to art, but it was great. Fiona, if you happen to read this, I hope I wasn't weird. I enjoyed our short talk, and I'm excited to see more of your work show up in the future :).

I also stopped by Eric Canete's table to have him sign my Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin trade, which he was excited to see. Apparently he hadn't seen the book in awhile, and was reminiscing over it. I take it, it was a fun project to work on and one he's very proud of. Eric's work is definitely a big influence on where my art is today. I own nearly all of his books showcasing his art and have spent a lot of time referencing and studying them. His line weights and composition create huge dramatic effects, and give me a real glimpse into that world- something I hope to achieve with my own art someday. I had a few pieces of art on my phone, which I had him look through last year, and I only wish I had prepared more to show this year.

And with that, I have to call it a night.. I had planned on going over day 3 as well, but I'm way too tired to continue. So I will do so tomorrow :). Thanks for reading everyone. Art posts to resume in a couple days!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

ECCC Day 1

Wow! It's been a fantastic weekend so far at Emerald City Comicon. I wanted to write about how awesome day 1 was last night, but I got home around 10:00 and pretty much collapsed.. (yeah, I'm old.. on the inside.) But for sure, had an exciting and eventful day. First of all, they've expanded. A LOT. There were more booths to check out, more areas to explore, and a lot more walking room. After attending the Penny Arcade Expo every year, I know how crowded that building can get, and honestly, with the show size as it currently is, I wouldn't want it to get any bigger, show-wise or crowd-wise. Although Saturday was a lot more crowded than Friday, it was still a lot easier to get around than at PAX.

One of our first stops on day 1 was to check out Tyson Hesse's booth. It may have been because we were the first people to see him last year, but he said he remembered my face.. haha! I'm glad I'm memorable in some way! Lisa and I talked with him a bit, and picked up his B9 book, which is full of really awesome work. This guy never ceases to amaze me. If you haven't read Boxer Hockey, start right now!

While at the B9 booth, we stopped by Yuko and Ananth's table and had them sign our Johnny Wander Vol. 2 and 3. Lisa is a big fan of Johnny Wander and has been a long time reader. For the past couple years, she's always said strange things to me, or performed some kind of weird act, which if I asked what she was doing, she'd say it was a Johnny Wander reference. I had read it from time to time, but never gave it the attention it deserved.. It wasn't until not even a month ago that I started reading Vol. 1. It took me a week, as I was reading it off and on while on the bus, but as soon as I finished, I was immediately onto Vol. 2, which I finished in 2 days, then onto Vol. 3, which I finished in a day. I then proceeded to read the rest online! As you can guess, I was hooked. I have to say, that it was quite the treat meeting those two. I feel inclined to draw what exactly happened because what we witnessed was straight out of their comic-selves in Johnny Wander, which has convinced me that not a single thing in Johnny Wander is exaggerated. So yeah, I could tell the story, or I could have a fun drawing to do. You'll have to wait a few days, but if you've read Johnny Wander, you will (hopefully) find it funny.

Another artist I was excited to meet was Cory Walker. Cory, along with Robert Kirkman, created the series "Invincible", which is definitely one of my top favorite ongoing comics right now. Cory is no longer the main artist on Invincible, but it's always fun seeing him pop in every now and then to do an issue. There's something about his art that really draws me in. I tried explaining it to him the best I could, but he was probably confused about what the hell I was talking about! Honestly, it's hard to describe it, but it's a mix of simplicity and softness that he puts in his art that really reads as something welcoming and well refined. Almost caricature-like, and I love it.

The rest of Day 1 consisted of me trying not to spend all my money on various goodies, while trying to make the rounds to see everything. The day ended with Christopher Lloyd's (Back to the Future!) Q&A panel, and the continuation of last years voice actor script reading of Star Wars: A New Hope. Many laughs were had, and it was a great way to end the first day of the con.

To be continued...

Friday, March 1, 2013

WIPs and changes in my process

Some current WIP stuff I'm doing. Inking on the Community piece and a Gravity Falls piece I started last night. I've also got another one in the works that is near completion and in color, which is something I haven't done in awhile and need to get back into.. I will do my best to color these as well.

So something new I'm trying with these is using a resolution that I'm not too comfortable with right now. With most of my work, I work at 300 ppi at about 1000x1000 px and scale the canvas up if need be. While this has worked pretty well for me in the past, I've started wanted more crisp and clean lines when getting into the fine detailing. So now, I'm still working at 300, but starting with a bigger canvas. For example, my starting size is the standard paper size 8.5 x 11 inches, or 2550 x 3300, and then again, scale up the canvas  if need be.

Currently, the Community piece is at 11000 x 3300, which honestly, I don't think I've ever worked on a drawing at that size. When sketching at that size, it's a little challenging to get into, but after getting used to the size and the changes you have to put into your pen strokes as well as pressure, it becomes pretty comfortable. Inking on the other hand is a monster I'm trying very hard to tackle. I wanted clean crisp lines, but sometimes I feel like it's TOO clean and TOO crisp that all my mistakes and crappy line strokes just stand out so much. It takes a lot of concentration to not get wiggly lines or to get that angle you're trying to achieve. Last night I felt like I was sort of getting used to it, but then got frustrated when I realized that it took me half an hour to cover only a small portion of the drawing. But I need to be patient and let my mind and hand coordinate and learn. I just need to keep drawing, period.

I know it was nearly a month since I last posted, and honestly, it's because I was so unmotivated. Thankfully something finally clicked and I was able to jump back in. Also, I'm finding it helpful to be working on multiple pieces at once so that I can take breaks from one thing and see it with fresh eyes later.

And as I mentioned earlier, I'm working on some colored pieces, one of which I have owed my friend for a very long time, and he's been very patient with me, which I am thankful for.. (Sorry, Ray!) I've also got a few other drawings I need to start for people who were interested in commissioning me.. Oof, so behind with everything..

One more thing... Emerald City Comicon starts today! I should actually probably get ready to go.. This convention is hands down my favorite in the area. Art, artists, merchandise, toys, I couldn't ask for anything more. Other than a few extra dollars to spend there :)