Dec 24, 2010

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer...

...had a grandson with the same condition he did. Just in the hooves.

This is such a late-night drawing, but it made me chuckle enough to want to color it. Merry Christmas!

Nov 18, 2010

I wish I could draw airplanes the way this guy can. So much life and appeal in objects that are completely inorganic!

I also wish I could read French.

Nov 15, 2010

storyboardin' critters

Well, for a bit now I've been working with a group of Redwall fans who want to try to make a fan-created, feature-length version of Mossflower, which is hands-down my favorite book in the entire series. I do have lurking doubts at our ability to pull out a finished product, but right now this is the best side-project ever for me.

And why is that, you ask?

The answer is STORYBOARDS! :D

The group setting provides excellent motivation to do regular boards, which is helping me practice not-sucking. I also get to teach a lot, since pretty much everyone is younger than me and hasn't really done this before. So even though it's me drawing the stuff I always like to draw, it's been good for me on tons of levels.

Here is a scene I recently finished - the first real scene in the film. As with all "finished" things, I have located a bajillion flaws already. Perhaps my buddies who read this blog can help locate a few more, haha!

Oct 20, 2010

some scifi?!

I got Mass Effect as a birthday present, and enjoyed it quite a bit! Every time I saw a krogan, I wanted to draw it. This may very well be my first real attempt at scifi, haha. I discovered that guns are about the most unnatural thing for me to draw, especially futuristic ones. It kinda makes me want to practice and learn how.

Oh, and this fella has been around for a few weeks. It's another boreal owl design. I'm still derping around with drawings of some other species, so hopefully I can post those soon X)

Sep 22, 2010

some ssssSSSssSssewing fun!

I've been playing around with another cool game this summer, and that game is Minecraft. You might have heard of it - over the past month, it's virtually exploded with popularity as well-known gaming and Youtube sources have pimped it. And it is a pretty fun game, for reasons I'll let you look up yourself.

Because I've been doing a lot of freelance illustration work lately, I've been eager to find a project OFF the computer to tackle. Eventually I want to make my own stuffed Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, but I haven't made a plush of any kind since I was about 10 years old. So I thought I'd practice on something simple.

Which is where Minecraft comes in.

If Minecraft has a poster child, it is this thing:

It may look like the most terrifying cactus you've ever seen, but this is one of the game's monsters. Known as a Creeper, it makes absolutely no sound until it's RIGHT next to you, which is when you hear a "*tch* sssSSSsssSSS...", followed by a BOOM if you don't get out of the blast radius fast enough. This is very good at hurting you and damaging things you've built.

How cute! Let's make a stuffed animal out of it! :V

Many fans of the game like to joke that the Creeper only wants a hug, but when it comes over to you it realizes it has no arms and explodes out of frustration. I'd love to get a picture of a small child hugging this plush, but I'm worried that all children will probably be terrified of him. X)

Sep 16, 2010

boreal owls!

Something I've been itching to do lately is play with designing owls. There are some really different, interesting kinds begging to be caricatured. So, I started off with the Boreal Owl and its bumpy head.

Sep 9, 2010

Hooters gotta hoot!

Not long ago, I stumbled unexpectedly into the fact that owls are awesome and amazing amounts of fun to draw.

Check out the Striped Owl. They are gorgeous birds. I went kinda nuts and drew a whole ton of them.

And barn owls. I like how their silhouettes looks headless when they fly.

Now I suppose it's time to play around in some other styles for these critters. What fun! X)

Sep 3, 2010

vacation snippets

I've been trying something new lately - since I'm so bad at keeping written journals, I got a nice blank whitepaper book and have been attempting a sketch journal. Results are mixed so far, but I kept a pretty close travel journal during my family's recent vacation. Here are a couple of my favorites from the trip:

Aug 6, 2010

Them dorfs!

Lately I've been filling the little cracks in my time with a fun little game called Dwarf Fortress. It's an ASCII game *kinda* like Sim City, but a lot grittier and Fun (which is the fanbase's code word for losing). You manage a group of alcohol-soaked dwarves as they strike the earth and try to carve a fortress out of the landscape. Wildlife and enemy sieges provide opposition for your dwarves, and traps and levers allow for really creative mechanisms in the game (some people have actually built computers and calculators within the game).

The game is ridiculously detailed - it generates a world and simulates erosion and some history before it even gets to your dwarves and their adventure. It tracks battle damage down to individual fingers and toes (and further in later versions than the one I play). It also has a very steep learning curve (a big step is getting past where all you see is alphabet soup!)

Here we have "Jim Craig" the dwarf in sorry shape. The attacking hydra (green H) is dead, but Jim is now missing his right arm at the shoulder. Fortunately all his other bits are white (healthy) rather than yellow (broken) or red (mangled).

Anyways, because of the limited graphics, I almost think the game encourages you to look deeper to find a story, which is why I love it so much. These are some doodles I've done lately, inspired by dwarfy shenanigans.

My Captain of the Guard is an awesome she-dwarf who runs around with two swords and leaves goblins in many pieces when they cross her. And no, her name is not a Ninja Turtles reference. X)

Miners make great temporary military dwarves when a problem arises, because their mining skill determines how deadly their pick is in battle.

One of the staples of the dwarven diet is the "plump helmet," a purple mushroom of some kind. You can brew booze out of it, eat it raw, or stew 'em up.

The game also has a roguelike mode called Adventure Mode, where you take a single dwarf/human/elf and travel the full world that's been generated. Having fantastic weaponry like this fella's ☼adamantine battle axe☼ helps... though often a wielded wolf corpse is just as deadly. People have one-hit KO'd enemies by throwing mud in this game. It's awesome.

Jul 6, 2010

best of zoo - July 2010

Finally got to the zoo, after far too long. This time, the Columbus Zoo!

I'd forgotten how much bigger this zoo was than Hogle - we were rushing at the end just to get to all the animals we wanted to draw!

I did the whole thing with a brush pen, except at the end where I switched to a chisel-tipped pen. The watercolors were all added after we got home, because I felt like experimenting.

black swans and a parrot-like bird, from the (South Asian) "Islands" area.

Komodo dragon, from the same area.

Okapi, from the African Forest area.

A big lazy lion. There were also some half-grown cubs, with spots still on their legs and bellies.

And at long last, the brand-new Polar Frontier exhibit. This is the first time I've been able to see polar bears live. The filtration system had some minor glitch, so the underwater viewing area wasn't open, but the two bears in there gave me plenty of sketching material.

Good ol' brown bears and a couple bison. Such awesome animals.

This I found amusing because these fish are completely native to the area, and yet, during a zoo trip, I took some of our precious time to sketch them. Oh well.

Jun 25, 2010

Mouse Guard!

Again I am up late doodling around. But I have some words to say, too!

This week, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #2 came out. The Legends of the Guard series is a chance for some other artists and writers to get to play around in David Petersen's Mouse Guard world by doing some short stories. And it so happens that the first story in the #2 issue, "Potential," was written by my buddy Alex Kain, who happens to also be the writer for our Four Kingdoms project. The sweet art was done by Sean Rubin. So if you like Mouse Guard, I'd advise you check it out! Here's a site with some nice preview images.

Which brings me to the doodle, which is of Kenzie from the main series. :)

Jun 24, 2010

silly late-night painting time

Lately I've been doing some digital painting whenever I can't get to sleep. Just some fun playing around with light and pre-existing characters.

You should look up photos of sewers sometime. Apparently there's a whole group of people who like to explore and photograph them. It's surprisingly awesome.

This is actually a Redwall character, but one that only gets mentioned offhand as a long-dead ruler. With a name like Bluestripe, I figured he would be awesome. And a fan of warpaint.

Jun 16, 2010

main characters and thumbnails!

These two are going to be the main guys in my comic. Randy is a greenie fresh from flight training. He comes into conflict with "Red," who is pretty much the viewpoint character of the story. Red has lost his best friend in a recent mission, and when Randy gets assigned to his buddy's old bunk, he has a lot of trouble dealing with that. We're also going to see another (maybe both) of the other guys in their flight, who still need to be designed. I'll probably just grab 'em from the other concept sheet I drew; they don't figure into the story much.
I do have the whole thing thumbnailed out. For a "short" story, 19 pages is an awful lot. However, I'm going to be doing pretty simple coloring, so it should be manageable. Jury's still out on how much color will make it into the thing.

And for some more fanart derpiness, have a silly pinup I did of the black Heavy Weapons Guy I designed. Clearly I need to go back and study anatomy again, but the painting was fun. And retro-style propaganda is also fun.

Jun 8, 2010

Tally ho!

Lately I've been thinking about comics and stories in way too big'n'epic ways. While my griffin story has already been outlined and will indeed require tons of time to tell properly, I have some other ideas I've been throwing around. And I worry that I'm automatically trying to make THEM epic, long-format stories.

Which, ultimately, leads me to fear that I'll never get ANYTHING done.

So this WWII idea, I think I'll commit to getting a story *out.* Get some characters worked out, and throw them into the war. First mission, perhaps. And if I like it, I can always do more and think about story arcs and whatever. :d

Of course, I'll have to bang out some good characters/designs first. These guys are just an experiment in drawing different-looking dudes that fit the 1940s-military-flyer look. I'll be playing with some styles, too.

Let's do this thing.

Jun 7, 2010


There have been talks of a live-action TMNT film reboot movie since Nickelodeon gained rights to the franchise last year. Now I hear they're thinking of a 2012 release... and Michael Bay is reportedly going to be involved.

That is all.

Jun 2, 2010


And old artbug has resurfaced as of late - a desire to draw a comic about WWII fighter pilots. So my Memorial weekend was (appropriately) spent devouring the subject in text and Youtube form. Who knows if I'll get a story worked out before the bug goes dormant again, but at least I can gather resources and practice drawing difficult things like AIRPLANES.

These were referenced from photos, except when otherwise noted.

May 28, 2010

More nerdery, I'm afraid. :T

Recently I've been drawing some of my friends' original TF2 characters, because OpenCanvas is such a fun sketching/painting tool. The practice I'm getting out of this is rad and useful, even if the subject matter still makes me a hopeless nerd.

Michelle and I got to draw together the other night thanks to OC's networking feature. We gave each other shapes to turn into characters. This is some kinda of undersea volcano monster.

May 27, 2010

May 1, 2010

more griffin story!

Yup! Still working on this thing-that-might-hopefully-become-a-comic-or-something. I actually just had a major breakthrough on some huge story problems recently, which drove me to draw all kinds of concepty things for it. And then tonight I decided to have some me-time and play around in Photoshop with them. Here's a couple images - more to follow later (sketches are all scanned, I just want to splash some color on more of 'em!)
Did a quick paintup of a major location in the story, as well as a tiny little map of the island/small continent/whatever the story all takes place on. There are also tons of little notes everywhere, but the fog is covering up some of 'em.
Some further notes on the city and its inhabitants.