Boat House Sketch

boat house

I’ve been experimenting with ways to streamline my workflow and get the most out of digital and analog tools. This is a warm-up sketch of a boat house that was inspired by/stolen from Mike’s work over at Creative Mints. If you want to see some good artwork, you should really be looking over there instead. For my purposes, I was going for something that looks finished, and has some visual presence to it, but wasn’t over-worked and crowded with detail.

I find that digital line work is slow and tends to look stiff. Good ol’ paper and pencil is far more flexible. Color, however, is far faster and easier to tune on a computer than on paper. So in this case, I used a fine point sharpie over the top of rough pencil work. Then scanned and colored in photoshop using a wacom tablet.

Young and Old Portraits

young and old portrait color

This is a pencil sketch I did a while ago exploring some character ideas. Then on a whim I did a color study with it in photoshop. Typically I draw on white paper, so I’m intrigued by how a bold color in the background can influence and permeate the whole color palette as I work. I’m afraid all this digital manipulation is a creative crutch for me when it comes to color, but hopefully I am actually learning somethings along the way. Maybe. Read More …

Getting to work sketch

kid getting to work


You know you’re serious when you pull out the hard hat! That laundry doesn’t stand a chance.

I wanted to experiment with a looser, more textural style of illustration, and this was the result. I kind of like the interplay of details and rough edges here. This was done entirely digitally with some supporting fabric textures.

Mechanical Maze Sketch

Mechanical Maze Sketch

I have been trying to find excuses to use my Wacom tablet in the hopes that I will develop some level of skill with it. Some level above zero is preferred.

This sketch was one I discovered laying around when shoveling off my desk the other day. It was originally something I worked up while brainstorming video game ideas. This was my first take on a mechanical obstacle course game concept. That’s about all the farther it got, although there may be some potential there… Anyway, I took the rough pencil sketch and dropped in some color using the tablet and some secret techniques I picked up from Tony Cliff. Now obviously this isn’t very refined. (Why didn’t I go back in and fix some of the perspective flaws?) But it was fun, and way easier than my efforts before I had the tablet.

Lets see what other sketches need some color around here…

First Blush: SketchBook Pro for the iPad

Fishermans Wharf of San Francisco


Ever since I got an iPad, I have been on the lookout for a good sketching app. I started with Adobe Ideas, which is a nice and simple app. It tries to balance a loose-hand drawn feel with vector-based artwork. And its free, which is always a nice feature. With all that, however, Adobe Ideas left me wanting for actual sketching purposes. It auto-simplifies your lines, and reduces things to hard edged vectors. That is fine for some applications, but I was interested in something more painterly.

A few days ago I came across SketchBook Pro by Autodesk. I figured the guys who make Maya, Inventor, and 3DS Max could put together a decent sketch program, so I coughed up the $8 and took the plunge.

Below is my very first, experimental sketch with SketchBook Pro: (the deeper meaning is obvious…)

Read More …

Block City Comic

Block City Comic

In my experience, you don’t really appreciate how good someone is until you try to do something similar yourself.

Take this comic for instance. I did the actual sketch on paper weeks ago, with the style of Kazu Kibuishi’s, Copper floating around in my head. How hard can it be, right? Coloring everything in on the computer, however, ended up taking a ridiculously long time. I’m not exactly sure why it took so long, but it wasn’t till the end that I began to get any kind of rhythm going. (I totally need a Wacom Tablet!) I’m not even sure I like the final product that much. It was, however, a fun experiment, and a great excuse to draw a cityscape!

Hot tip: Click on the comic to get a larger view that is easier to read.

Detours book release?

detours book cover

I can explain. It all started with a swirly texture that I sketched out a few days ago. I had no choice but to scan it in and start playing with it in PhotoShop. Once I came up with a few interesting variations, I thought, “That would make one sweet background for a comic!” Of course I couldn’t stop there, having come so far, so I worked up this scene of Zeke exploring something. How it turned into a book cover is anybody’s guess.

Will there be an actual Detours book rolling off the presses?
I’m not currently at liberty to say… Although I can say this much; it definitely isn’t going to be printed before I actually draw the comic. Pretty sure on that part.

All I’ve got for you so far, are the fragments of my experimental comic.