Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Season's Greetings!

Perhaps, dear reader, you've received one of these in your e-mail already. But for the sake of posterity, here's this year's selection of virtual greeting cards. Consider yourself well-wished!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Apple Princess

A birthday card for my five-year-old niece. Naturally, she's mad about fairy princesses, and we're trying to encourage her nascent fascination with guinea pigs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Return of the Golden Knight

And here's the final! This is meant to be a wraparound cover, so I've included a front cover preview with the title in funky Hobo type for that dog-eared pulp novel feeling.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Golden Knight

Here's a cover design I'm working on. It's a work in progress, but aren't they all?

Monday, November 24, 2008


A quick little design for a Music Appreciation class assignment...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Few Characters...

Some quick sketches for a story in progress.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Thanks to a last-minute class cancellation, I actually found myself with a few minutes of free time today. To celebrate, I present some sketchbook drawings from last month's "Touch-A-Truck Day" festival, which took place right here on 8th Avenue on my literal doorstep. This year, they even had a petting zoo!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The annual flyer for the annual Halloween video party-slash-giant goulash cauldron. If any of you art peeps are free Saturday evening and want to swing by, let me know and I'll forward the details.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Color Roughs!

And now, color roughs. I'm hoping that doing these ahead of time will speed up the actual color painting stage...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Comics Thumbs by Request

The latest thing I'm working on. Posted for a friend who wanted to see 'em...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sixty Minute Monster #7

This is probably going to be the last one of these for the time being, as there are a lot of other things I need to work on right now...

When it comes to bestiary beasties, the dragon - along with the related worm, wyvern, et cetera - is overladen with metaphorical freight. Where European mythology is concerned, it's kind of an all-purpose symbol of evil. But one recurring theme is its fondness for hoarding and guarding treasure; this is certainly true of the dragon in the epic poem Beowulf, and the Fafnir of Norse legend is a human (or humanoid) who has metamorphosed into a dragon during his years of jealous gold-hoarding. In other words, the dragon originates in the lust for treasure, so the motif here is inspired by an artist known for his fondness for gold decoration.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sixty Minute Monsters Extra

And now for something a little different!

It's been a frustrating few days as far as my daily monster project is concerned. Not only have I had school starting up and guests visiting, but for the last couple days I've been spending hours struggling with a single critter. At this point I'm forced to conclude that it's not so much a matter of drawing composition or technique, but the fact that my creature design simply doesn't work. Allow me to illustrate:

I think my idea of the dragon was permanently fixed by Paolo Uccello's Saint George and the Dragon, which I saw in London's National Gallery when I was a little kid. Not only does Uccello's dragon have two legs and two wings, thus obeying the basic laws of vertebrate anatomy, but it has these lovely little circle patterns on its wings which resemble the "eye spots" seen on butterflies. Based on this, I did some sketches of a carnosaur-like dragon with vestigial wings and a frilled lizard collar which it could use as part of an intimidating threat display to scare off enemies. Unfortunately, not only was it hard to show off this design in the portrait-style dimensions I've been using thus far, but no matter how much I fiddled with it the end result always looked like a tyrannosaur with a frilly collar and funny little bat wings. Which, after all, is exactly what it was.

So I've decided to go back to the virtual drawing board with this one. In the meantime, I did a new version of the salamander, since I wasn't really happy with the old one. At least I've accomplished something!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sixty Minute Monster #6

Whew! I didn't have quite enough time to finish this one before I left for class this morning, so I fiddled with it some more this evening. Since I have a guest visiting tomorrow, I might take Friday off and resume monstering this weekend.

The salamander, like the vast majority of bestiary critters, is a real animal with imaginary characteristics. The salamander's ability to survive the flames was attributed to its intense cold and fire-extinguishing secretions, and asbestos was originally believed to be made from salamander wool or from their woven cocoons. According to classical philosophy, observes Jorge Luis Borges, "If there were animals of land and of water, then there had to be animals of fire. It was necessary for the dignity of science, therefore, that there be Salamanders."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sixty Minute Monster #5

A fairly simple one this time. I belatedly realized that Photoshop has an "Ocean Ripple" filter that provides a pretty realistic watery effect, but there's something to be said for simplicity.

My take on the kraken is inspired by the Hook Island sea monster, which I think is a pretty awesome cryptid even if it was just a weighted plastic tarp. The kraken was said to float quietly like an island and then suddenly submerge, dragging down any ships unlucky enough to be tethered to it. According to a medieval bestiary translated by T.H. White, it serves as a metaphor for unbelievers who trust in the devil: "They anchor themselves to him, and down they go into the fire of Hell." This also happens to be more or less the plot of the sci-fi horror movie Event Horizon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sixty Minute Monster #4

The daily streak continues! I was tempted to keep tinkering with this one, but the discipline of the one-hour time limit is too important to be discarded on a whim.

This one's for my wife, who says that bigfoot is her favorite monster. I think part of the charm of this legendary "cryptid" is the notion of reunion with a long-lost sibling, a form of human-like but non-human intelligence right here on Earth. But if the bigfoot really exists, I wonder if it would be as excited by that prospect. Perhaps that's why it remains so elusive.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sixty Minute Monster #3

I think this one came out pretty well. This time I'd actually figured out what I wanted to do ahead of time, but when I sat down to draw I did a quick reference search and decided to do something entirely different.

Today's featured beastie is the manticore, which literally means "man-eater." Like the catoblepas, it was apparently based on reports of a real animal, in this case the tiger. Unlike the previous poisonous creatures I don't find it terribly sympathetic; the manticore eats people because it wants to, and its humanoid face makes it something of a cannibal too. When I decided to put it in a tree, I was thinking of the opening scenes of Paul Schrader's Cat People, but the end result is essentially an evil Cheshire Cat.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sixty Minute Monster #2

Here's another one of these. I wasn't as happy with how this one turned out, but perhaps I can think of it as a rough draft for later improvement.

This, of course, is the ever-popular catoblepas, with its impossibly spindly neck and lethal breath. Many of the creatures featured in medieval bestiaries were based on garbled accounts of actual animals, and it's been proposed that the catoblepas is based on the gnu or water buffalo. With its heavy head and downward gaze, it can be considered an avatar of sloth, but like all venomous monsters I imagine it's mostly just pining for company.

Sixty Minute Monster #1

Now that I've finally replaced my five-year-old Mac, I can actually run Photoshop at a decent clip. To celebrate, here's my first-ever attempt at sketching directly on the computer. Let's see if I get faster and better with practice.

I've always been fascinated with medieval monsters and bestiaries. The cockatrice is a little bit on the under-documented side, since it's often been confused with the basilisk, but it's generally agreed that it's born from a rooster's egg incubated by a toad. (Don't ask me why the end result has a snake tail.) Since the basilisk is the king of reptiles, perhaps the cockatrice could be considered a form of bird royalty, and it presumably shares the same habit of poisoning its environment with its poison breath and petrifying glare. The cockatrice, then, is truly the loneliest of chickens.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Holy Dragons!

Whew! Finally got finished with a fairly intense project, on which more later. In the meantime, here's what happens when my wife says to "draw me a dragon."

Friday, July 11, 2008

More Mars Attacks

Friends, Romans, and/or countrymen! Lend me your eyeballs!

I'm finally getting back to work on my King-Arthur-on-Mars comic, as seen in the previous six pages. I'm aiming to have the next five pages penciled and inked before the San Diego Comic-Con, but in the meantime, I'll put the thumbnails up here in case anyone has any suggestions or pointers. I'd welcome comments here or by e-mail... you can even scrawl them on the bathroom walls if you like, although it's unlikely I'll see them unless it happens to be my bathroom. Excelsior!

This one is supposed to face page six of the previous set. I've updated it with a new thumbnail that replaces the previous version.

...and these form a two-page spread.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cards Is Up

I finally finished updating my online gallery, including these tarot card dealies that I did for Illustration 4. Now to play catchup and go congratulate everyone who's graduating...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Red Dragon

And here's my penultimate project for Stephen Player's Illustration 4 class. Six pages of what I'm pitching as "Spaghetti Western King Arthur on Mars," which makes perfect sense to me at least.