Friday, September 30, 2005

But, I'm funny how? Funny like a clown?

Nothin' funnier than a dead clown! This is a panel from a one-page comic written by Rasmus Lykke and illustrated by my sorry arse. I've been working on this one page for about ten thousand years simply because I cannot for the life of me get the colors right. Things either blend together too much or not at all. It's infuriating. I'm hoping to have these color issues settled by the end of the weekend. Of course, I'm hoping that my lungs will magically start working properly again too but I'm not going to hold my breath. Hah! Get it? "Hold my breath?" I'm having lung problems and I'm not going to hold my breath? Ah, you guys just don't appreciate the gallows humor of it all. Gotta laugh or cry, kids.

Until Monday....

Monday, September 26, 2005

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.

Well, it's certainly a dull and dreary Monday. Rain clouds and gray skies abound. Before I get to my newest illustration I'm afraid I have some bad news. For the next couple weeks I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut back the posts to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday format. Unfortunately I've developed some rather nasty health issues that will make it a little difficult to keep up with both my paying design work and my daily blog posts. Obviously the paying gigs (and my health) have to win out.

In other news: This is a red dragon. Isn't he pretty? Someone suggested to me that I do a series of mythological beasts and this dear dragon is my first attempt. He needs some minor adjusting in some areas but for the most part I'm really happy with the way he turned out. I'm still experimenting with the paper cut-out look but it's coming along nicely I think. You'll be seeing more beasties soon, I think.

Until Wednesday....

Friday, September 23, 2005

You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea.

This is the other side of that Hulk page I posted yesterday. I have no idea what brought this picture about other than the fact that it's fun to draw octopi. This might be the first semi-holy (yet sad looking) octopus. Enjoy your weekend, folks. See you on Monday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

This is a sketch I did last night while watching Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. I love the designs on Foster's (in case you hadn't noticed.) This sketch was done in neon pink ink pen but I scanned it in black and white for the sake of your eyes. Hey, don't look at me like that. The neon pink pen was all I had to work with at the time. I was thinking of doing a series of castles and cottages and selling prints of the illustrations if anyone is interested in the idea....

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.

This is another unfortunate left over from a previous project. I'm really rather fond of this Octogonk so maybe she'll show up in another place....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Illustration Friday - Escape

Remember those care free days when you could run around the yard pretending to be a super hero? Yeah, me too. And thus we come to my Illustration Friday entry for "escape." What I wouldn't give to escape back to those days. Sigh....

Friday, September 16, 2005

They can't evict you on Christmas! Then you'd be ho-ho-homeless!

This is something else out of the sketchbook file. I created this image as a Christmas card for my friend's kids last year. They really seemed to dig it and it was fun drawing Mario Bros. characters again, something I hadn't done since I was a wee lad.

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I was handed a chocolate bar and an M-1 rifle and told to go kill Hitler.

Today we have a page torn from my "sketchbook" file. Some of you may have seen this before but up until...oh...five minutes ago, I'd forgotten about it. I'm actually really pleased with this. The cartoony exaggerations just worked really well for me. Some day I really need to flesh this picture out. Cap needs some Nazis to kick.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work.

In honor of Wednesday being D&D/Geek Night I'm posting this logo/symbol I designed with the group in mind. For those who don't know (which is probably most of you) rolling a one on a d20 is an automatic failure for whatever check you're making. That still reads like really geeky stereo instructions, doesn't it? Ah, well....

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

This is an image that was left homeless when I swaped out one idea for another on a project I began not too long ago. I didn't want to totally abandon the poor Uniboar since he's a neat looking monster so I thought I'd post him up for you folks to see.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Step-By-Step - Day 4: The Final Step

Well, here we at the final day of my step-by-step process. As you can see the end product is rather different from the initial sketch. After I inked the mountains I realized that they totally overwhelmed the composition. So instead I got a little experimental with the white outlines on the main figures. I got the idea from an episode of Teen Titans and I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm not entirely sure of it yet but it's a good start for an experimental design idea.

Hopefully this gave you all some insight into how my design process goes. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me. And remember, I'm always open for illustration and design jobs. Just get a hold of me and we'll see what we can work out!

Oh, I'm giving the Blogger spam-blocker a try. You'll have to insert that stupid word verification code to make a comment but hopefully that won't deter you. If anyone knows of a better comment system, please let me know.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Step-By-Step - Day 3.5: Scalpel, Please.

A few of you have asked me to be a little more specific in my Adobe Illustrator steps so I'm adding an extra day to my working walk-through. Hopefully this will make things a little more clear.

Once I scan the pencil sketch into Illustrator (or from Photoshop to Illustrator to be more specific) I start "inking" the image using the Bezier Pen Tool.

I "ink" the image overlapping and sealing the inner sections and the main outline. Once the lines are all in place I use the Divide Tool (found in the Pathfinder tab) to separate the individual sections.

See how it works? Everything is nice an separated. You'll have to delete the left over outlines and drop in the colors but this is essentially how the image turns out. As you can see below, all of the segments are separated which leaves the picture with that keen unoutlined look.

Hopefully that explains things a little better. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

Monday: Step-By-Step - Day 4: The Final Step

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Step-By-Step - Day 3: The Ink and Paint Club

Now that I've mostly finalized the overall design I'll start "inking" and coloring the picture. Sometimes I'll use heavy black outlines but for this picture I felt that an un-outlined look worked better.

The design for the boy child turned out relatively well so he probably won't go through a redesign process. The girl, on the other hand, was a car accident trapped inside a death ball so she's going to be totally redrawn.

Lil' Johnny Melancholy turned out really well (in my humble opinion.) The biggest problem I had with him was his color scheme. I must have gone through forty-five million different color schemes before I settled on this one. Oh, and the soccer ball turned out pretty well too, I thought.

This is the background as it stands right now. I added a soccer field line and I haven't decided on the background yet. I'll probably put the mountains and the trees back in. Or at least some hills instead of mountain. I'm not sure yet.

This is how the image fits together right now. Once I put the girl in and add in the background images it'll flesh out well, I think. I've grown rather fond of this little character so you might see more of him in the future. If you guys like him too, that is.

Tomorrow: Step-By-Step - Day 4: The Final Step

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Step-By-Step - Day 2: The Clean-Up

Once I've sketched everything out in marker I'll go back in and rework the image to clean it up. As you can see I've added a few more details to the picture and sharpened the linework up. At this point in the image I usually start reworking some of my ideas. For example, I'm not entirely sure about keeping the mountains and the trees in. They look alright but I'm not sure they belong in the background of a soccer field. I'm also not fully sold on the design for the children so they may end up looking different in the final design. These are the things that come up during a design and they can make you nuts if you let them.

Tomorrow: Step-By-Step - Day 3: The Ink and Paint Club

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Step-By-Step - Day 1: The Thumbnail

Alright folks, welcome to the first day of my multi-step "tutorial" on how I work. I get a lot of requests for this kind of thing so hopefully this will answer some of your questions.

Everything has a beginning and this beginning happens to be a rough thumbnail sketch done in Sharpie marker. This step is always the roughest of the rough. As you can see, I had ideas on top of ideas for this one. Originally it was just the little skull kid (who I call Lil' Johnny Melancholy) running through a field. Then I added a ball and some other kids for him to play with...or scare anyway. The kids were actually drawn on another part of the page and then dropped into the background (which is a fancy way of saying I cut them out and taped them into place.)

Obviously there are some glaring errors in this pic, like that middle cloud and the overly blocky mountain but that (and a few other things) will be altered in the next step. Speaking of which...

Tomorrow: Step-By-Step - Day 2: The Clean-Up

Monday, September 05, 2005

Illustration Friday - Roots

This is kind of a strange picture for me. It's not a terribly original idea for the "roots" subject and that sort of bothers me. On the other hand, this is the first time I've experimented with a really rough line in Illustrator so it's "new and exciting!"

...Well, to me anyway.

Everything except the cactus was first drawn in marker and then scanned into Adobe Illustrator where I "inked" it with the bezier pen tool. The cactus was built entirely in Illustrator, including all 60 billion cactus needles, and what a pain in the ass that was. I think it looks pretty good though. My biggest worry is that the clean style of the cactus clashes with the roughness of the background. Then again, I tend to over think things. No, seriously. I do.

Be sure to visit Illustration Friday to see what everyone else out there came up with.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage

I'm a little late with my post today because I actually managed to get a decent amount of sleep last night. I've gotten a lot of logo gigs lately and, honestly, I've never thought my logo work was as strong as my illustration work. So to warm up for all these new assignments I pieced together this "fake" logo using a Blambot font. For a goofy practice piece I don't think it turned out all that badly. Of course, you folks might think differently so feel free to speak up and let me know. Oh, and in case you're wondering: Skull Monkey is the official undead primate mascot of my pub buddies and I. In other words, he's what I draw on my placemat when I'm out drinking.

Starting Tuesday (since Monday is usually my Illustration Friday post. Figure that one out.) I'm going to start a series of step-by-step posts on how I put my work together. I get requests for such examples all the time so I thought I'd put together a pseudo-tutorial. Hopefully that doesn't sound as egotistical as I think it does....

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding

Dear god, am I tired today. It's crazy. Anyway, this is the mark of the previous jester character. I'm pleased with the way it turned out. It's a bit more ragged looking than a lot of my work. Plus it has an alchemical feel to it with the symbols and everything. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to take a nap....