Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pet Peeve

I have a hard time believing we have the technology to put a man on the moon and yet we can't build a smoke detector that can distinguish between my house burning down and me cooking a friggin' pizza.

A quick sketch for Illustration Friday's topic: Pet Peeve.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Atland Process.

Suh weet! Our Atland strip won the guest strip competition! I'm stoked. My thanks go out to all the other competitors (they was some great stuff in there), my fellow conspirator Jon Kipling for being Johnny-on-the-spot with such a great script, and to Nate Piekos for doing such an awesome comic as Atland. After doing this one strip I quickly realized how much work goes into doing these, I couldn't imagine having to come up with one a week. Whew! My hat is definitely off to Nate.

So that being said, I thought it would be fun to post my process which is much different than the way Nate does his, notably I knew when I started I wasn't going to work on 11x17 paper. I like to work small, I try to keep all my stuff on 8.5x11 paper. 1) It saves me time (working freelance this means more $) & 2) everything will fit conveniently on my scanner (which I am extremely reliant on).

So first off I contacted John to see if he'd ever heard of Atland and then if he'd be interested in writing a script. He read all 170+ episodes and banged out an awesome script in record time (I think he said it took him around 30 minutes). You can read the script here. Even his descriptions and scene set ups were funny and I found myself laughing out loud which was a sure sign that we had a winner.

(1) In my usual fashion I read the script then "rolled it around a bit", gave my subconscious some time to work it over. After a few days I started scribbling, working out layout, some character poses, mainly working on Queen Maple Butter... the process being what I affectionately call the "brain dump".

After that a long time went by, I wasn't happy with what I had, wasn't feeling it, and got real discouraged. I had a great script and what I had drawn was mostly crap. I moved it to the back of my priorities, the deadline was looming, and resigned myself to the fact that I probably wouldn't have time to get back to it. Bummer.

So the day of the deadline was upon me and while in the shower I said to myself, "Self, I'm finishing this damn script today. Cowboy up and nail it." So that's what I did.

(2) I scanned my scribbles and using another episode of Atland as my template I began laying it out. After I had an initial layout I printed out a version and did some pencils on top of my rough. I scanned these again and used these as my rough artwork. I knew the episode would appear small online and I wanted the type to be readable at that size so I laid out the type font and size at this point. Also I knew the word balloons would be integral to the final layout so I also figured out where those would go and how the art would fall under them.

(3) After deciding where all the type would go and fit inside the word balloons I dropped out the type, turned all the line work to blue line in Photoshop I printed this out and did my inks right on top of my print out.

My final inks are small as you can see from the photo, a size I'm comfortable with. I ink with pigma microns and faber-castel brush pens (my favorite pens ever). * I swear that the brown pens give me a better line but I think this might just be my imagination.

I then scanned the inks at 600 dpi then enlarged them to the 11x17 size while dropping the resolution to 400 dpi (the specs for the final). I cleaned up the line work a bit then started coloring. My coloring process is very similar to the way Nate does his and pretty much the same as the way I did the Fishing For Terrorists cards. I was quickly realizing that I was going to barely make the deadline (Thursday at midnight) if at all and I had to keep myself from going off on a tangent and spending too much time on any one thing (I too often find myself zoomed in 400% erasing pixels...) and my file quickly ballooned to a whopping 105 megs so every time I saved it would take around 5 minutes. I was starting to sweat...

I finally finished up the final at 11:33 pm, 27 minutes to spare. Luckily no unexpected problem arose or I would have totally blown it. I didn't give myself much breathing room.
I think I like working with a gun to my head, either that or I'm King Procrastinator... I think it's a combination of both. Anyway, that's it in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed the process.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Atland strip and "Rock"

Well I've taken off a few days this week to spend Spring break with my nephews, Orion and Sirius. So far it's been a fun filled week with lots of board gaming, role-playing, video gaming, etc... (actually lots of me watching their insane skills at Guitar Hero). We have affectionately named it "Geek Fest 2008". So while waiting for the guys to get up each morning I've done a little fan art...

I entered the contest over at Atland for a one-shot strip with a writer buddy of mine, John Kipling. If you've never read it ours won't make much sense but if you do, you'll totally get it. It was a hoot.

My friends, Paul Adam and Alicia Traveria, did some fan art for Animal Band so I thought I'd get into the action with a pic of Rock (easily one of the coolest names for a cat I've ever heard).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Captain Carabel and the Justine

I've been super busy lately and most projects I'm currently working on have been either top secret or still in the rough/development stage so I haven't had a whole lot to post lately. So I dug into some old files to try to find something cool to post. I found these old Shawks designs I did for Captain Carabel and his ship the Justine, which he now uses for his house. I based the Justine on the Orca, Quint's ship in Jaws and I based Captain Carabel on my granddad. My granddad always had an old fishing boat in his driveway on blocks when I was a kid and I spent a lot of time crawling around in it. It totally made sense.

You can watch the episode where the Justine and Captain Carabel appear here.

Have a cool St. Pat's day everyone.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

TMNT pinup pencils

Whew. Here are the final pencils for the TMNT pinup. Eric said "go nuts and have fun with it", well I did both (now where am I going to put my signature...?) I'm probably going to ink on vellum which gives a super clean finish which I'm shooting for. It will appear in the book in black & white and I want to eliminate all my pencil "noise" and not ink directly on my pencils, which is what I usually do.

I believe it will appear in issue #45 of The Tales of the TMNT inside cover. I can't show the final inked version until it actually comes out so if you wanna see it go out and grab a copy.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TMNT pinup rough

Well I hinted last week that I had a project cooking for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Well I was contacted by Eric Talbot about doing a pinup for an upcoming issue of the TMNT comic book. I instantly said I'd love to and tried not to go all fanboy on him and maintain a measure of professionalism. This is my first rough and it may change a lot from now but this is my first go at it. You have no idea how cool it is to be drawing these guys. I was a big fan of the comic way back when they were still in black and white, before they became the mega stars they are now.

Animal Band

My good pal, Christopher Jennings, had his first book release last week. It's called "Animal Band" and it rocks (literally). Awesome illustrations as expected. You should check it out.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Friday, March 07, 2008

Karaoke Singing Octopus - Con sketch

Well I told ya I did a karaoke singing octopus sketch at Wizard World last November. Well here he is. Pretty random but it was fun. Thanks for the scan Christoper!

*In completely unrelated art news, the Titans just resigned one of my favorite players of all times Jevon "The Freak" Kearse. Hell yeah. Our defense is going to be ridiculously sick next year. I can't frickin' wait.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Gary Gygax 1938 - 2008

Man my life would have been a lot different if this guy hadn't been around. I'm hoping he's chilling with all the deities and demigods in the sky. We'll miss ya Gary.