Under Dogs

I made a cover I did for a childhood friend and his upcoming series about a couple of ex-military crime-fighters, called Under Dogs.  He plans on publishing them first as a written series, hoping to move it to a comic book format.  More details to follow, as they develop.


Nothing really new to report, I'm just trying to do some more "finished" art, and by that I mean, at least colored.  So...new thing that I did with color on it. wheee!

An End to the Means Process

I just finished a commission for a local indie jazz musician, Andy Mowatt.  He's releasing his new album An End to the Means, so he needed a cover for his cd and vinyl release.  He asked for something in the vein of Runaways, something post-apocalyptic with a similar atmosphere and color scheme. He wanted an image to really show the idea "An end to the means," or in other words, a new beginning from a disastrous end.  Most of these show life growing up out of the rubble.

                                            ^ He decided he liked this one.

The reasoning behind this one was to show this wasteland, a radioactive-yellow sky, and the smoking ruins of a once thriving city.  In the foreground, the catalyst for the apocalypse is planted like a seed, a massive, lush forest growing up around it, teeming with life.    
From there, I scanned it in at 600 dpi (dots per inch) and painted over it in photoshop.  I first did a rough painting over it it in greyscale, to get the composition, values and the depth of field to where I wanted it.  In order to accent the subject, I decided that the darkest part should be the forest, and the lightest part, the meteor. 
I then added the color to the rough values, trying to keep the color scheme succinct and unified.
As you can see, it's very rough and its only purpose is to get the general idea of what I'm trying to do. After I finished this rough, I printed it out to full size, 14 x 14 (larger than life, so the detail will shrink down a little tighter than I drew it.) I had to print out the 4 different corners and taped them together to get the full size.  I coated the back of the picture in graphic with a pencil, and transferred the image onto the cold press Bristol board.  I then used the graphite transfer as guidelines and drew over it with a blue col-erase pencil.
I inked over the lines with my #3 sable brush and black Winsor & Newton india ink.  I used the drybrush technique (blotting the first couple of strokes off the brush after dipping it, so the line becomes broken and textured), in an attempt to somewhat imitate the style of Craig Thompson. I then scanned it (again, in 4 parts, due to my smaller scanner) and pieced it back together in photoshop.
I cleaned up the lines before I started painting, but this is just the raw scan of the inks.  You can still see some of the blue lines.  Those will be taken out by using the Black and White adjustment and sliding the cyan setting so that it matches the white of the page.
The hardest part being done (some would say), I painted it in photoshop.  I made the inks in the jungle area deep purple for a little warmth, and the rest,  a dusty brown, so I could fade the background out, making it disappear into the distance, with a thick layer of dust filling the sky and making everything hazy.
The outline was simply to keep the dimensions all intact.  This was a halfway point of being finished, the background being in severe need of cleanup, though the foreground was, for the most part, finished.
This is the final (until further notice), with a slightly brightened up jungle and a mellowed out and tightened up background.  I ultimately decided to paint over the lines on the background, since it hurt the atmosphere more than it helped it.  The typeface is the same color as the jungle lines, so that it ties it all together.  
I hope you dig it!  Contact me if you want something done for you or spread the word to anyone who is looking for an artist! (that didn't come off as desperate, did it?) Stay tuned for some more art things!


Hey guys!
I haven't had a whole lot going on in the past month, but one thing of note is that I was asked to paint a mural for a local youth center.  Teen Central, the youth center, is a non-profit business, so I gladly did it pro bono.
After a bit of discussion about the content of the *mural, the director and I decided on a pretty straight-forward design that featured a couple youths.

I drew the design in photoshop.
 I had a friend print it out on a transparency sheet and we went out in the middle of the night and I traced the line art with a sharpie on the cinderblock wall.
I then realized I should have prepped the surface, after doing some research, so I did that around the lines.  That included sanding and washing the wall so it would take the paint better.
I bought cans of All-Weather acrylic paint, one of every primary color.  I started on the flesh tone on the boy first.  I decided to paint it cell-shading style, since blending would be nearly impossible with the materials I had.  I had the base (caucasian) flesh tone and created a highlight and shadow tone from that.

The wall is east-facing, so the sun is shining directly onto it.  When I first put the flesh tone on, it looked fine, but when I removed my sunglasses looked like the color of the wall, and I was practically blinded by the reflected light.  Luckily, the paint dried much darker, and it all worked out!  It wasn't necessary for you to know this, but I thought it was a fun tidbit.

I had to repaint her flesh tone a couple times because it kept on drying waaay too dark.  I was able to save it using two or three highlight tones and two or three shadow tones.
I started the lettering a few weeks later, due to conflicting scheduling.  I had an idea of what I wanted the lettering to look like, but I ended up free-handing it on the wall.  I measured it out using the bricks.  That was really time consuming.

I got my finger in the edge of this one :(  You can see the edge where the rest of the wall was repainted.  I had a bucket of the paint they used for that, to go around the edges and use it as an eraser 
where need be.
This is final painting.  I didn't get any photos between these two, but I added highlights and shadows to the lettering, and filled the wall color in, and I painted the lines in black paint.  

So that's it, sports fan, I hope you like it! You can see it person if you happen to live in the area.  It's on Wolf Street in Manheim, PA.

 If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me.  I'm available for commissions, contact me for details

Some of my best friends are animals

Hey, I'm still here! I finally did a thing worthy of putting up on my blog, kind of. My friends and I at Drunk Lightning drew each other as animals!
I drew my great friend Nicky as a bat!
This is her! and for side-by-side comparison, is her real life form! Also, me! Also, note the red pants. It's a thing.

Go forth and check out her stuff as well! 
Also, the Drunk Lightning blog which will soon have all these animal people up! (still waiting on a few submissions)

Thesis project

Thank you to all who made it out to the show on friday! It was a smashing success; over 2000 people came through the senior show, which is a new record high!  I'm sure the fact that it was First Friday and Art Walk didn't hurt, but I appreciate all who stopped by.  For everyone else who didn't get to make it out to the show, I'll fill you in on my bit.  As I had posted earlier on in the year, my thesis project was to write and draw a graphic novel.
This is a historical fiction about a young Japanese man during the start of World War II.  He had a defect from birth, a crippled leg.  His father was a high ranking general in the Japanese military.  When World War II broke out, the young man was unable to enlist due to his condition, and brought great shame and disappointment to his family.  He had to stay home with the women and children when all of his male relatives and friends went off to war.  He soon learns that his father was killed in combat, and at the funeral, he decides he needs to do something.  He decides that the only way he could do anything of value and to win back honor for his family is to enlist as a kamikaze pilot.  Considering himself a failure his entire life, he could at least die with purpose and make his existence worthwhile.  The moment of truth finally comes, and he's over some south pacific islands in his plane and his target is chosen.  As he swoops down, he is shot out of the sky.  The plane veers off target and he crashes into the water.  His body is washed ashore on one of the islands and he opens his eyes.  He has failed once again.  Not only did he miss his target, but he didn't even die.  But as he lies there in the shallows, a new thought comes to his mind.  He's dead.  As far as anyone knows, anyways.  He's the only one who  knows of his survival.  His mother, his wife, his government and platoon all think he's dead.  This can be a new beginning for him.  He no longer has to live with the disappointment and shame he's caused his family.  He sits up in the water, the will to live flooding back into his body.  A strange feeling, having embraced the idea of death for so long.  He's been reborn.
This is the 1st part of a planned four part graphic novel.  The rest follow his escapades as he encounters some dangers and trials, and he looks for a way of escape.

I had four parts illustrated for my thesis, just excerpts to show the story.  The graphic novel will be , for the most part, wordless.

 So everyone who missed the show is now caught up with everything.  I plan to keep this going in the background and plan to publish once I finish.  Stay tuned for updates.