This blog...

...was initially for pieces done on a computer, but has since become a free-for-all. Here you'll find process work (digital and otherwise), sketch pages and studies, sometimes with commentary.

You can see the rest of my work here.

Remember kids : if you can't make pretty designs, at least make pretty lines!


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of '09!

Updated the ol' Scrolling Totem, as is the annual tradition.

It's in memory of our cat Poo, who passed away this year. It also heralds the addition of two new hellacious kittens, Terrance and Mr. Sparkles.

(And yes, I used ARTracker to plan this. Gave myself the afternoon to complete it.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...ARTracker (TM)

I'll print out a stack of these and force myself to fill 'em out before embarking on a new piece. While it may seem unnecessarily formal, I'm not sure my informal approach was working. I'll be beta testing ARTracker in the new year!

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice!


My coworker/bff Phu once said something poignant to me about our profession. When complimented on a comp of alien plants -- 15 on a single page and all very good -- he replied "Everything looks good when there's a million of them." Quality vs. quantity. If you don't have one, you'd better have the other.

In concept art, you have to continually prove you can be a "quantity" guy. The job flat-out requires it. Here at the end of 2009, I'm going to state -- to myself -- that I can do that. I can thumbnail and strategize until no stone is unturned. I will not suddenly lose that ability if I don't continually make use of it. There will be plenty of opportunities to prove that in 2010, and for the rest of my career.

But, when it comes to my aim of producing more pieces and less sketches, I must resolve to put aside iteration and go for the throat, planning in the mind and, if necessary, with written words before placing the first stroke. Good work starts with a clear goal.

Where pieces are concerned, my thumbnails will be appropriately small and loose. Once past thumbnails, I will draw ONE composition per page. I will not overload it with distracting, ancillary doodles or alternate designs. If need be, I will switch back and forth with another illustation to keep things fresh, but they will be DIFFERENT illustrations. At no point will I have MORE THAN TWO GOING AT ONCE. Today I had five pages going, and it overwhelmed me.

When I post on this blog, each post (with the exception of lifedrawing posts, which I will keep to a once-a-month maximum) will be of a SINGLE image rather than many. I will stick with each stage of a piece until it's ready for the next. I WILL DO THIS. CALL ME ON IT IF I DON'T.

Sketchpages are fun, and I'll no doubt keep doing them, but it's clear I need to establish some ground rules going forward. There will still be pumpkins and nudes, but hopefully this method will help me put more love into them, and get more out of the process.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stacy Moran - refsheet

I must have too much free time on my hands.

Many girls who pose for gentlemen's magazines are pretty, but not all are beautiful. Stacy Moran, in her prime, is what I'd call a classic beauty. Her natural, soft features (34C-23-32) and tendency to wear her hair pulled back reminds me of the pinup models of the 60s, who, though before my time, have become my quality bar for feminine beauty. Even Stacy's nose is perfect. Look at it and tell me porn is a bad thing.

Though technically "vintage erotica" material, this retired Penthouse Pet of many monikers is still synonymous with my image of ideal womanhood. Pornhounds in my age range will remember her regular appearances in Club International, which I realize sounds pathetic, but bear in mind -- this was back when I was still smuggling magazines into my parents' house and hadn't yet fallen prey to video or the Internet. I suppose whoever you're exposed to early on has a way of embedding themselves in your consciousness, but in all sincerity, I don't know of any contemporary starlets who even come close to Stacy. And it's not as if I haven't been looking!

Googling her will bring you up to speed on the sizzling pictorials you've missed. You can also see brief snippets of her on YouTube, and for the hardcore aficionados there's a low-quality recording of her with some VERY unworthy dude, but I don't recommend watching any of it. Some things are best left to the imagination.

I read a rumor that she now teaches kindergarten in some Texas school, no doubt inspiring a new generation of sexually frustrated artists. Stacy (or whatever your real name is), I salute you!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

caricatured cheesecake cntd.

Another mixture of girl studies and sketches...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

proposal / support

Here's a refinement of a concept from a previous sketchpage. Would you believe it took me a whole day to get this far, and that it still didn't result in a "finished" piece?

Here are some gesture studies inspired by a fortune cookie. The starred one best communicates the concept of "accepting support graciously" -- too much distracting and contradictory stuff going on in the others.

In the spirit of accepting support graciously, I'd like to admit to a worrisome problem of mine, in the hopes that my art peers might offer their advice. It involves follow-through, or a lack thereof. Above are two ideas that, were I to take the time and "buckle down", could lend themselves to finished illustrations. Yet I have no interest in doing so.

I blame this on one (or a combination) of the following :

1) I have mentally "solved" them, so they no longer present a sufficiently stimulating challenge.
2) I am fearful of "killing" drawings by replacing spontaneous, energetic lines with resolute, dead ones.
3) I am hiding in my roughs because, deep down, I know I haven't the skill or patience to render.
4) My short attention span is the result of a mental defect for which I require medication.
5) I am lazy.

Doubtless there are others who struggle with similar issues. I'm curious to hear solutions.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

lifedrawing log - 12.19.09

Last lifedrawing post of the year! I know you guys probably get sick of seeing this stuff, but it's more to help me monitor progress. I find these sessions fulfilling because they present some very interesting and specific problems to be solved within very narrow timeframes. Concrte goal, concrete deadline. Before I can get bored, there's always a new pose, a fresh challenge. What's more, I'm completely shut off from all other distractions and demands for the duration, so I tend to think more and do more. Plus I get to listen to all the music I've been neglecting, so double-win.



Comparing it to stuff I did at roughly the same time last year, I'd say my shit is definitely zippier now...less rigid and static. I owe that to Drawn To Life Vols. 1 & 2 by Walt Stanchfield, who preached analysis and communication over crosshatching and copying. Dude is definitely the best teacher I never had, and his essays will be at my bedside for years to come.

Who's kickin' out the jams?

My camera died in the process of documenting today's output, so while I wait for a recharge, I'll take a moment to pimp my friend and coworker Dan Beaulieu who, as I like to say, has been kickin' out some serious jams these past few weeks.

I'm especially fond of Cosbynaut.

Friday, December 18, 2009

some sketching from this week

Bits and bobs...and bots.

lifedrawing log -- Dr. Sketchy

Against my better judgement, I decided to check out Austin's chapter of Dr. Sketchy. Kinda saucy/burlesque-y, and the organizer was cool but...

1) Their MC was a wannabe stand-up comic who insisted on subjecting everyone to her act. I'm trying to forget she exists.
2) We had to sit through a fund-raising video for the local Burning Man crowd who were wanting us to help finance next year's wooden hippy-shrine, to be painstakingly erected for the express purpose of setting it ablaze. Woooowwww, zen, maaaan...
3) Half the crowd were gawkers who were just there to booze it up and see half-naked girls. "Sketchy" of a different variety.
4) Texas-themed Christmas music. 'Nuff said.

In spite of these things, I got to hang with some cool people and draw.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

lifedrawing log - 12.12.09

Of these, I'm happiest with the one with the star to the left of it. It's not exactly what she was doing (some of the others are closer), but it's the most descriptive one. I tried using it as a guide, but "lost the plot" on a larger attempt.

Lifedrawing peeve #5004 :
If you're unhappy with a model's pose as it pertains to your viewing angle, get up off your crusty, octogenarian ass and move to a different part of the room. Part of the thrill of lifedrawing is its randomness. Model. Pose. Angle. Lighting.

You can't plop down for three hours and expect the mountain to come to Moses.


Doing studies not only emphasized the importance of gesture, but reminded me how I neglect to add black to my shit, resulting in a flat, "coloring book" look.

On the subject, I remember my old A.D. Chris Lichtner remarking "What that does is it grounds the image." I guess, like overlap, I have the same timidity when it comes to obscuring something I've drawn. Being bold with both doesn't appear to hurt.


I'd been lax on studies, but don't have much interest in classic painters, so I decided to have a glance at some of my favorite artists to get a flavor for their flair. They are, of course, just studies and not 1-1 reproductions.

There's some Massimo Carnevale, Duncan Fegredo, Eric Canete and Bill Presing in here.

Can't wait to get some Vatine, Wendling and Terada under my nails. Got my feet wet with some Gil Elvgren some months back, but really, I should have started doing this long ago. Even people I don't have the pleasure of knowing in real life have a lot to teach me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

last night's pencil ejaculate

Studying me some Eric Canete hands! 5 of the hands here were sourced from Amazing Spider Man #611. Goddamn that man can draw...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Horny Holidays / Belkin n52te

Merry Christmas to me! Finally took the advice of some industry friends and bought myself a Belkin n52te Nostromo Speedpad...which is every bit as cool as it sounds. When used in tandem with the buttons on a Cintiq, it makes Photoshopping a breeze. Now my right hand is free to draw, with my left doing most of the work. AND I don't have to touch a mouse or keyboard.

I suppose you could game with it, too...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pumpkin Jam 4

I must be slipping in my old age. One of my art penpals Adam Street hooked up some pumpkins this year and I totally missed it. I'm a horrible friend...

God Loves A Whore

This CERTAINLY did not come from a remark a coworker of mine once made...

This version occured to me after, but its execution is kinda linear and dull.

lifedrawing log - 12.07.09

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wood sprite -- rough refined

I can't tell you how much I prefer pure doodling over planned compositions. Spent all afternoon just refining this rough. The idea, which I'm tryinig to keep simple, is "Woodsman comes upon a sprite." As usual, the girl is the only part that's fun to draw.

I'm not even that excited to finish, but only because I know that finishing stuff is hard. Let's see if I can slog through...

some recent sketching

Included here :
-misc. magazine/catalog doodles
-tv doodles
-coffeehouse doodles
-Wendy's new haircut
-a thumbnail for a new piece I'm going to do
-the usual

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Autodestruct 2009 Playlist

Just albums...add comps and podcasts into the mix, and it's too much. Favorites are starred.

Mono "Hymn To The Immortal Wind" [Temporary Residence Limited]*
Port Royal "Dying In Time" [n5MD]*
Epic45 "In All The Empty Houses" [Make Mine Music]
Balmorhea "All Is Wild, All Is Silent" [Western Vinyl]
Tim Exile "Listening Tree" [Warp]*
Wisp "The Shimmering Hour" [Rephlex]*
Wisp "We Miss You" [Rephlex]*
Kettel "My Am James Pt. 2" [Sending Orbs]*
Yagya "Rigning" [Sending Orbs]*
Hecq "Steeltongued" [Hymen]
Marching Dynamics "The Workers Party of Haiti" [Hymen]
Millipede "All My Best Intentions" [Hymen]
Jacaszek "Pentral" [Gusstaff]
The Killimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble "Mutations EP" [Ad Noiseam]*
The Killimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble "Here Be Dragons" [Ad Noiseam]*
The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corportation "Succubus" [Ad Noiseam]*
DJ Hidden "The Words Below" [Ad Noiseam]*
Broken Note "Terminal Static" [Ad Noiseam]*
Somatic Responses "Reformation" [Ad Noiseam]
The Slew "100%" [Puget Sound]
MC Paul Barman "Thought Balloon Mushroom Cloud" [Househusband] *
The Herbaliser Band "Session 2" [!K7]
Two Fingers "Two Fingers" [Paper Bag]
Luke Vibert "We Hear You" [Planet Mu]
Luke Vibert "Rhythm" [Sound of Speed]
Jega "Variance" [Planet Mu]
Boxcutter "Arecibo Message" [Planet Mu]*
Shitmat "One Foot In The Rave" [Planet Mu]
Venetian Snares "Filth" [Planet Mu]
Venetian Snares "Horsey Noises" [Planet Mu]
Syntheme "Lasers 'N' Shit" [Planet Mu]
Yppah "They Know What The Ghost Know" [Ninja Tune]*
Ochre "Like Dust of The Balance" [Benbecula]
Mistabishi "Drop" [Hospital]*
Bop "Clear Your Mind" [Med School]
The Upbeats "Big Skeleton" [Non Vogue]*
The Qemists "Join The Q" [Ninja Tune]
SPL "SPL" [Lost Soul Recordings]
Kryptic Minds "One Of Us" [Swamp 81]
Union Jack "Pylon Pigs" [Platipus]
Moderat "Moderat" [Shitkatapult]
Telefon Tel Aviv "Immolate Yourself" [Shitkatapult]
The Prodigy "Invaders Must Die" [Take Me To The Hospital]


Aes Dana "Leylines" [Ultimae]
Solar Fields "Movements" [Ultimae]*
H.U.V.A. Network "Ephermeris" [Ultimae]
Bluetech "The Divine Invasion" [Aleph Zero]
Troll Scientists "Sir Eel" [Exogenic]
Transwave "Front Fire" [Fineplay]*
Total Eclipse "Tales of the Shaman" [Mandala]
Delirius Noon "Launch For Lactus" [Vertigo]
Secret Vibes "Firefly" [Aboriginal]
Freeform Human "Arnika" [Gi'iwa Productions]
Cosmosis "Fumbling For The Funky Frequency" [Holophonic]
Omegahertz "Anamorfoplasis" [ELXISDG]
Afgin "Astral Experience" [Suntrip]
Pop Stream "Odyssey Protocols" [Phonokol]
Flooting Grooves "Psydeburns" [Peak]
Shpongle "Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland" [Twisted]*
Liquid Stranger "The Intergalactic Slapstick" [Interchill]*
Tristan Boyle "Future Fabric" [Up]
Principles of Flight "Chaos Opera" [Timecode]
Ghreg On Earth "T3" [Underground Sound Promotions]
The Delta "Minusman" [Nachtstrom Schallplatten]
Uton Spark "Essential Void" [Durga]
Jirah "The Flourogenic EP" [PsyCore]

P.S. -- I know no one gives a shit about what I listen to, but it's fun to keep track. Big love to my bosom chum, Headphone Commute.

lifedrawing log - 12.05.09

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Speedpinup 2

A fortune cookie dictated the path of today's speedpinup.

Darksiders in the Dec. issue of Play Magazine

This image of mine saw print, so I'll mirror it here.

Joe Mad, Nick Southam and Phu Giang are responsible for a sizeable chunk of the game's visual backbone, concept wise, but I chipped in here and there.

Check back in January for a larger display of my work on Vigil's monumental flagship title, Darksiders, coming soon to a store near you! And be sure to pick up a copy of the December issue of Play, on stands now -- the Joe Mad variant cover, if you know what's good for ya!

lifedrawing log - 11.30.09

Amusing story : The model, aware of my extracurricular drawing, asked if I was going to turn her into a pornstar. My guess is that this was only a playful rib, but just to be double-clear, I'm *not* in the habit of converting my lifedrawing into pr0n when I get home. Like, I don't Photoshop high heels and huge, gravity-defying breasts onto the nudes that fill up my newsprint pads.