Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's Alright Ma, It's Only Music Playlist

WUWM has finally put up the set list for Bob Reitman's "It's Alright Ma, It's Only Music" that played OilCan Drive's version of Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" on January 14th.

It's Alright, Ma, It's Only Music

Thursday January 14, 2010

Song To Woody
Bob Dylan

Song To Bobby
Cat Power

Hey Bobby
K.T. Oslin

I Don’t Want To Go Down To The Basement

Gone For Good

Elvis Perkins

Hey! Baby
Bruce Channel

Hey Baby
J.J. Cale

Hey Baby Right Away
John Hurt

Hey Bulldog

Hey Billie
Jean Siegel-Schwall Band

Hey Babe, Have You Been Cheatin’?
Eric Anderson

Hey Jayne
Robert Plant

Hey Hey What Can I Do
Led Zeppelin

Mean Woman Blues
Roy Orbison

Hard Headed Woman
Elvis Presley

Hard Headed Woman
Wanda Jackson

When I Paint My Masterpiece
Oilcan Drive

Me And Billy The Kid
Joe Ely

Drivin’ ‘Cross Russia
Joe Ely

She Collected
Joe Ely

Champion Angel
Low Anthem

Home I’ll Never Be
Tom Waits

Home I’ll Never Be
Low Anthem

I See The Light
Hot Tuna

Candy Man
Hot Tuna

Those Dancing Days Are Gone
Carla Bruni (w/ Lou Reed)

Walk On The Wild Side (partial)
Lou Reed

Can I Kick It?
A Tribe Called Quest

Velvet Underground
Jonathan Richman

Gotta Travel On (partial)
Billy Grammer

Not bad company to be in at all.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pulling Strings

I finished up coloring this piece the other day and thought it was about time I put it up on the blog.

The black and white version of this piece will be in the new OilCan Drive book but, for some reason, I really wanted to color it as well. Chalk it up to really wanting to work on something that was mine while I wound down from some of the client work I've been doing. And this piece was already scanned into the computer and ready to go.

So, I'll probably use it somewhere on the website now. Where I'm not so sure of yet. But, it will be used.

And, speaking of the website, I've done initial designs and should have something basic up soon. Right now the band is in the studio laying down tracks for the new album and they've been keeping a running journal of what's been going on. So, you know I have to put that in the new website somewhere.

Things are coming together. I am a bunch of steps ahead of where I was last week and I'm feeling great. I had planned on doing a lot of what I am doing now over the holiday break but, the moment I had some time off, I was just too exhausted. But not this time. This time I'm fired up, inspired, and just pissed off enough to keep going.

And I'm having a blast!

Friday, January 29, 2010

From The Vault - Painted Head Study 1995

Another piece from under the bed in Maine!

I did this piece way back in 1995, using a technique where I would airbrush all the dark shadows in first using Dr. Martin Dyes, then cover the whole piece with a blue shade of acrylics, and then go back in at the end and add the white highlights with acrylic and color pencil.

I'm not sure how I came up with this technique but this might have been the first time I tried it.

It would certainly explain why I did just a simple bald head. Bald heads are the best way to try new techniques!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keep on Coloring!

The thoughts yesterday about the OilCan Drive website has my head spinning with ideas.

What does a good band website need? What kind of information does it need? Does it make any difference that the band is a cartoon band?

These are the things that have been running through my head for the last twenty four hours. So, last night I started jotting down ideas and playing with an OilCan Drive website layout.

So far, as a basic idea, the main buttons featured are for the Band (bio of the band, member bios, gear they use, photos), Media (photos, art, videos, wallpaper downloads), Music (CD discography, streaming music, free music downloads), Links (to other sites featuring OCD like MySpace, CDbaby, Itunes, my own art site), and Store (where you can buy all the cool new OCD stuff). I also have smaller buttons for Press (anything I can find people said about OCD), Shows (it's a band, they tour you know), and Contact (email and physical mail addresses).

There will also be a news feed using a blog and an iframes code to put it right on the home page so you won't have to leave the page to read any news. I figure the more I keep right there in front of you the better.

Is there anything else you'd like to see on a band website? Is there anything you'd leave out of the page? I'd love to hear any and all ideas. I want this to be fun and informative.

Oh, and the art up top. I had to do something while I was thinking of all these ideas. So, why not paint another OilCan Drive piece I have scanned into the computer? It lets my hands move while my mind wanders.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We're BAAAAAACK! Part 2

I finished up the color on this piece the other night and thought it was definitely worth showing.

I'm not exactly sure where this piece will show up in the grand scheme of the OilCan Drive universe. Every time I write a "to do" list on the project it always comes down to three major things: Book, Album, Website.

And, somehow, I have yet to cross any of those items off of my list. Oh sure, they're all big items and I've crossed off subsets of things under them but it sure would be nice to cross one of the big items off. But, as I say most days about anything, "it's getting there."

The Book: The interior story is done, inked, lettered and ready to go. All the interior art is done and the layouts for the title and information pages are coming along. I still need covers for the book, the CD, and the album sleeve. And I need to conduct and write an interview with the band about the new album.

The Album: The whole album has been arranged and demoed out. Meaning, I could give you an OilCan Drive album but it's a bunch of acoustic demos where half the songs have gibberish for lyrics. But, the template is done and just needs the full band to find the time to get into the studio to record it. Oh yeah, and some of those lyrics need to be written.

The Website: Um...I have ideas in my head and some sketches in a notebook. I have thought about it and I know I need it but nothing has been done yet. Yeah, I've dropped the ball on the website.

So, maybe, just to put a little 'x' in the wesbsite column, I'll call this piece the first piece done for the website. It's not much, but it's a start.

Like I said, It's getting there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time Magazine

Thanks to Rob Kelly for pointing this out or I never would have known about it.

Apparently the stylized portraits I did for Time Magazine's website, Techland, were used in this week's issue (and maybe last) of the actual Time Magazine.

Not a bad thing to find in the Safeway at eleven o'clock at night. The only problem is that the cashier didn't really seem to care that my art was in Time Magazine. Maybe they didn't believe it was work that I actually did. Or maybe they really just weren't impressed. After all, it was only an ad inside of the magazine.

Next time I'll have to see if I can do something for the cover.

That might impress them.

Monday, January 25, 2010


You'd think that after over three weeks of working straight, juggling up to three client jobs at a time, and running myself ragged with no days off, that I would have been exhausted when I finally finished up and emailed those final files late last night.

But, OilCan Drive seemed to have other things in mind.

No sooner did the email box say "sent" and I was back to the computer painting this OilCan Drive piece.

It seems as if the band had been hearing about all these amazing things happening for them and couldn't be contained anymore.

If this piece says anything to me (and, as tired as I was last night while working on it I wouldn't have been surprised if the characters DID start talking to me) it says, "we're back, we're pissed off, and we're ready to take on the world!"

Buckle up, it's going to be quite a ride!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Almost done!

The last day of inking, scanning, and doing the gray tones on the newest Jake Maddox book happens today.

With any luck, by the time I go to sleep tonight, this book will be done and off to the client for tomorrow morning.

OK, back to it. Daylight is a wastin'!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's Alright Ma!

So I finally found some time this week to get the OilCan Drive radio show appearance off of my little digital tape recorder and onto the computer. It's been a busy week so sorry it took me so long. It was a great show and I'm still so thankful for Bob Reitman of WUWM for being a fan of the band.

I ended up editing the show a bit and put together the two parts of the show where Reitman mentioned OilCan Drive. I wasn't sure of the legal mess I might get myself into if I posted the whole two hour show full of people like Elvis, Roy Orbison, Led Zeppelin, and the Ramones. I figure OilCan Drive likes me so hopefully they won't sue.


As my brother said when he heard this clip: "I'm listening to my brother cover Bob Dylan on some mid-western radio station - I guess stranger things have happened, but at the moment I'm hard pressed to think of them."

So, without further ado, here is the first ever radio appearance of OilCan Drive. Surely it's at least one sign of the Apocalypse.

If you can't view the music player in your browser,the link for the song can be found HERE.

Friday, January 22, 2010

From the Vault - T-1000 1992

In my third year at the Kubert School of art, during a caricature class, we were given an assignment to do a caricature of a famous person as an object. Fresh off of my love for the newest Terminator 2 movie, I decided to make the T-100 himself, Robert Patrick, into a toaster.

It probably wasn't exactly what the assignment called for. I think the point was to make a caricature out of objects, but it got the job done. One classmate made Alan Rickman from Robin Hood out of a castle and swords. I think that is more what the teacher had in mind. Ah, well. As you can see from various posts from out of the vault, I wasn't too good at following instructions to the letter and pushed a few things.

But, it did give me a chance to hone some more airbrush skills and to practice some metal techniques. Plus, look at that awesome checkerboard tablecloth and grainy cement-like back wall! Those were other new things I was messing with using the airbrush.

And, in the end, it didn't turn out too bad at all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ice Bowl Part 2

As a companion piece to the art I posted yesterday, I thought I'd show off the finished art where I used the photo referenced marker sketch.

I really like the way the cartoony, slick ink line of the main characters contrasts with the ragged, beat up, photo look found in the magazine the boys are looking at. While the photo art by itself might look a bit cheesy, when thrown into this context I think it works really well and sells the scene.

OK, back to the drawing board. There is more inking to be done!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Ice Bowl!

In a new illustration I was asked to draw a shot that looked over the boys' shoulders as they read the magazine. The page they had turned to showed the game winning touchdown where almost all the players of both teams were piled up on the goal line while the referee signaled a touchdown. When I read the description my first thought was, "how the hell am I going to pull this off?"

Thankfully, we live in an internet age where finding shots of the game were as easy as typing it into a Google search. So, I had the photo the boys were looking at. Now, how to turn it into art without just swiping the photo and popping it into the art?

For those of you who are students out there this method will seem like cheating. Whatever. Go tell the teacher on me and get me in trouble. The bottom line is that this method works and it works well. And, there are no rules in "art."

I took the photo and, using Photoshop, converted it into a blue line photo. What that means is that when I printed the photo out, all the grays and blacks of the photo were now in a non-reproducable blue hue. This way I could go over the photo in black ink, tracing off the players and the referees. When I was done and scanned the image back into the computer, only the black line was seen but all the blue dropped out of the image. I now had a nicely drawn inked line piece of art of the photo.

I then took the original photo and turned it into a simple four toned cut paper piece using Photoshop. All of the tones and grays instantly turned into a simple four toned piece that made it look like someone had built the whole photo out of construction paper.

I laid the toned photo underneath the inked line work and, ta-dum, instant magazine art!

A few other touches like adding some text and some wear and tear lines on top of the photo and it made the whole magazine image look like it really came from forty years ago.

It isn't perfect, mind you, but it works well and really contrasts against the clean, cartoony ink lines of the main characters looking at the magazine image.

Another step down, just a few more to go.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let the Inking Begin!

I started laying down ink this morning on the latest children's book for Stone Arch books.

I figure, given the schedule, I need to ink at least two pieces a day to make the deadline next week.

So far so good!

OK, back to it. There's no time to waste!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Just taking the morning to add some color to a client's job.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long week.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tonya Kay Blog Post

Tonya Kay, the model I based this pin-up on, had some great things to say about the piece in a blog entry she posted yesterday.

In a post that includes phrases like "I am infatuated with Sean Tiffany's art" you know it can't be a bad thing. I'm really happy she enjoyed the completed piece. It was wonderful to work with her and I can't wait to do it again.

You can read the rest of her great entry HERE.

Thank you, Miss Tonya Kay, I'm looking forward to working with you and making you into art again!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

OilCan Drive Radio Debut Re-airing

Just a reminder that OilCan Drive's radio debut will be re-airing tonight on Bob Reitman's WUWM show, "It's Alright Ma, It's Only Music."

I tried to listen to the show on Thursday night but my internet connection went a little haywire and the whole show got chopped up. It was like someone took the sound file, chopped it into pieces, and then pulled it apart. So, a two hour chunk of a sound file was only an hours worth of the show chopped up. Talk about frustrating.

But, from what I heard amidst the mess up, it was a great show. There were songs by Elvis, Cat Powers, Led Zeppelin, The Ramones, and, yes, even OilCan Drive. I always figured that if, and it always seemed like such a big IF, if OilCan Drive ever got played on the radio it might be some local college radio station on a show that might feature new local artists. Kind of one of those shows where the feel is, "here is a bunch of shitty new music and, amidst that shitty new music, here is OilCan Drive's shitty new music."

So, to be included in a program amidst such great artists still amazes me. And to be recognized by a legendary DJ like Bob Reitman is really an honor.

Bob had some really great things to say about the band and I am still amazed he is a fan. And, after reading more about his life and career, I can say I'm overjoyed he came out of retirement and is continuing to do his show weekly at WUWM. Thanks again, Bob, you're the best!

So, listen tonight if you can. These shows are not rebroadcast and are not available on demand or for purchase. If you want to hear the show, tonight is your last chance.

Bob's show, "It's Alright Ma, It's Only Music" replays tonight (Saturday) at 9pm CST. That's 10pm to all my east coast friends, 8pm to all my friends here in the Rocky Mountains, and, just because I love you, 7pm to all you folks on the west coast. And, for my friend in France, sorry Manu, you're going to have to figure out what time it is on your end yourself. You can listen on the web with the WUWM 89.7 FM /HD-1 streaming channel HERE.

Friday, January 15, 2010

From The Vault - OilCan Drive Calendar 2003

In honor of OilCan Drive having a great week, what with being on the radio and all, I thought I'd dig back into the vault and pull out a few art pieces from 2003.

When I left the daytime job type job and set out on a career of freelancing for the second time in my life I thought I'd have all kinds of free time to do personal projects. One of the projects I was itching to tackle was OilCan Drive. While I wasn't quite ready to dive into a full comic book story about the band I thought I'd start slowly and do a calendar. I mean, how hard could it be to do twelve to thirteen single illustrations of the band I loved?

Little did I know that a freelance art career can take on a life of it's own.

Before I knew it I was buried in work and the end of the year was coming up fast. So, it's a project I never quite got to finish.

But, as you can see, it would have been fun. Plus, it's always neat to see half penciled, half inked pieces right in the middle of the work.

So, no OilCan Drive 2004 Calendar.

Maybe, if I'm lucky and play my cards right, there may be one ready for 2011.

But, don't quote me on that.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Radio Nowhere

OilCan Drive is going to be on the radio!

Yes, OilCan Drive, the cartoon band that lives in my head and comes to life in a small corner of my living room, is going to be on an actual radio station program!

One of the great things that happened last week after I found out OilCan Drive had joined the ranks of Johnny Cash, Nancy Sinatra, and Joan Baez in covering a Bob Dylan song was that linked to my blog about the story I wrote. My hits skyrocketed!

One of the people who came across my blog and the OilCan Drive music I was working on was Bob Reitman, host of the WUWM radio program out of Milwaukee, "It's Alright Ma, It's Only Music." Bob seemed to like what I was doing and asked where he could buy some of my music. Since I don't have any of the music for sale (soon, I promise...soon!) I sent Bob off a few MP3s.

And it looks like, if all goes well, OilCan Drive will be on Bob's show tonight playing a cover of Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece."

Wow. How weird is that?

I originally recorded the song because I always wanted to do a punk rock twist of some of Bob Dylan's music. Rob Kelly, one of my great friends, is a HUGE Bob Dylan fan so I asked him, if he could choose any song for me to cover, which one would he choose? Rob, without missing a beat, chose "Masterpiece", one of his favorite Dylan songs.

So, "When I Paint My Masterpiece" was the first cover song OilCan Drive ever did. And I did it for Rob.

So much so that when the song starts and the band is warming up and ready to start Ryan Burke, lead singer for OilCan Drive, says, "this one's for Robbo!" And then, at the end of the song, Ryan changes the last line to, "someday everything's gonna be different, when Rob paints his masterpiece." So, if you listen to the broadcast and hear the song and wonder who Robbo is, now you know.

I hope I do the three Roberts: Dylan, Kelly, and Reitman (oh yeah, and Tiffany, my Dad is a Robert too!)...I hope I do them all proud.

So, if you can, listen to "It's Alright Ma, It's Only Music" tonight.

Bob's show is an amazing mix of music I love. I caught his show for the first time last Saturday. It was dedicated to Elvis' 75th birthday. He celebrated by playing Elvis, covers of Elvis, and songs about Elvis. It was an amazing mix of great music and, if nothing else ever comes out of this, I've found a great new radio show to listen to.

So, thank you Mr. Bob Reitman for this opportunity. I am humbled and amazed.

Bob's show, "It's Alright Ma, It's Only Music" plays at 7pm CST on Thursday and replays on Saturday nights at 9pm CST. You can listen on the web with the WUWM 89.7 FM / HD-1 streaming channel HERE.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tonya Kay Pin-Up

Whew! It's been a busy day with me juggling three different client projects but I wanted to put up a blog post before I called it a day and went to bed.

I am going to call this pin-up finished!

This is actually a piece I've wanted to do for years. Well, not this piece exactly but Tonya Kay, the wonderful woman who modeled for this piece, is someone I've wanted to draw since the moment I met her.

She first came to my attention during the first season of Stan Lee's reality show, Who Wants to Be A Superhero. She has been a cast member in Stomp, a dancer for Panic At The Disco, and has shown up on more TV shows in the last year than I can count. She spins fire, stilt dances, and can crack a whip like no one I've ever seen. She's a wonderful, down to Earth, creative and positive woman.

And the hair. Wow, I mean, the hair! How could I not want to draw a woman so beautiful who has such great hair?

And that she was gracious enough to send me photos to use as reference on this piece shows so much faith in my ability as an artist that I don't know what to say. I loved doing this piece and it was an honor as much as a pleasure.

And, what did Tonya herself have to say about this piece?

"This process is mesmerizing, Sean! And the final(s) are equally! Holy shit, is that me? I mean, is that how you see me? Is that how you create me?

NO ONE has ever gotten my dread locks as alive as you have. To me, they really are not just fancy things hanging from my head, but creatures with lives of their own, breathing my ideas, dreams, experiences and philosophy. But alive alone themselves all the same. Your work is the only work that seems to understand that. Thank you, Sean.

And how can I thank you for including an apple in my rendering? Again, the life in the living food is important to me as well.

Wow - to watch you put shadows in, like blocks of color. Then turn a pixelated line into a smooth, detail. Now I see you get to have some fun choosing favored backgrounds (I like the splash marks!) and placing your signature, which always looks like more art to me. I really like the shadow on the green wallpaper looming over me like my Shadow Self is bigger than I, though less potent and easily visible with the right eyes.

Her smile is so cute. Am I cute?"

Yes, Miss Tonya Kay, you are cute. Thank you for letting me draw you. I hope I did you justice.

To see the uncensored versions of the illustrations above you can take a look HERE and HERE.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It Begins Again

The final football kid's book for the Jake Maddox Stone Arch Books line begins today!

Blue pencil, don't fail me now!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Drew Struzan DVD

Or, "brother, can you spare a hundred bucks?"

I've always been a fan of Drew Struzan's work. Even before I knew who he was.

I used to have some of his movie poster work in my room growing up and I remember staring at his art, wondering how the hell he did what he did.

He's done some of the most recognizable movie poster work you've ever seen. From Star Wars and Indiana Jones to the Back to the Future Trilogy and even the Muppets. The man has done it all and put his artistic stamp on each and every piece.

Over the years of trial and error, reading articles, and really looking at his stuff with a trained artist's eye I've been able to figure out some of his tricks on my own. But, I guess I didn't need to do all of that work after all.

Last month Reel Ideas put out a 100 minute DVD demonstration that takes the viewer through every step in the process as Drew paints the first Hellboy movie poster. It seems like a dream come true and something I would jump at the chance to buy.

But, then I saw the price tag.

One hundred bucks for a hundred minutes of content. Yikes.

Every web page and blog I've read reviewing the DVD has said the price is well worth it. But, the price had me stop in my tracks for a second and rethink my buying decision.

So, what do you think? Is it worth it?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blink 182 Choir

After messing around with different guitar tones and such yesterday I found something interesting through YouTube. Apparently, with games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero being all the rage there are a bunch of different sound files out there on the web with just the instrumental tracks or vocal tracks from some great songs.

Through them I got to listen to simple vocal performances from Bruce Springsteen, The Who, and even A-Ha (hearing just the vocal take for Take On Me was fascinating.) It was a great learning device to hear a bunch of parts in a song separated and be able to study them in ways I had never heard before.

I even learned that in a bunch of Blink 182 songs, right under the vocal tracks, there are actually organs playing the chords. Who'd have thought that you would ever hear an organ in a Blink 182 song? But, there it was.

So, how could I put some of this new found information to some fun use?

Well, I had separate vocal and instrumental tracks for Blink 182's What's My Age Again. I also had a video from the BBC's show All The Small Things where a church choir performs the song. So, of course, I had to mix them together just to see if I could do it.

The obvious problem was the tempos of both songs were vastly different. But, I didn't let that stop me. I soldiered through, figured it out, and synced a lot of the lines up by hand and ear. I think it turned out well.

Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 has seen the BBC show and said it would be wild to find these performers and have them join the band on stage when they tour England. I have a feeling it might sound something like this.

If you can't view the player in your browser, the link for the song can be found HERE.

And, here are the two original videos for the songs. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tracking and Tone

I started laying down tracks last night for the OilCan Drive album. The thirteen songs are arranged, demoed, and ready to have all the parts laid over the top of them. The only thing stopping me now?


The songs are done but I haven't gone through all the guitar sounds and decided what I want the band to sound like. What does Ryan's guitar sound like? What is his voice? What is Vince's?

I started yesterday with a song that starts with a single guitar lead playing a pretty little run. I found a really pretty toned guitar amp, laid some reverb on it, and added some chorus pedal and a touch of digital delay. Then, because it's fun, I played the same part with a different amp and a phase pedal giving it a touch of a soaring airplane sound. The two different parts playing the same thing mixed into a whirl of sound.

But, it didn't sound right.

The band living in my head HATED it! And when the band in your head includes a giant angry gorilla who outweighs you by six hundred and fifty pounds you tend to listen to them. So, it was back to the drawing board.

Smartly, I pulled out two albums that have a great sound and gave me an idea of what I should shoot for.

One album is by a band called The Outlets. They were a Boston punk band in the eighties and predated Green Day. I found their album on CDBaby and have been loving it ever since. It's raw and rough and all kinds of rock and roll. I always thought if OilCan Drive could make an album without me it might sound like this.

The other album was Blink 182's 1999 album, Enema of the State. That was one of the first albums I bought ten years ago where I was just floored by the sound and amazed that it was only three guys making this much noise. So, I popped the CD into my player on my computer to take a listen.

What I'd forgotten is that that album was one of the earlier "additional content" CDs that had been put out. So, when I put it into the computer a little menu popped up and a movie started playing. It was perfect and just what I needed. The movie had an instrumental version of Blink's break out hit "What's My Age Again." So, I could play along with that track and compare the tones I had coming out of my own guitar.

It worked perfectly and the band in my head seemed happy. Even the eight hundred pound gorilla smiled.

So, no more funky guitar pedals and soaring sounds for this band. Just straight ahead, punch you in the face, rock and roll.

As Lou Reed said on his 1989 album, New York, "you can't beat guitar, bass and drums."

Friday, January 8, 2010

From the Vault - Huey Lewis 1991

To celebrate what an interesting week it's been here in the studio concerning music I thought I'd pull an old piece out of the vault celebrating one of my first musical heroes, Huey Lewis!

I first got turned onto Huey Lewis around the Sports album when he really hit it big with songs like Heart of Rock and Roll, If This is It, and I Want a New Drug. In the years before the internet (sometime around the Paleozoic Period) finding out about new bands and new music wasn't as easy as it is today. We had to rely on radio, MTV videos (back when they played them...remember that), and word of mouth.

So, somehow, in that vast wasteland of not knowing what the hell was going on, Huey Lewis became my first favorite band. I found the two older albums he had done before Sports and somehow learned that he was in an earlier band called Clover. How I learned these things I can't remember. When everything is as close as the push of a button these days it's hard to remember how we learned about anything back then.

But, during his fourth album, Fore, I somehow learned he was playing a show in Maine. Excited I got tickets to the show, borrowed my parents car, and took my first girlfriend to my first concert ever. Being an outdoor concert, of course, it rained. And I got totally drenched. At one point a bunch of us huddled under a tarp as the music played. I stepped out from underneath the tarp for a second to get a better look and all of the collected water from the tarp came pouring down upon my head.

It was the best time ever.

So, during my second year of art school, when assigned to do a caricature of a rock star I, of course, chose Huey Lewis.

I think this was another of those earlier attempts to master the airbrush. It was on this piece that I learned that the airbrush paints we were given were opaque and and not translucent. It's why the skin color on Huey covers up all the ink line work. But, that's what art school is about. Making mistakes and learning from them.

So, thank you, Huey. You were a good first band to love!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Hair!

Good God, man, the hair!

This pin-up is nearing completion. It just needs to be sent of to the model for approval and I can call this one finished.

Once again, like in the inking, the coloring of the hair was the part that took the longest on this piece.

I sat last night, after the hockey game, watching a Bear Grylls marathon of "Man vs. Wild", while I cut and colored up her hair. I'm really happy with the way it looks but it seems like it took forever. As Adam Hughes once said in an interview, he could take three days to draw a cityscape background and five minutes to draw a girl's breasts and, almost always, the first thing a fan says to him about the piece is, "nice boobs!"

So, because I wanted to showcase just how much work went into this beauty's hair I decided to just show her head, sans breasts. And, because it's a fun way to look at the coloring process, I'll even show off just the color layer with no line work. I think, given that kind of focus, you can see how much crazy work went into just her dreadlocks.

I love the hair but, man, it takes some time and patience. But this piece and this model seemed well worth it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back to the Art

It's back to the drawing board with the scanned in pin-up I've been working on for the last few days. The color is slowly coming along so I thought I'd show you the progress. Yes, I hid the naughty bits under a black bar. I like to tease that way.

I also sat down today and thumbnailed out the newest Jake Maddox kid's book this afternoon at lunch. I think this will be the most challenging football story yet. One illustration calls for me to not only draw two boys perusing through a sports magazine but also for the magazine to be showing every member of the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys in a big pile on the goal line while a referee signals for a touch down. Yikes! I'll let you know if I have any hair left after I pull most of it out in the next two weeks :)

And a big thank you to Bob Dylan and the great folks over at (thank you Mark "Moon" J. for the linking). After yesterdays post it's definitely been a wild ride and I hope the people who are seeing my blog for the first time aren't disappointed. Thank you all for coming and I hope you enjoyed your stay. I also hope some of you stick around for a while. I promise to do my best to make it worth your while. And, for those of you who have asked, there will be an OilCan Drive album out sometime this year. Stay tuned to this blog for more information. It's coming soon, I promise.

Thank you all again! You're the best!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What The?

What do Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Davey Jones, Nancy Sinatra, The Turtles, and OilCan Drive have in common?

Apparently, we've all done a cover of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe."

I just never realized that anyone would ever recognize it. But, while surfing around the web last night I came across, a site that specializes in cataloguing every band who has done a Bob Dylan cover song. And there, under "It Ain't Me Babe", surrounded by Johnny Cash and Davey Jones, was the OilCan Drive cover I created for the CD single a little less than a year ago.

The official listing for the single is as follows:
[3b.1]..OilCan Drive • CD-S: Plastic Spoon no# (US, 2009; 1 track)

You can see the page I found HERE. It's about halfway down the page and the listing is beneath it a bit.

To say I was floored is to put it mildly.

I always figured I was doing music and goofy CD covers for myself and a few friends and family members to see. That someone outside of that circle sat up and actually noticed what I was doing is just amazing. I still have no idea how the people who run this site found out about the band or the single. But, somehow they did. And, that actually gives me hope that I am on the right track.

The official rules for getting listed on the site are:
a. Any format full-length ALBUM with a Dylan song as the TITLE TRACK
b. Any format SINGLE or EP with a picture-sleeve, insert or cover with a Dylan song shown on the sleeve, either as the A, B-side or EP track
c. Any "unofficial" BOOTLEG compilation or live recording with a Dylan song as the TITLE TRACK
d. Translated titles are included, either lyrics & title translated -or- title-only translated.
e. No non-standard contracted or expanded titles (with a few exceptions)
f . To qualify as a Dylan title, the song must satisfy one or both of these rules:
• Listed in the song list at, with the copyright being for composition, not just arrangement
• Listed in the book "Lyrics 1962-1985" published by Knopf, 1985

So, I must have qualified.

Of course, if Bob himself sees that I've done a cover song of his I might have to write an all new original song called, "If Bob Dylan comes a knockin, looking for a royalty check, tell him I ain't home."

Maybe he'll be nice enough to do a cover of it.

Update: If anyone is interested in hearing the cover song OilCan Drive did of Bob's "It Ain't Me Babe" it can be heard HERE.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Just a few little touch-ups...

...and we'll call this piece inked and done!

I started inking this new pin-up piece last night after dinner and just couldn't stop until it was all done. Inking the hair alone took me more time than the rest of the piece combined! But it was fun and I can now say I've drawn a pretty girl with dreadlocks.

Now it's off to scan her into the computer, clean the piece up a bit, and add some color!

While most people seem to be moaning and groaning that the work week is beginning again after the holidays I, for one, can't wait to get back to it! I just love what I do too much!

As for the rest of you, I hope you survive the day!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

From the Desk

Just a little something in pencil I have hanging out on the drawing board today. If all goes well I'll have it inked and scanned by the end of the weekend.

I can't say too much about this piece yet or who it is for but, with the pose and the hair and the apple in hand, I'd be lying if I said it didn't bring to mind images of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

My my, that apple sure looks tempting!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Header

And, because it's the first of the month, enjoy a brand new blog header! This one features the cartoon band, OilCan Drive.

Happy New Year, everyone!

From the Vault - Three Season House 1991

This is another piece I found under the bed in Maine.

I wanted to feature this piece on the blog ever since my friend, Rob Kelly, wrote a quick remembrance of it on one of his blogs. The problem was that Rob writes so many blogs that it was hard to remember where I had read it. So, this morning, after going through back logs of three of his blogs I finally found it. It wasn't on his personal blog or his art blog. No, it was on his Aquaman Shrine blog.

Who would have guessed it would have been there.

But, I'll let Rob tell you about this piece. The story behind it still makes me smile :)

It's from THIS blog entry in his daily Aquaman Blog:

"On an unrelated note, this piece reminds me of an assignment we had back in our third year at the Joe Kubert School ( I believe it was actually our second year of school, since that's the only year Rob, Dan and I were in the same class together...but, you know...details, details.) Our instructor for this one class was the legendary Irwin Hasen, and he told us to draw a house, in three separate seasons--any three of the four we chose.

It was an exercise to help us learn to consistency in what we were drawing, so all of us groaned at the thought of having to draw a boring ol' house three times, when all most of us wanted to do was draw Batman.

Anyway, the next week rolls around, and we all whip out our drawings. I sat next to my pal Dan Eaker, and was embarrassed at my effort compared to his--he drew three houses so meticulously, mathmatically perfect you could've used them as blueprints. My stuff just looked weak.

But we were both shocked at what another friend, Sean Tiffany, produced--he just drew one picture, of the same house, sliced into three panels, each showing that portion of the house during a different season. He cheated!

We were goofing on Sean and how he tried to cheat his way out of the assignment, and were sure Irwin would call him on it, especially compared to the masterful work Dan had produced.

We sat down and did a group review, and when Irwin got to Sean's, Dan and I got ready for the beat down. But Irwin took one look at it and said something to the effect of "Sean, I love what you did here, with the three panels! Brilliant!"

So not only did Sean cheat and do less work than he was instructed to do, but he complimented by the co-creator of Dondi for doing it! Sean shot us the biggest grin he could muster, and I died a little inside that day.

I also seem to remember that, not only did Irwin like what I had done, he actually called Dan's boring and sterile. It just made Rob and Dan a bit more angry at me over the whole thing. I think this is just one of those stories that shows that, if someone doesn't tell me I specifically CAN'T do something, I'll look for a way around the assumed rules. It's why I love shows like Survivor where, if the rules don't specifically say it, you can do whatever you want and argue your case later.

So, sorry I killed a little piece of my friend Rob that day but it is a funny story. I hope Rob forgives me :)