Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Doctor Who

After spending almost all of the holiday weekend working on client projects I woke up this morning not feeling so good. All the work has been sent out and approved and I've found myself with a full day off. Oh sure, it's a Tuesday, but a day off is a day off.

The problem with that is that sometimes, after working so hard, my body almost forces me to lay down and rest. So, I woke up this morning with a headache and more than a few aches in my arms and back and decided that today would be a good day to take it easy.

So, I got up late, had a small breakfast, and sat on the couch to watch some Doctor Who DVDs.

I've loved the Doctor since his fourth incarnation back in the early 80's. I used to watch those old episodes on PBS, one of the only four stations we had at the time and, back then, any sci-fi on TV was a really cool thing. I remember loving the stories so much that I even had my Dad take me to some weird Doctor Who traveling museum kind of thing that went around in a trailer. It was almost like those old cheesy haunted houses they used to have but this was all Doctor Who and had all kinds of cool stuff in it.

So, when the BBC revived the Doctor's adventures in 2005 I was more than happy to watch again and see what kind of trouble he could get into.

In 2010, Matt Smith became the 11th actor to portray the Doctor (the story goes that when the Doctor is near death he can regenerate into a new person....brilliant idea to keep a TV show going...you don't need any one actor to make sure the show goes on...and it's probably why the show is still going after almost 50 years). Anyway, I was a bit hesitant to accept him as the new Doctor but I soon found myself falling in love with the new actors and the new stories.

This scene, from the end of Matt's first episode of being the new Doctor, really shows why I love these stories and this character. Why go to war with an alien race when you can simply frighten them away with your past deeds?

Plus, I love the shot where it shows the Doctor in his previous ten incarnations.

If you don't blink and count right, that fourth guy...yep, that's the guy I grew up with.

So, thank you Doctor Who for making what could have been a really miserable day just a little bit better.

Tomorrow I'll be back at it!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Great Gray Ape

And the color on Henry has begun!

As much as I love doing client work I get an extra special buzz from doing my own stuff.

Almost three members of the band down, one left to go.

Miss Nicole Baylor, you are next!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Inking Henry

I had some free time to ink the Henry OilCan Drive doodle piece from earlier this week.

Next up, scan the sucker into the computer and get some color going on it.

Have a great day.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Little Spud

A while ago I was asked by my friend Jen to design her a little cartoon mascot character for a group she belongs to called the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers. It's a group of people that help the environment around Boulder County by fixing the hiking trails, planting trees, and restoring the Rocky Mountain's fragile ecosystem.

It took me a while to find some time to get around to this project but, once Jen and I talked about what she was thinking, the actual illustration went really quickly.

What I did find funny about doing this piece was that I did a pencil sketch and sent it to Jen, awaiting her approval before I went on to finish it. When she wrote back an email that simply said, "Hercules, Hercules!" I wasn't sure if that was approval or not. So, I asked her if she liked it. She said, "of course, I like everything you do. It looks great." I told her I was so trained to wait for client approval now before going forward that I felt I needed her permission to finish.

Her response?

"Silly clients...they should know you do a great job and should be happy with the great work you give them"

So, yeah, that made me feel good.

I hope she gets some good use out of the little spud!

Friday, May 27, 2011

From The Vault - Exit 6 Group Shot 1990

One of the pieces I've been writing about in the collected Exit 6 book is this piece, done in 1990. I couldn't find the original piece anywhere on my last trip to Maine but I knew my Dad, for some reason, had a copy of it up on a wall in one of the upstairs bedrooms. So, for archival reasons, I had him snap a photo of it and send me a digital file.

The original piece was done in full color but the copy here is only black and white. But, that works for my purposes since the collected book will be all in black and white.

This piece was, I think, the first piece ever done of the full cast of Exit 6. I did it for a class project where, for some reason, we had to populate the piece with twelve characters. So, I had no choice but to finally flesh out a supporting cast for the book in the story that would revolve around Keith Howard and Courtney McKay. I did cheat just a little and did animals for three of the figures but I didn't get thrown out of school and they let me graduate so I guess I got away with it.

Once things settle down a bit and I get some free time on my hands and the writing bug bites me again I need to get back to writing the Exit 6 collected book. I hit a snag when I was discussing the book with an old friend of mine and a few stories were brought up that I didn't know how to reconcile in my head and it kind of screwed me up for a bit. Sometimes reliving your past as you write about it can lead you down a dangerous road. So I put the book aside for a bit.

But, it's still there, waiting to be worked on and I think, once it's done, it will be a really nice collection.

But, for now, thanks to my Dad for taking this photo and sending it along to me. It will really help in the tale of how Exit 6 came about.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Inking Away

I found some time today to get the inking done on the very pretty friend that I showed you the pencil sketch of last week.

Not only was it great to finally get the brush out and lay some ink all over the page but I got a chance to do some cool sponge technique on her winter hat as well.

With so much art being done digital these days it's really fun to break out the old tools I love so much and really get my hands dirty with some simple household items and a bottle of dark black ink. I think, once I lay some color on this piece, the texture in the hat will look really nice.

But, as much as I like the hat it wouldn't mean a thing without the pretty lady underneath it. I'm just glad she agreed to let me draw her and I hope this will only be the first piece in a few I do of her. We shall see.

But, for now, I'm just hoping she likes it.

Next up, painting in the color!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Henry OilCan Drive Doodle

Here is the pencil sketch for the new doodle of Henry, the bass playing gorilla from OilCan Drive.

Since I've already done a Ryan and a Vincent piece from what I am calling the "OilCan Drive Doodle Series" I figured Henry and Nicole had to be done next.

The idea behind these pieces is to just sit at the drawing table and draw. No sketches or thumbnails or pre-planning of the piece at all other than a vague idea in my head. I do so much client work that needs to be well thought out and approved that the simple act of sitting at the table and just drawing again feels very freeing.

Plus it gives me something fun to blog about and to use as new headers for the blog once they're done.

So, Henry is getting there, Ryan and Vince are done, it looks like only Nicole remains.

Now I just need to start thinking about what kind of poses I can put her in.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Android Girl

And here she is, the android girl in all her glory, with her robotic endo-skeleton in place.

I especially like the little grid pattern I put on parts of her face to simulate some kind of circuit like texture. I think it really pulled the whole thing together and made her look like something alien underneath her beautiful exterior.

Now here's hoping the client and the author of the piece like it.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Adding Some Color

So the pretty lady has been scanned into the computer and the color has been added. Now it's just a matter of adding the interior exo-skeleton I drew into the piece to make her an android.

But first I have to figured out how to make it look cool.

More to come...

Friday, May 20, 2011

From The Vault - Marker Sketches 2002

As a follow up to last week's From The Vault, I thought I'd post a few more markers sketches I found on the computer.

I'm not sure what the reason behind these pieces was but I do know they were pretty quick to do. Just a few sharpie markers and some gray toned markers and the job was done.

Sometimes it's nice to just get things done quickly. After years of doing thumbnails, pencil sketches, inked pieces, and finally colored finishes, all with client approvals and changes in between, it's nice to see a few old pieces that couldn't have taken me more than an hour each to complete.

Sometimes instant gratification isn't such a bad thing.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sophisticated Girl

It must be the week for cute girl art because, not only did I have a cute girl on my desk yesterday, but I found myself inking another cute girl for a client today.

Of course, this one will have a terminator type endo-skeleton under her soft skin but, you know, she's still cute. So I think it still counts.

You can see the little thumbnail sketch I did for the client in my notebook on the right side of the photo. From there it was off to pencil sketches and now, with approval, onto the inks.

Now it's time to scan the inked art into the computer and give this girl her robot insides.

Who says I don't have a cool job?

Have a great one!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pencil Sketch

I've been spending the last handful of days working on the music for the OilCan Drive project so there hasn't been too much to show in terms of art coming out of the studio.

But, I did find some time today to do a pencil sketch of a friend I've been meaning to do for a while. The question now is when I'll find the time to do the inking and color. I'm not sure yet but when I do I'll make sure to post it here.

For now, it's time to get back to the music.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

From The Vault - Sexy Witch 2002

With the way Blogger has been acting this past week I wondered if I'd even be able to put up a new blog post anytime soon. But, it looks like, for now, everything is fixed and back on track. I did lose a comment or two here or there but at least the last few days of posts are back up and where they belong.

Because I wasn't sure if the blog would be working today I didn't search the vault too thoroughly. I didn't even look to find something new to scan in. And when I don't do that I usually look in a few files I have on the computer and see what I can find.

And that's when I ran across this piece from 2002.

At the time I was messing around a lot with marker sketches based on photos. This one was a friend of mine named Lori and I remember snapping this shot of her right before a Halloween party. If all witches out there looked like her I doubt we'd be half as scared of them as we were when we were kids. Or maybe they all looked like this when we were kids and we were just too young to notice.

Either way I really liked the way this came out. I used mostly regular sharpie markers as well as a few un-named felt tips and gray markers for the tones. I went back afterward with a touch of white out to give the shine in her leather a little more oompf.

All in all, not a bad piece pulled quickly from the vault. I just hope Lori liked it. And I hope you like it too.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Exit 6 Front Cover

As promised yesterday, here is the completely colored front cover for the Exit 6 collected book.

I went back and forth a bit between adding a full moon in the background and leaving it out. I like the idea of the full moon behind the background characters but nothing I painted in there ever felt right so, finally, I left it out. But, I reserve the right to put it back in there if I feel like it. So, we'll see what happens.

Overall I'm really happy with the way this cover came out. It was fun to revisit characters I hadn't seen in years and put a new spin on the way they look with ten more years of art experience under my belt. And it really made me miss doing the story of Keith and Courtney. So it was good to work on them again, even if it was only for a little bit.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Exit 6 Back Cover

So with a little extra time on my hands and not really sure what to do with a couple of projects I found myself sitting most of the day and finishing up the coloring on the back cover of the Exit 6 book.

The front cover is done as well and I'll be posting that tomorrow.

Now I just need to finish writing the book, put all the pages together, and get this thing to the printer. It's not nearly as far along as I'd like it to be but it's further along than it was last week.

So, that's something...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Free Comic Book Day

Geez, I've been meaning to get to this post for days now so I figured I might as well finally sit down and get to it. I really don't know where the time goes anymore.

Free Comic Book Day on Saturday seems to have gone really well. I dropped off a nice stack of books to Time Warp Comics, my local comic book shop, on Friday. I got a chance on Saturday afternoon to stop by quickly, see the sites, talk to a few of the artists, and grab a few free books for a friend's kid. The OilCan Drive books were nowhere to be seen so I hoped that they had all gone to good homes and weren't sitting behind a counter somewhere forgotten.

I did find this photo later on Facebook and, if you look closely, you can see that, in fact, the books were out on the table, available for the taking. Or maybe Wayne, the owner, is standing there and telling people, "take any book...any book in the store...but this one!" Who knows? ha ha. I didn't get a chance to talk to Wayne on Saturday and see how it was going. He really seemed to have his hands full with the crowd.

Along with free comics, Wayne really put on a great day. His store featured the Batmobile, a Ghostbusters hearse, the General Lee, a jeep from Jurassic Park, a regiment of Stormtroopers, a full sized R2-D2, and a bunch of other cool stuff. So, I could see why he was so busy.

I also quickly stopped by the artists' table and said hello to a few people I used to sit, sign books, and do sketches with at comic conventions and in store signings like this. It was good to catch up with people I hadn't seen in a while and see some of their new work.

But, I could only stay for a while. I had to run off to a friend's brother's graduation party/daughter's birthday. Adam is a great friend who was only in town for a few days for his brother's graduation so it was good to see him and his family again.

And later, the most fun part of my day happened. Adam's brother took us out to an empty school parking lot and taught me and Adam to ride a Harley Davidson Sportster 1200cc motorcycle. I've been on motor scooters and bicycles before but never a full blown motorcycle, much less a Harley. But, I learned quickly how it handled, how to start it up, and how to ride and shift it. And I didn't drop it or crash into anything even once.

So, of course, now I am looking into getting a motorcycle. We'll have to see how that goes.

I hope everyone had a great Free Comic Book Day! Talk to you soon.

Friday, May 6, 2011

From The Vault - OilCan Drive FCBD 2002

I might have posted the cover to this book once before in the From The Vault Friday section but, what with Free Comic Book Day being tomorrow, I thought it was a perfect time to revisit it.

This is the first comic book I ever did of OilCan Drive back in 2002. I conceived the idea of OilCan Drive sometime in the middle of 2001 and this first book was done for the first Free Comic Book Day back in 2002.

I remember really trying to get this book done in time for that first Saturday in May, 2002. Not only was I trying to do a full comic book but this was the first book I ever fully colored on the computer and was putting together digitally. Up until then I was still painting with my airbrush and putting everything together by hand. So, I was pushing a lot of personal boundries trying to get this done under a deadline.

And not only was I trying to get the artwork done but I also remember the struggles I went through in trying to get this book printed in time. I think I finally got all the copies printed and bound on the Thursday night before that Saturday. I know I was cutting it close but it got done somehow.

So, when I read that this year is the tenth anniversary of Free Comic Book Day I really felt compelled to get something done for it. And since I had an almost already completed new OilCan Drive book ready to go I decided what better way to celebrate the tenth anniversary than to give it out an my local comic shop for Free Comic Book Day.

So, if you're in the area of Boulder tomorrow stop by Time Warp Comics and pick up a copy of the new book. I was actually early with them this year and gave them to the owner today. But, there are only 50 of them so get there early. I don't know if they'll run out or not.

And, who knows, I may even show up there myself for a while and sign a few copies.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Messing With the Webcam

In the midst of getting the new OilCan Drive book done and printed up for this Saturday's Free Comic Book Day I've been pulling out a lot of other ideas I've had over the years and now feel compelled to pursue.

So I've been playing around with the OilCan Drive website, getting embedded music players to work, and trying to get an online store set up so I can finally sell some of my own stuff on the web.

And yes, the first thing that will be up for sale will be the new OilCan Drive book. I figure those of you who won't be able to get to Time Warp in Boulder, CO this Saturday might like a copy too. So I am doing my best to get that set up and make it happen. It's been fun. I've found a lot of sites that I have bookmarked over the years that I am finally putting to some good use.

And I broke the computer's webcam out for another idea I have and started testing it last night. I like the way it can take black and white photos and video and I even found a time delay so I can take photos without having to keep my finger on the mouse button.

So I played around with it while I was messing with the acoustic guitar and playing some songs.

And of course, what is a fictional cartoon rock and roll band in your head worth if they don't have women in the front row flashing them. And while Monika was kind enough to give me permission to put these photos on my blog they won't be showing up on Facebook or anywhere else her Mom and family might see them anytime soon.

So, count yourself lucky.

I sure do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From The Desk(top)

Here's a quick peek at some new pieces I've been working on this past week. They're almost done and ready to be sent off. Then it's back to trying to get these OilCan Drive books printed for Saturday.

Two more days until they have to be done!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Working On It

I knew that the annual Free Comic Book Day was coming up this Saturday. But, what I didn't realize was that it's the tenth anniversary of the event. The first OilCan Drive book I created I did for that first Free Comic Book Day. So, for the tenth anniversary I wanted to do something.

Of course, I didn't have much time.

So, I pulled out the last OilCan Drive book I was working on and I've spent the last week trying to get it all finished. It's really not nearly as much work as I thought. I had to write some new text pieces and do an interview with the band (which was odd) but I was amazed at how much work was done that I simply abandoned.

I don't know what's wrong with me that I can do that much work and get so close to having something done and simply quit right before I cross the finish line. But, thanks to Free Comic Book Day I will have a new OilCan Drive book done and ready to go by Saturday.

And, if all goes well and the printing gets done and looks good, I just may have a few books I can sell here on the site.

But, first things first, getting the book done!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy May!

I've been busy this past week juggling both client work and something I've been trying to put together for next week (more on that soon.) But, I did want to welcome the month of May by doing a new blog header featuring Vincent Spicer, OilCan Drive's lead guitar player and resident bad-ass.

Now I just need to find some time to do a piece like this for Nicole and Henry and I'll have a complete set.

OK, back to work for me. I'll let you know what I've been working on a little more this week.

Have a good one!