Monday, October 31, 2011

Ace Kilroy

Happy Halloween!

This Halloween has been one I've been especially waiting for. And "why is that?" you ask? It's because this Halloween marks the launch date for a project a few old college friends of mine are doing called Ace Kilroy. Two of my good friends, Rob Kelly and Dan O'Connor, guys I met on my first day of art school, have teamed up to do a daily web comic book project and today is the day that the whole thing goes live.

You can check out Ace Kilroy at the main website HERE and the guys have launched a Kickstarter project to try and raise funds for the whole thing HERE.

And, the best thing about the Kickstarter project (well, to me at least)? Because I really liked the project and really wanted in on the fun I offered up my services and I got to do the video promo for the project. Yep, that's right, I believe in the project so much and think so much of these guys that I did both the audio and video for the project just so I could someday say, "yeah, I worked on the project once."

So, go take a look at the website and, if you like what you see, think about helping my friends out in their creative adventure. Oh, and here is the video I did. Enjoy that as well.

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Need a Hero! Part 8, Finished!

Well, those of you who chose the fourth Chase Cooper version yesterday as the one that was used were dead on right. Give yourself a prize!

Although, I never thought of the reason Manu gave as to why the logo I designed wasn't used. Manu apparently thinks of things that never even enter my mind. The reason I was given that my logo wasn't used was that it looked like it could easily be confused with an "E" and didn't read enough like a "C". Manu apparently thought it had something to do with the way the dark red background of the "C" looked a little too much like a phallic symbol. Believe me, I wish I was smart enough to be that subversive. I'm just not. ha ha

But, here is the finished version of the illustration and the book that it was used on. Ann Wachtler was kind enough to send me a copy of the book along with a great "Thank You" card last week. The book is now on my pile of things I need to read when I find some free time.

You can find a copy of "Super Power of the Day" HERE and, if you'd like, you can read all about the design of the book and how Ann is marketing the book on her own blog HERE.

It was a fun job and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next few books bring.

Have a good one.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Need a Hero! Part 7

After getting the inking done I went straight to the computer and started coloring away. There were a few changes and variations made but, at the end of the day, the piece was done and the client was happy.

Now, let's see if you can guess which of these characters made the final cut and made it onto the cover of the finished book.

I'll post the final book tomorrow and we'll see if you guessed right.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Need a Hero! Part 6

With the pencils approved and everything hunky dory I went back to the drawing board and started laying down some ink. It was a pretty straight up inking job and I always love doing these simple kind of characters where I can really play with the thick and thin of the ink lines.

And, while I got the inking done, I also did a color logo of the "C" emblem that would go on his chest. I wasn't sure if the client would like it or not but I really liked the way the 'C' turned into a part of the overall oval emblem.

Next up, a little bit of color.

Have a good one!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Need a Hero! Part 5

Boy hero Frankenstein!

Because the client liked a bit of each from the last two attempts I used the head of the second version of our hero and put it on the body of the third version. It fit well but I still missed the head and smile of the third version. Ah well, you can't win them all and when you're working for someone else your first goal is to make them happy.

So, with this version approved it was back to the drawing board to add some ink and go to color.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Need a Hero! Part 4

With enough changes needed on the previous version of our hero I decided it might be easier to simply go back to square one and start over from scratch.

Using the thumbnail sketch I originally did as a template again I came up with this new penciled version.

Personally, this was, by far, my favorite look of all the pieces I did and I would have been super happy to simply ink him, color him, and have a great piece of artwork done and out the door.

But, while I was getting closer there was a little bit the client liked of this piece and a little bit the client liked of the previous versions. So, I went back to the old piece and did a little Doctor Frankenstein work on both pieces to create the ultimate super hero kid.

I wasn't there yet, but I was getting closer!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Need a Hero! Part 3

Even though it was back to the drawing board luckily I still had the original thumbnail to work from. So, I pulled that out of my sketchbook and did this new version of our hero.

The client didn't like the idea of giant manga type eyes so I went completely in the opposite direction and gave him a set of Lil' Orphan Annie button eyes. I really love the look of eyes like this but I had yet to find any client at all who liked the look. That was, until now.

I did a couple of changes at the client's request, making the eyes a bit bigger and giving more definition to his legs (which, thank God, we didn't end up using.)

I even came up with a logo for his chest.

We weren't quite there yet, but we were getting closer than my initial pencil sketch.

More tomorrow!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Need A Hero! Part 2

Geez. Alright. Let's try this one more time.

Sorry again. As busy as I said I was last time it got even busier and somehow I went through the exhaustion wall, came full circle, and feel perfectly fine now. So, at least I got that going for me.

Anyway, last time we left the blog I had done a thumbnail sketch for a new client for a superhero kid's book cover. I got the gig and sat down at the board to pencil out the character. This guy is the first thing I came up with.

Unfortunately, he strayed a bit too far away from that initial thumbnail sketch in body type and look. Luckily the client loved that thumbnail so I at least had something concrete to work off of. And, as much as I like this guy, after he was shot down it was, literally, back to the drawing board.

More tomorrow. Have a great day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Need a Hero!

Wow, I actually meant to post this Monday but the week totally got away from me and, before I knew it, I was waking up and it was Thursday.

I started off last weekend totally exhausted and was having those days where, even though your body was up and moving around, your brain hadn't quite caught up. Luckily I took it easy on Sunday and got some rest because this week started off with a bang. I've been juggling penciling a new children's book and doing new designs for the next Sports Illustrated Kids illustrations while mixing the OilCan Drive CD. The days were flying by but things were getting done.

And now it's Thursday.

Anyway, with all the work I've been doing and haven't been able to show off yet I thought it would be a good time to let you in on a project I did a few months ago. I was contacted by a small children's book publisher who was doing a kid's superhero book. They wanted me to do the cover and asked me for a time frame and a price quote. Not only did I send them that information but I also sent them this little thumbnail sketch to show them what I thought the hero and his stance might look like.

Luckily I did that because it helped land me the job.

So, over the next few days I'll share with you the steps I did to finish the illustration and put the job to bed. It did become interesting as you'll find out.

Sorry about the long pause. Have a great day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The New Deck and Windows

It's been a bit of a slow day as far as illustration goes so I thought it would be a good time to show off my new windows, deck door, and deck.

Because I bought and live in a condo I am usually at the whim of my local HOA. I knew when I bought the place in 2004 that, at some point before 2012, I'd have to replace the windows of my home. But, back then, in 2004, 2012 seemed so far away I thought I'd either be dead or run out of town by the time that date came along. But, here it is, at the end of 2011, and I am still here. So, before the start of next year, I had to get the windows done. And I figured it was a better project to tackle in late summer/early fall than it would be in the middle of December trying to beat the next snow storm coming along.

And, once I got the windows done, I thought it was about time to do something about my deck. As you can see in the first photo of this post this is what I was working with. This is a photo of my next door neighbor's place and this, while not as bad, is what my outside third floor deck used to look like.

So I called my good friend Jeff over who has a lot more experience building and painting than I do. He is one of my best friends here in Boulder and, not only is he the best all around artist I know, the guy is amazing at home repair. He's just awesome. He took a quick look, told me what I needed to do, and, within a few weeks, got to work. Within a few days he had rebuilt the railing, resided the outside wall, and applied a new coat of paint to everything on the deck.

So, here is how my new deck with my new windows looks now. It's so much nicer than it was before and puts my neighbor's place to shame. And now I can enjoy the view of both the mountains and my own deck when I sit out there. Thank you, Jeff. You're the best!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sports Illustrated Kids August Illustrations

I figured it was about time I showed off a few more illustrations from my monthly Sports Illustrated Kids "What's the Call?" articles.

These images were shown in the August issue of the magazine and dealt with a quarterback pitching the football to himself while evading a tackle, an outfielder catching a baseball with his cap, and a tennis player who reaches over the net after a wildly back spinning ball bounces on his side of the court and then back over the net before he hits it.

So, there you go, what do you think the call is?

Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Making Music

The last few days have given me some time to myself while I wait for approval on a few client gigs. So, with some free time I've been working on a few music projects. If all goes well and I can get a few things recorded this afternoon it will mean that all of the instrument parts for the OilCan Drive EP CD will be done and all that will be left to do is vocals, singing, and then mixing and mastering the album. I know, easier said than done but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter all the time.

I did another musical project this week that I figured would be fun to talk about. A friend of mine (who will remain nameless until the project is completed and out there in the world) did a little opening video sequence that he wants to use for a series of videos that shows him working on his various projects. He sent me what he had put together and, after watching it a few times, I could hear the music I thought should accompany the images.

I sent him a quick drum demo of how I thought the whole thing should be broken down and added some band photo images I have in a folder on my computer. Basically I wanted to make sure the look and feel were there before I went on and did the actual music. It looked like this:

We talked on the phone a bit. With the way I structured the drums I could mathematically determine exactly how long each image should be on the screen. I got the OK from him and set about to do the actual music. It was really fun and I felt like an actual composer for a commercial or a film or something. I just wish I could actually get a twenty piece orchestra into my living room and record them live. Of course, I would have no idea how to tell them what I actually wanted to hear. I can't actually write music and I've found that trying to explain to someone what I am actually seeing or hearing in my head never turns out quite so well. But, we make do with what we have. So, in the end, this is the music I came up with for the video:

He called me after I sent it to him and told me he loved it and that he owes me a lunch. So, I am going to consider lunch actual payment and call this my first ever professional gig as a music composer. That'll look good on the resume someday. ha ha.

OK, back to work on OilCan Drive.

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Final Kodiak

I got some feedback from my friend about the Kodiak logo late last week. I had to sift through what everyone on the hockey team said and, from what I came away with, I rounded out the top of the bear's head, added some details to his neck, and gave him a few pupils in his eyes. Personally, I liked the idea of the white eyes for the logo but I did want to make everyone happy.

I also started messing around a bit with the lettering for the Kodiak logo and sent my friend a few variations of fonts that I thought might work.

Unfortunately, soon after I sent both these images off I got an email telling me that the team took a vote and decided, for monetary reasons, to keep playing in the old jerseys they've been wearing for a few years. Oh well.

But, not to worry. I never let anything go to waste. I'm sure I'll be using this image somewhere in the near future when I need a logo for a sports team or for a sign in the background. Everything here in the studio, even if it's not used as intended, finds a home.

But, if anyone needs a bear logo I can now sell you one. Cheap.

Have a great day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy October!

With a new month comes another new blog header. While I had planned to keep the blog headers confined to only original art done by me for the Exit 6 and OilCan Drive projects this month totally got away from me with a mix of client work, helping out friends, and getting some projects done that had nothing to do with illustration.

So, because the major league baseball playoffs started last week I figured it wouldn't be entirely out of place to put a baseball piece I did for Sports Illustrated Kids in the lead spot this month. And, that the player has a nice orange color to his uniform is just a bonus but it does give him that nice autumn October feel.

OK, have a great day. Back to work for me!