Thursday, February 28, 2013

Daily Records

Ahhh, I feel like I'm falling a bit behind schedule this week and it's only Thursday.

I started recording the music for the OilCan Drive album this week which took up a whole day (I will have the cover song contest later, probably next week), I had client work come in, a few meetings to go to, and a birthday to celebrate. I'm in the middle of drawing the new page and the first issue's cover today and I'm hoping if I can get those done I can get back on track.

I also need to show off the trading card art I did for Ryan last week. It's okay and it was my second attempt at getting his card looking right but there's something about it that still isn't working for me. If I can find the time tonight I may try and rework his card again. Hopefully the third time will be the charm.

If not I'll show off what I've done. I'm just not ready to show off any more of my failed attempts quite yet.

I did get this old 45 record piece done last night and I'll be using it for the new cover. It's not much but I think it will add a nice element to the cover and I'm looking forward to making up some cool labels for each record.

But, for now, since I am celebrating my birthday, I am off to see my annual birthday movie! Die Hard 5, here I come!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Week Four Begins...

 Here are the silhouette pieces I did of both Ryan Burke and Vincent Spicer for the OilCan Drive project. Once again I left little pieces of them visible and I really like the look. These will definitely be used somewhere down the road.

I started week four of the OilCan Drive project today. For the past few weeks I've done a lot of sketching of pages and trading cards on Tuesdays. But, today I started in on the music side of the project. I wasn't sure how long tracking a song would take so I was hoping I could get most of the music done for the first song by dinner time. But, dinner rolled around and I had only just begun.

I finally finished getting everything done around ten pm and took the rest of the night off. I still have to go back through what I recorded today and figure out what I have but, from what I've heard so far, it's going to be good. I think of music like a jigsaw puzzle. The only difference is that you have to actually make the pieces yourself before you put the puzzle together. Today I made a bunch of puzzle pieces and I'm looking forward to putting them together into something special.

Tomorrow I'll jump back over to the art side and get the next page started and hopefully start to tackle the cover. I'm still on schedule but there always seems like something else to do so I never really stop worrying. But it's fun and there is no boss or client in this scenario but me. I don't even think anyone would notice or care if I never finished any of this stuff. But I know, for me, it matters and I'd hate myself if I didn't get these things done in my life.

So, I keep rolling forward and we'll see what happens.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Silhouettes

 Here are a few more silhouettes I worked on last week. I still have no idea where they will show up in the finished OilCan Drive project once May rolls around but I'm loving these too much not to use them somewhere. So, look out for them on something OilCan Drive related in the near future.

I wasn't sure it would work when I first came up with the idea but I really liked keeping a few iconic pieces of each character visible. On Nicole I left her skull-head barrettes and top jacket button visible and on Henry we can still see his checkerboard suspenders. On all the characters I left little dot eyes. I figured if the little pieces didn't work I could always fill them in later but I think they'll stick around.

OK, it's been a long day and week four officially begins tomorrow. So I am off to bed to rest up before the roller coaster begins again. Three weeks down, thirteen more to go. So far so good.

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

In The Dark

Along with my weekly OilCan Drive story page and the newest trading card art (this week I tackled Ryan...more on that in a later blog) I also did some silhouette pieces of the entire band.

I'm not really sure what I'll use these for but I was inspired to do them when Monika and I went and saw a flamenco show last week on Valentine's Day night. Between songs the lights were dimmed and performers were backlit by a very low colored light. So, when you looked at the stage, all you saw was the colored light and a silhouette of the performers. I really liked the look and wanted to apply it to my band.

The other good thing about doing these kind of pieces is that it was a good exercise to see how different each character is and how you can definitely tell who is who based solely on their silhouette. I think when you can do that you're on your way towards designing some pretty good characters.

I'll show off the rest of the pieces tomorrow and show you how I made them a little more stylized than this group piece. I think they came out pretty cool and I'm looking forward to showing them off.

And, after that, we'll talk a bit more about the Ryan Burke trading card art.

But, for now, have a great day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Colorful Melody

 The painted piece for Vince's trading card came out looking like a recruitment poster for rock and roll in the desert wasteland of OilCan Drive. I really love it. So far, it may be one of my favorite pieces I did for the trading cards. So, all that's left now is to do a piece for Ryan, OilCan Drive's lead singer and other guitar player.

Maybe I'll give that a shot tomorrow and see what I can come up with. For now, enjoy the piece I did of Vince. He, along with the rest of the band, will be printed as trading cards and given out at the Denver Comic Con in May. Hopefully I'll see you there.

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blacks and Whites

I got the inking on Vincent's trading card art done today.

The story pages are also coming along really well but you'll have to wait until you either buy the printed book or when the pages launch on the OilCan Drive website. But I am a little bit ahead of schedule on the book so that's always a good feeling.

OK, off to bed for me. Color on Vincent begins tomorrow!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Week Three Begins!

I was hoping my third week of working on the OilCan Drive project would have started out with a bang but, for some reason, I felt like I never quite woke up today at all. I've been tired all day so many things I had planned to do were pushed back until tomorrow.

But, I did get some stuff done and, from what I can tell, I'm still in a pretty good position with my schedule.

The good news is that the recording of the band's first EP album will begin next week and I asked over on the OilCan Drive Facebook page today if I should include a cover song on the album or not. From the responses I got everyone seemed to want a cover song and no one gave me a good reason not to do one. So, I'm making a list of possible songs that the band can cover and I'll be putting it to a vote later this week. So make sure you check back and see if there's a song on the list you'd like to hear OilCan Drive play.

And things keep rolling on the art front as well. Here is the pencil sketch I did for Vince's trading card. He just needs a bit of ink and color and he'll be ready to go.

But, I'll leave that for tomorrow. Right now, Sean needs some sleep. Goodnight everyone! Have a great day!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rhythm and Hues

It's been another long day as I juggled both client work and trying to get all I need to done on the OilCan Drive project. But, I've finished all I need to for today and that puts me on some good footing as I head into the weekend.

I finally got to lay some color down on Nicole's piece for the trading card. I'm really liking the way these are coming out and, with Nicole and Henry done, that's half of the band completed and OilCan Drive's rhythm section ready to go.

Now it's time for Vincent and Ryan to get their turns. Just because I am doing good today doesn't mean there isn't a lot more to be done tomorrow.

Enjoy the art and have a great day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Nicole Inked!

Alright, as promised yesterday, here is the final inks on Nicole's trading card illustration.

Inking Nicole's figure was pretty straight forward but when it came to inking her drum kit I ran into a dilemma. Do I spend the extra time and try and ink all those drum and cymbal ovals perfectly on the illustration board and make the original art as perfect as possible? Or do I sketch them in and create some easily made perfect ovals in the computer?

In the end I decided to take the route that took less time and sketched the ovals on the original art and made them all pretty in the digital world.

So, above is the original piece sitting on my desk and below is the digital piece all ready for color.

OK, it's been a long day and there is only more to do tomorrow. So it's off to bed for me.

Enjoy the new art and have a great day, everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Oops. I once again got ahead of myself and showed off the new Nicole piece yesterday before I showed off the color pieces of Henry. But, they are all headed for the same trading card set so I figure if I mix them up a little no one will be too upset.

Henry's card is now colored and ready to be popped into the OilCan Drive trading card template. Here are a few screen shots of the color in progress. Now I just need to write a little blurb for the back of his card and he'll be ready to go.

I've really been enjoying doing these pieces as I'm working on the interior of the comic book. It's been fun to focus on each member of the band individually and lay some color down as well.

Tomorrow I'll get a few photos of Nicole's finished black and white piece up so you can see how she's progressing.

Oh, and the second part of Jeff's newest Back to the Drawing Board podcast is now up and ready to be heard. You can check it out HERE.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Week 2 of 16 Begins!

Yes, I start my week on Tuesdays and, yes, I know it's weird but what can you do? It just seems to be the way things work around here.

Anyway, this week starts the second week of my sixteen week schedule on the road to the Denver Comic Con.

The OilCan Drive pages are coming along great but, because they are part of a bigger story and will be featured on the OilCan Drive webcomic site soon enough, I'm going to hold off on showing any of that work. The good news is that I'll be doing enough extra work during the coming weeks that there should be more than enough to fill this blog.

But, work has been going well and I've been moving speedily along on both the client work and my own projects.

In fact, I got so ahead of myself this past week that I totally forgot to snap a photo of the pencil sketch I did for Nicole's trading card. I was half way through the inking when I realized I didn't capture the pencil stage so I quickly took a photo of where I was in the inking process and figured that would have to do.

I'll post the finished inks tomorrow along with how the final black and white piece came out.

Until then, have a great day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Henry Inked

Here are the inks for the Henry illustration. This piece will be used for one of four trading cards I'll have at my booth at the Denver Comic Con in May/June.

And, believe me, if everything on my list goes the way I think it will, this is only the beginning.

Now, on to the color!

Have a great day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week One of Sixteen

About a week or so ago I sat down and figured out how many weeks I had left before the Denver Comic Convention started (taking place on May 31st-June 2nd). By my math, I had sixteen weeks left. And the pace I had set for myself in getting a new OilCan Drive page done each week was not going to cut it. I had eighteen pages to do and only sixteen weeks to get them done.

I'd have to at least double up two of those weeks if I had any hope of getting a new book done before the convention. This kind of made me nervous.

Then I sat down and made a list of all the things I wish I could bring to the convention if I only had the time. It was a dream list and included things on it that I have put off doing for years. I laid out the sixteen weeks on a piece of paper and figured out how much I would need to do each week if I was going to get the dream list done.

Then I figured, screw it, let's let it rip and see what happens.

So last week was the first week of the sixteen I had laid out for myself. And, I'm happy to say I actually got a little bit ahead. I got the OilCan Drive page completely done as well as a few other pieces of art.

One of these pieces is part of a set of OilCan Drive trading cards I plan to have on hand at my table. Here is a photo of the pencil sketch of Henry before I started inking away.

So far the schedule is going well. The only problem is that I've been so busy with the work I've laid out for myself as well as my client work that I forgot to write in my blog and keep you all in the loop on what's going on. But, I'll try and remedy that.

It should be an interesting bunch of weeks coming up. Will I get everything done? I have no idea. But, so far it's been a blast to throw myself into it and be as creative as possible as quickly as possible. I've missed doing stuff like this.

So, stick around to see if I succeed or crash and burn.

So far, so good. I'll see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back To The Drawing Board - Episode 14

It's been quite a while since the last  podcast episode of Back To The Drawing Board. Things on my end got really busy and drawing and creating new things took precedence over talking about them.

 But, Jeff Lafferty has jumped back on board and taken over the podcast as his own. He's changed the format a bit and turned it into more of a video podcast and put the whole thing up on YouTube. For now the main BTTDB site will still feature the podcast but I'm not sure if future ones will still be there or not. It's up to Jeff now and, no matter what happens, I'll let you know where it lands.

Jeff's first guest is artist Jon Riggle. They talk about Jon’s past, his motivations, and then delve into his business model and how he thrives as an artist making a living on the web.

Enjoy the newly resurrected Back To The Drawing Board podcast!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Epic Fail!

 After deciding on and creating the basic cover layout for the OilCan Drive books last week I decided to sit down and try and create the newest book's cover.

I know that the book running on the OilCan Drive website now is the last filler book I have before I need to create some brand new content. And, when that new content starts I'll need a cover for the new story. It will, of course, be the first thing shown. So I figured I better get it done sooner than later.

The problem I had is that I've drawn so many "number one" covers for OilCan Drive (a fact that my friends won't seem to let me live down) that I couldn't think of a neat new way to put four band members in a new, cool pose. I looked at old record album sleeves and I looked at magazine covers like Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly but nothing seemed to feel right.

So, I simply sat down and started drawing.

My first attempt aped the sketch I did when I was designing the front cover elements. I sketched it out in blue pencil but there were a few things that felt off about it. Nicole ended up a bit too small and I never felt quite right about Ryan's kneeling pose. Plus, I couldn't figure out what exactly Ryan was kneeling on in the first place that put him so high up on the piece. I abandoned the piece before even moving on to the pencil sketch stage

I gave it another try and, this time, I actually got to the pencil stage. Again, it felt a bit off but I thought maybe if I just kept working the art things would figure themselves out. Even when I finished the pencil sketch I still wasn't quite feeling it but I didn't let that stop me.

I inked a few figures on that cover and finally threw up my hands in defeat. There are parts of it I like but there was too much that wasn't working for me to continue.

So, now I still need a cover and I still don't have any ideas. But, I have a little bit of time left. And I'm hoping that I can come up with something before my self imposed deadline hits. We'll just have to see how it all turns out.

But, for now, enjoy the attempts and have a great day!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy February

And here is Griggs in all of his mopey glory starring in February's blog header.

I figure in a month filled with Groundhogs Day, Valentine's Day, my birthday, and a lot of snow, someone out there must be feeling like Griggs this month.

But, due to popular demand and at least one request, March will feature another sexy robot lady in the header. Now, I just need to figure out what to do.

But, for now, have a great February and keep smiling!