Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finished Brick

 So, here is the finished painting of Brick with the black inked line work placed over the watercolor painting I did the other night. If you want to see some of the process you can check out the other day's blog HERE.

I absolutely LOVE the way this piece came out. There is just something about a hand painted piece that will always beat digital painting for me. I had almost forgotten how much I love the look since I've been doing the majority of my coloring on the computer for the last ten years. Digital color may be more precise, more "perfect," but a hand painted piece, done by a human, just "feels" right.

I definitely need to do more of these in the near future. I see continuing to do my client work on the computer because it does make it a lot easier to make changes but, for myself, this may be the new (or old) way I do things. We'll have to see.

Here is the original scanned black and white artwork. I don't think I've shown it off before so I thought it might be cool to see.

And, while I could have simply painted the watercolor piece, scanned it in, and put the black line on top of it digitally, I really wanted to have a physical painting to hold in my hand. So, I headed on down to Kinko's, printed out the black and white line work on a clear transparency, and placed it over the original painting.

It's as close as I've done to a blue-line painting (the way I used to do ALL my painting back when I was working for Marvel Comics) in over fifteen years.

I didn't know I'd missed it so much until this weekend.

If you can't tell, I am fired up by this piece. It's pure art for art's sake and I love it.

This week, it's back to finishing the nine missing pages in the second OilCan Drive book. It's been too long since I've tackled that as well and it's time I got back to it.

Have a great week everyone! I'll talk to you soon!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Brick Blue-Line

I could easily have colored the Brick illustration the way I usually have over the last ten-plus years. I could have scanned him into the computer, opened Photoshop, and gone to town on the piece.

I could have.

But, tonight, I felt like doing something different.

I scanned the Brick illustration into the computer, opened him up in Photoshop but, instead of simply coloring him there, I turned all the black lines into a light blue line and printed him back out into the real world on 2 ply Bristol Board.

This is a similar idea to the way I used to paint before the computer came into my world.  Back in the 90's, while I was painting for Marvel Comics, they would send me giant boards of art. The art was made up of two pieces. One was a black line of the art on clear plastic acetate. Underneath, on the heavy board, was the same art printed in a light non-reproducible blue. I would take the black line acetate off, put it somewhere safe, and paint and airbrush on the board. Once I was done I'd put it all back together and ship it off to Marvel. Usually, if I was lucky, they'd give me more than one day to get the whole thing done.

I don't have my airbrush set up and I honestly don't know if it even works anymore. So, I just pulled out any watercolors and colored pencils I had lying around the studio and started laying color onto the blue line printed piece of Brick.

The plan now is to scan the colored piece back into the computer and marry it to the black line piece and see if everything lines up. It should be an interesting experiment. And, if I have time tonight, I'm going to head on down to Kinko's and print the black line art on a piece of clear acetate to see if I an come up with an original piece to hold in my hands.

It's been a long time sine I've tried something like this but it really has been a nice change from the computer coloring. Now I just have to see if it all works.

I'll show you the results this weekend.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sports Illustrated Kids June

 Ack, here it is almost the end of June and I almost forgot to show off this month's Sports Illustrated Kids cartoons. I just keep getting worse and worse at this blog thing. If it keeps going this way I'll be living in a cave before I know it.

But, here are June's three illustrations for the SIK "What's The Call" article.

Better late than never.

Tomorrow I'll see if I can post any progress on the new Brick painting. I am stopping into the art store tomorrow for supplies and then I'll start working away. It should be fun.

See you all tomorrow. Have a great night!


 I had my first day off in weeks yesterday. I took it easy, slept late, and went and saw the Angelina Jolie movie, Maleficent, at the theater with a friend. It was a good way to spend a day off but I was ready to get back into the OilCan Drive groove today.

I've missed posting so many pages this last month due to the Denver Comic Con, client work, and being sick. I hated missing the updates but something had to give and the easiest thing to let go of was the OilCan Drive stuff. With any luck I am hoping to get back on schedule and start posting pages in the first few weeks of July. I am only nine pages short of having the second chapter done and, by God, I will finish that second book even if it kills me.

But, today I thought I'd start on something simple and fun to get my head back into the OilCan Drive world. I've been doing so much client work that it sometimes doesn't feel so much like art as it does production work that I have gotten so good at that the process doesn't really present a challenge anymore. So, I thought I'd try something different and this drawing of Brick will make a nice little experiment.

I figure that the worst thing that can happen is I fail and go back to doing things the old way.

Right now this piece looks like most other things I've shown off on the blog. I penciled the piece while I was at lunch today with friends and inked it when I got home tonight. The next step, the coloring, is where it will get interesting.

But I'll have to wait until Friday to start on that. If it works, I'll show it off this weekend. If not, it's back to digital color so I can use this piece for July's blog header.

Either way, I am really liking how crazy I have Brick looking in this piece. I've missed working on OilCan Drive. It's time to get back to it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Denver Comic Con 2014

The 2014 Denver Comic Con is done and in the books! It was a lot of fun but it totally wiped me out. I definitely need to train harder for next year's event! But, after the convention, doing client work, and getting sick a few times, I hope I can get the OilCan Drive story back on track in July and get the second book finished!

Still, bringing the book out to the public is always a blast. It's one thing to sit in your studio and work away and put stuff online but it's a whole other thing to get out there, sell actual books, meet new people, and catch up with old friends in the art community. You just can't beat it.

And, when someone finds OilCan Drive for the first time and tells you that they really like the art and story it really makes moving the gear,  waking up early, and not eating right all worth it. What is especially fun is when you go up to an artist you really love with the full intent of buying some of their work, give them a pack of your stuff, and have them want to trade you for it instead of taking your money. It makes it all feel worthwhile.

Now I have a whole year to figure out my next plan of attack for the 2015 Denver Con. I want to make a new booth display, get some more books done, and make some more prints. I'm hoping it gets bigger and better every year.

Slowly, ever so slowly, my little cartoon band is getting out into the world and gaining a fan base.

Now, it's time to get back to making the book. Thank you for your patience. I hope it's worth the wait.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy June!

I honestly can't believe it's June already! This year is going by quick and I already find myself having to worry about my second round of quarterly estimated taxes? Where has the year gone?

You can tell things have been really busy around here based on this month's blog header. It's the first time in 26 months that I haven't had a piece of art related to OilCan Drive to place in the header. Hopefully this piece I did for my friend, Nicole's, business card a while ago will work just as well for you. It's a cute piece, a bit different than I usually do, and I really love it.

 I feel like I've been juggling cats these last few weeks with all that's been going on. I've had multiple client jobs going at once as well as the regular weekly OilCan Drive work. I also got really sick last month and was down for about a week. I was still working because I had to (there are no sick days when you're a freelance artist) but I was nowhere near at the top of my game.

One of the other things I've been working on is getting two OilCan Drive books into print and available through as well as a few other places. It's one thing to write, draw, script, and letter comic book pages all by yourself. It's a whole other thing trying to put that into a book with text and layout and making sure everything looks right and is spelled correctly. There have been more than a few late nights this week where I find myself wondering what the hell I am doing.

But, I think I got it all figured out and, with any luck, I'll have new books in hand for the upcoming Denver Comic Con and then the books will be available online shortly afterwards.

We've also been doing a lot of work on the house and putting down hardwood floors everywhere. So I've had to move my whole studio into a small room with a bunch of boxes and piles of stuff everywhere. It's been tough to keep working but I've really had no choice.

Like I said, it's been a busy month.

This week I'm still juggling a few client jobs and I'm not sure if I'll be able to get the newest page for OilCan Drive done by Friday. I've started drawing it but I've found myself on a page again where every character in the book appears at least once. At last count, that's about 16 characters. So, if I'm late this week, or have to push it off until next week, I hope you'll forgive me.

I'd much rather do good OilCan Drive pages and have them late than have them done on the Friday deadline and not looking as good as I know they can. I've always said that the moment OilCan Drive becomes a job is the day I quit doing it. I still love it and it's still fun but I may need a little more time to get the job done the way I want it done. Hopefully my editor won't fire me for being late :)

Okay, time to get back to it. Have a great one, everyone! I'll talk to you soon!