Of sketches and such

I was in a pretty good habit, a couple of years back, of posting the sketches that I do all the time. Posting them is good for me, because I can go back and review the things I’ve done. Posting is good for others, so I’m told by other artists, in that they can get a sense of how another artist approaches sketching.

I’d like to get back to posting about my sketches. Hopefully, each month I can show the latest items in my sketchbook (and Moleskine), and you can tell me what you think.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and Alphabeast: M is for Mummy

Quite awhile back, when I was first getting back into inking, I created an ink based on the Im-Ho-Tep/Mummy character from the 1932 film version of The Mummy (see it here). The idea with that one was to work from a photo, something I hadn’t done much (if ever), to recreate the iconic face of Karloff’s mummy.

Since then, I’ve wanted to create a different mummy, one that didn’t rely on any photos at all. I’m getting confident with my ink work again, so I wanted to abandon the photo reference and just create something new.… Read the rest

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Alphabeasts: H is for Headcrab

For this week’s Alphabeasts entry, I decided to stick with Valve’s games, albeit a slightly older one. From the Half Life series, there are these little creatures called “headcrabs”, which I thought would be fun.

Headcrabs like to throw themselves at you, and can be pretty annoying. With the trusty crowbar they aren’t too hard to beat (BA DUM CHEE!), but when they attach themselves to a victim they make the person a zombie. Those are a little harder to destroy, and have a tendency to scare the crap out of you when you are least expecting it.… Read the rest

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Creating the ink art: The Mouth of Sauron

I’m fascinated by creatures of all sorts, especially those that are a bit on the creepy side. Case in point, “The Mouth of Sauron”, featured in the extended edition of the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

In case you haven’t seen the extended versions of the LOTR trilogy (which you should, they are fantastic), here’s a YouTube link of just that scene in the film. Of course, if you haven’t seen the film, there is certainly a bit of spoiler here, so if you’d rather watch the full film first please do.… Read the rest

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The Tools and Materials I Use, Part 1: Stock, ink, pencils

Whenever I’m on Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook and Google +), there always seems to be these great discussions about the type of materials and tools that artists use in their art. Often there are similarities, and quite often too there are new and cool things that I hadn’t heard of before.

I thought it would be a good idea to share what I use to create art, at least traditional art. My digital art is easy enough to explain, it’s Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. But with traditional media, there are so many different combinations and so many different things to try that it’s great to experiment with them all.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and working with reference: Cthulhucraft

I’ve been itching to do more ink work lately, and I decided over the weekend that H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday was a great chance to work something in.

The trick, of course, in doing art of a recognizable character (or person) is that you just have to get it right. Sure, there is some leeway here and there, some space to be an artist. But the essence of the character has to be correct, or all is lost.

With the ink art I’ve been doing in the last year, I’ve been trying to get as close as I can to the characters and still leave open that ability for my own art to sneak through.… Read the rest

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To be [social] or not to be [social]

I originally wrote this article for my Apex Magazine slot this month, but in the long run I decided to go a different way with it. I thought this one ended up a little more about creators than about the things the Apex might need, so I wrote a different one.

That said, I think this one says some good things as well, so I’m posting here on my own site for you fine folks to check out.

Also, just for the record, Apex is a wonderful publisher, and please go check out their books and other publications.… Read the rest

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From start to finish: Christopher

I’ve been considering doing an ink work of something from the film District 9 for some time, and I finally decided to fit it in here. I managed to fit it in between two other commissioned pieces (call it a “break”).

I also decided that, instead of just an ink work, I’d have fun with it. I’ll probably still go back and do a normal ink work of something from District 9, but this one was fun.

This is the character Christopher from the film. Well, it will be when you see that I’m done with it.… Read the rest

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Using the iPad as a portfolio

Something that comes up from time to time is the need, as an artist and a designer, to have a portfolio to show someone in person. That could be at a convention, or a job interview, various places where having a portable way to show your work would come in handy.

For many years, I’ve used a simple, letter-sized portfolio, which has worked well. I can have a design on every page, or a group of art pieces, or even change them out as needed. But, for that to really be effective, you need to print new things all the time, and in general over time they tend to get a bit beaten up.… Read the rest

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New Ink Work: Metropolis

I’ve always loved the image of the female robot from the film Metropolis. It’s a very streamlined, very cool design, and well ahead of it’s time for when the film was made.

I’m not sure I captured it as well as other ink works I’ve done, but I’m still happy with it. I think it still has a metallic look (tricky with ink), and certainly looks female.

Believe it or not, sometimes making a piece of art look like a particular gender can be a challenge, especially in a case like this where the robot is really an idea of a woman, not an actual human.… Read the rest

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New ink art and the trick of creating it live

While I was in Austin, Texas, for the World Horror Convention, I had a bit of time to kill before checking in. I decided to sketch some things first for projects that I have in play, and after that I decided to create another ink card.

Now, the main motivation for it was that I simply wanted to do another ink work. Secondarily, especially since I was sitting right near the main path of all of the con traffic, I had quite a number of people walk over and take a look at what I was working on.… Read the rest

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New Ink Work: Tomas

It’s not really a well-kept secret that I like the scary stuff. So, when I was looking to create a new ink work for the end of the week, I ended up with a scary figure.

Now, in this case, it may or may not look that scary. The character is Tomas, from the film The Orphanage, and, near the beginning of the film, this child comes up. I won’t give you any spoilers, but it is a pretty creepy character.

I decided to do things a little differently with this one.… Read the rest

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New Ink Work: The Hard Night

Sometimes when I’m thinking of doing some art, I get a good idea going. Some concept, or some particular scene grabs me and I want to get art made of it.

Today was no different, as I’d had an idea for another ink work based on some old noir films. I thought that not only would it be fun to try, but there would also be the challenge of texture again like the Lorre/M piece.

So I started in working on it, and, actually, it wasn’t too bad. But, as with all things, the little issues started to bug me, and I started getting dragged into the old “you’re not good enough for this” thought pattern.… Read the rest

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New Ink Art: The Pale Man

Today has been an experiment in not only a larger format for an ink work, but also in the idea of not letting a problem in the art end the day.

When I started doing art today, I just grabbed my 12″ x 18″ watercolor stock and went to work. I had a decent idea for a larger piece, but one that was still consistent with the other cards that I have been doing. I even took some measurements, and decided it might be time to base an image on more specific requirements than just “where I want it”.… Read the rest

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