Customizing the sketchbook for the muse

I like to customize my Moleskine sketchbooks before I start using them, and sometimes that can be quite an elaborate process.

Partly, I customize them so that they are easier to recognize and find if lost. Instead of just looking for a generic, small sketchbook, I can tell people to look for something more unique. By customizing it inside and out, it’s easier to spot, and frankly harder to get away with stealing.

Mostly, though, I just like that, through customization, it truly becomes mine. I think if I have already given it love, already spent a good time with it, that when I sit down to create art with it I’m more comfortable.… Read the rest

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A new pencil, and the importance of consistency

Artists, and creators in general, can be a strange breed. Notwithstanding all of the devious and unusual things we come up with, especially as a horror creator, our actions often seem unusual to the general public.

For example, I spent a good amount of yesterday looking for a new pencil.

Now, for most people, a pencil is a pencil. In fact, I have dozens of pencils, all of which have their particular values. I have what I would call a crapload of Prismacolor Turquoise pencils, from 6B all the way to 4H (there may even be a 6H in there somewhere).… Read the rest

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New Ink Art and Walkthrough: The Revenant

This week for Alphabeasts, which I’m now caught up on, I decided to try something different. With my computer being backed up and doing some maintenance, I thought I would try a larger piece than the others have been.

This week’s letter was “R”, and the first thing that popped into my head was “revenant”. Those with a sharp eye might remember a cover I did a couple of years ago, for Brian Keene’s book A Gathering of Crows. That book featured a number of stylized revenants, and I thought this would be a good time to revisit that creature.… Read the rest

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Alphabeasts: C is for Cerastes

A great new collaborative project is online, called “Alphabeasts”. The idea is that artists each week have a letter, and they must create a piece of art of a fictional creature starting with that letter. I’ve been looking for a nice, regular sketch sort of thing to do each week, and I think this will be a great challenge.

First up, since I missed “A” and “B” (I’ll go back), here is my “C” entry: C is for Cerastes. It is based on the Greek myth of the cerastes, a horned serpent-like creature.… Read the rest

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One way to make eyes

Ok, this is tutorial isn’t about making eyes at someone else, or processing new eyeballs to replace the ones your T-800 lost. It’s just a quick tutorial on one way to create eyes in Photoshop.

More specifically, this is about the iris and pupil. There are many ways to do it of course, but this is one way that I started doing many years ago, and I’ve always liked it.

First up, I’ve zoomed in on my sketch and the initial shadows of the art. This particular piece is in progress by the way, so I still have to work on the rest of the face, parts around the eye, and so on.… Read the rest

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Sketchcard the third: Rough Times

While I was at the booth at the Gallery Underground (Ft. Collins, CO) this evening, I created another sketchcard. After a failed attempt at an Iron Giant sketch (let us never speak of it again), I created this one below. I call it “Rough Times”.

Like the other two, it’s 5″ x 7″, ink, on 140 lb. Cold Press stock. It’s quite similar to the one I did last night, but that was (more or less) unintentional.  I started out with the idea of inking a Creature From The Black Lagoon, but partway though decided to try something else.… Read the rest

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Sketchcard the second: Pacal

Here’s the second of the sketchcards that I’ll have at the gallery, starting tomorrow night.  They are fun, and they are also helping me get back into the swing of things with inkwork.

This one is of a mask/sculpture of Pacal, the Mayan ruler of Palenque. I think inks are fun to do, and years ago I remember enjoying them a lot.  I think they will be nice things to sell as original art pieces as well.

This one is also 5″ x 7″, as the gargoyle from yesterday was. The first version is more or less how it looks in person.… Read the rest

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I’ve seen several artists online talk about doing original sketchcards, either at local galleries or at conventions.  It’s something I’ve been considering for awhile as well, and with the new gallery I thought I’d give it a try.

Here’s the first one, an ink sketch based on a gargoyle I have. It’s 5″ x 7″, so pretty small, and I think I’d sell them at a very cheap, reasonable price.  Let me know, as always, what you think:

Gargoyle Sketchcard #1

Gargoyle Sketchcard #1

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Behold! The mighty Moleskine!

Last year, a couple of friends (Mike Oliveri, Cullen Bunn, and a few others) were really talking up using a small writing or sketching book to jot down quick ideas. I’ve carried a larger sketchpad in my backpack for a long time, but I’d considered something smaller to compliment it.  So, I ended up purchasing a Moleskine, one with frames for storyboarding, that fits right in a pocket.

It’s been one of those things that, as an artist, has really helped how I work.  I use it for practice sketching, as well as for jotting down quick ideas.… Read the rest

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