Friday, November 21, 2008

Upcoming Issue of America's Civil War Magazine

I just finished these illustrations for an upcoming issue of America's Civil War Magazine and the art director was kind enough to let me show them right away-- the issue won't be on newsstands until January 2009. The story comes from a Union soldier's diary and was extremely fun to illustrate.

For those of you interested in the process, the finals were executed with acrylic ink and gouache on Strathmore illustration board.

Below are the pencil sketches...

The quick value studies done with markers...

And some of the initial thumbnails (I made them very small here so the text is unreadable-- I don't want to ruin the story)...

And some of the embarrassing reference photos that I shot and gathered with the help of my wife (and my dog). It was really important to me to research everything thoroughly because I wanted the illustration to feel very authentic and believable. What you see here is just a tiny fraction of the research. And believe it or not, these are the least embarrassing of the reference photos...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Batman Illustration 2

A second version of the previous post, this time created by painting oil washes over a fixed acrylic/gouache base.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I've always dreamed of being hired to do a Batman cover so I decided I would give myself that assignment as I continue my experiments with gouache/acrylic.

Here is what I came up with. It is painted with gouache/acrylic in grayscale and then colored in Photoshop. I am also going to finish it in color traditionally but wanted to scan it in and do a quick color overlay in case I destroy it as I add colors. I'll post that as well when I am done.

The grayscale painting...

And the build up... starting with a thumbnail, then a tighter sketch after taking some photo reference, and then a value and color study.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Web Site Illustrations 3

This is the third collage in a current project I am working on. The illustrations will be used as backgrounds on a web site that is scheduled to launch on November 1st-- I will post a link once everything is set to go.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Painting again...

Click on the images for a larger view.

I have been really busy with a few digital illustration projects lately (which is great) but have been able to follow through on a personal commitment to continue my painting/traditional media education that began at the Illustration Academy this summer by working on personal paintings at nights and on weekends. I think this one is finally finished-- but I always question whether there is more to do. Mainly, I think I get to a point where I can't think of anything to do that will make much of an impact-- aside from completely starting over.

I am still wrestling and struggling with the best way to work with acrylic and gouache and at times it can be very frustrating. Having not worked with much traditional media before this summer I know that I still have a ton of learning ahead of me in order to get where I want to be. But finishing a painting is by far the most rewarding feeling I have experienced in making art-- and I am very excited and determined to continue down this path.

I read this quote in "Artist to Artist" and it made me think of how I was feeling while working on this painting. I'm guessing that other artists can relate...

"Finishing a painting demands a heart of steel: everything requires a decision, and I find difficulties where I least expect them... It is at such moments that one fully realizes one's own weaknesses." -Eugene Delacroix

Monday, September 22, 2008

Web Site Illustration Revision

Here is a quick revision that I made to a piece from a few weeks back. The client wanted a version of this collage without the text box in the center. So we decided to add another musician to fill that area. It was a minor adjustment but I like the way it turned out. I have been trying to achieve a certain look for awhile now and I feel like this portion of the illustration is a step in the right direction for me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Web Site Illustrations 2

Here is the next page from the job I am currently working on...
(click on images for the full size view)

and a few details...

..and my initial sketches. As you can see, we (the web developer and myself) weren't sure on direction until the first sketch was done. After seeing it we felt like it was a little too different from the previous illustration. So we went back to the idea of a "collage feel" and I'm really happy we did. I think the results are much better.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Web Site Designs

This is an illustration I just completed for a web developer. I'm covering up the name of the site for now, but its sounds like all of this will be live in a few months.

(click on image for a larger view)

And here are a few details...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Three Musketeers Poster

I just finished this illustration for the Seattle Repertory Theatre. It was a really fun job and gave me a chance to use all the great lessons from the Illustration Academy. The main trick on this one was trying to figure out a design that worked as both a tall vertical poster and a horizontal outdoor board and bus board. Because of the size of the outdoor board we started with a digital vector version (which is what is being used so far in the ads), but what you see here is acrylic and gouache on board-- and some of the process work. Hopefully the painted version will be a part of the campaign as well.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Illustration Academy

I'm in the middle of the Illustration Academy right now and have to say that it is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done in my life. The instruction here is absolutely fantastic and its very exciting to be around so many talented artists and teachers. It was a little scary to take time away from work to devote myself to improving my skills for the summer but I'm so happy I made this decision.

This is one of the assignments. I am depicting the 2004 Orange Revolution of Ukraine. Trying to work with acrylic paint for the first time is very tough but it is starting to make sense to me. I still need to clean it up a bit in Photoshop-- the scan is a bit blurry-- but it was an outstanding learning experience that was hopefully make my digital work better down the road.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Quick Sketch

A quick photo shop sketch while looking at a magazine ad done as a warm-up today. I kind of like it... I've been trying to experiment with the idea of using as little info as possible to capture the picture.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Night Club

Originally this was a storyboard frame that I did for a client a few weeks back that I really wanted to turn into a final piece. I did this all as vector art like my last few posts. It is an approach that has been interesting me lately.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Movie Poster

This is a section of a poster I created for Juggernaut Pictures, an upstart production company in LA that I have been working with quite a bit this year in various capacities. I had to crop the image to hide the title of the movie for now-- but hopefully I will be able to post more about this project soon.