Fresh Ink

I've not been doing very well at keeping up the blog these days, so many things to do these days! I'm sorry I neglect you, blog. I'm sorry!

With the end of the school semester I've been working full force at Project Pepperpot, the comic collaboration I've mentioned in the past with Anna-Maria Jung and Daniel Scribner. The comic is going great, though my speed at inking is a bit slower than I would like to admit. At this point I've just finished inking page 28, Anna-Maria is miles ahead in the pencils, and Dan is doing an amazing job in giving us a complex script full of silly jokes, action and loads of adventure.

Now, those who know me (or who have seen pictures of me, at least) know that along with art, I am also quite fond of getting tattoos, I have several large color pieces and am always looking for more. I'm also usually trying to invite my non tattooed friends to experience this very permanent art form; "It's magical!" "You'll get addicted" "It totally doesn't hurt" - these are the things I tell them, all of which are true.

I've never felt so positive about a project before, I do really love working as part of a team. Anna-Maria and I work great together, and I'm really having sooo much fun - so much fun, in fact, that I suggested we get a tattoo together to commemorate how terrific the project looks so far - and lucky for me she agreed!

We went decided to try East Side Ink, a lovely tattoo shop on the LES on Ave. B, between 6th and 7th. I had never been to this particular shop before, but it had some great reviews and a really wonderful portfolio of work for all of its artists. I had the honor of being inked by Mark Harada, and Anna-Maria was tattooed by Kristi Walls (you can find her portfolio on the ESInk website), both wonderful artists and super nice people like everyone at ESI (seriously, go check them out if you're in the area and looking for some sweet tattoos).

The design we chose is a symbol representing the the city of Acco, where our comic takes place. I had made this design as part of the concept work a few months ago, and we decided this would be best as our tattoo design.

Pre tattoo anticipatory excitement!
Anna-Maria is prepped and ready for a needling!
See? It totally doesn't hurt!
Pain? What pain? I eat pain for breakfast. With bananas.
This is our edgy action shot of me getting inked.
Anna-Maria got her tattoo in black and white, looks AWESOME!
I went for color, I love color! This took just over and hour.
Post tattoo drinks and food at Stand4. 
And there you have it! Another of my friends is brought into the fold of tattooed people! Now theres just the waiting for the tattoo to heal, today I'm definitely a little sore, but the pain is always worth it in the end.

Want to keep up with what's happening on the comic? Along with our Pepperchronicles website (which has lots of behind the scenes art!) you can also get updates on our Facebook fan page - why don't you go and follow us already?!


A Return from the Depths of the Semester

Geeeeeez, what a semester! It was pretty rough at the end; I really learned a lot about painting with watercolors aI also learned that I need to work on my time management skills! You can see a lot of the preliminary work on my Tumblr page, but here's a roundup of some of my pieces from the last few months: 
A Self Portrait: I am very humble.
Ink wash
Based on the song "(Nothing But) Flowers" by the Talking Heads
I will never underestimate the value of value again.
The Vampyr - Digital
Gretel Had Enough - Fairy Tales Assignment
A Pepperpot Study: A Tribute to Mike Mignola, master of composition.
I'm excited that the semester is over, because now I can get back to working on The Pepper Chronicles, my comic project with Anna-Maria Jung and Daniel Scribner. And hey! You can get all of the updates on the comic by following us on Facebook!


Zap! Boom!! Pow!!! [MORE TEES]

Geez, I swear I keep meaning to update and I just kind find the moments - things are going full steam right now!

Last time I posted my first tee design Love Robot had just been released on teefury.com; now, a little over a month later I have had two more prints over on shirt.woot! It seems lots of hard work and perseverance are working off right now, whew! It's really great to see people wearing my shirts! Thanks to all of you who are buying the shirts, and making these designs a success!

superbotanical study - printed at shirt.woot Feb 19, 2012

of monsters and rpgs - available at shirt.woot Mar 19-25, 2012
I've got some great new designs in the pipeline, I hope to have even more prints make it to the assorted tee sites soon.

If you're looking for other things to buy, you can also check out my updated Society6 and Spreadshirt shops (which includes kids size shirts!) - now with  more stuff to spend your money on! YEAH!

I hope to get a few more updates out here soon, I have so much to update you on!


Blast off! [PICTURES!]

This year seems like it's started off with a bang! I've been busy with lots of projects since the very beginning, and it feels great. Album art, tee shirts, demons and a card game - plus the start of school - January has been a blur!

But not only have I had projects, I am getting my first solo tee printed at teefury.com! This little love robot will be available for the entire 24 hours of FEBRUARY 5, 2012 - for each shirt sold, I will receive one American dollar.

I'm contributing an illustration to the Ars Goetia: 72 Demons project. My choice was Duke Aim. This one is due really soon, and as usual - I have no idea what I'm going to do about color. I'll be sure to post the final piece once it's done.

This is an ice cream golem. He's part of the pieces I'm doing for the nifty sounding Jak and Poi Cards project, up on Kickstarter. I was definitely thinking of the Thrice Cream Man from the cartoon series Chowder. Scoop in  mouth time!

I'm also doing some album artwork for the Staten Island band Tryptophan. Here's a dude exploding.

Through all of this Team Pepperpot has been going strong, we've got a great comic coming together. Most especially I love collaborating with Anna-Maria Jung and Daniel Scribner.

I've been surprised to find out how much I enjoy drawing layouts and backgrounds. Here are some of my favorites, so far:

There's still a long way to go on Project Pepperpot, I can't wait to see how it's going to unfold!

With all of this going on, I'm also just heading back to school. This semester seems like it will have a few great teachers (along with the usual crazy ones). I'm hoping to have lots of great new stuff as the semester goes on, new stuff that isn't all life drawing. I'm excited to get deeper into the illustration side of things.

As usual, keep your eye here at Cubefarm for more news as the month rolls on! If you're feeling more social you can follow me on Tumblr and Facebook!


(belatedly) Happy New Years!

The New Year is here, and I was promptly felled by a head cold - cards that should have been printed, glued and mailed did not happen. Though my New Years cards were procrastinated upon, I have had a great beginning to the New Year!

Four new projects are coming up, my first solo tshirt print, a job and going back to school.

Keep your eyes on this spot, my friends, news will be forthcoming...

In the meantime, best wishes for your New Year, may your journeys be fruitful and your horizons full of joy!


Art School :: Uuuuughhhh

While the majority of my classes this semester are pretty good, there's always one that drives me insane.  It's been a long time since I've had an art teacher that has given me an assignment that has made me so irritated; The project, in a nutshell, is to make a huge drawing on illustration board, from magazine reference. The layouts were put down by the teacher (she claims the students have never been able to make good layouts in past years), and we're supposed to "find the shapes" in each figure - apparently this makes every drawing good "always, every time, no exceptions". 


In any case, I'm making the best of this project and really working on those cross hatch and stippling skills, I'm actually pretty happy with how it looks so far - considering I'm less than thrilled with the subject matter itself. I'm also head over heels about working on illustration board, which the ink flows over and sits on the surface without any bleeding or buckling. It's a thing of beauty, I tell you.

I started this out by using the same process I used in my Illustration 101 class, blowing up the reference image and laying it out using a transfer sheet, then just inking it in as I go with brushes, dip pens and a .07 marker. 

Now it's time to get back to work, this thing is due in the morning.


Dr. Sketchy's NYC

I went to my first Dr. Sketchy meet up here in NYC last week, the theme was Godzilla! Dr. Sketchy's is hosted at the Bowery Poetry Club, the costumes are fun and silly and there's booze and prizes for silly drawing!
Warm up, one minute sketch!
I wish they had used the tiny, old school Godzilla head more. This was the only time the model used it.

The theme for this one was an epic battle between Godzilla and someone. Not remembering how to draw Ultraman, I made a knockoff Ultraman and won an enormous, squishy narwhal!


Portrait from Photo :: Process

I'm taking a really great illustration class at FIT with Salvatore Catalano. With some tricks I was able to paint this (fairly impressive, IMHO) portrait in acrylic.

The trick was making a transfer of the original photo then slowly working in each of the values. Finally, using some matte acrylic medium to thin the acrylic a dry brush technique is used to blend the values together.
The finished piece, it looks like me!
Almost done! At this point Sal told me I needed to soften all the hard edges (like around the shirt and the hair) as well as adding a tiny bit more value to the nose. The softened edges really MADE the piece.
The ugly baby phase. Ugh, at this point in the painting I was a little worried it would never look good. An important lesson as an artist is to know that you just need to keep working no matter how fugly a piece is looking -- it will eventually get better!

This is the first pass at the major values over the tracing of the photo.


The Zombies Ride at Dawn and the Magicians Assistant

Over on my Facebook Fan Page I asked fans to suggest something for me to draw. The suggestion given was "zombie unicorn" and this is what I came up with along with a quick show of the process. this was definitely one of those lucky times where the first sketch and the finished piece look pretty much the same!

First there was the sketch... 

Then there was the cleaned up pencils. 

Then comes inks and colors!

I also participate in the Today's Doodle blog, an excellent repository of talent and daily drawings from around the world. Here's one of mine from the topic for "magicians assistant".


Tools of the Trade

Just something quick for the moment, for those who are curious. Here are some of the supplies I use to draw!