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Showing posts from 2013

Changes a'comin'!

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Shame on me for not posting more frequently! I have many reasons- life in general has been a whirlwind of excitement and challenges, and I've been honestly working towards reshaping my professional future.

All of that said, you might have noticed that the lostskies.com site is down. The main reason is because I failed to update my credit card on file and my space was reset by the time I went to pay again. Totally my fault, but it is an opportunity to rethink exactly what Lost Skies is all about.

When I came up with the name Lost Skies, I meant it to be a synonym for Alien Horizons, the skies of other worlds and realities, or it's sister idea- the notion of a Lost Worlds. So, using "Lost Skies" felt original enough to invoke that feeling... I fear it might have been a bit too esoteric a term. I've sometimes even referred to the entire tomb of my work as "Tales from the Lost Skies", and that still holds true. Still, Lost Skies doesn't exactly roll of…

"Woven" book cover

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I had eluded to a new project a few posts ago... well this was it! Woven co-authors Michael R. Jensen and David Powers King approached me to create an alternative book cover for their book. The illustration features the two main characters of the book- the princess and the ghost. They didn't want to use any convention of transparency with the ghost- and he seems very real to the princess, but I convinced them that a visual cue was needed... so he gradates out.

I wanted to create that classic YA fantasy feel- somewhat like traditional animation... "Disneyesque" in it's appearance. I liked the way it turned out.

I had severely limited time- so I had to turn to some quick techniques to deliver. I used a forest texture brush for the background, I drew the figures separately, scanned, and colorized in Photoshop.

There's quite a bit of head space- that's for the title.

As it were, the cover was offered to the publisher as an alternative to what their art departm…

Some Star Wars fan art!

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Wow! A month since I last posted?! I must be busy ;)

Here's some Star Wars fan art (or rather portrait studies) that turned out pretty good!



Sailing the Lost Skies

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Real Drawing Skill Earns My Respect!

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In the video above, Sergio Cariello discusses his artistic approach. I've been storyboarding a feature length film, and I utilize some of the ideas he talks about... but I've learned more in this video.

Tom Floyd over at Captain Spectre and the Lightning Legion is now an official ERB artist, drawing the new Carson Napier of Venus Strip. Tom is retired and is making a go in his second career as a pulp comic artist. I've been following Tom at his blog- I love his style. And, he's doing what I want to do... and I can see myself in his path in twenty years.

Working with your hands, actually drawing and gaining skill is far more impressive than using reskinned, off-the-shelf digital puppets and calling it your own art. It's a crutch. Learn to draw well and find success on your own merit.

Two Features and a Graphic Novel

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WOW! It's been a bit. Again, I've been busy with all that life brings and happy to do so. Right now I am working on artwork for two features. The first one is called "The Story of a Satellite, Rafael and the Mother Who Gave Birth to Him"- a Galacian feature film by the amazing ALSO Sisters set to film this summer. I'm helping with some onscreen artwork. I had reviewed their work for a webisode called IGNOTO a couple of years ago. They are amazingly talented and after reading the script, I can completely see this film going to Sundance and Cannes! I could easily go on and on about how how talented they are, and how much success they'll see. They have an Indiegogo campaign- please donate and become a part of a future hit!

The second feature is with director Lonzo Liggins. I'm not sure if we're at the point of openly talking about the film, but I will say it's a hilarious comedy! I am helping with storyboards and marketing materials and there are qu…

Artist Showdown #101: Medusa!!

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Honestly, I've never heard of the comic book heroine Medusa. I've heard of the Greek myth, so I guess it's along those lines.

In any case, I probably redrew this one about 5 times. The most time spent was on the version before this- I roughed in the body and clumsily searched for a decent drawing with my pen work. It came out sloppy.

So I redid it- I took my time with the pencils, trying to go for actual comic pencil rendering. It turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I love her pose. The hair needs work.

I decided to leave it alone. No point in using pen and ink, and I think I'll stay away from inking for a while until I can get my pencils the way I want them. But when I do decide to do inks again, it will be with my crowquill pen and brush.

Space Western!

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My next entry for Comicvine's Artist Showoff Character Creation contest #64- A Space Western! There's actually three different characters. It's not as painterly as I wanted it- but that will take practice. Actually, this is the first "finished" illustration I've done in a long time that depicts an actual situation, and not a pinup. Special shoutout to my buddy Mark Green for giving me some reference poses- it really helped put this illustration together on such a limited time.

Here's the descriptor I used on Comicvine:

Cal 10862 had narrowly escaped the slave camps on Epsilon Alpha IV, losing his arm along the way. He's since become the fastest draw this side of the Orion Frontier. But while the gunfighter's reputation has earned him many jobs, it's also earned him a spot on the Imperium's Ten Most Wanted list!

Now on to the next contest: Medusa!

Iron Frost 2

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Well, here was one of my Iron Frost sketches that I decided to ink and color. It turned out decent, but it wasn't the design I wanted to enter into the Comicvine contest. I was late in entering anyway, but I wanted to finish it.

This one has the classic Iron Man coloring. In all honesty, there's no way to tell this is Emma Frost. That's why I didn't use it.

I've been working on my Space Western illustration. I have a solid concept for it, but I need some figure and hat reference for it. I'm approaching it in an old school illustration way. I've asked my friend Mark Green to pose for me so I can get the angle of the hat just right, and to also get the pose just right. I'm excited for it- I think it will turn out!

Iron Frost

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Comicvine had another contest for the amalgam of Iron Man and Emma Frost. Between work schedules, sick kids, and lack of inspiration I couldn't pull it together in time. But I did work on a color comp before my final illustration, and since I didn't make the deadline to enter it, I might as well show it here.

I went for those Lisa Frank stationary sort of colors. It works okay. The armor is uninspired, the problem I had is that I don't feel that Emma Frost would wear a helmet- she's too vain. But it's the helmet that's iconic about Iron Man. Oh well. Chalked up to another learning experience.

In the meantime, my Captain Cody had won the character creation contest, and for the next contest, I picked SPACE WESTERN- with inspiration the likes of Firefly, Bravestarr, and the Galaxy Rangers. I have a really good idea already cooked up for that one, I just need to get my stuff together and actually do it!!! I gave a deadline of April 1st.

OMEGA RED

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For Comicvine's Artist Showoff #100 (that I got to choose). I went with a 90s animated look... I'm not happy about the anatomy- especially in the arms and legs. Admittedly, I struggled with this one a bit- redrew him 4 times. I learned quite a bit, and I do feel that this is one of the most dynamic poses I've ever done! Keep on keepin' on!

My Captain Cody of Galaxy Patrol won the Cyborg contest on Character Design #63... I need to figure out what to do for that one.

Captain Cody of Galaxy Patrol!

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Another Comicvine forum contest!  Here's the write up about this character, kind of made up on the spot:

Captain Cody of Galaxy Patrol was in a debilitating accident while saving passengers on a space yacht that was caught in the shockwave of a supernova. His new cybernetic arms can harness the plasma energy in space, which he can discharge as powerful energy blasts. His mission- to hunt down all the pirates that caused the star to explode!

Cheesy, no?

Anyway, it was a fun exercise and good warm up to OMEGA RED- which is due very soon!

Updated Dejah Pen Drawing

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DEJAH THORIS, PRINCESS OF MARS
Well, here she is again. I drew it much smaller then the last one, but refined her costume a little. Not as much detail or time on the face... and I need to work on drawing feet!

I'll update this post with what pen tools I used soon.

In anycase, I've mostly figured out her design. I have Dejah Thoris, now it's time to draw John Carter, Warlord of Mars!

COMICVINE
So, I decided that for the #100 contest should be OMEGA RED. He has been one of my favorite villains since Jim Lee drew him over 20 years ago. Omega Red is due March 12th.

I'm also attempting a cyborg contest on the forum- that one is due on March 8th. I'm still trying to think of something to do.

Quick Dejah Thoris pen sketch

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I haven't drawn Dejah Thoris for nearly twenty years. I admit, this one is a little sloppy. Actually, I'm not happy with it at all. However, that's how you improve- you put the successes out there AND the failures, and you learn from them pushing yourself to get better next time.

It started out as a quick sketch, then I broke out the ink. I didn't really spend much of time on anatomy... it was simply experimenting with tools and having some fun. Her hair got away from me- I dried out my brush pen on her it. All in all, it turned out okay. I think I'll put her into an action pose next time, fix the anatomy, more detail on her costume and accessories... and not let the hair be so wild!

I was furious at the liberties taken with the story in last year's movie. I'm a book purist, and frankly I feel that they wrecked the feel of the story. I could go on and on, but in the end, the effects were amazing, even though the feeling of it was not. It didn't even c…

Martian Manhunter

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Well, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. It's been a while since I've finished a drawing, much less colorize it. So, at the suggestion of my good friend Robert Schaupp, I've been attempting to do the no-prize forum contests at Comicvine.  The last one was my ATOMA drawing, but here's the newest contest entry for a simple pinup- Martian Manhunter! It turned out okay- but it's all about creating a drawing with a deadline!

Loss brings me back to the Workshop

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It's been a very hard winter. My dad passed away after a long fight with cancer and Parkinson's, and we laid him to rest with full military honors just a week ago. He is the one who got me into comic books, movies, and cars. He took me to my first air show, and he loved adventure stories.

So, this next project is very personal to me. It is a high adventure comic series that will have the classic feel of all the old serials, and will certainly be in the Milton Caniff school of cartooning- with a heavy dose of my other heroes: Al Williamson, Wally Wood, and Mark Schultz.

As you can see here, I'm preparing some reference material- the heroine's plane- a P-38. I haven't built a model since my dad gave me my last one when I was 13, so it's a mess. It certainly has been a journey of memories, though.

I will be formally announcing the title and character sketch soon, as I can finish them- probably on my birthday next month. And you may have noticed, I've taken mo…

A New Resolve

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Earlier, I talked about ten things I have learned in 2012. It's a good exercise to reflect and try to learn from it. I also mentioned no resolutions for this year. Well, crap, maybe that's a lie... I feel the urge to resolute finishing some long time projects... I just need to get off my butt and actually illustrate and design the stuff. Well, I'm going to do it AND publish it. Yep, you heard it here first folks. Time to get serious.

That said, I need to start drawing again. I was doing so great a couple of months ago then schedules, freelance, and other things came up. Well, it's going to settle down a bit, and now I really want to go forward with MY OWN projects. More to come!

Happy 2013!!