Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hi Ho, Silver!

I wasn't able to work on a sketch today because of pressing business, but in order to keep up the pretense of doing a "daily" blog...ha ha...I decided to dig into the archives and post an old sketch. Although this worked out to be a bit more than a sketch...I got all fancy-smancy with it. I even did some of the coloring of the Surfer with a silver paint Sharpie! Seemed like a good idea at the time. It was done on four MTG card backs and was worked out this way at the request of the purchaser. Obviously cleverer than me, because it never would have occurred to me to do it this way! All in all, I think it came out pretty good and didn't even take too long--although don't ask me for an exact amount of time because it was two years ago!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why so serious?

OK, OK...I admit it. I was looking at some nice sketches by various other artists on-line and I decided my last Batman sketch was WAY too Adam West and not near enough...well, serious, butt-kicking, hard-core BATMAN! So this was my attempt at a sketchy, more realistic and moodier version of the Caped Crusader.

Too overworked, though. When I DO indulge in shadows...I always seem to take it juuuuust a bit too far. I need to learn to appreciate the light areas as contrast. Also, again took too long, about 35 minutes. but I wanted to see where it would go, so I just went with it.

Well, it was a Brave and Bold attempt. Eh? Eh? No, huh? *sigh*

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This is the "Super" of Zan Christensen's and my "The Power Within" anti-bullying comic! I've just decided to call him "Power-Boy"! LOL We never did name him. Speaking of which--the book will be at San Diego ComiCon, at the Prism Comics booth being maintained by Zan, it's founder.

This was a 25 minute sketch. 25 minutes is MUCH longer than I should have spent on it. I got caught up in doing all the little shady bits. So I'm not really happy with this drawing. I need to keep this character fairly simple and clean, befitting not only the style of the comic, but his design as well. Still, I said I would post fails as well as successes. So far I think the fails are ahead! LOL It's not that I think this is a bad drawing or's just not quite right. And, as I mentioned--it took too long.

However, it also showcases the little sketch-page I made to do sketches on. I think it's cute...although perhaps I should cut down the number of little drawings lining the side. It's a bit busy. I like the comic book page theme though!

Panda Hero!

This was a sketch done for yesterday, but it was ALSO a sketch done as part of the Comic Book Ink Sketch Slam fundraiser! I had to leave at 5, but still owed this sketch to the guy who turned out to be our biggest supporter at the event and really made it possible for us to reach our goal!! ^0^

Now, since he was such a good patron and specifically put in $40 for this sketch, I decided I wanted to make it nicer than just a loose sketchy piece. Also, since there isn't really any costume or theme to it, I figured I'd do a sort of portrait piece, only making him into a panda. I gave him the comic to read because the event was comic book orientated. This drawing took a little over an hour, actually. My lunch time and a good chunk of the afternoon break. But, like I said, I was going for a nice little drawing in my furry art style rather than a sketch.

One other note, more of a personal observation... While the event itself was a big grand slam for CLAW and I had a good time and did several drawings with varying degrees of success, I've come to realize that I'm still going WAY TOO SLOW! After all the practice on my blog, when it came to an actual event, I reverted to my comfort zone in speed and style. So I'm not entirely happy with the results. I should say that I probably did better than I would have BEFORE starting this blog, but there is still a long way to go to reach the results I'm looking for!

Anyway, I hope our patron saint likes the drawing I did of his Panda character, and that it, in some small way expresses my appreciation for his generous support on Saturday!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Be A Hero" Day!! A BIG Success!

Today's "Be A Hero" fundraising sketch rally was a big win for everybody! We reached and will hopefully exceed our goal of $1000 for CLAW to invest in a "share" in Comic Book Ink (an organization who has been a good friend to The CLAW) to help keep them going through a rough patch in this economy. It was a priveledge to sit alongside my fellow CLAW members Mark Monlux, James Stowe, Adam Botsford, Anique Zimmer, Nick Butler and how could I forget my fellow Council of Four Eeyes member, Larry (Thorax O'Toole) Erhardt--to say nothing of the exceptional Jesse Munoz (a man we'd like to lure into the clutches of The CLAW!) and do sketches for everyone who donated to the cause! And the patrons we served were amazingly generous, patient and enthusiastic!! (Especially our new, very good friend James--you know who you are--who really put us over the top!

Thanks to everyone involved for such a great experience!!! Also to John Munn for giving us a store that creates so much loyalty and good will and Alex and Carmen who were our gracious hosts at the event!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Aardvark Cometh!

It suddenly occurred to me that I should draw a Cerebus. Aside from Spiderman's black and white costume and the Ninja Turtles, this barbarian aardvark was the thing that got me back into comics...and really introduced me to the idea of independent comics. Back then I never considered that you could publish something without being part of DC or Marvel! I came into Cerebus in the middle of the Church & State story...and it was so freakishly wild and bizarre and amazing, that I had to hunt down every issue I could find! And the whole concept of Dave Sim undertaking a 23 year project to do 300 issues just blew my mind. Of course, nowadays 23 years doesn't seem quite so eternal to me. But back then it seemed nearly crazy! LOL

This drawing was done on the back of a comic backer board, like we might be using at the Comic Book Ink "Sketch Slam" tomorrow. It works nicely with the marker...but it was too fuzzy with the brush pen. Couldn't get a clean enough least not for professional work. For the kind of rough and ready sketching we'll be doing tomorrow, it'll probably be fine! And they'll fit perfectly into comic book they can be protected.

This drawing took about 20 an extra five to do the quick marker work.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Dark & Stormy Spock

Question: What is the only thing in the universe cooler than Spock?


This was a 30 minute sketch. Just wanted to see if I could get a fair likeness down in a relatively short amount of time. Still too long, of course. But Spock is worth it! And Evil Spock...doubly so!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Don't make me go all medieval on your toe!

This is one I've wanted to do for a while. not only do I have an affinity for anthro critters, but I LOVE this series. The costume design for this guy is just amazing! This is The Black Axe from the Mouse Guard books by Dave Peterson. If you haven't read them, please run out and do so immediately!

Monday, June 20, 2011

RING Tones!

Instead of a sketch today, I did a quick coloring job on this drawing from last week. It REALLY needed a touch of color! And considering the subject, it had to be a GREEN touch!

It should be reposted to help advertise the big Sketch Day event CLAW is participating in at Comic Book Ink (in Tacoma) this Saturday!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wild Card...It's MAGIC!

This is a sketch done on the back of a Magic: The Gathering card art proof, based on the painting I did for the "Wild Pair" MTG card (shown beside the sketch.) I matted both of these together with the original painting which is going to be sold...or auctioned...or raffled or something to raise funds at the big "Be A Hero" sketch day event that CLAW (among others) will be doing at Comic Book Ink in Tacoma next Saturday!

I'll be there sketching for people who buy comics or selling sketches on MTG cards (all of which benefits the fundraiser for CBI!)

These sketches on card backs generally take about 10 to 15 minutes--but they are very collectible and fun!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Today's sketch turned into another 45 minute one... OK, maybe 50. In any case, I got carried away with it, but it came out really nice, so I can't gripe too much. I've always been a big Wolfman and/or werewolf fan. And "The Astounding Wolf-man" was a pretty cool book. I got the entire run...I wonder if they will do more.

A long time back, in a frontier land a fer piece aways...

Last might we had our CLAW Open Swim meeting, where we always do a themed sketch competition. I got to pick the theme for this meeting and I chose "Star Wars...What If?" There were some really great ideas, the wildest of which was James Stowe's SW/Winnie the Pooh mash-up! The winning sketch was Adam Botsford's SW/Alice in Wonderland piece--which was excellent!

Mine was: What if Star Wars had been a Western? So I sketched up my "Steer Wars" piece, based on the classic movie poster design. It's just a loose pencil drawing, but I think I may have to finish it up in inks and color it! It translated pretty well! I've even got names for them... Bart Vader. Luke Sodbuster. Miss Leia. Dan Shiloh.

This was about an hour's work, btw. But in a fairly relased and social context...

Thursday, June 16, 2011


When I heard that Mike Kunkel was going to do "Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam", I was really hyped. I LOVED "Hero Bear and the Kid". I love his style and just the pure joy he puts in to his artwork. Not to mention the fact that I always loved Captain Marvel when I was a kid. I mean, what kid wouldn't want to be able to say a magic word and turn into a full grown super hero?! Needless to say, I got the issues he drew and got the trade paperback when it came out as well! It was beautiful!

Anyway, here's my tribute to the Magic of Shazam! Sort of with the Mike Kunkel look, at least as much as I can manage! This drawing took about 30 minutes...but I've been kind of exhausted this week and frankly, I wasn't trying to hurry it too much! I almost took a marker to it for shading, but decided not to. I really liked the way it turned out, so I might do digital color on it at some point and make a nice finished piece out of it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NEW Night for CLAW's Open Swim meeting!

This is the image I decided to create for the CLAW meeting rather than use the Han Solo Pirate drawing...which I was unhappy with. This one is silly and cute--more inkeeping with the event. It's not really the kind of sketch I've been trying to post, but as I don't have time for a sketch today, I thought I'd pop it up there. The theme is Star Wars...WHAT IF? This particular idea was: What If Star Wars had been a cheesy sitcom?

Anyway, here's a link to the CLAW website if you want more info!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One RINGy Dingy...

Once again...we have an image that wasn't a quick sketch. This is also something I did for a CLAW announcement at the behest of my good buddy (the other Mark) Monlux. He sent me a sweet cartoon--his version of a sketch I guess, and then I toiled over this piece trying to make it look all superheroic. I was assuming he wanted it to look comic-booky, or else he could have just colored and used the drawing he sennt me. LOL Mind you--since it took me longer than I anticipated to draw it because I am SOOOOO freakin' tired--he probably wishes he had!

I spent the weekend and last night too finishing up the color work on Zan Christensen's and my anti-bullying comic called "The Power Within"! I think it has come out really cool--especially with pages by hot industry artists and writers who wanted to help us get the anti-bullying message across! (Some of these I got to color as well--really exciting to be able to work on these artist's pages!!)

OK, less gabbing, more posting. Besides...I need to go to bed. I plan to sleep a full 8 tonight!! Oh yeah!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Long John Solo?

This isn't exactly a quicky sketch today. It took my whole lunch hour and a break as well! but it's actually for a purpose--it's a drawing for my announcement of this week's C.L.A.W. Open Swim meeting! We have moved our Open Swim (open to the public) meeting to the third Thursday of each month to correspond with Tacoma's Artwalk, and this will be the first one. I was wrangled into hosting it--which means coming up with the theme for the little drawing contest we have at each Open Swim.

The theme I picked is "STAR WARS...What If?" Sort of a redux--what if Star Wars was a musical? What if it was a sword & sorcery fantasy? What if it was a game show?

In this demo piece, I'm showing Han (who is often called a pirate in the movies) as an actual pirate. Anyway--this isn't the announcement--just an explanation of the drawing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Throw me a frickin' bone here!

This fella is a relative new-comer to the world of comics--despite his brief "appearance" in an early issue of Invincible. Now he's got a well-deserved book of his own! I hope they keep doing them--the books have been really clever and cool so far! So today's sketch (about 25 minutes) is my ode to that crafty canine, Science Dog!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rocketeerably complicated!

OK--I got in a bit over my head with this one! I just got my new Pentel Pocket Brush yesterday (YAY!) and was really hot to take it out for a spin with today's blog entry. So I was thinking about brushwork and I thought, Dave Stevens has beautiful brushwork...I should do The Rocketeer to test drive my new brush-pen!

Well, YIKES! He looks so simple, but he's really complicated to draw correctly! Never mind then taking the time to do nice brushwork! I probably should have started with something more organic and loose. In any case, here it is; my first ink sketch using my new pocket-brush! Oh--it took pretty much my whole lunch hour!! WAAAAAY too long, of course.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eeeek! A Nightcrawler!

Today's was pretty quick and I let the chips fall where they would. My friend Andrew suggested Nightcrawler and I thought--Hey, there's a good one!! But you HAVE to do Nightcrawler in full body form...he's like Spiderman that way! And that still takes I'm doing other things trying to prepare for tonight's CLAW meeting.

So here he is! Not tinted, not quite perfect...but not too bad. MUST work on my quick figure drawing... Anyway, hope you like him Andrew!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Second Favorite Martian!

After yesterday's more serious fare, I decided to go decidedly cartoony today. So here is a 20 minute depiction of one of my favorite cartoon characters--Marvin the Martian! He is on a mission to destroy the Earth, which is after all, obstructing his view of Venus. Fortunately for all of us, he's really lousy at it! (He is, of course, a copyrighted Warner Bros. character.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Team Michelle!

Today is my baby sister's birthday! Since she is ALL about Team Edward, I decided to do this drawing as sort of a birthday card. It was done in about 20 minutes...and probably would've worked better if I'd just done it in pencil, but that would have taken too long. (Trying to keep to my sketch-timing!) Also, I went for more of a realistic portrait because (as predicted) Bel wasn't really thrilled with my caricatured rendering of Snape. If they all like this drawing, it'll mean letting myself in for having to do a new, more realistic and romantic looking Snape...but there you go. The things one does for loved ones. ^0^

Happy Birthday, Michelle!


I didn't do any sketches over the weekend because I was REALLY busy doing color work for my "The Power Within" comic, which is coming up on its deadline for ComiCon! However, at about midnight Saturday night as I slaved away over a hot Wacom tablet, I selected a couple of Godzilla movies from my On-Demand menu and had those going in the background.

It was fun to see them, even though I couldn't give them my whole attention...but it made me harken back to a time, when I was 10 or so and living in Grand Prairie, TX when my buddies and I used to hike to the local cinema and watch rubber monsters do loud and destructive battle on the silver screen!

Anyway, so I was inspired to do this one today--about 20 minutes, so pretty good time.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lighter Side of The Dark Side

Once Bel saw that I was doing characters suggested by others, she was quick to put in a request of her own--and, of course, it HAD to be Severus Snape! (The movie Snape, naturally) This probably isn't what she had in mind, though. Since this is a sketch blog and I was working with limited time, I went all caricaturey on his behind!

So, sorry hun--best I could do in the 20-25 minutes I allowed myself for it. But I hope you like it anyway. And I hope any other Potter fans out there get a kick from it as well!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Feeling Empowered...

This sketch of the main character from Adam Warren's "Empowered" was a request of my friend Alex (from Comic Book Ink), who is the person that first suggested the idea of doing a sketch blog! Thanks, Alex--it's been really helpful (if occasionally humbling) so far, and I'm hoping it will become a serious benefit to me as it continues and I get more comfortable doing these fast sketches! This one took about 30 minutes because I got so into trying to keep the line-work very clean and delicate. Still need to get looser!! But we're getting there.

Anyway, thanks Alex--this one's for you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sound of Thunder...

Well, I said I would post failures as well as in point: Thor. I thought I'd take a whack at a quick Thor piece, but was determined to keep it under 20 minutes. The first drawing was how far I'd gotten when I reached 20 minutes. :P So I stopped. Then I decided, "OK, that was taking too long--I'll do a quick little portrait!" So I did the one on the right. It only took about 15 minutes, BUT frankly, it looks like Conan wearing Thor's hat. Also, I got carried away with the shading.