Monday, December 29, 2008

Golden Apples, Sketch Redux

Golden Apples, Sketch 8x14.75"

Sketch for the first piece of my show at Chapterhouse.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Making a Cheap Drawing Board

Cheap and effective!

When I moved in the beginning of this past summer I got rid of my drafting table. It was difficult to adjust right, took up too much space, and was really not worth keeping around. The downside is that now it's a little awkward drawing tall pieces on my flat desk, and I kinda miss drawing on an inclined surface. And so, I present to you "How to Make a Cheap Drawing Board." For those of you following along at home, the ingredients are:
2 Corks
1 bottom of an IKEA ottoman
Gorilla Glue

Measure out what incline you want the board to be, use sandpaper to rough up the
contact points, and clamp down the cork the glued cork accordingly.

Keep kittens away from glue.So far so good! I test both of corks for strength, and it sure seems like they'll hold.Tada! I now have a nice drawing board to make up for my lack of a drafting table

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Golden Apples, Sketch

The above is two version of a sketch for the upcoming show at Chapterhouse. I don't have a lot of time in my schedule to devote to a finish for the gallery show (opening in July, with SM Vidaurri), so I'm trying to do as much prep work as possible in my down times. Just finishing this, I know I want to go darker, but I've included the two versions because I'm debating whether the background should be a painted white, or left more textural. In any case, hope you dig the look of the pieces so far. Here's to a great show.

Oh, and Merry Christmas, everybody.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Keeping Up

CMYK Magazine

Hello all. I'm the the midst of some projects I don't want to post about just yet, so to keep up some news, I want to post two things that my work recently appeared in: American Illustration 27 and CMYK 42 (wunderkind illustrator Francis Vallejo also appears in this issue, so I'm really happy to be in such good company). I'd been notified of my acceptance a little while ago, but only recently have these been available/printed. So, check'm out!

American Illustration's Website

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

News & Notes

I'm in the midst of a long project, so forgive me for the lack of updates. News!

The Grand Small Works Show went very well, and thank you to everyone who came out on First Friday. The work will be on display until the end of the month at the FUEL Collection in Olde City.

I recently did and interview with the people over at the art blog, Sweet Station. You can read it here. Thanks, to everyone at Sweet Station for their interest! Hope I made for a good talk...

Also, I have a gallery show opening in July of next year. It's daunting to create pieces that exist without a context other than their own sake, but it's also very exciting. I feel like it's a return to why I made pictures originally and I'm looking forward to exploring these new waters. Here are two initial sketches. That's all for now. Thanks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Grand Small Works @ FUEL

Lunar Moth, Virtue, Grackle, St. George

I got some good news the other day; my submission to the F.U.E.L. Gallery's Grand Small Works Show was accepted. You can see the above pieces as well as a ton of other artists at the opening on December 5th. Here's the full info for the show- hope to see you there:

When: December 5th, 6-9pm

The F.U.E.L. Collection

249 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone: 215-592-8400

Fax: 215-592-1280

Thursday, November 13, 2008


6.3x11", pencil and digital

This is the next piece, Winter, in the Seasons show coordinated by the Autumn Society. There's a clear focus on cool colors, and a night sky with dawn breaking only slightly.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Winter Sketch

Hoping to have enough time between projects to work this up to a finish, here's my sketch for a Winter piece. I'm looking forward to getting into the finish and hoping that all 4 will be done for the eventual Autumn Society show sometime in May.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Watchmen Opening and a Sketch

The Children of the Watchmen show was a great night. The above picture was taken before we opened, so I got a good shot of most of the wall before the crowds came- the show was packed almost the entire time after that. Congrats to the Philadelphia Cartoonists' Society for putting on a more than successful show and thanks to everyone who came out!

Here's a sketch for another Autumn Society project- Dia de los Muertos. I'm starting that aforementioned big project soon so I hope to have all the other personal projects wrapped up soon. Thanks all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Thank you, America, for choosing hope over fear. You had me worried for a second.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Autumn, le fin

11.75x16", red pencil and digital

Here's the finish for my contribution to the Autumn Society's themed show, Seasons. Autumn- the first chill breeze, the changing leaves. The sky is something of a dusk setting because really, autumn is the dusk of the year- fading warmth and fading trees, as the cold grows in the air.

I tried a few new things with mark making, texture, and lines, and that's the great thing about the personal work- trying new things that I can bring into my professional pieces. There's talk that we're having a gallery show of all of the themed work that we've done over at the Autumn Society so look for more news about it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Autumn~ Finished Drawing

11.75 x 16", red pencil on Arches Hot Press

I mentioned before that The Autumn Society is having a series of themed projects and our current one is Seasons. I chose autumn, and posted a very rough sketch of this piece earlier. After dealing with more commissions and design work I finally was able to settle down and draw out my finished drawing. I'm really pleased with the outcome and hopefully I can finish this piece within the week, because soon enough I'm starting a major project and my time for personal work will all but disappear.

Monday, October 20, 2008


~4x5", graphite and watercolor

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Seasons~ Autumn Sketch

This is a rough sketch for an upcoming project for the Autumn Society. They're tackling the theme Seasons, and mainly because it's my favorite time of year, I chose Autumn.

It took me a much longer time to think of an idea than I'm used to- due in no small part to some personal questioning. This type of image is one that I'm really enamored with and it boils down a lot of what I like to draw and paint. The real question was whether of not to settle, in a way, with this or to try and stretch out as an artist. It's something that I always come to when formulating a sketch, and on one hand I want to be honest and revel in what I love, but also to grow. Each project is a blend of those two concerns and the balance always tips one way or the other. I don't think I'm alone in being concerned about these things, and maybe I get too cerebral about this type of thing, but in the end I really just need to make as good an image as I can.

For all that's worth, I am anxious to get started because now that I've settled, I think it can be a good piece.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sendak, le fin

Here's the final for another private commission. The sketch is below, but to reiterate, the idea we came up with was two children discovering an old mural of a scene from Where the Wild Things are. There's a lot of elements that were really successful from this piece and again, I feel like there were some chances I took that worked out well. Hopefully the client agrees, though I'm pretty sure he will..

Crop of my favorite section

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sendak Commission~ Drawing

20x16", red pencil on arches 140lb hot press

This is the final drawing for another private commission. I posted the sketch earlier, and the drawing itself was a bit of an experiment. I don't often work this large, just because I prefer smaller pieces for convenience and the more intimate nature of it. The client wanted a larger piece and so the drawing kicked up appropriately. It was an interesting experiment and with another Autumn Society theme brewing, I might work that large again to see if indeed it will work out. Scanning is another issue..

Friday, October 10, 2008

Print Shop!

Hello all. Just announcing that I just set up an Etsy account to streamline print sales. I am now hip. Check out the storefront!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Quick post, and it's not work related I have to say, but recently I got a tattoo. It's a linear swirl on my wrist. Simple, one line, there you go. One of the illustrators I work with made the comment that it looks like the S from the Society of Illustrators, backwards, and I thought, "Hey ya, it does."

Yesterday, I burned my wrist on a pan cooking dinner so now I have a nice red line- right next to my the I from the Society logo.

I think it's a sign. That I need to be more careful when I cook.

Little Nemo

Red pencil and digital, 10 x 14.75"

Here's the final for a private commission, the subject being Little Nemo from the Winsor McCay comic strip from the early 20th century. Obviously, I hope the client likes the piece, but moreover it's something to think about because I tried to do some different things in this piece that I suppose I wouldn't normally do. Drastically colored lines, color a little crazier, and some digital effects I don't use often. We'l see how it goes over..

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Little Nemo

Here's one of those commissions I mentioned. Pretty much, the gentleman asked for "Little Nemo with animals." Nice and open. Lots of my sketches involved a lot of action, craziness, and a jumble of figures, animals, and dreamscapes but they felt a bit predictable and disingenuous. The Winsor McCay comics were a lot about those characters and scenes that were zaney and wild but I was more intrigued by the storyline involving the boy who was picked to be the playmate of princess of Slumberland, and it was a journey to find her before she disappeared. This is a quiet scene in a dreamfield, Nemo stops to enjoy the beauty of this world that is so different from his own, while journeying to find that girl. Above are the final drawing and rough sketch.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Zina on Palin

Really, you should just go see them.

Zina Saunders, New York illustrator, is creating a growing series about Sarah Palin. It's intensely bold, unapologetic, and as direct as a political illustration can be. And- they're totally hilarious. The best part is that those faces get more and more intense as the series grows! Who knows what will come next. Zina's amazing palette and ability to capture and twist a likeness has been utilized to new heights, so I'm looking forward to an artist top herself again and again.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baltimore Con, Etc.

Hey all, here's a bit of an update. The Baltimore Con was a really rewarding weekend. A lot of great artists from the Autumn Society of Philadelphia were in attendance. It was my first time meeting many of them in person, and the whole group is a tour de force of talent. Moreover, a nice group of people took home some prints and sketches of my work, which is always a more than generous compliment. Being at cons as an exhibitor is sometimes an interesting opportunity to do things I wouldn't normally do in my studio, just because you have time to sit down and draw for hours on end while meeting people, and sharing your work with everyone in attendance. Above is just are some quick cartoons of Hellboy characters (the Johann was bought by someone, so I only had a picture of it, rather than a scan).

Another great thing that stemmed from the con, I have a few private commissions in the works- biggest compliment of all, and thank you to those who commissioned me. Below is a rough sketch of one of those works in progress- based loosely on elements from my George & the Dragon piece and Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. The other one is to be based on Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland- an epic classic of the American cartoon.

Last little thing, new monitor! Thanks to Mike Taggart! It's big, wide screen, and makes working even more of a joy than ever. Here's the new set-up, with secret project obscured. That's all for now, thanks!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lunar Moth

This is a quick experimental spot that I did from a pencil drawing. I saw a picture of a lunar moth at the DeYoung Museum when I went out to San Francisco, and the image stuck with me for a while. I'd planned to use the idea in another piece, but really, I just wanted to draw a moth. So, I tried to find an image that would fit the moth idea, and that's where the Mayan carving (a moon symbol), found its way into the piece- another way of combining the rendered and the graphic, which is always fun.

I tried to limit myself on time and simplify the process to see what would come out of it and all in all, I like the way it came out, especially the grainy quality of the pencil and paper. Hope you like it.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Just found out that I have a piece in CMYK #42! I'm pretty excited, needless to say, but you can pick up the issue when it's out in newsstands this November. Later!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I don't have an amazing studio, but in this new apartment of mine I managed to carve out a nice little spot in front of a window that looks out on S. 13th street and a nice tree across the street. I have space to hang work I like, space for storing supplies and paper, and desks dedicated to both drawing and digital work. Look, I can show you part of it!

Nice, right? It's no New York 20ft tall ceiling, frosted glass walls, robot servant filled studio, but I like it a lot. Then the drips start. It's puzzling at first- Water? What is this water? Looking up, I notice a very sorry looking and severe sagging coming from my suddenly damp and overweight ceiling tiles. I shove everything off the desk, lay down a lot of plastic and cover the many open outlets, like a small town piles sandbags to ward off the rising water. The inevitable happens and bam! the tiles fall and crumble to poisonous bits. Now, I have a view of pipes and forgotten wallpaper covered by dry wall. It only takes new tiles to fix but still, pretty lame.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

St George & the Dragon

This is the finish for my "Dragon" themed illustration. I kinda hemmed and hawed at the end of the process, but eventually you need to settle on when you're going to stop working on a particular piece. There's a lot that I think is still nice and successful- the cracks, the mural in general, etc. Thanks to my friend Mike for modeling for this piece...I'm told that I'm not often the easiest person to model for..

Friday, September 12, 2008

St George

There's another collaborative piece in the works, following up The Fisherman's Wife, and the theme is "Dragon." I always enjoy putting modern elements in myths and so I took a stab at St George and the Dragon. The mural in the background tells a piece of the original tale, while the main elements are as if the story is told again, with a modern protagonist. Above are my sketch and final drawing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fisherman's Wife and Machu Pichu

I've been holding off posting my finish for the collaborative themed "Fisherman's Wife," but here's the finish. I added the fish bone in the bottom panel since the original sketch to try to use more of the space down there. Hope you like it and I hope to see all the finishes soon. I'll put up a link when more come in, but until then check out Karen Hagen's lovely and sensitive contribution.

This is the newest project that I just started the other day. It's a gift for friends who took me to Peru and though it's a long time coming, my hope is to eventually give them a nice framed image that they can enjoy as a reminder of the amazing trip.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dr Manhattan

Here's the finish for my Watchmen show contribution. Dr Manhattan, the all powerful character from the Alan Moore landmark graphic novel, looking down at a pocket watch, like the one we see in his origin story.
~Revised 9.1.08

Friday, August 29, 2008

Watchmen Show~ Dr Manhattan

Here's the finished drawing for my Dr Manhattan piece that I'm contributing to a show of Watchmen characters. It's a cool opportunity and I can't wait to see the show. It took a while to pick from the characters but a reread of the book gave me this clear mental image. That, and it gave me to chance to add gears to a piece- I wanted me some gears. Much of my reference in this piece came right out of a couple of anatomy text books. I figure that Dr Manhattan would have some sort of ideal, constructed, or mechanical body- a true machine of a man, seeing as how his character is steeped in logic, science, and the ability to mold the molecular structures of, uh, everything. The finish should be fun so here's to everyone else who's working on the same show.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fisherman's Wife Drawing

A little bit ago my artist friends and I had the idea to do 2 pieces around one theme together. This is my final drawing for the 1st project, "The Fisherman's Wife." My first thoughts came from me thinking about New England, Lovecraft, ghost stories, etc. It was also partially inspired by the Real Pirates! exhibit at the Franklin Institute (featuring great Greg Manchess pieces), which is why I wanted to include the warning bell that was recovered from the sunken ship. I'm excited to see what everyone else comes up with and I'll probably post them en masse here if we get enough finished pieces.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Watchman Show~ Sketch 1

The Philadelphia Cartoonists Society has a show based around the characters of Watchmen (comic legend and movie hot-topic) in the works. The members and other invited artist are all tackling different characters and if I know the PCS, there's going to be a huge range of mood, from the serious to absolutely off the wall. I was really excited to get the chance to be in the show and this is a sketch for the first of 2 pieces I hope to get done for it. I haven't read the book in a couple years, but after a refresher-read this is the picture that came out most clearly. I think a very geometric and designy approach is pretty appropriate for Dr. Manhattan, and his removed stare even more so.
I'm going to do another piece for the show, if just to have a backup in case there's a million Dr Manhattan's, but that'll require a little more thinking to pull from the book. I'm sure we'll have no shortages of Rorschachs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Here's the finished version of my grackle piece. The bird came out pretty much exactly how I imagined it, but the hands were an issue. There were a lot of color changes that happened because I intended them to have something of a dead, greyish palette with reds at the tips of the hands. It was a balancing act of green, purple, blue, grey and then the issue of what to put the hands on and how strongly to set them away from the background. Either way, I'm glad to see it finished and to hear how it's received. Thanks

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grackle Drawing and Musing

Here's the drawing for the previously sketched out Grackle portrait. There's times when I get a picture in my head very vividly and it's only sort of about something. There's different facets that surround it kind of like fleeting movie stills. There's a fleeting moment, a hesitation, an end. It's all there in one form or another and all of those overlapping notion make the one piece. And to fill it out, there's an appreciation of light, drawing, etc.
Granted, the professional aspects of an approach like this is limited at best but again I'm drawn (ba dum chi) to the image and hopeful that it'll be a piece that I'm proud of.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back from San Diego

Just got back from San Diego and the comic convention. It was a beautiful city which I saw practically none of, spending all day in the convention center. Still, it was a dream to get out there and even better that I met so many great publishers and artists. More work to come.