Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sports Illustrated Kids - November

As I sit here tonight penciling away on the newest round of Sports Illustrated Kids sketches I thought it would be a great time to show off the illustrations I did for the November issue.

November's "What's The Call" article featured stories about baseball, football, and golf. I was obviously in a purple and yellow/orange phase on the top two illustrations and I am almost disappointed that I didn't carry the color scheme over into the golf piece. I especially like the way the silhouetted group of players came out in the football piece. The purple of those players really helps to pop out the kicker and ball holder in the foreground. I might need to try out that trick more often.

This issue is out in stores now so hurry to your nearest magazine rack and pick a copy up!

Okay, I am heading back to the drawing board. Have a good one and I'll talk to you all soon!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Reel to Reel

 On Friday I finally had my ceiling fixed, patched, and repainted. A little over a year ago, the 2013 flood that brought Boulder to a standstill also showed me that the roof above my head wasn't as watertight as I was led to believe. For three days straight I was draining water from buckets I placed under the holes I had poked in my ceiling with a pocket knife. The good news is that, because I poked the holes in the ceiling to drain the water, my ceiling was pretty much left unharmed and intact. The bad news is that, because my ceiling was sound, I was put on a low priority list by my HOA to have the holes patched and the water stains taken care of.

But, finally, on Friday, I had a guy come by and take care of the problem.

Because I had to be awake so early to let him in and because I had to hang out all day with someone in my house I knew I'd have to do something to occupy my time. The problem is that it's hard to be creative and ink and get into your art groove when a stranger is in your house hanging up sheets of plastic and spraying your ceiling with odorless kilz.

So, I created an OilCan Drive reel to reel tape machine in Photoshop.

It's been something I've had on my mind for a while. I wanted to create a header that I could use when I put OilCan Drive music on YouTube and I didn't want it to be a static image. I wanted it to move. So, I thought, what better thing to make move than a cartoon tape machine that spins as the music plays.

I created the tape reels first and made sure I built them in a way that they could spin. Then I built the tape recorder to put the reels on. I didn't need to go all out on it because I knew that it would be cropped in such a way that the play, rewind, and stop buttons wouldn't be seen. And, I made sure the reels spun correctly on the tape machine. Finally, I created the header itself, complete with logos and a bit of design work to make everything look fun.

Finally, I put it all together with the OilCan Drive version of "Season of the Witch" I did last week and put it all on YouTube.

I think this will work well. It will give me a nice visual as the music is playing on future singles. Now, of course, I just need to record some new music.

Oh OilCan Drive, there is always something to do with you. You definitely never leave me time to be bored.

And, the ceiling is looking good. Just one more round of the guy coming out on Tuesday and we should be all set. Of course, now I have to figure out something to occupy my time on Tuesday. We'll have to see what I can come up with.

For now, enjoy the art, the spinning reels, and the music. Have a great day. I'll talk to you soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sports Illustrated Kids October

Once again I forgot to post the images I did for October's Sports Illustrated Kids "What's The Call" article. It seems like going on vacation for a few weeks in September really messed up my internal clock and it's only now that I feel like I'm getting things back on track.

But, better late than never.

I was really happy with the way both the track piece and the hockey piece came out this month. One of the things that doing these Sports Illustrated pieces has let me do is really get comfortable drawing full figures interacting with each other. Usually, in both comics and advertising storyboards, it's almost too easy to always draw people in mid-shots from the waist up where you never have to worry what's going on below the belt.

But, with Sports Illustrated it's a very rare occasion that I don't draw a full figure doing something athletic or interacting with another person. And, I can see after doing this for years and years that I am getting better at it.

So, hooray for feeling like I am getting better at this art thing. It's always a good feeling and doing art for the "What's The Call" article month in and month out has definitely made me a better artist.

And, even if they never read this, thank you to all the great people I work for up at Sports Illustrated. They're the best people and I am really privelaged to work with them every month on this wonderful project.

Have a great day, everyone. I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy November!

Happy November everyone! I hope you're all enjoying the autumn weather and getting ready for the winter to come.

This month I am using the art I created for the OilCan Drive cover song "Season of the Witch" as the blog's header. I hope you enjoyed the cover song as much as I enjoyed creating it. It definitely taught me a lot and it's already given me some new ideas for new songs and projects. We'll see what kind of trouble I can get into in the next few months.

What I realized is that I never posted any of the progress shots of this piece leading up to the finished colored art so I figured I'd make up for that today. Here are a few photos I took with my phone as I was working and just never seemed to find the time to put here on the blog. Sorry about that.

Okay, back to it for me. I am planning out how to wrap up the last few pages of the second issue of OilCan Drive this week. I've been away from it for much too long and I think it's finally time I did something about it.

Have a great month everyone and I'll talk to you soon!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! This is one of my favorite holidays so this year I took some time out of my schedule and did a few special OilCan Drive projects to celebrate the season.

If you've been reading the blog you know that my old computer fell apart and not only did I have to buy a new machine but I also had to upgrade all of the music gear I had used to record with over the last ten years. I've been slowly learning the new system and I figured the best way to play around with it and see what it could do was to record a new song. So OilCan Drive and I did a special Halloween cover of Donovan's classic song, "Season of the Witch."

It was a fun song to do but a bit more challenging than I originally thought. Just singing the song made me rethink things. But, my vocal chords finally opened up last night and everything felt right. I'm sure my neighbors wondered what was going on as I was screaming like a maniac at nine o'clock at night. I do wish I had given myself a little more time to mix the song but it did teach me a lot about the new system. So, it's getting there and if this is the first step it's not a bad first step at all.

And, what is a cover song without some new artwork to actually go on its cover?

I created the artwork to go along with a video I put up on YouTube to show off the song. I probably shouldn't have spent so much time working on the whole project but it was a lot of fun and I hope you like the results.

You can check out the video below and, if you like the song, it's being offered up as a free download on the OilCan Drive site. You can head on over to the OCD site and pick up the song for a few simple clicks by visiting HERE.

Enjoy the Halloween fun! I hope you're all doing great and loving life. Have fun and stay safe out there! See you soon!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Nova, The Human Rocket!

Last week while I was stuck in a comic book store for 24 hours doing the 24 Hour Comic Book Challenge I couldn't help but look through a few books to see if anything caught my eye. And, what do you know? I found a few!

The new Nova books from Marvel Comics caught my eye on the regular issue racks. It was cartoony, had some great art, great character design, and my brother had collected the original comic back when we were kids. I put the book down and went over to the collected trade editions to see if the individual issues had been collected yet. Lucky me, I found three of them. I took advantage of one of the store's many sales that day and picked them up.

The books were a lot of fun. The first issue had my imagination running and I found it was like a mix of the movies The Last Starfighter and Back To The Future along with a healthy dose of Marvel Comics super heroes. I've said I'd never work in comics again but, honestly, if I did want to work for a mainstream comic company again, this is the kind of book I'd want to work on.

So, of course, I had to draw something Nova related. During lunch last Friday, as a warm up, I sketched out this piece in blue pencil.

I love that this version of Nova is a fifteen year old teenage boy and he is actually drawn like a boy, not a small version of a muscle bound man. The image of him mixes my love of drawing children's books along with my love of comic book super heroics.

I detailed the pencils over the weekend and, if I can find the time this week, I want to lay some ink on this piece and go to color.

And, if all goes well, who knows, I may even do a few Nova sample pages, send them to a few people I know up at Marvel, and see what happens. But, first, let's see how this piece turns out.

Inks soon, color later. Have a great week and I'll see you all soon!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sports Illustrated Kids September

Oops, September got so busy around here what with road trips, plane trips, trips to Maine, a failing computer, and getting ready for the 24 Hour Comic Day Challenge, that I totally forgot to show off the "What's The Call" illustrations for the September issue of Sports Illustrated Kids.

Sorry about that but, here I am, in the early days of October, ready to make it up to you.

September was a fun month for the WTC illustrations. I got to draw a little bit of football without having to draw two complete teams squaring off, a little bit of lacrosse, and a baseball piece that had a fun challenging background I needed to create to fill the space.

On the baseball piece I also laid in the text to show my art director how I thought the piece might lay out in the final print on the magazine page. It gives you a good idea of the things I have to think about when creating these pieces. Not only do I have to do a decent piece, showing off the action of each scenario, but I have to make sure they all fit right into the magazine page. Sometimes, given the situations, it can be a challenge.

But, I am guessing, because they keep coming to me each month, that I am doing a pretty good job so far.

I am starting the illustrations for the year end December issue today and, after having thumbnailed the pieces out and getting approval, I am really looking forward to starting them.

So, it's back to the drawing board for me to tackle the new Sports Illustrated pieces, script and letter my 24 Hour Comic Day story, ink the next page of OilCan Drive, and maybe start a new piece that I've been inspired to do just for the fun of it.

I hope you're all doing great and I'll talk to you soon!