Friday, February 5, 2016

The Deep Desert Survival Suit

I did this piece in late December and, if you checked in here at all during my hiatus, you might have seen I used this piece for the blog's header in January.

In the next issue of OilCan Drive I want to have some sort of really heavy duty suit for the military to wear while they are out on long range recon patrols in the middle of the desert. I pictured it as part robotic exoskeleton and part deep sea diving suit while still keeping elements of the soldier's uniforms I've already introduced in the world of OCD.

I think it turned out pretty well and, as well as looking like something that could survive a bomb being dropped on it, it also looks like something that could go toe to toe with a certain giant bass playing ape that the military might come across while hunting the band. I think I'll call this design a success!

And, while I really love doing the week to week narrative pages for the OilCan Drive website and books I really missed doing these kind of single illustrations. I'll have to find some more time between doing the book, doing the client work, recording music, and trying to continue to breath in and out to do some more pieces like this.

Hmmm....I wonder what the indigenous people of the desert wasteland might look like? I'll have to break out Mad Max for inspiration and see what comes out of my pencil. Sketches may be coming soon! Ha ha!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


It's been a long day doing work, recording music, and finally ending the night by getting the next page for OilCan Drive ready to drop on Friday. But, I wanted to get a quick post out before I crashed for the night.

Finally, after weeks of sitting on the footage we shot last fall, I got around to editing together Lou's video for his song, "Undiscovered." And, I have to say, for my official directorial debut, it didn't turn out too bad. All the things I wanted to try out for this video worked out pretty well. I wanted to see if I could synch up Lou's performance in the video with the pre-recorded song and, if that wasn't hard enough, film him at different speeds and then speed up or slow down the footage to match the song. It's cool to see the things I thought would work actually seemed to pan out.

Of course, there are a few glitches I can see here and there but those are things I can address in the next video we shoot. Oh, and did I mention I have a friend who liked this video so much she wants to be in the next one, have us shoot at a friend's ranch out in the flat lands of Colorado, and has offered to lend us a horse for Lou to ride on as he sings? I have no idea if any of that will pan out but the thought of filming Lou riding a horse as he tries to save the damsel in distress makes me smile.

Okay, I am off to crash. I hope you enjoy the video. Rock on!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy February!

Alright! I've put this off long enough. I've been away from the blogger world for far too long and it's about time I got it all started again. I figured the start of the month with a new header would be a perfect a time to start writing again so here we go!

These last few months have flown by and I've spent a lot of my time trying to get the latest issue of OilCan Drive done. I've been pretty good about getting the weekly pages up since I got back from my trip to Maine in October. And now I've almost even gotten a little bit ahead. The penciled art for the newest issue are all done and I have two more pages to ink until the bulk of the work is complete. I'm shooting to get the whole book done and laid out and to the printer by the end of the month for the upcoming convention season. I think I am on track to get that done but we'll see what happens.

I've also been making more music with Lou. Each Saturday we get together and spend the day working on songs. We've come up with some really neat stuff and I'll be sure to show some of that off in the coming days. I've even gotten into video production using Lou as my guinea pig. We shot a video last fall and I finally found the time to edit it all together. So I am now an official director! Ha ha. I'll have to add that to my resume.

And, as always I've been doing what client work I can. It's been a little slow these past few months so I am always thankful to keep doing my monthly gig with the great folks at Sports Illustrated Kids. I know I am WAY behind in showing off that work so it's something I'll get to in future posts as well. But this month's blog header is a newer piece I did for them and I was really happy with the way it turned out.

Plus, doing comic pages has been taking up a lot of my time and I haven't been able to do any fun single illustrations for myself lately. Hopefully once I get this book done I can get to some new painted pieces. My fingers are crossed.

Okay, that wasn't too painful. The first blog post back after a long hiatus is always the worst so hopefully it gets easier from here.

Happy February everyone! I'll talk to you soon!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays!

It's been a while since I've written here but I figured Christmas Eve was as good a time to restart the blog as any. We'll see if I can get back on a regular writing schedule as the new year starts.

My trip to Maine went well. It was good to see my family and the island and the ocean again. Every time I go it makes me miss my Mom and Dad even more and it's especially hard for me being this far away from them at this time of year. I call them every week but it's not the same as taking a walk on the beach with my Mom or sitting down and watching a movie with my Dad. I wish I lived closer or could get back more often.

I got back to Colorado and got OilCan Drive back on track and have been doing pretty well on getting new pages posted every week. I am in the home stretch and only have about three or four more pages to pencil before the third book is close to being done.

I have some plans once the new book is done including recording the new album (the demos are done and I've been writing lyrics for the song) and doing a short five page comic about Ryan and Lily for the booklet insert of the album. I figure that not only will it be fun to do a short story about the history of their relationship but it will give me a little time to write and layout the fourth book in the OilCan Drive adventure.

Work has been okay. Sports Illustrated has been really great this year with my regular monthly gig (I'll be showing off more of that artwork soon) but, other than them, it has been my worst year yet. Luckily I'm doing okay and have saved enough not to have to go back to a job-type-job yet but it still worries me from time to time. I've been updating my portfolio sites and slowly building an update to my personal website so we'll see if that helps. And I have been making contact with old clients to see if there might be some work to do for them in the coming year.

Maybe it's just the universe's way of telling me to keep going on OilCan Drive and really push it this next year. Luckily I have that project to keep me busy. So, while it feels like it's been the busiest year I've ever had it's been the least amount I've been able to bill out to clients.

But, I'm happy, healthy, have some savings, and I'm really loving working on OilCan Drive. I just hope I won't have to sell a kidney (or a guitar from my collection) anytime soon.

I hope you're all doing well, spending the holidays with loved ones, and are doing well in your life. I'll see you all soon!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Finished Watercolor

I spent the day today watching a few movies and tackling the watercolor piece of Vincent from OilCan Drive. The definite highlight of the movies was the 1984 Kevin Bacon flick, Quicksiler, where he's a former stock broker who now rides bikes for a living. It made for some great background noise while I worked on this piece.

I painted Vincent in a very similar way to the techniques I used while working for Marvel Comics in the early 90s. Back before everything went digital they used to send me watercolor boards with the image printed on it in non-repo blue along with a transparent acetate overlay with the same image printed in black. You'd rip off the black line overlay and paint and airbrush on the watercolor board until you were done. Then you'd line up the transparent black overlay and, ta-dum, finished piece!

The only difference in this piece is that I didn't pull out the airbrush to paint and simply used ink washes, watercolor overlays, and colored pencils to paint the piece. When I was done I scanned the colored board into the computer, placed the original black and white line art over the piece, touched it up a bit, and, once again, ta-dum, finished piece!

Here is a photo I took in the middle of the process once the ink wash and watercolor part was done. I still hadn't used the colored pencils or touched it up yet but it should give you a good idea what the piece looks like without the black ink line overlay.

I really love doing pieces like this and I really should find the time to do them more than once or twice a year. It's different from painting digitally in that I am never quite sure where I am going with the piece and I don't have the luxury of having an undo button if something goes wrong. But, I always love the way these pieces come out. They have a life to them that digital always seems to be lacking.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the new piece as much as I do. Question now is, who should I paint like this next?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Watercolor Preparation

Lately I've been getting the itch to try another blue-line watercolor painting like I did with the Brick piece last year. This is, of course, kind of like the technique I used to paint with back in my Marvel Comics days before computers came along and almost everything went digital.

So, I penciled out this quick piece of Vincent last night and inked it this afternoon. I've scanned it into the computer and prepped it to print both as a non-repo blue line on the art board and as a black and white transparency for the overlay. I think I'll be able to print it out Monday and, if have enough time next week, start painting.

I made this piece of Vince a bit more cartoony than usual, really warping his skull and making the whole piece look a bit more fluid and animated. I don't know what I was thinking and I know it's not technically correct but I still dig it.

I can't wait to start painting it and I'll definitely let you know how it goes.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sports Illustrated Kids August

As I geared up today to pencil another round of Sports Illustrated Kids "What's The Call" illustrations for the December issue I realized I haven't shown off any of the magazine's images in quite a while.

So, what say we fix that right now?

As always, there is a play on the field that is questionable and you, as the official, need to make the correct call. So, it's up to you. What's The Call?

1. Basketball- During a basketball game against the Montana Mountaineers, Arkansas Avengers center Josephine Jackson grabs a rebound from under her team's basket. As she comes down, Jackson swings her elbows excessively to ward off the Mountaineer defenders, but does not make contact with them. The Mountaineers coach says that a foul should be assessed for her play. You're the referee. Does Jackson deserve to be penalized?

1. Baseball- In a baseball against the Oswego Otters, Springfield Springers first baseman Kareem Parker hits a long ball to left field. Otters outfielder Marshall Pinto jumps up to catch it. The ball brushes the top of Pinto's glove before hitting the foul pole and landing over the fence. As Parker starts to round second base, the Otters manager argues that it is not a home run, rather it is a ground rule double. You're the umpire. What's the call?

3. Golf- Aaron Hill hits a shot off the green in a golf tournament. The ball stops a foot from the hole before a squirrel scurries onto the green and past the ball, moving it two feet away from the hole. You're the official. Where should Hill play his next shot from?

Good luck! I'll have more of these to show off soon enough. Thanks again to all the great folks up at Sports Illustrated Kids! These pieces are always a blast to do and I usually even learn something!