Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Start of the Inking

I found some time today to get half of the inks done on the newest OilCan Drive piece.

Nicole and Henry have been inked and now just need to be cleaned up a bit, the blacks added, and then the whole thing touched up with some white out paint. But, that's half the band.

Ryan and Vincent will get the ink treatment tomorrow and hopefully the whole piece will be finished soon.

Have a good one and I'll see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Birthday Boy!

I'm a little late with the blog tonight but I figured I'd cut myself a break seeing that today was my birthday. So, I actually didn't do a lick of work and took the day off.

I slept late, took it easy, and then went out and saw a movie in the theater. There wasn't a lot to choose from and the one I really want to see, John Carter, doesn't come out for another week or so. So, I went and saw "Act of Valor." It was good for what it was and I really enjoy watching the military work so it was a good two hours spent. I rarely get a chance to go see movies in the theater anymore. It just seems like I'm always too busy. Plus, stuff comes out so quickly on DVD and Netflix that I simply wait and, at some point, it all comes to me. But, it was good to sit in a theater for a few hours and relax for a bit and not worry about anything.

I then had dinner with my lovely fiance, Monika, at Red Robin's. Nothing like a good burger, fries, and a chocolate milkshake for desert to celebrate your birthday.

We then took a quick trip to Barnes and Noble and got myself a few DVDs. Waterworld and season three of the animated Star Wars, The Clone Wars. Yeah, I know...Waterworld...I think I am one of only five people in the world who actually loves that movie.

From there we went out for a few celebratory beers with a friend of mine who shares the same birthday and now I'm home, safe and sound.

But, there is one more thing to do. I am off to EBay to buy myself a present...something I've had my eye on for a long time...I'm off to buy myself a Gibson Les Paul Special Double Cut guitar with twin p90 pick-ups. I figure I've been a good enough boy this year that I deserve a present. And, in the end, it's really a present for Ryan Burke of OilCan Drive. So, I can justify it a number of ways. Just try me.

But, don't worry, for as fun a day as I had tomorrow it's back to work.

Have a great one and I'll see you all tomorrow!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Coming Soon Pencils, Part Two

As promised last night, here is the second part of the new "Coming Soon" piece I've been working on for the new OilCan Drive project.

Now I just need to ink this piece up, decide if I want to color it or leave it in beautiful black and white, and that's one more step closer to my goal.

Time to shake up a bottle of ink, pull out my brush, and dust off the Micron markers. Hopefully I'll be able to show off some progress soon.

Have a good one!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Do Over

Things seemed to be flowing a bit better today so I took another shot at doing the "Coming Soon" piece I had in mind for the new OilCan Drive project.

Here is part one of the pencil sketched piece featuring Ryan Burke and Vincent Spicer. Tomorrow I'll show off the second part featuring Nicole Baylor and Henry.

I'm looking forward to inking this piece, getting it done, and getting one step further towards the goal I have set for myself.

So, until tomorrow, have a good one!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ace Kilroy Adventures

It's been a few months since the first Ace Kilroy strip started and just as long since my friend Rob Kelly launched his first Ace Kilroy Kickstarter campaign.

I was involved in the project in as much as I did the music and put the video together for his Kickstarter pitch. You can still see that first effort HERE.

Well, good news kids, Ace Kilroy is back and he's going to be needing your help. So, I've been tapped once again to provide the music, audio, and video for this go round. I started putting the music and voice-over work together tonight. It's a first try but I just wanted to make sure the feel is right between the talking and the music.

It took a while but, after sharing the first mix with Rob, I think I'm on the right track. Unfortunately, I can't share any of the audio yet but this is how it looks on my screen.

It's always fun to do something completely different like this and I'm always happy to help out a good friend.

Ace Kilroy, part two, coming soon!

Have a good one.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Coming Soon

The piece I was trying to get penciled yesterday was supposed to be for a "coming soon" illustration for the new OilCan Drive project I've been working on.

When I didn't succeed with it the way I wanted I brought it up to my friend, Ken Truhan, who I had lunch with today. I asked him if he had any ideas for a "coming soon" piece and he immediately grabbed my notebook, stole a pen, and scribbled down this idea.

Based off the recent Kickstarter success of the web comic Order Of The Stick, this seemed to make the most sense to him.

Who knows? It just might work.

But I think I'll still mess around with a few ideas of my own first.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sketch From The Desk

I started a new OilCan Drive sketch today and, after drawing the whole band, the only part I liked of the piece was the way Ryan came out.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

Today I won about 25%. But, I think I'll still salvage this piece of the art and find a use for it somewhere.

Ah well, back to the drawing board. There is always tomorrow!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Off The Map

One of the things I know I've needed to create but put off these past few weeks was a map of the Wasteland Territories from the world of OilCan Drive.

The Wastelands is a region in the middle of America that, in the future, has become a dangerous, desolate, desert-like land. So much so that the "civilized" world has built a wall to keep the dangers of the Wastelands out. The coast is still thriving but to get there one must travel across this inhospitable land. And it's where the story of OilCan Drive takes place.

So, I figured it was time to draw a map of the Wastelands.

It's not something I was really looking forward to creating (I'm not a big map making kind of guy) but I really had a good time putting together this map today. As the story of OilCan Drive goes along I can't promise I'll adhere to the exact map or even the names of the cities but, for what I am using it for, it should work out just fine.

And that is one more piece done for the things I'll need for my future project. I'm one step closer to getting everything where I need them to be.

I know you can't see it from where you're sitting but, believe me, I'm excited.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tight, Tanned, and Toned

Well, maybe not tight and tan but the newest OilCan Drive piece is now definitely toned!

I got so into this piece once I scanned the black and white inks that I almost couldn't help but go in and do the shading and tones on the piece right away. This piece will stay monotone but there is still a little bit more to do to it before it becomes the finished piece I need it to be.

But, for now, I am calling this done until I can get the other elements of the finished illustration completed. Until then, it's on to the next piece I'll need to make the newest project happen.

The only thing left to do now is everything.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Finished Inks

Alright, here is the finished black and white piece of the newest OilCan Drive illustration.

Everything has been inked, touched up, and all of the figures have been put together digitally after I got everything scanned and into the computer. Now I just need to add some shadows and tones to the piece and it will be done enough to go on to the next phase of the project that I need this piece for.

I started doing the tones and shadows last night and, if I can find the time today, I should be able to show off the "as finished as it's going to get by itself" piece tomorrow.

And then, after that, it's on to the next piece I'll need for the new project. As usual with most of my own personal projects, it's not there yet, but it's getting there. There is always something new to do and I don't think I'll ever be totally done with anything.

But, it definitely keeps me busy and out of trouble.

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

More Inking

Here's a little more inking I got done today on the newest OilCan Drive piece.

Now I just need to erase the pencils, fill in the blacks, do a little touch up with some white out, and then scan both pieces into the computer and merge them together.

With any luck I'll be able to show off the scanned and finished piece sometime tomorrow.

But, for now, it's off to bed. I am totally beat.

I hope you all had a great day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Inks So Far

Here is as far as I got with the inks last night on the new OilCan Drive piece.

It's coming along but I didn't get nearly as much work done on it last night as I wished I had. But, it's not like this is on any sort of deadline so I'm just enjoying myself and having fun. Plus, hey, there was a hockey game on last night that I had to watch.

It's funny how inking, when done for a client, can be a bit stressful but when I do it on my own project I actually find it really relaxing. It's not like the drawing is any different. Maybe it's because the client work is on a deadline or I know people will be looking at it and possibly making changes. When I do it for me I know it will look exactly like I want it to in its own time and (usually) there won't be any changes.

OK, back to it. I am going to try and get Nicole and Ryan inked today and get this piece scanned into the computer for color before dinner tonight.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ryan Pencil Sketch

Here is the revised pencil sketch I did of Ryan Burke for the OilCan Drive piece I showed off yesterday.

I think he looks much better here than in my previous two attempts and I'm really glad to get things back on track.

Now I just need to start inking away and put this piece together. I think I'll take a quick break for dinner and then hit the art board again tonight. I have a hockey game to watch and some inking to get done. A perfect Friday night combination.

For me, at least.

Have a great one!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pencil Sketch

Here is a pencil sketch I did earlier this week of the gang from OilCan Drive. I love the way everyone turned out so far except for Ryan. Something about him just wasn't working for me so late last night, around 2am, I decided to re-pencil him. I'll ink the three members of the band I do like and then digitally add in Ryan later.

I tried penciling Ryan again this morning and it still wasn't working for me so I think I need to rework his pose and go from there. In frustration I stopped penciling and started inking some client work. At least there's always something to do around here.

This piece is for something I've been working on for the last few weeks and once I get this piece done it will be a big step to getting that project done.

But, first I have to figure out what Ryan will look like. Once that happens it will be smooth sailing!

Right now it just feels like stormy seas.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hockey Shot

Here is the finished version of all those hockey pieces I was putting together over the weekend.

It was interesting to pull the different pieces apart, draw them individually, and then try to put them back together into a sequence of four complete images. Overall I think it worked out well for how I put it all together. And, if I had the time, I think with those pieces I could do a neat animated piece. I may have to put this knowledge away for some future work.

But, for now, it's back to the drawing board.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Apparently Valentine's Day in the Tiffany household means making giant homemade lasagna!

Monika and I had a great night, some great food, and spent some time with each other, which made for some very good company.

I'll get back to work on the art and creative stuff tomorrow. But, for now, I need to sit down and digest some of this lasagna.

Have a great night and I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sports Illustrated Kids December Illustrations

As I start the next round of illustrations for the Sports Illustrated Kids "What's The Call" article I thought it would be a good idea to show off the pieces I did for the December issue. I would have shown these earlier but the January pieces are actually from a January/February issue and I won't be able to show those off until March. So I figured I'd space them out a bit and wait until now to post these.

As always, wacky stuff is happening on the field of play and it's up to you to decided if the play is legal or not.

In the first illustration a football team punts the ball away. The receiver calls for a fair catch but his teammate catches the ball and starts running for a return with a gain in yards.

In the second a volleyball player, unable to make the play, sticks his foot out and kicks the ball. It's then hit over the net by a teammate.

And, finally, a tennis player returns a lob with such a spin on the ball that it actually doesn't go over the net but around it and back into play.

So, you tell me, what's the call?

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tale Of Sand

On Thursday afternoon I had a few hours to kill while waiting for approval from a client on a new job. So I decided to get out of the house and take a little field trip down the street to Barnes and Noble. I had just finished the first Dune book and wanted to get the second one to see how I liked it. Another book I had on my "list of things to check out" was this book, Jim Henson's "Tale of Sand."

I'd seen a few reviews of "Tale of Sand" on a couple of comic book websites I read. I also saw a video interview of an artist I like recently and he also recommended the book.

So, I picked it up.

The idea for the book is from a lost screenplay Jim Henson wrote before he got too busy doing Sesame Street and The Muppet Show in the late 60's and early 70's. As I read the introduction to the book I found out Henson had done some experimental short films before doing all the kid's work he is known for.

One of these films was called "Time Piece." So, I checked around YouTube and found a clip of it. And, let me tell you, it is such a far cry from The Muppet Show that I was amazed. The movie stars a young Jim Henson going through a series of landscapes and scenarios. There isn't really a story to speak of but a lot of imagery is thrown at the viewer.

I was glad I watched the video before I started reading "Tale of Sand" because I got a sense of the flavor Henson was going for in his work when he wrote the screenplay. I'm not sure what I would have thought of the book if I hadn't gone in without seeing it first.

I looked through the book for the next couple of days but I knew I'd have to carve some time out of my day to actually sit down and read it. The book is largely without any dialogue or word balloons and the story is told almost entirely in pictures. It wasn't something I could simple read in chunks. I needed to spend some time with it.

So, I took it with me to lunch this afternoon.

And, I sat there, engrossed, for an hour and a half, reading this book.

The artwork of Ramon Perez is absolutely beautiful and his storytelling was clear and simple and captivating. In an era of comic books where I think a lot of artists have lost the skill of telling a story with pictures and no words made this work stand out that much more.

The hero of the piece, Mac, enters a small desert town to find a celebration. He doesn't know what's going on but finds himself caught up with the townspeople and even dancing with a beautiful girl. Suddenly he is pulled aside by the local sheriff of the town and told his instructions. Mac is given a map, some supplies, and some water. He's told if he gets from the town they are in, across the desert, and to Eagle Mountain he'll be safe. And, he's ensured he'll be given a ten minute head start.

"On what?" Mac asks.

Before there is an answer the sheriff is told all is ready and it's time. Before Mac is sent out the sheriff has one last bit of advice.

"Don't trust the map."

Mac is pushed over the line and the game is on. As he runs into the desert with his ten minute head start he looks back in the distance of the town and sees a shadowy man pursuing him.

From the moment he enters the desert all bets are off. Mac encounters things you would only find in a dream and almost none of it makes sense. He comes across lions in limousines, deadly sharks in pools, and, at one point, finds himself running from both Arabs and an entire football team.

It was a great story and I was totally transfixed as I sat at my table and read this story. There is nothing about it that I didn't find amazing. From the story, to the art, to even the colors, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. If it was up to me I'd go back in time so I could read it all over again for the first time.

So, yeah, if you have a chance, pick this up, find yourself a few extra hours and enjoy yourself.

It made for a great afternoon and makes me feel like I need to try that much harder when doing my art, storytelling, and painting.

Tomorrow, it's back to work. But, I'm now that much more inspired. Have a great one.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Little Bit O' Color

The art of the hockey player I inked yesterday has been scanned into the computer, cleaned up, and the coloring has begun.

Now it's just a matter of getting all the pieces colored and shaded correctly. Then I need to put all the pieces together and have this finished four panel sequence of art make sense. When all is said and done there will be four figures on the page showing a sequence as the hockey player shoots the puck.

I'm pretty sure it will all work out well but it's not like this is something I do everyday so I have no idea how it will turn out or how long it will take.

So, I better get back to work and get to it.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pieces of Hockey

Here is a photo of some inking I got done today for a piece featuring a hockey player.

Because the finished piece will show the various movements a player goes through when he shoots the hockey puck I thought it might be easier to do the player in pieces and put him all together in the computer.

It seems like a good idea now but I'm sure I'll be scratching my head in a bit when I actually try to do it and make it look good. But, I am hopeful. I put him together in the pencil sketch stage and it came out well. Here's hoping the inked and colored pieces go together just as easily.

And, the web site I am working on took a few more steps tonight in the right direction. It's still a mess, has a hodge podge of bad illustrations and stolen code, but I think the basic skeleton of the site is sound and I can now begin designing the fun stuff. One more step towards getting this thing finished and launched.

So, a good night overall! Have a good one!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spinning a Web

I've spent the majority of the day banging my head against the wall messing around with the internet and trying to create a new web page. While there were many times today where I was frustrated and ready to quit the whole thing I think I've finally figured it out and made some good headway.

I got most of the pieces figured out and now I just have to design the page and make it look like mine. It's kind of like figuring out where each piece of the puzzle needs to go and now you just have to create those puzzle pieces to pop into their respective spots.

So, things are getting better.

And, because I can't show off the new website just yet here is a piece I have on my drawing table of a new character from the OilCan Drive universe. Here name is TK and she is a mechanic the band will come across during their adventures in the wastelands of the Outer Zone.

Tell me you don't wish the mechanic who worked on your car looked like that?

Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kick Back!

It seems everyone has Kickstarter fever these days!

Thom Zahler, another friend of mine, launched a Kickstarter campaign today and it looks like he's doing well right out of the gate.

And, don't forget that Jeff is still looking for funding for his stop motion animated film. He's half way through the month and still has a ways to go so any help you can give him would be greatly appreciated.

And, finally, while browsing around Kickstarter today and checking on my friends' progress, I came across a girl doing her own web comic who is looking to print her first book. I don't know who she is and I've never read her book but I liked the art so much I threw her a couple of bucks to help out.

OK, it's been a long day and sorry it's a quick post but I am off to lay on the couch and watch some TV. But tomorrow I'll be back at it working harder than ever.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nicole Baylor, Reworked

The plan today was to try and retackle the Nicole Baylor piece I had previously penciled and try to get her all done in one day. I loved the feeling I had last week when I got the Ryan Burke piece I used for the blog header penciled, inked, and colored all in one waking day and I wanted that feeling again. I thought doing this Nicole piece might be just what I was looking for.

So I got the board laid out, blue line penciled the whole piece, and started in with the pencil details.

And that's when it hit me.

I had woken up with a touch of a headache this morning but after I got to the board and started working the headache developed into a full blown migraine. My head was aching, the room felt like it was spinning, and I got very nauseous. I tried to fight through it and keep working but it was just too much. I staggered into my bedroom and tried to lay down but that just made it worse. So, I retreated to the living room, laid on the couch, and watched old science fiction TV shows until I passed out on the couch.

I woke up late in the evening, had some dinner, and felt a bit better.

Around nine o'clock tonight I hit the board again and finished penciling the Nicole piece.

It was by no means a perfect day and I didn't get anything close to what I wanted done but I am much happier with the way Nicole looks in this piece than she did in the previous piece. The way she is sitting on the music road case looks much more natural and correct than what I had done before.

And, if nothing else, I survived an afternoon where I really felt like I was dying. And, that's always a good thing.

Have a good one. I hope to be back in fighting shape tomorrow!

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Addition

I added a new guitar pedal to the OilCan Drive family last week and, so far, it's fitting right into the mix. It's a Tech 21 NYC Boost Chorus pedal and it gives guitars, basses, and even voices that kind of watery shimmering sound. The best example I can think of is during the intro of Nirvana's "Come As You Are."

I plan on using this effect on a few of the lead lines in a couple of the OilCan Drive songs I am working on. Right now I just need to do those leads, record a few more bass parts, and do some quick mixes and I'll be almost done. Then it's just a matter of singing.

And, for some reason, singing again has gotten me worried.

I've been singing lately again just to make sure my voice it still OK but nothing has felt right. Not singing in the car, singing along with Monika, or even singing in the shower. For a while there I figured what little singing ability I had was gone and it might be time to wrap this thing up before I embarrass myself.

But, then I pulled my microphone out and set it in the middle of the room. I didn't plug it in or anything, I just set it up. And, when I walked up to it and sang into it, there it was. Every note and rasp of my voice that I liked was there. I guess it takes standing in front of a microphone to make the Ryan Burke of OilCan Drive voice come out of me. I know that's a weird quirk to have but it's nice to know that the voice is still there.

Once I start singing I promise to take a few photos and show just how goofy I look when I do stuff like this. It should be fun.

OK, have a great day! Talk to you tomorrow!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now

Here is the finished logo that I completed this week after showing off the original art for it yesterday.

I told you yesterday that I had illustrated this same character about ten years ago for the same client and, after seeing what he looked like back then, I decided it was time for a little upgrade. The client requested if I could put a paint brush in this guy's back pocket so that gave me the perfect opportunity to redo him. I figured if I needed to add something to the original figure why not just do him all over again and make him look better.

I also added a rag in his other back pocket as well. You can see how it had to be modified and shortened from the original illustration to fit into the logo design. But, I think it worked out well.

And here is the original figure I did along with a basic layout of what the client was thinking of for the new logo. I really like the idea of the guy washing off a bit of grime right in the logo and it really sells what his business is in a nice and clear way. So, I just tried to mimic what he wanted in the logo and give it a little more flash.

It was really a great idea on his part and it made my job that much easier when getting the finished piece done. And, because we were on the same page, I got this done really quick and out the door.

And now it's on to the next project!

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

From The Desk

Here's a little something from my art desk that I was working on this week. And, no, it wasn't the girl (although I like the way she came out as well.)

A friend of a friend back in Maine had started his own window cleaning and painting company years ago and I did some art for him for his logo. Well, he came back asking me if I could take the figure I had drawn back then and put him into a new design. After seeing the art I did about ten years ago I decided to just redo the figure and create a whole new logo for him from scratch.

Luckily for this window cleaner and painter I had a bit of room on a previous illustration I did of this sexy girl. I didn't think he'd mind sharing the room.

And, if you look to the left of the cleaner, there is a little symbol I drew that I used on the bandana of the Ryan Burke illustration I did earlier this week.

Here at Plastic Spoon Studios, no room on any piece of paper is wasted!

Have a great day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Finished Ryan Burke

Here is the finished hi-res version of Ryan Burke I did for this month's blog header.

While I liked the idea of portraying Ryan all geared up for war as some sort of rock and roll freedom fighter I wanted to push it just a little bit more. I've recently been reading Frank Herbert's sci-fi masterpiece DUNE for the first time and at every page turn I am reading about the coming jihad of Paul Muad'Dib Atreides. More than once he sees an awful future where his Fedaykin followers wage a terrible holy war under the green and black colors of the Atreides house.

I like the idea of fighting for a cause under a symbol and I thought it might be cool to have Ryan wage his own personal jihad across the wastelands of a futuristic America. So, I painted a symbol on his bandana and used the same symbol as a design in the background behind him.

The symbol, while similar to the one I used on the Ryan Burke t-shirt (taken from the band The Who's RAF style symbol) actually comes from a movie I recently watched on Netflix called "What We Do is Secret." It's a biographical drama set in the late 70's about Darby Crash and his band The Germs (featuring a young Pat Smear, later of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, on guitar.) One of the things Darby used was symbolism to push his rock and roll message and one of the strongest symbols he believed in was the circle. It's an interesting movie and one I need to watch again sometime soon.

So, I thought a circle banner for Ryan to fight under felt fitting for the design for some reason. I'm sure people have led their own personal jihads under symbols that were just as trivial to others. But, I do like it as a design idea.

And, once I was done with the color I did a grayscale zip-a-tone styled version of the illustration as well. I always love the way these things look when I do this. It really reminds me of a lot of the manga books I read back when I was a teenager that really drew me into comics in the first place. I love the black and white dots making gray patterns across the figure and I really love that it's pure black and white with no gray in between. Something about that idea always spoke to me. It somehow feels very pure. There is no chance of interpretation of color or tone when it's pure black and white. And I love that.

Anyway, I am now figuring out what to do with my next piece. I have a few ideas in my mind and we'll just have to see what comes out in the next few days.

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Little Bit O' Inking

As promised yesterday here are a few photos of the Ryan Burke illustration I used for the blog header in progress.

I was really happy all around with how this piece came out, especially that I did it all in one day. The one thing that does bother me, now that I look back on it, is how rounded I made the body of the guitar on the left side. The body on that part of a Fender Stratocaster is much flatter and not so round. I looked back at the pencils and I had it right so I think I used too much of an arced french curve on it when I inked in that part. Ah well, maybe it's not so noticeable to someone who doesn't think about and stare at guitars most of their day. But, for me, it's still the first thing I see.

Here is a bit of a closer look at the line work. I took this photo after I had inked everything but hadn't erased any pencil lines or done any white-out touch up. You can still see a few faint lines I didn't ink as I was going to tackle those in the color stage.

From this point it was simply a matter of erasing the pencil sketch, filling in a few black spaces (that's what the little x's are for), doing some touch up with a bit of white out, and then scanning and coloring the piece in the computer.

Tomorrow I'll show off the finished hi-res color version of this piece as well as a special bonus version of this piece. But, for now, it's back to work on something new.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy February!

So, despite even my own doubts that I could get it done, I finished up a full illustration yesterday to use for the new February blog header. This piece started as nothing but a blank piece of paper less than twenty four hours ago and I went to bed last night with it completely finished.

Over the next few days I'll post a few photos of the inks in progress as well as a higher resolution completed piece where I'll explain a bit more of my thinking behind the illustration.

But, for now, have a great February and a great day!