Friday, June 3, 2011


I've been working on the script for my next few issues and I have the first 3 pages finished.  It has been nice having Meredith home.  She is definitely helping me keep focused.  It is always a bit of a challenge when you work at home to avoid distractions but knowing you have someone keeping tabs on you definitely helps.

As I'm working on my script I'm really trying to work in a few more of DC villians.  There are so many great ones, I really want to have the chance to draw as many as I can and the great thing about writing your own script is that you can pretty much, DC marketing plans not withstanding, draw who ever you want Batman to fight next.  I'd be curious to see who people would like to see Batman fight, I'll see about doing another poll.

By the way I really liked the ideas for the website and I'll pass them along to Meredith.  Maybe we'll create a section with non-comic work.


Friday, May 27, 2011

New Website

Well it's definitely been a while, but it looks like Meredith has updated the website and we will be going back online with art sales pretty soon.  We will try to have prints and remarked comics up as well as some original artwork.  I think that the new website looks great and I'm really looking forward to having a more active online presence again.

It took me a while but I've finally finished up with the third issue of Dark Knight.  I'm really happy with how it turned out and thanks to everyone for being patient.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie

I met Dwayne McDuffie in Detroit at a comic book show way back in 1993, just about 8 months or so before I started working in this business.  I was showing work around, and I was having a bit of a hard time getting anyone to take a look.  Mr. McDuffie was reviewing someone's portfolio as I walked by, so I very quickly got in line and waited.  When I got a chance to show him my work I learned more in a few minutes than I had in months.  Nobody else ever broke down the simple rules of basic storytelling and composition for me better.  He was patient, open, and he gave it all to me straight without any flowery nonsense.  It made me a better artist, and it helped me keep pushing on to my goal.  I'm eternally grateful, and it took me a long time to get the chance, but I was finally able to thank him not that long ago. 

He was a great professional, and he will be missed. 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Here's a whole bunch more pages from issue one.  It's nice to have the book out there!  I'm sure I missed a couple here, but it's got to be close to the whole book posted now.  I tried to find the inks for issue two's cover, but I don't know where I saved them.  Sorry about that!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Some stuff....

Don't you love my inventive and inspiring post titles?  But what can I say...I'm just going to put up some stuff.  I'm sitting here on pins and needles for my Batman: Dark Knight book to come out tomorrow.  I've had some copies for almost a week now, and I've shown it to friends and family, but I'm really looking forward to having it come out.  There's a lot of art that I have to post, but I just have to wait until it's shown somewhere, so I've been kind of quiet here.  Anyway, until tomorrow, when I can post a bunch of pencils from the book (not that I'll get around to it tomorrow exactly...), here's a few things that I scrounged together.

Anyway, until tomorrow, when I can post a bunch of pencils from the book (not that I'll get around to it tomorrow exactly...), here's a few things that I scrounged together.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Firestorm cover

This is a Brightest Day cover.  It went through a few steps, and I took scans as I went, so I figured I'd post them here. 

This is my underdrawing.  I don't bother putting much detail into them anymore.  I found I have to do all the work again with paint, so why do it twice? 
 Then I did a tonal wash with burnt sienna, and started blocking in colors.  I had no idea where I was going with the picture, but I don't really have time to be doing prelims, or color roughs or whatever.  I had to go pick up the kids from school, so this is where it stopped for now. 
 I had planned on scanning after each session so I could do a step by step, but this is the end of the next session.  I was done.  It really didn't take very long.  It's a single figure, and I'm getting more comfortable with my color mixing, so I'm not losing as much time with the unpredictability of the paint.  I've been greying all my colors with their compliments, but I've found lately that using black and white is a more effective solution in some situations.  Red dulls to brown the same way with green or black.  No difference for me, except for a more predictable result.  And blue can darken to a bit of a purple, or a bit of an orange, or straight black, all with a different, but useable effect.  So anyway, point being...I'm finding that using compliments gets great results, and I can really make use of the warm to cool effects of mixing that way, but in some cases (like greying yellow) I need to be creative.  Black and yellow make green, but so does it's compliment.  If I want to grey it, I need to step from yellow, to ochre, to raw sienna, and then I can introduce black.  Unless I want the green.....

 There was a mixup, and I forgot that this cover had to be done with a white background for Icon cover month, so I had to resort to photoshop, and select out the background, blur the edges, and throw in an orange halo for effect, and to reduce the look of the edges.  It ended up being much more designy than I had intended, but I kind of like it this way. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Composition Part 1

I realized that this'll never happen if I a) try to do a post that covers every compostion thing I can think of at once, or b) forces me to draw all sorts of pictures as examples.  So I'm going the easy route.  I'm going to break it up into parts, and I'm going to use art from my favorite artists as examples.

Today I'm going with Frank Frazetta because I want to talk about the best cover composition around.  Obviously you can't do this each and every time, and there are so many other very effective designs, but this one, for me, is the strongest.  It's the simple triangle composition.

I think these pictures really speak for themselves.  The triangle composition is the gift that just keeps on giving!  Frazetta used it for arguably most of his covers, and it never, ever gets old.  If you really look for it in all of these covers, it couldn't be more obvious, but it works every time. 

For it to work best, the triangle can't be broken by any major elements, but if it's too perfect it can become static.  Notice how Frazetta outlines a triangle in his compositions, but doesn't completely form the shape in an unbroken way.  Except for when he does, but then notice how he uses elements to play against the shape and add visual interest, like in the cover with the guy with the guns and girls.  The guns are small enough, and peripheral enough that they can break the composition, and he's angled them in such a way as to frame the main character's face, and slash some movement across the page.  That movement stops your eye from simply following the too obvious triange shape. 

As a bit of an aside, I can't help but mention Frazetta's use of light and detail in his compositions.  Notice how focused his lighting is, with the greatest contrast in his center of interest, and points of light hit on other elements in the picture, just enough to draw your eye across them.  He always knew what the focus of his picture was, and he knew how to draw you there, and then lead your eye around to other secondary elements, almost like a visual tour.  That's all accomplished through use of focused lighting.  No photo reference is going to teach you that one!  

The other element I mentioned is detail.  Because Frazetta was all about instant visual impact, he was very careful to not detail elements of his pictures that were secondary to that goal. That takes so much's much easier to noodle everything in sight!  I could learn a thing or two from that...

Anyway, more later.