"MMO Tuesdays" will resume next week!

My apologies for the interruption of my “MMO Tuesdays” series of sketches–

friends in town + Long Beach Comic-Con + crushing sinus pain + me being a big baby = me not having the time or energy to color.

However, the Con was great (I definitely recommend that everyone check it out next year). I got to meet a lot of cool people, and it’s always a good time hanging out with the usual suspects (Josh, Dustin, Derek, Marcus, Peter, Tu, etc).

The aforementioned guys all had tables in artist’s alley, and while they were trying to do business, I was hanging around bothering them all, and sketching stuff like this (which I inked after the con):

Another shark coming up on Friday, and the conclusion of the MMO series next Tuesday. Stay tuned!

Meow and Later

What has four legs, spits up hairballs, and causes me to put up last minute blog posts?

Sketched with various markers, generously touched up in Photoshop.

Sketchy Looking Individual

Here’s a self portrait, in which I look agitated and pale (as I often do):

click above for larger view

Sketched in ballpoint pen and colored in Photoshop.

For those keeping track at home, I do have a sleeveless black hoodie in RL, but I do not have a t-shirt featuring my favorite saying (unfortunately). My apologies for this interjection by my raging ego. Regular sketch-blog service will resume next time.

Cardboard and Co-Workers

A little something different for today…

If you work in an office anything like mine, there are two realities that you will understand. Co-workers and impromptu crafts.

Any office will experience occasional lulls, and it’s during these times that you look at whatever materials are lying around the office and find a way to craft them into artifacts of boredom reduction. In the case of my office, we often receive and send things, which means boxes, which means cardboard. Sometimes I simply put a cardboard tube on my arm and pretend I’m a cyborg, but other times I draw Skeletor’s torso on a cardboard poncho, and pretend I am the Lord of Destruction. There have been paper moustaches, dioramas of Peeps murdering each other, styrofoam capes and boas, dog snouts made of paper cups, and more. For years, two cardboard box lids with happy faces hung on the wall in front of my desk. I only recently took them down because I want to preserve them somehow (perhaps by having them mounted on wood blocks).

Accompanying you on these lulls and cardboard larks, are your co-workers–the people who are in the trenches with you everyday, the people who you see more than almost anyone else, and the people who understand your countless in-jokes. In my case, these are the people who understand that when I walk up to their desk, and they ask me how I am doing, I will punch myself in the stomach, make a fake barf noise, and they will reply, “I hear ya.”

Yesterday was the last day of a co-worker and good friend of mine, who’s moving on to bigger and better. Erroneously, she had decided that she was sad about leaving–so I realized quickly that I am by far the awesomest thing in the office, and manufactured this cardboard android as a substitute co-worker to accompany her in her new endeavors:

click above for larger view

I had always intended to make an occasional foray into three-dimensional art on this blog, but here I am finally doing it. This crude standee stands about a foot tall, was sketched on a dismantled Fed-Ex box, detailed with magic markers, cut with ordinary old scissors, and assembled with packing tape and a single conspicuous brass brad.

Let Us Pray…

This week, Comic-Con will descend upon us once more. Let us pray that last year’s… incident… will not be repeated.

If you’re heading down to Comic-Con, please be sure to visit:

  • Josh and Vinny signing daily @ Image Comics. Booth 2729.
  • Dustin and Derek, who both have tables in Artist’s Alley. Table FF-04 and Table KK-08, respectively.
  • Karen, Sherri, and Jodi @ the Tired Girl Collective in small press. As mentioned in my previous post, they are also hosting Nathan and his new toy Boris the Raccoon. Even though neither Nathan nor Boris are tired girls. Or are they? Table M07.

Guess what kind of suit that is. Go on.

If you guessed sharkskin suit, you are correct. Give yourself a cookie–you deserve it. Another practice piece in watercolor crayon:

click above for larger view

Now that’s more like it. Not great by any means, but I feel like this piece has got a little more substance to it. Sketched lightly in pencil, colored with watercolor crayon, and inked over with a Sakura Micron (the signature was written with a Sakura brush pen). I wasn’t crazy about how the thick line turned out on the previous piece, so I decided to use a thin line over the colors–a technique often utilized by someone who actually knows what he’s doing. If I could change one thing on this one, I would have blended some blue into the suit to unify the whole color scheme.

These past two have been an interesting exercise… relaxing too, in their own way. Hopefully I’ll be able to fit a few more of these in.

Fish Out Of Watercolor

Hello there goldfish-rendered-by-me, what do you think of the quality at which you were rendered?

click above for larger view

Junk! Junk, you say? Yeah pretty much.

I felt the urge to experiment with watercolors this past weekend, but all I had were watercolor crayons, and this is what I came up with. First of all, watercolor crayons are, in my opinion, big time cheating. The reason watercolor is tough, is because you have to be able to control/predict the flow of it–but at the same time, you have to go with the flow (literally). At least, this is my understanding of the matter. With watercolor crayons, you just put the color where you want it, and blend it with a wet brush–it takes some control, but not like real watercolor.

This piece was very lightly sketched in pencil (basically I just indicated its silhouette), colored with watercolor crayon, and the black lines were laid down afterwards, with a Sakura brush pen. Clearly, it was rendered without looking at reference of any kind. I’m just practicing, so I did this piece on a scrap of Strathmore watercolor paper–and you can see a vertical crease that goes through the tail.

I enjoy these experimentations, even though the results are sometimes less than spectacular. I’ll post watercolor crayon experiment #2 on Friday, which turned out a bit better, in my opinion.

Nerdy Anticipation

Perhaps you will recall that I am a huge Transformers fan? And perhaps you will recall that I enjoyed Michael Bay’s first outing in the world of Transformers? And perhaps you will understand that I am bitterly jealous that the sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, premiered two weeks ago in Japan, and was released last week in the United Kingdom, while Canadians living in America (like myself) are forced to wait until this week?

And perhaps you will not be surprised that 24 hours from the posting of this blog, I will be sitting in an IMAX theater watching said movie, at long last?

For the haters, let’s get some things straight here… I’m not expecting Citizen Kane. I’m not expecting Shakespeare. I’m not even expecting Shakespeare in Love. I am expecting pretty much the best special effects around, lots of robots getting blowed up good, and Megan Fox looking Megan Foxxy.

The surge of nerdy anticipation within me is overwhelming, threating to manifest itself as a wave of destructive energy that will burn the surface of the planet to a crisp whilst arguing whether or not the new Revenge of the Fallen Human Alliance toyline portrays human characters in proper scale to their Autobot counterparts. Also, I drew this:

click above for larger view

What started out as kind of a quick sketch to commemorate the release of Revenge of the Fallen actually became a decent exercise in color and lighting, I think.



I was planning on painting at least one more noir archetype (or noirchetype, as I like to call it), with a Girl Friday as the subject. And as a matter of coincidence, my long-time crony Gavin commented, “I think you should finish off the series with a “good girl” in yellow”–so who am I to disappoint?

In my opinion, this piece is back on track after the previous one. Better contrast, bolder strokes, not so fussy. I actually tried out some backgrounds for this one, but everything I came up with seemed to distract from the Girl Friday herself, so I decided to leave it as is. As with the other noirchetypes, this one took about two hours from start to finish. Again, I’m unsure whether I’ll do more of these, but this certainly has been a welcome break from the nerdy grind. But don’t fret, fellow nerds, I’ll get back to the mega-dorky stuff soon enough (some of it is in-progress as we speak).

I ate 23 tacos in the past week…

Not all at once, but over the course of 6 meals. Here’s the breakdown:

Tuesday (lunch@ Tacos Por favor):

  • 1 carne asada taco
  • 2 chorizo and cheese tacos
  • 1 chicken taquito
  • Tuesday (dinner@ Tito’s Tacos):

  • 5 beef tacos
  • Wednesday (lunch@ Tacos Por favor):

  • 1 carne asada taco
  • 2 chorizo and cheese tacos
  • 1 beef taquito
  • Thursday (dinner@ Tito’s Tacos):

  • 4 beef tacos
  • 1 bean/beef/cheese burrito
  • Saturday (lunch@ Coppelia’s Bakery & Cafe):

  • 2 beef tacos (soft)
  • 2 chicken tacos (soft)
  • 2 chicken empanadas
  • 1 slice of tres leches cake
  • Sunday (lunch@ Coppelia’s Bakery & Cafe):

  • 4 beef tacos (soft)
  • 1 beef empanada
  • 2 beef flautas
  • 1 slice of tres leches cake
  • In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I highly recommend both Tacos Por Favor, Tito’s Tacos, and Coppelia’s to anyone living in the Los Angeles area.

    Even while I was painting this piece in Photoshop, I was still desperately craving tacos. I decided that 23 was probably a good place to stop for the moment, and instead just dreamed of tacos while eating yogurt and granola. This piece took me about an hour.


    Let’s get soot-faced

    I’m continuing to build a generic archetypical noir cast. Here’s a soot-faced street urchin:

    I feel like my paints got too fussy on this one, not enough bold strokes. And the contrast stinks! Also it was meant to be less dingy and a bit more green. Oh well…

    I’m not sure if I’m going to do more of these–we’ll see if the weekend washes me back to nerdy shores, or if I continue on this path a bit longer.

    Not an egg…

    … but hardboiled nonetheless. Just a little practice painting (in Photoshop) of a random, nameless, sardonic private detective. Probably a tangential subconscious sideffect of borrowing The Thin Man (both the book and the movie) from Ren:

    I feel like I might be a little burnt out on my usual fan-art fare? I still have an unlimited number of pieces that I want to draw and post, but I just can’t seem to get it together these days… maybe a few more of these painting exercises will do me good. We’ll see–my muse is capricious! I call her Blogonia.



    Josh and I were chatting over the internets through the miracle of modern technology, and I drew this kunoichi with a program built into the IM program:

    I added the type in Photoshop, naturally. I admit, this post is at least partially motivated by laziness… but on the other hand, I am genuinely happy with how this doodle came out. It’s nice to bust out something spontaneous and simple every now and then, without all the planning, nerdy research, and pointless attempts at perfectionism.

    Think of the Children!

    Drawn for the charming young offspring of an old friend:

    A rare foray into traditional media–loosely sketched with a blue pencil, inked with a brush pen, and colored with a random assortment of color pencils.