Oh, grrr…

Here’s a quick sketch of the ogre Shrek that I did on my iPad. Just messing around with an approach that relies less on linework and more on shapes:

 
(Yes, I’m behind by 1 post.. let’s see if I can fix that soon!)

Bravest Warriors + Pizza + Convention Exclusive =

Check it out–I drew the cover for the Long Beach Comic-Con exclusive edition of Bravest Warriors #1 (published by the fine folks at BOOM! Studios):

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The Long Beach Comic-Con is this weekend (November 3-4), so if you live in Southern California, please swing by and get your copy of Bravest Warriors!

I will be at the BOOM! Studios booth on Saturday November 3rd, 2:00-3:00pm, signing and sketching. Come by and say hello! If you don’t, I will die of loneliness, and the guilt will haunt you for decades.

Pinstripes and Booo-llets

I was having a conversation with Josh over IM which lead to me proposing a hi-larious image, which lead to me drawing said image because it was suitable for Halloween. Here it is:

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You see, they’ll never take him alive, because he’s already dead. GET IT?? I TOLD YOU I’M HI-LARIOUS! HAPPY HALLOWEEN, SUCKERS!

(I’m behind a post, but I have stuff incoming later this week… )

Hand and Foot

Here’s a dual post to cover last Friday as well as today. I had two pieces of sturdy cardboard lying around, so I grabbed some markers and did these two pieces:

 
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Sketched in color pencil, lineart inked with a Sharpie, silvers filled with a Sharpie, and reds and blacks filled with Marks-A-Lot markers.

I’m sure similar such cross-over pin-ups have been drawn before, but I thought this wold be fun! (For those who don’t know, Eastman and Laird’s TMNT was inspired by Frank Miller’s seminal run on Daredevil.)

Every Hound Has His Day

Here’s a quick sketch in honor of the passing of Ken Sansom, known to most as the voice of Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh–but to me he’ll always be Hound, the serene, nature-loving Autobot scout:

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I was surprised how quickly this piece went. I’m satisfied that I was able to throw in an indication of an environment and turn a simple bust sketch into something with a little more atmosphere. Also, I managed to avoid getting anal-retentive while I was coloring. That’s an accomplishment for me!

Gal Pals

This has been floating around on the internet for a week or two, so I can finally share it!

I drew an Adventure Time cover for BOOM! Studios, and apparently it’s going to see the light of day on the cover of Bleeding Cool’s upcoming print-magazine!

EDIT: I found out this is going to be a variant cover for Adventure Time #14 as well!

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(For those of you playing along at home, this post catches me up on my blog posts for the time being. Sometimes when I drop off from posting it’s because I’m too busy to draw, and sometimes it’s because I’m so busy doing art-things that I just don’t have the time to post, even though I’m actually drawing a bunch! Either way it’s frustrating for me, and I will strive to keep my posting intervals a bit more regular. That is all.)

Hair and Now

 

Something that happened to me at my friend’s wedding. (This is a 93% true story… in the real version, the rhino’s martini didn’t have an olive in it.)

I am a terrible letterer!

Fellas in Yella

Technically these guys are in GOLD not yellow, but I couldn’t think of a good rhyme for gold.

Posting Worf for last Tuesday, Geordi for last Friday, and Data for today.

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Back. To. The. Grind. Blorf. (Not to be confused with Worf)

Yarrr

(This post is for Friday, I’m laaate, which is no surprise to anybody. Busy days ahead! Will any of it amount to anything? WHO COULD TELL?)

In my Star Trek: The Next Generation re-watch, I’ve gained a new appreciation of Tasha Yar’s tough demeanor, her butch yet cute haircut, her devotion to Starfleet, and also her bangin’ bootay.

So, in honor of the fallen Lieutenant Yar, here’s what I hope is a dynamic shot of her about to gain the upper hand during a sparring session. Perhaps her sparring partner is her pal Lieutenant Worf?

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These colors… something about them just isn’t jiving for me. I think I tried a few different tricks here, and they didn’t come together cohesively. Better luck next time, I guess?

Testbots

I have very nearly zero formal education in the arts, so whilst I ramble about theory today, you must forgive me if I use some terms incorrectly. Nevertheless, I think you will get the gist of what I’m saying. And for hardcore arts people, I’m sure you will have heard this all before. Bear with me, every so often I must talk these things through.

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So, you may or may not have noticed, but I’ve been having a stylistic identity crisis. Maybe crisis is the wrong word. I’d like it to be resolved, but there’s no imminent danger.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll notice that I draw in a lot of different styles. Just the last few entries should make that apparent. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drawing in different styles, but I have been struggling with a more unified overall approach, and I think I need to figure out which style I’m going to focus on and attempt to master.

I’ve been attempting to move towards streamlined shapes with a lot of energy, which goes against literally decades of focusing on details and structure. When I was younger, I fixated more so on drawing things “right.” But you can draw something completely “right” with every detail in place, and it will still lack that undefinable thing that makes a piece of art interesting. And something that’s sort-of related to that–I’ve really become opposed to fussiness in drawing. I still like complexity. And I certainly don’t want to dumb things down. But fussy character design or composition is never a good thing.

I tend to get bogged down with details, so today’s piece was a bit of a style test. I wanted to draw some Transformers in a more streamlined and dynamic manner, without being such a slave to detail and geometry.

In regards to what I’m trying to achieve, I don’t think it worked. As a stand alone thing, the piece is decent enough, but Optimus still looks pretty stiff, and in the end, I still got a little hung up on details. However, on the plus side, the drawing itself didn’t take long at all. (Coloring it still took me forever because I’m slooow.)

Well, what can you do? Back to the drawing board, but first, sleep.

Okay, I know this looks bad…

I just caught up, and promised a post. And here I am not delivering. I know, it looks real bad. I had other art things I had to get done, which hopefully will be revealed some time in the next decade. HOWEVER! The post I want to put up is in good shape. It will be here. Soon. Ish. Like tomorrow night… exit, stage left!

Sons of the Bat… Parts 4 and 5 (of 5)

(Previously: Parts 1 and 2, Part 3)

Today we move out of the realm of Batman’s adopted sons, and on to two of his actual genetic offspring.

The son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, Damian Wayne, AKA The Demon:

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  • Age: Mid 20′s
  • Damian has matured as both a man and costumed hero, and left the nest a few years ago to travel the world. After the apparent final death of Ra’s al Ghul, Damian seized control of the League of Shadows with the instrumental backing of his mother, and the assistance of his father and ‘brothers.’ Under Damian’s leadership, the League has become a force for good, though he and his mother are constantly battling splinter factions who wish to remain true to Ra’s al Ghul’s ways. Damian is still competitive with his brothers, but the interactions have lost their antagonistic edge. Of particular note, he and Tim have eased into a very friendly dynamic (Oracle has assisted the new League of Shadows countless times), and he has surprisingly become quite the big brother to Terry (however Tim is apparently the only member of the Bat-clan who knows that Damian and Terry are actual brothers).
  • This backstory combines elements from standard continuity, as well as aspects of the Kingdom Come version of Batman and Talia’s son.
  • Damian is still prone behave imperiously, so red is a fitting color, I think.
  • The cowl is something of a hybrid between Thomas Wayne’s masquerade bat costume and Ra’s al Ghul’s demon mask–a nod to both of Damian’s grandfathers. The V-shaped brow is an element from Damian’s Redbird costume, to add an element of his own identity on top of his dual heritage.
  • The rest of the costume combines elements of Damian’s Robin costume with Ra’s al Ghul’s high-collared cloak (modified to bring it in line with the cloaks of Red Hood and Oracle).
  • His scimitar is a hard light construct.

Up next is Terry McGinnis, AKA… Batman??

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  • Age: Early 20′s
  • With Bruce Wayne comatose and in critical condition after a battle with a coalition of Batman’s greatest rivals, Gotham is in need of a Batman. Terry McGinnis, having served as Robin to Bruce’s Batman for a few years, thinks he’s the least likely candidate for the job. However, Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damien all have unique roles to play as their current alter egos, and they urge Terry to take up the mantle. It was possible that they would have come to this consensus regardless, but “the Robins” don’t realize that Tim subtly nudged them towards this decision because he was the only one aware that Terry is actually Bruce’s son. With no knowledge of his true heritage, Terry agrees, knowing that he will be backed by the four men who have become a second family to him.
  • This isn’t a redesign at all! The only thing I changed was the color of the belt! To be honest, I wasn’t always crazy about the Batman Beyond costume, particularly the use of red. But it grew on me over time, and now I think the red is very appropriate for Terry’s hotheaded youthfulness. By making the belt yellow, I hoped to tie the colors of Terry’s costume to Damien’s costume. A subtle indication that the two have more in common than they realize.
  • The wing technology (shown in retracted position) was already being field tested by Nightwing, but the suit itself is a brand new piece of experimental technology.
  • His retractable claws are hard light constructs.

Well, that was a fun series of designs to draw! I have a lot more ideas for this imagined alternate continuity. I realized yesterday that I actually need to add two more Sons of the Bat. Of course I fully intend to (eventually) follow this series with Daughters of the Bat (there are at least 6 or 7 to draw). Plus there are several characters who don’t quite fit either category…

(In closing out this series, I have also closed out my post deficit! Returning to regular posting, the first one for this week will be up late Tuesday or early Wednesday. After that, let’s see if I can get back to posting at regular intervals.)

Sons of the Bat… Part 3 (of 5)

It’s Friday night before a long weekend. I don’t know what you nerds are doing, but I’m posting a blog about a Batman character. Jealous?

Continuing in order from the previous segment, here’s Tim Drake, AKA Oracle:

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  • Age: Late 20′s
  • When Barbara Gordon returned to action as Batwoman, it only made sense for someone else to take up the mantle of Oracle and provide information and support for the heroes of Gotham. Initially Tim took up the role as a temporary position while injured, but he assumed the role permanently when he realized how well suited he was for the task. Since becoming Oracle, Tim has been working closely with Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox to research and develop new technologies. Perhaps most notably, Tim was instrumental in the development of the hard light melee weapons. Tim keeps in shape for the occasions where he must return to the streets and rooftops of Gotham. This isn’t a regular event, but it happens often enough that the criminal underworld now fear Oracle’s agility and precision as much as they fear the reach of his intelligence.
  • Tim has had several costumes in both comics and animation that have dropped green out of the design, leaving red as a dominant visual. As stand alone designs, they were fine, but the color red just doesn’t suit Tim in my opinion. Tim is well-adjusted, centered, and cerebral–he’s much more of a green than a red. It’s those same attributes that lead me to assign him the vacant identity of Oracle.
  • The emblem on his chest is very similar to Barbara Gordon’s Oracle symbol, but modified to resemble the “face” that was often found on Batmobiles (and other Bat-vehicles) of the 40′s and 50′s, just as I did with the Red Hood’s emblem.
  • I always thought of Tim as being a little bit more “kung-fu” than the rest of the Batman family, probably because his early adventures and rogue’s gallery featured a lot of DC martial arts characters, so hopefully the costume reflects that.
  • Overall this costume is strongly based on his original Robin outfit, as a reminder that Tim will always be strongly associated with that alter ego, arguably more so than anyone else. While many “mainstream” fans of the Batman franchise will think of Robin as Dick Grayson, I think most actual comic readers think of Tim as Robin, and Dick as Nightwing. But I digress.
  • I purposely excluded visual nods to Tim’s current Red Robin costume–I actually like that costume a lot, but it always felt too reminiscent of Doctor Mid-Nite, and the emblem felt too reminiscent of Hawkman’s.
  • Tim’s signature close combat weapon (a bo staff) is now a hard light construct.

As you can see, I had a little bit more to say about Tim than Dick and Jason. Just around the time that I was really getting into comics, Robin #1 came out, and Tim quickly became one of my favorite characters. I think I followed Robin longer than any other monthly book.

(2 more missed posts to make up. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap up this series in the next few days and close out that debt! We’ll see…)

Sons of the Bat… Parts 1 and 2 (of 5)

I know, I’ve continued to be bad at updating my blog in a timely manner. However, at least this time I can say that it’s because I was actually drawing and coloring and I didn’t want to stop to write a blog post!

Today I’m presenting the first two parts in a series of re-designs of Batman’s many “sons.”

I’ve been thinking about Batman a lot since I watched The Dark Knight Rises (which I loved). My enjoyment of the movie really just led me down a path of remembering how much I love Batman and his extended ‘family.’ I started doodling Batman characters in my spare time, and it wasn’t too long before I started messing with their look.

My doodles started taking shape when I started to think of them as an assignment for a hypothetical cartoon series. These re-designs imagine a future timeline combining elements from the comic book continuity (pre-New 52) and the Bruce Timm animated universe. For context as to how far in the future this timeline exists–Damian Wayne is in his mid-20s. More on him in a future installment!

For now, let’s kick things off with Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing:

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  • Age: Late 30′s
  • Dick is the heart of the Batman family. He stepped out of Batman’s shadow with ease and confidence, and is his own man. Even-handed, approachable, and reliable, he’s a de facto big brother and field commander to the other heroes.
  • Color symbolism is very important in these costumes. I kept Dick in black, blue, and yellow, because it symbolizes that he’s completely graduated from Robin status, and he is truly Batman’s peer.
  • I brought the collar back as a nod to the first Nightwing costume, which was itself a nod to the Flying Graysons’ costumes. It’s a subtle reminder of Dick’s non-vigilante heritage.
  • Batman Beyond-style retractable wings allow for gliding.
  • Batons are hard light constructs which can materialize almost instantaneously.
  • The crescent eyes, scalloped wings/capes, and hard light weapons will be unifying motifs through out these re-designs. I definitely didn’t want to stray into the realm of matching uniforms for these characters, but I did want a few elements to tie everything together visually. Additionally, the wings and hard-light weapons are there to help push the idea that this is a future timeline.

Up next is the troubled Jason Todd, AKA Red Hood:

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  • Age: Mid 30′s
  • Whatever may have transpired in the past, Jason has found some degree of redemption and inner peace, and he’s now ‘back in the fold,’ as a trusted member of the Batman family. However, he’s definitely the “Wolverine” or “Raphael” of the group–a maverick who does what he sees fit and frequently comes in conflict with the others.
  • This probably doesn’t qualify as a re-design, really it’s just a minor tweak of the Frank Quietly-designed Red Hood costume. To me, the white, black, and grey represent the ill-defined boundary between right and wrong, which plays into Jason’s persona perfectly. The red symbolizes Jason’s connection to both the Joker and Robin, but also represents the violence in Jason’s life.
  • I did however change the emblem on his chest from a skull to a more abstract face. It’s meant to invoke the “face” that was often found on Batmobiles (and other Bat-vehicles) of the 40′s and 50′s. Just a little something to tie the design closer to Batman’s visual motifs.
  • In imagining a rehabilitated Jason Todd, his appropriation of the Joker’s former identity as Red Hood is even more powerful. I’ll probably always think of The Killing Joke as the definitive Batman story, so the poignant irony of Red Hood as a ‘good guy’ really strikes a chord for me.
  • His kris is a hard light construct, and a nod to his past connection to Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows. No longer armed with pistols, his holsters hold non-lethal weapons–perhaps a dart gun and a taser?

I should mention that the pieces in this series are colored with a Photoshop gouache brush setting that I picked up from an excellent tutorial on DeviantArt.

I’m having fun with these, so I hope you’re enjoying them as well, dear reader. I would say tune in again, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, but I’ve been posting so erratically, I can’t guarantee the time. But I guess it is the same Bat-channel no matter what. Listen, I’m over-complicating this. Just come back soon, okay? THANK YOU!

(These 2 drawings cover the end of last week and the beginning of this week. Still hanging in there at 2 missed posts, BUT, it looks like I’ll be able to zero out that deficit with the rest of this series. ALMOST THERE.)