Friday, January 28, 2011

Muppet Secret Invasion!

I've had this comic for quite some time. I never could think of a neat enough idea to do it justice. It's for a good friend afterall, so I wanted it to be nice!

These sketch covers are something else...I feel like I have to wrestle it just to take ink! It looks like Marvel and all the other publishers would just print on standard bristol stock...y'know what comics are usually drawn on?! But no, these things are quite slick! That being said, I decided to just leave the pencile in for the background. I was afraid it would smudge all over, so there you go.

It's always daunting staring at a blank sheet of paper, let alone a sketch cover! Not like you can throw it away and grab a new one if/when you mess up! You just have to push through and finish. (sounds like I'm bracing you guys for a crappy cover huh?)

I typically draw out what I want to do first and then transpose it over to the sketch cover. That's how I did this one at last night's Sketch Charlotte meeting.

So here's the one I did for my buddy Brian Eison of the Dollar Bin. I hope you like it! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sketchercise - Music related art: Roy Orbison - part 4

Took a week to get through all the steps, scanning and posts, but here it is! I haven't worked like this in awhile. I used to use Photoshop a lot more than I do now,
but I find that the drawings lose some of their life and personality when manipulated digitally. Besides, whatever commission I've gotten havre called for the entire
process to be done on one sheet, so I didn't have the luxury of using Photoshop to help make up for my many imperfections!

I did some light touch ups around the hands and on his hair. I then added the gradient in two steps using all of the markers I have 10% - 90%. Not quite as good as I'd hoped or practiced, but I gotta
keep moving! I also added some greys to his glasses to help build the contrats for the piece (30% & 50% cool greys). I actually liked how that turned out!

step 3.0

I scanned it in this morning at 400 dpi and tweaked the brightness/contrast ever so slightly so as to not disprupt the gradients. I then went in with a burn tool and darkened everything up equally. I trimmed the edges arond the piece and there you have it!

step 3.5 - the final!

For the few who actually stayed with me or this I really appreciate it and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

See you next time!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sketchercise - Music related art: Roy Orbison - part 3

Getting close! This is the scan from where I redrew his right hand. I finally got it to where I don't hate it, so I decided to scan it and move on to the next step. These steps are taking anywhere from 10-30 minutes each, usually done over lunch. If not for this process blog I would have stopped or trashed it after the first step, but this has been pretty fun!

step 2.5

I'm going to print this one out and do a few touch ups. I may even re-do the gradient behind him just so that it's crisper. All the scanning & printing have degraded it down quite a bit. Then after that, it's on to the white acrylic splatter!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sketchercise - Music related art: Roy Orbison - part 2

Well after tweaking the brightness/contrast in photoshop it came to me that I was a few steps ahead of myself. It wouldn't looks right to go back in on a high contrast piece, so I went back to the original and cut out what I wanted to redraw and left the contrast alone.

step 1.75

I reduced it a bit to fit an 8-1/2" x 11 sheet and printed it out. I then went back in with a 4H pencil and drew the corrections. I used the same tools to ink these changes (Prismacolor pens, faber-castell big brush pen, prismacolor cool grey art markers) I then added a gradient behind his right hand.

step 2.0

I'm still unhappy with the right hand, so instead of adding in the white acrylic splatter I've decided to redraw the right hand first. Once I have it the way I want it I'll assemble it in photoshop, print it out and add the splatter...stay tuned!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sketchercise - Music related art: Roy Orbison!

Not sure if that's exactly what Seth chose for the topic, but that's the direction I was going! I decided to go with one of the bigger musical influences of my childhood: the Voice...the incomparable Roy Orbison! This was taken from the album cover art for his triumphant comeback "MYSTERY GIRL." For most people growing up it was the Beatles, Stones or Elvis...but in our house Orbison resonated the years of my childhood. The most amazing thing about it, no matter what age, what time period, his stuff holds up remarkably well!
This is part one of a 3-4 part process. This is the raw inks over my pencils. The next step is to clean it up a bit and add gray tones. And last, I'm going to add some white acrylic splatter to give it some atmosphere. I'll post each piece as they're complete. Hope you like, go listen to some Orbison! :)

Part 1.5
I scanned in the drawing at 300 dpi and took it into Photoshop (CS2). I then proceeded to bump the contrast levels up to get a darker, more solid black. After that I went in and removed the areas I didn't like. Specifically the hands/wrists. I tend to do a bit of contour drawing when I do hands and in this instance it wasn't a good thing. I want the drawing to balance out, and the simplicity of the face was being overwhelmed by the rendering of the hands & writs. I'll print this out and draw in the fixes over the weekend. (stay tuned!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What should I draw?

We started prep for the 5th volume of the Big Dog's Studio Presents Sketchbook this week! As mentioned earlier, we've added Henry "Oh the Humanatee" Eudy to the mix and this one promises to be the best and biggest one yet!

Here's where you come in...I hope! I've decided to start doing 20 minute sketches over my lunch break 2-3 times a week. Problem is, I always draw the same things! I was hoping for some creative suggestions to get me back on the sketching saddle...or even better yet, ideas for the book itself! If your suggestion leads to a sketchbook piece you'll get a free sketched copy of the 2011 version* (debuting at the 2011 Heroes Con)! You can post your suggestions here or fire me a gmail: BigDogsStudio. The more creative and unique the better, just please keep 'em clean!

*to be picked up at the show or mailed inside the continental US.

*edit - this post looked way too empty without a's a headshot and subsequent marker study I did of Swamp Thing at last week's Sketch Charlotte. Had an Art Adams drawing of ol' Swampy out on the table for reference, inspiration and and intimidation! :)

edit - quick sketch of Brave & the Bold Aquaman...all I had was a super-thick brush pen, so forgive the thickness please! Had fun with this one...I have plans for this style! Thanks B!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

LONG way to go...

I, like most people in the Carolinas, was iced in on Tuesday so I decided to try my hand at some watercolors. Keep in mind that I'm predominantly a black & white artist with minimal color background. (I haven't tried watercolor since I was about 12-13 years old!) I played it safe here with the hopes of something presenting itself in the process. The biggest lesson I learned this go around...your tools have a lot to do with the process. I had a really small brush trying to create large moving imagery that watercolor is known for on a 9 x 12 piece of paper. (mistake #1) Until I can get a few different sized brushes I've since decided to cut the paper down and work much smaller. We'll see how that goes! Until then, here's attempt #1 - Mike Mignola's Hellboy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A few things...

I should have posted something sooner, but the $5 art sale is officially over..thanks to everyone who participated! Even though the sale is over, most of the art posted here is for sale or trade. Especially if you have anything on my want list!

The holidays have come and gone and I managed to pick up some cool art supplies during the process, so hopefully there will be more art to share. Keep in mind I'm learning my way through some of this new stuff, so most of the stuff I'll be posting will be roughs, sketches and just plain bad art! :)

Before I go I also want to make a special announcement (made on twitter a few weeks back): Big Dog's Studio is proud to announce that the amazing Henry Eudy will be joining Terence, Mark and me in the 2011 Big Dog's Studio Presents sketchbook! Henry is bringing a tremendous amount of craft and class to the sketchbook and we're all a little giddy to have him aboard! Head over and check him out and welcome him into the fold: