Monday, November 30, 2009

Inker and Colorist!

We have our inker/colorist! His name is Matt Baker. This is the inked image of Vionne I did pencils for. The abs need a little fixing, but besides that I love what he's done with my art. The digitally colored version was only his "audition" for the job and the final color scheme will differ.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank you, Chicago!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the table this past weekend and made it so enjoyable for Kim and I. I've been coming to Wizard World Chicago since 2004 and since then it has been the event that my year revolves around. I won't be there next year because we'll be getting married that weekend, however I will let everyone know when I am heading to other conventions!

one of the commissions I did at the con, Batman as Green Lantern(he's a little squatty looking in this photo because the paper is on an angle, so I apologize. The original was proportionate).

There was a high demand for prints of this piece so I wanted to let everyone know that I will get prints made and I will let you know when they arrive. It should take about two weeks so keep watching for that post.

Sold- The Dark Avengers. A take on the cover to The Avengers #4 by Jack Kirby.

Thanks again, everybody!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Here's the latest character for the comic book "Disciple 6". In Vionne's previous life he was a knight who was murdered from behind, but can now create a bright blue "forceshield" out of his left forearm.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Behold, A Great Blue Dragon!

So let me explain. This is one of my favorites. I'm sure some people wonder what it is, or what the story behind it is. So allow me.
I call this "The Great Blue Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Light." It's a reimagining/copy of the painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun" by the poet William Blake. Blake painted it for a series of pieces based on the Book of Revelation. In particular, Revelation 12, which tells of the Great Red Dragon(or Satan) and the Beast from the Sea(or Anti-Christ).
I first saw Blake's painting in the movie "Red Dragon". The killer is obsessed with the painting and hears it speak to him. As soon as I saw the painting I loved it. And I know that it's primarily because of one reason. One compositional decision that, in my mind, creates the fear and the mystique. That fact? You don't see the face. Here's a painting that breaks basic artistic rules. The focal point is dead center and even appears to be completely symetrical. That same focal point has also, seemingly delibrately, turned his back to the camera. And yet it all works. I love that he could achieve that. What should be compositionaly boring becomes so dynamic that most people don't even notice the woman at the bottom of the piece.
And why do I love that the face goes unseen? Why do I feel it makes it that much more eerie? It keeps you guessing. You might wonder if it's fairly human like his legs. Or more reptilian like the tail and dragon wings. But in this guessing you start to imagine what it might look like and that can be the real horror. You might start to realize how many horrific faces you can create. You can make it as hellish as you can imagine. The fact that a piece can do that is what's fun and engaging to me.
So as for my painting. As soon as I left the theater I wanted to have a copy. I wouldn't really get around to it though until years later when I had a college watercolor course and we were assigned to copy an old masters work with our own twist on it. Perfect. Now, blue is my favorite color and I also love dragons(for a number of reasons; none of which are the band wagon reasons. I've liked them since I was very little before everyone had a dragon tattoo). So it only seemed logical to make mine blue as well as remove the religious symbolism of the original. I meant no disrespect to the original's Biblical roots. I hand drew it on a piece of watercolor paper. I did not project it. The copy I worked from was no bigger than half a sheet of computer paper. After it was all drawn out, I used watercolors to paint it, like the original. Finally I had my dragon.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Avengers

Here's my latest painting; the Avengers in their most current costumes. I chose to do these versions of the chararcters simply to show that I can stay current. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a comic purest and my favorite versions of superheroes are always their classic, most recognizable costumes. However, this is how they look now and in all honesty, I really like these updates of the heroes. They appear much more practicle and realistic. Especially Iron Man and Thor, in the sense that Iron Man's armor looks like it could bend and allow movement as well as protect and Thor looks more like a Norse god than somebody in bright bue tights.
I started by taking pictures of myself in each of their poses. I also took pictures of Marvel Select action figures of these characters in the same poses. Using these photos, I drew out each character, then took those drawings and projected them onto the plastic board and from there I painted them. I left Iron Man for last because I knew he'd be the most fun. It was awesome to draw myself and then draw the armor over me. I was rushed to finish this one but I'm quite happy with the outcome!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Current Project: Zacchaeus/the Rook

Here's a sketch of a character I'm designing for my friend and writer Matthew Rodriguez. This is Zacchaeus, the short guy from the Bible who climbed a tree to see Jesus. In the story he's become the sort of leader of a group of heroes in the very near future. For reasons I won't give away he's been around since the time of Jesus, has traveled the world, and has seen it develope into its current state. This is a sketch of what he will possibly look like; just a clothing test if you will. He will however usually wear the hood, have some sort of Native American bag around his waist, carry a staff, likely of African origin, and his weapon will usually be a khopesh, or sickle-sword.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Tribute to Pulp: The Shadow

Here's a painting I did at the end of last year. This is the Shadow, the pulp fiction character from 1930's novels and 1940's radio show. I do have prints available for sale. I love these pulp characters. I truly believe that comics, or more specifically, superheroes, are the mythology of America. When most people think of mythology they think of Greek mythology. So okay, if superheroes are the Greek Olympian gods (Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, and so on, all the big names we all know) then pulp characters are, as I see them, the Titans. The titans are less known by most people, but are still important. They were the parents of the Olympian gods. And like the way that the gods overthrew the Titans and came to dominate the world, so to have superheroes outgrown their predecessors to become dominate in the hearts and minds of the public.
But they owe a lot to their parents. They paved the way for superheroes. Their stories involved mystery, romance, science fiction, and magic, to name a few genres. Aspects of the Shadow were inspiration for the character of Batman. And another one of my favorite adventure heroes from this era, The Phantom, was the first to wear the now standard full-body spandex as well as the first to have the familiar "pupiless" eyes. So if you ever get a chance, look up some pulp characters. Don't let these characters fade away with time, but pay tribute to the Titans of American mythology.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prints for sale!

Here's a watercolor I did of Monroe Center in downtown Grand Rapids. I've sold the original but prints are available for sale. The image is roughly 18 x 24.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Let it begin!

So this is my first post. Here are some images of my art to get things started. I figure I'll start with some life drawings. You might ask why these when my main interest is in comic art. Well it's because I feel that to do any art successfully you have to have a good understanding of proportions, especially of the human figure. Even Picasso, whom many people think couldn't draw people well, could, in reality, draw very realistically. Like they say, you have to know the rules before you break them.