December 23, 2009

Vectoons Three Through Five (one of them is a plate of cupcakes)

Yeah, I mean it's actually a plate of cupcakes, not a vector of a plate of cupcakes. Yesterday I didn't have time to do a vector because I was making those, and then we went to the NYC ASPCA and got ourselves a cat--the subject of the third vector. And the first was inspired by a shop between the apartment and the subway stop, where they sell some seriously bright wigs. I would look odd in one.

December 19, 2009

Vectoon One (Xanthe)

So, I'm embarking on a little mini-project for myself over winter break. You see, I rarely draw much over breaks, and that is a real shame. But I also won't have a scanner, so I can't practically sketch-and-scan while I'm gone. So I've decided to do a little vector-cartoon (or Vectoon, if you like) every day while I'm on break. They may be incredibly simple. They may come from my sketchbook, or they may not. This one didn't, I just kinda winged it.

I like working in vectors, but it's hard to make flat shapes distinct, so this will also further my goal of developing a worthwhile and useful working style in vectors that will be entirely my own. Commentary on these pieces will be greatly appreciated, as vectors are eternally editable and these will mostly be simple enough to really get into some in-depth tweaking on. Be brutal.

First up is one of my DnD characters, probably the first of several to be done this way. This is Xanthe, who holds a special place in my heart; she's a centaur, duh, level 12 equivalent. Mostly ranger with her last level in barbarian, hence the sudden switch to breastplate armor.

December 16, 2009

Tatanka (modified munny)

Yes! I even did an art final for Toys! He's been in the works a long time, too, but I'm proud to unveil my newest vinyl toy... Tatanka! He started life as a mini munny. I chopped him in half (his back legs are the original munny legs, I sculpted the front ones), pounded nails into his head, and boiled him in a pot of water in five-minute increments. I may post some in progress pictures later on, but for now I want to get him out there in all his native american biker glory! Materials include Super sculpy, Katsilk saran hair (original brunette color), Model Master acrylic paints, and Testor's enamel paints.

The Crane Wife

I only got three prints done, but I had a lot of planning work behind my book project. So here's what I turned in at the final; three prints, two of them in page mock-ups along with the little page number illustrations that no one understood until I did these pages in full. There are little errors here and there, but I'm happy with the images and I think the book as a whole has a lot of potential.

Senior Thesis Finals

I think I posted one of these in progress...? Well, these are the finals. The only final pieces I have coming out of my first semester--though I did seven pieces' worth of work. The first three, you see, I drew, digitally painted, made backgrounds for.... and then scrapped everything except the linework. I wasn't happy with the way they were coming out, and knew that for both my portfolio and myself I needed to be truly proud of the finished work. So I started over. I used the same lines, but the second time through I treated each creature to a lot more hand work. I did all the rendering with a pencil and a magnifying glass--no lie! They're all fully furred where appropriate, it's just hard to see at this size. The prints are gorgeous. The backgrounds were completed on separate pages, also in pencil, and then everything was compiled and given flat colors in photoshop. The result? Something I'm proud to call my work.

Illusionism Final

This is a companion piece to the one I posted before I fell off the earth, which I completed as my final project for Illusionism. Usually I only go through a few sketches before I find the piece I want to finish, but this was a special case. The composition and idea came out in the first sketch, but it took 23 pages of drawing before I got the pose down to convey what I wanted through body language. Thankfully, if anyone in my class didn't get remorse from the figure, they didn't say anything.

Finals: Seminar

WOW, I'm terrible at updates this semester! Due to it coming to and end, though, I finally have time to post all the things I've been neglecting to post. First up will be all my finals--these are my business card, short bio, and letterhead designs from my Senior Thesis Seminar. I'll be uploading all my finals work over the next few days, so keep an eye out!

September 29, 2009

Further Illusions

More from Illusionism! The drawing on the left was a one-night in class exercise about the appearance of volume, in preparation for this week's model session. Mine got picked as one of the ones that looked most round, though I kinda cheated by picking a real light source.

Next, the two week drawing that proceeded it. While doing the Dallas Allegory for homework, this trompe l'oeil was our in class work. I themed it around Meg and my anniversary, which was coming up with gleeful speed when I started the drawing. Both of those are graphite.

So this week, the homework was to start a piece that contrasts illusionistic volume against something else--so I thought to myself, what is the absolute opposite of shaded, volumetric drawing? The answer was obvious. Nothing can be flatter than flat vector cartoons. Nothing. So this is the halfway point; the flat is done, and the space is there for a volumetrically shaded Dunny toy in the foreground! That'll be my task next week.

September 22, 2009

Dallas Allegory

This new tablet (Intuos4 Medium) is amazing. And it's really late at night. And that's all I have to say right now, ask specific questions if you want more and I'll answer them when I'm awake again.

September 14, 2009

I am not the walrus

Waistcoated Walruses Walloping a Wastrel.
Quick getting-to-know-eachother assignment for The Illustrated Book--create and illustrate an amusing 4-word alliteration. Hooray!

I actually don't have anything more to say about this piece. Watercolor and graphite, still planning to tweak a little in photoshop to push the bricks back, but overall I'm very happy. I think walruses should always have mutton chops and waistcoats.

September 10, 2009

Mantyger/Satryal Sketch

First sketch for Senior Thesis! My plan is to illustrate ten (for the semester) of the craziest creatures in medieval heraldry, working on two digital paintings for each three-week block. I'm also working now on the Enfield Beast, but I don't have a sketch I'm happy with yet for that one, so I'm letting it sit on the back burner while I finish out this guy, who I'm totally crazy over. Going to lightbox him to a tight pencil drawing, then scan that in to spend many many hours paying digital homage to the image. The plan is full color figure, but no background--in the sensibility of the naturalist drawings of the 1700s. Fun times?

September 8, 2009

First Illusionism drawing!

Ah, September. Time for classes! I'm really excited about all my classes this year, but Illusionism is the lucky class to have the first finished drawing I can post, so I'm talking about it first. It's all about fooling the eye; making things look real, or right if they're just not real. The first thing we did was spend 4 hours drawing ripped up pieces of paper, which I won't post, but then we got to apply the skills to a more interesting assignment for homework. We had to take a drawing we already had--in my case, a sketch I spent some time finishing, since I don't do many physical media drawings that would work for this--and make it look interrupted and/or disturbed in some way. I chose Edo-Period Kyu because I like it, so there. There are no actual rips, folds, or disturbances of any kind in this paper. Everything that looks wrinkled was drawn in, painstakingly, with a pencil and a brush of graphite powder. It's a completely smooth sheet of paper, I promise.

Fun stuff? Check it out full size to see the effects up close. (also, in the upper left, an unflattering sketch of Zach without his glasses. He's as blind as I am without them)

July 30, 2009

Enfield Beasts and Pilot Dolls

Just some works in progress, really... But at least progress is happening? First, the logo/tattoo design? for a sort of mini-project I've been dreaming up, called Pilot Dolls. It's really more of a steampunk and costume design concept than anything, but if Pilot Dolls were being marketed, this would be their logo.

Then, in preparation for thesis, I've been doodling Enfield Beasts at work. The original sketch is about 1.5"x2.5", and then I digitally inked it in Sketchbook Pro 2.0, which is a beautiful little program. There's another one in the composition, but for now I wanted to post the one I do have inked.

June 5, 2009

Moonface WIP

My work always slows down over the summer, even when I try not to let it. I won't be posting much, probably, but I want to do what I can. As seems to happen a lot, my inspiration is my muse/character, whom I call Moonface. Her head/face are generally the same, and she has the same feeling, but I don't know what her real anatomy is--she started out as just an odd girl with antlers. I like to draw her, for whatever reason.

And if there's one good thing to come of the "Mijn Schatje (real name Marie Blanco Hendrickx) is an unoriginal lying art thief" issue going on now, it's that it makes me want to work more in illustrator to prove that people who aren't crappy rip-offs can do some cool stuff with the program. So far, so good? I'm really learning a lot about the program, and that's saying something, because I think I already knew a lot about it.

The drawing also includes her lower body and legs, and a balloon with a fish in it, but I haven't finished overlaying the basic shapes for those. Bonus! A closeup of the face and hand, both of which I think are done. Might add a couple extra colors.

May 7, 2009


IT IS DONE. Yes, that's right, I mean what I say; I do have a critique tomorrow, but all of my work for this semester is finished! I printed the god-portraits today, and believe you me; they are absolutely STUNNING at 17" tall.

In celebration, I give you the final of the four; Hieroneous! Hieroneous is the lawful good god of law, order, and valor. Sounds good, right? In practice, he's a good god, but a harsh master. Everything is very black and white to his followers, who include a lot of paladins and clerics, and if you're not fully and properly holy.... You're pretty much dead. They will eradicate scum like you. I wanted to show the duality of a very holy and yet very menacing figure; inspired by medieval saints, his banner impales a tiny demon to show triumph over evil, and the six wings allude to the Seraphin who directly guard the throne of god in christianity. His armor is my own invention, based on full plate mail.

As a bonus, here's the whol group as I printed them, fully complete with all edge treatments and adjustments.

May 4, 2009

Olidammara and Hextor

Forgot to post Olidammara when I finished him, so here's both at once! Olidammara is the trickster god of rogues and bards. It's been a while since I actually did that one, so I don't have a whole lot to say. I really love some things about him, but am pretty ambivalent about others. Not my favorite, but not bad, either.

Hextor, on the other hand.... He's the god of tyranny, chaos, and evil things like that. This was somewhere in the realm of 12-15 hours in photoshop after the drawing was done. Pretty much a straight shot, too. I started yesterday afternoon and finished at 7am today. Hextor is specified as having 6 arms, and is traditionally made to look like some sort of goblin or big blue orc-thing. I wanted to go more of an oni-inspired direction, because I think it's visually more interesting and it'll give him and his brother Heironious a much more east-vs-west contrast in the end. Not all of his armor is Japanese inspired, for the sake of aesthetic chaos, but the over all shape is based off of a ronin type of costume. The arrows are because his symbol/insignia is a fist holding six really evil-looking arrows.

April 22, 2009


Dear Tawny; This is a page of legs :D

April 15, 2009

Ehlonna (DnD Goddess)

First of a series of five for my final project in Concepts 2; my self-designed project is to illustrate a selection of the deities from the Dungeons and Dragons universe in the tradition of medieval saint icons and images.

Here we have Ehlonna, the neutral good goddess of the woodlands. She represents balance, peace, and the natural world, uninterrupted. According to the Player's Handbook (I'm not looking at the deities book for this project, so as not to color my interpretations), her worshipers include elves, half-elves, rangers, druids, and those who live or make their livings in the woods. For this piece I chose to represent her as a traditional medieval hermaphrodite, an allegorical figure that represent balance by showing a single being that contains the range of human features. The hermaphrodite of this type of imagery has essentially two complete bodies, one male and one female, connected somewhere in the vicinity of the hip or ribcage. They're usually accompanied by other symbols of elements in balance, like the sun and moon, water and fire, or predators and prey at peace. I chose to take a light palette for this, along with simple costuming, to give the impression of light and purity. The backlighting was tricky to paint, but I wanted to give the figure a sense of luminescence even though technically the 'halo' is the light source. The textures applied to this are a collage of my own creation, which includes several prints of actual medieval images and a free texture from bittbox.

April 14, 2009

Edo-era Kyu

He's not my character, but I sure enjoy drawing him XD This is Kyu, my girlfriend's Fox/kitsune character, in a largely invented but Edo Period inspired outfit. Comes complete with cloudfeet and smirk! I did touch up the purple a bit in photoshop, but otherwise this is unedited watercolor :)

Cute animals and a guy from the market

Just wanted to post a little, though there's nothing too significant today--just two little creatures I doodled and liked well enough to finish, and one sketch from Visual Journalism, which is a class I need to post more work from. He was drawn from life, while we talked about art school and tattoos, at the market near Johns Hopkins Hospital. Today I spent my life on a sweet watercolor, so that'll be posted tomorrow or after, once I've gotten to a scanner.

Also, if you haven't done so already, I implore everyone to check out my website ( for the massive gallery update and fixed up coding :D

April 2, 2009


Just practicing my digital painting techniques.... Warming up to maintain a consistent style for the next five weeks during my final projects for Concepts. I'll probably post my last concepts piece soon--I just haven't resized it anywhere between full print resolution and the tiny one on my website--speaking of which, , check it out--very updated. Lots and lots of new images, many featured here but not all, and the lightbox code is working in full at last. Feedback always appreciated.

March 10, 2009

War Pig--Toy time!

My info/blurb on this blog has always mentioned that I like/collect/paint vinyl toys, but I've never actually shown one of my toys here. This is in part due to my laziness with unfinished projects; I have a Baby Qee I've been intending to paint for ages, and my brass-look Munny/Qee hybrid is still not quite up to my satisfaction. But it's also because I often forget to photograph things like this well. So here's my trying to change that, with some good, detailed shots of my newest finished toy.

I call him War Pig. He's painted on a 4" Flying Fortress Teddy Trooper DIY blank, using aircraft and model paint, Tamiya enamel, and chalk pastels.

February 28, 2009

Armor Designs! (and a portrait)

Have I mentioned often enough how big a dork I am for DnD? Now, I've been designing armor for both of my active characters. Arella is a Tiefling with levels in fighter and Bloodhound, and she wears leather armor and is armed with a falchion; Xanthe is a centaur (clearly) with levels in Ranger and Barbarian, and she wears breastplate armor with her dire flail. I think Arella is more or less as she'll stay, but I'm probably gonna try some quick digital painting on Xanthe.

Doctor Otani, on the other hand, is my Personal and Abnormal Psychology teacher, and a really cool, sweet guy who asked me to draw him. He wanted a copy (print) of it, too, so let's hope that giving him that helps with my midterm!

February 25, 2009

Painted and printed and DONE

Now that I've got the prints in hand, properly adjusted, and ready for friday, I figured I'd go ahead and post this. I did do a few last adjustments after this version, but only minor edits to enhance the print quality, so this is essentially how it looks. I'd say this was about.... 2 hours on the pencils, and 12 on the digital painting. All photoshop, no unusual brushes or imported textures. Just me and mah round brush, on the tiniest tablet in the world.

February 22, 2009

Me, not procrastinating? How strange!

Check it out! This isn't even due until friday! I'm really pumped up about this piece right now, I've been working on it all day.