Saturday, December 18, 2010

Watercolor Life Drawings - 12.17.10

Visited the Palette and Chisel again and got some more little life drawings done. I was not attempting to get a likeness by any means, as the poses are far too quick to do so, but these are more studies in light, tone and shadow. It's always good to work from a model.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life Drawing at the Palette and Chisel - 12.10.10

These are a few of the recent life drawings I have done at the Palette and Chisel in Chicago during their open life drawing sessions. I have been wanting to do some more watercolor and pencil work like this since my sophomore year in college where my wonderful instructor Mat Barber-Kennedy exposed me for the first time to this technique and way of working with the figure. I hope I can get up there more often and really improve this.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TaTa Gala Final Image: "Firemane"

This is my final painting for the 2011 TaTa Gala exhibition. All proceeds from the gala go to benefit various breast cancer charities. October is breast cancer awareness month and I was very glad to do my part for the cause...

Save the tatas!

Friday, October 8, 2010

TaTa Gala - Inks

This is the inked version of my pervious post. The original work is done in Copic sepia pens so that when I paint it the line is less distracting than the dark black mark of a traditional ink line. I've done this in the past and the results are fantastic. When I scan these sepia lines I opt to make them as black as I can so if I decide to digitally paint this one as well, I have a crisp black line to work from.

Next step is the watercolor flats. I'll try to take photos of the painting process as I go along.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TaTa Gala - Pencil Stage

This is going to become my entry for the Ta Ta Gala exhibition. The Ta Ta Gala is an artistic event geared at raising money for breast cancer research and support.

This stage is my pencil work on Arches 140 lb. watercolor paper. Next step is to ink it using my Copic sepia pens.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Little Devils" Companion Series

These paintings are the complete companion set to my twenty painting series titled "The Devil's Cup."

Each painting was done on a 6"x6" aquaboard panel. Once completed, each panel was triple coated with Lascaux Fixative and then triple coated with water-based spray polyurethane for a glossy finish and ultra-permanent protective cover.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Hollow Project

This is a postcard I was hired to design for a new event coming in 2011 called The Hollow Project. It's basically an event that focuses on women's issues of self-esteem and eating disorders and creates a night of inspiring music and real, honest conversations about the issues women face today.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I've been into these sketch cards since my WWC booth and want to have a whole bunch to sell next con. Here's one of my current favs. Death is one of the Endless, Neil Gaiman's characters from the Sandman series.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Zombie Hulk

Here is a crop of my Zombie Hulk I did at the Chicago Comic Con. I wish I had a better photo of it, but this'll work. The anatomy of the arm on the left is off, but I like it either way. The drawing had the anatomy nailed down, but when I started painting it it went south a bit - not that it bothers me at all. I enjoyed doing it and my client totally loved it. At the end of the day, that's all that matters!

Post-Comic Con Sketches and Debrief

The Chicago Comic Con was a blast. As I write this I am recovering from an exhausting weekend of meeting, greeting, sketching and painting. Whew....

I was attempting to take photos of all the random assortment of things I was doing throughout the weekend but only got a small spattering of things. I did tons of sketch cards for people - some of which I did some Copic marker work on and some that were just pencils. I did a few paintings, one of which was a Zombie Hulk for an awesome guy who actually was working for Marvel Zombies cover artist Arthur Suydam. Wow. Talk about intimidating - painting a zombie for the assistant to THE zombie artist. I got to meet Arthur and everything in the process. He's a fantastic guy.

Thanks to everyone who came out and made year 2 for me at the Con a fantastic and killer experience. I will be seeing you there again next year as well as a few more cons across the country! Look out NY - here I come!

Here are an assortment of sketch cards I had drawn in between commissions and sketches for people. I had them sitting on the table and people would see these and want me to make one for them....

A Batman sketch card I did for the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Organization - they auction off artist cards and the proceeds benefit children with Cancer.
Ichigo from Bleach. I had no idea who this guy was but did a quick google search for the kid who requested him and did up a quick pencil and marker sketch card for him. He loved it. Yippie ^^

Friday, August 20, 2010

Potential Re-Working

As my mind was reeling from the day's events at WW/CCC I was thinking about my older image of Death here. It, much like my image of Dream, felt elusively unfinished. I decided to add some text like I did with Dream and came up with this re-working of the original. Let me know what you think - I am curious to see if you like it. The original is the exact same image just without the text....

Wizard World / Chicago Comic-Con: Day 1 Report

Today started out on a bad note.

I don't want you to think it was anyone's fault but my own. I was the idiot in this situation who forgot to check out the actual opening time for the convention. In past years, it always opened at 10am on Friday morning - advance ticket holders got in at 9:30am as a perk. I assumed that his was still the case. The Con has a policy of releasing your table to anyone who wants to have a booth should you not be fully set-up a full 30 minuted before doors open - so I arrive in plenty of time. In fact, I made sure i overkilled the time I needed. I arrived promptly at 7:45am. I was amazed at the lack of traffic and people attending the convention. Even as I paid for my parking and made my way down that loooooooooooooong corridor from the garage to the convention center and arrived in the main exhibition hall that there was really no one but a few volunteers and some staff members. No attendees. No people in costume. No one. Ok.... no one except a rather friendly group of Muslims attending their convention just upstairs from the comic book convention in the main hall. Someone even mentioned that there was a Dianetics convention in another wing of the building, but I cannot confirm or deny that....

I went to the artist alley registration line and asked the person there if I could get my packet and begin my setup. The doughy man looked blankly at me and informed me that I could not - not until 9am.


I looked at my watch and contemplated exactly what I would be doing for the next hour and fifteen minutes as I impatiently awaited the arrival of 9am. Eventually, my partner in crime Andy Evans ( arrived and we passed the time talking to a pleasant guy from Iowa. 9am rolled around and we got the packet and meandered our way off to find our booth and claim our rightful place as almighty artists - or at least a few guys hoping someone would just buy our stuff.... At this point we set up all of our stuff and I have a moment to breathe (as if I didn't have all the time in the world to do this while waiting earlier...) and looked at the program to see what time this party was getting kicked off.... my watch was reading 9:15 am.....

The convention started at 12-noon.


After sobbing openly for a few humiliating moments, Mr. Evans and I took a (very) leisurely tour around the nearly silent convention center looking at artists' booths and commenting on the work we liked and also didn't care for - you know, typical artist crap. After killing enough time, we headed back to our booth and settled in for the grueling 12-8 convention day.

We met all kinds of cool people and some you would more likely consider douche-bags. Andy sold some prints and I did some drawings for people. One guy had me draw him a picture of Hellboy all zombie-fied and another guy had me draw him a picture of Jedi Quinlin Voss from the Star Wars comics. I must say, drawing Voss was fun and it turned out really cool. The fellow who I drew it for was super cool. He said he'd stop back on Sunday when he returned for that day.

All in all it was a fun day - really inspiring, but really draining. Tomorrow Andy and I are going to see what kind of mischief we can get ourselves int0 (and hopefully out of too...) and go on a photo scavenger hunt. We might even have an "out-geek the other" competition.

I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is the final version with text. It'll be available at Wizard World 2010 (otherwise known as the Chicago Comic Con) at my booth.

After the long battle, I like the way it turned out but I would probably do things completely different next time around. Coloring the line art rather than keeping it black (as I usually do) is new for me and took a long and hard learning curve to get it right. It's not all there, but it's satisfactory for me. My next image I will start out that much farther ahead of where I am now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Africana marks the beginning of the second half of my series titled "The Devil's Cup." This painting as well as the following nine paintings will each contain coffee in their paint as to further tie in the symbolism of each piece and to make it that much more unique.

I made a pot of french-pressed coffee and upon finishing the pot I poured the dregs into a small bowl and allowed it to reduce a bit (allowing the water to evaporate naturally.) After it reduced, the concentration of the remaining coffee was darker and more syrup-like which was perfect for painting. I then tried directly painting into the painting with the coffee as well as mixing it into the other colors to enhance their color and texture.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Emma Print - WiP 2

My next step up from my last image is the addition of some hard edged shapes to Emma's costume and turning the black ink lines to a blue hue. I also re-touched the hair from the last version, completely deleting the old stuff and re-creating something else. I'm still not all that happy with it. Something is really bugging me about it but I don't know what...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Emma Print - WiP

This is the stage my 3rd print for Wizard World Chicago is at. I am trying a few new techniques out on this, so it may not succeed the way I want it to, but you don't get an omelette without breaking a few eggs, or so they say....

I'll try to post the stages as they progress. If I forget somehow, please forgive me!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Wizard World Chicago 2010 Print - 2 of 4

Here's my second print for Wizard World Chicago. Thanks to all those that voted for this one on my Facebook page. I really appreciate all the help. It was an obvious victory for this one.

I've adjusted the size and played with the hue and saturation of the text to get it to be a bit more red in the halftone dots - they were a bit too dark brown for me an wanted to bring out their red hues. This is much much better for me.

Sydney - Three Variations

I am trying to finalize this image as my second print for Wizard World Chicago, yet I cannot decide which one I like. Each one has it's merits, yet I am undecided as to which one to make the final version. Please help me and tell me if you like 1, 2 or 3 best.

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wizard World Chicago 2010 Print - 1 of 4

I did this illustration a while back, but left the top open for typography; something I never did add. I wanted to re-visit this image for my upcoming appearance at Wizard World Chicago. I added the text and I quite like it. This will be one of four available prints all selling for $5 - hopefully someone will buy it....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"She's Asking Nicely"

Initially, I was boycotting BP for the Gulf disaster, but then a friend of mine passed this article along to me from the Daily Finance website ( and I decided to take another course of action. This might be a bit more than anyone wants to take, but it is really the only reasonable option out there for voicing our outrage with BP.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Gold Coast" - 6.22.10

Gold Coast is not a specific region where coffee is grown, but a sophisticated blend of coffees into a superbly bold brew named for the wealthy areas in our cities - the Gold Coast.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Espresso" - 6.21.10

While espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than most beverages, compared on the basis of usual serving sizes, a 30 mL (1 fluid ounce) shot of espresso has about half the caffeine of a standard 180 mL (6 fluid ounce) cup of drip brewed coffee, which varies from 80 to 130 mg,[1] and hence a 60 mL (2 oz) double shot of espresso has about the same caffeine as a 180 ml (6 oz) cup of drip brewed coffee. In coffee brewing terms, espresso and brewed coffee should have the same extraction (about 20% of the coffee grounds are extracted into the coffee liquid), but espresso has a higher brew strength (concentration, in terms of dissolved coffee solids per unit volume), due to having less water.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Peaberry" - 6.19.10

This coffee is distinctive in both its shape and flavor. As the name implies, peaberries are small, pea-shaped beans. While the unusual rounded shape of the beans gives New Guinea Peaberry its name, the unique flavor comes from its origin country. This is a medium-bodied coffee with a pleasing tanginess and distinctive herbal flavor.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Sanani" 6.16.10

Called qahwah in Arabic, the beverage became known as qahvay in Turkish, and as its popularity mounted around the rest of Europe, terms like café and coffee caught on.

Seeking the treasures of the East, like spices and fine coffee, Dutch traders set up exporting enterprises on the Red Sea in the 1600s. Bags labeled “Mocha” were soon making their way to Amsterdam and eventually to Parisian coffee shops, where mocha coffee became a sensation in the mid 1700s. This exceptional coffee became the drink of choice for French Enlightenment writers like Rousseau and Voltaire as well as royals like Napoleon Bonaparte and his fashionable and sophisticated wife, Josephine.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Columbian - 6.9.10

Columbian - as in the coffee from Columbia. I have a friend who is Columbian, and she was telling me that her mother used to put coffee in her bottle as a baby when she fed here along with the milk. She said her mother told her that it was a cultural norm for mothers to do that. No wonder the Columbians are so jittery!

I finished this yesterday (6.9) even though I didn't post it until today. Sorry for the lack of update!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sidamo - 6.8.10

Sidamo. Named after the wonderful Ethiopia Sidamo coffee. Ethiopia is also the birthplace of coffee. Just FYI.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Open Your Eyes - Final Image

This is the final version of the image complete with text. I am sorry about the lack of updating the various stages with this piece, but there were many different alternate color choices and at one point I had various recognizable icons representing various media outlets and brands connected to the tendrils coming out of the young lady's head. The concept as you can read in the image is the breakdown of community due to spending excessive time in media devices. The original article I read was from Adbusters a month or so ago - more likely 2+ months ago now - and it detailed in much more sophistication this issue. It also posited some ways in which one could start reversing these breakdowns such as reading books, going outside and spending time in nature, talking face to face with another individual in meaningful way, making eye contact while talking, etc. Basically, acting like a human being. Electronic devices are deceitful and rob us of our humanity when we spend several hours a day in them. I think it's time to unplug.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Sumatra" - 6.1.10

Sumatra: a large island in Indonesia, southwest of the Malay Peninsula. Also a type of coffee that is earthy and very bold. Pairs well with toffee or caramel. Please, only drink it black.

Monday, May 31, 2010

WIP - 5.31.10

WIP of a current project on the concept of "community." Mine deals with the breakdown of community when people spend most of their time dwelling in electronic devices like computers, phones, texting, internet, etc. The girl in the image who is partially drawn is plugged into several devices via the tendril-like cables plugged into her head.

Coffee Painting 5.31.10

Today's offering is titled "Leaded" - a reference to the way Patrick Swayze took his coffee in the movie Road House. Since I'm planning on painting a ton of these, I need to get really creative with names.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Coffee. I drink a lot of it. I mean a LOT of it. Since I'm usually drawing, painting or thinking about doing that whilst holding a cup of the wicked brew, I thought I'd paint them. Everyday (or nearly so) as my warm up time in the morning I'll paint another one. Hopefully I'll have enough someday to have a friggin' show of all my coffee time warm-up paintings. Original idea? No. Fun? Yup!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I've been looking at the works of Erik Jones a lot recently and was inspired by his piece called "Hair." This little piece was fun and is one of the rare times I really use mixed media. This on was done in Golden's fluid acrylics, watercolor, ink and a little matte medium to seal it all up. I'm working on a series of these girls and hair images.