Art, Art, and More Art: An Update

I had nothing planned to be written for today, so instead I’m going to share some of the sketches I’ve made and finished within the last few weeks. (Please click to enlarge them.)

Agents Sinclair and Galileya
Agents Sinclair and Galileya
Acrudon the Demon Lord
Acrudon the Demon Lord
Johnson & Sir extras have a chat.
Johnson & Sir extras have a chat.
Gestures and character concepts for new projects.
Gestures and character concepts for new projects.
Sketches I made at work in my spare time. Yes, they are drawn on the back of a coupon.
Sketches I made at work in my spare time. Yes, they are drawn on the back of a coupon.
Character designs I drew for a developing story.
Character designs I drew today for a developing story.

Plus, I’ve included some snapshots of current works in progress.

The comics are inked. Now for the color!
The comics are inked. Now for the color!

Oh! And I forgot to mention an illustration series I have on hold, called “Superhero Ladies.” I have at least this one finished, but the rest are sketches.

Number 1 in the series.
Number 1 in the series.

I’ll talk more about the series next week.

Also! I took the time to update the Commissioned Work if you would like to see some comics and other art I made for really swell folks recently.

What do you think? Plus, what do you like to sketch? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on Tuesday.

Old Art Canvas Collages

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of my day on something I mentioned in my previous post.

I took some canvas I bought, some old sketches from my high school days, and some Mod Podge, and I made collages.

Here are some photos of the final results.

2014-09-16 20.17.28 2014-09-16 22.09.54

I even have a few close ups of the first one…

2014-09-16 20.17.38 2014-09-16 20.17.43 2014-09-16 20.17.54 2014-09-16 20.17.47

And some close ups of the second one…

2014-09-16 22.10.00 2014-09-16 22.10.04 2014-09-16 22.10.18 2014-09-16 22.10.12

You may have noticed that there are smatterings of sketches of Kingdom Hearts or Hunter x Hunter characters in the collages. I’ll be talking about that in my next blog post.

So why did I do this?

Well, I didn’t want my old sketches sitting in a box being unused and unseen. I wanted to start making a large catalog of my art, so that the artistic transformation can be seen more readily.

As time goes by, every artist improves in their craft. I am no different. I look at these sketches, the first set dating to 2006, the second set dating to 2007, and I see such a huge difference between them and the art I make now.

I wanted these sketches up on collages to remind myself of how far I’ve come, and see the progress I have made.

I intend on making more collage pieces with my other older sketches. My goal is to make one collage for every year. That way the progress can be more noticeable.

But this is just a personal project.

For now, I still have a lot of freelance work to do, so it’s back to the drawing board with me.

So what do you do with your old sketches? How long has it been since you looked at them? What are your thoughts on your old work? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you on Friday.

Status Update On Some Works in Progress

When last I wrote, I talked about comics projects in progress. Before that, I wrote about paintings and other art projects in progress.

I got a chance to work on some of the latter ones recently, and I wanted to give you an update on how they’re turning out!

First, the painting.

painting work in progress

I wanted to fix the skin because it was coming out too dark for any of the shading techniques I wanted to use. This, so far, is closer to what I intend the final product to look like.

The dress is giving me a few problems. Pthalo Green is a stupid pigment to work with, especially when combined with Brilliant Blue. The Pthalo pigments always give me the most trouble. But I love the color the two combined makes, so I’ll just do the best with what I have.

I also need to fix her left shoulder because it’s off kilter.

Second, the colored pencil drawing.

roxie colored pencil art work in progress

Oh god the nose needs fixed now that I’m looking at it again.

I’m starting to add the darker tones now, to make the colors pop. I still want to push the colors and make them as vibrant as possible, and also have the shadows be something NOT black or muddy. So far I think this is working fairly well.

I just need to fix that nose. And a few other things. But mostly the nose.

There’s also a brand new project I want to do that I’m starting today.

It involves these canvases…


And at least half of a box full of old sketches. A lot of these date back to my high school days (oh god they look awful compared to now).

I intend on taking these sketches and a whole lot of Mod Podge to make collages on these canvases. I’ll post pictures as I work on them.

I might add on top of the collages once the old sketches are pasted on. Maybe I’ll paint some color into the sketches? Maybe I’ll draw on top of them? I haven’t decided yet. I’ll let it come to me as I work on it.

Also, I’m eternally grateful that my day job gives me discounts at the craft store. Not only that, but the Michael’s in my town is having a “3 for the price of 1” canvas sale (that’s why I got three canvases, as pictured above). Horray discounts!

So what personal projects are you working on? Let me know in the comments below! And also let me know in the comments what you think of these current works in progress.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

The Art of Chloe Rose

I don’t usually update on Mondays, but when I do, it’s for a friend.

Chloe Rose is not only a good friend, but a fabulous artist. So maybe consider this a bonus Favorite Artist Friday…on a Monday?

Anyway, to Chloe’s work, because it’s worth talking about.

chloe rose artsycloudypard frozen artwork
Chloe made this piece for the recent Toledo Art Walk.

She doesn’t have any webcomics out (yet), but the things she would perhaps be best known for are her fanart (on her Tumblr) and her concepts for her original work, Queen’s Heart.

For example, this is perhaps one of my favorite things she’s done with Queen’s Heart.

queen's heart by chloe rose

Yes, it’s unusually large, but look at it! The colors, the amazing lighting, the visual effects, all of it is still stunning. This was originally made to be a three- to four-foot tall poster as part of a show she exhibited at, and you can see why it needed to be so large: the dichromatic colors and the intense lighting demands to be seen on a larger scale.

Chloe and I actually did a few pieces together, as part of our doujinshi circle called “MACPILT.”

puella magi madoka magika macpilt art piece

fullmetal alchemist brotherhood macpilt art piece

We’re both huge fans of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and we wanted to make our tributes to such great characters, stories, and art.

While she does great work with character design and line quality, her best strength (in my mind) is her use of color.

Do you see the Madoka Magika piece above? With the five girls illustrated? That’s Chloe’s mad coloring skills at play. And she has only gotten better since then.

This lady knows how to blend colors, how to design characters with colors that highlight their personalities, how to make light and shadows mix well, and how to use color to show mood. She’s even taught me a few Photoshop tips and tricks, and flipping through her sketchbook always makes me try harder to use color.

She updates her art mostly on her Tumblr nowadays, so if you haven’t seen her other work, you should. She also recently got a Facebook page.

She’s also getting ready to go to grad school, starting this quarter. So, to help fund the effort, you can get either of the MACPILT prints by going to my online store. For September only, all sales from either of these prints will go straight to Chloe, to help pay for classes and things. After that the sales are split evenly between the both of us.

Thanks for reading! And I’ll see you all tomorrow, where I review one of the comics I got from Interventioncon.

How I Make Comics

validation webcomic comic panel

This post isn’t about the technical bits of how I make comics. I already talked about that in my step-by-step guide to making Johnson & Sir, and I also made one for Validation.

That’s not to mention the many tutorials online showing how to make comics, or the exercises in “Making Comics” by Scott McCloud or any number of books and classes that teach you the technical aspects of making comics.

Believe it or not, artists are very technical people.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not what I want to talk about today.

Today I want to answer a question-ish thing someone asked me via email recently.

The Question-ish thing goes:

I would be interested to know how you, as a cartoonist, work, or think about work.

The truth is, I don’t really think about work all that often.

Let me explain.

I am a creature of habit.

I have particular places where things go, how things are put into order, and I have a routine established for every day and every week.

I am super organized.

I set up routines so I don’t have to expend energy thinking of where everything is or what I have to do.

I can put all of my energy on making art.

Does that mean that comics-making and art are made into a routine?


In fact, my usual daily routine looks a little like this:

  • Wake up, shower
  • breakfast, make coffee or tea (depending on how much caffeine I need and what I’m craving)
  • sketch a warm-up piece
  • make comics
  • break for lunch
  • make more comics
  • done making comics, go to dinner
  • hang out with family
  • (sometimes) get writing done
  • BED!

There are changes sometimes. Like this week I ended my day before lunch and spent more time with my family. Playing board games, watching movies, what have you.

And one week my routine changed because of Phoenix Comicon (which, yay!).

Regardless, I always make time in my day to draw and make comics.

Now, making comics is a habit.

Anytime I break the habit, I am hyper aware and need to get back on track.

Making comics and art are skills, and they are skills that need to be practiced Every. Single. Day.

Just like writing. Or cooking. Or knitting (my goodness I haven’t knitted in a while).

So how do I make comics?

I make it a routine.

And it’s a routine I’m happy to keep.