Friday, October 7, 2011

Epic Triptych of Friendship - My Little Pony Style

I split the main cast of 6 into their species subset (unicorn, pegasus, earth ponies) and added one of my favorite background characters to each also – then paired them with the fitting military branch (yeah that makes unicorns = navy, I don’t know it made more sense when I was sleep deprived)

Earth Ponies: Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Hoity Toity doing the tank thing on land

Pegasus Ponies: Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Derpy in the sky

Unicorn Ponies: Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and DJ Pon-3 at sea

I have no idea if the voters will be nearly as amused as I, but whatever at least my Epic Triptych of Friendship is complete.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pegasus Bombers

What happens when Hasbro teams up with the Bronies and Pegasisters?



A while back I blogged about the new My Little Pony Friendship is Magic show. For those who havn't seen it, it is one of those kids shows that does a good job of walking the wink*wink*nudge*nudge* line that draws in older viewers.

I just entered my first design into the contest, the voting doesn't start till the end of the month, so maybe I'll try doing a couple more entries if I have time :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GCU, and Color Techniques

Quick update on my online greeting card store, Kilter Cards. One of the things I like about selling through Greeting Card Universe is that they have such a wide variety of cards. If a customer can’t find the card they're looking for (no matter how specific the topic) it will be presented to those GCU artists who want to give designing one a go.

I’ve had a lot of fun trying out new designs for customer requests (so far I have done 3 of these) it has made me really stretch my wings. It’s also nice that on a more specific request you're getting the key to a subject that there are buyers for, but very few cards (ie way less competition for sales). I’m pretty excited about a recent card I made for one of these:

Yes, a Cthulhu Christmas card, wonderfully ridiculous :P

Part of what made this so fun for me is that I’ve been trying out a new technique. First I draw and ink the piece, and then I color it by hand (I’ve been using watercolor pencils). But instead of using the final tones I want for the piece I use the complementary colors. As you can see in the original artwork.

In Photoshop I change to color using the Hue/Saturation, and then tweak the tone using the Selective Color. I’ve found that modifying the colors to their opposite digitally, and then upping the saturation give this really playful feel to the final tones (and a lot more room for modifying the color range).

I’ve been having a lot of fun messing around with this. It’s the same coloring technique I’ve been using on the comic book I’m working on. I think the reason I enjoy it so much is becuase it walks that balance of traditional hand art and digital that I love.

And quick preview for those who care:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Indy Comic Scene

I attended a meetup for comic writers and artists in the area. It was incredible (and kind of intimidating looking at the skill level of the artists there). Everyone was super kind and gave helpful critique.

I brought vs. 1 with me, and have since made changes based on their advice (final vs). It was really exciting being surrounded by so many creative people, I knew there was a indy comic scene in my area, but this is the first time I've met anyone else doing their own comics. This whole time I've felt like I keep aimlessly drawing for myself and it was really inspring getting to see artists who are putting their work out there. I can't wait to make it to another meeting (after my trip). I've been trying to get some work done so I'll have a few pages to bring.

Here are some of the other artists who attended:

The Chairs

Eventy Seven

Jumbo Deluxe


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Kitty and the Mashed Potatoes

GCU (where I recently started selling cards), are having a kitty blogging challenge. It inspired me to recount a cooking adventure I had recently with the "help" of my wild kitty.

Sulu was a rescued feral kitten, found (thank goodness) by someone who socializes them so that they can be adoptable. While he now is a content house cat, harness trained and happy to bound on a leash when we go on walks – he still has a wild streak and street smarts that help him with his love for causing trouble.

One day, after working an early shift at work I decided what I really needed was some mashed potatoes (seriously, I may as well have been a zombie chanting BRAINS, because all I could think about was MASHED POTATOES all day). Since I knew what an ordeal it would be, I decided to make the largest batch I could, so I could eat it all week.

Once home (after stopping by the grocery store to buy a huge bag of potatoes) I began the slow process of peeling them all. My kitty, sat next to his bowl (still half full) and screamed his little mews that said he wanted some of whatever it was I was making. When this did not draw my attention he played with some of the stray potatoes peels that had not made it into the garbage.

Living in a certain humble means, I have not yet bought a mixer (though I occasionally webserf KitchenAids with the same fixed attention as my cat when he stalks his stuffed mouse). So, I use a hand blender. While these work fine for pureeing soup, they are not ideal for mashed potatoes, not only taking an extensive amount of time – but it gives the mashed potatoes an off texture that is too thin and smooth. To create the ideal mashed potatoes I hand mash half of it, and then mix it with a batch that was pureed. Seriously did I mention mashed potatoes are a hassle to make?

During the three hours it took to finish making the potatoes my cat had become resigned to the fact I was ignoring him. No longer pacing at my feet or attempting to jump on to the counter to “help,” he flopped on to one of the kitchen chairs purring to himself, his eyes half-closed. This unusual calmness should have warned me, but I (in ignorant bliss) took a scoop of potatoes and left the room.

It was just a few moments that I heard it – a loud crashing sound from the kitchen. Sulu had managed to shove the lid off the mashed potatoes and when I ran in I saw him. He was sitting on the counter, fist pumping the air in a kitty salute as he licked mashed potatoes from his paw. His other arm was nearly shoulder deep in the mashed potatoes.

When I told this story to my friends every single one of them asked if I filmed it. Oh, Youtube Generation. But in retrospect I wish I had gotten some pictures. My little kitty looked pleased as punch with mashed potatoes all over his face and would have made an adorable card : )

Anywho, check out some of these kitty cards from GCU artists. We love the support.

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Cards

and here are a couple of cards from other artists that I found amusing:

(this was one of the few card besides mine that shows up when you search death and birthdays :P)

and yes they do have a card for everything

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Homework Assignment 3

Homework 3, on the left side there is a "jungle hero", on the right there is a hero climbing a building.

My rightside panel is of a christian superhero, and a pack of cats follow him becuase of his jesus-fish. Yay!

I am curious to see what they say about this one, I think it's better then the last one, but it is also kind of everywhere and a month late. Sigh.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Little Pony

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic

WTF. It's like eating sparkles...hysterical sparkles. I can't look away, I just watched like 4 episodes in a row. Perhaps I should preface this by saying I've been up since 4:30 in the morning, but seriously. I can't believe Hasbro ok'd this show.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Assignment 2

I finally finished my second homework assignment. I was starting to get really stressed about how long it was taking, and decided I just needed to be done with it. I don't think it's as good of work as the cowboy one, but there are some things I really loved about the title (Paleo: The Epic Adventure of Dino Man and Pre-History Girl), and the rock star look of the cave people.

I'm curious to see the critism I get back, but a little nervouse becuase I don't think this one is as up to snuff as my last one.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

CC: Homework Feedback

Just got my first homework assignment back today. The feedback far exceeded my expectations. Not only is every character and panel drawn over (on an added tracing sheet), there are extensive notes about the things I need to work on.

Even as a sketch, the teachers work is so professional, well constructed, and gorgeous that it makes very obvious how far I still have to go. Suppose that means it’s about time to start working on the next homework assignment…

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More CC Reactions

This month has been being a little crazy. I got my homework in (as posted right below this). And I just have four more pages done to finish the current projects I've been working on for the Hatman and Indigo issues. Sweet! (yes that image to your left is a secret sneak peak).

I also wanted to discuss my feeling so far on the correspondent course, since my first reaction were- well, first reactions. Initially I thought that the correspondent course was geared towards any age. Any level would learn from doing this course, but the homework assignment was hard work. I think the book threw me off a little, because it is not the kind of “text book” I was expecting. It is not about drawing in general, it is practice, assignments and tips on penciling (which I guess makes sense, it is a penciling course).

The first assignment definitely pointed out what my strengths and weaknesses are. I can't believe that in 4 years of art school I never had to draw a horse (and in retrospect on the assignment I think my cowboy is too big in comparison to that horse).

Aw, well. I'm excited to get my homework back, and to start on the next assignment.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Insta Toon (or Virus Roulette)

I’ve seen ads for “turn yourself into a cartoon” sites before. Normally there something like this:

The styles vary but they look artsy illustrator, not the kind of image some computer program would just whip up from a photograph.

Today I saw this ad:

What? What is that? I’m not sure if it’s more accurate to how an insta cartoon program would work, or if they are just paying less to the freelance artists who make their advertisements.

I clicked on it to see how there website worked. It wants you to download a "program." I was getting major virus vibes, plus the only way I've seen someone turn a photo of themselves into a really sweet looking cartoon was with, you know, real art.

I did some more research about this program (ie I went to their facebook page). This was my favorite review someone had given them:

"It's infected with viruses! It works, but you get a whole load of shit for it too!"

Monday, January 24, 2011


Today I finally had a chance to watch the DVD it came with. I wish they gave you a series of DVDs, maybe one for each section – mostly I wish this because of how great this one was.

It was about 45 minutes long, and a little dated (they talk like you are watching it on a VHS). But the content is really great. Some of the advice he gives seems straightforward when he says it, but it is very different seeing the techniques broken down. It is really inspiring getting to watch someone so talented draw.

Two quick sketches for the homework.

The one on the left was done before watching the video, the one on the right was done after. I’ll definitely be watching it again as I continue to work on the assignment.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I just finished watching a DVD, and as PowerDVD popped to it's ending screen I noticed something for the first time. Now maybe it's just the lack of sleep talking...but that girl is making Jesus face. Seriously. Why is she holding her hand like that? What is with the glowing halo?

On that note, I should probabley head to bed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Correspondence Course Arrived

My class course arrived today. YAY! The Ups man, upon delivery said, “Wow, that looks like something fun.” Yes, it does, Mr. Ups Man. Yes it does.

So, just some initial reactions before I run off to work. While on the invoice the art supplies is priced at $50 (my guesstimate when gauging expense), a savvy buyer could definitely get the art supplies for much less. But, it is everything you need to complete the assignments, it’s professional quality, and some of the items would be harder to find in physical stores (depending where you live).

Also, I quickly flipped through the book. It looks like there will be some great assignments. I would say it assumes very minimal base in art and comic art. It also focus solely on drawing and technique, there is no Scott McCloud comic theory here. That said, it appears to be built to work with any skill level, and help you grow and improve no matter where you start. I also suspect the homework critiques will help target where you need to grow as an artist, and the types of comments will vary depending on where you are already at. I guess we will see : )

Monday, January 10, 2011


I wonder if Shatterstar misses his old hair. Yeah, it was an explosion of lady lovely locks proportions, but who else could have rocked a mullet-ponytail with braids? Oh, the nineties what would we have done without you.

Also, X-Factor is fresh baked cookies amazing. Peter David is one of those writers who knows his comic continuity, lets the characters develop and be affected by the plot, and he has a wicked sense of humor. Can’t wait to read this month’s issue. Rumor has it Rictor’s going to finally find out he’s not that father of Rahne’s baby…oh and major battle of the God’s in Vegas…with Thor. You know, just a normal day in the lives of the X-factor Mutants.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Joe Kubert Correspondence Courses

While trying to decide whether or not to sign up for one of these classes, I did a lot of research (ie google searches) on the topic. A question I saw frequently come up was whether it was too expensive for what you got. Some people seemed to think $325 was a huge sum for a class that would end up being largely self motivated. So, I decided to make my own break down comparing costs.


What you receive:
1) Course Book
2) Boards
3) Art Material
4) Mailing envelopes (for assignments)
5) Practice Pages
6) DVD

The class is split into 5 sections (basically $65 dollars per section), each one ending with a Professionally critiqued assignment.

Breakdown of Costs:
Course Book & DVD (from website): $175
All Art Supplies (lets pretend you’re a savvy buyer and say): $50
5 Professional Critiques: $100*
Total: $325

*Essentially you are paying $20 dollars per assignment to have your work critiqued and drawn over by a professional.

How it compares to the cost of other Schools:

Community College:
At the community college where I live Art classes are normally 3-4 credits, meaning they cost around $265-$350

A non credit art class (of which if you are lucky a comic variety might appear) tend to be $100 + supplies.

Academy of Art:
I was attending the Academy of Art online (I already had by BA, but hoped the extra schooling would get my portfolio to the point that someone would hire me)

As an online student you would log onto a website, watch videos, read assignments, then turn in homework. The homework was personally critiqued by the teacher, but what counted as a critique varied. This meant that one of my teachers had weekly video chats where he would draw over students work live, and demonstrate techniques. While a different teacher would simply write a short paragraph emphasizing practice (which I needed) and something along the lines of: your proportions are off, bones can’t bend like that, pay attention to detail. etc.” (I am someone who learns better with visuals.)

Cost of a Class:

So, are the Correspondence Courses worth it? I don’t know, $325 (or even the $245 I ended up paying because of the holiday sale going on) is a lot of money for a starving artist. But it seems like a good deal to me (considering the debt hole the Academy of Art was, despite the classes I loved and the experience I gained).

I guess we will see. I will be documenting my progress as I take the Penciling course, hopefully my improvement will prove this a wise investment in my artwork : )

(and for those who don't know who Joe Kubert is, nerd it up a bit, he's famous*)

Update (feelings after finishing the course)