Archive for July, 2011

The Curse of the Vessel was a project created and written by writer extrodinaire Michael Leal, penciled by the remarkable Danny Kelly and colored by that master of the digital paint pots, Michael McElveen; and I supplied the inking!  The Vessel was an entry into the 2010 Small Press Idol Contest from Dimestore Productions, which we went on to win, seeing the book published.

While cleaning up my old project files, I found my original inked version of the Curse of the Vessel issue 0 cover, and share it with you here along with the original pencils and the final colored version!


Recently I had the pleasure of inking a number of pages for penciler Chris Campana for his presentation of Kantara, a sword & sorcery fantasy that his team is pitching for publication.  Previously I posted a work-in-progress on the cover inks, and now I can share the final version, along with Chris’ original pencils.

Kantara Cover

Click to enlarge

The inks are digital, done within Manga Studio with the Wacom Cintiq 21UX tablet.

I’ve been working on a little side gig, inking my pal Chris Campana’s pencils for his comics project called KANTARA, a sword and sorcery fantasy strip.   Chris does really nice clean pencils, so it makes my job inking all that simpler.

Here’s a side-by-side example of Chris’ pencils and my inks:

Kantara page

Chris does his pencils traditional and scans them in, I then auto-convert the art to blue pencil in Manga Studio and do digital inks with the Wacom Cintiq tablet.   Here are a couple work-in-progress screen grabs of the cover inks:



It’s been a fun project and kudos to Chris for his awesome artwork!

FRAGMENTSBack in 2010 I met a screenwriter through Facebook called Jerod Brennen.  Jerod was looking for artists to illustrate some of his short horror screenplays for an anthology comic; this was all for entry into a contest where 1st prize was the printing of the book!

I took a look at some of the available scripts Jerod had posted on his website, and one called The Guardian caught my eye!  I loved the story and I happened to have a couple weeks open in my schedule — so I contacted Jerod and expressed my interest in illustrating it.

Jerod got together another couple artists and managed to put together his horror anthology pitch — and entered the contest.  Unfortunately we didn’t win.

Fast forward almost a year later and I get an email from Jerod saying that he had found the means to publish the book after all!  I was beyond pleased with this great news as many of these indie projects never see the light of day!  A real testament to Jerod’s dogged determination!

So, sometime later this year, be watching for issue #1 of the horror anthology Fragments featuring art from yours truly, as well as Derek Stewart, Brent Bowman, & Roger Plymale, with all stories written of course, by Jerod!

In the meantime, enjoy this preview of a couple pages from The Guardian:





It’s been a bad day for drawing!

One of those days where my mind has been as blank as the virtual paper in front of me!

I was looking forward to doing a lot of drawing, too.  After a forced vacation of a few days due to the heat wave, I was just chomping at the bit to get working again!  The weather has finally improved… going from a high of 118F a couple days ago to a wonderful 54F this morning; a great working temperature!  Bet you can tell I’m not a big fan of the heat!

Anyway… two pages left to draw on this Last Survivor story by Michael Leal… and I’m drawing a blank!  Always frustrating when the finish line is so close!  Not to mention that I’m trying to meet a deadline too!!

I’ve tried my motivation tricks: looking at inspiring art, chatting with a couple other artists, listening to music… meditating… but none of the wild characters and crazy monsters want to come out and play on the page right now – even though they seem to be having a hell of a time in my brain!

Well, I guess it’s time to pack it in for a bit… recharge the batteries, maybe with watching an old Tarzan movie, or better yet a Hammer flick… and give it another shot in a few hours!

Sooner or later the insane creatures that inhabit my mind will want their freedom!  And I’d better be ready to give it to them!

Heat Wave!

Posted: July 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

We’re in the midst of a heatwave here in my neck of the woods, and as I write this, it feels like 100F !! Needless to say, without air conditioning, it’s just too hot to do much work!

As soon as things cool down a bit, I’ll be back to work on wrapping up the pencils/inks on “Last Survivor”, a short story I’m doing with writer Michael Leal for publication in an upcoming issue of “Bela Lugosi’s Tales From the Grave” from Monsterverse, as well as finishing a 10-pager written by Clayton Neal featuring “The Snowman” which will appear in Red Carpet Comics #1 from Popbox Entertainment.

Also on my schedule is a cover for Randy Belaire’s latest Shadow Chaser novel and a few commissions and pin-ups! Working out to be a nice hot summer in more ways than one!

Of course I’ll be posting previews of art and more news on all the above-mentioned projects as well as some new ones very soon! Keep watching!!

The Phantom

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Commissions
Tags: , ,

Being a huge fan of Lee Falk’s Phantom, I was very happy last year when I was commissioned to do a pic of the character, and I thought some might find it interesting to see the progression of the piece from rough to final art.

(Click on images to enlarge)

The first thing I did was to work out a quick layout, which I usually do as 2″ x 3″ thumbnails.  After a few different compositions, this is the one that was settled on…

Phantom LayoutThe next step was to flesh out the layout to rough pencils…

Phantom_roughAfter this was approved by the client, I proceeded straight to inks.  I enjoy drawing  elements such as foliage, so it was easy to jump into it without having to do detailed pencils first.  I started with the foreground foliage and as you can see, I made a few changes as I went along, although I retained the flow of the original composition…

PHANTOM inksWhen I got to the figure and background, I was concerned that the original concept for the background would make the pic too busy (although I’m a real detail freak)!  So I decided to simplify the background elements considerably, and to have them displayed only in tone to allow for more focus on the Phantom figure…

Phantom FinalThe original art was done at 10″ x 11″ on cold-pressed smooth finish bristol board and created with pencil, Winsor-Newton Series 7 #3 brush, Gillot 211 steel nib pen and india ink, with zipatone added later.