It's the holiday break, getting some time for personal work. A color-study speedpaint, taking inspiration from some classic sci-fi art.


Lady Knight

Using the Lady Knight generator to get some ideas going: 



Well, I didn't last all 31 days, but I got a lot closer than last year. Maybe next year. It's always well worth the time to work at something you suck at. 

By the 21st drawing, I felt a lot more comfortable with where I wanted to take the design (something I had no clue of at #1, just look how much it sucks!). I may not be out of the woods for long while yet but steps were taken. 



There are soo many awesome rockers posting work! If you haven't already, just search #inktober on Facebook and Tumblr. I've been posting these on Facebook. I'll just post them here in a more accumulated fashion like so. These are the 1-10 images.

I tried this last year with mechs, but I only did 4. Lame. So I gave myself a more achievable constraint this time, just head shots. I really suck at faces and likenesses so it's also a good mechanism to get some mileage on this type of thing. 


King Louie/Dr. Zaius cosplay

Prompted by an exercise challenge at work, a 'furrie-type character.' I'm not really into that. But once of the things I love most about Cosplay is the crazy mashups that fans come up with. So I tried to go at it from that angle.

A bit of my process. I usually need to do a few rounds of sketches before I find the things I like. Sketch, knock it back to about 40%, new sketch on a new layer right on top. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.



I've got a few prints left over from SLCC. These guys on 16x20 archival lustre paper. $30, email me. 


How To Be Good at Going to the Con

The Salt Lake Comic-Con was intense this year! Sooo many people. I'm still figuring out how to be a good exhibitor, so I'm not going to speak to that, I have a lot to learn. But I feel like I made the most of being an attendee in the years before I became a professional. What I mean by that is being a student, not just a fan and not necessarily in school, but as someone eager to learn and who really wants to be part of the pop-entertainment industry as a creator and contributor instead of just a consumer. I clearly remember being on the other side of the table, feeling like an outsider of a club I so desperately wanted to be part of.

As a student of my heroes (I still am, but the opportunities to learn take a different form) I saw the Con as my only access to them face to face. I went to my first Con out of state. I was a student in college and scrapped together the money it cost, prepped and stressed over every image in my portfolio, and set out grateful and hoping somebody would give me 5 minutes of their time. My experiences were priceless and worth every penny. Those moments definitely helped pave the way and open doors. I can't thank enough all those people who gave me those 5 minutes.

1. I got a portfolio together that represented my immediate ability level. Only my best work, which is always the newest. ~12 images of the work I want to be doing, on quality paper. Your portfolio is who you are. Everyone has hope and potential but it's what you've done that matters. There is no excuse for poor prints or old work that you could top now but haven't. If you want to know what your objective strengths and weaknesses are, you need a current portfolio to put them all on display.

2. I knew exactly what I wanted to be. Whenever anyone asked, the ticket taker, fellow attendees, especially the pros I talked to, I had a clear answer that set the context for a unique and useful portfolio critique. When asked 'What do you want to be?' and your answer is 'I don't know,' no one will know what kind of advice to give you. Generic questions get generic answers.

3. I answered their questions and I listened to their answers. Excuses are shortcomings, so I didn't put them on display in my portfolio. They aren't asking you why an image isn't better, and an excuse won't save it or change their mind. They're telling you how it could be better. Your hero wants to share with you the tools that will help. Acknowledge your short-comings them for what they are, then go home and get rid of them. That you can't see your weaknesses only illustrates why you aren't better. So listen.

4. I always asked for a critique, not a job. Let's get real, everyone wants a job and they know you want one. But the reality is that they're not giving out jobs, they're giving out critiques. If you impress them, then maybe they can put in good word for you later. So do that. People are impressed by those who are prepared to better themselves, no matter how good you actually are.

I always walked into a Con extremely optimistic that all my fresh best work would finally buy me the acclaim of those I admired, I was confident my work couldn't be any better. And I always walked away feeling knocked down and eager to leave the trash behind that my freshly opened eyes saw in my weekend old portfolio. But most importantly, I left knowing I could do better.

Next Con rinse and repeat.


Salt Lake Comic Con!

It's Salt Lake Comic Con time starting tomorrow through Saturday the 6th! I've got art for sale in Artist Alley @Teal 29 (the table tops are teal). I'm smack in the middle of a bunch of amazing artists for the complete experience, Ryan Ottely, Derek Hunter, Brandon Dayton, Jason Kim, Matthew Armstrong, Tim Odland among others. Stop on by!



and 3 more puts the Team back in TMNT. the other sketchprints that I'll be selling at SLCC. make sure and come down the Black and Teal aisles of Artist Alley, Sept. 4,5, and 6. a ton of DrawNight alumni will be there. 


turtle tune-up

on second consideration, I reworked this drawing from the previous post to something i was happier with. i'll be selling these sketch-prints at Salt Lake Comic Con at my table in artist alley, along with some other things. more info to follow, stay tuned.



trying to push myself out of my comfort palette with this one


Salt Lake Comic-Con Exclusive

I'll be selling this Utah inspired Blockscape as an exclusive print at this year's Salt Lake Comic-Con!
20" wide, high quality lustre print, limited edition of 20 signed and numbered. I'll be in Teal 29 in Artist Alley, come by for some awkward silence and art.


turtle bandwagon

throwing my take on these guys into the ring. my little boy has a TMNT coloring book and the line work is totally rad! and there is so much really cool fan art out there, too bad Mr. Bay wouldn't contribute


Hello Disney!

I started at Disney Interactive's game studio this last Monday. I'm joining their team concept team as a 3/4 view artist, primarily designing landscape and architecture to make the layout look pretty. I'm way excited for the opportunity and look forward to getting my butt handed to me daily by all the amazing art ninjas I'll be working with.



Enjoying some down time this week. Slowly churning on this B&W study. Studying a lot of Gumroad tutorials from all those guys that totally rock.


Goodbye EA!

After 3 1/2 years I've left Electronic Arts. It was my first job in the biz and I've really learned a lot. I enjoyed my time there and made a lot of great friends. I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects with many very talented people. There's a lot I will miss about working there, but I've got my eye on some new opportunities.


Syndicate FanArt

Did this a while back, playing with isometric 3D and then painting a ton over. It was a good study in what shortcuts to use 3D for and what to do by hand in the interest of speed. 

I'm really excited for Satellite Reign to come out, I backed their Kickstarter and am totally in awe of the art they've released so far. You can still donate for packages on their website if you missed the original campaign. It's the spiritual sequel to Syndicate (EA has the IP locked away for themselves) by a lot of the original developers. If you loved the originals (90s power!) this looks to be everything you'd want in an updated reboot (unlike EA FPS reboot, great sci-fi shooter, just not Syndicate)



character study

fantasy genre character study. 

basically, i reference some concept that i like, then rif on the pose, and then break down the shapes of the costume to their basic design. if there's something i don't like, i change it and try to improve on it.


virtual plein air

I recently joined a new Facebook bandwagon, Virtual Plein Air. There are so many talented artists doing awesome work. I'm truly inspired everyday, and then I paint for it every once in a while...
The gimmick is that you surf Google Earth Streetviews and find something that strikes your fancy. You do a painting and post a link to the location. I love it. No thinking up uber-cool concepts, no magic mech necromancers, etc, etc. Just landscapes.

Here are some of my recent submissions.


Sorcerer's Apprentice's Apprentice

work has been sooper busy lately, drawing lots of fun stuff that i'll be able to show... one day

in the meantime a fan art sketch of Wren from The Sorcerer's Apprentice's Apprentice, which is a totally awesome comic Derek Hunter and Jason Young. great humor and a rad 'choose your own adventure' format, complete with reboots and parallel plots! CHECK IT OUT!

also, a really awesome read on Muddy Colors about checking your ego as an artist



Miroslav Petrov Artbook

I've never met the guy but I'm a fan.

I first came across Miroslav Petrov's work back when I did some character designs for Privateer Press a few years ago. He did the color illustrations of 2 of the designs I had the most fun working on. The art turned out great and I've been inspired by his work ever since.

These images are from 2011 and he's done a lot more great stuff in the meantime. You can check out on his blog: http://soulsart.org/ or his deviantart page: http://mikeypetrov.deviantart.com/

My concepts are posted BACK HERE

To get to the point: He's got a new art book coming out on IndieGoGo HERE
If concept design and all around cool art are your thing, be sure to check it out.

Best of luck Miro!



Sweat for Your Art!

Muddy Colors just had a really great post by Marc Scheff about the importance of exercise for artists. It's a little long, but definitely worth it. It's really well written and concise (given that the subject is one that a lot more could be said about it). Read it. He outlines some great pillars for a basic routine, and even includes Art-God testimonials!

Like Scheff, admittedly I've been blessed with genetics that do a lot of the heavy-lifting for me, and I've always enjoyed exercise. I like to be active, but that doesn't mean I don't know what it's like to not feel like doing anything, to just want to veg and stuff my face with salty sweets. I'm going into the 35+ stretch amid all the sedentary trappings of work and family life, and I can see how easily it all adds up, the pounds and the suck.

But the bottom line is we want to be better artists and our health is the best tool we've got. There is tons of data out there proving you will be more creative and more agile in your craft by doing so. Ad my testimonial to the list, but go ahead and do your own homework. Start with the basics and find something that works for you. "More Dew and Cheetos is my thing," is a stupid thing, get over it. If "I've got this head sized goiter..." is your thing, I can't help you there. Talk to a professional, preferably the doctor kind.

Before I start let me guess who I'm talking to. You're the struggling to aspire type, the 8-10-12-14hrs a day type. It just keeps piling up, it's almost so depressing that you want to break all your pencils and quit. Everyday 100 better artists than you pop out of nowhere, and they're 10yrs younger than you. Everyone is sooo much better than you, if you could only work harder... then just maybe one day...

Sound familiar? Come along and join the club, it's made for you and me. I want to talk to the most common excuse we use not to exercise and it's context:

I don't have time.

I've got 2 responses to this: 1) Crap, and 2) No crap.

1) Crap. As in: that excuse is so obviously complete crap!

This is a time management issue. I know how much time you waste image-surfing, social-media skimming, and generally over-complicating what you think you need to be accomplishing, all in the name of reference hunting or inspiration trolling. That's just self-deceptive. Really take a look at how much time is actually pencil-to-paper (or canvas, or tablet, etc.). Anything that is not that, is not getting you closer to your objectives.

There are all sorts of things that could be said about practicing smarter, not longer. Check out Brandon Dayton's great posts on the subject under 'How to Draw.' Stick to a schedule of punctuated effort and goals. Just grinding on and on "until it's done" is the most surefire way to kill your motivation and your sense of how much time you're putting into it. You'll end up spending more time to lesser result as a consequence.

But in short, everything you do in the name of 'work' should be enabling 'pencil-to-paper time.' If not, quit it, or it least time box it into a very small amount of time. Stop screwing around and start drawing! That's what you want to be doing anyway right? So do it.

The latest episode of Walking Dead or Game of Thrones? Won't help you draw better. Unlocking achievements in Skyrim, Last of Us, Titanfall? Won't help you draw better. I'm not saying you can't do that very awesome stuff, but do it after hours, not while you're on the clock. You'll be able to free up 20-30-60 minutes a day almost magically, and probably more.

2) No crap. As in: Obviously. Does anybody? No one, that's who.

Let's generously assume we are lean-mean working-machines, as if all 8-10-12 hr of everyday is pencil to paper time. We'd like to think we're that dedicated, that's why we use the excuse: I don't have time. But of course you don't have time, and of course you won't make time because there isn't more time to be made. Does someone out there have a time-press that fabricates more time? Of course not. You need to take the time, and by 'take' I mean 'steal.' 

This is essentially the same principle as above. Steal time from all the other things you enjoy so that you can enjoy more of what you enjoy most. You need to steal time back from the things that have already taken all the time you have to offer.

But there is a right and wrong way to implement this. A lot of folks try stealing time from sleep and proper eating, not to mention exercise, to improve their art. But this is completely unsustainable, the net result is less art. Working for a studio can be harsh with long hours; working for yourself can be equally as demanding. In both cases your boss is probably just as desperately going for broke, and is often all too willing to sacrifice long-term advantages for short-term gains.

The long and short-term disadvantages are a loss of productivity, inspiration, motivation, or realistically most devastating: health complications. From eye strain, fatigue, and carpel tunnel to chronic back problems. Yes, many, even most, artists in this industry suffer from these things. And you thought being too awesome was the largest pitfall of the job!

Stealing time from The Man to get out and sweat is an investment in your best and longest running art, and that's ultimately what He wants out of you anyway. I take a long lunch twice a week to go out and play a pickup game of soccer for an hour, then make up that time later in the day (and more productively so!).  But be a smart and professional thief, don't bail on an important meeting or blow off a deadline. Don't be a hack job.

Manage your time well, account for and include break-out sessions where you can get out and walk, run, lift or whatever. Good time-management skills are about knowing what is required to enable your most best work, not just naively and destructively promising endless break-neck sprint and marathon schedules.



a new type of color study for me. trying to use a process that focuses on underpainting and building up colors. once i get a wrangle on it, i think it should yield a lot of happy accidents and be really useful as far as indicating detail, without having to paint everything in or plotting it our before hand like i usually do.



there's been some shuffling going on at work. unfortunately all the cool stuff I'm doing will be locked away under NDA for the year or 2. fortunately, I got a Cintiq at long last! 
a warm-up sketch from the other day messing around with thick and thin brushes. it took a little bit get a feel for it and calibrate my mind. 



playing around with some simple texture


brush test

work has been pretty busy lately. working on a fun new project.

for a morning warm-up i wanted to dial in some mountain-esque brushes. did this quick speed paint to feel them out, ~15min


more COUNTERBLAST Character Concepts

The rest of the concepts I did for COUNTERBLAST from AIRLOCK Games. Their Kickstarter is live and already funded! It will be great to see how many backer achievements will be unlocked. Check it out!

It's always soo rewarding to see my art manifest into an actual thing. I've always loved table-top gaming, not really as a gamer, but as the art of. I love holding the little figures and imagining a world at large while thumbing through a rule book and taking in all the amazing art. That and comics are definitely the things that influenced me most growing up. I always wanted to be the guy that made that
And now I am, wouldn't my 12 year old self be proud... :) 


powersuit sketches

some sketches of that kind of thing.


COUNTERBLAST Character Concepts

A while back I did some character designs for AIRLOCK Games' new project: COUNTERBLAST. They are a great indie company with some nicely unique properties. Their last KickStarter project did really well and turned out great. It was way fun to contribute to this vintage sci-fi themed game. They're prepping to launch COUNTERBLAST soon and I wish them the best of luck!! Check them out: HERE


blocks and vegetation

starting to realize these sketches a bit more.
got an abandoned lot? some concrete?