Thursday, January 29, 2009

Under the knife.

Seeking to reconcile myself to the fact that I am going to have surgery on my shoulder (again) tomorrow, I have worked on a piece this morning depicting my situation in abstract terms.

Behold :

the rough

the pencil

the final

* * *
Critical analysis contributed by a famous and reputable museum curator :

"One could imagine that the 'Troll Woman' represents 'The Doctor' or indeed 'Surgery' itself.

"The small figure in the foreground hides behind a vase of flowers, flowers clearly representing both happiness and ice cream cones while at the same expressing the small figure's love of classic video games. Obviously the 'figure' is trying to hide itself behind 'art and love' and yet while the figure hides, he peeks around the corner signifying his awareness of the 'Troll' or 'Surgery.' We know the figure must be cognizant of the approaching Troll and yet he does not run.

"The Troll Woman brandishes a long, wooden board with a nail, the nail could be interpreted as 'piercing' possibly leading one to believe that perhaps the 'Troll' does not represent 'Surgery' so much as the nail does.

"If one follows this thought through to the logical conclusion, the 'Troll' is in actuality a benevolent force; horrifying in its practice yet quite a necessary element in the piece.

"The nail, harsh in it's force is hammered with precision, clean in it's stab and pierce.

"The piece calls for us, as all great art does, to pause a moment and reflect; reflect on the nail and pray that this time it holds."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

some very Grimm thumbnails

Thumbnails for my "Grimm and Other Folk Tales" show in April.

14 pieces. I completed all my color comps this evening.

The next step is going to be shooting and gathering reference.

* * *

It's not very often but once in a while I stumble across a piece of music that I can't do without. Some time ago I tripped over John Murphy's score to Sunshine. I bought the album straight away and have (almost literally) had this song on repeat for weeks :

I can't get over how beautiful it is. I haven't seen the movie, and the more I think of it I'm not sure I want to. I don't think I want to have any images attached to this music other than what I've got in my mind. It's been perfect music to work to, especially for these fairy tale pieces.

I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Grimm and Other Folk Tales

"Two branches turned into arms about her as the tree turned into a prince..."

I'm pleased to announce that I am moving forward on my first solo exhibition, "Grimm and Other Folk Tales" showing this April.

As the date draws closer I'll post more particulars. Of course you can expect thumbnails, drawings, and studies like the one above all along the way.

I'm terrifically excited for it and I feel like there's may great things finally coming together for this show.

* * *

On a slightly negative note, I'm scheduled for surgery this Friday on my right (yes, drawing arm) shoulder. I've dislocated it something like 7 or 8 times and I've done a real good job screwing it up to the point of it being in danger of dropping out without too much provocation. My shoulder dislocates "inferiorialy" meaning the joint drops down against the top of my ribs. As I'm told this type of dislocation makes up a whopping 1% of all shoulder dislocations.

I ought to be knocked out a week and half with it but I should be able to limp over to my computer and post a few updates on the show. I have all my pieces planned and color-comped like what you see above, 14 in all.

Friday, January 23, 2009

ease the longing - final - with lettering

"Ease the Longing" a five-song EP by Esther Ellis, release date in March (I'll keep you posted)

This is the final album art for an extremely talented girl named Esther. I was honored she asked me to be a part of the process and I enjoyed doing the cover art for her first album.

I'll let you know when her album is available. If you're on Facebook, she's got several demos up on her page.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spectrum 16 entries.

The deadline for Spectrum 16 is tomorrow. As I understand it my entries will land sometime today.

For fun, here are my three entries. I have yet to score a spot in a Spectrum book (though I was honored to have been accepted twice in the Society of Illustrators annual, and a couple other books) so we'll see.

I entered three of my dragon paintings from a couple months ago.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ease the longing - final art

Or close to final art. There are some small things I want to address but over all this is very close to done.

Once I finalized the hand lettering I'll show that as well. Again, you can check out the two previous posts, here and here to for more background information.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ease the longing - pencil.

Here's the finished pencil work for the album cover.

If you like, you can read the previous post if you need to catch up on what this is for.

I finished the watercolor last night so in the next few days I'll get it scanned and go from there.

Monday, January 19, 2009

ease the longing

I've had the privilege to work on a small project for a friend the last few nights.

She's going to be releasing her first album and I'm doing the cover art for it. I'm excited to be involved in a project like this -- she's a lovely songwriter and musician with a stunningly beautiful voice.

She's agreed to me posting the progression of the cover here.

The name of the album is "Ease the Longing" -- the title song has a line : "You have miles of golden field to walk through, there are oceans opened up beneath your feet..."

I liked that line and wanted to work up something with that in mind. I had pretty much free reign of cover so I developed a few thumbnails that were all along the same lines. Mostly they involved a little girl above a field with birds.

This one seemed to capture best what I was after :

Of course the typography is temporary and doodled on.

In any case I'll be posting progress of this little project in the next few days.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Illustration Friday : "Pale"

Pale gorilla.

I was digging around on this guy's blog this morning and realized how deficient I am at many things, one of them being a quick photoshop drawing. I think this gorilla was about 30 minutes, a distracted 20 minutes of work.

It's something I need to work on so here's to quick photoshop drawings more often.

WINNER of the drawing for a drawing!

Congratulations goes to ...


Just send me an email in the next few days with which drawing you'd like (refer yourself to the previous post) and let me know where to send it.

I used this fascinating tool called to figure out the winner.

Thanks again everyone for voting!

* If I don't hear from Caitlin in a week the runner up will move to number 1.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

drawing for a drawing!

Alright here is where we are : a couple weeks ago Erin my beloved was a finalist in contest and she needed votes to win -- which she did, awesomely. (If you want to check back and see what this is all about here you go. )

So, if you voted and left me a comment back then you're entered. Thanks to all who voted (and if you were on Facebook you're in the drawing too) !

I'll announce the winner of "the drawing for a drawing" tomorrow!

One final thing -- for fun I thought it'd be nice to give the winner an option -- something musical or something awesome. The choice is up to you. If you win, that is.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Return of the Jedi.

That is such a great movie. I love Star Wars and Return of the Jedi is just great.

I started writing the title for this blog post and couldn't think of a way to say, "Hey I'm back! No, for real, I am." -- somehow I wrote "return" and the next three logical words would be "of the Jedi" -- so, there you have a peek into the inner-workings of my mind : all roads lead to Star Wars, one way or another.

All that to say, I am back. For those of you who may not have known, the last few months I've spent most all of my free-time completing a story for Flight 6. If you're unfamiliar with the Flight anthologies, you can familiarize yourself with these amazing collection here.

I'm ridiculously honored to have been asked to contribute to this project and I did my best to throw everything I had into it.

I can't post too much about it but in the coming days I'll post a bit of my work, drawings, paintings, and such.

My story is an adaptation of the life of Larry Walters. I was so struck by Larry's story : Here was a man who wanted his whole life to fly. Walters was unable to be a pilot due to his poor eyesight so what does he do? He collects helium tanks and weather balloons, ties them to a lawn chair, and sets sail. That is amazing. Pure and simple, amazing invention. What gets me is that the first thing that happened as he roared upward (at about 1,000 feet a minute) is that he lost his glasses. So what did he see up there? That's what I wanted to explore.

My story takes you through the day of the flight, a couple childhood flashbacks, and what happens after take-off. I'm at liberty to post a little so here are some. The sky is very much an active character in my adaptation :

My story is 42 pages. I'll post more information about Flight 6 as it becomes available.

Also, thanks to those of you who have expressed concern about my shoulder -- it's a stupid thing. I dislocated it in a mildly aggressive fashion about five years and it's happened about once a year (sometimes, if I've been lucky -- once every six months) this past time I did it right before Christmas. It was great.

One final update, thanks to you who helped Erin out with a vote back a few weeks ago -- I'll be getting a drawing together in the next few days.


Friday, January 02, 2009


Hey everyone, just a quick note here to up date you -- I dislocated my shoulder again (for the seventh time) right before Christmas. It's getting better but each time it comes out it hurts like a knife and takes a few weeks to get back to mostly regular. So, that's where I've been.

Mostly I played the Zelda on the game boy as I sat in the corner fuming over my shoulder. I get cabin fever something terrible when I'm contained in that sling. But I beat Zelda. Ten years to the day that I got the game for Christmas. So there is that.

Well! All that to say thanks for stopping by, more to come.

Happy New Year.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who helped out Erin with voting -- she won 3rd! I'll get together a drawing for a drawing in the next few days and announce the winner. Thanks again to everyone who helped!