Saturday, July 16, 2011

A bit of the process

So I love sketch blogs that show a bit of people's process. I think it's rather... well brave isn't the right work, but maybe honest when artists let you behind the curtain. So with that in mind I decided to post some of the preliminary sketches for the work I have created here. I hope you enjoy them.
freakie sketches along with some paint smudges

my original Mister Miracle didn't feel quite right
some thumbs for my second attempt at MM
Zuckuss tumbs

Friday, June 17, 2011

uh... what do you know

So I did my drawing of Slave 1 and after I scanned it in I accidentally inverted the image. And I liked it. So here it is inverted.

Monday, May 2, 2011

We're Back - Slave 1

Slave 1
The coolest ship in the star wars universe? I might argue against that now, maybe. But as a kid, no, there was no ship more awesome, more iconic or more badass. Did it help that Boba Fett flew it? YES.

I mean LOOK at that thing. How fucked up is that?

From Wookieepedia -
"Some people mistakenly believe the Slave I's design was inspired by a lamp post outside the ILM building. But Nilo Rodis-Jamero, an art director on The Empire Strikes Back, said that his design for the Slave I was actually based on a radar dish. It was later on when the ship was being constructed at ILM that someone pointed out that it resembled a street lamp, and from then on people just assumed that that had been the original source of the design."

I think it looks like a horses head. And how awesome was it that he flew it vertically?

The Challenge: Draw Slave 1. Examples: in flight, in combat, on the landing pad in Cloud City, delivering Han to Jabba, etc

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Finally caught up.

Okay so I was able to find some time today to finally finish the Battle of the Planets challenge. I tried something a little different this time. I was inspired by various fake retro posters I've been seeing pop up on the art blogs I like to follow.

Also after making a joke in my initial post about Keyop, I decided to illustrate him. I gotta admit that his dune buggy tank was pretty cool.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

That was just a week right?

Okay, so lots has been happening in my life that has kept me away from this blog. I started things here after I was laid off from my job as a way to keep myself creating. Well I have since found a job. One that is awesome and fun but takes me away from my home for the time being. All of this is good but leaves little time for me to create stuff for myself and your viewing pleasure. I wish to keep this blog going especially since Kir and I seem to be having fun and we've gotten a good response from it.

So basically I need to get better at managing my time now and to begin with I need to play a little catch up.  So here is my completed Evil Lynn. I could have kept working and changes certain things but there is a point all artists reach where we have to walk away.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

a week off

Hello all, Bill and I are taking this week off.

So until next week, enjoy this great Grimlock from Joel Carroll!


GAH! So awesome. When I told Joel what we were doing here, he jumped on the chance to draw Grimlock. I love it. Thanks, Dude.

You can find Joel on twitter, tumblr and deviantart as well.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gatchaman - Jun the Swan

It's not hard to guess which character I like the best from BOTP.

Not hard at all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Battle of the Helmets

Okay this challenge will delve deep into my childhood and pull out two of my most favorite things: Battle of the Planets and helmets.

Long before the lame Mighty Morphing Power Rangers and even before the well liked Voltron there was Battle of the Planets. G-Force was the original 5 person team with all the familiar archetypes : Leader Guy, Jerk Guy, Fat Guy, Hot Chick and Little Kid. I was really young when the show was on, but loved every minute of it. The best part was the fact they they dressed as bird people with... you guessed it Helmets!!!

I loved loved helmets as a kid. They were the ultimate accessory for any character to go from being okay to truly awesome. I'm fairly certain my love of helmets stems from G-Force. I wanted so bad to have a bird shaped visor. The closest I came was a C.H.I.P.S. motorcycle helmet.

The other problem with BotP was they didn't have any toys when I was young. My stand ins were a couple of Tonka Play People who were motorcycle guys. The other issue is that their helmets didn't come off. This was true of most toys at the time. It wasn't until GI Joe came along that toys finally got removable helmets.

So your probably asking yourself about now, if they didn't have toys for them when you were a kid, what is this weeks challenge going to be? Or you might just be saying to yourself, "Get to the point man!"

As I said the show was on when I was really young and as I grew up few people I encountered in Grade School or High School had ever heard of the show. Then the 90's came along and I went to art school and met tons of my fellow nerds. One such friend told me to look up Gatchaman on the new fangled world wide webs. Boom, all the memories came flooding back, plus I learned a great deal more about the show and it's popularity in it's home, Japan.

Then a mutual friend of both myself and Kir mentioned he was going to Japan for vacation and would we like him to pick anything up. Hells yeah! I told him anything Gatchaman that he could find. I had no idea what was available, but he certainly came through.

With Bird Boomerang

So Heroic
After years of pinning I finally had a Ken action figure. The little child in me beamed in happiness. Sadly the figures helmet doesn't come off, which I learned the hard way. He has a weird square shaped half head underneath. Other toy companies later came out with Battle of the Planets figures in the early 2000s, but the thrill of the hunt was over for me so I never purchased any of them.

So for this weeks challenge I'll expand it to include any of the characters because I know Kir's got a real soft spot for Keyop and 7 Zark 7.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Excuses excuses

Honest... I ran out of gas! I--I had a flat tire! I didn't have enough money for cab fare! My tux didn't come back from the cleaners! An old friend came in from out of town! Someone stole my car! There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR!!!
- Jake Blues

Okay so my excuses are quite as made up as the ones above but still ring a bit hollow. I have yet to finish this weeks challenge due to things like computer issues, financial issues and general work ethic issues. You don't want to hear about all that. You want art and toys! My Evil Lyn is in progress (I'm currently trying to learn Corell Painter after being a photoshop man for many years) but I thought I post some sketches to keep thing rolling.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Balcony Spellcasting

Screen capture from the latest episode of MOTU Houses. I need to get an offical transcript to be sure this is correct.
"This is the rear balcony. It has a lovely view of Snake Mountain, doesn't it? I come back here to relax and devise new spells. No, I don't allow HIM and his idiots here. Shall I show you what I'm working on?"


This was a great challenge. I refined the pose over five or so sketches, created the setting and worked through numerous thumbnails. I spent several hours drawing and inking on Tuesday and I colored it last night. It's been a long time since I enjoyed this illustration process.

This blog itself has been a great motivator for me to keep drawing and bring quality work every week. I've been more productive in general lately, so thanks go to Bill for the idea and the invite to participate.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Evil Lyn

A conniving tart, Evil Lyn is a sorceress and the most competent member of Skeletor's crew as well as an inspiration for Bad Girls everywhere.

A stunning update from 2010:


I always liked her character but the original figure from 1983 left a lot to be desired. Her jaundiced skin, collared leotard, belt, boots and helmet were interesting and made as much sense as the rest of the MOTU line, but I never liked the clunky figure.


Yeah, not quite there.

Mattel thankfully rebooted the series in 2002 with a new cartoon and figures, designed by Four Horsemen The boys at 4HM redesigned her beautifully, adding a new sophisticated aura and style. This is gold.


A different color scheme. (don't know if it's shopped or a real variant)


I love this version and considered it my favorite until Mattel released the Classics line in 2010, with 4HM reworking the original costumes. Here's another shot from a different angle:


It might be nostalgia or just the simplicity of it compared to the 2002 figure, but this one captures the essence of her snarky character perfectly. I'm such a sucker.

The Challenge
For Me: Make a complete illustration, well composed with a background.
For Bill: Well, he says girls aren't his strong point. So this will address that.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Different Direction and a Thank You

Okay so wow, Kir took this challenge and knocked one out of the park. I went in a very different direction focusing on a more cartoony style. I also went old school and pulled out the gouache paints. It's pretty rare that I paint these days and it always feels good to stretch the old skills. The only problem being there is no undo button.

On a separate not, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have stopped by and commented, added us to blog rolls or began following our blog. We are glad you are enjoying what we are attempting here and hopefully we will continue to bring a little fun into your day. I also want to thank my cohort for joining me on this endeavor.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Death From Above

Freakies: Troubling little buggers if you ask me.

This image is what appeared in my head upon seeing them. Most definitely not the cute yet disturbing and very very 70's cartoons of the commercials, but horrific and grotesque monsters.

Hamhose is not one of the toys that Bill has but since he had tentacles I had to pick him. He's one fucked up octopus. (yes I know he only has six legs, but a hexapus sounds dumb, though a sexapus sounds completely disturbing and most likely huge and Japanese) The weird part is that in the commercials he is the most childlike and super shy. I learn this only after drawing him ready to devour you.

This was a good challenge, and it brought us away from action figures. Sad part is my favorite part of the drawing is the tree.

Here is my first draft of him, which is much friendlier, but still pretty gross.

and yes I added two tentacles in my rush to draw an octopus.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Get Your Freak On

Boss Moss and most of the Freakies

Now for something a little different. So far we focused on very standard action figure type toys. This time around we will be going with some cereal premiums and more specifically the Freakies. These strange assortment of monsters were the spokes people/mascots of Freakies cereal.

The cereal was only on shelves from '72 to '76, so I probably never got to taste the stuff being only one when the disappeared from the grocery stores. On the other hand my mother tended to be a sales shopper and buy things in bulk. There's probably a good chance we still had boxes of the stuff long after it was pulled. I can just see her grabbing up a ton on clearance.

Even though I don't remember the product they were shilling, I do remember the characters and the toys. The above pictured pieces of plastic are all from my childhood and not something I tracked down on eBay as part of the collector rebirth the Freakies seem to be having. There were also magnets a few of which still hang on my folks refrigerator. I also clearly remember singing a song about Boss Moss. It was the sort of kid song that consisted of the lyrics "Boss-a-Moss -EH!" repeated ad nauseum.

Your probably also asking yourself where these guys fit into my playtime. Easy, they were aliens hanging round in the Mos Eisley Cantina.  Often times they were pets of the Star Wars folk. Boss Moss and Cowmumble were also know to hang with Yoda. And finally when the Ghostbusters Movie came along they were a natural fit for various spooks and specters.

Aside from Boss Moss the only other name I remembered until I looked them up was Snorkledorf, who is the blue fellow with the snout. It's hard to forget a name like that. As I said the rest I had to look up and found all you could ever want to know about the characters and their story here:
Boss Moss
Goody Goody

Sadly there are two other characters which I don't have. I know they were around during my childhood, but they have long since vanished into the ether of memory.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love for the T-Rex


Tromping through the forest until he gets to a plateau and then: BAM!

He's gonna kick Soundscream's ass. Yes indeed.


I had a great time with this challenge. Detail is my friend, but I need to concentrate on form, design and composition before I get so excited about drawing the figure. Let's not even talk about the frustration of color theory.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Me Grimlock Hate Challenge

Okay let me be clear on this, I really really do not like Grimlock. I grew up in a house with a former English teacher as a mother. Improper grammar was frowned upon and being forced to listen to cartoon characters talk like Tarzan was daggers in my ears.  I also didn't have a dinosaur phase like most kids. I always viewed them as dragons' lamer little brother.

The other problem is this sort of challenge puts a spotlight on all my weaknesses as an artist. I'm not good with inorganic things and especially metal. These are all the things that went through my mind when I saw Kir's challenge. Why would he do this to me? I thought we were friends.
Of course the point of this blog is to keep drawing and improve and you only improve if you work on the areas where you are weak. So I got out my french curves and rulers and got to work. I have to say that it didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would. I actually kind of like the new animated look, but I'm a G1 guy at heart and couldn't betray the little kid in me.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Yes, my beloved small-brained little T-rex.

Photo: Gustavo Vargas via Flickr

Now I never actually owned Grimlock, but oh how I PINED after him and his shiny golden chest. You have no idea. No, really. The sand skiff from Jedi was up there on the list, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. I wanted him, and no amount of convincing could get my parents to spring for him. When he came out in 1985 I was nine. How cool is this guy when you're nine? While the character on the show was more than a little dense he was, like the Hulk, was fun to imitate.

Other people love Grimlock too and demand for him is still high. For example, the Masterpiece version from 2009:


And to show you how awesome this is in comparison to the G1 version:

Photo: Jason Cross via Flickr

Jason loves Grimlock even more than I do. His collection:

The Challenge: Have fun. Pick your version and go NUTS.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Taking a Dip

So I fell a little behind schedule this week, what with having to shovel out of 23 inches of snow which fell in my area. I had my drawing done at the beginning of the week, but didn't get around to inking and coloring it until today.

I have attempted to capture the cavalier attitude to which Mister Miracle approaches danger. This is also the first time I can remember attempting an underwater scene. Water can be a tricky thing to capture in ink. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mr Miracle

I SO wanted to get to this show.

Sadly, the poster was very vague about the date. I'm sure I missed it.


This one took awhile to get right. I knew I wanted him to be in the middle of an escape, but for the longest time I had him dangling from his feet or falling head first. Once I turned him over it all rushed in and discovered itself. I love it when that happens.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Check Out This Mother....Box

Mister Miracle Concept Drawing From the Jack Kirby Museum
When I was child I loved super heroes. Okay, I'm not fooling anyone, I still love them. The problem was that there weren't many action figures depicting them. Then in 1984 Kenner released it's Super Powers line. To this day the Super Powers figures are some of the best representations ever molded into plastic. They had good likenesses and excellent playability.

I had quite a few growing up but one day I realized that none of the characters I owned had capes. It just seemed wrong to me. A super hero should have a cape. When my birthday rolled around with dollars in hand I went to the store on a quest for a caped hero. Lo and behold the only one they had was Mister Miracle.

Mister who? I had never heard of this guy, but he had a cape and that was important to me at the time. Little did I realize that I had stumbled on something beyond awesome. The figure also came with neato keen hand shackles and from the card backing I learned he was an escape artist with a somewhat punny alter ego of Scott Free.

If Apokolips can't hold Mister Miracle what chance to handcuffs have?

It wasn't until years later when at art school, I became obsessed with all things Jack Kirby. During that period I learned about the Fourth World stories and Mister Miracle's place in them. (As a child I thought Darkseid was just some stone guy with an unhealthy obsession for Wonder Woman.  Something many of us can probably relate to. ) I won't go into the details of the New Gods as there are plenty of places on the internet which do a better job than me. Needless to say I find them to be some of the most inventive stories of the time. Seriously Orion is Darkseid's son? What a revelation to have a hero be the son of the villain. I wonder if anyone else has used that as a plot device?

So there you have it. You never know when those childhood impulses lead to amazing discoveries. It also turns out that the figure is rather rare with all his accessories and can fetch top dollar on eBay. Not that I would ever sell him.