Sunday, December 26, 2010

John Lennon Paint Sketch

If you watched the Friday Night Sketch Challenge video from this past weekend, then you might recognize this image. After I finished laying the inks down for the video, I decided to add a few more things.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday Night Sketch Challenge: John Lennon

This weeks Friday Night Sketch Challenge: Could I create an ink sketch of John Lennon under the time of THREE Beatles songs.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gene Simmons Final sketch

If you check the blog entry below, you can see me actually sketching this image of Gene Simmons. I decided not to color it in the same manner as the Slash piece. I liked the simplicity of the black, white and red, so I kept it that way for the most part. The only extra tone I added was the dark gray in the eye make-up area.

Friday NIght Sketch Challenge - KISS

This weeks sketch challenge - Could I sketch Gene Simmons under the time of THREE KISS songs?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Napoleon Bonaparte Paint Sketch

This is a paint sketch of a young Napoleon Bonaparte created with acrylic paint on Canson sketch book paper. Total time: about two hours.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Slash ink sketch colored

If you wanted to see a close up of the ink sketch from the FRIDAY NIGHT SKETCH CHALLENGE video, here ya go.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick Slash ink sketch

This past Friday, I gave myself the challenge of trying to do an ink sketch of the guitar player Slash under the time span of two Guns N' Roses songs. Here's the video:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Self Portrait Step by Step

Recently, I created a self-portrait for promotional purposes. I've had a few people ask me how this piece was executed, so here is a step-by-step guide.
Step 1. Sketch Phase. As with every piece of art I create, I always start off in my sketch book, regardless if it is a piece that will be finished digitally or traditionally. For this phase in the process I was not too concerned with the typography in my beard or the way I was going to handle my hair. I was more concerned with getting my likeness down as well as things like proportions.

Step 2. Typography Sketching. After I finished the initial sketches I worked on ideas for the typography. The initial concept was to have my full name juxtaposed into my hair, but I thought the way "Jack" and "Gregory" were drawn lacked a cohesive look. As a result, I dropped the text in my hair and just stuck with the text in my beard.

Step 3. Final Rough Sketch. This is the final rough sketch. It gives me a loose idea of where everything is going to go, which leads to....
Step 4. Final Drawing. Now the drawing and the composition for the most part are finalized. At this point I feel fairly comfortable with the placement of everything and feel confident enough to get to the actual painting process.
Step 5. Preparing the Surface. For this painting, I used 2-ply cold press illustration board. The first step in my painting process is sealing the board with an even wash of light gray acrylic paint. Once the paint is dry, I go on to the next step.Step 6. Transferring the drawing onto the board. The title of this step pretty much says it all. I apply the final drawing onto the surface of the board and then spray fix it lightly with Workable Fixatif.
Step 7. Acrylic value study. After the drawing has been transferred and spray fixed, I use washes of black acrylic paint to create a loose value study. I'm not going for detail at this point. Just trying to get a sense of how the lighting and things like that will be handled. After the acrylic value study is finished, I lightly spray fix the surface again.Step 8. Oil Wash. For this step, I mixed Crimson and Navy Blue oil paints with GAMSOL mineral spirits to get a nice purple tone. I then applied the oil wash evenly over my painted surface. This part is pretty tricky. You want to use just the right amount of mineral spirits in the hopes that the oil paint surface dries into the board pretty quickly. If you use too much or too little mineral spirits, you may get results you're not looking for. The quicker the oil wash surface dries, the easier the next step will be.Step 9. Erasing. To the surprise of many, you can erase away oil paints with a kneaded eraser, which is how this step is done. Basically, I erase away paint from the areas that I want highlighted. This is why the cold press illustration board is so important. You get a texture left behind that you wouldn't get if you used hot press illustration board. Also, this is why the initial acrylic wash value study is important. It can be used as a guide to help during this phase of creating your values. I actually have video here of me working on this phase of the painting:

Step 10. Final details. After the oil wash /erase step, I lightly spray fix the board and add the final details. For this step I use black and white Prismacolor colored pencils along with white acrylic and gouache paint. I usually start off first with the colored pencils. There is a great texture that comes about as a result of using the colored pencils on the cold press illustration board. For extra highlights, I will go back over some of the areas with white acrylic paint washes and for areas that I really want to pop, I use the white gouache paint. I also liked using the gouache paint for the highlights in the hair and beard. When all the whites were applied, I used the black colored pencil for little details, like some of the stray hairs on my head, or the hair in my eyebrows or eyelashes. I also darkened the area between my lips with a black colored pencil.

So that, in a sense, is how it's all done.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Meet Chopper

Megadeth has Vic Rattlehead. Iron Maiden has Eddie the Head. Motorhead has The Snaggletooth. The list could go on and on with the mascots associated with hard rock bands.

I decided to roll with this concept in an effort to better brand myself. So here he is. My guy, "Chopper." If you check out the previous blog post, you can see that Chopper almost made his first appearance on the back of that tough gal's jacket.

Friday, December 3, 2010

scrapping this

I am scrapping this illustration. It's still just in the black and white phase, but there is a lot I really dislike about it. Particularly, the mo-hawk gal's pose. Everything from the waste up looks real stiff, and this is something I should of caught during the sketch phase. Not scrapping the idea, just scrapping this version.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Coming soon

Here is a preview of the new blog banner that will hopefully be up here soon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I took it upon myself to make a turkey for everyone. (wink)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Prairie Dog Rock

I originally designed this for a potential employer. I didn't like the original color scheme I sent them. (Pink and Green should never go together. Blek.) I also added the graffiti to the amplifier this go around.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I tried to carve a jack-o-lantern in a not so traditional way this year. It' didn't turn out so good.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Laura Palmer or Sweet Young Thing Aint Sweet No More.

So... today I participated in my third "Masterpiece in a Day" held in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis. Basically the way this works is, the competing artist shows up with their own supplies to create a piece of art in any medium they wish. The artist has between the times of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to complete the work on the spot, then it's judged by a panel of fine adults followed by an orgy.

I have not done very well with any of my attempts at this competition. Believe me when I tell you technical skills are not a big deal with this contest. Most of the artists, and judges... apparently, lean towards more contemporary forward thinking art, which basically means if your image looks like and image, it sucks.

So this year I decided to mix 2-D and 3-D art. I created an image of Laura Palmer from the show "Twin Peaks" as she appeared in the pilot episode. (For those who don't know, her dead body is discovered wrapped in plastic floating in a body of water.) I illustrated Laura Palmer's face using the Oil Rub technique on illustration board. Then, I wrapped the illustration in plastic and stuck it in a water tank that I created. The image above is the finished product.

Bah! No luck. Still not forward enough.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ink Technique study

This is a study of Mark Lanegan created with the same technique as the previous blog entry. The procedure was fun to do, however, the likeness to Mark Lanegan is not really on the money. On that note, looks like it's back to painting for this chuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuump.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chuck Berry - ink layering technique

I tried out a new technique involving inks and a process similar to screen printing by which you layer your ink drawings over one another to create your tonal shifts.

I started out with a simple line drawing with a little, but not too much detail. The areas inked in black here represent the areas that would remain black for the final piece. To illustrate these lines I used black Sumi ink with a brush on Marker Paper.

After completion of the black layer, I taped a new piece of Marker Paper over my line drawing and got out my light table. With the black lines showing through, I inked in the areas where I wanted mid tones to show up on the final piece. This go around there is more of an emphasis on getting some of the details.
With the mid tones complete I added a third piece of Marker Paper to the top. This time, using the same technique, I concentrated on areas where I wanted the lighter tones to come into play. After all of the layers were inked, I scanned them in and started putting the composition together in Photoshop. I had all of the tones on different layers and set them up like so:
Bottom Layer-Blacks, Opacity 100, Layer Style Normal
Middle Layer- Mid Tones, Opacity 70, Layer Style Multiply
Top Later-Light Tones, Opacity 40, Layer Style Multiply

When all of the inks were set up on top of each other, this is what my image looked like:
After I had my tones scanned in, I started adding colors and other effects to get the final piece. Overall, kind of a fun process. A little time consuming, especially the scanning part. It's bad enough that my scanner is so small I have to put my drawings together like a puzzle anyways, but on top of that, making sure that three layers of drawings lined up. This was a first attempt with this technique, so I might try it again. I'm a little curious to see how it would work with a more illustrative composition including things like a background or some environment.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

10 years ago

On this day ten years ago I moved into the CCAD dorms as a freshman....... I should have gone into something like insurance.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I was curious to see how the oil wash mixed media technique would work with brush and ink.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Valley of the Dolls Poster

This is a painting I did for the Cinematic Redux show (if you read Joel Jackson's blog you probably know about the show). However, my piece didn't make it to the opening because it was destroyed. I can honestly say that Valley of the Dolls is one of my favorite films and I enjoy reciting lines of dialogue from this film with my sister, especially if my brother-in-law is in the same room(he has not seen the movie, so he just looks at us with an incredulous gaze most times). The image for the poster with the pills and Sharon Tate's eyes was created with acrylics, oils, gouache and colored pencils on illustration board. I really under estimated the time it would take to paint every one of those pills on a large piece of board... it took for fucking ever. The text was then brought in with the computer, but the rest is 100% traditional. I found the process of creating this image extremely tedious and boring. In the end, I thought the image was descent on a technical level, but kind of lacking on a conceptual level. It more or less became an exercise of technique as apposed to something visually interesting and I'm kind of tired of creating pieces like that. The past couple of years I have taken a huge interest in creating pieces with brush and ink and actually enjoy that much better... so I will probably be going more that route from now on. So here is the final piece with detail and progress shots.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rock Me

I don't really know where this idea came from. I can only explain it like this - I was walking through the park around 2:30 in the morning and this "Rock Me" t-shirt idea popped into my head. The end.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A nod to the Ramones

Title pretty much says it all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Countdown continues...........

Letter 3. (The rest of the letters will get more interesting after this one.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Countdown Continues

Clue Number Two for the Countdown Stew.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Everyday I will reveal a new letter in the countdown.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter themed sketch

Does it really need an explanation? I mean, you either get it or you don't.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

4 paintings in 6 days

A while back I had posted something about doing five paintings in five days. Well, I fell short one painting and went over one day. Oils and gouache on illustration board.