Sunday, November 9, 2014

Practice Inks

While I  am insanely busy with finishing both the 12th issue of "The Wellkeeper" and drawing "Carpe Noctem" for Hashtag Studios, every now and again, I need to put the pages aside and relax.

What's weird, of course, is that for ME I relax by drawing some MORE. In this case, just inking. I LOVE the process of inking. It's the closest I can get to meditation and it clears my head a lot. So tonight I decided to just unplug my brain and pull out one of the blue line pencils from Gary Martin's excellent "Art of Comic Book Inking". In this case, a particularly organic and loose Conan page from the master, John Buscema!

I'm not inking this for anything other than practice and relaxation and had a lot of fun just trying to interpret his forms and add my own touch to the page. I don't know if I'll ever bother finishing this, but figured it would be fun to share.

For the inkers out there wondering, this is 95% inked with a Pentel Stylo drawing pen. (I LOVE the wonderful, crowquill like line I can get with it.) The woman's hair is with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Love those things.

Friday, November 7, 2014

DOGPILE: The Complete Dandy & Company Compendium

Now Available as Printed Collections or Digital Downloads, you can dive right into the over 20 years of "Dandy & Company" Goodness with "DOGPILE: The Complete Dandy & Company Compendium"!!!

TWO MASSIVE, 500+ page collections featuring EVERY strip, gag and short story dating back to 1993!! 


Friday, October 17, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Dog Knight Returns!

After an extended and unpredictable hiatus that has lasted nearly 5 years, my classic webcomic, DANDY & COMPANY is returning!

All new strips will begin running weekly on Wednesday, December 3rd! In the mean time, readers new and old can get caught up with classic strips from the nearly 10 year online run of the strip, re-running now between the launch of the new goodies!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fetch: An Odyssey

This is the cover art to my latest project, a graphic novel I'm co-writing and penciling with Martin Dunn called "FETCH: An Odyssey".

It's a story inspired by Martin's daughter Evie, who recently lost her dog Rosco. As is common, when trying to console Evie, Martin told her that her dog was in heaven with God. But Evie ain't your average kid, and she immediately got serious and said "Wait, god stole my dog?" and became incensed. From there was born the seeds of "FETCH" as Evie imagined a story where she traveled to get her dog back from Zeus.

We're Kickstarting this project in the hopes of putting together a budget to support it's creation and could use all the help we can get! PLEASE do what you can to help make this happen, even if it's just spreading the word and sharing!


Sunday, March 16, 2014


So, with Marvel finally reprinting the 80's "Miracleman", I've finally gotten to see what the fuss has been about all these years and I'm digging the book. Hence this new piece just in time for Megacon.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Making of "The Wellkeeper" Poster

I recently created a hybrid watercolor/ink piece of art for "The Wellkeeper". This art is for use both as a poster for promotional purposes, and eventually for the cover art of the omnibus collection that will contain all 12 issues of the series.

As I was drawing this piece, I took pictures throughout the process and thought it would be fun to share that process again with you all. Hope you enjoy.

STEP 1: The Idea

All good pieces of art (and most crappy ones too) begin with a couple of rough sketches in a note pad. This piece is no different.
The final design used elements from a few of these combined.

STEP 2: The Rough Pencils

In this case, VERY rough, blue line pencils. I prefer working in light blue, non-repro blue pencils to lay down my roughs even when I will  have to erase them. The light color and less smeary line is easier to work with for me. Partly because of the next steps. Please forgive the TERRIBLE photo as the faint blue lines are very hard to capture well.
Yes, I ink from pencils this loose.

STEP 3: Colored Inking

For colored pieces like this that will be colored with some traditional medium like watercolors, I like to use PRISMACOLOR colored ink pens. They allow me to play to my strengths (rendering and cross hatching) without overwhelming the colors. I discovered a while ago, that once you ink with these, the pencil lines below the inks won't erase. It's another reason why I use the light blue pencils.

At this stage, I ink only the external lines leaving rendering and details for later.

STEP 4: Sepia Inking

Once the PRISMACOLOR lines are down, I use Faber Castell Sepia PITT pens to lay in most of the rendering that doesn't require a specific color. (Like Zoe's Magenta hair.)

And the green for the grass, etc.

STEP 5: Finished Inks

Does this really NEED an explanation. Using both the sepia pens and the PRISMACOLOR pens, I finish up all the details that require inking prior to moving on to paint.
Ta Da!

STEP 6: Watercolors

Now, for the watercolors, I actually prefer working with the cheep stuff. lol. I have a set of Prang Oval-16 that I got at Michael's. I learned using Doc Martin's dyes, but those are a little closely, and as this was largely experimental for me, I decided to start simple and work my way up to the fancy tools. 
I layered about 4 different colors for Zoe's hair.

STEP 7: Watercolors Cont.

Watercolors can be a pain because you can only build color UP. You can't paint LIGHT colors in watercolor over dark colors easily, so you need to plan out your values and try and keep everything clear, a concept I'm still struggling with.
The finished watercolors, lacking necessary depth.

STEP 8: Colored Pencils & White Gel Pens

Once the watercolors are complete, I pull out my handy dandy PRISMACOLOR colored pencils and white gel pen. I touch up areas of fine detail and rendering and use the WHITE to render in the blast lines radiating from Zoe's hands that help push the Withering Man's skull-mask and Grandma Luludja into the background more. 

A Faber Castell white opaque brush pen also helps me rim light Zoe's hair and the Raccoons, Lily and Sebastian.
The white really helps to define the shapes better.

STEP 9: The Finishing Touches

Like most artists, I'm a glutton for punishment and never feel like I've done the best that I can do. As such, this painting was given a SLIGHT touch up in Adobe Photoshop for the final poster/cover.

I blended in some of the colors on Zoe's face and arm better, added a harder drop shadow on the Raccoons to pop them out more and added some colored highlights to them. I manipulated the field of color behind Zoe to plug blues and purples from behind Granny and the Withering Man to separate her a little more and added some hot spots to the white light around her hands.

A few tweaks here and there helped to bring it closer to what I imagined in my head.

That all said, I hope you dig it!