Thursday, May 21, 2009


THE ORIGINAL MAN FROM ATLANTIS in the post GOING WITH THE FLOW I said it was going to be sepia toned.......I didn't like it so I went with the black ink, which is sort of following the post of going with the flow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Although I am a traditional artist, i.e. I do not work digitally, I do at times use the technology available to me to make my life easier and to achieve my goals at times. In saying , here is an example of what I mean.
The images you see in this post are scans of the actual size of a piece I started the other day, and was not happy with the face I had draw. So instead of reworking it a bunch of times on the actual image and ruining the surface of the paper, I scanned the head in actual size. Then I just made a couple of sheets with the multiple head "blanks" on it so that I can work it out that way thus preserving the original piece.
A little extra work, but if you think about the time doing this verses the time of re-drawing a whole image.......well worth the effort.

One other thing done in this is after scanning the image, I flipped it around so that it is a mirror image to the original, that way when I go to transfer the image via tracing paper, all I have to do is go over the lines twice instead of 3 times.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


After waking this morning and as I was enjoying my morning pot of coffee, I sat down at the drawing table and got out a sheet of parchment paper, as I was wanting to do an ink on parchment......actually a sepia toned ink.... just for something different and just the fact that I hadn't done one in long time.

The image on the above is the rough I did for this idea, and yes it is indeed rough. I actually drew it out on a scrap of bristol I keep on the table to wipe excess ink on when I am inking a piece.

After getting the concept down, I pulled out the parchment and as that it is a touchy surface, I got out my old friend the tracing paper and started to roughly sketch out the the piece. Now the more I drew, the more fun I had and the more I enjoyed the process, and ended up with something not quite a rough outline for the inking and something not quite a finished piece either. Yet as I was enjoying this freedom of just drawing and seeing what was coming out, I just sort of went with the flow of the day and the piece.

Now after about an hour or so I have a really nice "rough" and if I wanted a finished piece, but I think this is as far as I want to go on this one for now. I do still have intentions of doing that ink with this, but as I have a more detailed rough now, I will hopefully have an even better ink.
The face and right hand are a bit awkward, but I will be addressing that in the final image.
The ability to recognize when a piece is taking on something more than you intended is a good thing to knowing what to leave in or take out, as well as when to stop. The time to be able to go with the flow is a wonderful thing and getting the chance to go with one is a good thing. In this one I reached a stopping point and said ok.
Will I take this farther, yes, but not on the tracing paper. I will post the ink when it is done, but for now........I am just going with the flow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tarzan, The Phantom, Devil and the Griff

Just a recently finished commission. This was a fun piece to do, I loved the concept of having the Phatom and Tarzan meeting a dinosaur, and having just rececently finished re-reading Tarzan the Terrible, putting the Griff ( a Tricerotops like dino ) in the piece seemed natural. It also combined 2 of my favourite elements to draw........Tarzan and Dinosaur(s), so it was a plus.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


The other day in conversation, the topic of tracing and tracing paper came up with the phrase, " well at least your a real artist and don't trace stuff, you can draw ". I really found this kind of funny since I use tracing paper ALOT in my works, I like the term "Layout Paper" but it is all the same to me.
Yes,I do draw out all my own stuff, but tracing paper is a vital tool in the artists tool box, and does tend to get a bad rap. As most of us already know there is no one right way to do anything, and as time goes on.....there will be even more right ways. There are some artists who use a projector to transfer their drawing onto their painting surfaces, some whom I have heard will take their image, scan it enlarge it, print it and the paint right over the scanned image...........all cool to do, it is their image and their works. I myself will take my drawings scan them, enlarge or reduce them to the size needed for the space I'm working in. No one way is right and the fact that they were traced, or scanned or whatever does not change the fact that the image was originally drawn by the artist using it, and as I have grown as both artist and person, I find myself using more and more "aides" to create my works. Some of it is convenience, others practicality, time constraints and even just plain lazy.
Just a few of the ways that I use it : work out or fix a part of an image so that the erasing doesn't ruin the original paper or whatever I am working on.
B.....these are images straight out of my sketchbook that I liked so much that is didn't really see any point in "re-drawing " them and loosing what it was that I liked about the image. Each of these two examples were actually taken and then scanned into my computer, and enlarged to fit onto the board they were going to be transfered to.
C....these two images were drawn directly onto the tracing paper while sitting on the board they were intended for so I could get the sizes right for the painting.
So just because you see tracing paper laying about somewhere, don't automatically assume that it is being used to copy something that shouldn't be, and don't get all high and mighty about not using it either. The stuff is good, practical, and a lot cheaper than having to start over if you ruin the surface of the original paper.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


After writing all that about being Open to Change, and saying I had come up with the image....well when I sat down this morning to work on the drawing, I realized that the sketch wouldn't work, so I drew this out and am sure it is the final position for the piece. Using this figure will also add another element of depth to the composition as well so, there open to the changes that present themselves.


O.K., I know this is going to sound pretty simple and very basic, but being able to go with the flow or OPEN TO CHANGE is in my humble opinion a key to being a good artist/illustrator. It also sort of helps in your day to day life as well.

Getting stuck on a certain position for a figure or what not in your layout can hinder you or set you back on whatever it is your working on.

Changes can even happen at the last minute by the client, the AD or whomever maybe involved with the piece. The change may come just because of something like it just isn't working, or "I don't like it". Which is exactly what has happened to me on an ink I am currently working on. After doing 2 pages of roughs working on a position for one particular figure in this piece, I just was not satisfied with the action, position, and all that, so I just sort of put it up for the night and was going to come back to it in the morning.
As can be seen in the two pages of doodles, there were variations on the theme. So, even as I am fleshing out the idea, I am playing with the concept of maybe this will work better.

Well the morning came, and I pulled out the ol' sketching stuff.........not hard to do since it is everywhere .......and said to myself, "what if I did this?". Well I did it, and sure enough it is the right one.
Being open to the change as well as being able to recognize it and accept it are keys to getting the work done and having a good piece. So be open minded in what you do.

Simple to say, but sometimes not all that easy or simple to do. Very basic, but without the basics where would we be?