Wednesday, September 12, 2012 obsession

Outside of my wife and art.......I do seem to have an obsession with a certain character or image, THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN, I really cannot say where or when I became fascinated with this image, but I have completed the 4th image of this guy, and it is the 3rd in oils that I have done. There is also a watercolour sitting on my drawing table that is the 5th, as well as  6 and 7 in my brain..the 7th I came up with last night while watching tv with the family.....I also did the ol'boy  one year when we carved our pumpkins for Halloween, but anyway with out further ado I give you HEADLESS IV

Prints will be available of this one so if you are interested please contact me via e-mail :

Sunday, August 26, 2012


This little fellow is one oils on sturdy Tracy-nite looking for a good home. He is 5 " X 7" and only $50.00 

Please e-mail me  at

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


In the not too distant past ( yesterday ) I had someone come up to me and say, " man I wish I could do what you do, just sit down and have a drawing or painting......what you do is so easy "

  ...... sorry for the explicative, but  guess what, it ain't all sit down and have yourself a drawing!!!

There is a little bit of work that goes into what we do, yes sometimes we do just sit down and have a piece come to us:

...with this pencil piece, I was sitting on my front porch  enjoying the morning and drinking my coffee, and I KNEW I wanted to d a Tarzan like image with an ape....that was all I had in mind when I did this,  I started to let my pencil move randomly, and started working on the ape..... on the back of this are the first attempts of the ape, he changed position on this side and the drawing came to me.

These are the things that never really get seen, the prelims and roughs. ALL the little hoohahs that go into the final piece that everyone sees.......the final piece is work but it is not all the work, even as we or at least I am working on the final image, I am still editing and trying to improve the piece. 

Below are some examples of  the roughs and the finished piece......

With all art, the piece starts with an idea or is not perfect, it comes out, and then gets worked on. There are a lot of behind the scenes and extra features that go into the making of an image. If one piece was feature movie, and you got the bonus disc with the "making of" features, you would see that like making a movie, the making of a drawing. or painting....has a lot more into it than just "draw" or "paint".

When you look at a finished painting for example, you are seeing HOURS of work just in the painting.....and that does not include the hours spent in the beginning of the piece.

And to let you in on a little secret.............most of my favourite art to look at are the roughs and prelims......the raw energy and unrefined idea, the thought process of what will go into the piece and what will be left out..........for me those are the cool things.

O.k., that is the end of my rant, but there is work behind everything, and even a drawing and painting, and nothing is ever as easy as it looks.............

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


There are some folks out there that think we just sit down and EVERYTHING  we do is gold........not the case! Drawing/painting,  "art" is not as easy as perceived, there is work to it, and not everything we do comes out perfect every time. In each of the images, at various states of being done, there is something off in each of them........they just didn't they will be put to more useful things like Snail Girl Paper or as starter for our fire pit outside.

At some point you just have to be honest with yourself and say this is not worth the effort of trying to save..and honestly if you have to try and save needs to be redone. So here are a few examples of those things that need to be redone:

.... these will all be redone at some point soon, I like the concepts, the ideas, but just not the execution of the they have been executed, and will be reborn at some point in the near future.......

We all mess up, make mistakes, that is life, the only true mistake is not learning from them and not trying again........

Friday, May 11, 2012


This is just in off the drawing table.Just thought I would share a bit, she is ink wash on parchment paper 11 X 14 and can be yours fro $75.00

Just E-mail me at

Monday, April 23, 2012


I am working on a painting of Sampson knocking over the pillars, and in doing so, I had to paint some columns, and for me wanted to do marble. I painted these boys 2 times, and on the third had a wonderful idea.........I had seen something Todd Lockwood had posted about how he did some dragon wings, and thought to myself...THAT IS GREAT ..... I'll use it some day.

Well the day came and as I was painting these columns, I really wanted an organic random pattern in the marbling so I used what I had seen Todd do. Once I had my column painted and while the paint was still wet, I then laid the painting on a flat surface. Next I took one of my fan brushes and dipped it into my turps cup. I then went over to the painting, and too the brush and ran my thumb across the bristles and sprayed the areas of the painting with the turps. After doing that what I felt was enough times to get the effect I wanted, I then walked away and let it dry...............having faith that the combination of paint and turps would work for me in a beneficial way.

The theory behind this is that the turps will eat away at the wet paint leaving you random patterns to mimic the marble.

In my opinion it worked........... I guess the essence of this post is to let the materials work for you. I got a wonderful pattern that I was looking for and all I really had to do was splatter some solvent onto my paint.............and make it work for me. I do realize that this can backfire on you, but it is paint, so you can just paint over it if you don't get the results that you want.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Just recently a friend of mine got in touch with me about a project he was working on and asked me if I could lend a bit of a hand...the answer of course was yes.

He was working on a film project of his own production HATMAN and on the 3rd installment and wanted to know if I could story board it to help with shots and angles and such.storyboarding.... so we sat down one day in Studio B ( the porch ) and discussed the project and as we talked I doodled out the scenes he had scripted out.

After getting the initial pages down, over the next few days I sat down and redrew the panels with a little more finish to them as well as change the format from vertical..which is what I am used to doing mostly illustration.... to horizontal  fro more of a film look so that he could plan his shots a bit better and have it closer to the screen image.

Story boards are fun and quite similar to comic work. They can be as simple as you would like or s complex and complete..........I guess it all really depends on who you are working with and what they want in all honesty. Black and White or colour  as well.

I personally cannot wait to see the finished production  and had so much fun doing these, I hope it goes on and I get to do more!!! Here is part 2 of Hatman for you to see...........

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


For some reason these gals just popped into my head, and had to get them out. They will be done in watercolour and ready for viewing soon.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Every year I do one of these for our local St Patricks Day Festival and is this years

Friday, February 17, 2012


I am working on a drawing and had to match a curve ............. 

BUT I do have a piece of tracing paper, a knife and a piece of paper...the paper is actually my scratch ink wiping blotter paper thing next to me while I ink.. so with these three things I trace the line, cut the page and match the curve!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

WATERCOLOURS .......part three

In part two I sort of left off at inking in the hair. As I said in that post, I really do not care to use ink straight out of the bottle/well. There are some cases where I do use it, but for the most part I really prefer to water it down, and build my blacks up in layers.

Layering.............. that is THE key to the way I work. Whether it is pencil, ink or paint, layering is the way to go.

In this photo you will see that I have laid down a basic colour for the tree, it is a bit of the yellow ochre and the sienna as well as the umber.....just sort of woody colours. From here I will continue to build up the colours with layers using the same earthy tones, adding some reds or blues to add warmth and depth to the piece as I continue to work and round it off.

I will also start to add in the greens for the mossy areas of the tree. In these areas I will also be starting to layer in the glow from the fire ball thing in her hand to the tree as well as her hair. In this phase of the painting I will tend to jump around from one area to the another,  allowing  some drying time in between layers of paint. I am using a sort of wet on wet thing and letting colours blend as I paint into an area, but also a more dry technique leaving more of a pure colour as well. Still only having a general over all  mid grad tone to the piece, no real lights or darks.

From here on out I pick mix and choose my colours, layering them onto the page until I get to the final image.
Finally on her I added a bit of white acrylics to the fireball thing in her hand to help"brighten" up the area, and a little bit on her waist and shoulder as highlights.

Going back in with the white acrylics, is something that doesn't happen often for me, but actually liked the way the application worked, and will try it again in another piece

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Original NEAL ADAMS Captain America Cover! Auction for Gary Friedrich Zoom Enlarge Sell one like this Original NEAL ADAMS Captain America Cover! Auction for Gary Friedrich

Here's a chance to own an original cover by comic legend NEAL ADAMS and help out a creator in need. This is the alternate cover for the most recent Captain America #1. Penciled and inked by Neal the cover measures 11x17 on board.

 auction listed here


About Gary Friedrich : As many of you may have heard, the creator of Ghost Rider has been counter-sued by Marvel. Click HERE to read more about that. They are now saying Gary can no longer claim to be the creator, cutting off his livelihood, but have also slapped him with $17,000 bill for damages to the corporate giant.
Gary's says he is going to appeal but in the meantime, he and his lovely wife are broke and in need of our help. I've seen the comics community come together and it's a beautiful thing when it happens. Let's do it again.

Thank you to Neal Adams and his son Josh Adams for reaching out and onating this incredible art for Gary!


You can also make donations to help Gary at this link as well:


Thank you,


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gary Friedrich

O.k...... there might be one or two of you who are unaware of what is happening or happened to this comic art legend...........Gary is one of the creators Ghost Rider and now been sued by Marvel to pay $17,000.00 for drawing and selling images of the character at Cons.

This link gives you better info and MORE links on the whole subject than I can:  LINK IS HERE

here is also a link to another site where donations can be made to help this man out.


What has happened to Gary........could happen to any of us in the field.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

WATERCOLOURS ...... part two

A young female human wizard with black hair who always wears white trimmed in gold.

The above sentence is the description that was given over on ArtOrder for the latest challenge that has been given. It is an extremely open description and leaves everyone plenty of room to play. the sort of description I really kind of like, and when I read it an image immediately popped into my brain and I quickly jotted it down  in the ol' sketchbook.
After I got the pencil down in the book, I went over it with my brush pen establishing some basic darks and such, then with my cheapo watercolour set, hit it up with some colour and with that all done I played with the figure and head a bit before I went on to the real paper and laid it all out.

The next step was the pencil....

.... here in the pencil of the piece you can see where I added a sword coming out from behind her back held in her right hand. After getting it all down in the lead I went in with a sepia toned ink to sort of out line certain areas. I use the sepia instead of a black ink because it is a softer line and does not leave you with the colouring book image...........this is something I learned from looking at Frank Frazetta's watercolours and cartoons. It truly was a brilliant idea and yes I did borrow it from him.

Now that I have all that down I wanted to get started with the colour, but first I needed to do her hair. As the above description said BLACK HAIR, and with that in mind I proceeded to lay in the hair with a black ink. I chose to use ink for her hair because I ultimately want to go back into it with the watercolours and add the glow of the fireball thing in her hand. 

With the ink, I can retain a black as well as dilute it and get some greys out of it. Personally I do not believe in ever using ink straight out of the well, not even on with my dip pen. I will almost always go into my water glass first on either one. I can always make the greys darker by going over them again with the ink, but I cannot make the blacks greyer after putting them on the paper.

Here is a real time video of the hair process being done.

.... and here is a look at the hair after it has been inked

I do know and realize that all this is pretty basic stuff, but it IS the fundamentals that we all seem to fall away from, and basic drawing skills are the true foundation of what we all do. Whether it be in a traditional medium or have to have the basics.

Up next will be the colour .......... see y'all then.

WATERCOLOURS ...... part one

First off..........this is going to be a series on the way I handle watercolours. I have a couple of different "styles" of painting with them, and I will be going over all of these from the very beginning to completed piece for all of them. 

I use this incredibly versatile medium for various things from roughs to cartooning to some "painting". If you are truly interested in the way watercolours really should be used, then AFTER reading all my  posts on this subject you should really check out these Fellas:

Here  is a bit on MUDDY COLORS from Eric with a video clip as well.

Paul has also graciously posted a sort of how to, over on the MUDDY COLORS  blog, so there is also a link to it as well.

All kidding aside about reading my stuff first and going to check out these REALLY should pay very close attention to what they do, for in my book these two guys ARE where it is at with this medium in the illustration field. What I do is sort of dabbling compared to them.

My use of the watercolours is more of an adult colouring book sort of way of painting. as will be revealed as we go on, so lets go ahead and jump in the pool and get wet with watercolours!!!

I have honestly been using the same plastic palette for the past 25 years or so, and since I had been really doing the whole Watercolour thing before I ever really started to paint in oils, my colour palette was adapted from this medium to the oils. 

O.k. as you can see, I have all my colours lain out and ready to go, these are tube colours that I just squirted onto the palette,and keep wetting as I use them. There are areas for each individual colour, a sort of mixing ground for them and their family, areas for the secondary sort of colours, greens, oranges, and purples, all pretty much mixed from my primaries .

I have these "mixing" colours in separate areas so I can keep my original or primary colours "pure". I am using the term primary colour here not as Red Yellow and Blue per-say, but as my base colours.........which actually are Red, Yellow, and Blue, with some earthy tones in there as well.

The "FREE SWIM" areas are a basic mixing area where I will clean my brush off or wipe a bit of paint off to get less on the brush and occasionally just grab whatever colour is in there and throw it in the painting.  
This is the water glass that I have been using ever since I can remember.  If I am not mistaken, my mom gave it to me, and she got it sometime way before that in a box of Tide or is pretty old.      

These ol' boys are my pens and brushes for both the watercolours and my inks. the ones on the left are the watercolour tools, the dip pen on the far left is the one I use with my sepia toned inks. On the right are my ink brushes and dip pen as well as my ruling pen. ( in which I have spoken  of in a previous blog post.)

As far as paper goes..........I use Strathmore  300 Series Bristol with a smooth surface, the  yellow pads. This paper is extremely durable and versatile. It is what I do everything on from pencils to inks to watercolours..... this stuff is the work horse of my studio.

This is as good a stopping place for the first installment on the watercolours as any, and since we have gotten down to the paper, the next phase will be the drawing and beginnings of the paintings.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


I  personally cannot say enough about this amazing tool. It is the King Daddy of all the media in my book and I shamefully do not use it enough. I love what can be done with it...........whether it be a simple sketch or doodle.

the beginnings of something else like an ink, watercolour or painting.....

or the full on in your face is the ol' boy at work, and yes he is a work horse, do not deny the might of a pencil or what can be done with one. It is where every great work of art starts, and in a lot of cases ends. Drawing is the foundation of all the arts.

Hooray for the mighty pencil.

( I also just found out my camera has a video option, so look out.......this is the first of more to come )


It is well known in my circle of friends and family that I am a sketch-a-holic, and cannot and will not go anywhere without something to draw with or on, and when I don't I will draw on anything I can find when I start  twitching and jonesing for a quick doodle. The other day my wife and I were out and about running errands and taking care of some business things together, and honestly in some cases I would prefer to wait in the hall or waiting areas rather than go in, she would do likewise, so I didn't feel too bad about it.

I have a really cool bag of stuff  that I carry for extended trips and a commando kit for other times, and most  always something or other.

As I stated above...........I come prepared for these moments of solitude and waiting by bringing things with me to occupy my time........I.E. .... a sketchbook, and a few choice tools of the trade.

In the above picture is an HB pencil, a mechanical pencil ( also HB ) an erasure pen thing and on the left is the Mighty Brush pen!!.

This wonderful but awkward looking thing is a brush pen, the bulbous part on the back is a big 'ol reservoir and can hold any liquid you want. I have mine filled with black ink ... although I did water mine down a little so I can have some greys .... and get black if I go over the areas again. The tip is a really cool fiber that retains a sharp tip for fine lines and will spread out just like a brush to get broad strokes as you need.

This little fellow has become a major part of my sketching and doodling arsenal. He is honestly at this point invaluable, for as I sketch out things I will go back and use him to darken and delineate various sketches that might actually develop into something more  as you will see below.

These little guys were done on the outing with my wife while I waited around at one point, and will eventually be an ink drawing that has to come out soon. As you see some have been highlighted with the brush pen, mainly to define the lights and darks. Spotting my blacks this way ultimately helps me to find the form and basic shapes I am looking for. The rest will follow as I refine the image, but doing things in this way will give ;me a very quick idea of where I really want to go.
With my brush pen, I can do it on the go, and not wait until I get back into the studio and get out my ink and brushes, a very handy tool. if you don't have one, I would strongly suggest you look into getting one.

I usually buy mine at CheapJoes.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


Ok, I thought I would start off the new year with something old and a sort of tip as well.

I have been doing a lot of ink lately and have been in need of doing some straight lines. This little dooflatchy I have had for EVER!! I don't know how long I have had it or what it is even called.............I call it my line dooflatchy thing............that said, there is an opening at the tip of this thing, a screw to open and close the opening...making it wide or narrow depending on what the desired width of the line you need is.

You put a blob of ink into the gap, adjust the wheel and then lay it up against your ruler and draw your line. No smudges, no muss and a great line. If you can find one or what it is get one, they are darned handy.


This just in.....I have found out that this little thing here is called a RULING PEN, and that I got it so many moons ago from my biggest supporter and all around cool MOM!! Thanks : )