Sunday, November 7, 2010

Avatar time yet AGAIN!!!

Just another avatar is all...

For Cancer Awareness Month: Billy Tucci's SHI

In recognition of Cancer Awareness Month, my friend DJ inspired me to throw down this pic. I'm dedicating this to his wife Pam, Mrs. Deborah Tucci, and the memory of my Aunt Addie Howard, who lost her battle with Pancreatic Cancer this October. If you haven't been tested, please do so as soon as possible. There's no cure for the Big C, but it can be prevented if detected early enough.

Wonder Woman Day 2010

For the second year, my bro-in-arms DJ has managed to cajole yours truly into submitting a piece for the Wonder Woman Museum's annual Wonder Woman Day charity auction to benefit victims of domestic abuse. As I did last year, I drew the piece, and then digitally colored it, but did the final touch-ups with white paint (a licensing stipulation required by DC comics.) And just like last year, I then re-touched the original scan in Photoshop, with which I'm a bit more comfortable:
Just before sending in our entries, we learned that this would be the last year for the auction. I don't know why, but I made sure to get a piece in this year. I hope it does well at auction: good causes that I can actually contribute to are a rare treat.

SDCC Cont... the Storyboard Showdown!

One of the most rewarding portfolio reviews I've ever had at SDCC took place this year with a wonderful woman from The Cartoon Network. We basically went into detail over one of my sets of boards panel-by-panel, and needless to say, she 'took me to school!!' She really opened my eyes about some of the panel decisions, and at the same time told me that had I lived on the West Coast, she'd have had me enrolled in a special kind of 'training camp' for storyboard artists ready to go to that next level:

I spent so long talking to her, that my three buds gave me crap for almost an entire day afterward. But I have no regrets. How can I?

SDCC time... And AWAYYY WE GO!!!

Ah, and it was time for the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, where the aspiring artists pack San Diego's Upper Pavilion in droves while their fanboy contemporaries swarm the convention floor, desparately craning their heads over one another for just a glimpse of Olivia Munn. Being one of the former, here's the obligatory last-minute-done-on-site color piece, which gave quite a laugh to one Mr. Carlo Soriano. Ah, Carlo, you know me too well:
This shot of the kiddie Boba Fett was the first combination of my Wacom Cintiq and Corel Painter Essentials, the software that came bundled with the tablet. (I included the pencil piece just because...) I may try again with the old Photoshop, just to get a different look...

The Great Comic Strip Contest!

So in the summer, I became aware of a contest co-sponsored by both the Washington Post and some webcomics site. they were looking for a comic strip artists with a novel idea to submit six sample strips. The main prize was too good to pass up: A cool grand in cash, and a 30-day stint on the Post comics page, with the option from one of the big Syndicates to pick up the artist permanently! I went to work on a long-overdue concept, and came up with a pretty decent entry (well, I think it's decent.) I tapped into my experiences as a bartender, teacher, artist, and coach here in DC and came up with "Last Call!"

Alas, I didn't make the final cut. (In my opinion, only a few of the ten finalists had marketable ideas; in fact, one even had a gag that was stole from someone else!) And while the Web guy promised to give me a detailed critique, I haven't heard from him yet. Nonetheless, I'm EXTREMELY happy with what I did, and I'm seriously considering putting together a submission of my own for the Syndicates to judge...


In my continuing quest to keep drawing while coaching what had to be the single most dismal wrestling season I'd ever been a part of, the guys at the Sketchyscribbles blog were (as they've always been) a lifeline!! Right on time, they announce d a new round. This time it was Robots.

Robots? I can do robots. (Okay, this one kinda just shot out of my head, and now I'm wondering if I've seen too many robots in my life. Now it looks like a hodge-podge of every Robotech Mech I've ever seen, Marvin from the "Hitchhiker's Guide" movie, and a dash of C3p0.) I ruined a corncob pipe while I was doodlin' this rascal...

Avatar time AGAIN!!!

Jump ahead to Spring 2010... What with the long winter being over, I was overdue for Spring Cleaning (in my head, anyway.) And what better way to shake off the cobwebs than to throw a new avatar out into the ether? Since I was feeling like I'd been neglecting my Cintiq, I decided to show it some love and get to work. To that end, I came up with a decent little avatar design:

Satisfied with the basic idea, I laid some Inks down over the old bear:

And then, I just needed to take some time and feed it to the Cintiq. It took a couple of weeks, but then wouldn't you know it? i had to pull a double shift at the old overnight job. Now nothing sucks more than having to work during the day when you're a nocturnal type of guy. If you wanna throw gas on the situation, make that day shift a double; then you're talking about the recipe for instant-Steve-lunatic soup! Fortunately, I had four things going for me:

A.) I was jacked up out of my gourd on caffeine.
B.) I had my trusty Cintiq at the job with me.
C.) I'd just watched a YouTube Video of Reinaldo Quintero coloring, and was hyped to color!

I opened up my B&W piece, and went to work, and VOILA!!

(Methinks I may get the hang of coloring on ye olde tablet yet...)

And the Sidekicks just keep on comin...!

Having started the eleventh Sketchyscribbles round with the first Sidekick drawing, I felut I had to do at least one more. I won't be surprised if people have to look this up on Wiki and Youtube...

Back when I as a kid, Sid & Marty Kroft used to have these wonky old seventies shorts (H.R. Puffinstuff and "Land of the Lost" were the two most popular.) One of the shows I remembered was a knock-off of the old 60's Batman show, Electra-Woman and Dyna-Girl. Electra-Woman was the main hero, and Dyna-Girl here was her teen jailbait sidekick!!

(Okay, I confess this is true "Old School" here. Heaven help you if you can remember this, because it means that, like me, you're as old as dirt...!)

Lord love a Sidekick...

Having hit a lull around the holiday season, BRP sent out a call for new sketch ideas for our blog group. And as the guy who opened his yap and suggest that the Sketchyscribbles blog mob do a round on sidekicks, it was up to me to start the ball rolling. My first contribution was one of my all-time favorite literary characters, the incredibly ordinary RON WEASLEY (aka, the guy standing next to the Boy-Who-Lived for 10 years and 7 books!)

This sketch is mostly done in Prismacolor marker and colored pencil, with a touch of Photoshop in the BG.

Sketchcard Practice!!

The Saga Continues...!?

Having a set of pro-sketchcards underneath my belt, I decided to get a little more practice in with the media I'd focused on in doing them. So I took another few tries at them on my own. I heard about another company which had a Marvel license looking for 'Hero vs. Villain' samples. So I gave it a shot:
Mixed results, IMHO. But heyu, you never stop learning...!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

TOPPs Sketchcard fandango!!!

When we last left , I'd just gotten my first big sketchcard gig (from TOPPs, no less!) I decide to stick for the most part with the media I'd used to get the gig in the first place: graphite and color pencils, and design markers. Here are the best of the 50-card set:

Now by now everyone knows that during the 2009 holiday season (during which my deadline happened to fall) the East coast got enough snow dumped on it to cause another damn Ice Age. While the main bulk of the storm fell during my deadline (of course) I was still able to get the pieces in on time. HOO-RAH!!!

I'M BACK...(Sorry about that!)

Okay, sorry it's been so long. Almost a year; I need my ass kicked in for not posting before now. So let me slowly try to get the page up to speed. I guess the first thing I need tio do is post what stuff I've done over the last year. Bear with me, guys...

Let me start (or try to) in order. Back in the winter, my chum DJ and I got to talking about the sketchcard industry, and what it would take to get some done. I went to the Scoundrel forum website, and ended up sending a few emails questioning some of the major companies as to whether they had some sketchcard work available. Imagine my surprise when I heard from TOPPs (yeah, that TOPPs!) They asked if I were interested in doing sports cards, and like a good little starving artists, I said I'd give it a try. As a test, they sent me a jpeg of Orioles stud Adam Jones, and asked me to shoot them back a sketchcard-worthy piece. This is what I sent:

They responded with a compliment, and my first sketchcard job! Stay tuned...!!!