Thursday, October 2, 2014


In celebration of InkTober I drew something. Kind of a random super fast drawing just because. We supposed to do a drawing a day but I certainly wont go that far. That said, I hope to do a few more in the near future.

Rolling Tongue in the Rolling Hills

Friday, August 29, 2014

We Are All One (Process)

Here is a process gif of my newest illustration/design.

Step 1. You can see I started with a pencil drawing. I did some preliminary sketches of the layout and individual character studies before making this drawing. I tried to not use too many references because I wanted this to flow and be from my imagination. The drawing phase is the most crucial in my opinion because without a good foundation, or composition, the whole piece will fall apart. Once the drawing was finished I scanned it into my computer.

Step 2. I edited the drawing a little, changed the arm and leg length on one character, and then added a Layer Filter to give the drawing a pink tone while I inked the drawing.

Step 3 & 4. I inked the circle of characters and the text with black lines.

Step 5. Solid blue was added behind the circle of characters.

Step 6 & 7. The addition of low-lights (shadows) was handled next. Since the pencil drawing included shading I made the solid blue layer invisible while working on the shadows. The highlights where not part of the drawing and I made the blue layer visible while working on them. As opposed to what the gif (above) shows, I toggled back and forth between working on the low-lights and highlights. It is kind of a push and pull process, that reminds me of the process of addition and subtraction in sculpture, and it reveals itself as you jump from character to character.

Step 8, 9 & 10. The background color is added, the text color is changed to the highlight color, and some shade is added to the text.

Step 11. Not pictured. From the beginning each color was made in black, was created on a separate layer in PhotoShop, and had a layer color overlay as a color placeholder. After the art was finished I experimented with the highlight, mid-tone, and low-light until I was satisfied with the hue and vibrance in relation to the background. This phase is important and kind of a reflective period. From experience I know it should not be rushed; in the past I think I have ruined pieces in this phase by selecting bad colors.

There is a Psychedelic contest going on at Threadless right now and I decided to do something even though I have been a bit burned out lately. This time I drew something that was fun to draw and illustrated it in a screen-print friendly, or graphic, style. The style is influenced by skateboard deck designs I grew up with in the late 80s and 90s. Conceptually it based around the five senses and how they come together to form our consciousness. At the same time it is also about life, the afterlife, time and space. I am not sure if anyone will get any of that and it does not really matter to me. The conceptual side of art is what keeps me excited and motivated to keep making and finishing art. This all said, I want the meaning of this art to be fairly loose and up to interpretation. What I hope, in the end, is that people will think it looks cool enough to want to wear it but if they do not I am still satisfied because the process of making the art was fulfilling in and of itself.

Edited the text a bit. Here is the newest version:

I will post the link when to the design on Threadless when it is available.


Recently I sat myself down and learned how to make basic animated gifs in PhotoShop. This is the result of my exploration. Hopefully you like it because I will start posting my newer gif creations now and again. Over time I hope to get better at them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"T" Time

So there was this idea I had a long time ago. I originally planned for it to be a t-shirt design but I wanted to do the art in my preferred working style, which is not screen-print friendly. The concept of the design revolved around a tee, within a tee, within a tee but with a twist. I wanted to have some characters characters having tea time (drinking), while golfing (tee time), on a tee shirt. Then I thought about how this would be rather boring with people and brought animals into the process. Call it inspired, or WTF, but I thought about how it would be awesome to have whales playing golf. How could they do this? With mechanized exo-suits of course. What would they use for a club? Why not a giraffe. Since we are now in Africa, a pangolin would also make a nice ball. Plus the animal club and ball would be a bonus reference to Alice in Wonderland.

 Here is the original sketch.

Once I had an idea and sketch put together I researched some whale, giraffe, and pangolin images, then drew the whole thing into a composition. Okay, fact-check reality is the drawing was so huge that the two whales on the left were on one sheet of paper and the whale on the right was on another sheet, and the composition came together in Photoshop.

 Original composite drawing.

 Detail of whales on the left.

 Detail of Whale on the right.

After the drawing phase was complete, I set about finding textures that would work for all the different elements. For the whales, giraffes, and cephalopods, I referenced actual photos of the animals but altered the color and manipulated the shapes to fit within the drawing. I found other textures to fill in the nonorganic areas which were also color and shape manipulated. I then added shadows and highlights to all of the elements. Finally, I found and manipulated background elements to work in the composition.

 The art at this point.

I removed the pencil lines here so you can see what
the texture/color looks like without the pencil work.

Color/texture Progress from pencil to completion.

At this point I was really happy with the results. The problem was that this would not print well on a t-shirt. The idea was scrapped, as far as shirts go, and the image was added to my portfolio. 

On a whim, and mostly to see how it would score on Threadless, I submitted another design called "Speed is Relative" (see previous post) in this same non-print friendly style. It was my highest scoring design and it ended up printing months after it was submitted. They managed to print it beautifully. 

For this reason, I started considering submitting "T time" for scoring. I had to make the design blend into the tee better so I used a nice Photoshop brush to round and fade the bottom on the composition a little. It also made the composition more vertical, and less square, and brought more emphasis to the characters.

Design to be submitted?

I have not submitted the design. I was thinking it might work well in a drawing contest. I think I will get some feedback before I decide.

Thanks for looking and let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Reprint at Threadless

 I never said it here but I was printed again at Threadless. In fact, it did so well that it was just reprinted.

Here is the screenshot.

Here is an image of the art from the submission called "Speed is Relative." It was originally on Olive green but it was actually printed on a natural colored tee. I bought a coupe and the print looks really amazing for a t-shirt print.

Click on either picture for details.

For good measure, I thought I would post the original drawing of the design. I drew it in pencil first, scanned it into the computer, and added digital color/texture (wizardry) to it.

As always, thanks for looking.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


When I was in college studying design I also created ceramic masks as another creative outlet. There is something primitive and freeing in forming something out of clay. I was also intrigued by the idea that cultures all over the world have created masks and that masks were frequently used in religious ceremonies.

Today, I still try to make a mask every so often. There is a local place that fires ceramics and has glazes artist can use. I go there when I have 2 to 3 hours to spare; With a full-time job, night school, and young children, this means pretty much never.

I am still intrigued by the idea of a mask. Hiding behind the face of another, or becoming someone you are not, is another interesting tangent to consider when making a mask. Can the wearer of the mask really separate themselves from that other person they are pretending to be or does it become another expression of the wearer's own identity buried within? Or maybe the power, or change, the mask wearer feels is from the reaction they get from other people who see the mask. The viewer of the mask will certainly have a different reaction to the mask wearer even if they know who the wearer is. You may think that changing one's visage does nothing to the psyche yet it is still an odd thing to consider why so many people, over time and all over the world, have used masks in some form or fashion.

These questions and thoughts were brought back into my mind when I went and picked-up my most recently fired mask. I have been so busy that it sat at the art studio for a month before I picked it up. In the old days I would pick-up my masks as soon as they were available. Times certainly have changed.

Most recent Mask

The first in my Mask series I created in College

I plan to make more masks when time permits but it may be a year or two before I make one. In the meantime I just put my plethora of masks up in the attic to be unearthed when the right time presents itself.