Friday, October 31, 2014

Monster Month Days 29-31

After drawing so many creepy monsters, I thought I'd end things on a goofier note. C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me.

Requested by my Mom, but I was actually already planning on doing these guys. Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan from Monsters Inc.

Last and maybe least, a monster of my own creation: the Mucous Man.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Monster Month 26-28 A Few Things...

Mike Mignola's Hellboy and its spin-off B.P.R.D. (published by Dark Horse) are the only comic book series I still follow. From what I remember, the movies are so tonally different than the comic that they are basically a bad parody. The comics are steeped in mythology, folklore and classic literature from all over the world. In one comic, Hellboy finds himself in Japan fighting evil decapitated heads (based on an actual folk tale) while later, in Hell, he watches a puppet show of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. It's crazy stuff. This is actually a drawing I did a while back for a fan art contest - I didn't submit this. You can see the one I did submit here.

One of my favorite monsters from Marvel Comics. I first learned about the Man-Thing from a Spider-Man collectable card set (apparently they had a "team up"). Man-Thing is a silent hulking swamp creature who guards the nexus of alternate dimensions and whose touch burns the flesh of fearful evil-doers.

Believe it or not, I don't remember ever having owned the book Where the Wild Things Are but I really like the Spike Jonze movie.

Almost finished!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monster Month Days 24 & 25

I think I've got most of the evil and scary creatures out of the way, so now it's time for some heroic and more lovable monsters.

Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Goliath, from the epic '90's cartoon Gargoyles.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monster Month Days 21-23

Sort of a randumb set today.

Super Mario Bro's
I'm not sure how this turned out so awesome, but I'm glad it did. I've been wanting to do a series of realistic drawings of the original Super Mario Bro's characters, but this will have to do for now.

Fellowship of the Ring
 Wish I could have spent more time on this one.

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
I don't remember much about this '90's cartoon show, but tonally it was sort of Monsters University meets Ren & Stimpy. The monster designs have had a lasting influence on my sketch life.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monster Month Days 18-20 More Villains

I can still remember gathering with friends to watch the episode where Lord Zedd made his debut on Power Rangers. Lord Zedd replaced the annoying Rita Repulsa as a more worthy nemesis for a show about ninjas who ride robot dinosaurs to fight giant monsters. He's up there with Shredder and Darth Vader as greatest villains of all time. I only just realized while drawing him that he is wearing a metal bikini.

Another cool villain from the '90's. I'm hoping Krang makes his live action debut in the next Ninja Turtles movie. Tentacles crossed!

We need more movies like The Dark Crystal.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Monster Month Days 15-17 Villainous Dump

In the original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the Witch only has one eye.

Based more on his reptilian appearance in the books.

And his pet Kowakian monkey-lizard, Salacious B. Crumb.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Monster Month Day 14 - Gojira

King of the Monsters! I tried a couple other poses and quickly realized that Godzilla should always be seen from below. This is more or less the version from the recent remake.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monster Month Days 11-13 (more 80's classics)

Gremlins (1984) is tied with Home Alone (1990) as my favorite Christmas movie and is easily one of my top 10 favorite films of all time.

I always forget how much I love "Little Shop of Horrors" (1986). What ever happened to Rick Moranis?

Little bit of trivia: Bill Murray's masochistic dental patient character was played by a young Jack Nicholson in the original 1960 version. For most people, the dental scenes are probably the scariest part of the movie.

If you know me, you knew this was coming... Stay Puft from the first Ghostbusters (1984)! Although, to be honest I was far more terrified of Vigo the Carpathian and the pink slime from Ghostbusters 2.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monster Month Day 10 - The Fly

Was going to draw the super disgusting "Brundlefly" from the 1986 Jeff Goldblum version of "The Fly", but then I remembered the original 1950's version of the Fly wore a suit, which was just too adorable to pass up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monster Month Days 7-9 - 80's Sci Fi Classics

Trying to catch up. Everyone's favorite sci-fi monsters from the horror renaissance of the 80's(ish). Stuck close to the original designs on these since they are trademarked characters (as opposed to creatures from mythology or literature). Change Predator too much and he's not really Predator.

 Wanted to include a facehugger, but had to hurry things along.

Not sure if the fleshy eye works on this but I wanted to make it clear that this is THE Terminator and not just any endoskeleton.

COMING SOON - More awesome monsters from the 80's!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monster Month Days 1-6

I decided to sketch a monster for every day of October a week into the month, so here's the first set as I attempt to catch up. Obviously these are my takes on the classic "Universal Pictures" movie monsters. First is my version Dracula (not just a generic vampire). The creepiest part of the book is when he crawls down the side of his castle. At this point he isn't fully rejuvenated so he still looks pale and ghoulish.

Next is Frankenstein's Monster. He's a tough one because the iconic Boris Karloff version is nothing like the monster in the book, who complains of his creator's rejection in eloquent monologues while his long black hair blows in the wind. So emo.

Never seen the movie, but in the book the monster begs Victor Frankenstein to create a mate for him (which he doesn't, inspiring the monster to murder Vic's fiance). Stuck close to the movie version.

Not really happy with this one. The WolfMAN is man whose evil, beastly is manifested in physical form. That's more scary than a man who is trapped inside the body of a wereWOLF. It's hard to find the balance between animal and human features and this didn't turn out the way I wanted but I had to press on.

My favorite classic monster simply for how bizarre he is. While the other monsters have roots in myths and classic literature, the Gill Man just sort of comes out of nowhere. Prehistoric fish man wants to steal your girlfriend - why?

I think this is a pretty good sketch, but the Mummy is still kind of a boring monster.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Batman meets ???

Get ready for awesomeness.
Rough page for a new portfolio piece. No photo references used, which is why Frank Miller Batman in panel 1 transforms into Jim Lee Batman by the 4th panel. Will fix it as I tighten the line art.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

JOB Test Pages

Some test pages for my barely-an-idea JOB graphic novel. Still struggling to find the right artistic style and color palette for this. The line art for the pages below is very rough and the colors are way too "Technicolor". You can definitely feel the Mike Mignola influence, but I'm considering eventually painting over the final line art to end up with something more like Francisco Goya doing a comic book.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mucous Man WIP 2

little more work, big difference

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mucous Man WIP

Here's where about a year of practice has taken me. I'm still working on the repaint, but is it any better?

original digital painting 7/11/13

repaint WIP 9/5/14

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Date Thumbs

Here's an example of what I mean by "thumbs" - small sketches (maybe 2" tall?) where I figure out the page layouts. When I get stuck, I usually use a 9 (3x3) panel grid like famously used by Dave Gibbons in Watchmen to help me figure out the "shots" i want, before I worry about the best way of fitting them together on the page for maximum impact.

Monday, September 1, 2014

"The Date" p1-6 WIP

At the beginning of the year I set myself a goal of completing a page of comic book art each week. With only a quarter of a year left, I'm way behind. In order to catch up, I'm posting some very rough, unfinished pages I've been working on. This is meant to eventually be a portfolio piece for the big publishers Marvel and DC.

 As you can see, there are several layers of lines. I draw in black and then use an adjustment layer to change the hue to blue to draw over the top, refining and refining until I'm happy with the lines (I never am). The orange is for background stuff, especially when I use a grid for perspective.

At first this might seem like a simple scene, but I probably drew about 20 rough thumbnail size sketches of the layout. At first I was going to start with a wide shot of the cafe, but since the setting isn't important to the plot (they could just as well be at a fast food joint or library), I decided to start with a two shot giving the two characters "Parker" and "Stacy" equal importance. Yes, they're intentionally hipster versions of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy.

Very rough digital lines, not happy about the layout on this one. That face in the first panel is horrendous. Basically, this is supposed to play as a reversal of the cliche "Clark Kent runs away in fear, but is really just changing into Superman", but it's not working yet. Because the twist is...

 The superhero is the girl with the mohawk. Her powers are supposed to be based on the control of gravity. Need to add some bricks or something so you can tell she's running through a back alley.
Most of the layouts started as small pencil sketches done at work. Here you can see how I blow 'em up & blue 'em before I start drawing digitally.

I kind of like how the monster can't fit in the page, but I also think this should be a 2-page spread, so you can see more of the city, people fleeing in terror, the creatures legs smashing cars, etc... Sometimes I do sketches in grayscale just to get a better feel for the composition.
Not sure if this page layout works? Sort of a weird sequence of shots, with the characters moving in a circular motion.

Lots of work still needs to be done before I'd feel confident showing this to an editor at a comic book convention. Sometimes I need to abandon things for a while and come back with fresh eyes. These six pages represent several months worth of sporadic noodling and including the Hellboy drawing and the Spider-Man commission, I'm now only three 3 months behind.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Washington. Washington.

He's coming, he's coming, he's coming...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Spidey More WIP

final(ish) line art

flat colors
The thing I'm most proud of is the "spider face" hand. Believe it or not this is the first time I've actually finished a drawing of Spider Man swinging through the city. One more step to go.