Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wasteland, a breakdown

Doing my latest photoshop painting was a lot of fun. Even early on, I thought it'd be interesting to post up the various stages in paint and as promised here is a breakdown of the process -which in itself is really a work in progress-:

1. I'm still just getting the hang of doing pictures entirely in photoshop and not working from scanned pencils etc. This time I started out with an extremely loose sketch over a flat background base; In the future I think i'll probably spend more time in this 'stage' since I had some real composition issues later on with the three characters ;p.

2. With the sketch in hand, I quickly roughed in some colour with a coarse brush just to have something to go off of. I'm just trying to lay in the basic shapes as well as some color difference. The landscape was, of course, done in a seperate layer and in fact I tried to have as many seperate layers as possible while keeping stuff organized (sometimes very unsuccessfully =) ). Something basic but totally invaluable I learned was that you can just right click while in the pointer mode to bring up a selectable menu of all the layers that are under where you're pointing your mouse.

3. At this point, I started rendering all the characters. I wanted to keep everything to a tight palette and as you can see from the sketch, tried to make a lot of corrections. One thing that I really like to do, but don't do enough of, is to look at a drawing in the mirror to make sure the proportions are correct since the eye tends to skew things in a certain direction. This is made much easier in 'shop where you can just flip the damned thing so I try to split half the time just working on the entire image in reverse. If it looks good both ways then you've got it made.

4. Ah, the background. I probably had the absolute most fun with this part. To me, painting is more akin to sculpting that drawing. In drawing, i'm used to draftsmanship where you try to be as precise as possible in rendering but with paint you're really just pushing colours all over the canvas and just trying to shape stuff until it feels right. Eagle eyed viewers will also notice several anamatomical changes on the characters as they didn't feel right.

Here's a view of just the background.

5. And finally, with some more colours and effects we arrive at the posted picture.

Here it is with the original sketch. Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Existential Robot

HMR-0047D-B33 performing Hamlet at Stratford-Upon-Avon, 2096

Sketch, colour test.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Children of A Broken World

The roomate picked up a ridiculously large flatscreen TV and a 360 last week so time's been, well, scarce; but in between lobbing incendiaries at alien hordes I finally got to sit down and finish the new painting this weekend. This was hella fun though it's still definitely a learning process. I've got some alternate "versions" of this which I might post and I might also put up a breakdown of the progress if I get some time this week. I love painting!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Whooooo... i'm ecstatic about Edmonton's win over Minny tonight. With all due respect to the team, it wasn't a game where I was expecting any points much less a win so it was nice to finally see the first line come together. Horcoff, Hemmer, Torres and Penner seemed like magic everytime they were on the ice. Still, It was a bit touch and go there, the Wild seemed to have an answer for every single play the boys made and what a weird shootout win, what with Belanger totally missing the net to set up Hemsky's wobbly dribble that just trickled in to win the game, but hey we'll take 'em anyway we can get 'em this year. Gagner scored probably the best SO goal of the bunch, this 18-year old is going to be a legend, book it!

Ok anyways, i've been further collating some older stuff and put together a comp of last years Film Noir comic that I did with Mandy and thought it'd be cool to share here. I'm not really feeling comics right now, especially in light of that 24 hour comic that I still haven't put up (heh, it's almost 24 weeks) but I love working with people and I always feel like I push myself alot farther with these projects. I like to collaborate with Mandy alot since she has a sort of furtive manic genius that I completely lack. Here's the pages, brush inking was super-fun:

Mandy wrote the story and I drew it.

Things have been pretty busy at work and any free time has either been sucked up by my fantasy hockey pool or feverish painting, so I haven't even touched a pencil to paper since monday. It's a concern though, and I'm starting to really yearn for die sketch so I think something will hatch in the next few days.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Zombies Broke My Heart

It's around time that I need to brush up the portfolio, whether it's taping together old artwork or pinpointing new stuff I need to work on to fill some gaps. To that end, I conscripted my suffering roomate who spent most of saturday having to pour through volumes of my sketchbooks as I stood behind him holding a nail-studded bat and encouraged him to make suggestions. The poor bugger's actually a pretty experienced industry pro and me, I like free help.

Anyways I wanted to group some work together to cut down on the number of seperate images per page and I mashed together some of the concept art that I did when I went through my Zombie infection (not to be confused with my infection of THE Zombies, I still love those guys).

Looking at the timestamp, it's hard to believe that it's been exactly one year to the date that I worked on these. I remember taking a step forward with these and the anime style colouring and lighting (I think I was referencing Josh Middleton or Sunrise animation or maybe both) is still pretty cool to me. The poses however are terrible, so uncomfortably contorted, #1 and #3 stick out as particularly bad and likely proportional unsound, #2 is really boring and basically just a self-portrait although I remember that I was looking to draw someone different... pffff! The girl furthest right is alright, but still a little stiff. Bleargh! Still it's great fun to keep progressing.

The originals are still on my website for now and deviantart. Interestingly enough I've also got some non-blood variants and of course the whole series of backgrounds that I punched up for them.

Ooh La Laa

Man, I'm totally drawing skanky stuff.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Confessions of your Offensive Neighbour

I saw this ridiculous speed-painting clip last week which finally pushed me overboard into the torrid waters of digital painting. By happy circumstance I managed to produce this nice little tart which I also posted to devart last week (see links on the right). The new devart image sizing's are a bit small for my liking so i'm reposting it here:

You'll recognize some blatant pose and composition theft from the aforementioned clip, but I was really surprised and enthused by the result an hoped to continue on this vein. But treading this new territory, it's a huge learning curve and i'm having a lot more difficulty in the making of my sophomore effort. As a non-prolific painter, i'm discovering a lot of things as I go, for instance, you should never leave anything heating on the stove whilst you work; The smoke alarm has rung on two seperate occasions tonight as i've been carried away with trying to mix cool shadows in with flats and highlights.

This is really, really fun at the moment.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ambient Beatles

Listening to Past Masters at Café Crepe.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hello Out There, We're On The Air, It's Hockey Night Tonight!

Tension grows the whistle blows and the puck goes down the ice.
The goalie jumps and the players bump and the fans all go insane,
Someone roars "Bobby scores!" at the good ole hockey game.

So it's chilly outside and Hockey Season is in full swing. I can't exactly articulate what the appeal really is of watching a bunch of dudes who aren't me battling each other in vicarious feats of athletecism and daring, but I sure can feel it. This year i've stepped up my sport nerdery and joined a hockey pool and an even more exciting fantasy pool.

At the moment i'm sitting in the #1 spot of the hockey pool. It's actually pretty unexpected and I feel pretty excited about it, like I should be sitting at home in a jersey and waving a big foam finger at the monitor. This'll probably end tomorrow as somebody passes me and I get relegated to the bottom of the pack =)

Anyways, here's my picks in the order that I got them:

1 Spezza, Jason
2 Staal, Eric
3 Gaborik, Marian
4 Sykora, Petr
5 Horton, Nathan
6 Lidstrom, Nicklas
7 Hemsky, Ales
8 Toews, Jonathan
9 Brown, Dustin
10 Hossa, Marcel
11 Recchi, Mark
12 Connolly, Tim
13 Fisher, Mike
14 Peltonen, Ville

So no Crosby or Thornton unfortunately but it feels good to have Spezza who already leads the league in points and hopefully Staal will rebound from a relatively weak year. Looking at the roster, I get the feeling I chose with too much heart and it feels like I did pick a lot of dark horses and long shots. I have this ugly feeling that Lidstrom is finally going to decline and of those guys, Gaborik and Connolly have had some serious injury issues in the past (i'm not positive that either of those guys have ever managed a 70+ game year), Horton, Hemsky, Brown, Hossa and rookie Toews are still really developing and haven't reached that "jackpot" stage in their careers, and Peltonen is a near unknown as he's an older vet who came in from the Finnish Elite league... so he's an "inspired" pick to say the least.

Also i'm cheering on my Oilers again after a Smyth-induced hiatus. We're definitely not the team that made the 2005-2006 Finals anymore, but it's a dynamic team with prospects equal to our current weaknesses. In short, we're not going to win many games this year but the hockey's going to be hella exciting with young guns like Super Series MVP Sam Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson and Gilbert and Smid in the rear.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I called in sick today -which sucked- but it gave me the chance to sit down and do some scanning. I feel pretty bad looking at this sparse page because one of the main reasons in having a sketchblog was to produce regularly. However, spending all morning and afternoon attending a screen, mouse, tablet and keyboard; I find that i'm never really keen to spend any time on the computer in the evenings, much less the scanner. This doesn't mean that i'm drawing any less though, in fact, i'm actually putting more time aside to sketch every day which feels pretty good. It would definitely be nice to have some more of that up though.

One more argument for why should try to post more is that it's a whole different experience looking back at doodles that i've probably forgotten about by the next day. I find the progression of styles and ideas very interesting, so here's a selection of sketches from the last few weeks and i've tried to jot down some comments for each:

Teenage Dropkick

I've really clued into this scratchy, sparse style. I like the idea of trying to get my hands as loose as possible when I draw... not to mention it's a lot easier on the wrist.

The Evil Nurse

Hmm, this one is interesting because this was a failed sketch. I had a concept in my head, sort of influenced by Daryl Hannah's character in Kill Bill and Marly Shelton's character in Planet Terror (from Grindhouse) and I wanted to make something I could later finish in watercolours but it fell apart and I wasn't happy with the pose. The sunglasses are cool though, and you'll see that the weird melty though bubble finds it's way into later stuff.


Have you seen the fake trailers for Grindhouse? I have a slew of post-it's at work chronicling the gritty exploits of Machete, sadly this is the only sketch I have handy here.

Dance, Dance!

I like this, I've been looking at solicits for black and white graphic novels and the idea of the alternating contrast really interests me. The white-black-white/black-white-black really makes things pop.

Two Old Men of Vastly Different Circumstances

I was probably just noodling around but looking at it now it's a contrast between a rich old man and a poor one. Retroactive introspection, yeah!


And now, an everyman, a Kung-Fu Colonel Sanders and a Ice Cream Cone Sumo (and his posse).

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Special Ed Forces

I watched "Assault on Precinct 13" yesterday, which wasn't nearly as bad as I'd been led to believe. It almost looked like a John Frankenheimer movie, what with all the sudden snuffings of key characters and -for a moment- about 3/4's in, I actually thought they might just go ahead and snuff the protagonist. Predictable denouement all the same, the fancy rifles and elegant body armor got me all flushed and pining to pencil out some tactical aggression of my own.

other movie ripoffs include blatant Defoe posing and a Solid Snakey, Ryu-ey mashup

I always feel kindoff bad for drawing this slush, but the sad truth is that I grew up in the Lee/Liefeld/Mcfarlane era and really... special ops, guns and pouches... they feel gooood.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Last Days of Summer

Shit, I was freezing my pretty little buns off this morning waiting for the bus to get here and the sun to rise.

Summer's over, boys.

It's a damned shame because I was really enjoying it and i've still got a few items on my hitlist that I wanted to get to before the grey enshrouds the city again. Martinis and patios anyone?

btw, don't worry I am still actually working on that 24 hour thing haha

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I think my brain is slowly collapsing. I guess that's why my mohawk is kind of sunk today.

Monday, August 20, 2007

yes. I am Angry + Hungry.

Go figure: the day I decide to stretch and do a 24-hour comic is the day that I end up having to stay half those 12 hours at work.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I'm not really getting as much time as planned to work on my little project, but here's some concept sketches:

Four old masters, in classic Queen formation. I'm really just looking for a nice face for a lone ancient wise guy so i'm hitting up some variations. Looking at them now, I don't really like the guy on the left so much; the top guy was probably drawn from the court musician in Hero, guy on the left from a villain in an old Shaw Brothers or Five Venoms movie (the same one that was sampled for that crazy Chemical Brothers video? and the fellow on the bottom looks like my favourite wiley old chinese man actor, Kim Chan!.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Than Meets The Eye

I think sometimes when we're talking about movies we can get carried away in our enthusiasm and it's jarring when we run into the empty and disapproving stares of people who might not be from our demographic. But to reiterate: We are men. Mature men. Mature men who like robots.

It's been almost a month since I last posted anything illustration related. I kind of enjoyed the break since i've been concentrating more on making "finished" drawings rather than doodles and there's a little work that I should probably be scanning up and dropping here. That being said, i'm starting to rear up for some more sketchwork. I'm going to work on a little side project for the next week, so i'll try to post some in progress sketches everyday again. Also if anyone's up for a sketch and a bit o' tipple let me know, i'm so there.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I, Godzilla

Last week I had this odd leathery patch of skin on my neck. I'm sure it was probably just dryness, the hot weather or some physiological sign of the excessive hours i've been working but I'd like to think it was a dormant strain of reptillian DNA, slowly emerging to the forefront.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Justify My Love

I don't want to disrespect him, but actually this kid has alot of gas.

I guess this guy would have been street in the 80's. He kind of looks like young Madonna spat all over him.

Please Hammer Don't Slay 'Em

Had a dream where Buffy starred Kristin Bell and Alan Rickman. I didn't really notice a huge difference but i'm sure this would please many, many people.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Oh Edward!...

Those friendships will never die because they hunger for THE FLESH OF THE LIVING!

On an off note, after stalking through your friends list
"Oh here she comes
Watch out boy shell chew you up
Oh here she comes
Shes a maneater".

Monday, June 25, 2007

Go Go! SUVTron!

"You excited for the new Transformers movie?"?

"I was"

"You were?"

"Yeah, in 1984".

I bawled my eyes out watching that movie. Watching all your childhood heroes get slowly killed off and then who gets the Matrix of Leadership? That douchebag, Hot Rod! Anyways, that story had such a huge impact on me that I fully expect the new one to be a huge pile of dog crap; but a SHINY huge pile of dog crap. I've seen the trailers and even the game trailers and the camerawork and setups look absolutely crazy.

At work, it's getting really intense. I've been grinding really, really hard but somehow I don't think i've been making the impact I should be. So it's time to transform into full robot battle mode and beat down some deceptacon trash.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


That's all I got.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Unspeakable Horrors

I held out for a long time but in the end I decided to join facebook. You see, facebook is like a zombie outbreak. You start by hearing vague little things about it on the news, you maybe notice that a one or two people are missing from where they should be. Then it starts to close in, people start acting strangely. Compulsively. They're talking all about it with nervous laughter but it doesn't seem right. Then in an instant they're all over you. At your house, your workplace, your favourite bar they are crawling through the windows and the mail slots. They are your best friends, your co-workers, your mothers and brothers and sisters. They are coming at you mindlessly flailing and hungry for you to join their cause, And as you look at them, you start to realize that they're barely the people you once knew. You can fight, you can run, you can lock your doors; but they will keep coming, and coming, and coming.

Then they get to you. The darkness rushes over... and suddenly it's not so bad, you don't mind being a zombie... hell, you might even like being a zombie and you start stumbling around trying to infect all your friends and loved ones with your newfound hobby.

Facebook. Tasty Human Flesh.

You see?

Anyways, I bit Joey on the shoulder today. Sorry man, just join facebook already.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Party Like It's 1997?

What is incredible, is that she managed to hold on to this drawing for so long. Here's a ten-year-old drawing complete with totally goofy ass signature and somewhat questionable pencil crayon choices:

Mad love to Karyn for keeping and scanning this wild sexxx tiger. I'd thought she was lost, but now the Floam Ranger and Radiation Man are back in action!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

La Poste de Jeudi

The other Dan, or Big Jr. as I call him, is really devoted to his mom. Enough that we're apt to draw certain conclusions when he mentions that he's skipping out to go shopping with his mams. Young man, thanks for putting up with all this sophmoric crap from a bunch of jackals who are relatively older than you.

As you can see, I was doodling in ballpoint today which I actually don't really do much of. Here's a few post warmup scribbles.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wear Protection

Hanging out with women is often times far more interesting because they let you know that they're carrying knives.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

High Tea

MOO-HAHAHAHAHAHAA!!! Erica-May and I have created A MONSTER!!!! (Two beautiful individual monsters).

Long Island Fishbowl

Went on the nowweeklysketchgettogetherthankgoditsfriday- needadrinkbutstillwanttobesortaproductivemaybe today. It could use a catchier name, but maybe not something horribly cheesy or overused like Lead Poet's Society (stolen from Skottie Young), The Fellowship of the Sketch or Sketchfast Club. Actually I like that last one. Sometimes I go to these things and I get more socializing and relaxing done than passable artwork, but sometimes it goes pretty well and i've got something to show:

hammer, snowman, totally gay, high-speed car chase, rock concert

lovelorn, moose, office, gardening, thong


pigsty, lifeguard, Quinn's brain, blasé, leaping

Also, Emmett, Suzanne and Quinn came along for the first time and I have some of Quinn's.
I should note for the squeamish that before Quinn and I showed up, there were a lot of sex organs being drawn. And even a nice fat Prince Albert piercing, or as I fondly refer to it: A !@#$%ING PIECE OF METAL THROUGH YOUR !@#$%ING WOOWOO. I'm pretty sure that should be credited as a group effort. So yeah if you don't like that sort of thing don't click the first one.

Hey, nice use of red, Dudeboss!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Three Brothers

I really was!

I like to think a little ahead of my sketches and try to visualize what i'm drawing as a whole and break it down and compartmentalize it. As I practice that, it becomes a little easier to use things like varying line weights because you have an idea of where you're going to apply it. I think it's getting to be second nature of having some organic phatter lines and then tightening up the details with some more precise tips. It works pretty well with some of the figures in my imagination but i'm trying to apply it to things other than people, although I still have a ways to go:

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Drawing is my Hot, Hot Sex! (but music is pretty good too)

There's an off-chance i'll be able to go to the CSS show tomorrow. As i'm not really a concert-goer, I'm kind of overly hyper about it.


I hearts that song so here's some Le Tigre/Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna lovin':

I also wanted to point out that Karen totally did scan in a picture of my new haircut and not only that she even coloured it! RAHHHH!!! Too awesome for words! Anyways it's here, a couple of posts back.

I had a really good time seeing Mandy again over the weekend. I'm really going to miss that girl. I was joking that since she's been gone i've been nearly completely sober. But it's true, now that she's away I need somebody to step up and grasp that baton of inebriation!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Kill, Kill, Kills!

Damn, I was just trying to come up with a cool band name. But I guess "The Kills" has already been taken. Fortunately, they're actually pretty awesome. So I guess this is fanart then?

There's alot of photoshop foolery here, but it's fun to play around. Mostly though, i've been starting to concentrate on drawing a lot of inorganic things since I have a habit of drawing mostly human forms.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I cut my hair again. I now have the mohawk I always wanted.

Perhaps i'm being self-conscious but the downside is that I find that people give me very dirty glances as I stroll past and are downright suspiciouswhen I enter their establishments. It's a little disappointing in terms of the human spirit since i'm no less of the asshole I was back when I had a few more hairs on the side and a few less up top; they treated me pretty well back then.

On the plus side, i've gotten some ego-stroking out of my ridiculously talented co-workers whom I've forced into producing portraits of yours truly with sweatshop efficiency.

I've never been quite as splendidly cute or pinstripey as Laura has been nice enough to draw out; nor am I as rugged and manly as the other Dan suggests. Karen has drawn one too, whose handsome and charming likeness, she could (of course) not bear to part with mwahahahaha; but she claims she'll scan and send it to me so that it might also reside in this veritable hall of fame. AND IT IS AWESOME!!!

This could be a self-aggrandizing meme: I charge you O people of the world, draw me in all my hair shorn glory!

Oddly enough, while leafing through my sketchbook I came across this ink test I did sometime late last year.

Despite the fact that I wasn't drawing a self-portrait and the crazy goth lips notwithstanding,... I find it strangely prescient.

Anyways I'm crazy and outrageous with excitement since Mandy is coming to visit tomorrow with Diana. I'm a little sad because it'll probably be the last time I see her before she opens up an awesome new chapter of life in the Eire. Also Happy Dave and Maki's Anniversary (oh and also your birthday) to Hallis; sorry I didn't make it out to the pub tonight since i'm mashed from this week but I'm sure you're having a capital time. Hope you manage to be upright and hangover free for ze wedding.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dino Rider!

Dear lord, I have got to get more sleep. I've been so damned tired this week.

Until then, here's a picture of a dinosaur:

Dino-Riders was an awesome show that ran at 11am Saturday Morning (right before Saber Rider) on YTV around 1989 or 1990.

My five-year-old self would be shaking his head in dismay at how little i've improved with drawing Allosauruses.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


It was mentioned that this is something that would look pretty sweet as a wheatpaste, and I would like to agree wholeheartedly except that drew it as a lark and don't really support the message. We were talking one half about the upcoming Olympics and the other about the depressingly consumer culture of Vancouver and then thought it'd be pretty cool to draw a fist going through the Olympic emblem and grasping for some cash. Also, I really just like to say "Word!".

Seriously though, I do have some issues with the Olympics taking place here. People have said things about it being a cash grab, or supporting negative politics, about it advancing the already burgeoning yuppie metastasis of the west coast. I totally agree with that, but not because I have some righteous conviction. I agree with it because I am an angry carmudgeon; . What it boils down to is that I don't want to have it in my backyard. I don't want to have my life bothered by this event and I don't want to deal with the construction and the crowding and blah blah blah. I suspect that most vocal protesters are motivated by the same thing. And that's cool, It's fine to hate on stuff, just own up for being a crank. On the whole, I wish people would be more analytical of their angry political leanings.