Monday, February 27, 2012

WEEK 8: Historical figures as superheroes or villains

It's said that any superhero can be traced...or is in some part tied to mythology. And if that's the case we should be able to base them on historical figures as well. Benjamin Franklin as Electro? Bill Gates as Galactus? Hilary Clinton as Black Canary? Richard Nixon as a nunchuck wielding psychopath? You get the gist of it....have at thee then.

Week 7: Oscar

I wanted to be sure I at least posted something...these next few weeks will be tough to get anything for the blog finished...or in a finished state. Mucho commissions..and a benefit piece to finish this week. (Hey, Papa needs a new pair of shoes.) So I'll post the unfinished inks...and strategically cropped as to not give away my concept. Of all the muppets Oscar has always been my favorite. I'm not sure if it's his demeanor...or that he lives in a garbage can....or hair envy because he has so much of it and I live my vicariously through him..or...uhm..his hair.

Week 7: Super-Grover Sneak Attack On Doomsday

Another "quicky" this week.  I had a couple different ideas in my head, but when I started sketching it just turned into Super-Grover vs. Doomsday.  I remember looking at coloring books and other drawings of Muppets in the past and thinking that there was something off about the way they looked.  Drawing this reminded me of what that is: a lot of there features are limited to the point where adding anything takes away from their look. Their mouths don't really bend or curve and some don't have eyelids or eyebrows.  Adding those features in the drawing takes away what they look like.   Its a real testament to the abilities of those puppeteers that they are able to produce so much expression and life from them.

Netflix Instant just added the documentary "Being Elmo".  I watched it yesterday and highly recommend it.

See the original sketch at my blog:

Twitter: NeedYourDisease

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 7: Mee Mee Mee!

This is a CRAZY week. I wanted to really spend time on this... but I guess I'll have to settle for a 10 minute illustrator sketch. I think we should make a topic later that is a "Re-Do Challenge".



Week 7: Doooooooooooooooom!

I get smacked with the Robert Crumb comparison both in my work and personal life a lot nowadays, so I figured the Muppets would be a nice time to let my Crumb flag fly high.

If I had my druthers I'd draw like this all the time, it's the most fun.  Although I foolishly thought it would somehow be faster than doing it digitally.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Week 6: The

I wanted to experiment with this one...especially after picking fellow monster, Craigs brain during Art Club. This is pen and ink, masking fluid, ink washes and a bit of white acrylic and white paint marker. The background however was an experiment. Craig had mentioned working with I did attempt it here. I had splashed and brushed the bleach on..but it did not seem to have any affect on the inks. That was until I took a sanding block to it....this was the end result.
I chose a background story for the character. After seeing numerous times in the news of young kids getting killed for sports jackets and tennis shoes. So I combined that premise of story along with my love for Forrest Whitaker in Ghost Dog. If you head to my blog... can check the sketches.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wk7: You got your chocolate and my peanut butter!

Just so happens that this week's topic coincides with a commission I just finished. A couple friends of mine are getting married and approached me with this amazing amalgam of ideas that represents the both of them. Sweetums with Chewbacca's bandoleer on and Red Fraggle wearing Gryffindor house robes. Of course! I love that I have friends that think like this!
The technique used here was oil pastel, colored pencil, ink and acrylic on vellum. Drawing on the front side of the vellum, purpley-red oil pastel under painting on the back with whites erased out. Then flipped back over to the front for all the colored pencil, ink and acrylic. There's a little more to it if you guys have any questions I'd be happy to share. But there ya go, Red Fraggle, student at Hogwarts in love with Sweetums the co pilot of the Millennium Falcon . Makes sense to me!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tim W7: The grass is always greener!

Some people say that it is not easy being green, nobody knows this better than Kermit the Frog.

Inky lines are over  here, check em' out:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 7: The Muppets!

(Please read in your best Kermit the Frog voice)

It's time to play the music,
It's time to light the lights,
It's time to (draw) the Muppets (from) the Muppet Show (or movies, or any other Muppet  thing you want) tonight!

That's right! It's finally here, the week you all have been waiting for Muppet Week! Yay!!! Time to draw any and all Muppet related art that your little heart desires. So...

lets get things started
Why don't you get things started
It's time to get things started
On the most sensational inspirational celebrational Muppetational RBMC week ever!

The Crow

I've always loved crows...always. Then came this comic..The Crow, which eventually lead me to doing some background stuff on how the animal is viewed in other cultures...legends and religions. That being said I went on Mr. O'Barrs premise and envisioned the character as a instrument of vengeance. But alas..I ran short of time this week with finishing a commission..(Which can be viewed on my blog...end of shameless plug..starting Tuesday...okay now end of shameless plug.) So here's a sneak peek at my piece...I'm looking to experiment with a couple of things on this for now you'll just have to be satisfied with a small clipping of it. How can I know when this happens, you ask? Subscribe to our blog here at RBMC. Simple.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 6: My Valentine Has Hollow Eyes (kinda)

Ever wonder how artists work, do you get excited to learn about the process behind all the masterpieces you see week after week here at the RBMC?!  Well then fine sir, or madam have I got a treat in store for you! 

You see, I'm building a new wheelhouse and figuring out this little known industry standard of a program called "Adobe Illustrator".  Now once or twice, I've hit some buttons and swore some words at this fantastic program to make pictures, but I've never really tried to learn it, to understand it's  native language. 

And you know what pals?  It's hard.  It's harder and more complicated than a fella like me expected it to be when I decided to buckle down an learn for this weeks piece.  

But my loss is your win, friends, and you get to see my original pencil art complete with crow overlay from my sketchbook and drafting tape to hold together two pieces of bristol board because I drew too big.  Boy howdy, are you lucky!

In the meantime, why don't you click on that little box to the side that says "followers" and saunter on back next week to see if I've figured out this pesky program.  

Thanks for stopping, and I'll keep pluggin away in the meantime.

Week 6: Kid Crow

.... cause every super hero needs a child side-kick, right?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Week 6: Vengeance With An Ax

Just a quickie this week.

To me, the most interesting thing about the Crow is that its a spirit that embodies a person to exact revenge and that the deceased person's occupation/lifestyle informs how they look.  Admittedly, most of my knowledge of the Crow comes from the movie, so I started there and tried to go as far in the other direction as I could.  Getting away from more gaunt, rock star look, I tried to find a bulkier build and more "blue collar" profession to start with.  I leaned towards a lumber jack because I still thought that would be scary as shit coming at you through the city or forest.

When I started with the rest of the Rust Belt Monster Collective, I knew that I wanted to strengthen my digital work flow as well as try as many different "looks" and techiques as I could.  I tweaked my Cintiq settings to try and get more of a sloppy, brushed look and kept the clean-up to a minimum.  I knew from the beginning that I would stay black and white, but added the halftone values later to try and give it a more "indie" vibe.

See some of the process over at my blog:
Twitter: NeedYourDisease

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tim, W6: Back from the dead to kick in your head!

Hey look who is on time this week!

I really love "the Crow", what a cool character and a cool concept. When I was a kid I thought the (1st) movie was awesome, and then when I was in college, I finally got the chance to read the original comics and holy shit did those kick ass!

 I love imagining other characters who have been risen from the grave to avenge the wrongs inflicted on them. Here is my "Golden Age" 1940's comic book  superhero version of the Crow, who came back to punch crime in the face!  With him I wanted to leave out the traditional "Crow" design elements (the theatrical tragic face paint) that are used for most versions of the Crow, I have always felt that those where unique to James O'Barr's original Crow, and the other characters who return from the grave have other influences in their lives that drive the look of their Crow's persona.

This was such a fun topic for me, I came up with at least two other concepts for alternate Crows that hopeful I'll get the chance to finish soon (it was so hard not to finish my "Crow-nan the Barbarian" Crow for this week).

Most of this was done digitally, which I'm not thrilled with, as I found that I really prefer to layout and design the whole piece on paper, and then color it in photoshop, but, the small part that I drew in ink, is here if you feel the need to check it out

Hey, for a bigger version go to Tim's deviantART page and press the download button in the top left corner.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week 6: Craig's Crow

I know just enough about this character to get me in trouble with people who really know him. I must admit that most of my knowledge comes from the Jason Lee movie peppered with some art I've seen over the years. Happily researching The Crow and doing the piece has turned me into an admirer. I think the Crow taps into the same vein that appreciates other justice bringers like Batman or Ghost Rider while allowing you to empathize with a truly pained character. Sure it's all sorts of Goth and Emo but it's good Goth and Emo.
I've learned a lot with this piece. Friskett will resist bleach, you can use a hair dryer when your toned paper is being bleached and xylene transfer does not work on cold press, toned paper that well. Perhaps the easiest thing to learn is that the combined smells of Clorox and Xylene gives you a pretty good headache. My intention is this was to be all traditional, mixed media but once the transfer didn't take it quickly got thrown into Photoshop. So it's a pencil drawing on top of a bleached toned paper moon with the rest of the colors in Photoshop. If you would like to see the drawing before anything happened to it check it out here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tim, W5: Son of the Bat!

"Holy crowbar, Batman!" Yes, Robin is the obvious choice for the week 5 "Supporting Character" topic, I just really felt like drawing him...well I felt like drawing the new(ish) psychotic Robin, Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne's bastard son with villain-ess  Talia al Ghul, who was raised to kill by his mommy's  League of Assassins (I read a lot of comics). Even though he has the Joker "on the ropes" (or "in the ropes" if you prefer), Damian, may soon learn that the "Clown Prince of Crime" is no pushover!

And for more crowbar wielding goodness, hop on over to my personal blog to check out the ink work on this bad-bat-boy wonder (and while you're there feel free to peruse some of my other delectable doodles).

To see a BIGGER image check it out here


 If I were to single out any book responsible for getting me involved and interested again in creating comics, James O'Barrs The Crow sits at the top of the heap. If all you're familiar with is the watered down Hollywood version, blessed by the performance of Brandon Lee, then I highly recommend it. A quick bit of history...The Crow was first published in "81" lost in the flood of books being produced during the glutton of black and white independent comics. It wasn't until "92" that Tundra collected the completed version in 3 volumes. This is not a kid friendly comic.
 The story was written by O'Barr after the tragic death of his fiance, killed in a car crash by a drunk driver, and fueled reportedly by a story he had read in the news of a couple killed over $20.00. I had read that O'Barr had hoped that writing the story would be cathartic in helping him cope with the grief...but only made him angrier and more resentful. And if this is true, that anger bleeds from the pages. Gone is all the Hollywood subplots of the buddy cop, the child skateboarder and the Devils Night evil landlord. It's a plain tragic story of a young couple just beginning to start their life together and end being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The character of Erik Draven brought back from the dead by the crow to avenge their death and set things right. It is heart wrenching at times, violent, angry..and beautiful. The artwork is rough at the beginning, as James finds his legs in telling his story, but the prose grabs you..shakes you. Many stories have been told of other characters brought back by the black bird. A native american brought back years later to avenge the slaughter of himself and his family at the hands of confederates. A murdered mother avenging the death of her unborn child.... But it's O'barrs story that taught me the importance of emotional content, how important it is to pour yourself into every piece...every bit of art that you do. So this week our challenge will be to create our own versions.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Festus-avus Miracle

Growing up in my home as a kid, my parents watched a lot of westerns...a lot. And personally I was never interested in the older black and white films other than a handful...It wasn't until the first time I saw a Leone film that I fell in love with the genre. My parents watched shows like HIGH CHAPPAREL, BIG VALLEY, BONANZA and GUNSMOKE. Marshall Dillon never struck me as a true cowboy...or even that rugged. His cloths were always spotless and he was clean shaven, hat always perfect....But then there was Festus...his deputy. Festus for me, was the epitome of a rugged cowboy. And although he was used more often for humor sake on the show...and in most cases watching Dillons back..deep down, personally I always thought, "He looks more like the sheriff." His cloths were worn and faded...his mug unshaven and his hat looked like he'd been on the plains..weathered. Much like his features. If I were in a showdown or gun battle...I'd want Festus watching my back. Always thought he should of had his moment to shine..So this one is for you Festus. Now...back to inking a commission piece...Follow the link to Chelzo Studios to see my progress.

Week 5: Algebreic!

Whew.. What a week! I was really looking forward to drawing something silly for once - thank goodness for the RBMC! I'll take any excuse to do some fan-art.

This is Marceline the Vampire Queen from what is hands down the best cartoon on televison right now - Adventure Time. If you haven't seen it by now you are really missing out on some great animation, smart, wakadoo writing, and all around awesomeness headed by genius nice-guy Pendalton Ward. The show follows main characters Finn and Jake on their various adventures through the post-apocalyptic land of Ooo.

Marceline is a 1,000 year old vampire who sometimes yucks it up with Finn, Jake and the gang on their various adventures. Unlike traditional vampires, she only drinks the red out of objects. She is moody, mischievous, and an all-around rock star... And I LOVE her.

Week 5: How Industrious

Now, I may be in the vast minority here, but I've always preferred Batman Returns to the original Batman movie.   Michelle Pfieffer's mental breakdown in her apartment, the Penguin's origin as a little boy taken in by a carnival's freak-show after being abandoned by his parents, and the whole thing being set in a Gotham Winter.  If you haven't seen the movie in a while, you've probably forgotten that Christopher Walken was right in the middle of all of it.  At a point in his career where he could still come off as extremely menacing, he played Max Schreck: a crafty businessman trying to fulfill his legacy and pass on to his son a new power plant that will secretly suck electricity from the homes of Gotham's citizens.  Rewatching the movie, I never felt that Christopher Walken, or Batman Returns, got the praise that it deserved.  My idea was to draw a picture moments after he pushes Selina Kyle through that window.

Once again, everything is digital.  Looked to some Hugh Ferriss architecture for the buildings.  Wanted to get away from my standard body shape and tried exaggerating the proportions while still looking a bit like Walken. Also, was struggling a little bit with my lines being too thin.  So I layed a copy of the lines on top of themselves and that seemed to do the trick.

Go to my personal blog to see the process: Still-Reaching
Twitter: NeedYourDisease

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Week 5: You look like you could use some surgery

When I should be watching the news and learning about world events I tend to watch a fair amount of cartoons. This character comes from a cartoon called, "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack" which is unfortunately no longer on. The show follows Flapjack and Captain K'nuckles in their search for the fabled Candy Island but more often than not they goofed around the town of Stormalong, a town build on a pier. Sure, as I am typing this all out it sounds less entertaining and more kiddy show but hang in there. Stormalong's resident Barber/ Surgeon / closet Dr. Frankenstein/ barbershop quartet member, Dr. Barber was there to occasionally bring the show back to the absurdly menacing. Check out this clip, (I think what adds to the clip is that it's someone filming their tv. Gives it some good creep.)

The image was drawn on toned paper that streaked and splattered with bleach, toned with watercolor and then splattered again with ink.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Week 5: Simpsons Bullies

I love the Simpsons. More than any parent, teacher, or book, the Simpsons shaped who I am today.  
Which I'm sure my mother loves.  So when the chance to draw some secondary characters came up, I couldn't get my head out of Springfield.

I've also been doing show flyers for the past few years, and I can't get my head out of there either, so it's probably best to look at this while listening to Kyuss

Check out the process here, and go spend some cash on a print here, if you want to help me build my Simpsons action figure collection. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tim W4: 1980's "Cartoon-gasim"

Well, better late than never, right?...guys..heh...o'boy, anywho, on to the art (almost).

I couldn't pick just one cartoon character from my childhood to draw (I loved soooo many) so I drew as many as I could in the "time allowed" (yes, the irony of that statement is not lost on me). This piece started as a drawing in my sketchbook, then scanned, and colored in photoshop. 

If you want to see the ink drawings, and uncolored computer art check it out here on my personal blog, I'll wait for you to get back.....

hmmm-hmmm-hum-hummming (waiting noises continue)....

ah good you're back, that was cool right? I thought so too. Now on to the Art (I know, I know, what you're really here for right). Enjoy!

Hey, you, yeah I'm talking to you. You should go here to check out this drawing in all of its super-sized glory:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 5: Spotlight on the Supporting Cast

You've already drawn Spider-Man.  You're pretty good at drawing Batman.  And when you say James Bond, everyone knows who you're talking about.  But none of these characters exist in a vacuum.  Every one of these are supported by a variety of cast members, some of which are just as interesting as they are.  Those are the people we are drawing this week.  Throw out all of the superheroes, the sidekicks, and the main villains.  Look to their left and draw one of the many characters that support them.  Maybe someone that you thought never really got their due.  So stop thinking of Spider-Man and start thinking of Aunt May.  She's a nice lady.  You should draw her.  

Topic is open to any source you choose: books, comics, TV, movies, etc.  Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.

The Banana Splits..errr The Banana Bunch

I grew up watching The Banana Splits. Every Saturday morning I'd huddle in front of the t.v., bowl of Captain Crunch or Quisp cereal..and this was the show. It was pretty much just quick gags..Four guys..or gals...dressed in animal outfits doing an hour long variety show. The show consisted of the four anthropomorphic musicians playing rock music, running into walls..or each other, being smacked, hit with mallets or punched by unknown assailants, (Although their arch nemesis The Sour Grape Bunch was usually behind it.) Along with this were quick cartoons and live action adventure shorts...Danger Island, The Three Musketeers, Arabian Nights and a slew of others. Fleegle, Drooper, Bingo and Snork...
As with all good rock bands...I've always envisioned them slipping into typical rockstar...habits. The band still together.
You can get a gander at the inks over at my blog..

Week 4: The Three Spheres: Pete, Pete, Artie

I struggled for a log time trying to figure out which kid's show to riff on.  I honestly don't remember watching too many kids shows, although I do remember watching Robocop a lot.  But then I realized just how much Nickelodeon I consumed.  
I spent a full night watching You Cant Do That On Television reruns, but couldn't come up with any good Barth compositions. So, I chose good over evil and went with Pete and Pete, a show that despite the time it was released was a beacon for everything great about growing up.  Not to mention most of what was good with the nineties too.

Honestly, this one got a way from me, and I really wanted ink and color it straight, but this whole "draw as much ridiculous stuff on the page as you can" style I've been rocking lately is hellish on time.

Keep an eye up @ for a more straight laced version of the pencils, but in the meantime enjoy the rock poster goodness.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week 4: Ba-Dum Dum!

I don't know about you, but Levar Burton had a huge impact on my childhood. Reading Rainbow was - and is - a GREAT show. It brought a love of books to millions of kids, including me, and to this day remains one of the most solid children programs out there. I can still recite every word of that theme song by heart. The shape of books may be changing but Levar's message is still just as essential as it was in the nineties: Books are MAGICAL so keep READING. ...But you don't have to take my word for it!

By the way, my illustration this week is just a super quick photoshop sketch because....

THIS Friday! See you there!

Week 4: Zoobilee Zoo!

"Come along with us to Zoobilee Zoo."  I don't remember too much about any particular episodes, but I do have the theme song embedded in my brain (below for your own torcher) and think I may have had a boyhood crush on the kangaroo.  So I thought I'd take a shot at the characters in a bit of an animation style.  Sadly, time got away from me this week and I narrowed it down to one character.  Ultimately I'm not too happy with it.  He ended up looking way more like Barack Obama than I ever intended.  If I were to take a second pass at this, I would probably try to push it further and make it a direct caricature.  There are some hand problems too which are making me real close to proclaiming that I will no longer draw hands without a reference for as long as I live.

The one thing I am kind of happy with is its my first try at simulating a "marker look" while still working completely digitally.  I found a site with some pretty interesting brushes and may be trying some different styles in future pieces.  All in all, I learned something from this piece and I think its important that I try and take something away from everything I work on.

You can see the original sketch over at my personal site: Mayor Ben Sketch
Marker Brushes: Premium Pixels

Personal Blog: Still-Reaching
Twitter: NeedYourDisease

Friday, February 3, 2012

Week 4: Meow, Meow, DESTROY THEM, Meow

Don't know how many of you might remember the Purple Panda from "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" but he use to creep me out. Some guy in a Purple Panda suit, unmoving mouth and eyes, talked like a robot and came from space. Here, check him out. It got me thinking, if the Purple Panda was the first wave of some alien invasion who would be his collaborator? Who would aid the Purple Planet's invasion of Earth for a chance to hold sway over it's unsuspecting denizens? Henrietta Pussy Cat of course.