Saturday, June 29, 2013

Randy: Dr. Sketchy Cleveland-Featuring Selena Felien

For the past few weeks, the monsters have been playing with lots of ink.  Personally, I blame Jim Giar's terrible influence. Next thing you know he'll have us all smoking cigarettes in the bathroom. So, for this weeks Dr. Sketchy I packed my usual array of markers but also a brush and a bottle of ink.  

This month our pal Selena Felien, who's a regular at The Drink And Draw Social Club Cleveland, did an amazing salute to H.P. Lovecraft. Half naked lady, tentacles, and ink.  It's no surprise I had so much fun.

Sorry about the seam in the middle, but I spent most of my night in my sketchbook. Spreading a drawing across too pages is cheap heat, but I'll take it. 

All brush, even more cheap heat. This one's an iphone photo, because the original lives with Selena now. 

I spent a bit of time on this one at home, even after telling myself I shouldn't. Lot's of stuff didn't get done because I was busy blowing watercolor all afternoon.  Then again, that's most of my life. 

I'd wager that the inky trend is going to continue around here.  We'll let you know when Jim gets us arrested. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pencils and inks....

Morning peoples. It's me Rev. Jim. This week I thought I'd share some pencils and final inks from the Darkhorse book, Once Upon a Time Macine, I had the chance to be a part of last year. When I first started working in comics I initially lacked the confidence to ink over my original pencils. So I would scan them into my computer and using PS, convert the line work to non photo blue, and then print them on boards and ink them. You can see some of the results if you go to Drunk and look for my early webcomic Soul Driver. 
Since then....I became confident enough that I now work directly over my pencils. There seems to be a sense of spontaneity that occurs compared to working over the blue line. I think it has to do with the fact that I can see my structure lines....and some of those lines give me a few directions to go. As I worked before, most of those lines would become almost invisible. Below are the original pencils for the opening sequence of The Cowherd and Weaver Girl story. I was after a swooping effect of Kai the crow as he flew over the wreckage of the age old war between man and machines

This is more apparent in the final inks, as your eye can follow the dark shape of Kai as it moves from panel to panel.

Hope you enjoy and thanks for looking.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Encaustic Painting Demo!

"Fadeaway" • 10 in x 22 in wood panel • Colored Pencil, Watercolor, Marker, Gesso, Handmade Paper, Beeswax, Oil Paint • On Display at BAYarts in Bay Village Ohio Until August

This week, I have been creating work for a group show at BAYarts in Bay Village, OH. The show opens on July 5th and features art that honors women's roles by focusing on a "Apron" theme. I am thrilled to be in the company of 9 other amazing female BAYart's teachers for this exhibit.

The painting above is the first of my two entries for the show. The model here is my beautiful friend Laura, who is an incredible photographer (and is super cool too!) 

Here's how I made it: I started with watercolor washes and marker over my vine charcoal drawing. I love how it bled into the wood!

Started working in the colored pencils. I ended up using a very limited pallet overall: White, Light Peach, Mandarin Orange, Dark Brown, and Terracotta Prismacolor pencils. I did pull out some reds of course when I got to her dress.

 The face is colored pencil over my watercolor wash with a touch of marker here or there. I used fabercastelle markers - 3 different shades of brown and red on the dress.

The white at the top here is gesso

Kitty break!

 Marker and colored pencil hair with washes of watercolor

Once I was finished rendering, I added the key element of this composition - some pretty handmade paper glued on with elmer's glue and water. It was very hard to wait until all the drawing was done since I was so excited to do this!

Time to add the beeswax. I brushed on the wax pretty roughly because I wanted a lot of texture to show, but I did smooth out the wax on and around her face with the heat tool. My favorite part is that the wax turns the white of the handmade paper translucent!

This is what it looks like with the beeswax... not much different yet

 This is a cool part - to get the texture of the wax to show, I brushed on burnt umber oil paint. The paint is diluted with Liquin medium so it will dry quickly.

This is what the painting looked like covered with burnt umber.

Using a paper towel (and gloves) I started removing the paint layer.

The paint sticks in the rough texture I created with the wax and to the wood like magic!
You never really know what you're going to get in this process and the randomness is exciting. You can always fix parts that don't work, of course!

I wanted the final piece to be a little bit brighter, so I continued to wipe some areas of the paint off using a paper towel soaked in turpenoid, making sure to preserve the textured areas I love.

 Final Painting - "Fadeaway" (named in honor of Coles Phillips' famous illustration technique)

Come see it live on Friday, July 5th at the gallery opening.
Thanks everyone!
- Erin

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ben Litters Your Comics With Superman Drawings

I had a great time at Great Lakes Brewing Company's Comic Book Heritage Night and really hope it becomes a regular thing.  The following are comic covers that I drew for patrons, but first, A quick Superman warm-up sketch before heading to the bar.

Fred the dog as Krypto the Superdog

The original superhero concept: "Osgar Man"...

...and my interpretation.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Craig defaces perfectly good, blank comic covers for your amusement.

Last week's foray into the depths of the amazing Great Lakes Brewing Company's Comic Book Heritage Night was a ton of fun!  Here's some of the sketches I got to do.

 Dark Knight style Bats,

 good ol' Jean Grey,

 an Amazon,

and Captain America/Conan the Barbarian aka.  Captain CooooooooNaaaaaaan!!!!  (yelled in the style of Captain Caveman).  That little postage stamp image of me was a little shot of me not knowing how to use my phone's camera correctly so it inserted this little front facing camera shot of me making my mouth tiny out of frustration.  Aside from this little user malfunction I had a great time at Comic Book Heritage night.  Thanks so much to Great Lakes Brewery and Carol and John's Comics for making it a blast.  And thank you to all those who I got to sketch for, you guys are great!! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Action Comix

Hey Pals, Randy here. It's been a superman filled week for all of us, and there's more to come. Above is my drawing for Carol And John's superman art event coming next month. Below are some photos from the Truth, Justice And American Ale tasting event at Great Lakes Brewery.


Both fine examples of putting your own stamp on tradition and heritage. It's the American way. 


Also, doing Deadpool drawings with your buddies Jim Giar, and Tim Switalski where you add Biggie lyrics to the gun. That's the American way, as well. 

Stay cool out there kids. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

On the road....

Hey folks. I'm off to visit my new posting from the road. So thought I'd post a little snippet of the mural the RBMC and I worked on last Saturday at BayArts. This is a prime example of what happens when you work shoulder to shoulder with other amazing artists, that not only inspire, but motivate you to become a better artist. The lovely bee and flower work is by amigo Tim Switalski. Have a good safe and don't take any wooden nickels.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Here is a sketch of Thor that I'm working on, he's not done yet. I'm still at the stage where I work monochromatically. Hopefully I'll have it finished for one of my upcoming Thursday posts (Thursday Thor drawings might become a thing).    


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Great Lakes Brewery Comic Book Heritage Night

If you're from Cleveland, you love Great Lakes Brewing Company. You know the name of every beer by heart, line up around the block for Christmas Ale (Ooo christmas aleeee), and drive by Ohio City with your windows down just to get a whiff of the malt-y air. Clevelanders take a huge amount pride in everything from our city and our beer is no exception. And, as the birthplace of Superman, we also love comics.

That's how we found ourselves in GLB's tasting room yesterday for night honoring a perfect Cleveland match: Beer and Comics. To celebrate the release of the new Superman-esq Pub Brew: Truth, Justice, and the American Ale, the brewery invited us and our good friends at Carol and John's Comics to bring in some nerdy goodness. Suffice to say, it was a pretty fantastic night.

Our job last night was to draw on comic book covers for the guests of the event. We were just a little bit excited about this, as superhero drawing is one of our most favorite activities. What made it especially cool was that the amazing party nerds gave us some very creative prompts. 

Here are a few of my favorite covers that I drew last night. Expect to see some more awesome from the other monsters every day this week.

Thanks again to Carol and John's and Great Lakes Brewery for having us out! It was a great night. Everyone there was super nice, having a wonderful time and we can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why Play Videogames When You Can Make Them?

The quick answer is because its way easier and far less time consuming...but its certainly not impossible.  A few years ago, I wanted to create my own videogame after being inspired by artist, Dean Dodrill.  I had been following Dean's progress on his animated feature after reading about him in a book on Flash Animation.  One day, he released a trailer for a secret videogame project he had been tooling with called, Dust: An Elysian Tail.  I was instantly blown away by the art and craft of his work.  More importantly, I couldn't believe that he had achieved the whole thing himself.

It was shortly after that I decided to look into the process of making my own games and bought a couple of books on programming.  Over the next couple years, I would fill sketchbooks with gameplay ideas and slowly toil away at programming until I decided that my cro-magnon, artist brain couldn't handle the endless math and code work.
So I shelved my hobby and let it facilitate cobwebs until I found Construct 2.  What Construct 2 does is do away with all of the coding and lets you make your game using "Events".  In the most basic terms, building your events is like saying, "When the player presses the Right Key, Move the box right.  While the box is moving Right, Play the 'Run' Animation."  Gone was all of the computer jargon and semicolons that I could no longer face.  Finally, I could just import my art and let Construct 2 do all of the hard work under the hood.

The game is still very early on, but I've included sketches and assets I've created.  If you'd like to see more, head over to my personal blog at If you'd like to play around with what I have so far, click the picture below.  Enjoy.

Current Superhero Game Build

Some early test sprites I made when I was trying to lock down the look for the game.
Some early test sprites I made when I was trying to lock down the look for the game.

The Game is based around the protection and rescuing of the city's citizens.

Rough Cape Animation for my Animated Blog Header

Villain Sketch. 
Villain Sketch.  I hate naming these things.  I don't know...Cannon Man? No?

All of the art begins normally.  Then, everything is shrunken down and their pallets  are limited in Photoshop to give them that 16-bit look that I like.  It keeps the file sizes small and hides any mistakes that come from working fast.

And here is a quick video capture of some of the mechanics.