Friday, December 4, 2015

Ben Takes You To Space!

Boy have I neglected this blog.  Well, I've neglected mine too, but that is neither here nor there.  Either way, the rest of the monsters were heading out to Genghis Con while I was driving back from Philadelphia so I couldn't attend.  But why not send something along for them.  So I sat down one night and threw this together.  I've never really played with half tones in Manga Studio so that was pretty fun.  I could actually see me abusing it if I'm not careful.  You can watch a time lapse of the drawing being made in the video below.  If you enjoy the video, please like and subscribe.  Thanks!

Ben Hale

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tim: Munin Poster

I drew this poster for Breakneck Gallery's "The Rock Show 3".
11"x17" Ink and Watercolor.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ben Gives You Nuclearman!..

The character you never asked for! I'm not sure why I drew him. I think I've been wanting to do Zod and his fellow Kryptonian criminals from Superman 2, but just started sketching out Nuclearman.  And this is what you get.

I'm feeling the itch to go through and do the rest of the villains, but we'll see if I have time.  Time Lapse of the entire thing is below.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tim: Ranger Danger!

So...I don't know why I wanted to draw the Pink Power Ranger, despite my love of giant monster fighting robots (Voltron), Power Rangers never quite clicked for me, I guess I just wanted the show to look like this in my head.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Tim: A little Payback

Hey look!I still make and post art here, unfortunately I'm only able to do it in my "free time " which is why my posts have been a little sparse here but, as always, I'm working on that. - Tim

Thursday, July 16, 2015

They call him......Tim

Our Pal Tim is all sorts of good.  
Good dude, good Illustrator, good builder of giant easels, good friend, good everything.  Exchange those goods for great and my description may be getting close.  One of the most generous Artists to paint with, happy to throw down and amazing, upside down frog or to be the glue, painting in background elements or give things just the right touch ups to make other elements shine.  He possesses a keen eye, a quick brush and a steady hand and we are fortunate to to have him as a fellow Monster.
Want to see Tim for yourself?  Going to be in Columbus, Ohio July 18,19?  Then stop by the Small Press and Comics Expo THIS WEEKEND at the Northland Performing Arts Center.  And while you are there make sure to see some of our favorite people: Clare Kolat (conveniently located at the table next to Tim), Angela Oster and Ashley Ribblett!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

..and proud we are of all of them

2015 Bay Arts "Interns" mural

Like the Big Lebowski we too get to work with a fine group of Junior Achievers!  The last three years we've been invited to work with a few select "interns" for a couple weekends.  First weekend getting them comfortable working as a group and the second week, painting in front of an audience at the Bay Arts Fest!  We love working with these budding young talents and are always impressed with how well it comes together.  If you would like to see these in person all three are lurking at Bay Arts in Bay Village, Ohio!  Enjoy!

2014 Bay Arts "Interns" mural

Ben Brings You The Thing

Still having fun with some speed painting.  This one is about an hour and just an attempt to change up my light direction and add some contrast.  Took about an hour in Manga Studio.  You can watch a time lapse below.  See how I completely abandoned my first idea...yep, confidence.  

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Ben Asks You To Live Long And Prosper

Last February I drew a quick sketch on the day that Leonard Nimoy passed.  I came across it again and decided to do a quick paint over.  Still playing around with the brushes in Manga Studio.  Liking what I'm finding so far.

Music by

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Ben Hale


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Drink & Draw CLE: Spider-Woman 2099

My drunken drawing from last nights Drink & Draw Cleveland. I used Posca Paint Pens on toned sketchbook paper.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I live, I die, I live again!

Mad Max: Fury Road, if you can draw it's really hard not to draw Furiosa after watching.  I did.  Intended it to only ever be a sketch in my moleskin and she turned into this.  Sketched in my sketchbook, cleaned in Photoshop and finished in Procreate on my IPad.  Turned into a fun exercise that I intend to do again.

She started here, watching tv and drawing.  Going to blame the TV watching on the wonky eye I caught in Procreate.

And here, the time lapse exported from Procreate.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ben: Christopher Lee RIP

Its been a long time since I've posted.  Hell, its been a long time since I've drawn anything.  Today seemed like a good time to jump back in.

It was announced today that Christopher Lee had passed.  I don't know his work as well as I should, but I always enjoyed seeing him on film.

This one is done completely in Manga Studio.  I was trying out some of the new water color brushes for the rendering and really liked the results.  I should have a time lapse of the whole thing up in a future post.  More to come.

Ben Hale

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Popeye el Marinero

A good friend of mine couldn't make it up to Carol and John's Comics for Free Comic Book Eve and lamented not getting a sketch.  He said, "maybe next year I'll get you to do a Luchadore Popeye for me!"  Why wait till next year I say!!!
This sketch is brush pen and good ol' crayola marker.  enjoy!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Behold The Triple Lindy

Click the image, count the lines. 
Hey Folks, Randy here sharing the first of many previews of the upcoming "Triple Lindy" art show Oct 9th at BAYArts.  The show is a collaboration between fellow monster Jim Giar and our good pal Ryan Finley. All three of us teach cartooning at BAYArts, and they asked us to come up with a showcase. 
This is one of our buddy art pieces.  It was made by all three of us penciling and then adding the finishes all by myself.  While the show is really a 3 part solo show, there'll be a lot of buddy art with Jim and Ryan applying finishes as well. If you're in the area, and you like things that are cool, you should make it out. 

But, if not, we'll post more from it along the way.    

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Devil of Hell's Kitchen

After watching Daredevil on Netflix I too was bit by the gotta draw some Matt Murdock bug!  It was a great opportunity to play with ink and to see, again, how few colors I could get away with in one piece.  I got this one down to 4 if you don't count the ground color.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bal Ingenieux: 4th Annual poster

It's that time of year again to unveil the Bal Ingenieux poster!  Each year I try to pay some tribute to the Illustrators who came before me from Cleveland's own, Kokoon Arts Club.  They were a group of Artists of every discipline who band together from the late 19 teens into the 1960's.  Many, fabulously talented Artists exhibited together, studied together and once a year threw these amazing costume balls that quickly became the place to be in mid-century Cleveland.  
The Bal Ingenieux was brought back as a kind of tribute by Ingenuity Cleveland and for the last few years I've had the honor to create a poster for the event.  This year I decided to go a bit more jazz age and kinda Futurist for this piece and it all sprung from this dress.

This photo is from one of the Kokoon Art auctions from the 1930's.  Not exactly the style you think of when you imagine a dress from the Thirties.  It does however fit very comfortably in some of the art from that period.  See Viktor Schreckengost if you would like to see some of the best examples of that style ( proud Clevelander and someone I was EXTREMELY fortunate to meet when I was a student at CIA).   Check out his Jazz Bowl series:  

It's graphic, playful and just moves your eyes all over the place!  

Another inspiration for this piece that may be a bit out of left field but once you see the art I think you will understand, Laura Dumm is another fellow Clevelander who I've also been EXTREMELY fortunate to meet through our regular Drink and Draws. Her and her husband Gary Dumm (himself a GIANT in the Indie comic world) keep churning out some of the most lively art you can ever set your eyeballs on.  What struck me is their use of color and pattern, I frequented for inspiration in the early phases of this piece (and you should to!).    She is certainly not a contemporary of the Kookoon Arts club but her and Gary certainly imbibe that spirit!

So there ya go another year's Bal Ingenieux on off the board on on the wall.  As you can see the event is this coming weekend and if you are able to go I would highly recommend it.  For more information check out

And be sure to check out some of the in process drawings here!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

More To Love

Click the picture, count the lines.

In keeping with the "prints we'll have at FCBD this weekend" theme, I wanted to post the new color version of this piece I shared on Valentines Day. It's part of a larger collection (more on that soon), but I printed a limited number of these for the event to share the love early.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rescue! Now In Color

I took last weeks grim and gritty black and white drawing and made it into this weeks grim and gritty color drawing. I’ll have prints of this at Carol And John’s this friday at my table as well at the RBMC’s table. I think it’d look great in your kid’s room...or yours.   

Monday, April 27, 2015

Erin's BIG hugs!

Truth, Justice, Hugs!

Avengers Assemble Hugs!

The Guardians of the Galaxy are Hooked on a Hug!

Here are the BIG hugs I did for Carol and John's Comics Free Comic Book Day! All three will be available as prints at the event Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd, along with tons of other merch!

World's Mightiest Mortal


He was one of my first comics, had Captain Marvel pj's when I was a kid so it was only right that I painted this for this year's Free Comic Book Day Art Show.  This piece was done with watercolor, inks and acrylic on my old favorite, clayboard.  If you would like to see it in person along with last week's Batman and TONS of great DC art done by talented folks in the Cleveland area make sure you come to Carol and John's Comic Shop THIS WEEKEND!  The original and prints of Shazam as well as all the other art in the show will be available.  
Great fun to be had by all!  Check out all the event particulars here!

Friday, April 24, 2015


Click and count the lines. 

It’s no secret that this is about my kid being born. The difference in scale is entirely intentional as I wanted Robin to only be able to hold Batman’s finger, just like my daughter did when I met her. 

This is EXACTLY how I remember it happening...Ladder and all. 

Just like the other monsters, this original piece is for sale at FCBD at Carol and John’s comic shop, as well as prints of an (upcoming) colored version. You should buy them, my kid is almost two now and she needs a Robin costume.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ben Peeks In The Justice League Locker Room

I really went back and forth on this one.  Adding things, cutting things, rearranging things, and pushing myself to exhaustion.  Luckily, I called it finished at 3 in the morning Friday night... and then I woke up at 7 in the morning and noticed something I didn't like.  Fixed it and sent it to be printed.  Usually takes a deadline to get me to work that hard on something.  I definitely haven't worked on that many characters since last years Free Comic Book Day.  I should probably do stuff like this more often.

If you'd like to see this up close and personal (and maybe even buy a print of it), you can come to Free Comic Book Day at Carol and John's Comic Shop in Cleveland.  The last few years have been amazing.  Any fan of comics should do themselves a favor and attend.

Till next time,


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Batman: Pretty Poison

Keeping on with the Free Comic Book Day Art Show theme that was so deftly started by Tim (best Aquaman incarnation EVER), here is my fist of two pieces I have in the show.  Good ol' Batman the Animated Series style Batman.  
My original idea was to do this batman on a red background as they did the backgrounds in the first few seasons of the animated Series.  As I started throwing my Dr. Martin's concentrated watercolors down on the clay board I was really liking the glow I got from the crimson and magenta so I went with it.  Some ink, acrylic, salt and more watercolor later Batman fighting in a cloud of Poison Ivy's toxic gas was born.  I took the title from a good Ivy episode and voi la! 
This piece along with Tim's amazing Aquaman and other stunning comic images from my fellow Monsters and other Cleveland Artists will be available for show and purchase Free Comic Book Weekend and Carol and John's Comics, Cleveland, Ohio.  It's an amazingly fun weekend so be sure to come by!

More to come.......

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tim's Outrageous Aquaman!

Aquaman from the fantastic "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" cartoon is my favorite incarnation of the character.  This image is an Acrylic painting on an old, 18"x24" piece of canvas board. A painting that, if you feel so inclined, you can purchase at Carol & John's Comic shop's (in Cleveland, Ohio) Free Comic Book Day 2015 Art show. 

This is my original drawing doodled in photoshop.

I printed the drawing out on the biggest paper that I could find (two 11"x17" sheets), and using clear gel medium, attached the printouts to the canvas board. This saved me a ton of time not having to redraw my drawing on the board.

Once that was dry, I started paining the background, and then worked my way through the rest of the piece until it was finished. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Movin' on UP!

This weekend we pack up our paints, buckets and weird painting stools and head in to the heart of Cleveland to start a 2 year painting endeavor with our friends at Graffiti Heart.  Like our time working in Ben's family barn these first few pieces will be done away from our audience's eyes but this time IN A WAREHOUSE!  So in a way, we are movin' on up!  When these are done and available for public consumption we'll share as well as keep you up on further murals with Graffiti Heart  (big, BIG things coming!).  But until then here are some shots from our time in the Hale family barn working on the barn mural.  enjoy!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Erin Schectman Caruso, WILD CARD!!

Erin! Doer of only good things. Teacher, Painter, Designer, new Aunt and Auntie to a flock of RBMC babies, our adopted little sister and secret mentor to ALL of us here in the Rust Belt Monsters.  When this group was forming we thought Erin would be a great addition because her style was the wild card among ours, that kick of unexpected flavor, the person who would make us see more and think differently.  Well, we weren't wrong but we got way more than that!  Most of us who couldn't call ourselves painters before after painting shoulder to elbow with our Swearin' Erin, can.  She's our Broadway singin', ear to ear grinnin' comic sans lovin', paint slingin' powerhouse known as Erin!  Check out a few of her amazing images below and be sure to check out SUPER GROUP HUGS, her latest foray into hot, pop culture character on pop culture character action!  Really great stuff!

Find more Erin here:

Erin doesn't actually LOVE Comic Sans so much as she is in love with Comic Sans, a love that dare not speak it's name.   You can ask any other member of the RBMC ltd. and they will say it is so.  It is also fair to note that all other members of the RBMC are notorious goofer-offers and their opinion on human/font love is spurious at best.