Zooming In

One thing I liked about IDW’s Artist Editions is the fact that I could study what was essentially the original work up close. There’s something to be said for zooming in and getting a closer look. Anyway, someone had asked me about pencil drawings, so I had enlarged a detail of a rough sketch to show what was going on there.


A rushed Monday morning doodle (hey, you get what you pay for).


War of the Rocket Men – Part 2

Here’s another poster I did for the War of the Rocket Men project. I was asked to make the Rocket Man punching Hitler, a la Captain America #1.




Here are a few images I did recently for a client.


IDW Artist Editions

I recently picked up the IDW Artist Edition of Mark Schultz’s Xenozioc Tales, which is even larger in format than the 2010 Artist Edition of Dave Steven’s Rocketeer, which I got a few year ago (and I thought the Steven’s book was large). Since these are said to be scanned from the original art, it makes sense that all of the Artist Editions will be different in size, depending on the size of the original art.


If you’re a fan of Frazetta’s dry-brush ink work, you’re probably already familiar with Schultz’s work and are a fan of his take on the style. He’s mastered the technique, and I think he’s probably the only guy who does it prolifically these days (if you can call him “prolific”. He seems to be rather slow in churning out new art, but it’s easily forgivable once you consider how much work he puts into a piece of art. It’s well worth the wait).


These IDW editions are not inexpensive, but they’re worth it for those who would like to collect original art but do not have the requisite fortune necessary to acquire such art. It’s also valuable for the artist who wants to study great works which were/are done traditionally, and I’m happy to see good reproductions of this art in its most original form. The ubiquitous use of digital media, while a helpful and useful tool, results in a lack of tangible original art, a situation I personally lament. I do, however, understand the need for the transition to digital media for those who work professionally these days. Even though I still draw on paper where a piece of art is important to me, I still paint it digitally for the sake of time and technical convenience. But I personally enjoy tangible, traditional media, and these books are a joy for those who share that enthusiasm.

Earth, Wind & Fire

I had shown this caricature I did of Earth, Wind & Fire band-members some time ago, which I sketched for my buddy, Kevin, who happens to be friends with the band. He wanted the image so that he could have it applied as part of a custom finish on a bass which he would then later have the band-members sign the pick-guard. Since I never showed how that bass actually turned out, here’s a shot of it. Though my friend plays bass, he only keeps this one for display.

Kevin_EWF-Bass Frank_Grau_EWF


My kids have been creating their own games on Scratch, the MIT site designed to teach principles of programming to children. One of my daughters has been particularly dedicated to trying more complex things, so I told her I would illustrate assets for her to create a scrolling game.

I illustrated and articulated this character in different positions used to create a simple frame-by-frame animation.

Because there will be quite a few to produce (and as I’m just doing this on my spare time), I have to make each asset a basic design. However, being able to help my kids be creative is really fun and I’m looking forward to seeing her develop her talents.



A good thing about having a recognizable style is that clients who need that particular style will seek you out. Unfortunately, I’ve never really settled on a single style, probably because I’d get bored being a one-trick pony. The upside is that my clients enjoy that I can be a Swiss Army Knife they can rely on to do more than one thing for them. One licensing agent described it to me as “dial-a-style” – yeah, whatever. Just sign the check when I’m done with the work.

The accompanying parrot design was something I was asked to illustrate based on some existing illustrative style that a client provided to me as reference.



Don’t ask. Just go with it.