Progress Doodle #7 – Random Sketches

Before getting the Cintiq, I used to sit at my drawing board with a large stack of copy paper next to me and doodle away, tossing those drawings into the trash as I created them. I didn’t throw them away because they were bad. I threw them away because I created so much of it that it wasn’t feasible to keep and store a lot of nonsense sketches which served no purpose beyond my having some fun doodling.

After getting the Cintiq, however, I would do the same thing digitally. So basically, I’d create a Photoshop document, create a new layer, start doodling, delete the drawing, sketch something else, delete that, and so on. It just didn’t make sense to keep so many sketches, even digitally.

Then I decided I could keep the files if I just created one file, create a layer, sketch on it, lock the layer and turn it off, then start a new sketch on another layer, lock that and turn it off, and sketch again on yet another layer and so forth. This way I could have one layered document with 20 or 30 doodles on it. The problem, of course, is that the file thumbnail only shows the visible layers, so if I want to find a sketch among so many files, there’s no way to tell which file has the layer with the sketch I want. This really isn’t such a problem, because if I ever liked a sketch enough to go back to it, I’ll usually save a separate jpeg of it anyway.

These days, if I want to doodle digitally, I’ll create a Procreate file and just do different sketches on different layers. The nice thing about Procreate is the video feature, so instead of having to open a file and look through so many layers, I can just create a video of my sketch sessions and going through that video will show me what’s on a particular file.

So how do you doodle for fun?

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The Legends of Lightfall #1

Plain Joe Studios (PJS) has been creating a six-issue sci-fi-fantasy comic series called “The Legends Of Lightfall”, which we’ve spent the last year-and-a-half producing. The issue is available for pre-order here, and it’ll ship in January as far as I’m aware.

The client took some of the art and put together this small promo video, which I got to see for the first time yesterday.

Other’s had already fleshed out the initial concept designs and story/script before I joined the creative team on this project, so I was honored to be offered the chance to join the project with the task of illustrating (story-boarding/penciling/inking/painting) the comic.

The creative team includes:
Art / Design / Lettering: Johnny Davis, Kirk, Langsea, Bryce Reyes, Suzanne Beaudoin, and myself
Editors: Johnny Davis, Michael Melilli
Script: Doug Peterson
Creative Development: Steve Blount, Susan Blount, Mel McGowan, Johnny Davis, Kirk, Langsea, Peter McGowan, Bryce Reyes, Justyn Smith, Marlee Golz, and myself.

I’ve actually gone back to revise and add a few things to the first issue (one of those things being a map of Lightfall), so by the time you read this I’ll have just wrapped up the illustration stuff, more or less. If you get a chance to read the first issue, let me know what you thought and please be sure to share it!

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Another Idle Doodle

I recently came across an old chicken-scratch I did on a notepad while helping out a friend with his fire-life safety business. I was waiting at a fire panel while he was doing some testing out in the field. Back then, he was going to get his home swimming pool area redesigned and asked if I’d design some kind of little fountain while I waited idly at the fire panel. I mean, since he was paying me to help him anyway, and since I’m an artist, there was no point in paying me just to stand around when he could get some artwork out of me. So I complied and doodled out a rough idea according to what he had in mind. Since I had more idle time than needed, I decided to embellish things.

I guess one of us scanned that page, because I recently came across it while going through old emails. The thing is, I never would have sketched something like this in one of my sketchbooks. This is really just a casual I-don’t-care-how-it-looks-and-never-expect-anyone-to-see-it kind of sketch.

I only share this because it occurred to me after seeing this that I rarely break away from something familiar when I draw. This doodle, though stupid and sloppy, is something I never would have done on my own in a sketchbook. I found it to be uninhibited and, well, sort of fun, like I didn’t have a care in the world what anyone thought of it. And I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought except that there was a sort of Mad Magazine cartoony charm about it that I wish I could infuse into other things I do.

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Video: More Doodling Process

Here’s a time-lapsed video of Monday’s sketch.

Enjoy!

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Biff, Bam, Pow!

Who doesn’t like seeing a good scrap?

Anyway, I can’t really share my professional work done under an NDA, so these rough doodles will have to suffice.

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Inside The Studio: My “New” Old Banker’s Swivel Chair

I’ve always liked banker’s swivel chairs, so when I furnished my studio nearly two decades ago, I bought one from the Bombay Company (which no longer has retail outlets, but still operates an online store).

While their furniture wasn’t as cheap as Ikea’s cardboard-and-staple-quality offerings, it was still cobbled together in the Orient, which meant is wasn’t as durable as American products manufactured in the first half of the 20th century (come to think of it, not even today’s American-made products are as good as they were back then). Modern manufacturing methods which focus on keeping costs down necessitated a design that was far from being as comfortable as an authentic banker’s chair. The Bombay Co. version isn’t at all as ergonomic, with its straight, tall back and small seat.

Several years ago, the seat on the Bombay chair cracked in half, and now the armrest popped off the front post. Also, the wheel casters began losing bearings — either that, or someone has been discharging a BB-gun inside my studio. Anyway, it seems like every joint on the chair is loose and the entire thing is literally wobbling apart. It was time to introduce the chair to the fireplace.

So now I decided to look for an authentic, vintage banker’s chair, with the low, curved back. Most of the samples online went from $250 to $650, but I found one on Craigslist and paid $80 for it. banker's chair

From what I could find, this was made in the early half of the 20th century. Even after all this time, this thing is solid. And it’s so comfortable that it doesn’t need padding. Sure, it has a patina — “patina” seems to be the new way of saying that the finish has taken a beating, which is supposed to be part of the charm.

Anyway, I’m glad to get rid of the hunk of junk Bombay garbage. It served me well enough for a while, but, as usual, new stuff seems to be intentionally manufactured to be disposable. Does anyone make anything to last anymore?

Banker's chair

The is Bombay Company's version of a banker's swivel chair. Not at all as cozy as the real deal. Here it is after being tossed out of the studio.

This is Bombay Company’s version of a banker’s swivel chair. Not at all as cozy as the real deal. Here it is after being tossed out of the studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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