Seasons Greetings, now with skulls ...

Just a quick post to wish all you internetters a happy, drunken holiday. Cheers!


Sprawl, finished ... kind of

"Sprawl" 24 x 24


Okay, that took a lot longer than I had initially thought it would. Which further proves my theory that I should never guess about anything, especially time related. This monster is going to be a part of a big show in Spain next year. A concept that is, honestly, still a little to big for me to wrap my head around.

This painting still has to pass inspection from a few more people before I call it 'finished', but as of now it is 'complete'. Everything on the drawing is now on the painting, and while there may be some tweaks for it in the future this things pretty much done. I apologize for the poor quality of the detail, I adjusted the colors as best I could but my little camera isn't the best. Onward to more paintings ...




Just a quick post to let you all know about next weeks show at the Hive. They'll be hosting their second annual "Price...Less" show, with all works in the group show under 200 dollars. This cheeky fellow here for example will be going for a palsy $100. They'll also be exhibiting featured artists works from some very talented individuals, including Naomi Nowak, one of my personal favorites.

On a side note, I got to attend my friend Mia's opening last night, and I strongly suggest you all go see it if you have the chance. The work is amazing, which is clearly evident in the fact that she had sold out completely before the show even opened. So if you can stop by Corey Helford and have a look see, you wont be disappointed.


Whats in the works ...


Wow, apologies all around for my atrocious posting habits of late. No real excuses to be offered, so instead have a look-see at whats currently crowding out my desk. This 24" x 24" beast is for a show in Barcelona next year. Yes, Spain. I'm pretty excited about the whole project, and I'm hoping I'll be able to attend the big event itself when the time arrives. The show is going to feature all LA based artists, from established giants to up and comers like myself, in a fancy art-based cultural exchange.

Rejoice, however, because there will be some more paintings coming in the near future. So at least for a while I should actually have something to post.

In other news, some of you may have wondered what it is I do for money, since this whole paint-slinging debacle doesn't really bring in the bacon. Well to answer your theoretical question, Internet, I happen to make my moneys building fancy flash websites (the brutal irony in this of course is that I have not once updated my own website in the last two years).

Two such fancy sites are currently up and operational for your general enjoyment and perusal, so if your interested why don't you check them out.

Firstly, there's the new Spyglass Entertainment website. A friend designed the site and I built the interactions and animations.

Then theres the Kid's Science Challenge, this site was a ton of fun to do. I got to design, code, and animate the majority of the site myself, including some sweet video games. Theres even a guest appearance by the Prince of Cake in the Skateboard Science Game. He helped me out with all the designs and decals in that game. The site itself is really cool, its a contest for the young and science inclined, where they can win prizes and help scientists with awesome experiments. So if you've got a wee friend with a hankering for science, you should have them check it out.

Thanks to the teams at A Creative Project, and Zumwinkle.com since theres no way I could have done these things myself.


Teeter ...


I actually finished this piece with time to spare, its such a rare occurrence I felt like sharing, because usually I'm running out the door with the varnish still wet. Its especially uncanny considering the size of this piece, at 10" x 20" it's not the biggest thing I've ever done, but its still roughly twice the size of my usual fare.

This piece is going into a show with Brandon Sopinsky next week at Alpha Cult called "This is Going to Hurt". The title of the show sort of inspired this piece. I went through a lot of different ideas before I got anywhere I liked, and even then I had to draw this thing like four times before I liked it enough to start painting. Even then I still ended up making a lot of changes on the fly, which was sort of a change of pace. Usually I have everything locked in before I ever touch a brush.

The show is opening on the Eighth of November, so if your within a stones-throw of Long Beach you should pop in and have a look-see. Apart from being a classy gallery, Alpha Cult also boasts a fine selection of Vinyl Toys and Collectibles. It's totally the place I'd shop if I had enough money to buy my own paintings.


Atop a precipice ...

Just a quick post, letting you all know I still exist and post and such. Just a little sample of my current piece, as yet unnamed, which I'll be contributing to Brandon Sopinsky's "This is Going to Hurt" early next month. I just finished all the environment bits, so I figured this was a pretty good time to snap a picture and share it with all my internet friends. Stay tuned for more updates, and let me know what you think.


Au Naturel ...

"Au Naturel"

This Saturday, Alpha Cult will be hosting a little group show called "Against the Grain". The show is all about wood, specifically its use as a medium in the contemporary art scene ala Audrey Kawasaki.

I didn't have a lot of time to work on this piece, but I wanted to try something a little different, both from my usual offerings and from the current trend. For the most part woodgrain is often used as a background, so I decided it would be fun to try and use the woodgrain as my foreground element instead.

The skull in the painting above was masked out so that the original wood panel would still show through after I finished the background. Then I fleshed it out with some transparent washes to create a bit of rendering. Overall I decided to keep everything simple, because I wanted the usage of the wood to be the focus of the piece.

I ran into a few snags at the beginning, and anytime I try masking is always a harrowing activity, but I'm really happy with the final product. The whole thing was sort of an excuse to play around and experiment with technique, but I think it turned out for the best.

You can check the piece out this Saturday at Alpha Cult in Long Beach.


La Calabaza ...

"La Calabaza"

If your wondering that's Spanish for "The Pumpkin". However, because it's in Spanish it immediately sounds cooler and more mysterious, especially with the z in it.

I actually drew this character almost two years ago, but I scrapped the original painting and hadn't really had any use for him until now. I figured it being an October show I'd show off a little Halloween spirit. He he, spirit (cuase he's a ghost, ya know? ... never mind). I really like the way the lighting came out on this piece, especially with the dual lighting on the character, and the glowing Jack-O-Lantern skulls.

This piece will be at the Hive for tomorrows big October group show, which will feature brand-spanking new work from my buddy 13:11. I strongly recommend your attendance, assuming of course you live within a reasonable driving distance of the Downtown Los Angeles Area, and that you like cool things. Which I think you do.

Just check out the flyer...


Where do we go from here... (finished)

"Where do we go from here?"

It took a lot longer than I expected, but I've finally gotten these paintings to where I like them. These are eventually going to be shown in my featured spot next year, but for now they're just going to chill out on my floor.

So um, yeah, sorry about the whole 'not posting for two weeks' thing, I'll get you something nice to make up for it.



"Gift Wrapped"

This Saturday the Hive Gallery is hosting an erotica themed group show titled "Beerotica". It sounds like a killer event with tons of participating artists, as well as dancers and live performances.

This painting was a challenge for me. I don't consider myself a skilled hand at drawing women, in fact I'm usually pretty awful at it. Marathoning 'Justice League' definitely helped, I got a lot of inspiration from Bruce Timm's characters and art style. I was really hung up for a while on what to draw, but I eventually decided to go back to basics, by which I mean monsters. I mean really, who can refuse a sexy mummy?


A Cruel Mistress ...

Just a quick post to let you all know I still exist. Here's a weekends worth of toil for your enjoyment. Mind you, that weekend also contained a fair amount of Justice League marathoning, but I still logged some solid hours.

I'm really happy with how the water looks in these, its quite an improvement from my last attempts. Plus I've got some sweet atmospheric perspective going, which I'm always striving for. Donuts.


A preview of things to come ...

Just a quick post to keep you all in the loop. Here are the final drawings for my next three paintings. These are going toward my super-secret-featured-show at Alpha Cult next Spring. Stay tuned for more details. Oh, and by the way, Olympics = Awesome. I actually got to watch some Water Polo at a decent hour, which is unprecedented. More Art next time. Toodles.


Done-ish ...

Well its taken over two months, but its done. Ish. That is to say that I've finished the painting proper, leaving only touching up still to do. However, I plan on hiding this piece from myself for a couple of months so that I can make those revisions with fresh eyes. Otherwise it would be very simple for me to just continue to work on this one piece indefinitely. As always my apologies for less than stellar image quality, I'll definitely be getting all of my work professionally photographed before the show, but for now its just me and my digital camera handling the archive.

In other news "If You Cant Say Something Nice ..." sold at yesterday's Hive opening. Thanks to everyone that made it out for the show, and a special thanks to my buyer. Toodles.


if you can't say something nice ...

"If You Can't Say Something Nice ..."

Just finished this piece this morning. It's going to be a part of next Saturday's group show at The Hive, which looks to be another awesome mash up of talent.

I don't wanna toot my own horn or anything, but I think I did pretty well for myself with this one. The whole thing was really an exercise in contrast for me because, in general, when I get people to critique my work, or when I critique it myself for that matter, contrast is always a leading issue. On top of that, those might be the best eyes I've ever done.


Two unrelated images ...

or are they? Muaha ha ha ha!

Well I suppose I had a hand in each, so yeah, I guess they are related. No real point to the maniacal laughter then I suppose. My bad.

My Mom sent me the photo of a forlorn Smokey Bear, seated before the backdrop I painted. I'm not sure what he's looking at, maybe its the raccoon that stole his shirt.

And as you can see, I have once more made some small progress on my current painting. Nothing left to add but the character, however this may be put off until next week to ensure I finish my submission to the Hive for this month. Anyhow sorry about the long silence, I won't promise to improve, but I will promise to want to improve. And that counts for something, right?


Baby steps ...

I apologize for the atrocious quality of this photo, in general I have a hard time photographing my paintings, they are quite shiny. I'm hoping to have this painting handled by the 20th so that I can start making moves on my next painting.


A Minor Miscalculation ...

"A Minor Miscalculation"

Another wall to wall weekend-paint-a-thon. Seriously, I was working on the drawing and constructing the panel on Friday, and had the painting finished by Monday afternoon. Special thanks to Nathan Cartwright at the Hive for being an unbelievably nice guy and giving me an extended deadline.

You can check this one out at this Saturday at The Hive, as a part of there monthly group show. The piece will be for sale at $100, alongside an awesome line up of featured talent. Happy hunting.


Slow and steady is a great way to lose ...

I'm not even going to apologize for an eleven day absence, thats just terrible. Especially considering the meager amount of work I have to offer as penance. I'm making headway on this painting, but my jobs and freelancing gigs are cutting a good sized hole in my time. However,
having money is nice, so I suppose I'll just have to toughen up and sleep a little less.

This piece is so large that I've had to improvise an impromptu studio in my kitchen (formerly the home of the big effing mural). The space is actually working out pretty well, I may have to rethink the studio space a bit. Most likely not.


Belated updates ...

I know I promised pictures sooner, but lethargy is a powerful adversary. I haven't gotten much done yet, having only recently begun the background, but hopefully my progress will speed up as I go. Working on something this large is difficult for me because it takes so long to see results. For the most part I'm unhappy with anything I'm working on for the first 70% of the project, usually because I'm still uncertain if the whole thing is even going to work. On smaller pieces its easy to overcome the 70% barrier, but on larger pieces like this one it can be difficult to make the beginning steps not feel like work. These however, are all just excuses. Once I get a little more paint on the board the going will get easier, until then I'll just have to suck it up.

In less bitchy news, "Stranger in a Strange Land" sold . Fairly quickly too, from what I could tell. So, if your reading this, thank you very much for your support, it nice to know people dig what I do.


Cake Town ...

Just a quick piece I did for The Prince of Cake as a part of his new 'Cake Town' links page. Basically, he asked anyone he deemed link-worthy to do their own personal rendition of one of his characters. This is probably one of the coolest ideas I've heard in a while, and I'm a little bummed I didn't think of it first.

I'll be starting my next big piece this weekend, so expect some progress photos in the near future.


A Stranger in a Strange Land ...

After finishing up the mural, I immediately got started on a smaller piece for next months Hive group show. I basically cranked this out in one weekend, starting on Friday and wrapping it up around 7am this morning.

I decided for this one that I'd actually do a more comprehensive process walk through. Mostly, I like posting this kind of stuff because its the kind of thing I like to hear about when I look at other peoples work. So here goes:

I start out the character by painting in its silhouette in the local color. The local color I choose is usually for the most prominent aspect of the character, in this case his armor. That local color is then used as the basis of all the other colors of the character. So for this guy all the colors you see, even the green of his skin and the white of his eyes came from that original red color.

After blocking in the silhouette, I render the portions of the character that are that color, and then block in the next piece. I tend to work from back to front when I paint to save me the hassle of having to paint around things and keep them looking dimensional.

After the black sleeves are rendered the silver armor bits are added and then rendered, followed by the right hand, which is done later because its over everything else.

Heres a better example of my actual rendering process. Staring from the local value I render in the shadows, I do the shadows first because they give me a better idea of the form of the object. After the shadows are in I start adding the lighter values. I then repeat the process from blocking to rendering with the eyes and lips.

"Stranger in a Strange Land"

The last steps are to add texture and then finally outlines. The outlines are probably the most important part as they bring everything else together, and tighten up the rendering.

Not bad for a weekends work. Busting back to back all nighters kinda takes me back to my good old Otis days. By the way thanks as always to my good friends Rockstar and Cheez-Its, my one-two combo in the fight against deadlines. Check this piece out at the Hive next Saturday for a cool $100. Toodles.


Finished-ish ...

Okay, so I said yesterday but I meant today. In either case the forest is done, until such time as I decide to do more to it. I'm still waiting to hear from the client (read Mom), but I have high hopes of a good reception. Anyhow here's the rest of the process, enjoy...

Adding in the rest of the ground

Adding the path and boosting the overall contrast. Note the brighter trees.

Adding the final elements and doing a tiny dance. (Note: Dance not Pictured)

and Behold!
It's as if I've been transported to some kind of magical, wrinkly forest! Neat, eh?


The Elephant in the Room ...

Wow, ten days since my last post. That's pretty awful. Although in my defense I was out of town on business for most of this week (fancy, I know). All excuses aside however, here's a look at what I've been working on most recently. A few months ago, when I was struggling for money and had almost no job to speak of, my Mom helped me land a job painting a mural for a Smokey the Bear photo shoot (sort of like pictures with Santa, only with a bear). Since taking on the job my to do list has extended exponentially, which is sort of the nature of working in art, as it is punctuated by profound periods of ebb and flow. But thats a whole other kettle of fish, all you really need to know is that this mural is roughly the size of my kitchen and that I'm painting it almost entirely by ear. No sketches, no planning, just some reference and mindless optimism to get me through.
Here we see the sheer size of the beast.

Followed by some very distant trees, and possibly some leaves.

Still More trees, and still more leaves. Perspective and atmosphere just starting to work.

Still more trees (its a forest you see)

Its all working out pretty well, and I'm hoping to have it done by this evening (LOL). And I'm actually pretty satisfied with the "solving problems as I create them" mechanic of the live painting process. In any case, you can expect my next post to be something entirely different as a new painting for the hive will be due on Sunday. Which reminds me, my last entry into the Hive ("Watering Hole") sold at last month show! Proof positive that the $100 price point is the way to go.

Anyhow I've got a forest to paint. Enjoy the rest of your three day weekend.


Fresh Start Sketch ...

I must apologize for the almost super human amount of laziness I have exuded of late. I've been doing a lot of sleeping lately, which most people would assume is a good thing, but I beg to differ. Of all my vices, sleeping is the only one which denies even the possibility of working. By example I can drink a beer and paint, but I cannot draw with my head on a pillow. But these are just excuses, and I promised you sketches and sketches you shall have ...

I apologize for the sub-par quality of the image, but the drawing is a whopping 14"x36", which more than dwarfs my diminutive scanner. Thus the badly retouched photos.

Heres a close up on the character. This cute little dude is just waiting on the bus, hoping it will take him somewhere better. This is the first piece I've started for a featured show next year. Why start so early? Becuase I hope to get about 20 paintings done for the show, and pieces like this one might take me a month on their own.


Orphan Works Legislation ...

For those of you who haven't heard, there is currently a bill in Washington which if passed would dissolve all currently held copyrights and make it legal for anyone to use your creations, for any reason, without your consent. The bill would require artists to pay a registration fee to a private organization on everything they created (including sketches) for them to be considered "under copyright". And its possible that more than one such registry would exist, meaning artists would have to have to pay a premium to each company in order to ensure their work is protected.

In addition to being just plain evil, this legislation also violates international copyright law, and will theoretically effect anyone who creates anything, even photos posted in flickr. You can read more about it here

and after you do, you might want to write your congressman

Sorry for the rant, I should be posting a new drawing soon. But seriously, this is important, please spread the word on this and do everything you can to stop this bill from passing.



"Watering Hole" with process ...

So, as promised, an actual art related post. I've also included some in progress shots to give you all an abridged version of my process. I say abridged because once I really got into painting I sort of dropped the ball on the play-by-play idea.

The idea for this painting was actually an old one. I doodle from time to time, though not as much as I should, and these doodles are usually little character designs or painting ideas. I took one such character doodle from a few months ago and began experimenting with some quick thumbnails, and when I got one I liked I blew it up and made a loose drawing from it. Like so ...

Then I used the loose drawing as a basis for a tighter final drawing.

You can see I made a few corrections, and changed a lot of the stuff that was bugging me about the preliminary sketch. After that was finished I decided to do a quick color study to figure out my light sources and whatnot. I don't always do this step but this painting was going to be a bit more complicated, so I opted for the extra step.

Now painting starts.

I blocked the background in in black and white, which gives me a lot more control over the value and fell. This is actually a relatively new technique for me, I've only used it a couple of times and I'm still getting the hang of it.
After I finished blocking in the background I used thin washes of color to bring it into line with my color study. In addition to being easier to control this style of backgrounds is also much faster and waists a lot less paint. Now fast forward a few nights hard labor, and ... viola!

"Watering Hole"

Wow, I apologize for my astounding powers of laziness because that kind of time skip really doesn't show you much in the way of process, but I digress. If somebody asks real nice I might actually do a more succinct play-by-play, you know one that actually shows process. In the mean time, enjoy, this piece will be up at the Hive's next group show this Saturday for a very reasonable $100. Huzzah!


prince of smarm

This picture screams internet phenomenon.

I found this in amongst my photos from the opening a few weeks ago and felt like sharing it with the internets. You can expect an actual art related post in the next couple days, until then enjoy this amazing testament to the power of smarmyness.


"They" opening night ...

Hello all, so as promised here are some photos from the opening of "They" earlier this month. Thanks again to everyone who was able to make it out to the show.

Especially these three art lovers, trucking out form San Diego to check out the show.
Me and 13:11, who had something like 40 paintings on display.
Huge Colab live painting
Live painting is perhaps the most terrifying thing I've done in recent memory, while at the same time being one of the most rewarding. And yes, if left to my own devices for a long enough period of time I will invariably create a skull. Its what I do.

Thanks to Ashley for taking all these photos, and being generally awesome. As well as to Cory, Janelle and Tasja for driving up from San Diego to see the show.