Wednesday, December 10, 2014

One Final Tribute for the "Sons of Anarchy" Finale


The "Sons of Anarchy" series finale aired last night and brought with it the end of 7 years of great storytelling. Even though I came late to the party finding the show only earlier this year, it still managed to impact me on so many emotional levels. I can't recommend it enough.
I made this drawing on Monday night in anticipation for the finale drawing upon the prevalent theme of death and the reaper used throughout the show. It depicts the show's main protagonist Jax Teller away from the paved road to blaze his own trail followed by death and destruction. I hope you like it and if you're ever itching for a good series to watch on rainy days, definitely check out "Sons of Anarchy."

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Sons of Anarchy" Final Episode Tribute


I became a fan of "Sons of Anarchy" late in the game but by no means did that diminish my love for this show. I can't stress enough how great the characters are developed, and when you combine that with wonderful storytelling, you create the perfect setup for a fantastic story. 

Tomorrow night will be the final episode of the series so I made this sketch over the weekend as a tribute to a story that has captivated me since earlier this year. For anyone not familiar with the show, I won't say anything except that this illustration highlights one of the more prominent themes in the show - that the reaper (the symbol of the motorcycle club in the show) is a close companion when you ride in that life.

But if there are any fellow Samcro fans out there, I hope that you enjoy our final ride tomorrow night as much as I will.

Monday, December 1, 2014

"A Smallville Man" - Official Announcement For My Next Film Featuring Superman


I must admit that when I posted my 7 min animatic film "A Gotham Fairytale" in the summer of 2013, I never thought I'd actually make a second one. I figured that maybe only a couple hundred people would ever see it (if I was lucky), and that I'd just continue with my other art projects such as my children's books. So when I saw my first subscriber notification from YouTube, I honestly felt a bit bad at first because I thought that this person had gotten the wrong impression. After all I specifically made sure to not say anything about subscribing, especially with those annoying pop up requests during the video that block your view unless you close them, because I wasn't ever expecting my channel to have more than that single video.
But then another person subscribed. And another. And then three more. And then several more. And before I knew it, my subscribers were numbering in the hundreds and all without me ever prompting them to. Now I am fully aware that my subscriber count isn't anything special, especially when compared to other Youtube accounts, but it was special in what it did for me. These people were subscribing to my channel by their own choice without any incentive from me simply because they enjoyed my film and were hoping to see more. So it is without a doubt that I can say their show of support was what motivated me to want to make a second film.
At that point it was just a question of what story that film would feature. Would I try to flesh out one of the other Batman stories that I had in my head, or would I try my hand at the other half of the World's Finest team? While I felt that my Batman story was in fact solid and worthy of my creative attention, I have to say that I was pulled more to the Superman idea I had because it provided a few different benefits. Most importantly it offered a bigger challenge for me as a storyteller because the story was more layered than I had previously attempted with "A Gotham Fairytale." Also it required me to push myself artistically by giving me the opportunity to design a new art direction more in line with Superman and his story than sticking with the very moody black and white illustrations that were more appropriate for "A Gotham Fairytale." As expected it took a little while to really nail down the story and art direction, but once I did I was flying fast toward the finish line.

So it is with great pride and joy that I officially announce my second animatic film entitled "A Smallville Man." It features an original Superman story that shows that the "S" on his chest is meant to represent not just the power of his alien abilities but also the strength of his humanity. Just like with "A Gotham Fairytale," I came up with the story first and then serendipitously found the best song for it. The creative process then became somewhat more organic as the music helped influence and even structure the pacing of the narrative until the initial storyboards were completed.
Coming in at under 5 minutes, "A Smallville Man's" 150+ black and white illustrations are set to an amazing rock song by a widely popular American rock group. I'm proud to say that the artwork is 99% finished with only minor adjustments required. Once I complete the compositing of all the artwork with the motion effects to create the final animatic, I am hoping to have it up on my YouTube channel in early January 2015.
As the official release date gets closer I will announce the name of the band whose song will be featured, but for now this is all that I will reveal. Fear not though as I will be posting some scenes from the film in the coming month in anticipation of its release. Until then, thanks for reading!

Friday, November 14, 2014

THANKSGIVING Giveaway 2014!


I can't think of a better time of year than now to show my fans how thankful I am for their support, so I'm officially announcing my Thanksgiving Giveaway.
I've always been grateful when fans have gone out of their way for me so now's my time to really show it. If you've been following me on any of my online platforms and have helped spread the word about my art whether by retweeting, reposting, sharing or tagging, then congrats cause you're already entered to win! There is no need to contact me directly as this giveaway is a closed contest to show my appreciation for my fans.
The winners of my giveaway will be chosen the week of Nov. 23 and will be contacted individually. They will most likely win one of my more popular prints depending on supply amount based on a 'first come, first serve' policy. I wish I could give something to everyone who has expressed their support, but since I can't make money appear out of thin air (yet), I gotta stick to what I can afford. The good news though is that I'm opening this up to my international fans as well.
There'll be more chances to win artwork in 2015 so be sure to follow me on your choice of social media to stay tuned. Until then I hope this month finds you all well and in the spirit of being thankful for the good things in your lives be they small or big. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

DesignerCon 2014 A Success!


DesignerCon 2014 was held this past weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center and showcased a lot of amazing creations from designers spanning the fields of art, toys, apparel, and more. This year's show saw a record number of attendees as well as exhibitors who were so numberous that another exhibit hall had to be used just to contain them all. This is clearly one of the LA area's growing cons so be sure to check it out next year in November before it becomes too hard to attend.

My experience at the show was a fantastic one to say the least. I made some new friends, met some cool fans, and got to see a lot of people react to some of my pieces that they had seen before online. It wasn't uncommon for me to hear them say that they had seen something either on Facebook, Reddit, or one of the many entertainment websites that has written about my art.


At all my conventions I like to do something special for my fans by giving them chances to win FREE exclusive poster prints of my art. These are typically larger-sized and printed specifically for each show. I held two separate contests - one specifically for  patrons of my booth and another Twitter-exclusive contest where anyone could enter simply by tweeting their desired print and tagging me. Here are some of the lucky winners from the weekend.




During moments of downtime I usually like to sketch some of my favorite characters. These are typically only done for fun, but if I end up liking how they turn out, I usually put them out in front in case someone might like to buy them. This time around I had enough time to complete two portrait sketches. I drew Superman on Saturday and Venom on Sunday though the Venom portrait was completed toward the end of the day unfortunately. Oh, well. He'll get his time in the spotlight at the next convention.




Unfortunately I won't be appearing at any more conventions for the rest of this year, but hopefully there'll be lots more opportunities next year. Until the next time!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014!


Halloween 2014 is here and what better day to celebrate than a Friday (well, except for a Saturday of course)! This year my Halloween card illustration focuses on the role-playing fun that dressing up as your favorite character encourages. I actually had a few different compositions and ideas in mind originally, some of which were more dynamic, but ultimately settled on this one. Although the composition might be considered more 'flat' by some, that's actually what I love about it. The flatness is what allowed me to highlight each trick-or-treater's alter ego as their shadow in silhouette. This straight-on composition is also very Rockwell-esque as many of his Saturday Evening Post covers would often show the characters in profile view.
In the end though the message is quite simple. Halloween is a time to have fun and dress up as anybody or anything that you are inspired by. It doesn't matter what your nationality is, or even your gender. What I loved about Halloween as a kid is that for one night you got to pretend you were that character. As an adult, I've been happy to have been able to work at places that let us come to work in costume. Now only if there were ways for adults to trick or treat as well. I know I can just buy my own candy now, but it's not as fun as running around the neighborhood wondering which houses were going to give the full size candy bars :)
Happy Halloween and stay safe!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Disney Princess Pinup #2 - "Up Where They Walk" featuring Ariel


*So Blogger's acting stupid and completely altering the color, saturation and overall appearance of my painting. For the real version, please check out my site.

In the continuation of my pinup series featuring my favorite Disney princesses, I present to you my second painting featuring Ariel entitled “Up Where They Walk.” Visually it’s pretty straight forward, but I wanted to make sure that this piece also carried my previous theme of capturing the Disney Princess in question candidly. Thus I wanted to show Ariel in a pose and mood that really captures her sense of wonderment and longing for the world outside the sea.
As far as the painting went, this one was interesting as it’s been the only painting of mine in recent memory to have really given me a strong enough headache to have made me want to quit it. What had happened was that I committed one of the most serious of errors an artist can ever commit when starting to actually paint – indecision. Once you’re drawing and/or value designs are done, you need to know where you’re going with your color. Otherwise, you’ll be swaying back and forth making decisions that don’t mean anything since color is completely relative.
In my particular case I didn’t commit to any specific color palette, which killed me because I kept going back and forth from trying to paint an idealized scene to a more realistic underwater scene. I can’t tell you how many skin tones I kept  using trying to make her look as alluring as I wanted, and ultimately I decided to throw realism to the wind and go with the idealized depiction. After all, that’s what art is supposed to be, right? An idealization of the real world. Or at the very least that’s one thing art can do, and in my case I decided Ariel would look more beautiful with less blue in her skin and hair, which is what would normally be the case in such a blue environment.
Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Long Beach Comic Con 2014 Wrap Up


The 2014 Long Beach Comic Con held Sept 27-28th was a huge success, and I had a ton of fun getting to be a part of it. The show featured multiple exhibitors, artists, creators, and special guests within the halls of the Long Beach Convention Center and was attended by guests of all ages. I spent the majority of my time at my table in Artist's Alley selling prints and getting to interact with old fans while also making new ones.

Overall it was a great experience, and the best part for me had to be seeing and hearing people's reactions to my work. I was surprised to see so many people stop by to specifically tell me that they liked my work even when they had no intention of purchasing anything.



I also gave away free artwork throughout the weekend as I usually try to do at conventions. This time my two lucky winners would each be going home with a large Batman poster print that I got made specifically for this show. Congrats to both of my winners, and I hope their walls have enough room to accommodate their new prizes.



Now that the convention craze is over I'll be resuming my work on a couple of upcoming projects, most notably my Superman animatic. My next appearance will be at DesignerCon 2014 in Pasadena on Nov 8-9 so I hope you'll have some time to check it out. Until then, I'll be drawing away!  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Long Beach Comic Con 2014 is this weekend!


Long Beach Comic Con is this weekend September 27-28. Tickets and more information are available online at LongBeachComicCon.com. I’ll be at table 1803 selling new artwork as well as giving away a some free prints all weekend long for fans who stop by my booth. If you’re going, do stop by and say hello. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shining, Shimmering, Splendid - A Pinup of Princess Jasmine


I've always loved classic pinup art. Those paintings by masters like the great Gil Elvgren were always so attractive to me, and it wasn't just because of the beautiful women in them. It was because artistically speaking they were simplifications of reality. Elvgren was especially a master of simplifying everything so that his paintings had a nice graphic quality in addition to form-based rendering.
Although I've always admired and looked up to artists who could pull off the pinup genre really well, I've never really set out to do any of my own until recently. And in this case the idea to do a pinup of Princess Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin was really more of an accident. While I was working on another painting, I got the serendipitous image of Jasmine reclining ever so sensually on her palace balcony in the moonlight. So I started sketching it out in between sessions working on my other projects and little by little I eventually finished it. 
The key difference though between my pinups and those of the artists that I admire was how I wanted to depict the ladies. In most pinup art the woman is staring right at the viewer and smiling while intentionally posing for the viewer. While there's nothing wrong with that, I instead wanted to capture more intimate moments because I wanted my pinups to have a candid quality to them.
So I present to you now "Shining, Shimmering, Splendid," the first in what I'm hoping will be a long series of Disney pinups done in my style.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Long Beach Comic Con 2014


I’ll be exhibiting at this year’s Long Beach Comic Con 2014 on the weekend of September 27-28th. The event, which will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center, will be open on Saturday from 10 – 7 pm and on Sunday from 10 – 5. Tickets are $30 for Saturday and $20 for Sunday. All of the info can be found at LongBeachComicCon.com.
I’ll be exhibiting new artwork as well as selling some old favorites. As usual I’ll also be giving away free prints and small posters for my fans, so be sure to follow via Facebook or Twitter for the announcement of the prizes and how to be able to enter the contests.
I hope to meet some of you there!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Assassin's Creed: Unity Chapter 2 Online!



The second chapter of the Assassin's Creed: Unity promotional site is up and features 2 of my paintings with cool layering and animation effects. They were either based on or inspired by storyboards originally provided by the client. These scenes are intended to tell stories of key historic moments leading up to the French Revolution. If you're a fan of the franchise or of concept art in general, I think you'll definitely like the site:


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Drawing Tutorials -The Foreshortened Figure






I’ve always enjoyed the act of teaching – helping someone else to understand a concept a little better is one of those unexplainable joys for me. It’s why I spent many semesters as a Teacher’s Aid while at Art Center and even more so why I’ve spent the past two years teaching on and off at the LA Academy of Figurative Art.
I’ve had a few people online ask me for drawing tips over the last year, and normally I just take the time out right then and there to answer their questions. However, drawing isn’t something that can be thoroughly explained through text alone, which is why I’ve decided to compose a set of Drawing Tutorials for people to download and have. So far I’ve created some for drawing the human head and for the figure in foreshortening. I plan to create more as time allows and as interest in them increases if they’re actually helping people.
If you have any feedback on them or suggestions, please write me as I’d love to know how to improve them for the benefit of people who actually need them. Until then, keep drawing!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Assassin's Creed: Unity - The Guillotine


As I've mentioned in a previous blog post, I've been working on the promotional campaign for the upcoming Assassin's Creed: Unity game by Ubisoft. I had such a blast working on those paintings that once it ended I had to do one more! So I drew inspiration from one of the most iconic elements of the French Revolution - the dreaded guillotine.

In this scene a French captain addresses an unseen crowd moments before the deadly blade is to be dropped on the poor prisoner's head, completely unaware that he is being watched by our Assassin Arno, who has a different outcome in mind.

Since I can't share the official artwork I did until after the game comes out, I hope this extra piece wets your appetite in the mean time :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New Web Comic Strip "Forever Life's Intern"


I’ve been really entertained and inspired by  web comics recently that I decided to create some when I feel I have a good enough joke or idea. While I don’t plan to become the next “The Oatmeal,” I do hope to at least generate a chuckle if not point out some contradictions in the daily mechanics of life.
So without further adieu I present my new web comic aptly titled “Forever Life’s Intern.” Since I’m such a big comic book nerd, this first strip chronicles the discussion between two comic book fans as they discuss the complexities of their appreciation for Batman and/or Superman. It was born out of my puzzlement by the fact that so many Batman fans out there seem to think that hating Superman is a prerequisite to liking Batman. If you ask me, I say “why not both?”
Hope you enjoy!