Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mermay 2018: Octo-Tail Mermaid

This is the first year I'm doing the annual #MerMay online event where artists submit daily images of mermaids. Here's this week's image, the Octo-Tail Mermaid.

The finished image of my #MerMay2018 Octo-Tail Mermaid
Original pencil sketch
Cleaned up the pencil line with digital penciling
Laying down the base colors before adding highlights, shading, and details

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Daily Quick Sketch: Pirry, the Giant Pirate Parrot

Today's quick sketch was done in pencil, brush pen and Copic markers. It is a supporting character for a little picture book story I wrote called Pirate Dreams. Pirry is a huge parrot, abnormally huge. He is part of the ship of misfits lead by the main character.
Pirry, the Pirate Parrot from Pirate Dreams. Pirry stands about 6'2" and weighs nearly 300 lbs. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mermay 2018: Shark-Tail Mermaid

The second image I did for the online event MerMay2018, where artists submit their mermaid illustration during the month of May.

My version of a Shark-Tail Mermaid with various shy neighbors

The original color background before changes to make the main character "pop" more

The original sketch in pencil

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Daily Quick Sketch: Picture Book Character Mash-up

I had purchased new brushes for Photoshop last week, looking for brushes that give a more natural feel than the current brushes available in Photoshop. Grut brushes are pretty impressive because most of the brushes are not cookie cutter stamp and repeats. Highly recommended, the site even has a free sampler for you to try: Grut Brushes Link

Playing around with two of my picture book characters: Bladimir Blarfarg and Little Boo
And yes, Bladimir is the one going to the bathroom in the lake

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

YouTube's The Cozy Chair reads Bobby's Biggest Bubble

Special thanks to Rebekah of YouTube's The Cozy Couch for reading Bobby's Biggest Bubble!

She did an absolutely great job. She is also doing a bubblegum bubble contest. The best bubblegum bubble photo sent to her email ( wins the book and gum! Wooo!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Daily Quick Sketch: RokSok, Son of Mudsok

Haven't drawn an underling in some time. These are characters to an underground world in a children's book I wrote a few years ago. The story is far from being polished. But I like to go back and add a few details here and there. I not only want the story to be fun, but also educational. Mixing non-fiction with fiction.
Roksok, the youngest son of King Mudsok. Image inked using a Kuretake brush pen.

The original pencil sketch
To see his dad, go here: LINK

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

D-Bot: Developing a Main Character for a Picture Book

Those who see my work on Instagram might recognize this character. This is D-bot, the main character in its self-titled picture book story. The look of D-Bot has changed quite a lot over time.
A pencil sketch of the latest version of D-Bot
In fact, D-Bot looks nothing like it's original sketch from several months ago. As seen below, it was simply too ordinary and had no expressive features. The story of D-Bot is about self-confidence and self-worth, which needs to show emotions to truly work.

The original 1st sketch of D-Bot

But that first sketch did lead to the 2nd and 3rd versions of the character. Each molding towards the latest design. Take what works and drop what is weak.

2nd sketch of D-bot showed more expression

I like this 2nd version, very playful and simple . . . but I still wanted to explore the character design

Image from a video that was posted on my Instagram account

The character was merging into something I could see starring in its own story. I want a robot, but I also want a character to show emotion. A character too robotic usually has a dead stare, and the #3 design didn't have pupils, (which doesn't help the character connect with others.)
Seen here are version #3 (left) and #4 (right) of D-Bot. #3's eyes were too dead and cold.
Below, I broke D-Bot down to all his parts to help analyze and remember how to draw the character. Now, I'm considering using a similar image as a repeat pattern inside the end pages of the book.
Anatomy of a character: breaking it down into small components

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

UPDATE Daily Quick Sketch: Cap'n Billy Buttons

So what's a pirate character without a parrot? I originally had a parrot on his shoulder, but really dislike the way it looked. I like this new little guy . . . introducing Cap'n Billy Buttons and his parrot companion, Pockets.
A new update: changed Mr. Buttons' colors slightly and added a new parrot, Pockets 

The original pencil sketch for Pockets the parrot
- - - Originally published on 4/7/18 - - -
Here's a character design for my picture book manuscript, Pirate Dreams. His name is Cap'n Billy Buttons, one of the supporting characters that join the main character in the story. He's is a kind soul that is trying to live up to the role of being a pirate.

A digitally colored version of the Cap.n Billy Buttons sans parrot
Cap'n Billy Buttons isn't taken seriously by other pirates, mostly because of his name. So he runs a crewless ship. Because of no crew, Buttons has to do everything on the ship, including the laundry . . . (which apparently he knows nothing about as you can see from the shrunken clothing he wears.)

Hand inked version of Cap'n Billy Buttons with (eech!) parrot (that needs to be revised)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Mermay 2018: Flying Fish Mermaid

This is the first year I'm doing the annual #MerMay online event where artists submit daily images of mermaids. I don't have the time to submit a new image every day, but I will be doing images at least once a week.
The final color image including a school of flying fish, created using Photoshop

My idea for these images is to create different types of mermaid based on their "fish-ancestry". I've more ideas for octopus, shark, whale and lantern fish mermaids . . . ( this is probably going to get very weird as I go on . . . )
The original pencil sketch sans fish
I'm thinking of doing this polaroid concept for all the mermaid images

Monday, April 23, 2018

Arrrggghhh! It's Another @#$% Quick Sketch Video: Spider-man Swing!

Posting this old time-lapse video of Spider-man swinging I found recently while cleaning a few hard drives. Created in ArtRage Pro and video edited with CamStudio and MovieMaker.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Arrrggghhh! It's Another Quick Sketch Video: Tension

Found a whole mess of old videos on an old external hard drive. This one was created for Illustration Friday word of the week: Tension.

Personal note: At first, I found this video's music humorous . . . but now, it's pretty annoying.

Quick sketch video created 2013-05-24

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A few words on: Email, Messages and Requests

Just wanted to touch base with those who write me about this blog and to those who make requests for me to create things for them.

First, thank you for visiting my blog and having an interest in what I do here.

Second, I don't allow comments to my posts for one major reason: I can not police or control comments every waking hour of the day. I hope to someday create more picture books for children; I can not afford to have people cursing, arguing, or making crude comments on this blog.

Third, this blog's software doesn't have a good messaging system. But everyone is more than welcome to continue sending me questions and comments. I do eventually read comments/emails sent to me from this blog, but . . . please don't expect quick turn-around responses.

Finally, please do not send me requests. That is not why I have this blog. This is a blog of my random thoughts and sketches. It's a public diary, even I don't know what I'm going to post next.

I often get requests to post more images of what I do for a living, which is product design. There are too many legal reasons why that's not going to happen. It would be unprofessional for me to show designs that are exclusive to any client. Occasionally, I will post work-related designs, but those are usually either out-of-date or they no longer have any legal restrictions.

Again, thanks to all visiting this blog.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

UPDATE Daily Quick Sketch: Piggin' and Grinnin'

UPDATE: I never liked the framing I did in this image, so I eliminated the background coloring.

Originally posted on 3/11/15:

Today's quick sketch was inspired by the blog: Dueling Banjo Pigs, a blog run by illustrators, Guy Francis and Stacy Curtis.

I seem to have jumped on the bandwagon long after this blog first started, but when viewing the blog and it's many banjo-playing pig images . . . I felt like tossing one on top of the already impressive 700+ picture collection pile.
Fully colored digital image of Piggin' and Grinnin' for the "Dueling Bango Pigs" blog site

Doing this image was a lot of fun. It's nice to just jump into doing a fun sketch with nothing but a suggested topic (a pig and a banjo.)

Inked version of the pencil lines created in ArtRage Pro

NOTE: Anyone can submit to the blog, professional or beginning artist. The blog is purely for fun. Even if you don't want to submit an image, it's worth seeing all the variations people have sent over the years. Visit the site here:

Original pencil sketch from one of my sketchbooks

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Daily Quick Sketch: Fox on the Run

Not sure why I sketched this image. Maybe it's because I need a fox character for a picture book manuscript I'm working on, or it's because I was watching Guardians of the Galaxy II again (which has the song Foxon the Run by Sweet in its soundtrack.)
Fox on the Run digitally colored using flat colors

I'll be using some of the features of this fox character for my picture book based on the famous pangram, The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog. 

Original pencil sketch which angle was changed to show more speed and movement

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Daily Quick Sketch: Fishface

No idea when I did this sketch, but I found this old scanned pencil drawing in one of my archive drives. I dropped it into Painter 2018 and gave it a few color layers and added some color lines. I believe this was created with a small drawing program called Krita.

FishFace, quick colored version of an old pencil sketch image

Krita had a nice interface and it did a great job of simulating a true sketching line on a tablet. But it had glitches, which would sometimes lose artwork from system lock-ups and/or program crashes. So I stopped using Krita for that major reason.

The original pencil sketch

Like most of the things I find, I threw it on this blog for safe keeping. Never know when I might need a character whose face resembles a fish.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Finally got my website updated!

The new website design is up, and it has a new name:

It's been about five years since the last update. Adding my animation clips to the video page will take some tweaking to get all those old Flash files to work correctly. Plus, I'm still digging into my archives to find some ancient stuff for the About Me page. All of this will take some time, but for now, there's enough completed for the new site design to go active.

The new website design's homepage
I'm planning to have the newer website design link to My primary domain,, will stay as is for now, (which is mostly a promotional site to sell my picture book.) I'll be focusing on branding my name instead of the Arrrggghhh Ink Publishing.

I hope to get published the traditional way. Self-publishing a book was exciting and rewarding, but it's not the way to seriously do picture books. Doing a picture book is hard enough without doing it all alone. 
So in 2018, I'm a returning member of the 12X12 challenge, writing a new story each month.

A definite plus to the site is the new video page and I'm also planning to add animation clips
To see the new update, head over to