Sunday, February 19, 2017

Daily Quick Sketch: Old LB pencil sketch found, redrawn and colored

Did a quick color comp of one of my oldest characters, LB, based on an old sketch that fell out of a sketchbook. I don't remember why I sketched LB in this pose, but I enjoyed doing a quick image of the character again. It's been awhile since I drew LB. Still one of my favorites.

LB color comped using a black pen brush, markers, and Signo white pen for highlights 

Note: this is a new color scheme I'm using for the character. The major difference is that the bumps on his nose are no longer blue. I'm thinking the bumps look better all the same color, even though doing this ruins one of the story ideas I had roughed out years ago.

Original pencil sketch found in sketchbook - estimated circa 2011 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Daily Quick Sketch: Mouse with Cheese

Here's a quick 5-minute sketch using pen and markers. Again, no rhyme or reason for why I did this, just feeling around for a character. Once I fleshed him out as a mouse, I added the cheese in hand - 'cuz - mice like cheese?
Very fast sketch of a mouse holding cheese, made with brush pen and markers

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sketching process: Football Player (and a lil' turtle)

Had this sketch on my tablet for some time, never finished it until now. Why I drew this is beyond me. Sketching is often just exploring new ideas. Looking for new ways to draw things. Perhaps this image was inspired by the last Superbowl game . . . though there's really no direct connection.
A digital pencil sketch from my Surface Pro tablet
Sketching is a form of meditation for me: It usually starts with random lines and scribbles until something clicks, where the lines start to look like something to me . . . I then start to refine the shapes/image. From there it's trial and error, adding or deleting until I end with someone that satisfies me. Once the image is clearly defined, details are added: shading, lines on his outfit, his arm hairs and skin blemishes.

Since this is a sketch, I see things that should be corrected. His back leg is too short, it's foot too large and it's not positioned properly. His head should tilt forward to show motion and it should be placed more to the right. To constantly change and correct an image like this is just wasting time. This sketch has accomplished what I wanted from it, a practice for creating a new idea and image.

And who knows, this image could inspire a new story or another idea one day . . .

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Concept Design: Furry Pet Costumes 2016

So here are a few pet costumes I designed for PetSmart Halloween 2016. PetSmart was looking for furry creature costumes. That made me think of doing something similar to the way that Muppet-like monsters are made.
Original concept designs submitted for creating a trio of furry pet costumes for PetSmart Halloween 2016
This is a great example of how a product is actually created from design. Above you see my original concept art. It gives enough detail and specifics to create the items our client, PetSmart, is looking for. But as you will see below, the items are altered to reach the price point that the client wants. So small details are eliminated, colors are altered and the final product is usually a simplified version of the concept art.
Many designers I have worked with in the past, would take such changes personally because they'd get too personal with their work. That not the right frame of mind in this business. Your job as a designer is to bring forth ideas to help improve business and sales. If your design is too expensive to produce, at least you can provide the manufacturer enough details to work with - so that a final product can be created for the right price. It's far better to over design with more details to allow the manufacturing department to figure out how the item can be produced, shipped and sold.

I noticed these costumes weren't selling in many local PetSmart stores. These items looked great with these dog images, but PetSmart decided not to put these photos on the costumes' hangtags. Overall, these costumes looked like furry balls on hangers, which were hard to figure out how they'd look on dogs. It's a shame that they had these photos made for posters in front of the store, but decided to save a very small amount of money by not printing the hangtags with these same photos. It would have been far more efficient and cost effective to do the hangtags with photos and simply drop the cost of the promotional posters in the storefront windows. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Daily Sketch Challenge: Mr Freeze

Those familiar with this blog know I often do daily sketches for sites like Illustration Friday or events like Inktober and Goblin Week. On the site, there is a group of artists that sketch a quick 30-minute image based on the topic of the day. The purpose is just to exercise the creative muscles and share images for amusement.

I'm not going to do an image every day, but I will try to get involved to help hone my drawing skills. Jumping into something new and different every once in awhile can help break the mundane repetitive cycle of artwork I do for a living.

Daily Sketch Challange: Mr. Freeze (42 min.)
Above is my first DSChallenge sketch for Tuesday, Jan 3rd, 2017. The Topic was Batman's foe, Mr. Freeze. One thing interesting about this character is that he appeared in the Batman comics as Mr. Zero in 1959. He was later named Mr. Freeze on the campy Batman TV show in 1966. It wasn't until over 30 years later that Freeze became immortalized as a true member of Batman's Rogues Gallery with Paul Dini's tale "Heart of Ice" from Batman: The Animated Series.

The original pencil sketch for Mr. Freeze

Friday, December 30, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Happy Baby New Year 2017

Whoa, it's been some time since I posted here. I still have the last week of Inktober 2016 images to post here. (Now where did I put those images? . . . )

Anyway, one of my popular images for this time of year are the Baby New Year images. So this year, I thought I revise the image to fit the times . . .
Yep, gonna be one of those years . . .

The Original Pencil Sketch

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Inktober 2016: Tired (#25 of 31)

I have to confess; this is based on an image I originally drew over 3 years ago. My workload is super heavy today and I don't have the time to create a fully thought out cartoon. I originally did this design digitally for IllustrationFriday for the word WORN; now it's for the Inktober Day25 word of the day TIRED. Everything works out because I always wanted to recreate this image in ink.
Revamped version of my Darth Vader image using a brush pen and markers [for Inktober Day25 Tired]
You can see the original image and a video at this link: here

Monday, October 24, 2016

Inktober 2016: Dozen (#24 of 31)

WOW! Only one more week to go with Inktober 2016!!! So fast . . .
Today's Inktober word is DOZEN. I didn't want to do a sketch with 12 things draw over and over again. So I thought of the old riddle, "When is a dozen not a dozen?" -- aka Baker's Dozen.
Day24's Inktober image for the word Dozen - using a pen brush and Copic gray marker

I'll admit, this cartoon is vague and probably will annoy some people --- but the idea of a cross-eyed baker with a roundabout way of creating 13 to a dozen just made me smile.

This is also why my pesky fly character was thrown in for an added little hint at the joke. The fly character is my version of the classic sports/editorial cartoonists' small doodles that used to deliver a sidenote or added humor to the cartoon.  In my case, the character is the fly-on-the-wall who usually has a snarky comment on what's happening in the cartoon.
The original pencil sketch

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Inktober 2016: Slow (#23 of 31)

For some reason, I immediately thought of my prior Inktober image for Day11's TRANSPORT when I saw the word for Day23 was SLOW. My thought was to have Elmer the elf suffer again. This time Elmer has to transport back from the location he was going to on Day11. (Apparently, there is a return policy on fairy dust.)

A callback cartoon that has Elmer the Elf having another bad day (drawn with brush pen and markers.)
The original pencil sketch for the word SLOW.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Inktober 2016: Little (#22 of 31)

For Inktober's Day22 the word was LITTLE.

Most of the other sketch submissions I have seen on the Internet had a small character next to a larger character. Instead, I wanted to make a cartoon in which the character's size was apparent and (hopefully) humorously ironic.

I always liked the idea that if there was life on another planet, the size proportions of that alien world would be totally different than ours. This also brought back memories of my childhood imagination that there were little creatures battling in my bowl of cereal. (Yeah, I was a weird kid.) 
Brush pen and marker sketch for Inktober day22: LITTLE
(Unfortunately, a marker ran out of ink and I had to fix the image's background digitally.)