Saturday, May 27, 2017

Daily Quick Sketch: Even More Monstas and Bunnies sketch stuff

I've been sketching this image on and off for a few months now. Another image for my grouping of Monstas and Bunnies, (I'm thinking of switching to Monstas & Bunny instead, since I've been using the same bunny in all the images.)
Pencil sketch for GO FISH, another image for my collection of Monstas and Bunnies images.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Looking Back 2000-2001: Bobby's Biggest Bubble supporting characters

Way before the book was printed, I would often come back to work on Bobby's Biggest Bubble, in over a 2 decade span. My career made it too difficult to focus on making the story, especially with so much travel. While I did have a laptop with me when travelling, I found it difficult to really work/design under those conditions.

I was an animator/web designer back in 2000 and most of our computer design department was let go after the Internet market bubble broke. Only my friends John Biank, John Kowalczyk, and I remained. I stayed on for about 7-8 months, but the work wasn't the same. Our work room was empty and depressing and the projects became too corporate with less and less design needed. Eventually, I left and started freelancing again in early 2001.

Character sheet of the townspeople for Bobby's Biggest Bubble

Freelance work was good. I first got many small projects from This led to several companies finding and hiring me to animated their websites. I was animating for several Japanese online English teaching courses. The pay was decent, tno deadline pressures and they pretty much let me direct my own work (and others.) This provided me with some spare time and I started to go back to doing the book. Above is the image that I pulled over 11 years later to help create my picture book.

Unfortunately, 9-11 changed my career, as it did with so many other people. The freelance work dried up. I was not getting paid for work completed. I was forced to leave freelancing and go back to working under a steady full-time job.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bobby's Biggest Bubble: about 5 years ago

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since I used Kickstarter to help publish my first picture book. On June 1, 2012, the Kickstarter project reached its goal thanks to friends, family and the many strangers who were generous to help me create something I had envisioned for decades.
The start of Bobby's picture book began about 5 years ago, but his story is decades old.

I had no idea how much work was involved. I spent every weekend working around the clock to make the deadline. Learning the process of creating a hardcover book was surprising too. At time's I felt overwhelmed, and I became my own worst critic when the work hit a few snags. When all the work was finished, the proofs were approved, and the order to go to print was confirmed, it was the highpoint of my career.

Today, the books still sell online, though at a far, far slower pace than it did in 2012. I still donate books to schools, libraries, and charities whenever I can. I'm down to the last few boxes of the books of the original 1st print.

I'm also trying to get more of my stories published, but this time I'm going the traditional route. Many of my stories are currently in submissions to various agents and publishers. Time will tell . . .

Friday, May 12, 2017

Daily Quick Sketch: Zombie Kitty

Today's quick sketch is a little walking dead cat. I know the season for me to start designing for Halloween is fast approaching, so this came to mind.

Zombie Kitty, colored in Photoshop CC

The original inked image that was hand drawn using brush pens and then scanned into Photoshop.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Daily Quick Sketch: Perched Owl

Today I was trying out some new brush settings I created in Photoshop. I have been looking for a good inking brush for Photoshop, but I still find other programs do a better job of the line control and point tapering when creating an inked image.

Final image after eliminating some of the background leaves and branches

As I was playing around, I found a waxy crayon setting I really enjoyed and decided to do a quick image using this and several other brush settings. To do this, I started with a scribbled image of an owl that I had drawn some time ago. I decided to not create the outline like I usually do, but to paint and build up on the highlights, shadows, and textures.

Here's a little step-by-step shown below:

The scribbled image of a barn owl on a branch

I quickly brushed on a tree trunk, branches, and leaves on a black background.

I filled in the gaps with a neutral shade of green and blurred the image to create depth
Added a branch for the owl, giving it darker and crisper lines, making it appear to be closer.
Finally, the owl character is drawn on a layer over the branch layer.
(While the tail is drawn on a layer under the branch layer.)