Thursday, September 22, 2011


300 was on TV last night so I decided to watch it for probably the 50th time. It's one of those things where if it's on, I feel obligated to watch it and then I can't turn it off. Ironically my wife Liz and I were just talking about the movie the night before, so it felt like kind of an omen. It's one of my all-time favorite movies. 300 is probably the most visually stunning film I've ever seen ! Obviously the action and fight scenes are legendary, but it's the look and feel of the whole thing that really gets to me. The colors, backgrounds and landscapes are just so perfect. I was so glad to see that they took so much influence from the look of Frank Miller's tremendous comic book.

Anyway, I decided to do a piece featuring Gerard Butler as the great Spartan King, Leonidas. In my opinion, he's one of the most bad-ass and perfectly cast characters in movie history. I referenced a screenshot from the movie I found online. I wanted to make it look realistic and recognizable, but also stay true to my "style". Not too much detail, and using lots of big black areas to form the image. I think I accomplished that pretty well here. I might do a few more movie characters down the line, because I really enjoyed doing this !

Thanks for reading !

King Leonidas, 9x12  Pentel Brush Pen & Copic Multiliners on Bristol

Thursday, September 15, 2011

THE KING II - Finished

Sooooooooo, as you can see above, this piece took an unexpected turn ! About this time last night, I was ready to tear this thing up, throw it in the garbage and start all over again. I'm glad I didn't.

I started off with a basic pencil sketch of my central figure here, The King :

I was honestly really happy with the way it looked, so I went ahead and gave him some ink :

So far, so good, right ? At this point, my intention was to make this a grayscale watercolor painting. So I got out my painting supplies, started applying some gray wash and proceeded to butcher the entire thing. I don't know what happened, it just did not look anything like it should have (sorry, no pic). I nearly ripped it up, but instead I kept it to use as a reference because I planned on starting over from scratch.

Fast forward to today. I put my son down for a nap and decided to revisit the devastation. I was just about ready to start over when I decided to do a little experiment. I just started penciling in some skulls in the background. I drew in 5 or 6 of them, then grabbed my brush pen and started adding some ink. Apparently I was on to something. 81 skulls later, we have the finished product. I added a few highlights at the end with a white gel pen. The gray wash I had originally put down actually worked perfect as a contrast between the skulls and the central figure.

I can honestly say that this is the most rewarding piece I've done in years. Not because I think it looks great, but because I was able to persevere through failure and make something out of nothing. I hope you all enjoy looking at it as much as I did making it !

Thanks for reading !!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

THE KING II - Pencils

That's right kids, 2 posts in one day. A new record !!! Anyway, here are the final pencils for a new piece that I'm working on. It's actually a sequel to The King watercolor painting I did a few posts ago. I'm going to be inking and painting this, and I have some interesting things planned for this character down the line. Thanks again for reading !


I mentioned a couple posts ago about doing more original work. Well here is a result of that. Just had this image pop in my head and decided to run with it. I think in the last few pieces I've done I'm  really starting to define my style. I'm feeling a bit more comfortable every time I start something knowing how I want things to look. Thanks for reading !

11x14, Pentel Pocket Brush Pen & Copic Multiliners on Bristol

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I know, it's been a while. Unfortunately I've been going through a pretty bad case of artists block. Been struggling a bit to find motivation and inspiration to get anything done. Well today I found some. I read an article today about a mentally disabled man in St Louis who recently had a large portion of his Superman collection stolen from him in a pretty heinous way. Apparently the authorities are attempting to get what they can back to him, but there are people out there who want to help him if they can't.

So I decided to do an original piece of art to send the guy so he can add it to his collection or help start a new one. Check out this blog post on Comics Should Be Good at CBR to find out more about the story and for information on how you can help if you'd like to !

I'm hoping this will get me going in the right direction creatively. While this isn't my best work by a long shot, it felt good just to get something out after a couple weeks. Hopefully have more frequent posts in the future here. Thanks for reading, and if you can, help out Mike !