Tag Archives: sketches

Santa Clauses!

Continuing the Christmas theme… Santa dropped by early for an extreme closeup portrait but couldn’t decide whether he wanted traditional or digital illustration work… so I did both! First, the completely hand-drawn version (pencil sketch w/ color marker finish) on a 7×10-inch comic backing board:

santa

I followed that up, using the above baseline, to create a completely digital rendering in vector format:

santa-digital

Typical for my illustration work, I like the cleaner lines and sharper colors in the digital version. I must say, though, that aside from lacking a good match for skin-tone in the hand drawn version… both of these look remarkably similar for a change. Basically it’s a testament to my liking the hand-drawn one enough that I didn’t feel like I needed to make major tweaks or corrections in the digital re-render.

Please let me know what you think and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

Twice the Olaf for Christmas!

And now… for something more warm and friendly 🙂

I’ve watched Disney’s Frozen more times than I can count recently with my nieces and nephew… so I was finally properly inspired to try my hand at some new Christmas illustrations. For Olaf I actually liked him so much I drew him twice! First, a completely hand-rendered illustration from pencil sketch to color marker finish on a 7×10-inch comic backing board:

olaf

Then, using the above as a baseline… I re-rendered completely digitally as a vector illustration:

olaf-digital

The lines are cleaner in the digital version, and the colors are sharper. I also was able to more easily add in some shadows and a few snowflakes to complete the image. I personally like the digitally finished one better, but starting with the hand-drawn one allowed me to hopefully carry over most of the organic nature of the character.

Please let me know what you think and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

Batman Bust Convention Sketch

Convention sketches are like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get! 🙂 With my humble apologies to Forrest Gump, begins the tale of a convention sketch from last weekend at the Raleigh Comic Book Show.

Once I was settled in and had said my hellos to fellow guests and the show organizer, I decided to begin a convention sketch on a blank 7×10 comic backing board. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to draw when I began, but since I had drawn a Spider-Man last December I was at least not going to do that. So, pencil to paper and at some point I decided I wanted to draw Batman.

Had I decided to draw Batman sooner, it would have started out looking less like Orion from the New Gods! I realized I had a little bit of work to do to bring it back to being a Batman drawing and not Orion. Nothing against Orion, incidentally, and I probably should draw him too… but I was going for a more immediately recognizable character for this unsolicited sketch and I figured more people would recognize Batman.

Batman Convention Sketch

I think I managed to save it… but you can be the judge!  Oh, and in case you wonder… I found myself without proper flesh-coloring markers so I improvised with a few different colors and going for the patchwork illusion of skin tone through color overload! It just didn’t look right leaving his face white once I had colored everything else. So, my least favorite part of this one is the faux flesh tone result here, even though the illusion works from a distance… it just doesn’t hold up quite as well to up-close scrutiny.

Remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

Gotcha Demon Collaboration with Morganza

Morgan Welborn (Morganza) is a talented artist that I met through the Digital Webbing forums. He recently made available a high resolution scan of one of his original pencil drawings and invited other artists to collaborate with him to ink and color his illustration. I’m not the only one who has taken him up on his offer, but I’m just going to blog about my efforts… 🙂

Gotcha Demon Morganza Censored

I don’t have a convenient way to post mature content here on the blog, so there are strategically placed black bars to conceal the naughtier bits. I do have an uncensored version of this up on my DeviantArt page for anyone who wants to go take a look there. I also recommend you take a look at Morganza’s DeviantArt page as well while you’re there.

I spent the better part of an evening and night working on this, plus some final tweaking the next day before finally deciding it was done. I wanted to punch up the red a bit more on the boiling man’s skin, but was afraid it might not have the desired effect since there was an all-red demon hovering there beside the cauldron. All things told, I feel pretty proud of this one. I had a strong base in the form of the original pencil drawing to work from, so I just had to decide what things I wanted to make pop in the final rendering.

This was a very good exercise for me. I’m not always happy with how I ink my own drawings. I’m far better at working digitally (either completely from scratch or over rough pencil sketches), but I’m also considerably better at inking when working over another artist’s pencils with a much stronger foundation than I typically lay down myself. I need to work on tightening up my pencil work so that I can be a more well-rounded artist, but in the meantime I also want to open myself up to more collaborations like this one to produce solid work and learn how to work better with other fellow artists.

FYI, here’s the original pencil sketch that Morganza supplied for the collaboration. I think you’ll see that all the detail is already there in his original illustration, and you can compare this to my finished rendering above to see what choices and minor changes I made along the way.

Gotcha Demon Original Sketch CensoredPlease let me know what you think of this and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

Superman Fortress of Solitude Sketch Card

I’ve been trying to think of some more things to draw as sketch cards lately. I haven’t drawn any since my comic convention appearance back in December. I like the small canvas and I like that I can make a bunch of them and they are easy to carry around and show to people. But I also feel somehow like I’m wasting them if I just draw random things. I need to get over that, and just draw random things. Sometimes the random things turn out the best, even with my apprehension to do them in the first place.

That said… After drawing my Supergirl the other day, I kept thinking about the classic look to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, particularly the exterior. In the old days, it was a hollowed-out mountain for the fortress, so from the outside it was just a giant door on the side of a mountain. Way far away from the door was the giant key, disguised as a direction marker for airplanes. That’s what I wanted to try and capture, so that’s what I did earlier this week…

SK19 Fortress of Solitude

I think it turned out pretty well, with my minimalist approach. It’s another thing the sketch cards are good for.. because drawing this on a larger scale would mean you really need to put more detail into it or it would just look mostly blank because of all the white snow you want to imply is there in the Arctic… so the sketch card is really the right size to draw something like this.

As always, let me know what you think and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

Deadpool Valentine

So… there’s a Deadpool movie. You probably know about that. It’s also Valentine’s Day tomorrow… You probably knew that too. But what happens if you combine them?

Deadpool Valentine

I wanted to hand-draw something Deadpool related for the movie this weekend… and inspiration struck when I realized it was also Valentine’s Day and I thought of a (hopefully) humorous way to combine them. For anyone wondering, it’s meant to be fairly cartoony. It helps take a bit of the edge off of the implied gore. I also probably couldn’t have hand-drawn a non-cartoony Deadpool without more practice anyway. 😉

I didn’t scan in a rough-sketch image this time, because I kind of alternated between sketching in parts of this and inking them… so, for example, I sketched then inked Deadpool first… then the bow and quiver, and then the doors in the background. I’m not sure why I did it that way, as opposed to a complete rough sketch before beginning inking… but there you go.

Whenever I do something like this, as I’m finishing it I start thinking how it would look cleaner if I digitally inked and colored it instead… but then I wouldn’t have a piece of original art in my hands. I would also lose a little of the organic feel to the lines that I get from hand-rendering. This particular gag wouldn’t suffer either way, but sometimes the too-clean digital rendering actually distracts from the funny. At least it seems like it to me.

Let me know what you think, and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

Vampirella: He Started it, but I Finished it!

Most of the time, I start and finish my art digitally, and almost always as vector art. Sometimes, to get a more organic look, I will start with a pencil sketch that I scan in and then render the vector-art over that. I have also been trying more recently to do more completely hand-drawn from start-to-finish works. All of these processes yield different looks to the final art.

One thing I had not done, prior to this weekend, was ink over the pencils of someone else. A conversation on the Digital Webbing forum inspired me to give it a go. In a case of fortunate timing, someone on the forum posted a nice high resolution scan of an Adam Hughes Vampirella sketch. I am a fan of Adam Hughes work, so this felt like a good thing to tackle as my first attempt at finishing the pencils of someone else.

Here is the original Adam Hughes sketch for comparison:
AHVampirella Blueline
And here is my digitally finished + colored version:
AHVampirella
Adam’s original sketch has some details and shading that I dropped out in my rendering. The digital inking is all vector art, which means I can scale and do other things fairly easily with this later if inspiration strikes. If you look closely you will see minor tweaks here and there between my final version and the original sketch. One thing that particularly bugged me was her left hand and the position of the fingers. It never looked completely right no matter what I did to it, but I settled on a position that didn’t drive me batty anymore… 😉

Famously, comic book inkers don’t always get the credit they deserve. Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, there are numerous examples out there of various inkers finishing the same penciled original where you can get a really good idea of just what each individual inker brings to the table. Also, some pencillers lay down more detail than others. Some teams of penciller + inker work better than others, as each compliments the other’s style in a more cooperative way. Part of what led me to this experiment was sometimes being dissatisfied with my inking of my own pencils. I wanted to see what it might look like mixing my instincts with someone else. Look for more of these collaborations as the mood strikes me.

Please let me know what you think, and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

2015 Raleigh Comic Book Show, Epilogue

Me at Dec 2015 show(Buddy Prince is in this photo, on the left. I’m on the right, in the green shirt, behind the pastries!)

Yesterday was the big day! As expected, I did not get a lot of sleep in advance of the convention. I never do. It’s not even about being unprepared, I was more prepared for this show than any I’ve ever been to before… I just never end up sleeping much or well before any big thing.

I had a bunch of original art with me, and some sketches and prints for sale. I loaded up the truck and actually got to the show early! The new venue was nice. It was a good looking hotel and the layout of the comic showroom was nice. I found my spot, checked the WiFi access, and setup my table for the day.

For a post-Christmas show, you never know what to expect. Are people tired from celebrating the holidays? OR are they ready to get out of the house for a bit? Did they spend all of their money already on Christmas? OR will all the people who received money as a gift show up ready to spend? It seemed like the show got a pretty good turnout, but I literally only sold one of my prints.

I’m still new to the guest artist gig, so I don’t know how much my lack of sales had to do with me being new versus people just not looking to spend money. I did have a lot of people looking through my stuff, and got a lot of positive comments… so I’m figuring it was a mix of me still being new and people being choosy how they spend their money. Being honest, going into the show I wanted to have stuff for sale and hoped to sell some things but I was mostly there to spread the word, advertise myself, and promote my blog and ‘Sects comic strip.

Specifically for this show, I made eight promotional ‘Sects character cards (Buzz, Red, Bob, Blue, Buzzarro, Dez, Nell, and Al). These were 2.5 in. x 2 in. cards with a brief blurb about the character and a link to my blog. During the show I handed them out to everyone who stopped at my table, and tried to flag down people as they walked by to let them know they were free for the taking. After the show I also went around to all the dealers who hadn’t stopped by my table already to bring them into the fold as well. I’m hoping my blog will see some new visitors and fans as a result!

promobuzz promored promobob promoblue promobuzzarro promodez promonell promoalFellow guests at the show were Chris Kemple and Buddy Prince. Buddy was at the first show I did, back in 2014, and I hadn’t seen him since that time. Chris and I talked a bit and each thought the other looked familiar, and we mutually concluded that we probably already knew each other because we used to shop at the same comic book store (Capitol Comics) and I actually worked there many years ago. Buddy and Chris are both good guys, and good artists, and they seemed to have a lot of interaction at their tables too.

During the show, I was able to draw some ‘Sects sketch cards and a Batgirl sketch card. I also drew a nice larger Spider-Man sketch. I posted these last night on the blog after returning from the show, but I was too tired to post this summary until tonight! 🙂 It was nice to be able to prove to myself that I could finish sketches while talking to people at the same time. Sometimes multitasking can be challenging, so it was good practice.

All in all, it was a good experience. It was a much better experience than my first show too. I was much more prepared going in, and I had a stronger comic strip to promote this time around. Next time I’ll have more art to sell and more comics to promote too… it’s a growing process. It was good to see some old friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, and make a few new ones. If anyone reading this met me for the first time yesterday, and has now come to check out my blog as a result, thank you for coming to the show and thank you for visiting my blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to more shows in 2016!

Spider-Man Bust Convention Sketch

While at the Raleigh Comic Book Show this weekend, I was able to complete a new bust style sketch of Spider-Man on a 7×10 comic backing board. Pencils first, then ink and coloring all with markers. I think it turned out fairly well.

Spidey Convention SketchRemember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

Jetsons Take Flight

One more Hanna-Barbera classic cartoon inspired drawing this month… This time it’s that family of the future, the Jetsons! Meet George Jetson, his boy Elroy, Jane his wife, and daughter Judy all in their future car going somewhere… Sorry no Astro or Rosie, but the spaceship was getting crowded!

Jetsons

Once again I went with a mix of old-school and new-school to complete this illustration. Beginning with the pencil sketch to get everybody, and everything, in place… then scanned, inked, and colored digitally. If you compare the finished piece above with my pencil sketch below, you can see a few tweaks here and there, especially in the faces… but for the most part I had a solid sketch to help me create the final drawing.

Jetsons Sketch

It’s a little ironic to me, to be looking back in time at a classic cartoon set in the future! Think about that for a minute without your brain exploding… then let me know what you think of this one. Remember, if you are interested in requesting my services as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

PNEUMYTHOLOGY

ROBERT LAMBERT JONES III

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