Sunday, December 28, 2008

Some Blues

Here's some portraits I did a while ago in my sketchbook of a few blues musicians. Thought it was about time I got to uploading them. I'll probably do more eventually, try to get some lesser known blues musicians in there next time.

I listen to the blues constantly, and read about blues musicians almost as much. There is something just so mysterious about the whole aspect of the music and persona that you don't find anywhere else. If you aren't captivated by the power of Son Houses voice, the prowess of Johnsons guitar picking, or the haunting falsetto of Skip James (see below), then I just don't know.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Literary Characters: Dracula

This is the preliminary sketch for my first painting in a group of triptychs based off of characters from literature, which will be featured in July at my show with Tim Durning (at The Chapter House in Philadelphia). I will shoot reference and do color studies later. It is obviously a portrait of Dracula. I will probably rethink what goes on in the other 2 panels, but I am going to stick with some sort of environment.

Here's some work from my sketchbook while brainstorming about the piece.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Gallery Work...

A piece I did a bit ago, when I was working on my robert johnson pieces. It is now hanging at the Grand Small Works Show, at the F.U.E.L. Gallery Dec 5th-28th. Come to the show tomorrow, i'll be there for sure.

Monday, November 17, 2008


So in my Black Cat book, I've been painting a lot of panels where our main character is completely nuts - here are a couple of those panels that I liked. The first is where he gets his hand bit by the black cat, and goes into a rage before he cuts out the cats eye. The second is the reaction of our main character after he hangs the cat. Good work Mr. Poe!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Black Cat, Page 4

Here's another page from my Black Cat project. In this page the narrator stumbles home drunk and hits his wife. I included the page without the type, with the type, and a close up of my favorite passage. Hope everyone had a happy halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat

Here's the first page to the project I am working on. I'm moving right along and the whole book will be done by December.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I watched this Gary Kelley Demo, and was inspired to do a quick 5x3 watercolor sketch. This is something I thought Gary would do, I really enjoyed painting the opaque pink over the blue wash, it is something I will have to experiment with more. My book is going well, almost to the 4th page - moving along.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sketches, Seasons

Here's my sketch for my seasons piece. I wanted to Illustrate the changing of the seasons. So I depicted summer weaving into fall.

Here are just some other pieces from my sketchbook.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blog Break

The view from my Philadelphia studio.

I am going to go on a small break from my blog while I work on completing my first full length published comic. Be sure to check back sometimes because I will post a page or two as a preview - but I just wanted to give you the heads up that I will not be posting too much for a while.

Unfortunately I won't be able to finish that story I was working on before - I was in progress on the third page when I got my new assignment.

Good News: I got 6 pieces into the F.U.E.L. Gallery in Philadelphia. I'll let you know when the show opens.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Mantis.

I forgot to post this little guy I saw outside the Brandywine. He was pretty awesome. That is all!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Brandywine River Museum

Autumn at the Brandywine
and Andrew Wyeths house

Today I went to the Brandywine Museum in Chads Ford Pennsylvania. It's not too far away from Philadelphia - which is nice. It contains many amazing paintings, including an extensive collection of Wyeths. There was an interesting show called "Painters as Illustrators," it showed work by various painters in an illustration context and also a fine art context. I also got to drive by Andrew Wyeths house, it was very tempting to pull over and go knock on the front door.

Three paintings by Howard Pyle
and two watercolors.

The Pyle paintings were amazing, I admired his brushwork for a long time. His watercolors were so brilliant, such refined and meaningful washes. I have a lot to learn from looking at his work. Maxfield Parish had some amazing pieces there as well, unfortunately security guards did not let me take pictures of those paintings, or the N.C. or Andrew Wyeth ones. Needless to say they were great. James Wyeth had some very impressive work on display - I was happy to see new work in all the galleries since the last time I was there - about a year ago.

Two Paintings by James Wyeth
"We're charged, my father and I, with being a pack of illustrators. I've always taken it as a supreme compliment. What's wrong with illustration? There's this thing now that illustrations are sort of secondary to art and I think it's a bunch of crap." - James Wyeth

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Alabama Blues Page 2

Here's my second page of the story I posted a few days ago. I'm working on the third and should post it in a couple days. I have some good news upon the horizon but I don't want to announce it and spoil it.

Here's some stuff from my sketchbook I did this week, the last one is a quick study I did for this page.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Baltimore Comic Con + New Work

Here's my newest painting, I've got a couple more pages of it to finish, but I thought I would post my progress so far. I have been into this sepia mode lately, but I was glad I was able to bring more color into it this go round. The comic is based off of the story that a young Hank Williams learned how to play guitar from a black blues musician (Rufus "Tee Tot" Payne). I am very interested in these kinds of stories, because one often thinks of the 1930's as largely segregated; but we are often reminded that even in times of deep racism, a common humanity can prevail.

I was down at Baltimore this past weekend, the convention was a lot of fun. I was with some people from the Autumn Society, and we had a few tables. It was nice to meet new people, and see other people again. The Philadelphia Cartoonist Society had their "Children of the Watchen" book out, and it was cool too see everyone's work in there. Got to stop by David Mack's booth and talk for a bit, which is always awesome because his work is a big influence on my own. Here's a couple sketches that I did at the con:

Nightcrawler, Dr. MidNite, Doc Savage

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The theme for this piece was the word "dragon." A few people at the Autumn Society are doing pieces with the same theme. I didn't want to do a traditional dragon, but I also didn't want to avoid the traditional dragon alltogether. This was my solution.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fishermans Wife

Here's my final Illustration from the sketch I posted before. I changed it a bit from the sketch, because when I was working on it I realized that the multiple faces were distracting and a little repetitive, so I decided to only include one, to focus the illustration. I also changed the house panel to a panel depicting the rigging of the ship, to instead focus on the distance between her and her husband, rather than her lonliness (which I believe is depicted in the portrait).

I'll be at The Baltimore Comic Convention with some folks from The Autumn Society. Should be a good show.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Here is my contribution to the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society charity book called The Children of Watchmen. I chose to portray Ozymandias as a rusting statue, sort of a comment on his ideals. I'll post the piece in color as well in a few days.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Fishermans Wife

He promised to write me a letter
He promised to write to me
But I haven't heard from my darling
Who is sailing on the deep blue sea

This is my sketch for a page i'm doing with some Carter Family lyrics as a narriative, a lot of people over at the Autumn Society are doing pieces based on the same theme. I thought that a fishermans wife would live in a place that looked a lot like an andrew wyeth painting. I'm going to use his paintings as a guide for this pieces color pallete.

I'm working on this, and my watership down piece while I wait for a possible job to come through. Hopefully we'll hear some good news from that in the future.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Watership Down

Here's my finished sketch for a piece I'm working on, a cover for the book Watership Down. I want to do a couple of pages of the book as a comic after I get done with the cover, I really like the story and I think it would be a lot of fun.

San Diego was a blast, I hope to get out there again next year. After NY, Philly, Chicago and San Diego I think I'm conned out for a little while. Not sure when my next one will be, but i'll definitely do all those shows again next year.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Painting of the Week: The Black Coat

The Black Coat

This is a pin up I did for the comic The Black Coat. I had some fun with it, and I think it came out pretty good. Let me know what you think.

I'll be at the San Diego Comic Convention next week, it should be pretty fun. So i'll be out of the blogging world for a bit next week. I'll try to post some sketches and stuff.

Also I found this and I loved it so much i had to share it. It's pretty much a combination of my two most favorite things ever... seriously that's all I did freshman year of college, I read Hellboy and watched Futurama.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight comes out tommorow at midnight. Needless to say, I am excited. I did this little watercolor in my sketchbook and I thought I would share it. I used myself in a mirror as a quick reference to do the initial drawing, and upon completing it I realized it looks like me if I were Batman, which... is totally awesome.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Portriat of Emmy

Here's my newest commission finished. Hope that it's what the client wanted, we'll see if I have to make any changes.

Also, i'll be in San Diego at the convention. I'll post some more info about that later.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Painting of the Week: Imagine Intelligence

Shelter: Page 1

This is the finish for the comic page I had shown in progress. It's about a cat that is found in Philadelphia and the relationship with its owner. I think it will be a pretty nifty story once it's finished, and I am glad to have made some progress. I'll be posting more as it is completed.

Imagine Intelligence

The estate of John Lennon recently lost a lawsuit to stop the use of "Imagine" in a pro-intelligent design film. I think that the rights of the Beatles works have been grossly abused, and that the fact that their estates have so little control over their songs is a sad thing.

Monday, June 23, 2008


In my most recent paintings, I've been doing lots of animals. I enjoyed the paintings, and while I was doing them a story began to brew in my head. So instead of just dismissing it to a daydream I decided to write it down and take it to the next level. So now I give you an in progress panel of an upcoming comic I am working on, hope you like it.

Here is the next commission I am doing, a portrait of a dog named Emmy. After a bit of tinkering and groaning I got a sketch that I was confident with. I like it, I think it captures the personality of the dog well. I'll be at Wizard World Chicago, stopping by booths and showing my book around. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wizard World Philadelphia

Nightcrawler, David Mack's Kabuki and Abe Sapien

I had a great time at Wizard World Philadelphia, and I got to meet some really great people, and run into some others I had met before. I brought a small watercolor set and I was doing sketches all weekend. I want to thank everyone who bought one! I posted a few that I did when I had some free time.

I will be going to Wizard World Chicago, though I will not have a table, I will be there Friday and Saturday.

So thanks to everyone who came out to Philly! I'm working on a longer comic right now, I'll post it when I get a few pages into it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Painting of the Week: Kitties

Lynn + Pumpkin

Here's a commission I recently completed, a painting of a very cute cat named Pumpkin (the orange cat pictured above). I was originally only going to paint Pumpkin, but when I got the reference photos there was a shot of the black cat Lynn in front of an aloe plant. I decided it would be nice if I painted them both and introduced a more interesting composition that just reproducing a photograph- I got permission for the sketch and went ahead to the finish. The painting went very easily and everything went according to plan. I wish all my paintings could go as smoothly as this one, maybe it would if I only ever painted kittens.

I'm considering it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Just Wasn't Made For These Times

Here's the last of my little love affair with black and white work for now. It's a self portrait, me and my Johnson resonator guitar. It's a pretty good little resonator for the price, bought it at a pawn shop. It's in my studio at school, and I pluck a few notes on it every now and then.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sketchbook Update

Here are a couple of profiles I did from life recently. They both took about 10-15 minutes, which is a great time to do a black and white watercolor. It is enough time to have the pressure to get it done, while still allowing the time to actually finish it well.

I draw so much better from life than I do from a photograph, there is just so much more information to translate. Though a bad model can ruin a painting in a second - Last year a model fell asleep in class, and then denied it when our teacher asked him to keep his eyes open, did he not realize that a room full of people were watching him slowly nod off? I guess not.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Painting of the Week: Black and White

Finished the first page of a black and white comic I'm doing. I based this comic off of a poem, I just haven't done the type yet - It will be one of three pages when it's all done.

I was inspired by my weekend at the NY con, my talk with David Mack and seeing Paolo Rivera's Capitan America: Mythos in progress, it was so well done, and the narrative so strong (it was in a wordless state when I read through it) - it made me want to paint a comic that communicated effortlessly without the need for type - yet would still work well with something lyrical and interpretive.

This was also a bit different for me because I worked on painting opaquely over my black washes with white acrylic. It makes for a neat smoky effect, but the acrylic dries so fast. I'll never leave my watercolors - they stay good forever, just add water.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Black and White

Here's a panel from an in progress Black and White comic I'm working on. Should be done with the rest pretty soon, but I liked how this one came out so I figured I'd post it. I'm still working on it, i'm not completley satisfied with the background. Painting in black and white is awesome, it goes so fast.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ashes of Laughter: The Music of the Band

"Ashes of laughter, the ghost is clear
why do the best things always disappear?
Ophelia, please darken my door."

My newest project is about The Band, the 1960's-70's R&B, Rock, Country outfit. The title is from the song Ophelia, off of Northern Lights / Southern Cross. Had a lot of fun on this one, hope you like it, tell me what you think.