Archive for the ‘Art: Photoshop’ Category

2014 Monster Month: Day 23 – The Nightmare

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Welcome to the final selection in my 2014 Monster Month series of creepy crawlies and things that go bump in the night. As you can see, this grand finalè is autobiographical. Well, at least it is how I remember bedtime to be when I was a child.

I was that kid who would look pensively into his bedroom to make sure no monsters were peeking out of the closet or rumbling under the bed. If the coast looked clear, I would run full tilt into the room and leap onto my bed so fast that the monsters beneath had no chance to reach out and grab my ankles. Of course the mattress was off limits to them, so if I made it there safely, the monsters were powerless to attack me.

However, those monsters knew they would have their turn – a moment when I would be the most vulnerable. It was that moment in the middle of the night when one would have to get up to go to the bathroom. You wake up, and are too groggy to realize that you are sliding out of bed to go into the hall, which also means you are too groggy to think defensively. The monsters take that moment to SPRING out from the abyss beneath the box spring and munch on their midnight snack of a wailing child.

The next time your children wet their beds, don’t get angry at them. They are just protecting themselves from going down the gullet of a hungry monster. Instead, be thankful you still have your children and applaud them for their defensive thinking.


Purple People Eaters

Buckle up. It's going to be a bumpy night.


Well, thank you for joining me again on this year’s monstrous journey. It was fun letting my mind wander to create these creatures. Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did in drawing them. Keep coming back throughout the year to see what other goodies I unleash, and feel free to click on the Monsters category on my blog homepage to see what beasties you may have missed in the past!

Happy Halloween! Be safe!

2014 Monster Month: Day 19 – Slumber Party

Monday, October 27th, 2014

During last year’s Monster Month, I introduced you to my neighbors, the monsters who live above me. (If you missed that post, CLICK HERE for some context!) While their noise levels have lessened slightly by a decibel over the past year, they recently unleashed a torrent of audio pollution upon their unsuspecting neighbors that tops anything they were guilty of before. Yes, I speak of the event known as “the slumber party.”

When parents open themselves up to host an overnight gathering of little female monsters from all over town in their home, they know that it means very little sleep for themselves. This is fine for them to do when they own a house (so long as they keep the windows closed), but when one shares walls and floors with other people who are not celebrating the occasion with them, the word “inconsiderate” is not strong enough.

I learned something that day – little girls are highly capable of sustained energy. For four hours, one could clearly hear banging, thumping, squealing, growling (yes, growling), yelling, singing, loud music, and probably the slurping from a fresh kill. In my home, pictures were tilting, ceiling fans falling, cracks forming, book shelves twisting, glasses shattering, and nerves were rattling.


Slumber Party

There is nothing like your own private four hour earthquake. Good times.


Once the trembles subsided that night,I went to bed. Somehow going to bed late does not mean little monsters sleep in late. Right at the crack of dawn the walls started cracking again. There was no escaping it – no matter where you went in my home you were assaulted by the continued revelry from above – even in what is usually the quiet sanctuary of the bathroom. Truly monstrous indeed.

So, if you live in an apartment, please be kind to your neighbors and figure out an appropriate way to celebrate your little monsters away from disturbing the rest of mankind.

We are in the final week of MONSTER MONTH! Enjoy and share these precious moments with your friends!

2014 Monster Month: Day 18 – The Duel

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Little can be more tragic than two brothers fighting a duel to the death, unless of course those brothers happen to be conjoined twins. Not only is turning and facing each other a slight difficulty, but who really wins when one gets shot? The results are truly monstrous indeed.


gun duel

On second thought, perhaps having to wear a powdered wig is the most tragic thing in this scene.

2014 Monster Month – Day 14: Snotty Snobs

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Matthew 7:5 - Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (KJV)

sleep apnea

Welcome to our third full week of monsters! Come back tomorrow for a dental lesson.

2014 Monster Month: Day 13 – Malffs of the Mist

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Meet the Malffs who rise up majestically from the moist mist while moving their marvelous mugs in magnificent motions timed with their own merry music. Moreover, their mobile members morbidly meander in a most malleable manner to suggest the majority of their bones have no meaningful mass, at least none that can be measured. Contemplating the whole mess can make your mind melt.

Today’s creature is brought to you by the letter M.


Malff monster

More monsters on Monday!

2014 Monster Month: Day 6 – The Swimmer

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Now of course there are sea monsters, but then there are monsters who just love the sea.

The latter of these two monster types may have an infatuation with the water, but it does not mean that they are adept at traversing it. Some may float upon the water’s gentle ripples, while others have the body density to sink them to the bottom like a wheelbarrow full of rocks. Unless you are a monster who completely understands your limits within the liquids of this earth, it is highly recommended that you proceed with caution such as this swimmer.

Also, be sure to wait an hour after eating someone before going in the water.


Loch Ness Monster

No matter how you look in your bathing suit, be sure to look confident.

Keep your beach towel handy for tomorrow’s monster as well. It might get a little sloppy!

Burbank Bulldogs Water Polo

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Last year I was approached to create a one-of-a-kind design for the back of the letterman jacket for a member of Burbank High School’s lady bulldogs water polo team. From what I was told, she wasn’t thrilled with whatever choices the school was offering for the back of the jacket, so her father hired me to create a custom image.

I worked up my own version of a bulldog, kept it tough and formidable and yet added elements of femininity to represent the team of ladies who would deliver water polo justice to their competitors.

And yes, this was for use on just ONE jacket. She has a very nice father.

Bulldog design

Here is the original design done in five colors - black, white, pink, and two shades of blue. The dark blue background was just a placeholder for the dark blue color of the actual jacket onto which this would be embroidered.


Bulldog design

Here is the final design as embroidered on the back of the letterman jacket. I was fairly pleased with it, though a little annoyed that they eliminated the black outline from the water that was intended to be there.

The Preparation of a Samurai

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

I’ll bet you thought I was done talking about my painting that is on eBay this week being sold to raise money for some friends. Well, I’m not. Just as if it was your birthday, I have a bonus gift for you – a peek at the art that happens BEFORE the art!

When I create an illustration like the one I posted on Monday of Usagi Yojimbo attacking, I always do a preliminary drawing to plan my own attack for the final art. Working on a Cintiq (a special computer monitor that you can draw on), I sketch out my scene using Photoshop. First comes a really rough sketch to get the idea out on the page very quickly. Most folks would have a hard time understanding the image at this point, but it is just meant to give me an idea of the overall composition. The size and placement of characters and scenery are worked out in this stage.


Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo

You can see the initial drawing is pretty rough. The birthing process is never pretty.


In the case of this Usagi Yojimbo piece, the tighter digital sketch that came next (seen below) clearly identified the details of the scene. Then, so as to prevent a lot of experimenting in the painting stage, I worked out all the color choices right onto the rough sketch which was then printed out and taped up next to the final paper on my very non-digital drafting table. This made it so much easier to follow when mixing paint and laying down the watercolors.


Stan Sakai Usagi Yojimbo

The image is all planned out now, and ready for paint! Just stay away from the business end of that blade!


If you compare this final color sketch to the final painted piece I posted on Monday, you can see that even more changes were made to the drawing when I transferred it to the watercolor paper. A sugegasa, a Japanese conical hat, was added, along with one of Stan Sakai’s little lizard creatures that often make an appearance in his comic book Usagi Yojimbo. Otherwise all the details are there ready for the traditional makeover as a watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustration!

If you are interested in owning the final piece that will be published in July by Dark Horse Comics in The Sakai Project book, it will remain on eBay until this coming Sunday, May 4. CLICK HERE if you’d like to bid on it!

If you would like to see other great items by fans and pros that have been sold and will be sold, CLICK HERE to visit the Facebook page of CAPS – Comic Art Professional Society. They are selling all this great Usagi art to help Stan & Sharon Sakai with medical bills (all was explained in my previous post)!